Monday, July 29, 2013

Be back soon!

I've been a bit of a bad blogger. I blame it on all the activities we have going on. As we are entering the final few weeks of our time here in Asia, we are trying to cram as much in as possible. We've done tthe bird park, a trip to Malacca, jaunts around town and shopping. I also have to post about Anjali's birthday lunch. We have a visitor as well- my  sweet aunt Sabi is visiting us from NY as well so we are busy showing her around. I'm going back to Singapore tomorrow with her for a quick trip. And then we have our dear friend, Joann coming to visit as well on Friday.... I don't know when next I'll be blogging, but I'll have lots to post when I do.

D does not look pleased.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Anjali's birthday pics and our trip to Langkawi

We've been gone for the last few days to the Malay islands of Langkawi- I think there are about 99 of them.  Langkawi incidentally is one of 64 recognised UNESCO world geoparks. We stayed at the Andaman Resort and it was a-ma-z-i-n-g!!!! From the long and winding road through the lush Malaysian rainforest to the refreshing and delicious ginger, lemon grass and pandan welcome drink to our spectacular room backing onto the forest, it was simply lovely. We spent the last few hours of Anjali's birthday there with a delicious birthday dinner. We didn't get out of the resort much as they had a fantastic pool, with areas so shallow that Anjali was able to crawl through. There was also a waterslide that Cassia went down at least twenty times. We spent hours and hours by the pool just lazing around--- even though there was a beach-- Cassia isn't a big fan, she likens it to a dirty pool.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

And she is one!!! Happy Birthday, Anjali!

When I was pregnant with Anjali, almost everyone predicted I was having a boy... It was a different pregnancy, I was carrying differently, you have the girl, now it's time for the boy... I heard it all. I tried to take it in stride but I couldn't help but get a little defensive. For one,  I loved having a little girl and would have loved a duplicate.  For another, I don't have a sister, I've always admired the bond that sisters have and because of that I wanted Cass to have a sister... And lastly, in my heart of hearts, I've always felt like I was meant to be the mother of girls... 

I'm so pleased to say that I was so right! I wept tears of joy when I found out it was another girl.   We love this child so much. One daughter was such a blessing but with two, we have an abundance of riches. Darin always calls us his two million dollar family.

I adore this little girl. She makes us laugh and smile, relaxed and contented and we just enjoy life that much more with her around. She brings joy to me hourly. So many people  who spend time with her say how good natured, jolly, playful  and peaceful she is. As a friend of mine said last week, this baby was God-sent.

July 22nd, 2013. My Anjali is one today. I love her smile, her dance moves, her two front teeth, her hearty appetite, her long baby toes and her sleep schedule but most of all I love her sweet,  spirit. Happy, happy birthday, my beautiful daughter!

Here is a look at her last (well only) twelve months.

Welcome to the world, sweet girl!

Once again, settling into nice sleeping patterns in August

Check those chubby legs in September

Here you are in as a lady bug for Halloween.
One of many hand me down outfits you own

You took your first airplane trip to Trinidad in November.
Here you are bathing in a basin

Here you are with Cassia in December in your Christmas pjs

You started solids in January at 6 months

In February, we had a wonderful family vacation in beautiful Turks and Caicos
Here you are 'springing into spring' in March
We had our family puja in April
Here you are on your first roadtrip to NYC in May. You've just begun to crawl around

Chilling in KL in June

And here we are in July in Singapore!

We look forward to many more wonderful adventures ahead with our little family!

Happy birthday, sweet girl!

Around Town- Singapore

The four days we spend down in Orchard Road were filled with different activities. We visited the Botanical Gardens, strolled along Orchard Road, viewed the city from atop the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, went on a cruise on the Singapore River, sampled chili crab (a specialty of Singapore), visited the Singapore Zoo and went on a bus tour (we've decided we were right all along- we're really not bus people, Malaysia was an anomaly). A whirlwind visit but we really got a nice flavour for the city. My friend Saba calls it "Asia Light" and I can see why. It is very much a mix of East and West. It's a very clean, orderly society (due largely to the government and the strict legislation) but the Asian influence in terms of architecture, eats and all round culture is definitely there... It's so expensive though, it's a good thing we are in KL for two months, we definitely couldn't afford Singapore for that time! We had a wonderful time though!
Atop the MArina Bay Sands Hotel

Cassia refused to come in the pic with us

Little India

Chilling in the bus between stops

The three buildings with the ship on top is the Marina Bay Sands Hotel- cool, right?

This might be my favourite pic of the whole trip
Two sweeties

I really don't know what we're trying to do in this pic- but Cassia is standing behind me and not under my skirt!

A beautiful Hindu Temple, in Chinatown nonetheless


A Chinese Temple this time

A view of the Singapore skyline from the river cruise we went on

Love Clarks Quay

Yummy dinner

Ridiculously good chili crabs!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Singapore Zoo

Our little family loved the Singapore Zoo. It was seriously the best zoo we've ever been to and a spectacular experience. The zoo itself is beautiful and very well maintained, like everything else in Singapore with lots to do. There was such a large variety of animals roaming around and not a lot of them are in cages or behind barriers! Our only complaint is that we didn't get to spend enough time there. We had it all planned out. Let the kids go down for an afternoon nap, wake them up, pack them up and head out to the zoo where we would spend the late afternoon and evening when it cooled down. Sounds like a plan, right? No! There was sooo much to do and we got there only at 4:30 when the regular zoo closes at 6:00 pm. We didn't get to do the much lauded River Safari as it was  and we had to take a tram around the entire zoo instead of walking around. Especially since.... wait for it.... we spent some time lining up to ride an elephant!!!

I've always wanted to ride on an elephant. Since coming to Asia we've been searching for an elephant to ride and we finally found one. It was so cool!!! And way more user friendly than I thought it would be. The elephant was large yet so gentle. We climbed on from a high step and slowly made our way on a short path. Anjali was in the Baby Bjorn on Darin so the four of us were able to do it together. An amazing experience. Unfortunately, at this time I don't have any photos to show. Well not from our iPhone anyway. We ended up buying the pictures from the zoo as we wanted a shot of the experience of course. Maybe I will scan it one day.

We also stuck around for the Night Safari which was another epic (Charlie Sheen ruined that word forever) experience. We first went to a show where the animals performed then took a tram to view the animals. There was something so cool about viewing them up close in their 'natural' habitat in the moonlight. Even the kids loved it... Well Cass did, Anjali managed to catch a few zees. We didn't venture out walking through the zoo with two kids in the pitch black though... we're only so brave!

Most of the photos are on our regular camera but I did manage to capture a few on my phone. Also, no images of the Night Safari as the flash can apparently blind the animals.

Trying to mimic the flamigos in the background

What a poser!

Sweet cheeks! Both of them :-)

Can you see the orang-utans?

The zebras kind of match my top

Beautiful giraffe!

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This kid is TOO big for a stroller!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Botanical Gardens

A trip to Singapore would be incomplete without a visit to their internationally renowned botanical gardens. Singaporeans seriously know their flora and landscaping... I mean they go all out. From the beautiful flowers, to the lush vegetation to the huge koi ponds-- it was such an wonderful place. Their botanical gardens are the most beautiful I have ever seen. Coupled with how pristine the country generally is, our visit there was one of the highlights of our trip and a great start to our foray into mainland Singapore.

We met up at the gardens with my friend from Business School, Saba who now lives in Singapore. Saba and I last saw each other in Russia seven years ago when we shared a room for three long weeks!  Of course, meeting up in Canada is just too easy. Saba also brought along her two sweet girls, ages three and one and our older two became fast friends. We also met them for lunch the next day to catch up and meet her husband. She also kindly offered to babysit for us the day after so that Darin and I could get some time to ourselves.... let's just say that became another highlight of my trip!

Here are a few shots from just a small part of the gardens we passed through.

At the front of the gardens

Little posers

Strolling around

Our little family

Cass decided no more pictures with us. This happened quite a bit on this trip 
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Just cooling down with some ice cream

Someone is SO excited!

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Strolling around

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Even though their eyes are closed, I think this is such a cute shot!
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