Monday, February 26, 2007

Ushering in the Year of the Fire Boar

The Boar has arrived in place of the Dog.

On the eve, we had our family reunion dinners, first at my parents' house, then at Kenzu's parents' house. Advantage of marrying one's childhood sweetheart :) As usual, we had steamboat comprising of prawns, fish, fish balls, meat balls, fish maw, abalone, crabsticks (for the kids), etc. both places. Kenzu's crazy brothers ordered a whole suckling pig to celebrate at home! Later in the evening, Kenzu's friends started streaming in for a feast and poker.

New Years day, we went to our uncle's house to pay our respect. It is our family's custom to congregate there on the first day of cny for lunch. After that, my parents dropped the kids and I off at Kenzu's house where we stayed till 5pm. Many friends came visiting there; among others, Kar Boon, Raymond and Kok Wai and their families. Zerlynde had a swell time playing with Dylan and Patrina and Lisa, the puppy. She also helped herself to the various cookies and soft drinks - reason why she fell ill later.

We came back to my parents' place later for the tea ceremony, a yearly practice, where angpows were exchanged. The kids were all so excited to receive angpows but did not forget to wish their grandparents "Gong Xi Fa Cai". I have been teaching Zerlynde to utter those wishes and my efforts were not in vain. She even sang the first phrase of "Gong Xi Gong Xi Gong Xi Ni" for her Ah Mah and Kong Kong.

The 2nd day was uneventful. We basically just stayed in to rest and relax but for a brief visit to my 7th aunt's house.

On the 3rd day, Hooi Yie and her family came home from Pontian. We met them for late lunch at Secret Recipe. In the evening, we organised a Korean BBQ for dinner. Hubby bought the stove at a Korean Fair at Plaza Damas and Kitty contributed some Kim Chi brought back from her recent trip to Korea. The beef marinated by Kenzu's dad was lovely, so was the Kim Chi octopus. That day also coincided with Kai-Yun's birthday but we didn't bring the cake out till the following day when all the kids were awake to celebrate with him. On the 4th day also, we went out for lunch at Hong Kong Kopitiam which was very crowded - our first also our last time there in view of the poor service. Later in the evening, we went visiting my mother's 3rd brother who invited us over for another steamboat dinner.

On the 5th day, we brought Zuwern to visit my mentor where we discussed music and philosophy. Zerlynde had to stay home as the fever which she developed a couple of days earlier had worsen. She has still not fully recovered to this day, so we have been homebound since. Hubby and I however did manage to sneak off for a few hours away from our 2 little monsters to check out the new Toyota Camry in Prai and to do some grocery shopping on Friday.
It's Sunday today, eve of the 9th day of the lunar calendar. The Hokkien celebrates their new year on the 9th day and I can hear fireworks from my room as I am writing this. Hubby has gone back to KL leaving us behind. I've decided to stay on at my parents for another week to run a few errands and to meet some good friends. Also, Zerlynde was very much missed by my parents the 3 weeks we were in KL, so I am taking this opportunity to let them spend some extra time with her.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Paddington House of Pancakes

This must so far be one of our favourite eateries. We are lucky there's an outlet just 5 minutes away from our house. This Treasure Trove of Dollar Pancakes are heavenly, trust me...

Karen Katz

Zerlynde loves Karen Katz's books. So do I. They are absolutely delightful!

Counting KissesPublishers Weekly
The whole family-dog and cat included-soothe a fussy baby with a variety of smooches, from "ten little kisses on teeny tiny toes" to "one last kiss on [baby's] sleepy, dreamy head" in Counting Kisses by Karen Katz. PW called the hardcover, published last year, "as irresistible as a baby's smile." With buoyant cartoons rendered in a bouquet of vibrant pastel tones, Katz (Over the Moon) creates a book as irresistible as a baby's smile. At first, however, the baby in the story is anything but smiling; that's why her family tries to woo her into sleep with a countdown of kisses on every darling part of her body. Mommy starts things rolling with "ten little kisses on teeny tiny toes," and "nine laughing kisses on busy, wriggly feet." Each full-bleed, densely colored vignette that follows depicts an ecstatic baby being coddled and cuddled in a new way: Grandma holds her high in the air to give her belly button seven "loud kisses," and the dog licks her six times while she's on the changing table. By the time the final kiss is delivered on her "sleepy, dreamy head," the baby is utterly beatific--and fast asleep. Everything about this book says "snuggle": Katz's use of flattened perspectives, mixed media and an array of polka-dot, flower and heart patterns ensure that every picture exudes all the warmth of a lovingly stitched crazy quilt. The text should induce readers to launch a kiss-off of their own. Ages 1-5. (Jan.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Where is Baby's Belly Button
Children's Literature
In this clever, multicultural "peek-a-boo" board book, babies and toddlers can lift a flap to find out the answer to questions such as "Where are baby's eyes?" ("Under her hat!") Round-faced, engaging babies of different nationalities are illustrated with warm skin tones and are dressed in brightly-colored clothing. One holds a cup over her mouth, another has his hands hidden under the bubbles in his bath, and one has his feet tucked behind his cat. Simple yet appealing, this will allow toddlers to show off their knowledge of the human body and the clever flaps will delight babies. 2000, Little Simon/Simon & Schuster, . Ages 4 mo. to 2. Reviewer: Cherri Jones


We've Finally Moved!

We officially became KLites on the 27th of January this year.

KL breathes excitement! Amidst all the spring cleaning and unpacking (100 odd boxes were shipped to us via a freight company), we somehow managed to slot in various events and activities to amuse ourselves. There were lunches, teas and dinners with friends and relatives (Mee Lin, Penny, Kenzin, Andre, Auntie Chong and family, Dato R). There were shopping trips to Plaza Damas, One Utama and Ikea. Nazu and family came visiting. And we even managed to squeeze in a buffet lunch at the Westin to celebrate the full moon of a friend's newborn and a mini birthday celebration for mum at home.

We were baby-sitting Ke-Yin and Kai Yun a few days, so they were around to celebrate granny's birthday too

At Plaza Damas

Zerlynde's first attempt at sand painting

Zerlynde went crazy at Jaya Jusco

Zerlynde spotted this merry-go-round at One Utama

The last month has indeed been a month of change. Zerlynde has grown to be more particular and fussier, wanting to assert her independence all the time. She wants her milk made in a particular way, only by her mum, the bottle cover must not be removed, the milk must not be too warm, must be made only after she's been tucked in bed covered with her pink blanket, with titi beside her, both underneath a baby gym, etc, etc. She wants to dress herself, refuses any assistance and gets frustrated when the right arm fits into the left sleeve. She wants to make her own milk! She wants to switch on the tv and dvd player by herself. She doesn't want to wear her diapers. She wants her milk in her mickey mouse bottle instead of the regular Avent bottle. She wants to lie down on the mattress downstairs placed in mummy's home office. She wants to sleep beside mummy or titi or in her new toddler's bed, or sometimes in the babycot. She wants her bubble bath all the time. She wants her bedtime story one night Peter Rabbit, another night Snow White. She wants to wear her Winnie the Pooh slipper instead of the butterfly sandals. She wants her Snow White socks. She wants her Elmo t-shirt. She wants her Maisy pyjamas (she doesn't have one!) and so on and so forth.

Zerlynde loves lying down beside titi underneath the baby gym

Zerlynde loves bathtime
Zuwern on the other hand, has been such a sweetie. He smiles all the time and is happy as long as he's being held. Most times, he's contented as long as he's got a rattle to play with. He's also started to roll to his side, so we've been careful not to place him too near to the edge of the bed. Having said the above however, I noticed that our Cutie Pie has been slightly more demanding the past week. He is no longer contented merely by being held. He wants us to walkabout while holding him, especially when he is tired. Also, he's started to scream whenever he is displeased.

I caught our Cutie Pie sleeping sideways for the first time

My career has also taken a sharp turn. After 12 years of life being a regular office-goer, I've finally decided to join the minority few who work from home. No more commuting to and fro work, no more traffic jams. And being with my kids 24 hours a day, apart from bringing me lots of joy, will also bring me many challenges to test my patience.

As for hubby, he had to wave good-bye to his wild bachelor days. Although not yet fully adjusted to being a full time father I suspect, he's definitely happy to come home to his two lovely babies everyday.

Tired Hubby's turn to carry Zuwern

Zerlynde looks beautiful in Green

Zerlina Ballerina

Inspired by Angelina Ballerina, our Zerlynde has fallen in love with the ballet. She asks to be dressed in her tutu, shows it off to her cousin Jonathan saying "Ni khan, ni khan" [look, look] and spins endlessly, her interpretation of the pirouettes.

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Currently reading.........

R. K. Narayan's The Guide
Publisher Comments:
Formerly India's most corrupt tourist guide, Raju, just released from prison, seeks refuge in an abandoned temple. Mistaken for a holy man, he plays the part and succeeds so well that God himself intervenes to put Raju's newfound sanctity to the test. Narayan's most celebrated novel, The Guide won him the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, his country's highest literary honor.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Happy New Year

My 2 Little Angels on New Year's Day

The Ladies of the House...

Golden Sands

We stayed a night at Golden Sands sometime in January and had a fantastic time. Zerlynde and her cousins went crazy at the pool on Saturday afternoon. Dinner was at The Ship aftewhich hubby and I went for a stroll along the street outside the hotel to look for some water colour paintings. Sunday morning, we were joined by Kar Boon and Nazu with her family at the poolside.