June 2012


Wonder where that saying came from…have they ever been at the beach with a baby and a toddler?

Still, we had a gorgeous morning at the beach with the whole family last Saturday.  Our favorite beach seems to have become a black-sand beach.  There have been some crazy tides here recently, I think due to the full super moon last month.

Blink.  Half a year old.   That was quick.  Things are going really well.  We are entering my favorite baby time, the development and general happiness of a 6-12 mo old is magical.

Here’s what’s up with our tiniest thing:

  • Food!  Hazel had a self-initiated introduction to solid foods, and she is off to the races.  It’s going down (I know, because it’s coming out).  So far, she’s had mostly tropical fruits: coconut, banana, mango (fave), avocado, carrot & watermelon.  She is still nursing 6-8 times a day (& night).  There was a food shortage there for a few weeks during the draught called Dengue Fever, but we are back on track.
  • Sleep.  I have nothing to complain about with this little lady’s sleeping habits (especially if I compare them to her brother).  She goes down for the night around 5:45-6pm, up once at 3, up for the day at 6:30 and takes 2-3 naps pretty consistently with less and less crying.
  • Separation Anxiety.  Already.  I’m glad my kids love me, but come on!  Worst is that she will not stay with our amah without hollering continuously.  Someone she has known since birth and sees 3 times a week!  As I did with Miles (who suffered with this as well), I take solace in the fact that she wants to be with me now.  As a daughter, I’m sure there will be a time when she wants nothing at all to do with her momma.
  • Motor Skills.  She is able to sit up without me worrying about her toppling over, and in fact she is a really good faller.  She knows to lift her head so it doesn’t whack the floor when she tips.  No crawling persay, but with a combination of pushing, sliding, rolling and reaching she can slowly make progress where she wants to go.  She can get up on her hands and knees and does a little rocking there, but her favorite move is what we call the “floppy fish”.  This entails laying on her belly and lifting her head, arms and legs repeatedly.  I timed her once and she did it for 4 minutes straight.  Think of the core strength she is building!
  • Play!  Hazel is now playing right along side her big brother.  She loves to pick stuff up and give it a taste.  Her favorites include ribbons and tassels, plus anything that makes a crinkly noise.  Peek-a-boo is her favorite game, we can play for what feels like hours and she never gets that I am right behind the pillow.  So sweet.  I put her in the bath without the infant insert for the first time and she had a ball with all the toys (including her brother).
  • Her Brother, Her Idol.  I know she loves Miles.  He’s in the room, her eyes are on him.  She laughs when he does something unexpected (jump into the pool), and calms down in his presence.  It is very sweet.

Now for our local version of “If you give a mouse a cookie”, which also details my insanity of what I did this afternoon with two children after naptime before daddio came home:

If you give a foodie mom a kilo of fresh figs (or make them available from the local fruit farm – who knew figs could come from the tropics!??!),

She’s going to want some port and fresh thyme to reduce them into a savory jam. (which will require a trip to the Wine Shop for some highly taxed booze)

If she has some savory jam,

She’s going to want some nice bread to first toast, then spread it on (trip to the bakery).

If she has some crostinis,

She’s going to want some chevre to crumble on as well (fruitless search at 3 grocers…settled for Apetina),

And some prosciutto de parma to drape on top (score! Non-Halal deli came through).

Lately my trouble has been being a bit too ambitious with my time.  There was some equal insanity when I tried to put together a salad before getting Miles to the bus this morning.  Maybe I should be mixing up some mac’cheese (someone in the family would not complain about that at all), and spending my afternoon on the floor with the kids stacking blocks.  But we had fun at the stores too.  Hazel is a rock star when we go out, with her perfectly round head (I’m told, don’t worry, her hair will grow, just put <enter cultural salve> on it every day) and her big baby blues.  Miles is the man with the bag, he collects purchases and directs me to the next store.  That boy knows every possible location of imported goods on the island.  We had pit stops for edamame beans and warm oatmeal raisin cookies (at one of the failed attempts for chevre).

The evening ended with a big, fresh salad and ripe fig jam crostinis with cheese and prosciutto de parma.  Not a bad result.  And we will play blocks in the morning, unless we are mixing up a banana bread.

We were busy last Friday making some fun stuff for Daddio. Footprint hearts on a card – he loved it!

This week, my dear friend Winnie (who’s from Hong Kong, then Austin, but we met in Shanghai, then we were back in the states together for a short time and now she and her family are a short flight away in Singapore) and her daughter Taylor came to visit.  It was a great time, and I enjoyed having a girlfriend around to talk (and shop) with, and three kids under 4 is a fun handful.

We took some time out and visited the butterfly farm…

Then the beach…

We ate.  And ate.  And ate.  (They came to Penang, what did they expect?).  Here’s Miles & Tay at a seaside hawker:

Oh, and we shopped.  Seems Winnie is my preferred shopping buddy.  She’s the only person I seem to actually buy stuff with.  We keep meeting up in these shopping meccas (Hong Kong, Singapore, I’m not including Penang), so I guess we had it coming.  Anyway, we closed down the mall both nights they were here.  Tay also loves shopping (it’s in the blood).  She is particularly fond of shoes.

In all, we just had a great time hanging out and cruising together.  Looking forward to meeting up again soon!

How’s this for baby-led weaning*?  Hazel has been showing great interest in food recently, and while I was clearing Miles’ breakfast dishes the other morning (while holding her), she took it upon herself to grab his half-eaten banana and stuff it into her mouth like a cigar.  A chunk broke off and she shuddered as it mashed in her mouth and went down the pipe.  The next day I offered her a piece, and she knew just what to do:

I like the idea of baby feeding themselves, especially at home when she can get as messy as she wants and it can be a form of entertainment.  So far, she’s had banana (obviously), and some coconut water and flesh (which she loved).  May the fun begin.

*The word “weaning” has very different implications depending on which English-speaking country you’re coming from.  To us Americans, it means the cessation of breast feeding.  To the English, and in this case, it means the introduction of solid foods.  Which I suppose implies the slowing of breastfeeding, at some point.  We are not slowing down in the milk department, this is just a tastes & textures experiment which I believe has little to no nutritional value.

Tim was away for work, and is finally back.  Whew.

I was sick.  It was not fun.  Chikungunya, a form of Dengue Fever, came on strong one afternoon and I had to call Tim home from work.  Migraine, sensitivity to light, body aches, fever, nausea and a crazy rash ensued.  It was so bad that I took a pregnancy test (or my early pregnancies are so bad that I can mistake them for Dengue Fever); not pregnant.  After a week of being sick, symptoms subsided leaving me stiff and extremely fatigued.  Finally I went to the doctor and got a big Vitamin B booster in my bottom, plus some B complex to take home.  Today, I finally feel better.  I’m back.

And it’s Friday!  I decided it was time to resurrect the celebratory nature of the last day of the week by taking Miles back to the beach.  We used to go most Fridays, but it had been 5 months (count back, where were we 5 months ago?).  We went hunting for shells and patting dogs on the pristinely clean beach.

Then toasted TGIF to mango lassi’s and masala dosai breakfast.

Pretty glad to be back.  Happy Friday.

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