Inspired Momx1

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Google Kid

Ian likes googling his superhero, Ben 10 on my laptop. He knows where to look for the Google Chrome on my desktop that brings him to google search homepage. He will then key in the keyword Ben 10 on the search bar and hit enter.

These 2 photos see him googling away with the touchpad
Of course , all these movies are viewed under adult supervision.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Beryl's Chocolate Factory Visit

Before leaving for the visit

Beryl's Chocolate Factory Entrance

Sign Post

Entrance to Chocolate Boutique

This is a very outdated post. JC, Ian's kindy organized an excursion trip to Beryl's Chocolate Factory last year. I decided to tag along as this was Ian's first trip in this kindy and having known that one of the mommies I knew would be going too.

We reached the kindy very early and the parents were seen chatting away and getting to know each other while waiting to board the bus. We boarded the bus at around 10am and left for our destination in four buses. The kids were sitting with their partners while accompanying parents were assigned seats at the back rows. The teachers occupied the kids with singing and games.

When we finally arrived at our destination, all of us were being guided to a mini theatre for a brief show on how chocolates were made. We then proceeded to the exhibition room with different types of chocolates on display. Photographs were strictly not allowed once we stepped into the premises. It took us less than 30 minutes to complete the whole visit. We were then directed to the Chocolate Boutique where I bought some chocolates for the family and Ian's class teacher.

I later found out the chocolates sold at the boutique of the factory were even more expensive than those sold at supermarkets but they did have more selections though.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Colorectal Cancer???

I just received my mom's Ultrasound Report from my sister via fax. The details are as below:

Ultrasound Scan of Abdomen

Indications: Acute abdominal pain and vomitting, RIF swelling for 6 months

Ultrasound Findings: Scanning over the RIF swelling shows a large 6x10cm heterogeneous solid mass lesion most likely of large bowel origin. Pelvic free fluid is present. Distended fluid filled bowel loops are visible. Liver appears to be normal with no visible focal mass lesions. Gallbladder and right kidney appear normal.

Impression: Findings suggest an obstructive large bowel mass in the RIF region. Referral for further surgical evaluation is advised.


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Ian in his trade mark cheeky pose.
Ian would be wearing this Reindeer costume to his kindy this morning. They had a Noah's Ark theme party where the children were to dress up in any animal character they like. This costume was actually a recycle from his last year's school concert. I had promised Ian to get him a Kangaroo costume but I could hardly get myself in the mood to do anything else after my sister from Sabah called yesterday and broke the news that our family doctor said chances of my mom diagnosing cancer was high but it was still early to confirm at this juncture. So far only an ultrasound scan was done after she complained of acute abdominal pain and went for a scan.
The doctor referred my mom to PPUM (Pusat Perubatan Universiti Malaya) and she is now scheduled to arrive in KL this Monday with my sister accompanying her. I will update more on this later.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today is Rice Dumpling Festival (Duan Wu Jie)

This is what I had for breakfast

Duan Wu Jie is a widely celebrated festival amongst the Chinese, to pay respect to the patriotic poet, Qu Yuan (pronounced as Chue Yuan). The legend involves a really long and complicated throne-fighting war and political history. But to make a long story short: Qu Yuan was an important minister back in Chu Kingdom in ancient China. He had been known for his loyalty for the emperor of Chu, and loved his country greatly. However, His Majesty had not taken Qu Yuan's advice seriously, and he eventually got himself trapped and captured in a foreign land by his enemies, which then lead to his own death.

Sad and angry at the corrupted, dying Kingdom, Qu Yuan tied himself to a big rock and threw himself into the River of Puo Luo. The people then made rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves and threw them into the river. They believed this would stop the fish from eating Qu Yuan's body. Some would even row down stream in a boat, beating drums and shouting out loud in the hope to scare the fish away (it was believed that it is how the Dragon Boat event is related to the festival.

Since then, the 5th day of the 5th month in the Chinese calendar has been set as Duan Wu Festival to remember the incident. Although there were versions of legends and stories that indicate Duan Wu has existed way before Qu Yuan's death, the tradition still carries on. The rice dumplings (ZongZi) are glutinous rice (or sticky rice in some countries like Thailand and Hong Kong) wrapped in bamboo leaves, or other large leaves (lotus is one of the more commonly used leaves). You can find all sorts of different fillings in the rice: pork, roast pork, chestnut, egg, salted egg, mushroom, red bean, or just simply without filling. They could be just white rice dumpling (not pre-fried), or brown (pre-fried with soya sauce).

Nowadays, you can buy Zongzi almost everyday of the year, in restaurants or hawker stores in most oriental countries such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore, and other Asian countries where large amount of Chinese reside.


JMC's Primary Book Sets & Kit

JMC's Primary 1 Book Set
(Includes Text Book, Work Book, DVD & CD)
Mini Laptop Set Student Set

J JMC'S Primary 2 Text Book, Work Book and DVD
(Did not buy the CD as DVD was sufficient enough)

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yamaha Junior Music Course (JMC) - Book 2 & Updates

It has been 2 months now since Ian proceeded from JMC Book 1 to Book 2 and I am glad to see that he is still showing strong interest in music and would make his practice round daily for 10 mins without being reminded, most of the time, I would say. It was a great achievement at least in the mother's eyes as boys being boys, he was (and still is) a superactive and easily distracted kid since born.
Areas where Teacher Lilian focused on :

  • Learning two notes chords like ti/sol, do/sol, fa/sol & mi/sol through song playing while preparing them for three notes chords playing through hearing

  • Solfege singing and more on lyrics singing now (I find solfege singing really useful for Ian to play the songs

  • Playing with both hands

  • Starting to learn to shift their hands to different house positions ie. do/so/fa house.
In the JMC, children are not taught to play by looking at the score, but they follow the score in the textbook of the piece they have played. It aims at arousing their interest in written music. Ian enjoys "writing" his own song on his keyboard. Honestly speaking, occasionally some of his "pieces" do sound relatively decent. Lol....
My only concern with JMC was the method focused solely on solfege singing but notes reading, I observed Ian has had problems recognizing the notes though he could play very well when singing along solfege of the song.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Tooth Fairy

It is important to note that the eruption time varies from one child to another. Around the ages of two to three years old, primary teeth should all have erupted.
A - Central Incisors - 8-13 months
B - Lateral Incisors - 8-13 months
C - Canines (cuspids) -16-23 months
D - First Molars - 13-19 months
E - Second Molars - 25-33 months

A - Central Incisors - 6-10 months
B - Lateral Incisors - 10-16 months
C - Canines (cuspids) - 16-23 months
D - First Molars - 13-19 months
E - Second Molars - 23-31 months

Lower Central Incisors erupted at 4+ months 

@ 6 months- got both his upper and lower A,B,C,D teeth

@ 6 yrs old - Central Incisors: upper 2 yet to grow back,
lower two, just came in

Ian's first loose tooth turned up at around 4 1/2 yrs old. That got me worried as I thought it was way too early for his age. I then did a search on google and found the answer quite helpful to me.

"Baby teeth usually fall out in the order your child got them. This means the two center bottom teeth are often the first to go, followed by the top two center ones. If your child's baby teeth erupted late, chances are they'll fall out later, too.Not all children are happy about this rite of passage. Some may be afraid to eat or may be worried about how they will look or talk without teeth.Talk through your child's fears, and try serving soft foods for a bit if he complains about discomfort when a tooth is very loose. Most baby teeth fall out on their own.When the permanent teeth do come in, they'll have ridges and may be slightly yellow. They're also much larger than baby teeth. (Your child will grow into them.) Healthy toothbrushing habits become even more important now."


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ben 10 Phenomenon

Ian with his "not so real"version of Omnitrix
(this one we bought from the wet market)

Ian and cousin with his "real" Omnitrix

Ian has been a Ben 10 fanatic since early last year. I guess it could be influence from his schoolmates and the television show on Cartoon Network.

Ben 10 first came to my attention last year when Ian began running about bashing his wrist and throwing strange poses. When I asked him what he was doing, he said that he was activating his Omnitrix. From then on, he kept bugging me to get him a real Omnitrix so that he could go on his mission to save the world. Lol..

I went online and did a search and Ben 10 was indeed the current superhero of millions of young people all over the place.

If this is new to you, here is Ben 10’s story. Ben 10 is a television show aired on Cartoon Network about Ben Tennyson who one day stumbles upon an alien watch-like device called the “Omnitrix” which allows him to morph into any one of ten different alien life forms including those like Heatblast, who is a chap entirely made from flame and Greymatter, a small bloke with big glasses who can slip inside a machine and operate it from within. These powers come in handy as Ben combats intergalactic evil villains, all the while trying to appear a normal boy. Clearly, Ben 10 is loaded with craze-potential. Obvious, really. Much of childhood is mad of mishearing and fantasies, and that's how your imagination is nurtured.

The genius of the Ben 10 concept is that Ben can turn into any of these heroes, not just one hero with 10 different powers, and he doesn't have the ability to choose which hero he wants to be.

Ian has had his "real" Omnitrix for 4 months now and so far, it's stood the test of time in the hands of a 6 year old.;) It is very like the omnitrix in the series, and has encouraged a lot of imaginative play between him and his friends.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sandakan Crocodile Farm

Sandakan Crocodile Farm

The three cousins enjoying the moments together

Koi Fishes

Motionless Crocodiles

A creative sign put up by MPS

Today would be the our last day in Sandakan. As our flight back to KL was scheduled in the evening and we still had sometime to spare, so off we went to Sandakan Crocodile Farm.
The owner of the farm also owns another Crocodile Farms in Langkawi and Tuaran, Sabah. The Sandakan Crocodile Farm is Malaysia's largest with over 3000 of the reptiles. The original stock came from wild crocodiles found along the Kinabatangan River. The animals are farmed for their skins to be turned into shoes and bags and their meat is also known to help cure asthma.
Besides offering visitors an up-close look at Sabah's biggest reptiles, the farm hosts several other attractions as well, including crocodile and snake shows. It also features a mini zoo with mouse deers, monkeys, turtles, peacocks, snakes, etc.

The drive from Sandakan town to the farm takes about half an hour.

Visiting Hours: Weekdays show times (Crocodiles only) - 11.45am & 4.00pm
Sunday and Public Hols show times (Crocodiles and snakes) - 11.45am, 2.00pm & 4.00pm
Daily feeding times - from 9.30am onwards until 4.30pm
Admission Fees: Adults RM5.00 Children below 12 years RM3.00

Sandakan Crocodile Farm
Mile 8, Jalan Labuk
Sandakan, Sabah
Tel : 6 089 660666 (Farm) / 6 089 211391 , 6 089 217637 (Office)

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Fungates System

I got to know about Fungates system through two of my ex-colleagues. The first one sent her son to Mighty Kids in USJ and the other, to Juara Cerdik in Section 13, PJ both kindy adopted Fungates System. I received a lot of positive feedbacks from them.

Ian started school when he was 3 yrs old. The first kindy we sent him to was a non franchised chinese medium kindy near our house. He was there one year before we switched him to a smart reader kindy near the grandparents' house. We observed that he did not learn much and could hardly read after half year then only we started to think about switching him to Fungates.

By then, I heard from my ex-colleague that Juara Cerdik (JC) was about to move to their own premise in Section 13, PJ (formerly situated in shophouses in Taman Mayang Jaya) and thought the location was just perfect for the grandparents to fetch him.

Ian has been there since last year when he was 5 and now that he is 6, I would say that I could see a lot of improvement in him especially his reading skills and the reading interests he has since picked up.

English is taught using phonic sounds, blends, long & short vowels, short & long sound blends and emphasizes a lot on hearing and pronounciation. A CD on blends reading is given to guide the parents and kids through the blend book.

Chinese is important to my son as he will be going to chinese primary school. I find that Fungates focuses a lot on strokes and their sequences and stroke counting which I think is very good and he can remember and understand the words more precisely. I used to send Ian to Chinese Enrichment classes using Flash Card Approach but after stopping for 6 months, he has forgotten most of the words when flashed to him. Well, perhaps this lazy mom's fault for not flashing those cards to him more often.

They have a science lab for 5 and 6 yrs old to carry out simple experiments. Most of the time Ian comes back and poses me questions excitedly, questions like... mommy mommy... how ice cubes are formed? why do volcanoes explode (erupt)? Why does this stuff float and not sink? When I say I have no idea, then he will proudly explain what he has learnt at school.

He has also overcomed the problems of reading in Bahasa. The system focuses on learning sukukata, once he mastered it, he has not much problems now in reading and his "Ejaan".

One thing I would like to stress here was that regardless of how good the system was, the quality and attitude of teachers played the most important role after all.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Crescent's Book Warehouse Sale

Right after picking up Ian from kindy today, we went to the Crescent's Book Warehouse Sale in Bandar Utama. Ian had his lunch I packed from home in the car to save us time from having to find parking and crawl out from the car for lunch during this busy lunch hours. Ian selected a book and I got myself a book on html and few revision books for my boys to keep busy as school break starts right after the exam.

For those who like classics, Oxford's Classics Books are sold at RM2 each only and a series of Enid Blyton Books at RM3 each. Peter & Jane series of books are sold at RM6.90 each. There were quite a big collection of Malay Books available too. Some of more recently published books are selling at a 20-30& discount.

Date: 15-24 May 2009
Time: 10am - 9pm
Crescent's Warehouse Sale
MBPJ Multi Purpose Hall
Jalan BU3/1
Bandar Utama, PJ


Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, Sandakan

Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary is located at the center of the mangrove forest along the coastal land near Samawang Village at Labuk Bay, Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia. It is 38 km away from Sandakan Airport and takes about an hour to get there. Part of the trip will be through the graveled roads and jeep tracks of plantation estates.

To get there, travel along Jalan Labuk and turn off to SPS3 at the junciton between km 31 and km32 (opposite Consolidate Farm (Sabah) Sdn Bhd). The Sanctuary is located 15km along the gravel road from there.

For those who love watching these popular and bizarre unique primate not found elsewhere in the world is a "Must See". With its huge pendulous, a characteristic pot belly and strange honking sound, it is one of the peculiar and ugliest (or beautiful???) animals in the world.

It would definitely gives you one of the most exhilarating and memorable experience observing the Proboscis Monkeys both young and adult leaping from tree to tree and eventually coming down to feed on young leaves and plants. The leaping act is superb, fast and steady. Best viewing time will be at 11.30am and 4.30 during feeding time. Admission fee for MyKad Holders will be RM15 (Adult) and RM5 (Children below 12 yrs old). Non-MyKad Holders will be RM60 and RM30 for children.

A river trip can be arranged to further observe the monkeys or do some bird watching, as hornbills and kingfishers are found in the area. Take a night tour for a chance to see wild boars, flying squirrels, fireflies and crocodiles. The sanctuary also has a lodge with six air-conditioned twin-sharing rooms and a dormitory for those who wish to stay overnight.

Proboscis Monkey - Closer Shot

Another Shot
Feeding Time

3 human monkeys and a real one

Silver Leaf Monkey

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Digi Offering 365 Days Validity for RM100 Top Up?

I switched my Maxis Post-Paid Plan over to Digi Prepaid early this month as I would not be making many calls from now on. I bought a RM100 Digi Reload Slip with my Amex Card from Tesco Hypermarket hoping that I would get Amex 8x MR Points.
Upon activating the reload, I was pleasantly surprised to have been given 365 days validity for a RM100 Top Up. I wasn't very sure if this promotion applied to all RM100 Top Up or exclusively for new customers/customers who switched over.


Sandakan - Day 3

Yes, we went to Ocean King Seafood Restaurant again, and this time for breakfast. Hubby loved going there whenever we came back to Sandakan as he said the seafood there was fresh and it was calming and relaxing to the mind while enjoying your food overlooking the sea and having a nice view of the live fishes swimming down there. Sandakan, the nature city of Malaysia Borneo - that's how it had earned the name.

Fish reared in the sea surrounded by netting

The dishes that we ordered:

Crystal Salad Prawn
This is hubby's favourite dish

Seafood Flat Rice Noodles with Egg gravy

Fish Head Meehoon

Fish Fillet Meehoon Soup

Seafood with salted vege and tofu Meehoon Soup

Too hungry. Only remembered photo not taken half way into eating. haha..

All of us were starving to death as it was 9.30am by the time we reached there, the kids attacked the dim sum as soon as they were served on the table.Lol! The dish of Crystal and Salad Prawn was very good with salad cream complementing the fresh prawns.

After breakfast, our programme for today would be going to the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nam Chai Restaurant Bak Kut Teh

Fish Fillets and Prawns in Bak Kut Teh Soup. Both are so fresh and the prawns have that bounce when you bite into them. It cost RM9 per bowl of seafood, I think.

Pork Intestines and Meat Balls

The soup base was really different from what we usually had in KL. The taste of the soup was peppery, gingery, hot and darker in colour while back here in KL, it tastes more of herbs such as dong guai, not as hot and spicy and lighter in colour. The soup looked as though a lot of soy sauce had been added but it could be other herbs/spices that resulted in the darker colour.

Nam Chai Restaurant Bak Kut Teh
Ground Floor, Blok D, Bandar Nam Tung
Jalan Leila
90000 Sandakan
Tel: 089-612 603

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Sandakan - Day 2

We started our morning with century egg filled dumplings and wantan noodles for breakfast. Hubby likes the dumpling so much so to the extent that my sister would order and bring all the way from Sandakan for him everytime she comes to KL.

Right after breakfast, off we went to the mini zoo located at Mile 17, if I remembered correctly.
Cousin Hin Hin did ot get to join us as he had session of rehearsal for his school band at school.
The children enjoyed feeding the fish with fish feeds given complimentary by the zoo operator when buying the entrance tickets. You could get more for RM1 for 3 packets.

Lotus Leaves and Flowers Floating On The Water

Fish Feeding

Ian with Cousin Mei Mei


The monkey waiting to be fed

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Sandakan Harbour Square - Day 2 (Cont'd)

Enjoying the sea breeze@ Harbour Bistro Cafe
Sandakan Harbour Square

After dinner, we went for a stroll along the harbour front overlooking the beautiful Sandakan Bay. There were quite a few budget hotels and B&Bs around. We spotted a very decent sea facing hotel, @Ease Boutique Hotel. The lobby of the hotel was tastefully renovated.
The Central Bus Terminal, taxi stands, some major commercial and The Genting Mas Mall where you can get almost anything you want are just around the corner. The only downside of this place was piles of rubbish was seen floating at the sea and the shoreline. I personally reckoned that something urgent needs to be done on this issue so as to attract more visitors to this nature city.

While strolling around,we saw a cafe, Harbour Bistro Café and decided to rest our legs and get some quick bites while enjoying the sea breeze. The cafe was packed with youngsters and foreigners. We ordered finger food, squids, satay, fries, nuggets, fruit juices while the gentlemen had beer. It was a good bonding time for all of us and Ian was having a good time chasing around with his cousins along the harbour front while the adults chit chatting away.


Harbour Bistro Cafe
Lot 88, Block H5-09
Sandakan Harbour Square
90000 Sandakan, Sabah
Tel: 6 089 235 315
Serves Eastern and Western fusion food and beverages at affordable price
Open After 4.00pm till 2.00am.

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Ocean King Seafood Restaurant, Sandakan - The Land Below The Wind

The entrance to Ocean King Seafood Restaurant

The live fishes waiting to be served on the table.





Baby Lobsters

My brothers had booked a table for dinner at Ocean King Seafood Restaurant. Here we went in three cars.

Here are the dishes we ordered:

Steamed Garoupa
Stir-Fried Sabah Vegetable

Curry Prawn

Steamed Shellfish (Does anyone know the name of this shellfish?) It goes well with lime juice. Yummy!
This is how you eat the shellfish, to get to the meat using plier like tool.
Deep Fried Homemade Seafood Bean Curd
Stir Fried Venison Meat with Ginger & Spring Onion
It's hard to miss this large restaurant built on stilts over the bay. Just follow Jalan Leila out of town towards Pasir Putih (sign posted at each roundabout), a small beach where older seafood stalls have long been popular. Ocean King has 100 tables, some of them in a large dining hall, while the more attractive location is the large covered verandah overlooking the bay towards Sandakan town, and which catches any passing breeze. There is a vague menu price list written on the board on the verandah, but basically, if it swims you can order it. Fish, Crabs, Prawns, Lobster, Squid and various shellfish are all available and you can ask for advice on how they are best cooked. The bean curd, the curry prawn and Sabah vegetable dishes are good though the steamed fish was overcooked but overall it's worth making a trip there for the food and experience.
Open daily from 10 am until midnight
Jalan Batu Sapi (4.5km), Pasir Putih
Tel: (089)618111, 616048

Note: I visited the restaurant again in March 2010 and they have changed their opening hours. Please click here for more informaiton.

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