June 2014

I couldn’t  let Krupa leave us without getting a lesson in making dosai, Tim’s favorite Indian breakfast.  She mixed up the batter and we took turns frying them on the special dosai griddle.  Miles and Dev took turns requesting dosai in their favorite shapes, then one-upping each other on the shape names.  We had hearts and diamonds, semi-circles and rhomboids.  Krupa graciously ate my attempts and fried me fresh golden crispy ones.  Yum!






Hazel has shifted into full blown toddler mode: a mind of her own, a voice to let you know what it is, and all the love, mountains and valleys of emotion that go with it.  Here’s this quarter’s story of our baby girl:

  • Puzz.  The girl loves her puzzles.  She’s pretty much obsessed.  One in particular, a collection of vehicles that she calls “trans” (for transportation) is requested on the hour.  Her focus and determination to finish each one is impressive.
  • Teeth!  Finally, all of Hazel’s baby teeth have made their appearance. Sixteen nice chompers with a gap in the middle.  Those eye teeth hardly ruffled her feathers.  Now time for the 2-yr-old molars.
  • Feathers.  Speaking of being ruffled, our laid back girl has gone from shrugging it off to being crushed by almost anything.  You don’t know how something is going to go over with her, and she spends some time drowning in her own emotions.  (see what I meant about mountains and valleys?)
  • Happy.  But when she is happy, she is glowing with joy.  Just as when she was a newborn, her carefully doled out smiles are a treat.
  • Solo Time.  We had a teacher conference at Hazel’s school.  We thought this comment summed her up pretty well: “After lunchtime, Hazel enjoys lounging in her favorite chair, singing to herself and browsing the bookshelf”.  This girl is all about the chill-out time.
  • Brother Love.  Hazel and Miles are playing together beautifully now (in the time they are not fighting).  She adores Miles, and thinks of him even when he is not around.  She’ll go along with what he says, unless she disagrees and then she is good at holding her ground.  Siblings are pretty awesome
  • And…  Her favorite color is (still) green-y bean, she’s on the 2 yr old diet of carbs and protein, loaded heavily with fruit, she loves shoes, hats and accessories but will still allow me to pick out her clothes, she prefers long pants to shorts or skirts, but dresses are OK if they cover her knees, she loves to “scuba dive” in the pool which consists of a dead mans float with arm band on, staring through goggles at the “fish”, she rides a scooter and a balance bike like a champ, and speaks just about as well as Miles as far as grammar goes.
  • Phasing out.  The baby phase is going.  Her naps are 50/50, most things she can “do it myself”, and she runs with the big kids having few around her age in our play group.  She’s a big girl now (she’ll let you know), but still loves her pinky doll and cuddles with her momma (and daddio, when he can get her).  We’ll take it as long as it lasts – it’s obviously not forever!

Tim’s idea of a perfect Fathers’ Day started at 5:30am, when he woke up to go get his body marked for the Penang Urban Triathlon. The kids and I headed down to watch him swim, bike and run into fourth place.





Afterward, we headed out to a new spot for brunch with Grandma Linda. Tim was sporting his gift – a tailored Indonesian batik. Fancy!


It took 9 years outside of the states, but we finally found ourselves waking up early for a football game that didn’t allow the use of hands. Spurred on by some soccer-loving yanks out here, we caught World Cup Fever pretty hard, and had the kids up and breakfasting over goals and brackets. We had a blast watching the US win, tie and lose-to-win a spot into the next round of play.

Sports watching had an unexpected effect on Miles. Never one for balling, after witnessing just 45 minutes of play, Miles abandoned his dreams of being a control systems engineer and declared a future of kicking and heading a ball. Tim was in heaven that night when Miles wanted to play soccer. Turned out Miles’ disinterest in sports was likely caused by an extremely uncommon situation: not enough sports TV at home. The next day he said: “Remember that time we watched TV dad? Let’s do it again!”




This is the season of farewells for expats.  We have a few dear friends leaving the island, and one of them had never summited Penang!  The mommas headed off at 7 to climb Penang hill while the dads, grandmas and kids rode up in the train.  Gorgeous morning on the hill!


Driving the train up – backwards!


Mommas at the top!


Can’t get more Penang…


If you can believe it, some children from our group are not pictured here.


A jealous Hazel while I hold a sleeping baby Louie.




The group – we’re going to miss you Krups!

“I’m a little piggy!”

I had no idea what Hazel was talking about as she ran to the wall and clambered halfway into a handstand (although I should have known).  Follow this stream of consciousness:


Hazel’s name is on the page with pigs.


The Pig does handstands.


Hazel is a little piggy!


The kids wished their teachers “Happy Teachers’ Day/祝节日快乐/Selamat Hari Guru!” last week, with homemade cards, tropical flowers plucked from the garden of our building and of course, apples.


Hazel being shy with Wen Laoshi


Hazel and Teacher Christine



Miles & Teacher Monica