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Bible Verse of the Day

June 2011

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During the same long 3-day weekend when we visited the beach, the other place the kids wanted to go to was the zoo.  Ethan and Hannah both adore animals, and since Hannah had not been to the zoo before, we decided to make a day trip to the nearest zoo: Taiping Zoo.

We initially planned on arriving in the morning and then having lunch afterward, but that plan clearly backfired and we only arrived in Taiping around lunch time.  We had lunch with Taiping Ah Ma and Ah Kong before we headed for the zoo.

After slapping on lots of sunblock all over, we bravely walked into the hot scorching sun ….err…. ooops, I mean zoo. 😛 We wanted to start off our trip with a tram ride, but after waiting for our turn for 20 minutes with no sign of movement from the LONG queue, we decided to walk around the zoo first, and then do the tram ride later.  Amazing how so many people there were at the zoo despite the burning hot weather!

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It was definitely no walk in the park, for the weather was really hot.  Plus I wasn’t really in the mood to take pictures too, despite bringing my camera along.  The kids weren’t in camera-smiling mode either.  So pictures were rather minimal…

Anyway, here are a few pictures I snapped of some of the animals in the zoo:

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I was surprised that most of the animals were rather well cared for.  I didn’t remember them looking this good from my last visit years ago.  The elephants especially, looked really healthy! :)

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We went back to take the tram ride after we had walked round the zoo, and the kids really enjoyed that.  Despite the hot sun, we had a swell time, and no one got sun-burnt! :)

When we go to either Queensbay Mall or Gurney Plaza, the kids would be exhilarated!  In a normal scenario, after lunch/dinner at the mall, they’d come up to us and ask sweetly, “Daddy, Mommy, NOW can we go to Toys R Us, please?”

We try to accommodate whenever we can, because they do enjoy themselves there, even though it’s just for toy-window-shopping.

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Better put up this post while the show is still showing on the silver screen…hehe…

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We went for Kungfu Panda 2 the 2nd day after its opening.  It was also the last day of school before the school holidays, and the best seats in the house were about 4 rows from the screen.

Not wanting to let the kids down, I bought the tickets anyway, and upon entering the cinema, we found that the seats weren’t too bad after all.  I mean, we didn’t need to strain our necks or anything, in fact it was rather comfy, cos ours was the first row before a group of rows which was nearer to the screen, hence we had a LOT of leg room!  We found out that the majority of the tickets in that cinema was booked by an international school for some of its students.

Anyway, we made sure this time that the popcorn lasted way longer than our previous experience with Rio. :)  Hannah was quite all right and was very excited every time she saw Po, the panda.  Halfway into the show, our little Hannah fell asleep in my arms, and we managed to watched the entire show without disruption.  Ethan of course, is an expert cinemagoer now and he enjoyed every bit of the show.  Even Mommy and Daddy enjoyed it (some parts tugged at the heart strings too…)

We enjoyed the show so much that last weekend, we decided to watch Kungfu Panda 1 at home, simply because we had not seen it, and we wanted to piece together the entire story.

If there is a Kungfu Panda 3, we’re definitely gonna watch it! :)

First off, I just wanna wish all fathers, including my hubby, my father (Papa), my FIL (Papa) and all daddies out there a Happy Father’s Day.  Belated, rather.  It’s a day that is oft overlooked and stays much in the shadows of Mother’s Day.  Psstt…maybe it’s because it’s so much harder to get a gift for daddies…some parties choose to have Parents Appreciation Day instead.

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In any case, last Sunday Ethan presented Daddy with his self-made laminated heart-shaped card with a Chinese written message, and a bag of self-made heart-shaped cookies (with colorful sprinkles; didn’t manage to take a picture of the cookies, because they all ended in our tummies.  He made both in school and had whispered to me on Friday that we ought to keep it a surprise from Pete.

For our Father’s Day lunch, we decided to head off to Victoria Station.  We had not been there in AGES, and it was a familiar comfortable surrounding that greeted us.  Plus, the kids were overjoyed to be dining in a “train”! :)

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Enjoying the bun and butter before the main course arrived.  Hannah preferred to dip her bun into Daddy’s Cream of Dutch Pea soup, before eating.

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They did not have a kids’ menu available, so we had to order a plate of spaghetti bolognese for the kids to share.

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Vanilla milkshake for Hannah and Chocolate Milkshake for Ethan:

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Pete ordered the Feast for the King of the House special (but of course!) and I ordered my all-time favorite rib-eye steak (which I am happy to say turned out marbled and medium just like I had requested).

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After our very satisfying lunch, Ethan and Hannah had the privilege to climb onboard the front of the train (which formed part of the restaurant).  Well, Daddy too…of course!  I declined the offer because I was wearing an above-the-knee length dress that restricted me from climbing up.

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Doesn’t Ethan look like a pro using his pair of training chopsticks?  They were a gift from Pauline Kor Kor a couple of years ago (when Ethan was way too small for chopsticks), but look at my little big boy now…

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He is not really a fan of noodles or beehoon, but just last week, I just asked him for fun if he wanted rice or beehoon for lunch.  Surprisingly, Ethan said he wanted beehoon soup, so that’s what I served him! :)

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Add a pair of chopsticks to the equation and you have a happy camper of a toddler :)

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The weekend is here, oh how we have missed it.  Our Saturdays are more or less routinely planned out each week.  In the mornings, we’ll all go out together and Hannah and I will be dropped off at her parent-toddler class.  While we are at the class, Daddy will take Ethan for a *bonding session*.  They’ll either go for a quick exercise session, some football in the park, or lately, sometimes they’ll just take the car for a wash.

Anyway, I’ve come to realize that I have not been posting any pictures of Hannah enjoying her parent-toddler class, because the fact is she really does!  She looks forward to her class every week and would cheerfully wave goodbye as Daddy drives away.  She’s always asking to go to “Teacher Puva’s class” and will happily participate in all the activities.  Sometimes she will even volunteer to “go first” in some of the group activities.

Hannah intently cutting up some pretend fruits and vegetables with her pretend knife…

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Fun with arts and crafts…

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Water play can be methodical too.  High level of concentration needed here.

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Hannah loves a good story, and the pretty stickers she gets afterward.

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And here are a couple of pictures of when Ethan and Daddy went for a short visit to the Botanical Gardens during the recent Floral Festival.

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Isn’t it marvelous to see the kids happy that way? :)

Our Saturday lunches are almost certainly our favorite chicken rice at Fatty Loh.  Even the kids know that by now.  Then again, kids thrive on routines.. :)

hannah_27monthsScrap Credits
Beautiful Spring Kit from Rena Designs
Photomask #10 from Kylie M Designs
Boxed words from Chantal

Weight

Possibly 13 kilos.

Height

Around 85cm

Teeth

17 teeth: 4 incisors on the upper jaw, 3 or 4 incisors bottom jaw.  2 canines upper jaw, 1 or 2 canines bottom jaw.  6 pramolars: if I’ve counted correctly, it’s 4 on the upper jaw and 2 on the bottom jaw (with 2 more appearing slowly).

Motor Skills

  • Likes to skip
  • Likes to jump on the trampoline.
  • Can be more or less independent on playground play structures and shows no fear sliding down slides, even those tunnel-slides.
  • Attempting to work the hula hoop.

Communication and Social Skills

  • Hannah’s getting into the hang of asking questions now, but she phrases it rather uniquely when she uses “What”.  She’ll say, “What the that smell, Mommy?” or “What the that animal, Daddy?” or “What the that color, Ethan?”.  We’ll then simply rephrase it for her, by asking her, “Oh, what’s that smell? That’s the smell of durians!”
  • She can sing many many songs, her most recent accomplishment is singing the popular A-B-C song.  Last night, I asked her if it’s okay that I record her singing it and she agreed.  Let’s see when I can get a recording to post here. :)
  • Tantrums are also getting regular.  Like any two-year-old, she wants to assert herself and test her limits.
  • Hannah is currently being trained to use “Please”, “Thank you” and “Excuse Me”.  Her brother is a very good teacher :)
  • She can count by rote from 1-39.  According to “Teacher Ethan”, Hannah will say “30” after she counts 39!

Food and Feeding

  • Hannah is weaned off the breast during the daytime.  She still needs to be breastfed to sleep though, but now in the middle of the night, she can sometimes be soothed to sleep without the breast.  We use the “hug method” or sometimes the “snuggle next to Daddy method”, the latter of which is not very popular with Daddy. 😛
  • She is very curious when it comes to food and wants to see whatever we are eating/drinking and wants to try it, if possible.
  • She likes to take cookies, tau sar pneah and her favorite ice cream flavor is “chocolate”, so she tells everyone.

Last weekend, we’d asked Ethan to choose where he wanted to go, since Pete had a long holiday weekend (Agong’s birthday).  At first, Ethan was undecided, but then he later announced that he wanted to go to the beach.

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I told him that if he wanted to go to the beach, he would have to wake up very early, and he would also be responsible to wake everyone up, so that we could reach the beach early.  The previous weekend, cousin Jonathan (from KL) went to the beach too, but Ethan declined because he said it was TOO HOT.

Anyway, on Saturday morning, at approximately 6:30a.m., I was awakened by Ethan at the foot of my bed, saying, “Mommy, wake up!  Time to go to the beach!”  At 6:30a.m. I tell you!

Well, despite waking up so early, we got ready and arrived at the beach at about 9:45a.m.  That’s considered very early for our standards.  The sun was still warm (not baking hot), and the sea was inviting.  We chose a rather secluded beach that was not too rocky, and that was not too popular with tourists.  Slapped on copious amounts of sunblock on top of the layer I put on them at home and we were all set!

The kids got to play with the Rio beach ball Ethan had won in a magazine contest.

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Ethan and Hannah immediately wanted to go and play with the waves.  But as soon as the waves licked their feet, Hannah was screaming, “Carry me, Mommy!” and she wanted to return to our umbrella.  (see that pout?)

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Ethan, meanwhile, had a LOT of fun with the waves, showing totally no fear whatsoever.

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Hannah preferred to steer clear from the water’s edge, and play with her plastic cup, scooping up the sand and pouring it out.

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We definitely need to get more sand-castle building tools for them the next time we visit the beach.

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Ethan said, “Daddy and Mommy, thank you for bringing us to the beach today!  I had a LOT of fun!! Please, can we go again?  Please please?”

Of course we can, darling…and hopefully soon!  Can you believe that it was the FIRST time Ethan and Hannah had been to the beach in Penang? 😛

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About a week ago, Ethan’s school organized a Literature Night for all the Kindergarten-1(K1) students.  Apparently this is an annual event for just the K1 kids.  It was held on a Saturday night and there were 2 classes of K1 kids involved.  Unfortunately Pete had to miss this rare opportunity because he was away on a business trip.

The rationale behind having a Literature Night is to celebrate literacy amongst students, and also it is tradition that there would be short presentations from parents/siblings/grandparents who were sporting enough to volunteer.

Initially, because I knew Pete would not be around, I intended to give Literature Night a miss, but then I discovered that it would be only for K1 and next year, Ethan would not have this chance again.  Plus, he kept on telling me that he would also be performing with his class as Narrator 1.

He said, “Mommy, Teacher said I am Narrator 1 because I can read SOOOOOOO well.” And then he beamed with pride.

How can I say no to that?

So I checked with my Mom and asked if she could accompany us to Literature Night, and I was so grateful she said yes.  Even though she had to rush to Genting Highlands the next morning, she still came all the way from Ipoh to lend her help and support.  And for that I am eternally thankful. :)

Ethan was SO excited in the days leading up to Literature Night and kept giving me a countdown as to how many more days it would be  to Literature Night.  Here he is, all ready for Lit Night, and impatient for us to leave the house.

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On the way to his school that evening, he kept telling me that he had to arrive BEFORE 7:00p.m.  Well, of course we arrived on time, and the event was going to start very soon too, because everyone was incredibly punctual :)

Here’s Hannah posing for the camera before Literature Night started.

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…and with Ah Ma too:

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Ethan and his classmates getting ready for the Chinese presentation:

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…and Ethan doing a spectacular job at being Narrator 1.

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Ethan’s class did a rather ambitious performance in the form of a Readers’ Theatre.  His class teacher chose the story Skyfire by Frank Asch.

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Some of the kids gave very good recitals of poetry and song presentations.  And Hannah had a good time watching the presentations too.  She even sat close to one of Ethan’s classmates, Marcus, to watch. LOL

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When it was time for our presentation, we headed out to stage as the “Three Generation Quartet” (Grandma, Mommy & Kids).  We were supposed to sing a two-song medley comprising Do-Re-Mi and This Little Light of Mine, but halfway through Do-Re-Mi, the mp3 stopped playing.  Nevertheless, as the saying goes, “The show must go on”…so we continued singing Do-Re-Mi till the end.

Later on, when the school principal managed to make the mp3 work, we were asked to present the whole medley again, this time with no glitches.  Hannah more or less *grabbed* the mic from me so I was left without a mic for some time.  She even asked to go up to the stage to *sing again* after we had come down from the stage. 😛

Errr…pictures and video of our presentation are with a friend of mine, who has not passed me the downloads yet. 😛

All in all, a really enjoyable night.  And Ethan had a really great time.  So glad he managed to experience this night.