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We haven’t done a lot of traveling around since Talisa was born, but we are hoping to start visiting more places!  So a couple months ago we suddenly decided one morning to visit the rabbit farm that afternoon!  The rabbit farm is located in Bukit Tinggi, which is on a hill, so it’s a lot cooler than the city.  A nice place to visit these hot days!

Here are some photos from our visit:

Talisa was utterly delighted to see all the rabbits.  She was running all over saying “bundeens!!!”

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Svara has fed rabbits a few times before, so she was an old pro!

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They also had some deer there.  Svara was a little hesitant in approaching them.  I don’t blame her ;)6 rabbit farm 7 rabbit farm 8 rabbit farm

But she was not hesitant in carrying around the bunnies!

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They had guinea pigs as well, though you couldn’t go in to pet those.

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They had a pony (well, donkey actually) ride as well.  Last time we came here a few years ago she was too young, so she was thrilled to be able to have a ride this time!

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Talisa followed saying “Akka ride horse!”  I believe she would have hopped on if she could.

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So Naren took her to his shoulders to distract her and they watched these very territorial deer.  I feel kind of sorry for all of these deer, they seem a bit cramped!

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After the ride we had to let Talisa hop on.  She was SO excited!

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Time to feed the donkeys!

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And the deer!  We had some pellets to feed the animals, but the deer were not very interested.  So we reached through the fence in one area to pick some long grass and they were SO excited to eat that.

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We brought some sandwiches, chips, and grapes with us to have a picnic and had a nice afternoon.  It is always refreshing to take an afternoon off!

Family Times

Well, it sure has been awhile!  So much for keeping other updates instead of Talisa’s monthly updates!  I have a few posts to share, but I want to do them in order.  So today here a few photos showing some of the things we do around the house together :)

Three months ago Svara turned 7.  I still can’t believe it! For her birthday we were happy to be able to get her one of the things she wanted more than anything – the large Lego Friends house.  The year before she had gotten a couple of the smaller sets for her birthday.  She really enjoyed them, but needed a lot of guidance to put them together.  This year she put together the whole thing almost all by herself.

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Both of the girls have been helping me out with cooking as well.  Talisa loves stirring oats or flour while Svara and I are busy.  As you can imagine, this can get quite messy!

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Svara, on the other hand, is now able to read parts of recipes and help out with measuring as well.  Our kitchen can be quite warm as there is no fan, so when she helps cook I usually take all the ingredients to the dining table so it’s cooler. Here she was mixing together some granola, yum!

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Sometimes when I am working in the kitchen I really need to find something to keep Talisa busy.  She has kind of gotten bored with digging around in the cupboards, so I have to be more imaginative.

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On this day I took out the playdough and utensil drawer and she went to town.  After awhile she was ready for something new and she asked for some oats.  She likes to stir them and eat them!

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I’ll leave today with a few photos of Talisa doing what she does best – being silly!  And eating her still favorite snack – frozen blueberries!  I’ll be back soon with a few more posts of the fun stuff we’ve been up to!

 

 

 

 

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Our neighbor and friend is a fantastic photographer and took photographs of the girls recently.  Here is the first glimpse of the photo session, I'll post more when we get more!

Our neighbor and friend is a fantastic photographer and took photographs of the girls recently. Here is the first glimpse of the photo session, I’ll post more when we get more!

18 months old seems like such a milestone.  Halfway between baby and toddler.  Starting to do so many more things!  Jokes, crafts, helping, and more!

Here is the rundown of where Talisa is these days.  After this month I’ll try to get back into regular posting of daily things and probably not post an official Talisa update until 2 years.

I have to apologize, mostly to myself, for the severe lack of photos from this past month.  The memory card from our handy small camera has been misplaced, and I can never remember to take out the big camera to take daily photos!  So the few photos here are from Naren’s phone this month.  Usually I have a few on my ipad, but the wifi on my ipad doesn’t work anymore, so I don’t have it handy and don’t find it useful to take photos anymore there.

COMMUNICATION – Talisa is in this parroting phase.  All we have to say is “Can you say____” and she’ll repeat what it is we want her to.  Some words are more clear than others, but it’s amazing that she’ll give any word a try!  She hardly does any baby signs anymore as they have all been replaced by words.  Sometimes she’ll sign “more” or “nurse” but I think that’s about it.  She loves singing (Baa Baa Black Sheep is the current favorite) and she’ll sing along with her favorite tunes but with nonsensical words, it’s pretty adorable.  She says 2 and 3 word sentences pretty regularly and is always pointing things out.

 

PLAY – No surprise here, but books are still her number one favorite toy.  She is also getting more into role playing with dolls and such.  Not anything that makes sense, but it’s cute watching her develop that side. She is also starting to role play things in the toy kitchen – putting a pitcher under the sink spout, giving me things to eat, etc.  She is getting more accurate with her shape sorters.  Naren bought her a set of the big duplo legos for Ayyam-i-Ha and she has fun putting those together.  Sometimes she is content to play alone, and other time she insists we “SIT!  SIT!” next to her and play with her.

We were fortunate to get to a great book sale this month.  We all picked out some books we liked.  Talisa had a blast of course!

We were fortunate to get to a great book sale this month. We all picked out some books we liked. Talisa had a blast of course!

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SKILLS – Talisa has moved to almost exclusively feeding herself with her little fork and spoon.  Last week she ate all of her breakfast oatmeal by herself (spilled a bit, but not much!).  I think she was wanting to do this before we knew it because she’d always reach for the table yelling “nah! nah! nah!” which is what she says when she wants something.  I realized finally that what she wanted was her bowl/plate of food!  I bought a bowl with a suction cup so it won’t slide around while she’s trying to scoop out the food.  She can easily take the bowl off of her try if she tries, but at least it helps with the sliding when she’s seriously trying to eat.  She can also hold an open cup and drink out of it by herself!  When she’s tired of drinking she’ll start dumping, though, so I have to watch her carefully.

FOOD – She is still eating mainly what we eat.  Breakfast is usually scrambled egg (or just the egg yolk and Svara eats the white, their preference), toast, cold cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, frozen blueberries, bananas, etc.  Lunch is often miso noodle soup (with carrots and tofu, she shares this with Svara), or else whatever we are having.  Same with dinner.  Snacks are popsicles (usually just blended up watermelon, or sometimes banana with milk/fruit), banana ‘icecream’, homemade cookies, crackers with hummus, raisins, etc.

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SLEEP – Talisa is still working on those teeth!  I think the last one of that set of 8 that was coming in is just about to pop.  Then it’ll just be the canines and then her 2 year molars (hopefully not for awhile!).  It’s still the norm to nurse her to sleep.  Occasionally she’ll have a 4 hour stretch of sleep, but the usual night is 2 hour stretches, with sometimes a 3 hour thrown in there.  Hoping after this final one comes out it’ll be awhile before the canines start coming in!  She is improving with the staying awake in the middle of the night.  This past month it has only happened on the night she had a tooth popping through (twice this month I think).  She tries to get back to sleep, but it can take 2-3 hours on those nights.

GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT – we need to take her for her 18 month checkup, but she had fever and still has a little bit of a runny nose, so we’ll wait until next week.  She is SO active that she seems pretty slim (but not too slim).  I miss her chubbiness!  Her hair has seemed to stop growing this month.  It’s quite curly, but since there is not much of it, it just sticks out in funny random places.  Quite entertaining ;)

 

THINGS TO REMEMBER:  Here are some little things I want to remember but don’t really fall into the above categories…

  • Talisa had a bad accident this past month.  She fell on the three steps that go from our living to dining room and her teeth went through her bottom lip.  Naren was not home at the time, and it was pretty traumatizing for the three of us girls at home.  The bleeding stopped faster than I had even hoped it would, and it healed up within 2-3 weeks, but you can still see that her lip is bigger in that area.  I wonder if the evidence will ever disappear.  I really felt completely awful!
  • Talisa is starting to bully Svara!  Pulling her hair, hitting her, kicking her, etc.  She does it to me as well, but not nearly as much as she does to Svara.  I guess Svara is an easier target!  Svara used to hit me a lot starting at that age, so it’s not too surprising, but it’s hard to get Svara to react in a way that will help stop the behavior.
  • She has started saying “I love you” every time she kisses or hugs us, which is a LOOOOT.  I LOVE it!  She’s not clear in the way she says it, it’s something like “Ahdzhoo”.
  • When we are playing around on the bed she likes to tell me (or whoever) to sleep and expects me to put my head down, take off my glasses, and close my eyes.  Yesterday she did it to Naren and Svara and she even sang them some songs like lullabies, haha!
  • Her little cloth (it’s actually a premie prefold) and pacifier are her security items.  I have several of the prefolds so I can rotate them and have extras around just in case!  She has to be holding her cloth while she nurses, sleeps, and if she’s ever upset.   Svara never had any security items beyond her pacifier, so it’ll be interesting to see how long she keeps it for!
  • She is starting to show interest in toilet training, but she only wants to sit on the toilet, she never actually does anything.  But it’s a start!  Time to get out the potty chairs!

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Talisa – 17 Months

talisa laughing at svara

 

My baby is quickly turning into a toddler and little girl. At this age she is still a baby in so many ways, but she is also growing in SO many ways EVERY day. I don’t have access to my photos at the moment, but I wanted to make sure to write this post anyway! So here is a rundown on where Talisa is these days!

COMMUNICATION – Talisa is a little talker! She still uses some baby signs, but some of them have been given up since she can easily say the word. But she has also made up some of her own baby signs! Unfortunately it’s not as easy for us to know what her made up signs mean. For example, one of her self-made signs is tapping on hand on the back of her other hand. She makes this sign whenever she hears a loud hammering type sound from neighbors doing renovation. Obviously the sign means that sound, but I’m so curious to know why she made the sign like that and what exactly it means to her! She is saying new words every single day, and even 2 word sentences sometimes.

PLAY – Her play preferences haven’t really changed since the last update.  Books are still her number 1 favorite ‘toy’.  She’ll sit and look at books for quite some time by herself, or bring us books and cuddle up next to us so we’ll read them.  She likes to grab a book, roll onto her back, and page through it.  And it doesn’t have to be a baby book.  A novel, a cookbook, anything with pages will do!  Shape sorters and stacking toys are still favorites as well.  She sometimes makes little dolls and animals ‘talk’ which is pretty darn cute!  She likes dumping things out and putting them back in.

Talisa reading

SKILLS – Lots more climbing going on these days!  She’ll climb onto a stool, stand up, and then get back down by herself.  She likes stepping into boxes and baskets as well.  She is working on learning how to feed herself with a spoon.  Usually the spoon/fork goes into her mouth upside down, but it’s starting to improve a bit!

FOOD – Not much has changed here lately. She is still basically eating what we do (minus the spicy foods and still no chocolate or oranges or dairy).  She likes tofu, plain rice, soups, blueberries, toasted sandwiches, hummus on crackers, cookies, and much more.  Oh, and ice chips!

SLEEP – I mentioned last time that her molars were starting to come in.  She’s still working on them.  And not only molars, but her incisors and canines as well.  That’s a lot of teeth!  Going on 2 months of straight teething.  I haven’t been able to put her down to sleep awake for this whole time.  It has sadly become the new norm to nurse her to sleep and gently put her in her crib.  I have never had to nurse/hold her to sleep for this long before.  As soon as these teeth finish coming in (it seems like one breaks through every 1-3 weeks and each molar is a 2 week ordeal by itself) I HOPE HOPE HOPE she gets back to her old routine of nursing, then into the crib to settle herself to sleep.  If she doesn’t I’ll have to urge her in that direction.  And now that she’s much more opinionated that’ll be interesting…   So yeah, still the old good nights are 2-3 hour stretches and bad nights are 30-90 minute stretches.  And if it’s a night where a tooth is really bothering her she may be awake for 2-3 hours (last night she was awake from 5am-6:45am and then back to sleep until 8.  I don’t let her get up and play anymore when she is awake in the middle of the night.  I try try try to put her to sleep, let her sit on the bed and babble for awhile (in the dark) until she asks to nurse again, etc. etc.  Hoping that helps not turn it into a habit!  It seems to be happening less than before (crossing fingers).  She is down to one nap a day except for the very odd day here and there if she wakes up early and had a rough night of teething.

GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT – As I mentioned, she has a lot of teeth coming in one after the other!  At last check (it’s hard to get a good look!) 3 molars are through along with 2-3 of her second incisors.  The canines aren’t through yet, but I think they are on their way.

She is growing taller!  I haven’t measured her, but a couple weeks ago we noticed that she was reaching for the latch on the front door and she was about an inch away from reaching it.  Today she reached it and opened the door, eeps!  Now we have to keep the front door locked :P  So she’s definitely growing!  Her hair is growing as well, all funny and curly and adorable.  I hope to post some good photos soon!

teeth!

Finally a photo of the teeth!

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Talisa giving her “dirty look” to Svara. She thinks it’s hilarious!

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Happy Ayyám-i-Há!

The celebration of Ayyám-i-Há is celebrated by Baha’is all around the world from Feb. 26th through March 1st.  It is marked by hospitality, charity, gift giving, and general ‘having fun!’ times!  I grew up as a Baha’i and have fond memories of our yearly Ayyám-i-Há adventures.  One of the fun things is that there are not necessary traditions that are associated with the holiday, so each family is free to pick and choose what they like to do, share ideas, or come up with their own.  I remember one tradition we started when I was a teenager was to make a yearly gingerbread house as a ‘gift’ to our parents.  Each year they got more creative!

Now that I have a family of my own, I get the chance to create new traditions with my own children!  Music is an important part of all aspects of life, and celebrations are no exception.  Luckily for us the collection of songs available about Ayyám-i-Há grows with each passing year.  My daughter’s all time favorite song is The Spirit of Ayyám-i-Há .  You can click to see it on youtube.  She loves the video as much as the song and I can’t even count the number of times we watched it last year.  And we have started again for this holiday season!  Luckily I really enjoy the song as well :)

Svara and I were starting to make some Ayyám-i-Há cards and so we of course had to use a line from her favorite song as our inspiration.  Here is her first finished card.  I did the lettering and she made the paper quilled hearts for it.  Click here to see a tutorial (starring Svara!) for how to make the paper quilled heart decorations.

card finished

Now for something really exciting, a GIVEAWAY!  I am thrilled to be participating in a giveaway with two other lovely ladies.  Read on below to find out all about it and how to enter!

Ayyám-i-Há Giveaway

giveaway

I am so excited to be joining with two of my favorite bloggers for a very special Ayyám-i-Há giveaway! For this contest, we want to see how YOU celebrate Ayyám-i-Há (or other favorite holiday) with your family and community. We have 3 exciting prize packages, so read below to see how you can enter to win!

1st Prize

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Ayyám-i-Há: Fun Ideas for Children and Families by Varya Sanina-Garmroud and Leanna Guillén Mora: An e-book full of crafts, recipes, jokes, and printable activities!

2nd Prize

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Gift certificate to Honey’s Hive Etsy Shop ($15 value): Can be used for any of the beautiful hand crafted jewelry or pdf tutorials (not for purchase of quilling or craft supplies or tools).

Ayyám-i-Há: Fun Ideas for Children and Families by Varya Sanina-Garmroud and Leanna Guillén Mora

3rd Prize

Ayyám-i-Há: Fun Ideas for Children and Families by Varya Sanina-Garmroud and Leanna Guillén Mora

 

How to Enter

You can enter by doing one or both of the following for up to two total entries:

1) Leave a comment on one of the participating blogs (see list below) telling us how you celebrate Ayyám-i-Há (or another favorite holiday!) with your family or community

2) Email a photo of the same to us at alldonemonkey {at} gmail {dot} com. Be sure to put Ayyám-i-Há Giveaway in the header.

Contest Rules

Contest closes on February 18, 2014, at midnight PT. Winners will be chosen by random draw. Winners will be informed within 48 hours of the close of the contest and have 48 hours to respond before another name is drawn. By submitting your comment and/or photo, you are granting us permission to use them in a post on “Ayyám-i-Há Around the World,” which will be published on February 28, 2014, on Multicultural Kid Blogs.

Participating Blogs

Creative World of Varya

All Done Monkey

Zerbert

A month after Talisa’s birthday I finally  managed to post about her actual day that we celebrated as a family.  But I never got around to posting about her party!  So here is a little recap along with some photos!

We had an afternoon tea-time party with some family and friends.  Not too big.  Of course there had to be balloons!  Naren’s parents and sister picked out this gorgeous dress for her to wear for her part, so she was quite the elegant birthday girl!  For the snacks I made two types of hummus, three types of pita bread, vegetarian sausages, and we had watermelon, fruit salad, and cut veggies.  It was simple, but good!

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As usual I made the birthday cake myself.  It was two layers of chocolate and one layer of raspberry.  With raspberry buttercream in the middle and chocolate buttercream covering.

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After the party we tried to get Talisa to sit among her gifts, but as you can see she didn’t have much interest in them!  So we had fun opening them for her.  Her favorites were books!

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Catching Up

I’m still playing catchup!  I’ll try to get mostly caught up in this post so I can start actually posting current photos!

Halloween 2013

We’ve never celebrated Halloween here in Malaysia, beyond dressing Svara up when she was an infant and visited my classroom when I was teaching.  Halloween is becoming more common here, but we still didn’t have any plans for this year.  Svara, however, has learned about Halloween through a few cartoons, stories from me, etc.  so she was ready to celebrate!  We decided to go to the mall on Halloween and the girls dressed up for the fun of it.  Here they are!

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Talisa wore the same costume that Svara wore many years ago and Svara decided to dress up as a witch.  A black Indian outfit and a handcrafted paper witch hat completed her outfit.  I decided to let her to to the mall without brushing her hair, to make it look more “witchy”.

A few more photos to complete 2013:

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Hugging her sister, even in the pool!

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signing “more”

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summer fun!

playing in dirt

children must play in the dirt, right?

kitchen mess

this is what my ktichen looks like on a daily basis! I also usually end up pushing chairs against the sink cabinet and in front of the stove and oven to keep her from those places. If Naren isn’t home and I need to get something done in the kitchen, this is the only way!

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a rare family photo! All dressed up ready to go to a wedding celebration

 

 

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