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Monday, February 21, 2011

The Rabbit Hops In... With a Limp!

Our Chinese New Year ordeal started early on Tuesday morning (2 February 2011). I woke up with a sore throat. My whole body felt uneasy, so was Angie's. As the day progressed, it dawned on us that we had diarrhoea as a result of food poisoning.

On Chinese New Year's eve (Wednesday), we braved the bug and drove back to my parent's place in Menglembu. I still had body ache and diarrhoea. Angie felt slightly better except for the diarrhoea and occasional nausea. Thankfully, the boys were okay... must have been something Angie and I ate for lunch on Monday. So, we refrained from the usual new year bingeing to give our guts a rest. As you can imagine, it was miserable not being able to enjoy the new year delicacies.

On New Year's day, we felt better but were still cautious with food. Later, we found that we now had to nurse a cough! Double whammy! Anyway, that night we managed to visit our paternal 3rd uncle and aunty. On the whole, the kids had the most fun as usual. The boys played with their cousins Gabriel and Rosalie. The star attraction during our stay in Menglembu were 4 huge helium-filled baloons in the shape of a helicopter, a parrot, a fish, and a camel (which burst). These kept the boys occupied.

Julian drinking milk
[Chinese New Year Milk: Julian likes his warm and toasty]

Justin & Grandpa
[Justin and Grandpa]

On the third day of the new year (Friday), we drove to Angie's parent's place in Butterworth after breakfast. Angie's cousin came over for a game of blackjack.

The morning of the fourth day saw us at a clinic for some medication for our cough. While at the doctors, the boys went out with their Ah Kong, Poh Poh, and Tua Ee to a nearby field to play a toy helicopter, and to count the cows. We all went to church and for some shopping that night. The highlight of our stay, for Julian that is, was his bath in the water tub.

Julian's big bath
[Now this is what I call a bath tub!]

We made it back to Penang on Sunday by lunchtime.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Holiday in Bukit Merah Laketown Resort

We went for a short holiday in Bukit Merah from 27-28 January 2011. We went together with some friends who have a child the same age as Julian.

The night before Julian developed a cough and so we took him to the doctor's before leaving Penang. We arrived in Bukit Merah at about noon. After checking in we headed straight for the waterpark. Bought lunch there (Bubbles Restaurant). We ordered fried rice and nuggets with french fries. Julian was literally eating while playing in the water. Not his best food intake. Justin hardly ate anything, refusing the food offered. (Note: The fried rice is fried with chilli by default, so you have to specify and emphasise NO chilli and that it's for a CHILD to eat.)

Bukit Merah hotel room
[Julian and Justin checking the quality of the bed: Passed!]

Julian was king of the water, as usual :-) He enjoyed himself thoroughly. Justin was more reserved. He liked the water but was not in the same element as Julian. At one point, Justin lost balance and went underwater, practically floating horizontally facing downward. Thankfully he was 'fished' out and unharmed. From that moment on, he was not allowed out of reach of any adult! Justin was unfazed by the incident.

Julian down the slide
[Julian down the slide]

We spent 3 whole hours at the waterpark then went back to the hotel for a rest. It had started to drizzle. After a nap we went for dinner at Le Lac restaurant. Food was quite good (sorry, no pics - it's impossible to get a photo of the food with the kids around!). We ordered Flinstones Fried Rice (kid's meal), Cantonese style koay teow and beef rendang with rice. After dinner we 'lepak' in the hotel room. Aileen joined us for dinner and 'lepak' :-)

Bukit Merah jetty at dusk
[Bukit Merah Laketown Resort jetty at dusk]

We started the next day's activities feeding ducks at the lake while waiting for the boat to the orang utan island. Aileen was our personal guide for the day :-) The boys were fascinated with the primates at the island :-) The boat ride went well, too. Julian entertained himself with the life-jacket whistle, while Justin refused to wear the life-jacket on the return journey.

Julian and ducks
[Julian giving a duck a hand, literally]

Boat to orang utan island
[On the boat to the orang utan island]

Orang utan having snack
[Orang utans having a snack]

Next stop was the Ecopark. It was the boys' second visit here. Their first visit was a year ago. The boys took in the sight of the animals and enjoyed feeding the animals. We even saw a peacock displaying its tail. This time round we caught the animal show. Justin was a real sport, clapping happily when the crowd clapped. Julian, on the other hand, kept wanting to leave the show area to go see the bears and crocodiles (which we already saw before the show). Nevertheless, he managed to stay for the whole show. After the show we took photos with the macaws. Then we fed more animals enroute to the exit. We were at the Ecopark for a good two hours so by the time we left it was past one (hungry, hungry!).

Peacock and peahen
[Peacock and peahen]

Justin, Angie and macaw
[Justin and Mummy with a macaw]

Julian and Justin feeding fish
[Julian and Justin feeding fish]

We had lunch at Le Lac. This time we tried their chicken cutlet (=chicken chop). We had a repeat order of the Cantonese koay teow for the benefit of the children. We ordered the pizza as well but somehow the pizza was not served. We indulged in a watermelon lychee drink, which was quite pleasing. The chicken cutlet was good, too.

Getting back to the hotel room was a bit of a challenge. There's a fountain right outside the restaurant, in the open space as you enter the resort. Julian and Justin couldn't resist playing there. We finally made it back to the room and checked out at about 3.30pm.

Justin at the fountain
[Justin and Julian at the fountain]

We had a really enjoyable holiday. The weather was good - mostly cloudy :-) Plus, we didn't have to jostle with any crowd as it was a weekday :-) :-) Thanks also to Aileen/Gee Ee, who made the trip a truly memorable one *kiss, kiss* We'll be back!! :-) :-)

Now-we-bot Noo-Noo

We moved into the robotic era on 21 January 2011. We bought ourselves a Samsung Navibot which came with a free Samsung microwave oven. Price: RM2,399. We waited to put up this post so we could really run the bot before giving our review.

Review: Does about 80% of the job. You've got to make sure your floor is free of 'traps'. It may get stuck on bath mats, bag straps or carpet tassles. It may miss a whole area if the 'entrance' is obstructed in such a way that it cannot navigate well. It works best for homes with little clutter. Therefore, our dining area seem to be less thoroughly cleaned due to the dining chair and table legs. Overall, we are happy with our purchase as we now have one less chore to do :-)

Julian calls the Navibot "robot Noo-Noo" (Noo-noo is the vacuum cleaner from the TV show Teletubbies). However, he is not so fond of the robot Noo-Noo, preferring it switched off :-).

The microwave is a real bonus :-) A really fun cooking toy for us to experiment :-) :-).

[Our Robot Noo-Noo: The Samsung Navibot]

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Motorbikes, motorbikes

Julian is currently very fascinated with motorcycles. He would always want to have a closer look at the motorcycle whenever he sees one. He is especially fascinated with the bikes which have a carrier on the pillion seat, the kind with two 'sticks' by the side.

He even associates the rider with the items carried. There's roti-man (the man selling bread on the bike), tin-man, box-man, etc (when he sees a rider carrying tins, boxes, etc.) So, what if the rider isn't carrying anything on the carrier? Well, that's the... nothing-man!

Julian at 44 Months

Julian turned 44 months (3 years 8 months) on 28 January 2011. He now weighs 15.15kg. He went to the clinic supposedly for deworming but since his weight gain and appetite were good, and he does not scratch his bum, he was not given any worm medicine.

Here are his updates:
  • He likes to play pretend, especially as the 'roti' man (bread man) that comes on the motorcycle. His horse is his bike. He charges RM5 for bread, bun and most of the things he sells. He would ask Justin to buy 'keropok', which he charges either RM1 or RM5.
  • He likes to draw 'himself'. He generally requires guidance drawing his face, eyes, and nose but he is able to draw his mouth, ears and hair. (He likes to draw the hair best.)
  • His pencil grip is ok now.
  • He would repeat what we say, sometimes selective repetitions. Must be careful what we say... :-)
  • He's getting more and more conversational in his speech.
  • Sometimes he would purpose give wrong answers to questions (e.g. What is your name? Answer: Daddy) and then laugh :-)
  • He now complains/tell tales about Justin. "Daddy, see Justin..."
  • He often says "afterwards/tomorrow play again" when he does not get to do something immediately, or when he has to stop doing something.
  • He started nail biting recently. Checking him on this now.
  • He's still crazy about the computer, but we try to limit his playing to 15 minutes to 'delay' his eyesight deteriorating... The computer is also our weapon to get him to do things/behave (blackmail) but rest assured we only use it when absolutely necessary.

  • Julian draws himself
    [Julian and his self portrait: Except for the large circle for the face, he did this one all by himself :-)]

    Julian towel-wrapped
    [Julian loves to be wrapped in a towel]

    Julian reading with Mummy
    [Julian enjoying a book]

    Dawn of Homework

    Julian had his first homework on 25 January 2011 :-( He had to write the letter 'a' 49 times. The next day, he had to write the number '1', also 49 times. He is not able to concentrate for long. Daddy does a great job guiding him.

    Justin at 18 Months

    Justin turned 18 months on 25 January 2011. He weighed in at 10.2kg (up 600g from 3 months ago) and had his booster jab at the clinic.

    Here are his updates:
    • His upper right canine has erupted.
    • He's quite ok with his food intake. He generally eats most of what we give him.
    • He likes to feed himself and is able to do so quite well now, but still messy.
    • He can intone "ready, set, go".
    • He can say 'tee' (three) when someone counts one, two...
    • He can say 'ma', 'po po' (Pocoyo), 'ba ba' (Barney), 'eh...pel' (apple), 'mao' (cat).
    • He likes colouring especially with colour pencils. Magic colour is ok, too, but he doesn't seem to fancy crayons.
    • He has keen interest in the computer but we don't let him play with it except when Julian takes a toilet break. He would say 'air' (short 'a' vowel sound) and point/go to the computer. When Julian is on the computer, he would be on the sofa observing.
    • He's still the mega TV addict. He now includes Thomas, Wonder Pets, Tom & Jerry and Teletubbies in his 'repertoire'.
    • He's so hooked on DVDs that he constantly holds two in his hands, even taking them to bed!
    • He can and likes to do the action for the song "Wheels on the Bus".
    • He can hold his thumb up (he did it once, but has refused to do any repeats).
    • He can swirl water in his mouth.
    • He likes to feed Mummy especially when he doesn't want to eat the food anymore. He would insist on putting the food in Mummy's mouth and would show annoyance if refused.
    • He is observant and can remember where things are kept. E.g. He indicated where the balloon pump was when Mummy was looking for it; He knows where his shoes are put; etc.
    • He's improving in the car seat, sitting more often and for longer periods :-) His car seat is positioned behind the driver's seat and he's more likely to sit if we put him in from the door on that side. Slowly but surely, we're getting there...

    • Justin colouring
      [Justin colouring]

      Justin choc lips
      [Justin sporting chocolate lipstick]