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Friday, June 30, 2017

June-July Update

Our summer months were filled with lots of music and outdoor activities. Here's C learning how to hold his uke properly.

He now has a whole row of chompers and enjoys his 'Peanut butter on toast', 'cheese on toast' and now 'beans on toast'.

He absolutely fascinates us with his sense of direction. He points out the doctors, his childminder's home, our home, the swimming pool etc to us just by the road that we are on. Sometimes when we take a detour due to roadworks, he yells 'Go home!' thinking that we are taking him on an unplanned journey.  He also had a phase of wishing strangers and neighbours 'Good Morning' on his own. He loves sitting on the window sill and watching the world go about their day first thing in the morning. He remarks, 'Man in car', 'drive to work', 'crane is moving', 'workers having breakfast', 'magpie', etc.

He is speaking so much more now and projects his voice from belly.. 'Stairs!' He also yells for our neighbour's son. 'Jackkkk!' He practices his phrases in earnest like 'Hong lo bok' (carrot), chicken meat, pork meat, fish meat and 'kick a ball in the park'. He even says them in his sleep sometimes. He says grace for his meals now daily. He learns about his food through praying too. He also prays before he sleeps for what he is thankful for which usually consists of the events of the day and the people in his life.

What started as a sticker book has grown into an overwhelming love for diggers and the like. Naturally, it features in almost every conversation! The obsession has not slowed down. We can't help but encourage it quite a bit though by bringing him to the construction site next door where he gets the premium view of all the man-sized toys. He has also made friends with some construction workers who have offered rides to him.

Our summer has been punctuated by many trips to parks.

We went strawberry picking at Hewitts Farm twice because he loved it so much. He could hardly wait to sample the really sweet berries. We had to keep reminding him that we need to pay for them first.

More picnics.

In the spirit of Wimbledon, we fashioned a tether ball situation for him to acquire some racquet skills.

We all climbed into our first treehouse.

My little Chinaman having his water out of a teacup.

We visited an animal farm in Greenwich where he got to sit on a tractor, see a pony and other animals.

The funny guy has been enjoying basketball, fishing and mopping too!

A modern family portrait for my mother-in-law's birthday.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

April & May Update

Beautiful spring continues.

C has been enjoying art so much. He asks for it 3-4 times a day. 'Do-ing Arrrttttt! Mama! Doo-ning Artttttt!' 'Mama, Sit down!' Doo-ning Artttttt!'. He has learned how to draw lines 'top-to-bottom' and 'dot, dot, dot' thanks to brilliant Ngen Ngen. He has since learned how to draw 'left-to-right' and 'waves'. We use art time to recap the activities and whatever we learned in the day too. 

C had a splendid time with Ye Ye and Ngen Ngen. He misses them so and remembers them fondly. He loves Ye Ye's cooking and they taught him the ingredients in his food- he says them in his dreams too: 'Hong lo-bok, chicken meat, pork meat, fish meat, spinach etc'. His favourite food is 'hong lo bok'. 

They brought him on fun trips to St James' Park where he chased pigeons with glee. He enjoyed the train rides too.

C always associates activities with the person who introduced them to him.  Ye Ye taught C how to play 'Yea, Yea, Pom Pom, Yes Sir, No Sir, 1...2... Tali...Som!' This is one of his favourite things to do with Ye Ye.

Ngen Ngen taught him beautiful songs with actions from the New Catechism for Kids by Kathy Keller. He has learned so many words along with good snippets of the gospel. Eg: 'What is our only hope in life and death? That we are not our own but belong to God.' Ngen Ngen also did Bible time with C and 'bookmark' memory verses. Ye Ye and Ngen Ngen are so creative when it comes to inventing new games for C too. They have taught C how to 'aim at bottles' and even how to enjoy the game when he misses the target! 

His other top favourite of the month is the sticker book of construction machines from Ye Ye and Ngen Ngen. C doesn't really enjoy new things when we introduce them but once we find a hook with the activity, he can't stop doing it. The hook for the sticker book was a machine called the 'telescopic BOOM!'. Ever since I bounced him high off my lap and made a boom noise, he was hooked onto the book. He has learned about 'dump trucks, excavators, backhoes, trailers and more', and so has mama! He is a very sweet helper which always grabs the second mop when I mop the floor. He also has taken to bringing us our shoes (correctly each time based on which shoe we wear last) when we are preparing to go out. Excited little boy.

We started taking C to swim again after the long winter filled with colds and coughs has passed. His first time back in the pool was as expected. A little reluctant and trepidated. Now, he asks for it all the time. He brings the swimming pool slippers to us and says 'Mi-mming pooooo'.....'kick kick kick!'. He is slowly getting more and more confident so he can now jump in from the side and walk up and down the stairs in the toddler pool.

We joined our friends to celebrate another trip around the sun. C enjoys eating tau-foo-fah- that's the taufoofah face on the bottom-right. Just like his papa, he also loves coconut water. Can't wait to bring him to Malaysia and have him drink it straight out of a coconut.

He played tug of war for a few seconds here and there. He also loves only calling the ladies' names: Auntie May, Che Che Abigail, Asa, Layla, Sabine... but no guys names. Sorry lads..... the only male name he has ever uttered is Ying Khai. :) Such a Boy with a capital B.

He has also learned how to stack the precarious numbers tower. The hook to get him to love this game was a play on the word 'wobble' which he enjoyed doing to little wooden rings with Ngen Ngen. When we came back from our trip, he was going on and on with 'wobble' so we built on that and called this 'topple'! The hook to get him to love his numbers was a 1,2,3 Mr Men book. Since then, he absolutely loves counting and of late, has managed to count to 20 albeit still green on his pronounciation. :)

 C has been very wonderful at doctor visits. The nurses and health workers are besotted with his antics. He listens well and smiles a lot. He also says 'Good morning' and 'Thank You' to the doctor. He is so much fun to have around these days. 

We have been taking advantage of the sunshine and going out lots to new parks and having picnics. C always says 'kick a ball in the park!' The other night, he said it in his dreams along with 'chicken meat'. :D 
 The amazing view from the Royal Observatory. C enjoyed counting the cranes.

It's wonderful to see C grow. He learned about pinecones back in Christmas when he helped me decorate the tree. He would play with them every evening and say 'Puh-K-' for pinecone. The other day at the park, he suddenly said 'A pine-cone' and since then has been bringing some to us whenever we are having a picnic. He is starting to speak more and more. 

The story of the simple red windmill from Ye Ye and Ngen Ngen that started C's huge love of windmills which led to the whole family's obsession with windmills. We brought C to see his first old-fashioned windmill. We also explored a fellow church member's backyard where C got to watch in amazement as his windmill spun ever so fast. He also learned the word 'waterfall' there and saw his first fox up close.

More parks- Holland Park was next. The Japanese garden had a gorgeous waterfall which C went bananas over. He also got to see his first peacock mating dance and feed squirrels with some peanuts provided by a kind stranger. Because of mummy's 'good' grammar, he ended up throwing a peanut 'at' a squirrel hitting it on its head. It was quickly remedied and he learned to throw them 'to' the squirrel instead. :P

More exciting summer days lie ahead!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Vancouver Part 2

After my husband's work engagement was complete, we visited Brandywine Falls near Whistler. The view was breathtaking. There was even a rainbow across the waterfall at a certain point.

More of the views from the Sea to Sky Highway.

It was a wonderful day to visit Stanley Park. We thoroughly miss the ability to drive out to picturesque natural viewpoints within minutes.

We arrived in the airport to a delayed Westjet flight of 3 hours which turned into 6 hours and then a cancellation at midnight. We had to go through customs again and line up for an hour and a half to get booked into a hotel. After that, we were told to catch a shuttle at 1.30am. Thankfully, we had the mind to call up the hotel to check up on the shuttle that never came and were told that such a shuttle did not exist. We went back into the airport to request for taxi vouchers and were told by the agents to notify 'whomever else' that was queueing out in the cold that there was no shuttle. We then had to queue up for a taxi for 15 minutes and finally arrived in the hotel at 2.30am, exhausted and frustrated as we were told to call a number after 3am to find out about our rescheduled flight. We gave up and just went to bed.

 We were compensated for the delay and were told by the receptionist at the hotel that 15 other passengers at our same hotel had requested for a late checkout and the latest they could do was up to 12pm. My husband managed to secure us two nights at the hotel and an extra allowance to spend for the day from Westjet. We tried to share the extra information with a fellow passenger but he was too arrogant to listen and brushed us off. We later saw him and his elderly father sitting in the lobby waiting to leave to the airport at 1130am. Later that evening, we boarded the same plane as said passenger. Sad that he wouldn't stop to listen. We managed to nap until 430pm and headed to the airport well in time for the flight.

We spent the entire day celebrating my husband's birthday belatedly. The hotel was right in the Richmond district, so we had very yummy dimsum for breakfast and went on the hunt for bubble tea. 

The yummiest pei dan chuk with dried oysters.

Exactly what we needed on a hot and sunny day. It's been ages since we had good bubble tea.

We then purchased a small child's weight in candy and headed to the airport to spend the remainder of our vouchers. All in all, a nice turn of events giving my husband and I an unexpected treat at the end of our stay.