Thursday, July 30, 2015

For The Durian Lovers

Apologies for the slightly later than usual post this week peeps, I still have a couple of posts on our holiday in Kota Kinabalu and my brother’s wedding in draft mode. Which I’m working on in between the other times I’m supposed to be spending on my Early Childhood Education assignment.

For now, allow me to torture some of you with images of this majestic fruit.

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I think we kind of overpaid for a taste of these (RM50 per kg). But we were told that it was still quite early in the season. So it was unlikely we would be able to find a better price anywhere during our trip in Sabah. We didn’t know when we might have chance to taste fresh Musang King durians straight out of the fruit again. So we bit the bullet and just went for it.

Incidentally, this was Grace’s first ever taste of durian.

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Her reaction was somewhat underwhelming actually. Just kind of like “Hmmm… Oh. Okay. Food. Eat.

Then she proceeded to chomp it down as usual. Just as she would with any other food.

I guess she’s still discovering new flavours and tastes. So she’s just filed this away in her memory bank of flavours.

Perhaps when she revisits this taste again, her durian tastebuds will activate and explode and go “OH WOW!!! I REMEMBER THIS!!! THIS IS AWESOME!!! WHY HAS IT BEEN SO LONG SINCE I TASTED THIS STUFF!!!!!!”

Well. That’s my own reaction.

As for Grace. We shall have to wait and see.

 

[RANDOM P.S. My current favourite breakfast is toast with peanut butter and banana slices on top. And I was just thinking, how awesome would it be to have a peanut butter and durian toast! Right? Right??? Oh dear. I’ll be thinking about this every morning as I munch on my peanut butter and banana toast]

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Happy Baby

So our dearest Gracie hit the big two ten days ago.

It feels like she has been at the two-year mark for ages though with her hitting all the key milestones at an earlier stage. I suppose it comes from having an awesome big brother to look up to and wanting to keep up with him and all her adopted family day care big brothers and sisters she sees every day.

She still comes in an adorable two-year-old packaging. Coupled with her funny attempts at sophistication, it makes an irresistibly adorable combo.

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For example, she likes to mimic forms of adult conversation and start off random sentences with big sounding words such as“Actually…” or “Sometimes…” in a very sophisticated, matter-of-fact tone. The actual content that follows gets a bit hazy after that first big word. Like today she said to me very importantly: “Mummy, you know… SOMETIMES… (important pause)… row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream… Okay? Yah?”

She can get a tad bossy with other children sometimes. Even with older kids. By now I’m used to hearing her little husky voice in the background bellowing out “You come here!”, “Lie down!”, “Listen to me!”, “You sit here!”. But she gets nipped in the bud from time to time when her bossiness gets out of hand.

Food is still something that’s very close to her heart. Sometimes she eats so much I wonder where such a small human can possibly store all that food in one go. And if it’s something especially delicious, she goes absolutely ballistic. She chomps everything down in record time, and when we inform her that it’s all gone (or she can’t have any more), she goes into ultimate meltdown mode. Like it’s the end of the world. It’s hard to believe how such a little person can get so emotional over food.

Nathan remarked candidly one time, “Grace can be a bit crazy sometimes”.

Crazy as she is, there is just something so deliciously irresistible about her. It’s almost magnetic. Is it that lingering baby smell in her hair? Her ginormous puppy dog eyes? That unexpected gap-toothed smile? Who knows? Whatever it is, people just can’t seem to get enough of her.

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“The happy baby!”
my cousin called her.

Nathan would sometimes be quick to correct us “Grace is not a baby anymore. She’s a toddler”.

Which is right of course.

But even I sometimes can’t help calling her baby.

There is still a baby-ish flavour to her which part of me wants to cling onto for as long as possible.

Because I know once it’s gone, it will be gone forever.

*****

We had a simple family celebration back in Kota Kinabalu with the grandparents. The most important thing to make a birthday a birthday for Grace is the cake. As long as there was cake, we’re good.

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We sang “Happy Birthday”, blew out the candles, cut the cake. Grace received her presents and ang-pow, which she promptly tossed aside once we started dishing out the cake.

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So here you are at two, baby girl. Mummy is going to keep calling you ‘baby’ for as long as possible. Maybe I always will. Like I said at your last birthday and haven’t stopped saying “You will ALWAYS be my baby”.

*****

P.S. Meeting Grace for the very first time, Grace at one year and her first birthday cake and some funny anecdotes about her quirkiness.

(Top two photos of Grace by my cousin, Suanie at my brother’s wedding in Rasa Ria Resort, Kota Kinabalu)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The bestest big brother in the whole entire world

In case you’ve been wondering where I disappeared to. Our family had headed back to Kota Kinabalu for my youngest brother’s wedding. Yes, I know I was just away for my other brother’s wedding a couple of months ago. These are the only two brothers I have. So I think our family is done with the weddings for a long while at least.

I have beautiful bunch of photos to share once I’m done sorting through them and doing the edits and whatnot. But in the meantime, I want to share this absolutely heart-melting moment with you involving these two bestest buddies in the world.

On the morning before our flight out to Kota Kinabalu, I was bustling about with the final packing and getting everyone ready. As I was picking up Grace out of her cot, I grabbed her pacifier-monkey-lovey as well to make sure I didn’t forget to pack it. Nathan was by my side, waiting to give his good-morning cuddle to his little sister. when he noticed something.

“Mummy, why Grace doesn’t have anything in her cot?” Nathan enquired.

“Doesn’t have anything? What do you mean?”

“You know… like my Quack-Quack, Hoot and Bao-Bao?”

“Oh, I guess she is happy with her Momo (pacifier). Maybe she just hasn’t found a soft toy she really likes yet.” I said, scrambling to come up with an explanation.

“Oh… then she has no one to protect her at night.” Nathan responded with great concern.

“I guess not” I agreed. A little stumped at how to respond.

Nathan pauses and thinks deeply for a moment. Then he runs into his room and returns with a pink, roundish, soft, cuddly creature…

“I know! She can have Bao-Bao!” he exclaims excitedly.

Now before I continue, I think I have to explain who this Bao-Bao is. You see, Nathan has three favourite loveys he sleeps with every night. He calls them his protectors. They are there to protect him from monsters and dragons and he is there to protect them in return. It’s a very symbiotic relationship. They make a formidable team against the infestation of monsters and dragons which always suddenly manifest on a nightly basis.

These trio of protectors go way back. They were not random purchases from the shops. Nathan discovered Quack-Quack and Bao-Bao in my wardrobe years ago. They were love gifts from the hubby from our courtship days which I had kept lovingly away. Nathan fell in love with them immediately so I gave them to him. And Hoot was a present the hubby had bought especially for Nathan as he was such a big fan of the Giggle and Hoot show. Well Nathan was. Hubby--maybe, not openly at least.

In Nathan’s world, Quack-Quack, Hoot and Bao-Bao had always existed together as an inseparable team. So I was completely taken aback when Nathan offered to give Bao-Bao away to Grace.

[On a sidenote, everyone in the house knows that Grace has a not so secret crush on Bao-Bao. She often sneaks into Nathan’s room to try and steal him. We had to teach Grace that stealing is wrong but that she could ask Nathan to borrow Bao-Bao if she wanted. Nathan was always graciously willing to lend Bao-Bao to Grace for a cuddle from time to time but he always had to be returned afterwards.]

So I knew it was no small deal for Nathan to give Bao-Bao away. Yet he did it so willingly and open-heartedly. Something broke inside me right there and then.

“Nathan, are you absolutely sure you want to give Bao-Bao to Grace?”

“Yes!”

Checking just one more time…

“Are you letting Grace have Bao-Bao for a while or for always?”

“For always! It’s to put in her cot for her to sleep with at night.” Nathan answered patiently.

Grace grabs Bao-Bao rapturously in her arms and beams up at her big brother.

“Gracie, you must put Bao-Bao in your cot here. Then when you go to sleep, Bao-Bao will be next to you in your cot, okay?” Nathan explains in big brotherly fashion.

Grace nods happily, clutching Bao-Bao with all her might.

“Nathan, that was an incredibly kind thing you did. I am so proud of you.” I tell Nathan, my voice tight with emotion.

“Okay, mummy!” Nathan grins back.

And because I am a blogger, I made the kids reenact the Bao-Bao giving ceremony for my camera. And they humoured me as usual, like they always do.

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I have reason to believe that Grace is quite possibly little sister to the bestest big brother in the whole entire world. What would any little girl give to have a big brother like that.