Tuesday 28 June 2011

"Competitive" weekends

We had a very busy and "competitive" weekends. Both of our girls went out for competitions.

Pearl went for a singing competition on Saturday. Crystal would like to attempt the word search competition on Sunday.

After winning a 7th placing in her school's singing competition last month which has boosted her confidence in singing, Pearl is eager to take part in singing competition again, this time outside her school.
Pearl and her little friend, Samantha, she is small in size but with good voice. She was the champion in the school singing contest and got the 5th placing on the Saturday's contest.

This singing contest was organised by an event organiser inviting children of 3 different categories to take part, that is 5-6 years old, 7-9 years old and 10-12 years old. Pearl belongs to the youngest categories. After the competition, we realised that besides the 3 students from Pearl's kindergarten, the rest are all from music or vocal schools. They have been taught of the technique of singing and dancing on stage, whereas Pearl just had a little guidance from her school teacher. That was the main losing edge.

Pearl is singing and dancing on stage

Helping her daddy to control the video cam

Enjoying ice cream while watching and waiting for the other 2 categories to finish their contests before result could be announced.

Too tired of waiting for the result, taking a rest.

Pearl was very disappointed that she was unable to win any prize, she told us that she has done well in her singing and why not prize for her, we had to explain to her that she have done very well, which she did, better than the competition in school, but other kids have done better because they have professional singing teacher to teach them, that's the advantage.

Though she did not win any prize, we are so very proud of her, especially seeing her going on stage to sing without fear and with full of confident. Pearl, you have conquered the fear which mummy has no guts to even think of trying. Keep it up!!

Crystal went for another competition on Sunday, this time was the word search competition, occasionally she tries on some word search exercises in the work books. She managed to find all the words in the contest but probably she was not fast enough to complete the tasks as compare to others students, she too did not win any prize this time. But she managed to win herself a magnetic book mark by answering question in the quiz. She said better than none ".".

What a "competitive" weekends we have had. We treat these kind of activities as training ground for them to gain experience plus exposure and hopefully to unleash their potentials in areas they are good at.

Friday 24 June 2011

Fast & easy dinner

While waiting for Crystal to finish her classes, Clet and Pearl usually have lunch at Crystal's school canteen where there are dishes available for students and parents. The price for a meal is much cheaper than outside shops. The dishes are not bad too though there are not much choices in terms of varieties. The lunch menus for the day are listed on the canteen's whiteboard early in the morning. I can find the same dishes being served every other days. Pearl's favourite dish is the sweet & sour fish.

Being lazy and want to save time on preparing dinner after a day long work during week days, we came out with the idea of take away dishes from Crystal's school canteen during lunch time, keep them in the freezer and reheat them for dinner. I usually stir fry a plain green vegetable as an additional dish to ensure there is a vegetable dish in our meal. As growing children, they get hungry easily, we have to serve dinner fast before our girls start digging the fridge for junk food which is the spoiler for a proper meal.

We were fine with the dishes for the past few weeks but we do get bored with the dishes at times. Just a day before, our girls have started to lose their appetite just by looking at the same dishes again, even though they did not complain, I know how they felt because I felt the same way too.

So we stopped taking away school dishes yesterday. Clet cooked a simple potatoes soup and our girls finished their rice with just a blink of our eyes. Yes, they must have missed the home cooked soup so much.

Sweet & sour fish take away from school
Soy sauce chicken, another take away from school
Stir fried plain vegetable with garlic by me

So much so that we want to have home cooked food, the process from preparation through cleaning up is just take up so much time. But one thing for sure is, we will get bore with the school dishes pretty soon. I will have to head into the kitchen first thing when I come back from work. Working mums, do you prepare dinner everyday? Any fast and easy menus that you can share with me?

Thursday 23 June 2011

Blowing the balloons

I was slipping into my childhood years for a while when I saw these little tubes of balloon gum. It was one of our favourite games back to the old days, we used to blow lots of balloons with it into different sizes and stick them together.

My girls has been wanting to buy some after seeing children playing them in the school. We bought them at one of the toys shop at Megalong shopping mall at RM1.00 for 5 little tubes.

This was the first time our girls trying to blow a balloon out of these gum. I had to show them how it works and show them how to seal the balloon back if there is a hole. After a few blows, Pearl handed it over to me, she was disgusted with the smell of the gum. Crystal is OK with it.

Pearl prefers to wait for her che che to blow the balloons for her and play together.

Wednesday 22 June 2011

The Perdana Park, Tanjung Aru

The construction of The Perdana Park at Tanjung Aru took more than 3 years to complete. it has begun its clearing work when I first started work near Tanjung Aru. It has finally opened its door to the public in the 1st half of this year, I forgot the exact date. It is all worth a wait.

We are impressed with the facilities offered at this park, I would say it is the first its kind in Sabah to have a park of such standard. I believe it is managed by Timatch Sdn Bhd.

We were there for the 3rd time on Friday since its opening. The park is still very well maintained unlike other public parks in the city. A credit has to be given to the management of the park.

Upon entering the park, very wide and spacious
The entrance from inside the park
the playground view from the entrance

a closer look at the playground, very well cushion

My girls have started to explore the playground once again

The park is constructed with a man made pond in the centre surrounded by 2 jogging tracks, a stoney trail and various exercising instruments at various spots
I called this stoney trail, was told it is good to promote blood circulation walking on them. Too painful for me, can't stand for another minute. I quit after a few steps.

Unlimited supply of treated drinking water

Tired of walking or jogging? simply lay down by the pond to enjoy the breeze and the quietness of the pond or look for a falling star just after sunset, is that possible??

Besides those who come for exercising, a lot of them come in a family to observe the musical fountain which are scheduled to be performed at 7pm, 7.30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm and 9pm daily for 10 minutes each session. I took some photos of the fountains this time.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Father's Day 2011

My family members requested yet another BBQ session at my house on Father's Day last Sunday. Clet was away in KL to attend a conference, he was unable to join us.

I am not a good cook nor have got the time to prepare all the stuff for the BBQ, it has to be a potluck style dinner . Brother, Albert, is good at marinating chicken wings, pork ribs, etc for BBQ-ing, so he was the BBQ chef for the night. I prepared 2 types vegetable dishes which is the must have for any meals, and also to balance out the meaty BBQ meal.

Let's the photos do the talking for the rest.
BBQ in progress

Well done BBQ chicken wings, home made chicken satay and BBQ pork (I reserved some BBQ pork for Clet).
my parents, brothers and sis in laws

The forever cheerful and smiling little Dylan and his mummy, Cath

The all time favourite dish from my mum, sweet and sour pork leg (豬腳酸), we had this from the 12th day during our confinement. the kids activities,
I also prepared this jelly on sister in law, Alice's request
Two heart shape jellies for the fathers, sweet and refreshing.

Monday 20 June 2011

A comment on mummy's car

After fetching Pearl from school this afternoon, as usual she would ask for her bottle of "nenen" (milk) first thing she enters into the car. Just coming out from the junction, we had these conversations:

Pearl shouted, " mummy..mummy..look at this nice car!!"

Me : "Where..??", I asked her after coming out from the busy junction.

Pearl : "Aiya..passed already lo..you didn't see.."

Curiously I asked her : "Why? Mummy's car not nice meh??"

Pearl answered without much hesistant : "Ehmm..Nice...But have to make Shiny!!" and she continued to enjoy her nenen again.

Yup! My little girl sure has noticed the condition of my 10 year old car, faded paint, scratches here and there, with dented front. If not she wouldn't have made such a comment. She has indeed made me smile with her honest comment and I am very glad that I have a fully paid car (an asset) though it is no longer shiny, Pearl would be pleased if I were to repaint my car to make it shiny again :D

Friday 17 June 2011

Papers Recycling

It is very effective to start instilling the awareness of protecting our earth from schools. The campaign of having a recycling day initiated by Crystal's school and the cooperation of the parents have made the campaign a success.

The once a week recycling day is fixed on Friday at the school. We have been contributing recycling papers to the school for most of the Fridays for the past one and a half years.

Though she doesn't really understand the full definitions of global warming and waste recycling in their technical contexts (which I don't expect her to), I have heard her using those words in her conversations. She always reminds us to bring recycling papers to her school every week, she gets very disappointed if she misses a week without contributing.

To support this meaningful activity for her school, I always collect used printed papers and used envelopes from the office. We hardly buy newspapers thus there isn't any newspapers from our household for recycling.

I brought home a big plastic bag of used envelopes last week for recycling. Crystal helped to sort out those with stamps and we cut them out for our collections.

A little contributions today will make a big difference in the future, a good environment for our next generations to live, if not better.:D

A thank you note

Though we haven't organised any house warming party yet after moving in to our new home for more than a month now, we have already received a house warming gift from my SIL, Catherine whom did not manage to come to our family gathering organised by my brother at my house 2 weeks ago. My niece, Anneliese was down to chicken pox that time.

It is a very meaningful piece of gift for our home. Thank you so much!

I would also like to thank our family members who have helped us through in attaining a home of our own a reality, my special thanks go to my mum, my brother in law, Nicky and my sister in law, Rosalind.

Your assistance shall not be forgotten.

Thursday 16 June 2011

Caught by common cough and flu

Disturbed by the itchy throat and bad cough, I woke up at 3am yesterday morning. That kind of feeling was hard to bear, the one thing I could think of was to galloped 3 Bird's Nest Chong Chau Pi Pa Dan pills. Went back to sleep again.

I looked pale and exhausted when sending our girls to school yesterday morning. Clet commented that I looked terrible and should go see the doctor get a day off to rest at home.

Rather than waiting for the garlic supplement to take effect, which I know would be slow. I finally resorted to take the prescribed medication from the clinic before I transmitted the virus to my girls, I dare not want take the risks of getting my girls sick.
I was glad that the Permai Polyclinic is opened 24 hours, a doctor was there as early as 7.45am. It didn't take long for me to get the consultation done, we drove off from the city before the rush hours started to set in, otherwise we would be caught in the jam. My medical bill came up to RM55.00 which I can only claim 80% of it base on my workplace policy.

I have taken 3 days sick leave in these 2 weeks alone, what a sick monkey I am in the month of June.

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Cerumol ear drops for removing ear wax

How do you clear your child's ear wax? do you dig it out or remove it by using ear drops?

I am a bit scare to dig my girls' ear to remove the wax. Their ears' drum are very delicate and they will tend to move their heads when they feel the tickling feeling when I dig their ears so I opt to use ear drops.

The last time I applied the Soluwax ear drops on them was more than a year ago. Recently Crystal complaint to me that her ears are itchy and suspect got lots of ear wax inside, she has been trying to use her little fingers to dig them out but to no avail.

We kept forgetting to buy the ear drop when we were out and about for the past weeks and only remembered to get a bottle from the pharmacy last Saturday.

The pharmacy prescribed the Cerumol ear drops for us. To loosen and removal of ear wax, instill 5 drops into the ear canal with the head tilted, best to lay down on one side, may feel a tingling sensation but it is harmless, keep the head tilted for few minutes to avoid the solution from running out from the ear.

The Cerumol solution contains peanut oil, use the ear drop solution for 3 consecutive days, the wax will come out by itself as mentioned in the direction for use, but DO NOT use more than 3 days.

So far I only applied this ear drop once to my girls' ears and they did not complain of itchiness again. This ear drop is selling at RM13.95 per bottle.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Garlic to treat common cough and flu

I felt the itchiness of my throat last night and it getting worst this morning. My nose is stuck. I know I am getting the sign of cough and flu. To avoid seeing the doctor and taking medications, I always opt to take plenty of vitamins and supplements first.

For cough and flu, I was told and experienced myself by taking lots of vitamin C and garlic supplement, with more than 10 capsules of garlic in a day, I also placed 2 capsules in my mouth while I sleep, just let the capsules melt by themselves in my mouth. This has helped me got rid of my cough and flu many months ago. Garlic is known to have anti bacterial, anti fungal properties and many other health benefits.

I am doing the same thing again by taking lots of garlic capsules but with no vitamin C this time. Let see whether garlic alone will do any good this time round. My last alternative would be to take the Bird's Nest Chong Chow Pi Pa Dan which I always keep some stock to treat my bad and nasty cough.

Monday 13 June 2011

Shopping for flowers and plants

The weather has been very wet lately. Hot sunny weather in morning heavy downpour in the afternoon. It was raining on the Friday night till Saturday morning, such a weather is nice for a good night sleep, no air conditioning is needed.

Though it was still raining, we proceeded to the tamu at Giant Hypermarket's car park at planned on Saturday morning. The road condition has never been in smooth condition at Kolombong area even before I worked at that area some 10 years ago. Potholes every way, flooded on certain parts of the road, repairing work does not seems to end.
Flooded road
and another stretch of flooded road

Like many other tamus, they sell varieties of stuff, from pets to vegetable, from toys to plants. Our intention was to find potted plants. Our girls attracted to the pets/animals stalls where they sell hamsters, little chicky, little duckling, rabbits and puppies.

There are few stalls selling plants, I am not into gardening so have no idea what sort of plants Clet is looking for, he did all the plants shopping.

But Crystal like these 9 o'clock flowers, I bought 2 little pots of these, our girls picked the colours they wanted, that's red and pink, we have not transplanted them to a better pots yet, they are still in the mineral bottles containers. These plants are easily grown, not much care needed.
I guess these must be the local gerbera daisy, the flowers are not as big as the ones I bought for my flower arrangements which I used to do last time.
Same goes to the roses, tiny. But can't expect much from local grown floral, only if I could get these type of result from my planting I would be very happy.

Sunday 12 June 2011

My 500th blog post - KFC & Pizza Hut discount Voucher

After about 4 years of blogging, this blog of mine has finally reached its 500th blog post today. In this blog post I am going to blog about the KFC discount vouchers we have been receiving for the past weeks.

We can claim for a KFC discount vouchers for every RM20.00 petrol refill at the Shell station, the promotion period is from 1st May - 15th June 2011, the validity date for these vouchers is by 31st July 2011, and it is only valid for KFC outlets in Kota Kinabalu & Labuan (exclude KFC outlets at the Kota Kinabalu International Airports (KKIA), both terminals. I believe many of us who have been patronising Shell stations here are receiving many copies of these vouchers.

For every RM20.00 refill of petrol, we are are given a RM2.70 discount voucher on KFC Meal 1 (2 pcs Chicken, 1 Regular soft drink, 1 regular whipped potato) and a discount voucher of RM4.70 for a Meal 1 at Pizza Hut which consists of 1 personal Pan Pizza and 1 Tropicana Twister Orange.

For every RM40.00 spent on petrol, the discount vouchers are a saving of RM6.40 on KFC Meal 2, consists of 5 pcs chicken, 1 regular whipped potato, 1 regular potato wedges and 3 buns as well as a saving of RM6.90 on Pizza Hut Meal 2 for 1 Regular Pan Pizza and 2 Tropicana Twister Orange.

These discount vouchers are pretty attractive, KFC and Pizza Hut are on the top lists of my family favourite fast food restuarants. I have collected 7 sets of these discounts vouchers and I don't think we can utilise all of them by 31st July 2011. The expiry date is too soon and too near, they should have given us more time to utilise these vouchers, I suppose they expect us to consume KFC and Pizza Hut's meals every other day, definitely it is not going to happen for the sake of our health and the health of our pockets. :D *.*