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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Three Christmases, Three Countries

It's that time of the year when we all get a little nostalgic and start lamenting on how quickly the year has passed and it's already the end of another year. (I also think time speeds up exponentially after you turn 30).

This is the third Christmas we've celebrated with Alicia and it gets better every year. Due to our rather itinerant lives, we've actually spent Christmas in three different locations over the past three years. The first was in New York, Alicia was just over a month old and it was the start of the bitter NY winter.

That was probably the worst Christmas we had. Saddled with the fear of Alicia catching a bad cold in sub-zero temperatures, we stayed home all day. To make matters worse, that was the start of Alicia's colicky phase as well which meant long (or what felt like a long time) periods of incessant crying.

Here's when she just woke up, still looking sleepy and grumpy. (She's still grumpy when she wakes up even now).

Last year, we braved the 8 hour flight (which is like eternity when you a have a restless toddler in tow) to Brisbane to join my in-laws for a nice big McGregor family Christmas. It was the first time Alicia got to meet all of her uncles and aunties and it was great to have so many babysitters around for when I wanted to go shopping :).

This year, we decided to stay and spend Christmas in Singapore. Ray's dad couldn't get too much time off so we didn't do our traditional Aussie family Christmas. Instead, Ray's two youngest brothers (he's got three plus one sister) are here for a two week visit.

At two, Alicia now understands the concept of the Christmas tree and of course, the presents that go under it! It was great fun opening presents with her on Christmas Day until she found one that she liked, got distracted and lost interest in opening the rest. I even managed to get her to pose for some shots.

So here's wishing everyone a very happy new year and more blogging in 2007!

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

First Pet

My childhood never consisted of a 'real' pet. The closest I got to that was a weekend with the class-owned hamsters (remember Mark Anthony, Julius Caesar and Cleopatra?), a couple of months with a chick that eventually got big enough for my parents to see it as chicken soup potential and minding my aunt's poodle for a few days while she went on hols.

I was hoping to relive that part of my childhood through Alicia, get a pet, pretend it's for her when it's really to erase that bit of juvenile deprivation. Unfortunately, Alicia's innate timidness towards animals didn't make for good reasoning to get a pet that required more work for the maid and detraction from her main task of looking after Alicia.

After holding out for a few months (we even made a trip down to the SPCA to see if we could be tempted!), we settled on something that could amuse her yet was low maintenance. And voila! Alicia got this bird as a Christmas present from her Ah Kong! As with all new things that she deems exciting, she greeted it with shrieks and squeals.

My dad proudly declared that he chose this bird because the shopkeeper said this one was a "singer" but a whole two days passed and there was not a peep out of it which then promptly my mum to name it "Dumbbell". Sheesh...

Now that Alicia and Dumbbell are firm friends, we'll see if we can make room for more interactive furry buddies :)