Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Serena Yee-yee

On Sunday we celebrated Serena Yee-yee's sweet sixteen (hehe) at Watermark. Natalie wore the cute little dress she received on her 1st birthday from Vivian, and was the only baby there. She was bit grumpy and clingy at first (it was during her nap time), but after a bottle, she was happy hanging out and meeting all the new people.

The birthday celebrators (and the birthday girl in blue in the middle).
Natalie has a little smile with Serena.
Natalie shares her cute smile with Serena.
Natalie was very well-behaved and sat by herself in this chair for almost 20 minutes hanging with her homies Cindy and Alan.
Uncle Alan is really good with kids! He gave Natalie his blackberry to play with and big breadsticks to hit the table with.
Vivian, Serena, and Natalie: three beautiful ladies. Natalie says hi to the camera.
Natalie with Tim, Serena, and Tina. Big smiles everybody!
Natalie with Leo. Clark and Leo met each other while playing squash at the football club. It's a small world! They later exchange phone numbers and promise to call each other.
Natalie playing with Tim. You can see the little red hair barrette in her hair (it has a strawberry on it). We have to put it at the very back of Natalie's head because that's the only place she has enough hair :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Miss. Behaving misbehaving?

Natalie is generally a very well-behaved little toddler. She will usually listen to us without question and when she is reaching for a forbidden (dangerous, dirty, or expensive) item, we only need to gently say "No, no, Natalie" and she will respond immediately without thinking and then look to us for approval and we'll smile and say "good girl" and feel very smug that we have raised such a well behaved little girl.

Lately however, we have noticed our little Miss. Behaving has been mis-behaving. Now when we say "No, Natalie", she pauses to think about it before moving on to something else OR, if the object is really very interesting, she will totally ignore us unless we raise our voice and say "No, no, Natalie!" Then she'll think about it again. Some times we even have to take the object away from her (or pick her up and move her away) and she will protest and squirm and maybe even cry. Uh oh. And I think this is just the beginning...

Natalie playing with scarves at KinderMusik last Tuesday.

Natalie (looking) innocently disagreeing with the post title.
She's wearing her new white vest from Uniqlo (only $59!). It's hard to tell, but it's a fine sweater material. We also bought a magenta-purple one.

Natalie and Nai-nai enjoying class at KinderMusic.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dinner fun

We've discovered that Natalie has finally figured out how to pace herself when eating a meal. Before, when we used to put a pile (or bowl) of food in front of her, she would pick up piece after piece and put it in her mouth as quickly as possible. If she couldn't eat/swallow it fast enough, food would either dribble out of her mouth or she would spit it out and keep going until all the food was gone (some in her belly, most on the floor).

Now, we are pleased to report she's learned how to finish eating one bite before picking up the next piece. Good girl! Tonight, we plopped some chicken, egg pieces, and veggies in front of her and let her feed herself. Below are the resulting photos. As you can tell, she had a good time!

Little cutie at the dinner table.

Natalie concentrates on picking food up off the tray.

Something fun has caught Natalie's attention.

Natalie finds her daddy really funny!

That's REALLY funny!

And I mean SUPER funny!

Now look at Video 141 taken during and after some of the photos were taken. She's a loud one! I wonder how do other parents of little girls teach them to be lady-like and use their "indoor voices"...? I guess one thing we could do is not laugh and encourage her, but it's too funny, we just can't help it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

New friends

Yesterday, Clark, Nai-nai and I attended a first-aid course organized by people in my office. It's fantastic that my office has a bunch of people with young babies / toddlers as a support group (this Friday we are also having a networking lunch-with-your-baby). However, despite wonderful planning and organization, the course was only ok ... different than what we all expected, but at the same time, there were many useful reminders about child first-aid and prevention.

Several other moms and dads also brought their little ones to hang out so Natalie had the chance to meet some new friends. She was by far the most vocal and distruptive baby at the course (yelling, walking around and patting people for their attention, etc...) but in this setting where everyone had young children and understood, it was kind of cute. See pics of Natalie hanging with the other babies below:

Natalie and Kylie. Aww... it's just like precious moments.

Natalie admiring Kylie's dress. She wonders why she didn't get to dress up in a dress as pretty as Kylie's. Everyone thought she was a boy (you can probably see why).

Kylie is a little cutie.

Natalie lifts the curtain and peeks outside. It's bright out there!

Later in the afternoon, another baby comes to join the fun. She's just 10 months old.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

This morning we took a few photos of Natalie with the new camera. The lighting was excellent and we got a few good shots. A little boost from photoshop (we learned a new trick recently) helps as well. Here are some pics taken this morning. Our little munchkin is very expressive now and, as you can see, was in a very good mood today.

Her favourite toy, the camera!

Cutie looking cute.

This one was taken with the window back-lit, so we used a flash. Hence, coloring not as nice as the others.

Natalie dancing.

Natalie playing with the remote. Her little face is a study of concentration as she tries to figure it out.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Play date with friends!

Today, Natalie went to the JW Tumblers gym in Central to spend some quality time with her little friends from our mommies group. Although she was a little over-whelmed at first and stuck close by me, she did eventually wander off (while keeping a close eye on me) to play with various equipment. See photos below:

This is where Natalie spent a lot of her time while at the gym. She preferred to stand and hang on to my pant legs and observe.

Natalie has gotten hold of a baby walker and has bravely wandered off (in a straight-ish line). She especially likes balls and keeps her eye on the few that roll past. If I'm close enough, she'll turn to me and very importantly point out the nearest ball and say "boh-boh".

I've turned Natalie around and she is now following an 18th month old boy around. Actually, she can only walk in a straight line so when the boy turns around, she looks after him and then keeps going straight.

Natalie curiously watching the other kids play with the cars. The little cutie in the red shirt is Emily, a friend Natalie hasn't seen in a long time and who suddenly grew very tall and sprouted lots of beautiful hair (in a few months).

When I put Natalie on this, she looked at me and was like, "Ok, now what?"

Natalie in the ball pit. She loves the ball pit! I put her in and walked away and she was playing by herself for several minutes throwing balls around before realizing she couldn't see me. Her little friend Jamie takes the ball pit very seriously.

Natalie still playing in the ball pit. Her friend "big boy" Noah is also busy inspecting a blue ball.

The gym was great! Lots of activities and places to explore with her little friends.

More ball pit fun. Natalie was also very intrigued by the two stuffed animals of the monkey and tiger. She pointed them out to me and said, "Woah-woah".

Natalie looking up at her new mountain to conquer. With her newfound climbing abilities, when she saw the slide and after thinking about it for a long while, let go of my leg and walked (by herself, no hands!) to the slide and proceeded to try and climb it.

Cousins chit-chat

Last night, we went to cousins Vanessa and Victoria's home for dinner. We ate yummy sweet spare ribs and taro chicken. Natalie was not a fan of the taro, but loved the chicken and ribs. Definitely a carnivore.

It's really nice to get the babies together so they can play and interact with each other. Watch Video 140 of Natalie and her little cousin Victoria chatting with each other.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Play at the Park

Yesterday, Natalie went, for the first time, to play at the local playground outside our apartment. She's passed by a number of times, but she's never been on the equipment. She tried it yesterday and she LOVES it. She especially loves to climb UP the slide (a discovery uncovered by Nai-nai who took her in the morning).

We went again after dinner so Clark and I could see her climbing the slide and she happily demonstrated this new ability over and over and over (and over and over) again. Watch Video 139 of Natalie climbing up and going down the slide at the park.

When it was time to go home, for the first time EVER, when I said to her, "Natalie, pick up" she did not immediately turn to me and raise her hands to be picked up. Instead, as I was reaching for her, she shook her head and moved away from me so I couldn't take her away. Our little girl is becoming independent!

Also, another quick story: When walking (toddling) over to the park, Natalie very boldly decided to try and climb the stairs holding only her daddy's hands. Clark had to help her up most of the way (picture her dangling in the air) and she's definitely not balanced enough to try it on her own, but we were amazed she wanted to do it all. She's really growing up!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Shake rattle and dance

Natalie is a little dancer. Whenever music comes on, she'll wave her arms in the air and shake her head. Watch Video 138 of Natalie shaking rattles, waving her arms in the air, shaking her head, and dancing to the music. It even looks like she tries to the do "the worm" (break-dancing move). Go Nat!

If you look behind Natalie, you can see Nai-nai (Gramma Wang) enjoying the class with her. Nai-nai just arrived last night and will stay for two weeks to spend quality gramma-granddaughter bonding time with Natalie. Welcome to Hong Kong!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Balls, balls, everywhere!

We're sure that Natalie now knows at least 6 words (definitely more, but these we're pretty confident about). They are: ba-ba or BAAA! (when she wants her daddy), and mm-mma (for me, which is sweet), buh-buh-buh (for all round shaped object including balls and balloons), woah-woah (for dog and other furry, four-legged animals), bur (for birds), and beh-beh (for babies). She also knows the sign language for "milk", "bye-bye", "hi!", and "more".

She is so excited to be able to communicate and, now that's she more mobile and expressive, her personality is really coming out. Yesterday, while at the driving range, Natalie spent most of her time standing and crouching (ok, squatting) next the ball buckets and was busy moving balls one at time from this bucket to that bucket. When she accidentally dropped a ball and it rolled away, she would stand, point, and yell "buh-buh!" and her daddy, me, Marian or Vivian would fetch it and it give it back to her and she was satisfied that all her balls were in place and safely in a bucket.

Then, she raised her head and looked out onto the field and suddenly realized that all those dots out on the green field we ALL BALLS. She got very worked up. She was pointing and waving and screaming "buh-buh-buuuuuh!" but of course, there was nothing we could do and we had to explain to her that we had to leave the balls out on the field. Eventually she understood and calmed down.

Here are photos of her busily "organizing" the balls in their buckets.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A busy body

A couple days ago, Natalie was so busy taking the bucket off her daddy's head over and over again that she forgot she was standing all by herself for several minutes without holding onto anything! And, as her confidence grows, she continues to bravely walk more steps by herself. With a cautious approach to many things (not a bad thing from a parent's perspective!), she is slowly but surely becoming a little walker :)

We're so proud of her, we went out and bought her her first little pair of Dora-the-Explorer pink Crocs.

Natalie standing while playing "take-the-bucket-off-daddy's-head".
Crocs belonging to Clark, Tracy, and Natalie. Yes, we proudly admit to being a family of croc wearers!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Listening to music and flying fun

As we get older, we tend to become more cautious and will avoid doing things that are dangerous and "not safe". For example, anything that goes too fast, too high, or too anything. Clark and I used to love rollercoasters. Then two years ago, we went to Canada's Wonderland and were really excited to try out all the new rides. But we found ourselves home before lunch because of headaches we got from the Wildebeast Ride.

Natalie, being a young'un that she is doesn't mind at all. Watch Video 137 of Natalie being given her daddy's home-made version of a rollercoaster. She LOVES it and will open her mouth and laugh. Later in the video, she waves hi to the camera and blows everyone a kiss.

Natalie curiously watching her daddy listen to music on his iPod shuffle.

Natalie's turn! She takes the ear bud and holds it to her own ear. When she hears the music, she waves her arms in the air (dancing) but will suddenly realize she can't hear the music any more and will quickly stop dancing and return the ear bud to her ear (and repeat).

Eventually she learned she couldn't dance AND listen to music at the same time so she contented herself with listening for a while, and then she threw the ear bud and the iPod to the ground and went to find something more interesting to do.

Friends catch-up and a new friend for Natalie

Last Saturday, we drove out to Tsing Yi (which is surprisingly close) to meet up with Derrick, Kelly, and their 5.5 month cutie, Kaitlyn Wee. Kaitlyn is very smiley and well-behaved and it was really nice to hold a little baby again. Natalie liked her too! Our families met up at Maritime Plaza and had yummy dim sum together.

Natalie checking out and playing with Derrick.

The cutie Kaitlyn. What a little sweetie! We can hardly remember Natalie being that small and that was only half a year ago!

Natalie checking out the very funny "snowman bao".

The snowman baos were cute and delicious. The head is filled with red bean and the body is filled with lotus seed paste... yum! It was hard to eat though because they kept smiling at me.

Clearly, daddy Clark had no issues torturing and then eating the snowman bao.

Halfway through dim sum, Natalie got a little sleepy and we put her down for a nap in her stroller. When she woke up, she ate the WHOLE steamed beef rice roll by herself.

After dim sum, we stretched our legs a little in the nearby home electronics shop. Here is Natalie looking mischievious next to Kaitlyn.

Here is the Wang clan posing with Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn is smiling up at Clark.

Kaitlyn, Natalie, and Derrick. More mischievious expressions from Natalie.

Natalie is always happy to be out and about.

Kaitlyn is totally innocent and unaware of the curious hand that is about to descend on her head.

The Wee clan posing with Natalie.

Kaitlyn Wee cutie patootie.