Monday, November 18, 2013

Big girl already!

A milestone for Caylee.

The night of 17th Nov 2013, she declares "I am big girl already. At night no need to wear diaper already!"

Actually for weeks preceding, she has been taking out her diaper in the middle of the night and sleeping diaper-less the rest of the night. Sometimes even pant-less. Reason being she takes her diaper out to go to toilet and then wets her pants. Then she takes out her pants and then goes back to bed. So effectively, she is pee-ing in her pants.

So, we tried.

Before going to bed she goes to toilet 2 times. Once being just before lights out.

This morning, I saw her sleeping on her mattress nearer to the potty and her potty was full.

Meaning she woke up by herself in the middle of the night, went to the potty and then went back to sleep. All on her own!

What a difference for this girl! She is really independent in her own way and knows her capabilities. I have never heard of a child who decides for herself the right time to go diaperless at night. It was little effort on my side. I just let her be and she did it on her own!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Camerons and Ipoh 2013

Over the long Haji weekend, we decided to make a trip to Camerons and Ipoh.

It would be our last trip with a convenient stop at Ipoh. My parents will officially sign the S&P for the sale of their Ipoh house tommorrow.

We stayed in Equatorial again. Partly due to the Groupon offer. Partly due to the fact that we love the location.

It was freezing this time round. Mainly because of the rain. We had our jackets on almost ALL of the time. And poor hubby of mine was freezing. I never used to bring his since he never had any use for it previously.

We went park visiting this time round. Went to the new Lavendar Garden. And also the Butterfly Farm.
Loved the Lavendar Garden coz it was on a hill and had bountiful of blooming flowers.





The boy was very eager to go to the Butterfly Farm mainly coz he wanted to see the scorpions. He has been very curious about live insects and animals since watching National Geography. I am trying to cut down on his cartoon watching. The girl however screamed at the flying butterflies. If only they had ears....they would have left her all alone!

Back in Ipoh, I managed to visit Gunung Lang at last. I loved the boat ride. It was so tranquil. And 1 hour running with the kids was grand. It rained the evening before so the playground was only half half accessible.







I wonder.....the next time I am in Ipoh, I will be half tourist, since I will need to stay in a hotel. I wonder if as a half tourist, I would do more tourisy things.....will my approach to Ipoh change?

Accident

Had my first major accident in Oct 2013. Happened along LDP going own the Sunway Piramid bridge. Knocked into a Honda CRV.

I didn't claim insurance since the family in the CRV was kind enough to deal with it with me. He came to my workshop to get his damage assessed and accepted the 700 that was quoted to get his dents repaired.

My own damage cost 1600. And internal repair another 1200.

Many asked me if I have fear to drive now?

I told them 'No'. Maybe my dad's training of doing it as soon as you fall to get over your fear. So, I got back behind the wheel and drove like normal.

But today on my way to work, it rained heavily. And for once since the accident, I felt a little bit of fear. Especially since I saw 4 accidents along the way. One involving a motorcyclist, and he was sprawled on the road holding his arm. Another major one was a 6 car pile up, with an Insight car squashed in the middle.

I am grateful that I escaped my accident relatively unharmed. And I found through out my journey that I lost my guts to really drive confidently fast. These days I stick to the middle lane and going down slopes, I keep a relative distance.

It was a small damage physically....but a huge lesson on driving patience.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tanjung Sepat and Bagan Lalang

Date : 31st August 2013

At last managed to kick start my road trips. And to my much desired destination Tanjung Sepat. I have read so much about Lovers Bridge and the good food there and have been dying to go.

Let me get straight to the point of Lovers Bridge. It has broke!!! You can only walk a wee bit out on the bridge now. And in fact there is a warning to walk at your own risk! So much for that being the highlight of the trip. In fact by the time we were on Lovers Bridge ad ready for dinner, we were all quite tired. Just took the customary pics without the kids - lovers bridge mah! And headed for dinner....

Dinner was disappointing too. Being a public holiday, the one next to Lovers Bridge was packed. So, we went to the adjacent one. We waited 1 hour for our dinner and had such a depressing conversation! Hahaha.....Hunger and serious talk sure don't go well.

The earlier part of the trip was more enjoyable.

If you google image Tanjung Sepat, chances are you will get a image of a map. We started at the Dragon Fruit farm end and made our way down.

Loved the dragon fruit and passion fruit farm. They had some weird animals - monkeys and civet cat - which attracted the boy more than the fruits! Had blended fruit drinks. Bought some dragon fruits.

Next - Arowana Chips. To be honest, I found this factory a waste of time. It was fun finding it and then once you have found the 'treasure' in the hunt, don't tell me don't buy anything meh? And that may be the only reason it is still surviving today. The kacang putih village in Buntong Ipoh is so much better.

3rd pit stop - fish ball. One shoplot making fishball. Freshness guaranteed. Though how this particular one managed to make it on the map I wonder. I didn't get any fish balls here.

Lunch time - it was already pass 1 pm. We wanted to go to the famous BKT shop BUT it was closed! Darn! Bummer.....

In the end just parked the car along one of the streets and had street food - literally!

Tanjung Sepat town is an experience on its own. Because it was a holiday, I really felt I could just stand there and take in all the hustle and bustle supporting this home industries. Look straight was the pau shop, behind me was a shop selling fried tempura-like seafood, a bit to my right was one of the coffee shops, a bit to the right was a shop selling fruit juices. And at every nook and corner along that 200 m radius were shops selling all kinds of the same thing - fruits, its juices, raw fish, cooked fish, steamed pau, non steamed pau, coffee packets, cups of coffee etc. And there was freshly baked bahulu and old time ice lollies.

We had lunch - coffee was GREAT! The fried fish cakes etc was yummy. I am not a pau fan but they have some famous ones there - mui choy pau etc. I bought some cooked fish balls and fish rolls here. Loved it when I cooked it again at home. Very fresh.

So at 2++, after lunch we made our way to the other coffee place. We saw coffee bean selections in the process, and the actual roasting of the beans in Planta. I should not look at the process because the though of Planta in my coffee somewhat turns me off. But coming home and  brewing the coffee bag, I can easily forget what was in my coffee.

At 3++, next stop Ganofarm. It was a bit of a disappointment coz there was no farm. Only a small section showing how mushrooms were grown. I saw for the first time fresh muk yue - elephant ear mushrooms do they call it? Bought some mushroom, aloe, suet yue drinks. Bought also some mushrooms and some soap (for my mother inlaw). Don't ask about the soap - it is supposedly antibacterial. Son buy for mother, don't ask so many questions. :)

It was still too early for dinner and it was drizzling. So no hope to play by the beach or hang out at lovers bridge, we went to Golden Palm Resort. Before reaching the resort, little boy whined wanted to play at the beach. So Uncle Simon stopped for him. LORD !! We ended up there for 2 hours and had 1 very wet kid, 2 semi wet girls and 2 harassed mothers. The xx amount of bottles of water meant to clean up was barely enough. And I seriously pitied the state of the care when we climbed in. Simon and Wai Yin, if you ever read this....thousand apologies and sincere thanks.

The resort was lovely. The weather was great. We had a nice stroll....if it is sunny, please don't attempt to do this. The walk from lobby to the infinity pool is very long. :) Would make a nice jog up and down though.
The pool looked nice - infinite to the sea.....but too small. If we had a SG retreat there, we would fill up the entire pool.

Last stop was back to Tanjung Sepat town for dinner. And so we come full circle back to the top.

We reached Puchong at 10 and back home at 11. It was the day PJ had no water. And we were thankful that by the time we reached home, water was trickling down from our pipes. I can't imagine washing up sand and sea if not! :)

What I enjoyed most about the trip was not so much the experience of the town itself. But the company of same expectations makes the trip smooth and fun.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

One time forever

Now if you ask Caylee "Do you want to go to Ipoh with Kung kung and Poh poh?"
Her answer will be "NO." And if prompted further, she will ask if kor kor is going, mummy is going etc.
In fact the other day when kor kor says he wants to go to Ipoh, she told kor kor "Please don't go. I will miss you."

Despite it all, there is strength in the core family. And that is the way it should be.

So for the week and a half from end August to Sept 2013, I had a brief 'respite' from Caylee. I can safely put the word respite in inverted comma because I realized that despite all that Caylee is, she is a great help and cure to me.

She mothers me as much as I mother her. The day she came back, she checked me out and 'sayang' all my cuts and bruises. Cocked her head to one side and asked me "Pain ah mummy?" My heart literally melted.

And she needs me as much as I need her to need me. Perhaps in my heart she is still my little girl and I know one day she will be old enough to reject me. But as of now, she needs me just enough. Not too much that I find her a chore. She is rather independent in that way. And she tries very hard to get things done by herself first. So much so, you really gotta smile at her efforts. And helping her complete the task she could not complete herself becomes more a relief to me than anything else.

I also realized that no one feels the same way about my daughter. Most of the people who have come in contact with her for a longer period of time find her a cry-baby and too stubborn a child. Stubborn I would say to the point that she means what she says. And she is able to act according to what has been said. So, as much as she wants to go to the playground, she will not go. And she is happy to stay at home since she could not finish her breakfast as requested. And she couldn't finish her breakfast because she said she was full.

For a girl, in some ways that is a good thing. I have never felt this friction before. I reckon it's because Caylee and I have different dynamics.

When Caylee was away, I also realized one more thing - that I become quicker to respond when Christopher is being taken away from me without my permission when we are OUT. I actually do not mind him going away with his uncles - although I can't say that ALL of his uncles are the most dependable to take care of Christopher. However, I hate it when I turn around and find him not where he is supposed to be - either sitting down quietly or eating his dinner.

So all in all, I think I am glad that her "NO" to go back to Ipoh is so resounding. When she is away, there is no significant relief for me. Instead it becomes harder for her grandparents. So it's a win-win all round if she just stays by my side.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Learning...

It's not easy at all being a mum. Not just the bringing up of a child. But you as a person will need to confront many things.

I am frequently humbled.
I learn to take criticism better.
I learn to laugh easier.
I learn to watch my mouth.

From the top of my head list as above, the easiest lesson is humility. So, you can imagine how much harder the others are. I am a very sensitive person so I find it very hard to take criticism in a positive manner. I always tend to look down on myself and criticism usually further pushes me into the realm of near depression.

I watch my mouth more now. Not only in terms of what I say to the kids or in front of them. But what I am inclined to comment on. When a child misbehaves, if I don't know the family, I would hold back any comment. Because as much as I am strict about my kids misbehaving, sometimes it happens and I am unable to stop it in time. And the other party would think me a lousy parent. When in truth it was a one time situation got out of hand before it could be stopped. Or when I see a kid cross the road dangerously, I wouldn't be so quick now to put blame on the parents. Since it has happened one day when I looked down for a minute and Christopher decided to cross the road. And a car turned the corner and had to stop for him. How many times I have told him to wait for me, hold my hand, look right and left. Yet on that day it happened and a car went by.

I learn to laugh when my kids laugh. And I learn to laugh when they don't laugh. And I learn to laugh just to break the tension.

They say a kid learns from your actions more than your words.

I thought parenting was always about moulding the kid. But it's also highly about changing yourself as well.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mooncake

This year I went mooncake mad!

I have heard about this Fai Fong mooncake for a long time now. This year, I vowed to try it. Good thing for me was that Fai Fong recently opened a branch in Kepong. So, I was sure I would be able to buy their Kam Tui mooncake for my parents and inlaws. Decided to go early to avoid disappointment and the rush that comes with waiting too long.

Last year, I tried a new mooncake place too. Bought Kam Tui from Setapak Teochew Restaurant. Being famous and nearing the time, it was a mad rush to grab the last few pieces of  Kam Tui.

And for the pass 3 years, my all time place to buy mooncake was Konfeksi Ming Yue from Pasir Pinji Ipoh. Reason being their Nuts Mooncake is only RM7 and the Kam Tui is RM12. And they bake it freshly everyday.

Comparing these 3 mooncakes, I can understand why people like Fai Fong mooncakes.

The first impression when I bit into it was that it was not that sweet. Packed full of nuts, it was aromatic because it was FULL of sesame seeds. It was also not that oily.

The Setapak Mooncake, at first impression was that it was not as aromatic. It was in fact a little bit dry given that it was not that oily. However, what was good about it was that it had a nice chewy texture. A good bite.

And lastly the Ming Yue mooncake was a let down after trying the Fai Fong one. It was aromatic but also a little bit more oily (although I am comparing one with ham and one without). It lacked the sesame seed aroma which I would say is Fai Fong's point above others. It had a good punch of nuts - whole almonds. But certain bites were a little bitter. For that price though, almost half the price of Fia Fong, it is a good buy.

So, that is my take so far on mooncake tasting. Just wanted to jot it down for my own memory.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Renovation Decisions

Renovation work has started at last! Actual date of starting was 29th July 2013. 

Within the first week, the 'raw' structure of the porch is up. And the extension borders at the back are now up.

Decisions made in the first week was the shape of the porch pillars and walls. And at the back to confirm door and window placement.

It is the 2nd week now. Contractor has placed a deposit for my security back door. It will be stainless steel with half window. Initially I wanted a steel door so that I could have the flat piece at the back of the door longer than my step. This is to avoid rats from entering the house. 

However, hubby was more interested in the security door - less maintenance and more secure. Especially since our back yard is not blocked and is in fact accessible for anyone to walk. But you cannot custom make a security door so that the back is longer than the step. I told this to the contractor and his partner. And they came up with a solution that they will make the inside of the door a little higher so that the door will close against the floor (if you know what I mean). "Rely on my expertise", the contractor told me. Indeed I am!

Also confirmed that the roof tiles will be red. Not blue or grey or (jokingly) pink!

There are 5 people working on the house and all of them are chinese. So, their workmanship should be really good. Contractor told me all his partners are all old timer chinese workers. The only thing is that one of them is really loud! But I can accept this for all the hard work they are putting.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Smart Tag

I effectively am a smart tag user now.

For the pass 6 months, I have been using touch and go only. Most of the time the touch and go lane is pretty smooth. However there were 2 incidents where there was a jam at the toll. And if I had the smart tag, I would have passed through the jam much faster.

Hubby since Day 1 I moved to Cyberjaya has been asking me if I want a Smart Tag but I always told him 'no' for silly reasons.

Reasons like 'How would I know if the battery is going to die?'. 'What if I hold the smart tag up and the bar doesn't open?' It all boils down to the fact that I don't want to irritate other drivers when I go through the smart tag and the bar doesn't open.

The first time I used it, my heart was beating so fast that I felt so irrationally silly. At the back of my mind I was like 'I am getting old if I find technology scary'.

I have used it 3 times now. Still trying to coordinate movement in that my left hand picks up the smart tag, pass it to my right hand, go through toll gate, right hand put it on my lap, left hand picks up from lap back to dashboard drawer.

And I still feel relieve when the censor goes 'tweet' and the bar opens!

Hai....ain't I silly?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Kuantan and Kemaman 2013

It was a much awaited break. Even the kids were aching for a holiday.

We left hazy, cloudy PJ on Friday. Caylee says, we left the cloud behind. In Kuantan, it was warm enough to assure her a swim was forthcoming. Weather was great - no rain and not too hot. Hot enough to warm the pool, yet not hot enough to make us sun burnt (much to hubby's chagrin). The kids had 100+ whenever they could. The best cooler when it comes to holiday sun and fun.
***
We stayed in Swiss Garden. The hotel was old, but I can say the service superceeded my expectation. We arriced at the hotel slightly over 2 pm thinking the room would be ready. After all it was supposed to be low peak being the puasa month. However, when I checked it which was a breeze, I heard the reception requesting house keeping to check on our room. She did all the paperwork and requested my handphone number. She also gave me 4 coupons for welcome drinks while we wait.

I was surprised when my phone rang some 20 minutes later. It was the front desk telling me that my room was ready. We went to collect the room cards and were told that the extra bed was on the way.
Point #1 for service beyond expectation. How often has front desk called you to tell you your room is ready?

Point #2 of service was the next morning when we left for breakfast. When we returned the room was already tidied up. And mind you, there was a 900+ church congregation staying in the hotel as well as other foreign guests. So, it was not really low peak. I discovered then that we were short of 1 towel. So told hubby to call house keeping. And they told us that they were aware of it and will give us the towel shortly. By the time we came back from our swim, the 3rd towel was already in the room.

Point #3 of service was during breakfast time. Apart from the 900+ congregation, given it was the weekend, more guests seemed to have arrived at the hotel. It was hard to find a place to sit for breakfast. In the end we managed to find a 2 person table and squeezed with the kids for breakfast. Hubby went to get some food. And as we were settling down, one of the captains came over and told us they found another table for us and proceeded to help us move everything to a proper 4 person table.

I think they really did their best. I am not sure though if during a PEAK PEAK time they would be able to satisfy, as much as they try.
***
Going on to Kuantan town itself - we didn't even venture there apart from trying to visit East Coast Mall for lunch. We wanted the kids a longer nap time too so moved around looking for parking. Not sure if coz it was going to be Raya but the mall was PACKED with shoppers. Not worth going at all. But Caylee was running out of clothes and she wanted a dress for dinner tonight. In the end ALL of us decided shopping sucks in Kuantan, best to spend time in the pool.

We hardly saw much of Kemaman town. I can only say that during the breaking of fast time the streets were seriously EMPTY! You could walk in the middle of the street and be fine.
***
Food.

I googled places to eat before going to Kuantan. In the end there were some places we did not get to try. We had to usual:

Hoi Yin Curry Mee/Kicap Mee/Sup Mee at Teluk Cempedak. Hubby said the curry gravy was thick. General taste OK. Strange they had no vege. Only chicken and fish cake. The kids and I had mee hoon soup. I loved it. The soup was flavourful without any thirsty feeling after. The shop people were also rather patient. I know this coz my son spilled his drink and my girl got wet. And the drink person straightaway took out a cloth and a mop to clean up while still fussing over my daughter and calming down my son. My daughter got a pencil to quieten her down as a result. Talk about being loud getting your way!

Dinner we went to Terminal Satay Zul, Jalan Teluk Sisek. It is at the traffic lights along the road, corner shop. I can say it was the best I have tasted to date! It had large chunks of meat, juicy and tender. Not too fatty or oily. Totally worth the visit. The kids had lots too. We had chicken, beef and mutton satay. That and some ketupat and we were done with dinner.

We went to Teluk Cempedak after that for some sea breeze and ice cream.

Next day lunch was at East Coast Mall - KFC.

In the evening we drove up to Kemaman to visit my aunt and uncle. Had Hai Peng coffee before going to their house. I bought Hai Peng coffee to take back as well for a friend and parents. They only have 2 in 1 or black coffee without sugar. The 2in1 cost RM25.90 while the only coffee cost RM28.90 for 25 packets. It mentions for the black coffee that you have to leave the bag int he cup for the entire duration of drinking to get the FULL ORIGINAL taste!!! The coffee tasted different. Something like Nescafe Gold - with the roasted flavour. I found out later that my tar pau coffee was free! :)

For dinner we had the famous stuffed crab and fish balls in Tong Juan Restaurant. It is along the same road as Hai Peng by the river. It was a simple dinner and rice for the kids with vege at last.

Next to Tong Juan, there is this shop selling crackers and all kinds of sea food. My aunty recommended the place. She knows the owner and thus vouches for the quality of the stuff being sold there. We bought crackers and dried salted fish. The ikan bilis looked good too but I still has alot at home.

We were also looking for keropok lekor but never got the timing right since it was puasa. In the end we managed to locate a shop on the way to Kuantan from our hotel which was open and had lekor for sale. According to my aunty the shops outside Kemaman town on the way to Kuantan called Delima is quite good.

Our last lunch in Kuantan was in Jess Cafe at Jalan Seri Kuantan 80. Famous for their Hakka yong tau fu. We also had their ice kacang and coffee. The yong tau fu was indeed quite good and very huge. The kids had pizza.
***
Christopher had a break through this holiday. He has conquered his fear of the beach at last. We managed to play and jump and kick at the water edge while in Teluk Cempedak. And the next day we built sand castles at the beach outside the hotel. I was so proud and happy for him. I also thought him how to blow bubbles when his head is under water. And he is able to kick while on the float and keep his head under water comfortably for a longer time. His confidence in the water has increased so much so I feel very strongly it is time for him to learn swimming.

Caylee has no fear for the beach. But what struck me as comical for this girl was that while we were at the beach, she would refuse to sit on the sand. She would dust her shoes and sit on them or on the bag that I used to put their sand castle toys. When nearing the water edge, she would automatailly hold up her shorts so that it wouldn't get wet. I never taught her all these things. And I did not do it while I was at the beach. I just sat on the sand and let my shorts get wet. But this girl.....
***
All in all, I would say that, for me, this holiday was the most relaxing I had since I had kids. I felt like I was in a totally different mind set. My whole body felt at ease. It must have been the pace of life or the great time we had with family there or the sea breeze or the lack of jams. But to me, there is something almost soothing being in Kuantan. I lived here for 2 years - Std 6 and Form 1 and can understand again why Kuantan holds a special place in my memory. We will definitely be back for more....

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Can I cut your hair?

I was at home on my computer.

Just picked the girl up from her nanny. And I was putting in my expected hour of work in the evening.

So Caylee climbed up my chair and stood behind me. It is her usual spot when she is checking out what goodies we have on the counter top. So, I just let her be.

After some time, I noticed some clumps of hair falling down beside me. They appeared wet....and long!!!

CCAAAYYYLLEEEE !!!

I turned around to see her scissors in hand.

"Mummy, I cut your hair ah."

AAARRRGGGHHHHH.....

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Primary 1 confirmation!

I was surfing my FB as usual when I spotted a post from one of my groups about Primary 1 school placement confirmation.

Thanks so much to Mumsgather who was the first one to post about this.

And me being in Selangor, I managed to check the confirmation online.

Now that I have had time to calm down, I relate the feeling when I first saw the confirmation akin to getting 100% in an important exam.

I cannot reason why I was so happy. God only knows I had so much issue with my decision to send Christopher to a kebangsaan school.

I pray that Christopher will have a well rounded and enriching school experience. I pray also that in this 6 years, I will be able to help him develop a good attitude towards learning.

I can't help it.....I am excited. Can't wait till August to go to the school to confirm our acceptance. I intend to bring Christopher there when we do so.

I pray, oh I pray......that everything will turn out great for my son.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ipoh house SOLD !

It all started with a simple reunion lunch I had with my high school friend.

Many Whats App and sms and my friend's brother decided to buy my parent's house in Ipoh.

I feel a sudden heaviness. No more 'escapes' up north for us anymore. The next time we go to Ipoh, we can't say we are going 'back' to Ipoh. But it would be a trip up north requiring planning and booking. And no more overnight stops in Ipoh before going up to Penang. No more sending my son back to Ipoh. No more knowing where to eat in Ipoh. No more biscuit shopping as and when we like. Suddenly Ipoh is becoming just another place which would soon become as unfamiliar as all the other places are.

It feels so surreal. I half wish I could stop time and let things be as it is now without consideration of burden - financially and physically (cleaning and maintening an empty house).

But it is happening. Provided of course the buyer can wait till Jan 1 before he moves in.

Suddenly my new house renovation has become urgent. Contractor has to be pushed. Work has to begin now. Decisions we have been putting off has to be made....and cast in stone/cement literally.

I feel so stressed about the situation sudenly with demands coming from all sides. Set a date, things to do, people to call. And to handle all the what ifs and if nots.

I need to take a breath and not stress myself about decisions. It will all work out in time.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Renovation 1.03 - TNB, Syabas and Civic Centre

So, hubby took leave today to do all that.

We googled TNB and Syabas to get their address in PJ the night before.

Was told that he paid RM280++ for TNB deposit and processing fee. Syabas extracted RM130 from him.

And to get the standard house plan for our backyeard extension, he had to go to Civic Centre PJ. Cost him RM200 for a give standard extension. Advice is to bring ALL the documents you have when you go there. He told me they needed to have a look at the S&P as well as the Hakmilik Sementara document which shows your area/street plan.

After the choice of extension was made, you had to fill up a form, go to another building to make the payment. And then return to the office to show them the payment slip.

Then you are all good to go.

Seems the green dustbin is to be hired by the contractor.

So, we are waiting the final quotation from our contractor before work begins.

What exciting times.

And how slow my bank account is increasing. I literally wait every month end to watch it grow. I would need 3/4 months salary in with as little out as possible to cover only half of what I expect the renovation will cost.

Exciting times indeed.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

PTA 2013

At last PTA in Christopher's kindy.

This year Christopher's kindy was taken over by another person. We were not told of this till late last year and also through another teacher. I was a bit irritated at first but given it was Christopher's last year, I just let it be.

However, I LOVE the new principal and the new ideas she brings to the kindy. The PTA was also different in a sense we were brought up one by one to see the teacher. Not in the general area where the kids were also playing.

While waiting, I saw video clips on what the kids did during the school term. I saw in most pictures my son always holding his friend's hands. I saw the various activities and games they engaged in. It was really good to see all this.

My meeting with the principal was good. She briefed me on all of Christopher's subjects. Unlike in previous years where each teacher will brief me individually in the subject they thought. Meaning that all the teachers knew everything about each child.

Christopher did very well in his science followed by BM (surprise, surprise), English, Mandarin and Maths. In fact the teacher told me he really loves his science because they actually go out and see, feel, do.

As always, I get feedback that he talks more than he listens. But if he listens, he does his work pretty well. And as expected, he gets along very well with all his friends.

She told me that she speaks to Christopher purely in Mandarin to make them comfortable with the language. And in fact she told me of late, he is speaking back to her in Mandarin too. OH! where was she when he first started school??? Anyways.....

The principal also showed me, since I asked, ther 3 year old syllabus. It is partially imported from Taiwan and partially the Malaysian syllabus. I was impressed with the Taiwanese concepts. Concepts to train hand eye that will help in their logical thinking and writing. How such simple concpets of learning with fun leads to the greater picture. It was so interesting. I am looking forward to my daughter going to kindy next year.

All in all, a good PTA. An eye opener for me. And I loved it that she ended the meeting asking me for feedback. Her openess and honesty, love for the child, creativity in teaching is something I greatly appreciate.

When sorry is the hardest word Part II

I actually looked up the same title before I started this post. I remembered writing about it when this lesson had to be taught to Christopher.

Christopher says it so easily now. He does something wrong and he just says sorry and so far, he genuinely means it.

Caylee is going through this stage now. An incident happened however that changed her demeanour forever (I am hoping).

As usual this girl loves to disturb her brother. So happen kung kung was playing with Christopher building some lego and block structure. And this little girl slowly inched her leg out and made a structure stumble.

Kung kung was so mad with her that he smacked her leg. Of course she cried and screamed. Given poh poh was sick, I took over Caylee's discplining.

I pulled her to the back room (which is also her crying and calming down room) and made her sit down. I left her there until her crying started to wear down. I normally leave her there and tell her she can only come out when she has stopped crying.

So, when her crying simmered down, I went in to talk to her. I asked what she did. She told me she knock kor kor's toys. I asked her if what she did was wrong. She said yes, what she did was wrong. I asked her what she should do if she did something wrong. She said I should say sorry. So I told her to go out and say sorry to both kung kung and kor kor. And she practised saying it in the room with me.

As I was walking out of the room, she lagged behind. I asked her to come on and get it over with. She said in that quiet still voice. "Mummy, I am scared."

I tried to coax. I even threatened to leave her in the room tonight and she can sleep there all by herself if she doesn't say sorry. She actually looked around the room to see if she could muster enough courage to sleep in the room herself. That was the degree of fear she had to face the situation.

In the end, I brought her out. Made her talk to kung kung without saying sorry first. When kung kung touched her to hug her, she literally sobbed. Despite it all, my heart broke to see her emotional struggle.

She told kung kung she is tired. She will be going upstairs to sleep. Good night kung kung. Sorry kung kung. And then she quickly turned to me 'Mummy, please bring me upstairs'. She also apologised to kor kor and said good night to kor kor.

Since then, whenever she accidentally or purposely did something wrong, she would quickly say sorry. No need to be told to say sorry.

For me and kor kor, Caylee usually has no trouble saying sorry. Although perviously it was not the most remorse sorry. But she says it and tries to make up. After the kung kung incident, I find her sorry now more cautious. She says sorry and then looks at you (with a little fear) trying to gauge if you are still angry.

It is the hardest word to learn, harder than please and thank you. But what a powerful word it is.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Conversations....

The kids were watching the crucification of Jesus last night.

Christopher says, "I need to watch it to remember what Jesus did for us. So I will remember not to fight with my sister."

I was not sure to take that as a reason or an excuse. But since I agreed to some iPad time, this better that some weird cartoon.

So, anyways while they were watching I was reading my book and catchng snippets of talk between kor kor and Caylee.

Caylee : Why Jesus Cry, where Jesus Cry?
Kor Kor : Coz pain pain.
Caylee : No kor kor....where Jesus Cry (Christ)?
All of us puzzled until we realised she was saying where is Jesus Christ and why Jesus Christ (as in what is he doing?)

Caylee : Bad man kor kor. Why bad man?
Kor Kor : No that one is bad. This one is good. He become good already.

Caylee : Why dark kor kor? Going to rain.
Kor Kor : No Caylee. God cannot see already. God is sad. So it is dark.

And the most astonishing question and answer from my kids is this next one!!!

***
Caylee : Jesus mummy cry kor kor. Jesus Chry die already? Where is Jesus daddy?

I was shocked to hear this question coz so far NO CHILD has ever asked this question. And even more shocked was Christopher's answer.

Kor Kor : Jesus daddy is in heaven. Jesus daddy is GOD!

Oh wow.....oh wow.....this coming from my 3 and 5+ year old kids. I feel truly blessed.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Renovation 1.02

So, the very next day after our trip to Homedec, we had an appointment with our contractor.

My sis gave me this contact saying "We know him as Frankie. But his name is Mr. Yip." The we-know-him-as-Frankie phrase stuck instead his-name-is-Mr.Yip. And soon after I was calling him Frankie when making reference to him with hubby. So when I called him, I called him Frankie instead of Mr. Yip. He must have thought me pretty rude!

Oh well....

He turned out to be a pretty swell guy.

He smiled at our outrageous suggestions and subtly recommended alternatives. I even told him outright, PLEASE tell me if this sounds too expensive so we don't even have to bother thinking about it. And he asked so many questions that the things I had to do seemed such a long list I myself got tired of asking for more.

Even right now I can think of a few things I want to add.....

When we got to the dry and wet kitchen discussion, he was very open to what I wanted to do. The reason why I may opt for a contracted dry kitchen instead of a specialized dry kitchen. Custom kitchens by specialized kitchen people are expensive.

Anyways, we gave him a headache with our roofing. And he gave us things to google about like formica cabinets and countertops. My father inlaw got me googling asbestos roofing as well.

One thing I am liking about Frankie so far is that all his sub-cons are chinese. Tiling and carpentry work are all old timers. And he says "If it doesn't pass my approval, it won't get to you!" Also he seems great at advising us on cost savings.

I think our quotation is going to take a month considering the things I need to get done. I hope the cost would not exceed 100K coz that is what I am budgeting for with him.

So, anyone know anything about formica kitchens and asbestos/plastic roofing (versus polycarbonate)?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Renovation 1.01

Step 1 : Sourcing

So, hubby and I took leave on the 3rd May. And after changing to our name for assessment, we made our way to KL Convention Hall.

I have never really bothered with assessment and quit rent before. But learnt quickly which is tanah and which is pintu! Gosh...these Malay words are so much more literal! It was quick. All that was needed was a copy of the S&P, the latest assessment bill and the need to fill up a Malay form. Hubby dropped me and I went to Tingkat 11 of MPPJ, filled up the dreadful form which was more fill in the blanks but I still didn't get it! Got the receipt and the form to change address when we do move in in future. Right now, it is addressed to hubby's parents place since the next assessment bill would be in July and we would not have a letter box for them to throw a letter in when that time comes....

Parked nearby Amcrop Mall. Parking was haphazard but cheaper than if we had drove down to KL. It cost us a whopping RM10 though. Took the LRT, which I swore I would never take, but had to on this day and on any other day my kids find the need for a train ride! RM2.10 one way to KLCC from Tmn Jaya. And lo behold, no counter man to help now, tickets all come out of a machine. Which by the way does NOT accept new notes or coins! But dispenses the new notes and coins beautifully. Or maybe it was just my note and coin!

Registration was at Hall 8. BAD CASE OF AUDIO VISUAL in Hall 8. We went in and out in 5 seconds. No budget for AV. Made our way to Hall 7 instead for kitchen.

BAD MISTAKE that was coz I love kitchen. Spent close to 3 hours in Hall 7a and b with little result. The cost quoted for my 14 by 9 feet dry kitchen was close to 13K with acryllic cabinets and solid surface. Kian gave us a quote just because we stopped to look for a while and got cornered by them. Kitchen Plus also gave us a quote coz I was so intrigued by their cement and tile modular kitchen with plastic cabinets. Don't bother about the price of this modular wet work with tile kitchen coz a 6 by 6 cost about 5K. Good idea but still....

I didn't feel good about Kian and couldn't wrap my head around Kitchen Plus' 13K quote (which was discounted from 15K mind you!) I felt really bad for the Kitchen Plus Eunice lady who was so kind and spent a great deal of time counting in mm (not feet) the price of our potential kitchen.

Anyways, I also looked around at built in hobs while waiting around. They have this great asian cooker hobs with CAST IRON rings these days. The first one I asked quoted 700+ for a cast iron, safety measured black tempered glass hob. Only hob, no hood!!!

Damn.....where are those 3-400+ stuff? 700 for a hob got to be way out of my budget!

So walked around while waiting for Kitchen Plus. Snagged some coffee from this salesperson trying to sell their wonderful coffee maker. I was head crazy for coffee so don't ask me the brand of this coffeemaker!

Went pass York and left hubby there to settle the 5 aircons we intended to get from York. Basic ones, no inverter what not.....cost us RM800 per aircon, all 1HP. Deposit of RM400 required and they come from D'Legend so I am kinda glad. Seeing D'Legend sell our York aircons was like seeing an old friend!

Walked pass Faber alone....good thing I was alone. Else I would never have got out of the claws of the Faber saleslady pushing me to buy their asian hob which WOW cost RM500+ - safety measure but not cast iron ring. I still have hope! But the finishing did look a little shoddy compared to the 700+ one.

Came back to look for hubby and ended up at Rubine. Forged up a great deal at Rubine. For RM480, I got a safety measured, cast iron black tempered, 2 ring hob, Also it had a safe gas mecahnism (so they say) since the gas had 2 points of 'escape'. If the gas was high, both points of escape will be used for a wider fire coverage. When you lower the flame, the outer point of escape will be shut off so that only the inner flame is lit.  Make sense?

So RM400 and RM480 poorer, we made out way out of Hall 7 to lower numbered halls. I don't even remember if there actually was a Hall 1-6.

First thing we saw was ALPHA. I wonder if those booths right at the entrance cost more? Or is it a first come first choice thing? Anyways, we ended up getting 3 fans in ALPHA. Assured I was getting ALPHA Alpha and not Alpha Wings or something, we got the best buy 1 50% off 2nd. Cost per fan came up to RM240. And we also got a wider range fan for the living costing RM421. Bought 2 heaters as well costing about RM484 with rain forest shower head and for the kids bathroom RM351 with a normal head. Paid a deposit of about RM900+.

Almost out of time, I went to Reliance while hubby looked around for gates and sinks. Decided not to do Reliance which I hope I don't regret later. But hubby managed 2 undermount sinks from D'format going at 50% - Jumbo bowl at 340 and a less jumbo bowl at 285.

Then it was rush rush rush back to pick up the kiddos.

Tip of the Day : Kitchen Plus Eunice told me that sold surfaces come in a 10 feet sheet. So, if you create a surface shorter than 10 feet, it is customary that a 2 feet surcharge will be administered for 'waste'. So might as well go the whole 10 feet length if you can.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Caylee is 3!

Caylee turned 3 on Sunday.

This girl of mine amazes me all the time. I feel so blessed to have a girl like her who challenges me to the maximum and making me a better mum in the process. And yet sometimes she is the most reliable, mature kid I know.

Challenges
1) CRYING is her defense for everything. And it takes NOTHING to start her off. I am always asking her to talk out her feelings instead of crying or throwing (literally) or pouting. For a girl who just started talking 6 months ago, I guess she has yet to get there.
2) STUBBORNess eve at 3 has some positiveness in it. I will explain how later. However the downer of it is that.....So stubborn that if I take away her chilli sauce that came with her fried fishballs, she will eat up all of the chilli sauce and not cry or drink water just to proof her point. Stubborn to the extent if she doesn't want to wear the dress, she will cut it off of her if you don't take it out.

She has her extreme sweet moments though

...like when she saw me bringing out the soap powder to wash the mats, she will grab me the brush that I will need without asking....
....when she saw her nanny squatting down to wash diapers, she brought her nanny a little stool....

And her ultra 'goosebump' moments are like
.....when she does something good and we praise her, she will look at us "I am good girl?" And want to hear it again and again that she is a good girl.....(beh tahan!!!)
.....when kung kung showed some concern that day when she fell, after that she went up to daddy and told daddy "Kung Kung loves me." And then covers her mouth with both her little hands and giggles...(what is that???)

AND the most amazing thing of all is that she is so practical. When we asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she can refuse toys. She asked for pink PJs instead. We can bring her to a toystore and she can look and touch everything but choose not to buy anything. All her doing and none of ours.

Her vocab is outstanding although she cannot string together a proper sentence. Yet her choice of words is astonishing.

For her birthday we had 2 dinners - Fish & Co. with my parents. And A'Wet with inlaws. Caylee doesn't see the big deal in dinners. But during cake time this year, she was all shy and giggly when everyone sang happy birthday for her. And she blew her candles on cue like a little girl.

Maybe this year I will see a transformation from a tomboy of a girl to a sitting properly girl?

My sweet Caylee. What a child you turned out to be.

Monday, March 11, 2013

His first sinus infection and chicken pox scare!


So Christopher fell ill. Since Chinese New Year he had been exposed to the chicken pox virus at home and HFM at school. So we were monitoring him for both these symptoms. What troubled me most this time was the sudden onset of high fever and a headache. For the life of me, a 6 year old boy complaining of a headache??!!
Anyways, it was fever for 2 days then when Monday came, off to the doctor. I didn't give him the meds initially coz we were only dealing with a high fever then. But when his fever broke through on the 2nd day, his cough took a turn for the worse and he started a runny nose. Even his voice changed, which was a first for me.

Started him on his pead meds but that made him cough so badly, worse than what he was already going through. Always on a hindsight, I should have known. Christopher never did do well with western cough mixtures. And Benandryl just never worked for him. Benandryl actually has a drug which looses the phlegm and caused him to cough more. Bricarnyl was still alright. In fact I like Bricarnyl coz it is supposed to open up the airway and break down the phlegm as well.

4th day into his illness, he still had minor headaches, he had little appetite and he was hacking at night. He didn't have a chesty cough from the sounds of it. And I was worried his throat would be acting up with all that coughing. 

I took him to another doctor, Dr Liaw our patient, friendly family doctor. Had a long chat with him to get his meds right. While talking, I got a shock of my life when I saw 6 dots on his neck and forehead. I felt my heart sink that Christopher may end up having chicken pox. I was told to monitor the dots for the next 24 hours. He was put on a nebulizer and we went home armed with Sedillix and Piriton. I still had Zyrtec at home which I was told to give him in the morning and to continue the Bricarnyl. Basically it was a move away from antihistamines to decongestants. Sedillix is a cough suppressant. We wanted to give him Fedac for his nose but Fedac (like Actifad) could cause discomfort if taken with Bricarnyl. These 2 drugs cause internal activity to increase, resulting in possible nightmares.

All this helped but things were not looking great. I did not feel very optimistic. His recovery rate was too slow. The only thing I could gain comfort from was that his dots did not get any worse.  His cough didn't seem to show any improvement though. So at Day 6, upon interrogation, I deduced it was the backflow of his nasal congestion tickling his throat. This sounded so familiar to me. Since the birth of Caylee, out of the blue I started having sinus issues. I realised that I needed further action to clear up his sinuses. 

So 6 days into his illness, interrupted sleep and on-my-knees prayer, I started him on steam treatment. I used Vicks initially with boiled water. On the 7th day, I got some Melaleuca oil in boiled water. 7th night, he only coughed once, And the phlegm sounded much less.

We are not out of the storm yet. However, we are hopeful that a rainbow is in the making. That is what I always tell him when he goes through a bad bout of illness. Like Noah, have faith and build the boat (as in take his meds), weather the storm (sickness) and God will give us a rainbow (good health).

The gain from all this is that Caylee now has her chicken pox shots, as at 7th March 2013. And that kids with headaches may probably be having sinus headaches. And steam inhalation works well for sinuses.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Possible cure for Cold Shoulder

Mum has been having cold shoulder for quite some time now. For those who have cold shoulder, you will know there is no real cure for this. However, an uncle recommended this product to us. It has really helped him.

Bought this for my mum a few days ago. And she did mention the next day that the shoulder does feel better. Less pain, seems looser.

So, thought I will just blog about it in case it can help someone else.

The lotion costs RM99 and the tape is RM125. I bought it at 1U Level 2, old wing. This specialised shop is called Phiten.


Sharing medications, life and cookies during CNY 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Kids learning

So, the kids have something new this year. This mummy is full of learning curves.

Christopher is starting on Eye Level Maths. He has poor visual sense and the art classes can only do so much. So, it's to Eye Level for him. I feel he could learn so much better if he could connect it in his brain. He is not doing that now coz his brain is not exercised to that level. And I know it should and can be done but don't really know how to do it.

It costs about 160 RM for now 2 times a week. He has 2 book(lets) to finish in that one hour he is there. And one more booklet for homework. So, not only is he building up his critical thinking but is discipline as well. We shall see how it goes for this year.

Caylee is also starting pre-kindy, though only once a week due to transportation issues. She loves her class but can't go there alone as of yet. There are worksheets for her to do in the class and snacks to be eaten. She is learning to line up and ask for more. What captures her attention in the class are the songs the teacher sings to teach them. Caylee really loves her music and music really captures her attention. It's lovely to see her so focused.

As for me.....I have started a one year read your bible thing. It is on my Galaxy so I have more dicipline to read it when I pick up my Galaxy. So far I have been doing great. And hope it will continue year long. It only takes about 20 min after all to read the 4 passages. 20 min of silence at home is not too much and not too little....just nice for me.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On allergies and the kids

I always struggle with blog tittles now since I write everything all in one blog post. Oh well...

On allergies

We went to Tangkak for a follow up visit on the 29th. Not cause we ran out of drops but since we were in Malacca. Surprisingly Caylee's allergies have all dropped to zero apart from prawn which is still at 4. I was so surprised that I started to doubt the drops. And in my doubt I even forgot to ask the doc what to do now?

However, we are continuning our diligence not to give her any seafood at least for the next 2 years. And more diligently check even if crackers have that prawn essence etc. We were careless one of the days and Caylee did consume some cracker with seafood essesnce, which we feel contributed to her prawn being 4.

As for me, I am down from 13 to 4 as well. And truth be told, I am sneezing less now until I have forgotten when I last felt ill. So, mayhaps the drops are really healing us.

Doc happily told us maybe one more visit and we don't have to see him again. Wow!

On Caylee

She is talking so well now. So well that everyone is surprised at her vocab. She is throwing out words taht we never knew she knew. We never consciously taught her those words. So, we are so amazed with her now. She even articulates her feelings very well. Like asking us to "Wait. Me." or "Move away." or "Practise." or "Wait here." I am teaching her her manners coz everything she says sure sounds like an order. I have nicknamed her 'kun kar poh' (cantonese for matron of the house).

She has a bad habit of crying all the time when we tell her off. She is a manja case and is frequently found 'tarik-ing harga'. I refuse to give in to her when she does that and that usually gets her into a fit. Coz all she wants is a little pull and a little hug. But it sure ain't easy to do when she just yelled back at you or hit you before walking away. Still lots of work in progress here.

She will be starting English Champ on Saturdays this year. A wee bit longer than her Muzikhaus and a little bit more learning. I wanted to start her on kindy but transport issues prevail.

On Christopher

What amazes me about my son is his walk with God. He prays prayers that humbles even the most knowledgable amongst us. He prays with simple faith using simple words. He prays for our enemies as well as prays for all his family members.

He is growing up well. This year will be a year of practise for him. Setting learning routines, sleeping early, having breakfast, poo poo-ing in the evenings (lol).

Christopher is well loved. And this year almost all holidays will see him back in Ipoh.

As for me

Cyberjaya calls. Routine changes. Meals to be cooked during weekends and frozen. Exercise prayerfully to continue. And have to build stamina for driving in the afternoon sun. Also more kei chi for me to improve my eyes. Other than that, mo chuin mo lan (cantonese for all's well).