We live in a condominium.  Although we have the ocean and the jungle to look at from our apartment, on the ground it's mostly concrete.  Penang isn't very nature friendly.  There are parks, but they're few and far between.

Every since I got pregnant I've been wondering how I'm going to cope with having a little boy in the city.  I have to admit that as much as I like living in a condo (easy! safe! a pool and gym!) I'm really missing grass.  A backyard, and somewhere to have a garden.  Unless we relocate, which we probably won't any time soon, Ellis will miss out on these things.  I'm going to have to put in some extra-super effort to be sure that Ellis gets as much nature time as possible.  I am an IslandWood grad after all!

It's a challenge because of the heat, but Reuben and I are outside much, much more than your average person living here.  You just have to go out early early and after the sun comes down.  In between is best spent indoors (thank you God for air conditioning!).  But as much as we are outside, it's mostly spent running, walking, or cycling.  Not a lot of time to stop and take in the scenery (because we're so fast! Just kidding.)

As I was writing this I was thinking about how few wild spaces our part of Penang has.  Hello, Erin!  We have beaches.  And jungle.  It's just that it's a bit more 'wild' than I'm used to!  Wild as in, slashing through the undergrowth, being eaten alive by mosquitoes (and risking dengue fever nonetheless!) all while trying to avoid poisonous snakes and wild boars.  It will be awhile before I take an infant on such an excursion, although it does sound like an adventure.

We've lived in our building for 2 1/2 years and I just discovered a new place last week.  Down by our pool there's a little path that goes alongside the edge of the property.  It's like my very own secret garden.  I can't believe I've never been here.  Reuben and I took Ellis on a family adventure this morning.

Ellis has a little toupee growing

This orange cat is practically part of our family, too.   A little over a year ago a female cat had kittens down by our pool and Reuben started feeding her - and her two kittens.   "Ginger" is one of the kittens and is pretty full grown by now.  It's the most domesticated stray cat I've ever seen.   He responds to his name and he loves for Reuben to cuddle him in his arms like a baby.  He has a little injury on his leg and Reuben has been tending to his wound.  He goes on our evening walks with us. (what kind of a cat does that!) It's nicer than a lot of house cats I know.

Just an elevator ride away, I'm sure I'll be coming back a lot. 

"If you start at an early age, your baby will learn to love the outdoors and will enjoy herself there. These times will help her to be less clingy, nagging, overly dependent, constantly needing company or entertainment....The stimuli which nature provides is unparalleled. Even the youngest infant becomes fascinated by listening to birds, watching the movements of flies, butterflies, shadows and leaves. Air circulation, temperature change, the playfulness of sunlight and shadow are strong stimuli to the senses." -Magda Gerber

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