Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Natalie and her new Elmo

Natalie received a wonderful new gift from Serena and Vivian this Christmas. It's an interactive Elmo who can talk and asks for her to help him with certain things like zipping his jacket, checking his pockets, and tying his shoelace!

Since we were away, she only got to open it the morning we got back on the 28th. She was super excited to have a gift to open and when Clark punched a small opening for her to start unwrapping, she got down to it right away.

When it was finally opened, see how impatient Natalie is for Clark to take her new Elmo out of the box and install new batteries. Video 172.

Natalie gasps when she first peeks under the wrapping paper. She says "Eh-mo!"

See her hands and arms are a blur of motion as she tries to help Elmo out from behind his hiding place.

I call her name over and over but she never looks up. She's too busy.

She tries playing with him in the box. She even tried to give him a hug while he was still in the box. After a while, she started to make eh-oh-eh-oh sounds while trying to pull him out.

NOW she wants mommy and daddy to help her new Elmo out of the box. She loves her new toy and now she has two Elmos!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


We just returned from a 4-day trip to Sanya, Hainan in China. It's a beachy resort destination and we stayed at the Pullman Hotel which is fabulous (big, shiny and new!). We had a great time golfing and eating and relaxing. Natalie also had a great time and got to know her uncles and auntie Marian, Gerald and Carey better. More pics can be found at our flickr account here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewanggang/sets/72157611766230024/

This giant Christmas tree in the main foyer. It was our first xmas not at home.

Natalie makes this face whenever we ask her to "show me your teeth".

While hanging out at the driving range (golf), Natalie enjoyed munching cookies and leaving crumbs all over her face. She can ask for cookies now by saying "cook-kee".

More teeth-showing with her daddy Clark outside our hotel room.

Natalie enjoying a pear with me. It was a beautiful resort.

Our family heading to dinner. Natalie really enjoys sitting on Clark's shoulders. And, whenever she wants to be picked up, she will clap her hands together and say "Puw-puw".

Natalie enjoying the view and looking around while we walk.

Whenever we got lazy, we asked the hotel staff to drive us around in these. Natalie calls them "che-che" (the word "car" in Cantonese).

Natalie also enjoyed opening and closing drawers and cupboards in our hotel room. She found all sorts of interesting things to play with.

Here's the packet of condoms she found.

Here is Natalie's new bag-of-stuff (diapers, snacks, etc...). We bought it in Shenzhen, China and when I asked for the price, they said "$350 HKD" and I eventually bought it for $90. It's a steal! It's great, very light and tons of pockets. Even Natalie now knows how to get snacks or her pacifier whenever she wants. As a bonus, it comes with a Kipling monkey toy on the side. Or, as Natalie would say, "uhb-kee".

Natalie posing with her new bag at the front door of our bedroom.

Merry Christmas!

Here is Natalie giving the best, biggest and brightest smile she can to all our family and friends. Have a wonderful Christmas and all the best in 2009!

Natalie the christmas ogre. This is the face she gives us when we ask her to "show me your teeth!"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

These boots are made for walkin'

Our friend Katie came by the house the other day and took off her warm, fuzzy and comfortable suede boots. Natalie stumbled upon them and wanted to put them on. So we helped her into them. They were "low" boots on Katie (under the knee) but covered Natalie's entire legs. She stomped around the house in them for a while and refused to take them off.

See how happy Natalie is with "her" new boots.

Whoa, they're a little hard to walk in.

Natalie reaches a hand up to hold Katie's hand for support.

Here she is walking around with Katie. The boots are almost half her height. You can barely see her jeans any more.

Natalie posing with Katie and her boots. She was very cheerful and happy. Katie was awesome with her.

When we took the boots off, Natalie started crying and demanded we put them back on. We also gave her the pacifier and she kept playing in her new boots.

Pretty Flower Girl

This week, Natalie was a very pretty flower girl at Marian and Gerald's wedding. She wore a beautiful cream satin dress with a little cape and a crown of flowers. Below are some photos, with more to come (once we see the professional pics).

Our helper Suparti with Natalie. See how girly Natalie looks now? Also, Suparti is wonderful with Natalie and we couldn't have wished for someone better.

Auntie Elaine with Natalie on the steps of the church.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Playing with photoshop

With a little spare time on my hands, I decided to try some more fun with photoshop. Here are a few of the results. I think some of the tricks really help to improve the quality of the pictures and make them pop. To view or download the larger size, click on each photo.

This one turned out the best. It also happens to be one of my favourite pics of Natalie. It captures her sincere and curious expression perfectly.
I also like this one. This is another look I am familiar with. Lately, Natalie has become very good at protesting things (medicine for example) with a long, dragged out, tragic "Nooo....!"
Photos taken on cloudy days turned out the best with great color balance. Each photo is progressively more "treated". This one is a little too blurry for me, but I kept it anyways.
This one is also a bit too blurry for me. I love this photo. It's still the wallpaper image on my iPhone.
This photo (also a favourite) had some extreme treatment done on it. I think this effect is pretty cool because the colors are bright, but there is a lot of softness and almost a 3-D quality to it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ocean Park again

Armed with our annual passes, we love taking Natalie to Ocean Park. Natalie loves the aquarium and gets very excited every time the big fishes or turtles swim by. It's also a great way to burn some of her ever-growing energy (she demands to go out everyday now). Besides the Aquarium, we played a few carnival games (Clark won!), fed the sealions, and Clark snapped some good close-ups of Natalie being cheerful and curious while watching me on the "Swing of the Century" ride. I had a headache aftewards (getting old!). See photos below.

Our little family at Ocean Park. Natalie is wearing the safari hat we purchased at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. She actual likes this hat!

Natalie and I standing in front of a small aquarium. She was pointing out fishes and saying they were "eh-low" (yellow) and "puh-poh" (purple).

A sting ray emerges to the surface of the water in the large aquarium. Natalie can't get enough of this exhibit. She really loves it.

Close-up of Natalie. She loves family trips to Ocean Park. There is always lots of see, do, and eat! We still haven't even made it to the kids park (close by the entrance). Next time we will go for sure.

Natalie waves hi at the camera.

Natalie standing just outside while Suparti and I ride on the swing of the century.

We dressed her in "play clothes" of long white t-shirt and sturdy blue overall cords. Even with her pink Nike shocks running shoes, she looked like a boy all day.
Clark took this great shot of me (wearing the cap) on the ride. I was so dizzy afterwards, I had to sit down and may never ride this again in my life.

It was way past her bedtime by the time Natalie passed out (on our way back to the cable car to go home).

The sealions. Females can weigh up to 90kg. The males can weigh up to 300kg!!

Clark feeding the sealions little fishes. Even if you rinse your hands after, they still smell fishy.

On Dec 6, 2008, the mommies group held our 2nd baby christmas party! It was hosted by Amanda, Simon, and Becky, thanks guys, we had a blast.

Below are a few choice photos. See more photos from the party from our "thewanggang" flickr account here. Enjoy!

Natalie found this white santa clause hat while at the party. It matched her outfit perfectly.

Here are us mommies playing santa steal. We managed to steal (and keep!) a gingerbread house from Chocolux, yum!

Natalie sitting with Noah and Becky at the baby table and enjoying watered-down apple juice.

Natalie chilling with Summer and Becky.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Learning to jump

When watching Elmo TV, Natalie watches a segment where cartoons do the "bunny hop" (with music). While watching, she enthusiastically tries to hop around. After we turned off the TV, Natalie kept trying to jump. She's a cautious jumper and will only have two feet off the ground when she's holding onto something. Otherwise, one foot stays firmly on the ground. Watch her in Video 171 trying to jump.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Puzzling it out

Natalie has learned to solve a shapes and colors puzzle almost all by herself! She is amazing and so smart. See her in Video 171 of Natalie puzzling it out. She makes little "eh-oh-eh-oh" noises when trying to fit each piece into its place.

Friday, December 5, 2008

At Victoria Park

Today we went to the playground in Victoria Park. It's big and provides a lot of different activities for Natalie. She can climb and swing and explore. She loved it and spent a good hour playing around. She also met a new little friend there and they played together for a while.

Natalie and her new friend peeking out through the see-through plastic.

They played here for over 5 minutes, banging on the glass, pressing their faces against it, and even licking it (ya, ew)!

Natalie can sit down at the top and go down a slide by herself now. When she does, she says "Weee!" (copying me).

Natalie and her new friend examine leaves and other dirt on the ground.

Later, Natalie takes a much needed break on the park bench. She finishes her whole sippy cup of juice. Playing in the sun in thirsty work.

Natalie back at it again. Here she is climbing up the steps. She can do it all by herself without my help.

Finally, we put Natalie on the swings. She kind of likes it, but if you push her too high or too fast, she'll shake her head and say "No no".