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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sweets From All Over

We were recently given some interesting foodstuff to try. We were given some desserts from Iraq: mann al-sama (manna from heaven - tasted like a soft nougat), sohan (a pistachio brittle spiced with saffron), and naher khoz (crumbly texture and tasted of peanuts). Then we tried some bika ambon (something like our local bee-hive cake), and coffee from Medan. Closer to home, we were given some delicious tarts from Kampar, Perak. Finally, we tried a kind of wafer, and cake from China.

Iraq sweets
[Iraqi sweets, clockwise from right: Mann Al-Sama, Sohan, and Naher Khoz.]

Bika ambon
[Bika Ambon]

Medan coffee
[Medan coffee]

Kampar tarts
[Tarts from Kampar]

China round wafer
[Round wafer with filling]

China eight cakes
[Beijing Eight Cakes]

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Living in a Jet Plane

We enjoy our conversations with Julian nowadays because his responses can be quite amusing. Here are a few samples:

Julian: Yesterday we eat ice-cream.
Daddy: Yes, we can buy the ice-cream because it is cheap.
Julian: Like Chip & Dale!

Daddy: Julian, where is your aeroplane going?
Julian: (silence)
Daddy: Is your plane going nowhere?
Julian: No! Got where!

Daddy: Julian, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Julian: A pilot!
Daddy: Julian, when you grow up, where do you want to live? Do you want to live in Penang?
Julian: No...
Daddy: Do you want to live in (names a few other places)?
Julian: No...
Daddy: Then where do you want to live?
Julian: In the cockpit!

Julian at 52 Months

Julian turned 52 months (4 years 4 months) on 28 September 2011.

Here are his updates:
  • He no longer sits on the baby chair - whether at home or outside. He insists on sitting on the 'big boy' chair which normally means two chairs stacked together. At home he sits on a stool.
  • Sometimes he would protest when Justin copies him. He would tell Justin "You don't follow me. Only I do!"
  • He wants to have whatever toy Justin is having and would often simply take the toy away from Justin. This, of course, leads to a feud of sorts. We're teaching him to ask Justin for the toy and sometimes he does (Justin, can share with me?) but very often Justin's response is a flat "mai!". We also taught him to barter trade with Justin. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
  • He is able to converse more now. Recently while shopping, he pointed out a particular baby bath and told us that the baby sitter was looking it. We found out later that he expressed his interest in the bath (thanks to TV ads) to the baby sitter so she said she would buy it for him (but couldn't find it).

Julian wearing sarong
[Julian wearing a sarong]

Julian eating ice-cream
[Ice-cream... my favourite!]

Julian showing tongue
[Pbthththhh!]

Justin at 26 Months

Justin turned 26 months on 25 September 2011.

Here are his updates:
  • He is speaking more now. He can now say "What you doing, Mummy?", "Pease (please), mummy/daddy", "mai swan" (mai - hokkien for don't want - this one), "ku (thank you) mummy/daddy" or "ku... much... (thank you very much)", "me too", "my turn" and "gone" (when he notices something missing).
  • He can answer simple questions e.g. "What animal says quack quack?"
  • He often parrots Julian and copies Julian's actions/antics almost all the time.
  • He is able to put on his 'crocs' shoes on his own.
  • He is getting better at feeding himself at mealtimes :-)
  • He is completely off the breast but requires night bottle feed (usually once, occasionally twice). However, we suspect that he still craves the breast and would readily latch on if given half the chance!
  • He no longer sits on the baby chair at home preferring to sit on a stack of two stools - thanks to Julian's influence!
  • When it comes to sharing, he's not very consistent. Sometimes he would readily hand over a toy to Julian, while at other times he would adamantly say "mai!" (much to Julian's frustration, of course)
  • On more than one occasion, when we ask him something (e.g. "Do you want to listen to 'Barney'?" - when we're in the car) he would say "mai'. But almost immediately after that, if Julian asks him the same question, he would say "yes'/"ya"! Hmmm....

Justin
[Justin]

Justin wearing sarong
[Justin trying on a sarong]

Justin sleeping on plane
[Justin taking a snooze]

Justin with starballoon
[Justin with a giant star balloon]

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Langkawi in the Rain

We were in Langkawi from 9-11 September 2011. Papa and Mummy came along. All of us boarded the lunch-time AirAsia flight from Penang and landed in glorious sunny weather.

We stayed at the Federal Villa Beach Resort which incidentally is a government-owned resort. Our 2-room suite was well-furnished with a living area, dining area, a spacious master bedroom (with a king-sized bed), and a smaller room (with 2 single beds). It was RM264 for 2 nights excluding breakfast and complementary beverages. Federal Villa is managed by Holiday Villa Beach Resort and Spa just next door and so, we got to use their facilities.

Trolley ride
[Free ride]

On the first day, it was "first things first" - the beach. The boys had a good time playing with the sand and sea. Dinner that night was at Rootian Seafood Restaurant in Kuah town.

Playing sand
[Sand, sun, and sea]

Boys with Ah Kong
[The boys with Ah Kong]

On the second day, we ventured out in cloudy weather. We decided we would explore Langkawi's less popular attractions this time in view that all four of us adults have more or less "been there, done that" in Langkawi, and the two kids would better appreciate the popular attractions when they are bigger. First, we visited the Buffalo Park Langkawi where the boys got to feed the buffaloes. After that we proceeded to visit a cheese factory nearby called Friendly Farms. Unfortunately they weren't making any cheese that day as there were no orders. However, we did sample some mozarella cheese and some yoghurt. We bought some mozarella cheese to take home. After that we went back to the buffalo park to sample ice-cream made from buffalo milk. While there, we were rained in for a while. At the first opportunity, we headed to Kuah town for lunch and some shopping.

Boys feeding buffaloes
[The boys feeding the buffaloes]

Eating ice-cream
[Buffalo milk ice-cream... yummy!]

Friendly Farms
[Friendly Farms cheese factory]

Justin with goat
[Justin with Friendly Farms' friendly goat]

From then onwards, We were pretty much rained in for the rest of our stay. That evening we had dinner at the Cactus Restaurant located just opposite the entrance to Holiday Villa. It's quite popular amongst the tourists because the food is not bad and the price is very reasonable.

On the last day, we managed to take the boys to Holiday Villa's kids playroom in the morning. Later, we had to delay our checking-out as it was raining so heavily to the extent that even the bellboys could not get to us. After we finally checked-out, we headed to town for lunch and some shopping. After lunch, we took an aimless and rather pointless round-the-island drive in the rain to while away the time. Our return flight to Penang on Firefly was only scheduled at 7.55pm (but delayed by about half-an-hour) that night.

We finally arrive home at about 9.45pm.

Boys on trishaw
[The boys on the trishaw]

Boys on giant chess board
[If only they could settle their disputes over a game of chess!]