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Morib revisited October 30, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in trips, Zara.

14 years ago, Daddy in his attempt to impress me, brought me to Morib for a date. There, he whipped out his Bunsen burner and brewed tea for the 2 of us at our little picnic. He did impress me (see who I ended up marrying?).

Since then, we’d never been to Morib. Usually when this is suggested by him again, I would say, “Morib? What’s there to do?”

During our Hari Raya holiday, we asked Zara what she wanted to do, and she said, “Want to go to the beach, want to kick kick the sand.” The boss wanted something, and she got it. We packed a few snacks, took some cold drinks in our Coleman, and headed to Morib, the closest beach.

Crab up on shore; Pine tree lined coast; One of the trees that provided picnic goers with shade; Our picnic corner.

I’m surprised it was a very pleasant trip. We picnic-ed at the pine trees lined field facing the beach. The weather was nice, cloudy but not hazy, and the breeze from the sea was really cooling. Daddy brought Zara out to the long stretch of beach, showed her some little crabs, let her wade in the shallow pool of water and played in the mud; while I sat on our picnic mat watching the 2 of them from a far.

What a nice break..


Less Than A Month and She’ll be Two October 23, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in development, language, Zara.

23months! One more month before Zara celebrates her 2nd birthday. We are really happy with the way she’s growing. Every night after she goes to bed, we like to stare at her, and talk about her achievement in the last 23months. It’s just amazing, how much she’s grown.

~ Weight : 10.1kg (2 weeks ago)
~ Height : 86cm (3 cms in a month? But we do realise some of her pants just suddenly shortened)

~ Started feeding herself with a spoon
~ Able to press pieces of play dough in a mold to get the shape and print she wants.
~ Floating in a pool with her arm floats (actually she started this in Aug but she’s getting really good now)
~ Hold a pencil, marker the proper way (nobody actually taught her this), and able to draw circles or lines or curvey lines (she said she’s drawing snakes or worms) intentionally (though not perfect yet)
~ Able to do the thumbs up sign to indicate “Good” and thumbs down to indicate “Bad”
~ Walk up and down stairs without holding on to the railing (but we still insist she hold on to the railing for safety reasons)

Emotions and character
~ Becoming very homely, prefers to stay at home most of the time. And wanting to go home after spending some time out.
~ Started to have strong dislikes about some people. These people make her cry or fuss when they go near her. Like the case with Daddy’s friend and KC.
~ Sometimes she pretends to be a baby. When she doesn’t get her way, instead of telling us what she really wants, she whines. When we change her, she likes to making the ‘ooh-weh’ ‘ooh-weh’ sound, and says, “Zara’s a baby”
~ She’s very into manners now, so she’s using Excuse me, Thank You, Sorry, You’re Welcome, Please when appropriate.

~ Since Phuket, she started pronouncing her name perfectly, stressing the Z and the R. She’s no longer calling herself ‘Wawa’
~ She’s using words like ‘accidentally’, ‘uncomfortable’ now
~ She’s picking different words to differentiate baby and adult animals; and some cases masculine and feminne of animals.
She goes like this, “Daddy horse is called stallion; Mummy horse is called Mare; Baby horse is called Foal.”
“Daddy chicken is called Cockerel; Mummy chicken is called Hen; Baby chicken is called a Chick.”
~ She likes to pretend to speak in different voices and tones to represent the baby, the daddy or the mummy talking (just like voices I used when I read her Goldilocks and The 3 Bears) when she’s at play.
~ She’s able to sing a few songs completely, e.g. Old Mc Donald, Do Re Me, London Bridge Is Falling Down, Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars etc.; and recite some nursery rhymes, e.g. Wee Willy Winky, Pussy Cat Pussy Cat, Hey Diddle Diddle etc.

~ I’m trying to teach her phonics, and so far, able to teach her the B sound and the C sound.
~ I’m teaching her Mandarin, so far, she knows how to say 嘴巴 (mouth), 鼻子(nose), 眼睛(eyes), 耳朵(ear), 没有(don’t have, no more), 要 (want), 不要 (don’t want). We don’t speak Mandarin at home, so I think it’s quite an achievement. 😛

Tired! October 20, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in bitching, myself, parenting.

Almost a week has passed since our maid has gone home.

We’re using my sis’ Indonesian maid, KC. Our initial plan was to have her take care of Zara and at the same time help out with household chores. However, Zara totally didn’t want KC to handle her. I think the reason is KC didn’t speak English, and Zara has no way of communicating with her (Tuyam is able to communicate with Zara with her limited broken English). She doesn’t even want KC to sit near her while she watched her TV shows.

She only wanted my sis’ Filipino maid, Elizabeth. Kept sticking to her and every time KC goes near her, she’ll be shouting, “Don’t want kakak. Aunty Aunty (calling for Elizabeth), come!”

There’s lots of interruptions for me while working at my sis’ place. Sometimes when Elizabeth needs to cook or clean the house, Zara will be coming to me, asking me to play with her; Or running to me for help when KC tries to give her some water or play with her.

Oh boy, tough for me.

Why is it always the wife who has to endure this while the husband continues with his usual routine when the domestic helper is not around? I’ll wait to see if Daddy is going to help out during the weekend, or he’s still going to enjoy his weekend like he usually does, in front of his newspapers, ‘making love’ to his amplifier, and working on his hobby.

World War Three will erupt if he thinks I’ll have to do all the work, while it’s status quo for him!

Short Updates October 17, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in language, parenting, Zara.

No Maid
Tuyam has gone home to Indonesia for a month for her Raya holidays. Oh boy, this mummy with big stomach has to take care of Zara most of the time.

I’m having my sister’s maids to help out in caring for Zara (and I work from my sis’ place), but since Zara is still not quite used to them, she keeps coming to me for things and for a cuddle.

28 more days to go before the maid comes home (if she did come back).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

New Phrases
Zara is using words and phrases she learns either from the TV or from us. Here are some new ones.

Me : “Zara did you touch Rusty (our cat) just now?”
Zara : No way! Zara didn’t touch Rusty.”

In the car,
Zara : “Mummy, Zara want eat pop corn”
Me : “Mummy forgot to bring.”
Zara : Say Sorry girl girl (sometimes we call her girl girl).”
Me : “……. Ok. Sorry girl girl, mummy forgot.”

Me : “Mummy loves Zara so much”
Zara : “How much?”
Me : “….. Very much.”

While swimming,
Daddy : “Wow, Zara can float now!”
Zara : Pefect!”

After dinner,
Daddy : “Good girl, you finish your dinner.”
Zara : *grinned* “Excellent.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On days when she’s in the mood, she yaks non-stop. Here is a conversation taken yesterday when she was telling my nephews what she was going to do to get ready for bed:
“Mummy change this baju (Malay : clothes) for Zara”
“Dirty already mummy.”
“Must take off and Zara put in the laundry bag”
“Then kakak will wash wash the baju with the hands.”
“Zara brush teeth, and don’t let the water run (the latter phrase is from Barney)
“Then change Pajamas”
“Then mummy spray rose water on the face (when I apply my skin care in the night, I spray some rose water for her as well).”
“Zara smell so nice”
“Then read books, then bed time.”
She was saying this without pausing for a reply or response from us. My sis Filipino maid said she talked like an old lady.

Phuket – II ~ Sigtseeing, Beaches, Others October 13, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in trips, Zara.

I’m into my 7th month already, and hence I can’t go on a speedboat. No island excursion for us this round. We hired my colleague’s friend’s taxi for a day trip around Phuket island on our 2nd day.

When we asked what Zara wanted to do, she said, “Zara want to sit on elephant.”. Our first stop was to a place near by for Elephant rides. To our disappointment, Zara refused to take the elephant ride. She said, “Zara scared. Elephant so ugly. So black, and hairy.” Since we were already there, we bought some bananas to feed the elephant (yes, just ONE elephant available), and even that Zara didn’t want to feed. She kept asking me to do it. So much for Elephant ride!

Next stop, we went to Khao Rang, highest point in Phuket town to have a panoramic view of Phuket island. It was nice and breezy, and Zara just slept on her pram throughout. Then we had lunch in town, at this local shop serving Hokkien mee (fried and soup). By far, this was the worst meal we had in Thailand! After the crappy meal, it was shopping time, where we visited the Phuket market and then Robinson Departmental Store.

We then headed to Cape Promthep (southern tip of Phuket), best for sunset viewing. Beautiful place, and if I wasn’t pregnant, we probably would have gone all the way to the tip of the cape (some hiking required).

She had a good nap on her pram, then she started monkeying around. The last pix showed her interested in wanting to pat and hug all the elephants surrounding the alter.

Zara wasn’t interested in the view at all, she was more interested in the Elephant statues available at the prayer alter nearby.

The driver then took us to Chalong Bay to dine in the famous Kan Eang Restaurant. Food was really good, and Zara was occupied throughout playing ‘cooking’ with the cucumber slices, and chives sticks.

Kicking some sand at Chalong Bay before dinner

The Beaches
We stayed in Surin area, waves are a bit rough there and not suitable for swimming. However, during low tide, it’s pretty pleasant to stroll on the beach. The beach side is lined with local restaurants, where you can covered your feet in sand while you have your meals, and the price is relatively reasonable (much cheaper than the ones on the street in Surin town). Too bad, we only discovered this towards the end of our stay, and had 2 very good lunches there ~extremely delicious fried rice and fried fish.

Surin Beach in the afternoon and evening (it got dark at about 6pm+ daily while we were there)

We took a tuk-tuk to Patong beach one evening to do a bit of shopping and to dine at the famous Savoey Restaurant (another orgasmic dinner, but Zara was chanting Want to go back Hotel” throughout dinner because she couldn’t stand the loud live performance there, so even though the food was good, we couldn’t slowly savour it).

Patong beach seems to be nicer (wider, longer stretch). But that area is really too congested for my liking.

Sunset at Patong. The ‘boss’ demands to be carried most of the time or to ‘ride’ on her pram.

We wanted to spend most of our time at the resort, hence we didn’t go out much. We have most of our lunches at Surin area. Most of the time during lunch, Zara fell a sleep, so Daddy and I could munch and enjoy our food at our own pace.

On our last night, we wanted to do a last round of shopping and went to Canal Shopping Village at the Laguna area. There were really not many shops. A waste of time (for shopping). Luckily, we found a nice restaurant, and had a very good dinner, at least our trip wasn’t fully wasted.

Waiting for lunch to be served at the beach front restaurant. She wanted Daddy to get her the Pooh bear from Robinson, but of course we said NO. Snoozing at the beach, while Daddy and I had our lunch. Time to go home, and feeling happy.

Thailand is always my favourite destination for a holiday. Glorious food, cheap shopping, and best of all, good service and friendly people. Oh well, our next trip will probably be in 1.5yr time, when no. 2 is old enough to travel.

Phuket – I ~ Hotel, Pool, Pampering October 12, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in myself, notable, trips, Zara.

We took an early flight to Phuket on Thursday (5/10). A Phuket colleague of mine arranged for a taxi to pick us up from the airport for a fraction of the price that the hotel would charge if we booked the car from the hotel.

Being nosy on the plane. Enjoying a cool towel and welcome drink in the resort

The Hotel
Twinpalms Resort is a small boutique hotel located in the quiet beach of Surin. Just like its website, the place is beautiful. We got really good rates from the internet after doing some shopping around, and I don’t believe you can get anything near that kind of accommodation (and service) in M’sia for that price.

We stayed in the deluxe room on the ground floor the first night. Zara liked the room very much, it has a roomy balcony, and a few steps away from the pool. Since there was no bath tub provided, I asked for an anti-slip mat for Zara. I was delighted that the hotel instead loaned us a Winnie The Poo bath tub, together with a set of complimentary baby toileteries (which included bottle and nappy wash). Now, how many hotels would give you some thing like this? So far in my experience, none (not even our famous Pangkor Laut or Tanjung Jara resort).

Horsing around in the room, and the resort

For the rest of the 3 nights, we upgraded ourselves to a Grand deluxe room (err, because the cheaper rooms were no longer available in the bargain website I booked the room from) located on the 1st floor. The room was bigger, and it came with a bathtub. Zara of course enjoyed the new bath tub very much.

Big tub fun, and exploring the resort

The Pool
Twinpalms has 1600sqm of water surface, the pool runs across the middle of the premise, with rooms surrounding it. Some of the rooms even have direct access to the pool (i.e. the room is directly connected to the pool).

Zara went swimming every day, spending about 1 to 2hrs at the pool. There’s no baby pool available, but they have shallow slope leading to deeper end, so she spent most of her time walking up and down the slopes.

We don’t have to hold on to her, she paddled about herself, even when her feet could not touch the ground. We just have to be nearby to assist her if she has her head accidentally dipped in the water.

The Pampering
This is more of relaxing trip for me. Daddy has been great, taking care of Zara most of the time since he knows I’m too big to be running after or carrying Zara.

I also got a surprise gift from my best friend in New York. She bought us a spa voucher in Twinpalms without me knowing, and I was very surprise to see this in our room when we checked in. Our anniversary isn’t until end next month, but this is such a nice gesture from her.

On top of this, the booking website also gave us a 2hrs spa treatment voucher for booking more than 3 nights stay.

Daddy is not a spa person, so I got all the pampering in the spa, making use of these vouchers, while Daddy looked after Zara in the room. I had such a good back and shoulder rub, oh, it was orgasmic! (Thanks Ping!)

And then, what’s more blissful than lounging at the poolside sala, sipping herbal tea, while watching the kid and Daddy play in the pool.

(Thanks Daddy, for allowing me this luxury by looking after Zara.)

“Farmer Dee-ka” (Sawadeeka) October 10, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in trips, Zara.

That’s the way Zara says Sawadeeka, i.e. Hello in Thai.

We just came back from our 5 days Phuket trip late last night. It was a slow pace do nothing much trip.

The moment we arrived in the hotel, the very nice Twinpalms Hotel, Zara has started to want to go home. “I want to go home” was something she said so frequently when she’s bored. When we told her we won’t be going home so soon, and we’ll be staying in the hotel for a few nights, she changed and said “I want to go back hotel” when we’re out and there’s nothing much interesting for her to see or do.

She said she missed her macanoni (macaroni) and cheese, her toys, Russ our cat, and playing with Kakak; and when we arrived home yesterday, she was really happy!! Wanting to play with all her toys and flip through all her books that she missed. She didn’t sleep until about 12am going through her stuff in the house while I did the unpacking.

I guess Phuket has not much to offer to a kid that young, or maybe Zara has begun to be very attached to her home.

I have lots to catch up at work, so I’ll be posting the photos later.

She misses her cot October 3, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in language, parenting, Zara.

Just when I thought Zara is getting used to her bed, we had this conversation yesterday during bed time.

Zara : *just out of the blue* “Kakak put the cot away already.”
Me : “No, Daddy put the cot away, in the other room.”
Zara : *pointing to her bed* “Mummy, throw the bed away”
Me : *shocked!* “Why?”
Zara : “The bed so slippery” (so untrue, but I guess she’s just coming out with excuse)
Me : “No, the bed is not slippery.”
Zara : “The cot is better. Throw the bed away. Zara want the cot.”
Me : “But Zara is already a jiejie (Chinese : Big sister). Cot is for babies, Zara is not a baby, but a jiejie now”.
Zara : “…. ”
Zara : “Mummy, Zara want go downstairs.”
Me : “It’s bed time, why does Zara want to go downstairs.”
Zara : “Zara sleep downstairs.”
Me : “Downstairs got mosquitos and lizards at night, and Zara will be lonely if Zara sleep downstairs alone.”
Zara : *tears started rolling down* “Zara don’t yike (like) the bed”
Me : “Zara sleep on mummy’s bed then, mummy sleep on Zara’s bed. Ok?”
Zara : “Zara want mummy hug hug to sleep.”
Me : “Ok, Zara sleep together with mummy then”

So she slept on my side of the bed.

Pesta Tanglung (Malay : Lantern Fest) October 2, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in language, Zara.

We never used to take note of such events, but since we have Zara now and would like to expose her to as much as we could, we spotted a banner around KL the other day about this Lantern Fest in Central Market happening on Sept 30th.

While dressing Zara up, she asked for her jeans to wear. When I took out the jeans we bought recently, she said, “Don’t want this one. Not nice. Want the flower one. The button got flowers one.”.. So she chose what she wore.

Off we went to KL town. Firstly, a stop at Lakes Gardens (yet again) to feed the monkeys and a round of play in the huge play ground.

While feeding the monkeys, one of the monkey touched Zara’s hands while trying to reach out for the peanut. She immediately said, “Don’t yike (like) monkey touch Zara. Go home (asking us to bring her home)! Don’t want feed monkeys any more!” (Recently, although she likes animals still, she prefers not to touch them or let them touch her except the cat in our house.) We finished throwing the last bit of peanuts from the open pack (with Daddy carrying Zara), and then left for the play ground.

She greeted the ‘friendly’ dinosaur first. Then it was off to the ginger bread man bridge. She loved the swing there. She said the see-saw is better than the one from our park.

When it got dark we headed to Central Market and had a quick bite at the food court. The Lantern Fest was at the Central Market car park. They were giving out free paper lanterns, goodie packs with drinks and mooncake (but we didn’t take it since we don’t really fancy mooncakes). There was a lantern making contest, and the lanterns were hung in Central Market itself for every one to view and judge. There was also a stage put up for some cultural performance.

While some VIPs were making speeches, we just explored the surrounding. We found out there was going to be a lion dance, and a lantern procession.

Touching the Lion’s head, she only wanted to touch the head with her straw. Exploring while waiting for the speeches to be completed.

We even managed to see a Dragon Dance, something not as common as the Lion Dance. It was quite nicely done (with the dragon twirling, twisting, flipping about chasing after a ball), and our very first experience seeing one.

Lantern procession (the photos didn’t turn out quite well). Dragon and Lio Dance.

We left when an elderly lady took on the stage to sing some Chinese oldies. 😛

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