Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Welcoming the New year.

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(Some christmas gifts for friends's kids, Birthday present, housewarming present)


Here's a Christmas wish to all who celebrates Christmas : Merry Christmas!

And to all others, a Happy, Blessed & Healthy New Year 2009. As always, be safe and practice common sense when you are out celebrating!

(What do you think of my "festive" blog wallpaper/background?)

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Busy Bees

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The past 2 weeks were so manic for us. I've been staying in London for almost 2 years (3, if you include the 1 year I was here before going back to KL again to work & prepare for the wedding) and this is the busiest I;ve ever been!

Since meeting Michelle & Kaka, and especially since Michelle got a car (yayy!).. the four of us have been going out alot during the weekdays. It was mainly for the two girls's benefit. What we did these 2 weeks.

9 Dec : Baby Gym
10 Dec : Went to Kaka's place for lunch and play
13 Dec : Michelle & I went to Billingsgate Fish Market to buy fresh fish. We left at 530am!
15 Dec : Museum of Docklands for Musical Monday
16 Dec : Kaka came over to play during lunch - I made the kids's lunch while Michelle brought Pizza for us!
17 Dec : Children's Garden (Steiner Playgroup)
18 Dec : BY came over for lunch and "interview" for coursework.
19 Dec : Messy Play at the local sure start centre, then off for lunch with the other moms.

And topping it off, I fell sick last Thursday and haven't been able to recover quite as fast due to my "hectic" schedule. I had runny nose & sorethroat and although have almost recovered, I still have a lingering ticklish cough due to my sorethroat and am now having a hoarse & sexy voice. ;)

When we met another mom, Jessica (mom to XinYi) who is a M'sian, we had even more activities - some of them introduced to us by her. She then introduced us to her friend and neighbour Jenny (mom to a boy Matt & girl MayLin). The other day, after our Messy Play, the four mothers, along with our five kids went for yumcha at a local chinese restaurant. Shean Wenn fell asleep in the car on the short 5 minutes drive there and I had to carry her WITH her baby carseat (she no longer uses this but I now use this to transport her in Michelle's car because it is such a hassle to install her toddler carseat) into the restaurant, and THIS resulted in a backache today.

Shean Wenn woke up halfway through lunch and she happily ate whatever I put on her bowl. And then, I turned away for awhile and she stood up and grabbed the hot water teacup next to Michelle and started to pour the water! I quickly grabbed it away from her and luckily she wasn't hurt or burnt by the water. What a near-miss... obviously I got a big nagging from the hubs when I relayed this story to him. Must be ultra careful now. Especially when Shean Wenn is such an inquisitive and fast-learner!

After their lunch, the older kids went down to play, running around the restaurant. The little ones looked on with envy and anticipation. I let SW down after she had finished her food and she happily ran around, playing with the other kids. I think she really enjoyed the company of the other kids. The five of them had so much fun in each other's company.

Here are some photos taken during Musical Mondays at the beautiful Museum of Docklands.



In the Mudlarks area : An area dedicated for kids under 5s. Shean Wenn spent a long time playing on their sandbox, and the sand/water/river bunk.
An "explainer" explaining about the various boxes in the mudlarks gallery to the enthusiastic kids!

Karmen on the scale - how cute!

During musical time, the organiser blew bubbles (as snow) as he illustrates a Christmas tale... the kids were ecstatic! SW as usual, observed quietly from her place before deciding her next step - JOINING IN THE FUN.



More photos of the kids's play to ensue (when I get it off Michelle because, poor me has no camera).

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Tagged : 6 Randoms

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Was tagged by Petite Fleur to do this.

1. I don't do much sports unless you consider typing a sport. But I LOVE swimming now. However, it wasn't always a love affair between me & swimming when my parents FORCED us to go for swimming lessons when we were younger, even more when I was beaten in freestyle-stroke by a girl of 5 years old when I was about 10-ish. My favourite stroke (hence I swim fastest in it) is Breaststroke. I used to have good stamina, when I can swim from 9am-6pm, breaking for lunch and tea (Redang Island, 2001-2002).

2. I am pretty good with directions and can read maps very well. During treasure hunts, I can read the tulips (tulip is a directional map, form car-rally origin) very well (thanks to years of experience going for hunts with my parents, who are now seasoned hunter - Dad is a retired hunter now though) and therefore will almost definitely be the designated navigator for my (old) team.

3. I prefer being tanned than being fair. Somehow, I find that being tan makes me look healthy!

4. I like both science and art but cannot understand accounting/finance AT ALL. I can do arts, but suck at crafting. Art meaning : I paint using watercolour, of architectures of Malaysia. I have done (paint in watercolour) Suffolk's House and some old shophouses in Perak. I describe my paintings as "semi-monochromatic infused with splashes of bold colours". If you would like to commission me for an artwork, please e-mail me at tsulinplusplus@gmail.com. (Heh, even have time for marketing!) I might upload a few paintings of mine, if I can get my sister to scan them for me.. but the chances of that happening is like ZILCH.

(Future artist at work : Perhaps SW will follow in mommy's footsteps in the art dept, look at the masterpiece!)

5. I am lactose-intolerant, since birth. No cow's milk for me please, or cheese. Thanks. I also don't drink coffee since I was diagnosed with gastric problems.

6. I am not a couch-potato. And neither am I a book worm. But I can spend hours infront of the computer, reading or watching rubbish/informative news. My eyes don't hurt and I don't fall asleep.. BIZARRE!

Friday, 12 December 2008

Fri night : Hipp Baby Christmas Competition

3 comment(s)
**EDITED**

Dear diary,

What does mummy do on a Friday night?


She enters me into a baby photo competition online, and browses for other good "deals". Mum!! (embarassing!) She also managed to convince my friend's mummy to enter my friend, Tobey into the same contest!

Look at me and Tobey, we are side-by-side... Good Luck, you & me..

(BTW, my Entry ID is 11606 in the "Stages 1 Year & Older" while Tobey's is 11610. Please vote for us :P) The link to Hipp Baby Christmas Competition is here, but you have to be a registered member to vote. So if you are in the UK and happen to be a Hipp member, do vote for us :)

:D

With love,
Shean Wenn

Monday, 8 December 2008

Housewarming at Karmen's

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Shean Wenn's friend, Karmen moved into their new home last month and on last Saturday, they had a housewarming at their new place. Their development is a new-built and we were told that their postcode does not exist on googlemap and TomTom (sat nav) yet. So, we were given a set of instructions and also a postcode of a place opposite of the new development. We found their house without much trouble, and were told we are the first people who came over without having to call them asking for directions! We were also told we are the only guests that day - the rest couldn't make it (Good. All the food to ourselves).

Michelle (Karmen's mom) served us finger food with drinks - we asked for orange juice first. :)

(Hubs & me with our hostess, Michelle)



See that sunroof on the second picture? It cost them £800 to install the blinds on it! And it seems it was cheaper because they didnt' install it during summer. It really is so expensive to move into a new place. (We better save monies now before we move back..)

(Shean Wenn at the "kid's corner" - lots of toys!)

While the adults were eating and drinking merrily, and Karmen sleeping sopundly upstairs... Little Shean Wenn pottered around the house and made no fuss to us, helping herself to the toys and entertaining herself very well. Simon (Karmen's dad) commented that she is very independent because she doesn't "stick to us like glue" like some kids. Well, I believe the toys helped.

(Getting started - Simon started rummaging his "alcohol bar" for some serious drinks. They went for a beer first)

Karmen woke up midway and she and SW played for awhile.

SW : There, I share with you my toy "Zhu Zhu" (cantonese for piggy) if you would trade me yours!



Dinner is served! Everyone taking their place, including SW on the high chair. We opened a bottle of Spanish red for this. It was just right for me, not too dry.


After dinner, the kids made their way upstairs for a tour of Karmen's home.
SW getting comfy in Karmen's igloo tent.


SW and Karmen identifying objects on the wall chart.


And then... they climbed up Karmen's bed and pretended to sleep! SW was really happy here. I guess she loves company - especially those with toys!

Monday, 1 December 2008

The New Colour : Trendy, Affordable Shopping for the girls!

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My friend, Melissa just pushed out TheNewColour.com live for the world to enjoy. It sells trendy and fun clothing for women, at affordable prices. The catalogue is easy for boyfriends, husbands and even girlfriends to comprehend, lots of free sizes so you can't go wrong. It currently accepts payments through Maybank2u and Paypal, and ships worldwide.



And for TODAY only - Look out for her Black Monday shopping...

(PS : Thanks Praveen for the head-ups!)

Friday, 28 November 2008

Waldorf Steiner Play

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Shean Wenn with a paintbrush!

Little Miss Picasso



I love bringing Shean Wenn to the Steiner playgroup based inside the kindergarten near our place. The class is cozy, clean, structured but yet allows the child to play using his/her imagination in a safe environment thereby making it a meaningful context of play. All the toys and furniture in a Steiner school is organic - made out of wood, aluminium, and all things natural. Every week, we (the group) will make handicrafts from scratch (combing the wool, putting a few felt pieces together, sew it and stuff it with wool to make a ball?) and I even learnt how to make bread once!

"The integrated development of the physical, psychological and spiritual qualities of each child is fundamental to this educational approach. The central task of Steiner Education is to nurture this development, ultimately allowing each individual to realise his or her full potential." *


The Steiner education believes that during Early Education (0-7 years old) learning is "caught" rather than taught - ie through implicit (vs explicit) teaching methods. So far, Shean Wenn really benefits from the class because she can play indepently without crying out for me, and she also imitates a few times, things she has seen done in the class (putting things away when told).

* Source : The Greenwich Steiner School.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Hotel Review in Orlando, Florida (Disneyland)

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They don't call it "The Magical Kingdom" for no reason. From the moment our car (driven by Vincent) drove into the Walt Disney World Resort (WDWR) compound (there were a few themed parks in the whole WDWR), my heart started to beat very fast - I was getting excited. This is VERY UNUSUAL for me because I remember since young, I did not have any desire or inclination towards visiting themed parks - I find theme parks boring, plus... I am not one who likes watching cartoons. I guess this only means that this place REALLY IS magical!

More on The Magical Kingdom later. First, about our family vacation to Orlando (where our main reason was to visit Disneyland). Our host, Angel & her husband accomodated us in their lovely apartment in Miami, which is a 3.5 hours drive away from Orlando. We planned to stay for two nights in Orlando while we checked out Disneyland and Orlando city. Angel suggested we look at this International Plaza Resort & Spa which is about 15mins drive from Disneyland. I took a quick look and we both agreed it looks fab on their website! After surfing around, we decided we would book through Expedia.com because they have a special rate of USD59/night (exc. tax) for us!

When we checked in, we were pleasantly surprised at the room - it is BIG, looks grand, very comfy & it smells nice too! Only down side is that the bathroom is a tad small. We also checked out their facilities around the hotel - they have a few pools and the whole resort is very well-maintained. We really loved our choice! Angel commented that they stayed in Hilton Disneyland the last time they came and it was so much more expensive and probably not as nice. Definitely worth our money!

(In the grounds of the Resort & Spa)


We were so excited, we neglected to take a photo of the room. :)

I've been told Comfort Inn® (With their wide range of hotels worldwide like Quality, Clarion, Cambria Suites, etc) offers some pretty decent rates too with easy online reservations available.


DISNEYLAND - The fun begins!

As soon as we reached the main "Magical Kingdom" by the skytrain (kinda like the M'sian LRT or the UK DLR), we were greeted by the sight of the Cinderella Castle. And believe you me, it really grabs you like how it did on the telly/papers. I was quite awestruck by the sight! (Breathes)



Photos :

1. Visiting Minnie Mouse's house

ALL PINK! With heart-shapes everywhere.....

Shean Wenn getting cosy in Minnie Mouse's house - sitting on her sofa, arm chair and trying to get a sip off her tea!

2. The queues to the rides in the Magical Kingdom is quite long (Depending on which ride). But we only queued for 15mins to get onto a boat ride on this "It's a Small World" trip... and SW was the happiest here - She stood up and danced and stomped her feet to the music the entire 15-20minutes ride!
(The music "It's a Small World" kept playing on and on and on.... so much so that even after you got off the ride, the song keeps playing in your head!) *shakes it off*

3. Shean Wenn meeting her favourite Disney character - Pooh Bear! These photographs with Tigger & Pooh Bear are taken off the Disney website. You get a "Photo Pass" from the official Disney photographer and he/she will take the photos and scan the photopass which you keep with the ID number. When you get online, you just type in the ID number and register to view the photos and memories you took in "THE MAGICAL KINGDOM"! Walt Disney is awesome. Such marketing genius in every corner.







There are also alot of playgrounds for kids to vent their energy, each one is themed to the characters/movies of Disney's. They usually have a water fountain area for them to "cool down". Here is a video of SW trying to touch the water. She looks hesitant doing it because at first I told her "Don't go near the water!" (I was abit cautious because I didn't bring her swimsuit along and didn't want her 2 get drenched and change her. Looking back, I thought I should just chill and let her play. Ahh, lesson learnt.)

video


4. There was a major parade, called THE PARADE OF DREAMS at 3.30pm. By 2.45pm, there were people already reserving their places behind the ribbon lines where they cordone off to make way for the parade. We found a nice spot at about 3pm and I had my lunch standing there! It was a very long parade, which lasted for a good 20mins? It could've been 10minutes but it felt long. It was very vibrant and people were so enthusiastic watching it.



I must say the USD70+ we paid for the tickets each was well worth it - the experience of spending one day there is so magical & surreal. Everything was so well organised, with ample parking spaces for your strollers, they cater for all age groups of the child and all the people-greeters (Disney personnel) were so enthusiastic and friendly, they will also help entertain your kid. You will often see a people-greeter coming up to say hi to your child, or even ask a child if he'd like a sticker!

We headed off at around 630pm, making way to the skytrain which will transport us back to reality the picking up area. When we turned around to have a last glimpse of the Cinderella's Castle, they were lighting it up! I can hear people gasping in awe at the view. Just magnificent!



Thursday, 30 October 2008

Conversations with my 15 MO

5 comment(s)
Differentiating between HOT and COLD

1. Dinner is served for her and as I scoop a spoonful to put into her mouth, she spits it out

SW : HOK HOK (Hot hot, it means)!!
Me : No, it's not hot, it's warm, can be eaten.
SW : *shakes head* *pushes my hands away* HOK HOK *shows me her tongue* HOK HOK!
Me : *Hmmph!* (wanna spank her!)


2. SW playing by the heater/radiator (which we have switched on for autumn- Low heat)

SW : Ooh! HOK HOK!!! *retracting her fingers from the heater and her mouth making a big "O"-shape*
Me : See, don't touch. (Serves you right :P)

3. Weekday romping at the mall - somewhere in Canary Wharf. I saw Zaza, a newly opened gelato shop. Asks for a single scoop Hazelnut in cup (comes with a baby-cone).

Me : SW, you want ice-cream??? (Scoops and put into her mouth)
SW : *takes a tiny taste of it and turned her head away* HOK HOK!!!
Me : -_-" Not HOT, COLD COLD!
Me : You want somemore?
SW : *Nods* *Opens her mouth - takes a little* HOK HOK!
Me : COLD COLD! Ok, you eat this cone then! *Yayy.. i eat all*


ANIMAL SOUNDS

(SW sees her favourite song on Cbeebies. Claps and dances happily until song finishes)

Me : What does the Tiger do?
SW : *makes roarring sound* GRRRR!
Me : What does the Monkey do?
SW : HAIK!! (Huh?)
Me : Monkey do what?
SW : HAIK! (thinks sumo wrestler? Oh, i see she cannot pronounce Hoohoohahaha)

Here is an UNEDITED video taped using my handphone (very low resolution) but you can hear her saying WA-BEET (Rabbit) with some hand-gestures, and also doing some other animal sounds.

video


SHOWING PAIN

I heard a loud knock - she has fallen down and knocked herself. Shean Wenn cries.. and composes herself before coming to find me. I hurried out from the kitchen. She brings me to the scene of accident and pats her hand on the floor, showing me where she has fallen down. I said "Oh no, is this where you fell?" She nods, and then uses her hand to "hit" the floor - something I taught her in order to distract her from the pain. She has been doing this quite alot - whenever she falls down, or hit herself while playing. And yes, she still falls down and hits herself quite often, unfortunately!


Speech development

SW bring her favourite book to me (ok, she has alot of fav books!) - this is the one daddy bought for her form Dubai, with buttons at the side that when you press it, it will read out an object.

SW flips to one page, points to the Car.
SW : CAR!
Me : *huh?? Impressed*
SW points to flower
SW : Fwawa!
Me : Yes, you are right.
SW points to ball.
SW : BOR BOR.
Me : Yes, correct.
SW points to boat. Presses the button and it reads BOAT.

SW : Bowp.
Me : *wow!*
Me : SW is a SMART GIRL! *Kiss* (And i meant it!)


Saturday, 18 October 2008

Malaysian food in UK

4 comment(s)
The past 2 weeks, we have been going to Malaysian restaurants in UK, something we rarely do! (Rarely here means probably once a year) I cook everyday during the weekdays and on weekends we usually eat out (chinese, ie HK-style or Italian/Brit) but we seldom ever do Malaysia, I guess we don't have much craving for M'sian food (I only crave for Asam Laksa, something I could NEVER cook). But 2 weeks ago, Meng's colleague booked a place for us in Awana "The finest Malaysian restaurant in London SW3". She booked via toptable, where we get 50% off the total food bill.



I had been craving for satays because the ones on its website look so tantalising! The decor of the place is what you'd expect from a posh restaurant - immaculate & tastefully designed interior reflecting the Traditional Kampung-style Teak-house and alot of dark wood with some traditional malay furniture/instruments dotting the restaurants : Gongs, silk panels along the windows, etc.

It was a party of 6 adults with 1 baby (guess who?). We ordered generously, except for Amy who shared the main course with her husband. Food portion was ok, albeit very small for satay (I ordered corn-fed chicken : 4 skewers for £8). Staff were attentive but yet not intrusive (you know sometimes some waitress/waiters can be a little too enthusiastc and come around every few 10mins to asks if everything's fine? Well, I find it a little intrusive). If I remember correctly, everyone ordered coke (except Amy who had plain water and me who ordered an alcoholic drink). The bill came up to £120 including drinks - imagine if we had to pay full price for it! Nevertheless, the food was reasonably good.

The week after, SIL Alicia asked us for lunch and she recommended Japanese but a quick check and it seems the restaurant she recommended (I read alot of rave reviews about it) isn't open for business on Sundays. She suggested an alternative - Satay House which is located near to her apartment.



We picked her up on the Sunday and headed towards the restaurant, got an off-street parking relatively easy nearby and went in. We were seated downstairs which is good because it was pretty packed upstairs and SW wouldn't have much space to create havoc stretch her legs.

Again we ordered generously from their menu : Satay (this time more servings than Awana), their Ayam Goreng Berlada (SPICY! Yummy), a squid, a fish, Kangkung Belacan (can't do without this eh?) and rice. Our only qualm : The rice serving which, at £4/bowl which you probably need 2 bowls for the 3 adults is HEFTY! Just too expensive for a bowl of plain rice to go with your dishes. I would suggest to them to charge fairly because afterall, what is M'sian eating (ordering dishes to be shared) without rice? Overall, the food is pretty good (Authentic Malay cooking here) and price is very reasonable. We would probably return if we ever crave for M'sian food.

Two weekends in a row having M'sian food. Hmmm... what's next??
 

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