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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008

We have decided to usher in 2009 at home. Not too keen on jostling with other New Year revellers.

Here's wishing everyone a Peaceful and Happy New Year 2009!

The First Big Cut

Julian cut his foot today (30 Dec 2008). It was his first serious cut. Fortunately, it didn't require any stitches. Julian didn't cry during dressing. Brave boy. Mummy & Daddy are proud of you!

[Update: He was playing with a calendar at that time. So, we suspect it was the calendar paper that cut his foot]

All covered
[Julian with his dressed foot]

Wound after cleaning
[Julian's wound after cleaning]

Korean Kuisine

On 20 Dec 2008, we decided to try Korean food for dinner at Kim Chi Restaurant in Tanjung Bungah. The main meal was quite nice. We ordered Yook Ke Jey (a spicy soup) (RM20) and Nak Ji (octopus noodle) (RM30). They served it with a range of side dishes, which unfortunately, we couldn't quite appreciate.

Julian enjoyed his newly stocked Promina cereal from Indonesia (Thanks, Gee Koh!)

Vegetable dishes
[Vegetable side dishes]

Octopus noodle
[Octopus noodle]

Spicy soup
[Spicy soup]

Julian at 19 Months

Julian turned 19 months on 28 December 2008. He:
  • likes to imitate what adults do
  • loves drinking from a straw; sometimes he holds water in his mouth for a while then lets it drool out...!!!
  • is showing some signs of wanting to wean; he quite often asks for bottle milk at night
  • doesn't hesitate to spit out food that fails to please his palate
  • doesn't hesitate to clean his dirty hands (after eating) on us
  • is throwing tantrums more often
  • is showing signs of becoming a TV addict :-(
  • has increased his vocabulary: "no-meh" or "meh-meh" (snowman), and "ta" (star)


Sliding fun
[Sliding fun]

Christmas 2008 Proceedings

This year's Christmas was spent in Penang. Mum & Dad came up from Menglembu. In the morning we attended mass at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, where we sang in the choir. Julian was in the care of Ah Kong & Poh Poh who were also up in Penang.

We had Christmas lunch at Sea Palace Restaurant in Taman Pekaka. Dessert was home-baked date cake :-)

We opened presents and rested at home in the afternoon so Julian could have a nap. In the evening, we had dinner at New World Park.

Our presents
[Our presents]

Julian's bicycle
[Julian's bicycle from Ah Kong & Poh Poh. Grandpa & Grandma got Julian a remote control car]

Julian's rocking horse
[Julian's rocking horse]

Fun at New World Park
[At New World Park]

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas 2008

We are as usual highly unprepared for Christmas but we are glad that we will be spending Christmas with our loved ones in Penang.

Wishing one and all a Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.

Christmas 2008 wall
[We decorated one of the walls in our apartment with the nativity scene, stars and Christmas cards]

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Stacking Sensation

Julian's latest fascination is stacking objects. He would exclaim "oo" or "oooh" when doing so. This can occupy him for quite a while (for now).

Julian stacking stuff
[Stacking stuff]

He is now able to climb onto the dining chair by himself (horror of horrors!). He also likes to sit on the chair like an adult.

On the gourmet front, it's a good thing he likes feeding himself because we can sometimes get him to eat something he has rejected from us by letting him feed himself with it :-)

Speech-wise, he is fond of saying "moe" (mole) and "knog, knog" (knock, knock). "Ba" is 'Barney' and many things are "pak" to him (including Mummy!). Funny thing is he seems able to say "mama" when he can't see, but wants mummy. When mummy is present physically, he would never call mama!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Butterscotch Bread

We're not really fans of sweets, toffees, etc. but after day-in-day-out of buying the usual white loaf of bread, we decided to try Gardenia's Butterscotch bread yesterday. They cost a hefty RM4.00 but as the tag line says, they taste "really, really, really good!!!" :o). Yes, with 3 exclamation marks even. It has milk and butterscotch chips embedded in each slice. Yummy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Barber of Sungai Dua: A Reprise

We took Julian to the barber for a second time last Saturday (6 Dec 2008). As soon as we entered the shop, he said "mai" (hokkien for "don't want").

On this trip, it was also time for daddy's haircut. So, we let Julian watch daddy and other customers get their haircut hoping he would like to join the bandwagon. As it turns out, he doesn't subscribe to the herd mentality. He refused to have the cloth over his clothes or the towel over his shoulders; and he started wailing soon after the barber started work.

Luckily we opted for a crew cut and therefore precision was not the order of the day. Plus, it would make the next trip to barber later than sooner!

Short on Top
[I would like it "short on top"... pardon the pun]

Hairy Outburst
[Julian "blown his top"]

Julian & Mummy
[Julian never "short on cuddles"]

Julian at 18 Months

Julian turned 18 months on 28 November 2008. He is about 9.9kg.

On the talking front, still no "mummy" yet but has progressed to saying "dehduh" (daddy). Other sounds/words that he has been saying of late: "dohdoh" (dolphin), "boh" (boat), "moak" (smoke), "ba" (bird, plane, sheep), "mmm" (cow), "mau" (mouse), "pa" (pig). He has also learnt to say "no" in Hokkien, i.e. "mai". For "lion", he usually raises his hands and tries to roar like a lion.

The last month has seen him hooked on a nursery rhyme CD. Armed with his nursery rhyme board book, ABC book, and his 1st birthday photo album, he happily points out the relevant pages. He can even anticipate certain songs, i.e. he would say "pahpah" just before "Popeye the Sailorman" comes on, or "oh!" for "Bingo".

On the tube, his favourite, we were told, is Wonderpets. He also watches Teletubbies.

He was also seen tumbling on the bed and has even sommersaulted - much to our amusement and horror. Photos of him sommersaulting are hard to capture because he gets distracted by the camera. Daddy has also taught him to play "set, set, set, bom, bom, bom" (a popular children's clapping game), which he loves.

He's also displaying bossy director traits, ordering adults to do things for him like pull his buzzy bee, retrieve toys that have gone out of reach, etc. Must keep this in check.

At The Gazebo
[Julian and Mummy at the Botanic Gardens]

Messy
[Don't Mess With Me]

Sommersault
[Sommersault!]

Friday, November 28, 2008

Strada Restaurant and Patisserie

On 25 October 2008, we had dinner at Strada Restaurant and Patisserie. Its a cosy restaurant in Pulau Tikus, Penang just opposite the 7-Eleven. If we remember correctly, there used to be a Dutch restaurant somewhere in that location once upon a time.

We had one of their set dinners (RM35) with the usual soup, main dish (grilled chicken - can't remember the exact name), a drink and dessert (a delicious tiramisu cake). We also ordered a separate burger (around RM17). Julian was given a complimentary mini banana muffin which was delicious!

Strada Grilled Chicken
[Strada Grilled Chicken]

Strada Burger
[Strada Burger]

Well, let's just say that we would have been happier if the portions were larger.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Julian at 17 Months

Julian turned 17 months last Tuesday (28 October 2008). On Monday, we took him for his final government-sponsored vaccination. He weighed in at 9.7kg (only 200gm heavier than when he was 15 months old) and his standing height is 82cm (4cm taller than when he was 1 year old).

In the last month, both his upper canines have emerged making a total of 14 teeth. We try to brush his teeth as often as we can, especially before bedtime but he is usually not very cooperative.

We have started giving him rice quite regularly now. This is usually accompanied with some toufu or egg and shredded leafy vegetables. Although armed with 14 teeth, he seems to be a lazy chewer - rejecting coarser pieces of vegetables or meat *sigh*. On the plus side, we have recently tried passing him spoonsful of food which he readily takes and feeds himself.

Early in October, we had noticed two small moles (just two flat dots) in the area between his right cheek and ear.

On the talking front, still no "mummy" or "daddy" yet. But he has added words or sounds like "bahbuh" ("bubble"), "noh moh" ("no more" complete with flipping hand actions), "door", "toh" ("close" and "throw"), "thar" ("car"), "ba" ("bus"), "nouh" ("nose") and "duck" to his vocabulary.

Feeding
[A bit more to your right...]

Ferry Ride
[Finally... awake on the Penang ferry]

Chinese Hat
[The Chinese Hat-look]

Friday, October 24, 2008

Goodbye Jia Poh

Chong Moi

Born: 1920
Departed: 9 October 2008

Jia Poh passed away peacefully at 1.45am that Thursday morning in Pusing, Perak. The funeral was held the next morning.

Jia Poh CNY 2008
[A photo of Julian and his Jia Poh Tai taken during chinese new year 2008]

Alignment
[A cousin and aunt checking the alignment of the coffin]

Burial
[Burial was at the Kacha cemetary]

May her soul rest in peace. Amen.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Raya Fare

Upon returning to the low-lands on the first day of Hari Raya after our trip to Cameron Highlands, we had lunch at a coffee shop called Man Fatt in Simpang Pulai. It's located opposite the Simpang Pulai police station at the crossroad. Their noodle served in bah kut teh (herbal pork) soup was interesting.

Bah Kut Teh noodle
[Bah Kut Teh Noodle]

Later that day, my mom dished out her signature chicken rendang for dinner. The lemang (glutinous rice cooked in bamboo with coconut milk) was sourced from the Malay kampung in the Pengkalan area, across the road from the new Tesco.

Chicken rendang
[Chicken rendang with lemang]

Schwabing Haus Inn Cameron Highlands

During our recent holiday in Cameron Highlands, we had lunch at Schwabing Haus Inn, a Swiss-German restaurant.

Our order: one medium Pork Knuckles, Ribs, and Belly (RM62 - for 2 persons) and a combo of three sausages - Bratwurst (ring shaped), veal, and Hungarian (spicy pork) (RM40).

Porky Platter
[Pork Knuckles, Ribs, and Belly]

Sausage Combo
[Combo of Three Sausages]

The overall atmosphere of the restaurant could have been better - the walls smelled of cigarette smoke and we have seen better scoured and scrubbed eateries. Fortunately, the food was not bad.

Nevertheless, we still had a bone to pick. We were charged an additional RM2 for the sauce of each dish! It was noted on the menu that home made sauce cost RM2, but little did we realise that it was a compulsory charge! Plus, saukraut with ham was heaped onto us at RM3 (usual price RM8) without prior consent. We were informed of the 'offer' when the food came.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Highland Holiday

We were in Cameron Highlands from 29 Sept - 1 Oct 2008. Mum & Dad were with us. It was Julian's second trip. He was last there about a year ago when he was 4 months old.

Accomodation: Star Regency Apartments in Brincang.
Weather conditions: Generally wet and windy. Thus quite cold.

Day 1:
Arrived almost lunch time. Checked in then fed Julian. Went to Kasimanis to buy jam (a friend recommended their strawberry jam, so we're giving it a try). Stopped by Bala's chalet to have a look at the place. Then proceeded to Tanah Rata for lunch and some shopping. After that went back to the apartment for a rest. In the evening, Julian went for his first pasar malam experience. Dinner was at a restaurant in Brinchang - not very impressive.

Deep fried stuff
[Deep fried "golden needles" and watercress: Something new at the pasar malam]

Day 2:
Visited the Big Red Strawberry Farm just next to Cactus Valley. Julian enjoyed transferring pot stands from a box into the big flower pot next to it. He also enjoyed sitting in the kiddie rides. He wasn't much of a botanist at this age! Back in Tanah Rata for lunch at Schwabing Haus Inn - a German restaurant we've wanted to try for some time now. (Review in a separate post.) Plans to visit MARDI were thwarted by rain. A visit to Bharat tea house was next. A must because we took Julian there last year, too, and wanted to do a 'repeat' photo. Evening saw us at the pasar malam again. This time we bought some souvenirs. Bought Julian a big strawberry ball which he'd been eyeing since Day 1. Dinner was at Country Lodge, just at the edge of Brinchang town - a definite improvement from the previous night's dinner. Then it was playtime for Julian back at the apartment.

Shop Assistant
[The Shop Assistant: Expert at moving pot stands]

Bronco Fish
[Riding the Highland Bronco Fish: No mean feat]

Camerons Pasar Malam
[Pasar Malam: Notice the big strawberry ball?]

Day 3:
Checked out at around 10.30am. Camerons was beginning to be swarmed by holiday makers for the Hari Raya break. Went to Sungei Palas Boh plantation. Left around noon. Were happy to be on our side of the road as the other side was quite jammed leading into town. Lunch was in Simpang Pulai. We had Bah Kut Teh noodles - delicious! On the way home, we stopped to buy lemang. We celebrated Hari Raya in the evening with lemang and homecooked chicken rendang :-) Yummy!

Julian, Grandma and Grandpa at Sungei Palas Boh Plantation
[Julian with his Grandpa and Grandma at Sungei Palas Boh Plantation]

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Julian at 16 Months

Julian turned 16 months last Sunday (28 September 2008).

In the last month, another premolar seemed to have erupted making a total of 12 teeth. Another thing we noticed about one of his incisors is that it has two edges. So, it seems that he has a "twin" incisor. On the plus side, his drooling has lessened somewhat for the time being.

We also noticed that he recognises quite a number of things besides his face parts. You see, we bought him a nursery rhyme book and we had been pointing out to him various objects such as "ducK", "bridge", "baby", "cat", "clock", etc. He has managed, in return, to point back to us when we ask him "where is" something. He could also associate a particular nursery rhyme with certain actions. For This Little Piggy, he would point to his fingers as if he wants us to play the This Little Piggy tickling game with him. For Row, Row, Row Your Boat, he would stretch out his hands getting ready to do some rowing actions.

On the talking front, he has yet to call us Mummy or Daddy. But he has learnt to say a new word recently, that is "turtle".

Nursery Rhyme
[Time for Nursery Rhymes]

Julian at 16 months
[Julian at 16 months]

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Sun Cafe and USSR Restaurant Langkawi

During our recent trip to Langkawi, we had our Saturday (20 September 2008) lunch at Sun Cafe at Sunmall, Pantai Tengah. It belongs to the same group of companies as Sunset Beach Resort where we stayed.

We tried their cheese burger (RM17) and Hawaiian Pizza (RM20).

Sun Cafe
[Sun Cafe]

Cheese Burger
[Sun Cafe Cheese Burger]

Hawaiian Pizza
[Hawaiian Pizza]

The food is on the pricey side but the food was delicious! Furthermore, we enjoyed the cosy atmosphere and the staff was friendly.

Later that night, we had our new-found Swedish friends join us for dinner at USSR Restaurant. It's located at the Telaga Habour Park, Pantai Kok. The interior of the restaurant was decorated with Russian-themed memorablia which were quite interesting. However, we were seated outdoors so that we could enjoy the view of the pier and the boats.

We ordered Borsh - a Russian soup made with beetroot (RM18), Kaurdak - a lamb dish cooked with green pepper, onions and potatoes (RM29), Yaroslavna - chicken steak covered with cheese (RM29), and iced lemon tea (RM6).

USSR Restaurant
[USSR Restaurant]

Borsh
[Borsh]

Kaurdak
[Kaurdak]

Yaroslavna
[Yaroslavna]

Since Russian restaurants are not commonly found neither in Langkawi nor in Penang, we enjoyed our dining experience here even though it was expensive.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Leisurely Langkawi

We were on holiday in Langkawi from 19-21 September 2008. We drove to Kuala Kedah (1 1/2 hours from Island Glades, Penang) and took a ferry from there (another 1 1/2 hours). Julian slept on the ferry ride to Langkawi.

Soon after we arrived on Friday, we had our first 'adventure' in our rented car. You see, in Langkawi, rented cars come with a minimum amount of petrol and the first thing you're supposed to do is to fill the tank up. Our car had so little petrol that we couldn't even reach the nearest petrol station in town! Luckily, after a quick SOS call, we were back on the road :-).

We decided to stay at a beach hotel so Julian could go to the beach easily. Our choice?
Sunset Beach Resort - and we were not disappointed.

Sunset Beach Resort room
[Room Inspection: Julian exploring the spacious Sunset II room]

View of the sea from Sunset Beach Resort
[Sea View: The view of the sea from the breakfast area of the resort]

Since Julian is still too young to appreciate any of the 'touristy' things, we decided on a different kind of itinerary this time. Well, first thing's first - we went to the beach. Julian enjoyed himself playing in the sand. He also had fun playing with the water.

Julian playing with the sand
[Fun with the Sand: Julian enjoying the sand with his 'sand toys']

Julian and Mummy playing with with the waves
[Fun with the Waves: Julian and Mummy taking in the waves]

It rained on the second day, but we still had fun. We visited the mini science centre called Petrosains Playsmart at the Telaga Habour Park. It's a great place for kids. Julian could run around safely (it's fully carpeted) exploring the various exhibits. There was also a ball pool - Julian's favourite.

Playsmart Pump
[The Pump: Julian experimenting with the pressure pump]

Ball Pool
[Having a Ball: Julian in the ball pool]

Lunch was burger and pizza at Sun Cafe. We had more beach-time fun in the evening. Dinner was at a Russian restaurant. We were there with a lovely couple we met (Hi J, C & V!). They're on holiday from Sweden with their son who is just two months younger than Julian :-)

After relunctantly checking-out on Day 3, we went to Kuah for lunch and a quick grab-and-go round of shopping (took less than 30 mins). Then it was off to the jetty for the ferry home. Julian didn't sleep this time round but no worries, he didn't get seasick :-)