A new journey begins …

Earlier on, I have read Alv blog about how long we spend our life schooling . Now, here I am blogging about (play)school. :) Yup, Vanessa is going to start schooling next Monday. I have enrolled her into Play School 1 in SuauSindak. Oh, I am so excited for her. (Err, I don’t remember being excited about my first day in school…hahaha…) Anyway, I hope Vanessa will be happy at SuauSindak.

We chose Taska SuauSindak not only because of its strategic location (it’s along the road we use to go to work/home and near to my office), but also it offers Kadazan language lesson besides Malay and English. We really want her to be able to speak and understand our mother tongue properly. Nowadays majority of our young generation barely understand the Kadazan language, let alone speaks them fluently. *sigh* Sad but that’s the ugly truth. To me, it’s a loss if we could not speak/understand our mother tongue. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it is the only Taska that has Kadazan language lesson. At least, in Penampang area la.

Although SuauSindak has been our #1 choice right from the start, I visited two other Taska, Taska L and Taska T. Taska L is colourfully decorated, clean and equipped with proper safety measures but I couldn’t shake the feeling that there’s something wrong with it. *sigh* I don’t how to describe it but to me, the place is just not right. Nevertheless, I took their brochure all the same and move on to the other one. Good thing that it is only a block away.

Though Taska T is not as colourfully as the previous, but the moment I walked in its compound, I felt at ease and comfortable. The place is clean and I saw a few assistants entertaining the kids. The owner was one friendly lady. From her, I found out that some of the kids at her place were former kids of Taska L. They were transferred to her place for various reasons such as lack of activities and the food they served. She looks sincere in sharing this info with me. I don’t think that she was just trying to woo me in sending my kid over. :) If we haven’t set our heart with SuauSindak, I would gladly settle with Taska T.

Nevertheless, I am glad that I made the effort to visit Taska L and Taska T. :)

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In the midst of the heavy rain ...

After 3 months drought, it finally rained yesterday. The heavy downpour was much awaited by many, not only us human but also the plants and animals. My cats and dogs were smiling from ear to ear before they curled up in tight-ball positions for their afternoon nap. Hehe..just joking! They didn’t smile la but I’m sure they were happy too..hahaha… Oh, I was on leave yesterday, that’s how I got to witness their happy faces. :)

I took the leave to bring Mom to Klinik Kesihatan Luyang (KKL) for her eye-checking. :) No need to go to QEH anymore. No complaining about the bad service in KKL...hehe. The whole process was super-quick. From registration to consultation, it only took us 2 hours. The waiting area was quite comfortable and there were not many patients around. Even Vanessa was very cooperative that day. She happily belted out a few of her favourite nursery rhymes while waiting for her grandma. :) Free entertainment for the people in the waiting area. The only bad thing I have to say is the insufficient parking space in KKL.

For those who had been there knows exactly how difficult it was to get a parking space in KKL compound. I think I saw a sign that says only Lot 1 to Lot 10 is for public use. The rest are for staffs. The parking lots for public are always occupied. If you found one vacant, it must be your lucky day! Hmm…apparently yesterday was not my luck day; I had to look for a parking space at the nearby Heritage Plaza shoplot which is on the opposite side of the road.

After dropping off my Mom and Vanessa (yup, my little girl tagged along too), I went to park my car there. Good thing that there were plenty of parking spaces available. Having parked there, I had to cross the road and walk a good 100m to KKL. Well, it’s not that far but the heavy rain and the traffic made it difficult. The rain had created ankle-high puddles of water along the road. Each time a car drive by, the water will splash on some poor pedestrian. In this case, that poor pedestrian was me. Some considerate drivers slowed down their car when they drove pass but some didn’t bother. Or was it because of the rain that they couldn’t see someone with an umbrella walking at the road side??? *sigh* By the time I reach KKL, my jeans was soaked up to the thigh.

It was still raining when everything was done with Mom’s check-up though not as heavy as it was earlier. As I need to get the car, I had asked Mom and Vanessa to wait outside the Klinik. “Mau ikut mummy bah. (I want to follow mummy.)” I almost fainted when Vanessa said that. It was not easy to walk with one hand holding an umbrella while carrying a 13kg toddler on one hip. After some reasoning and persuasion, to my relief, Vanessa cancelled her demand and waited with Mom while I went to get the car. Phew!

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Who wants to be Borneo Top Blogger?

You guys have probably heard about this contest but I’ve only found out about it from the newspaper yesterday. And I’m sharing it here again just in case ada yang termiss….hehe

The contest is organized by BorneoColours.com. The award is to recognize outstanding bloggers from the island of Borneo. Therefore the contest is open to all bloggers from Sabah, Sarawak, Labuan, Brunei and Kalimantan. The early process is on going now but there are still time.

For more info, hop on to BorneoColurs.com. :)

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Another baby when?

Now that Vanessa is nearly 2 ½ years old, a lot of people, friends and family alike, have been asking us when we’re going to have another baby. “Don’t you want to give Vanessa a sister or brother to play with?” ; “You don’t even have to buy new baby bedding set or baby clothes, just reuse Vanessa’s old ones.” It is only normal for them to come up with this question/remark, especially the elderly relatives. So, I don’t really mind them asking. :)

Okay, to answer the question. Yes, we do want another baby. We are trying but so far, no luck yet. :) Nevertheless, it didn’t stop me from browsing around for baby items like baby blankets, high chairs, strollers, toys, room décor, to name a few. :) At DesignerBaby.com you can find designer brands of baby furniture, bedding and decor minus the designer price tag! Designer brand with its stylish superiority and enduring quality at an affordable price? Yes. No kidding! If I were to become a first-time mom, I would have gone for this fantastic deal... hehe…

Well, since I am not and we already have most of the necessary items, we won’t be buying as many things as the first time when baby #2 come along. It’ll be such a waste to not reuse our older children’s things since they are still in pretty good condition. The baby crib bedding set I got during Vanessa’s baby shower is still good. So are the strollers and most of her clothes, mitten, booties and toys. When I look at the pile of her outgrown clothes and toys, it brings back fond memories. It’s amazing how fast time has gone. :)

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Today's breakfast

By now, I’m sure you all have had your breakfast. Don’t tell me that you skipped breakfast ya. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Skipping breakfast will not help us lose weight; but it can get us irritable, restless and tired.

Hmm...what did you have for breakfast today? This is what I had. A piece of char kuey from my favourite stall and a mug of black Nescafe. The char kuey cost RM1.00 a piece. It has been for few years but recently I noticed that the length had been slightly reduced. Why? Price hike in the ingredients. No need to elaborate further la. You guys are smart and can figure it out on your own. :)

Okay, the stall is located outside the vegetable market in Donggongon town. On the sidewalk between the vegetable market and pork market to be exact. Well, the char kuey is not the only thing that the tauke nyong are selling. She also sells buns (butter, tausa, etc), nasi lemak, fried noodles, newspaper and magazines. But the best seller would be the crispy char kuey. Some char kuey are too salty but here it is just ngam ngam. Normally, by 9am, the char kuey are already sold-out. :)

Some of us may prefer to have our char kueykahwin” (married) but I always had mine plain. Char kueykahwin” is made by cutting the char kuey into half and spread with kaya paste on one side and Planta (margarine) on the other half. Then, they were put back together again and so, they were “married”. :)

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Cheap eyeglasses

Prescription eyeglasses don’t have to cost a fortune anymore. You can get cheap eyeglasses online. One place I know of is Zenni Optical.com. Being the #1 online Rx glasses store, Zenni offers a wide selection of eyeglasses. Well, they may not be designer glasses but if you are simply looking for a decent pair then why not?

Zenni Optical takes considerable pride in being able to bring to all a very high quality product of great durability, safety and comfort at truly reasonable and affordable prices. This is the place to find the lowest price progressive glasses. Zenni are able to offer them at such low price because they have their own factories thus no middlemen and no retail overhead involved.

Since I have never bought from Zenni before, I do not have any personal experience to share. However, I know of one satisfied customer. :) You should read
Eric’s review of Zenni Optical.

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The best Monday

For months, I have been dying to get my hands on the latest Dan Brown’s book, The Lost Symbol. I know it has been long available in major bookstores in KK but being in hardcover, I couldn’t afford to buy one. RM99.90 is a big sum to me. I have to ‘suffer’ until it’s available in small-print paperback... :(

But little did I know that my ‘suffering’ was about to end. During lunch, my heart was itching to go the Penampang Library. And…Yay! I couldn’t be happier with my visit. My ‘suffering’ ended TODAY. There on the “Returned Book” shelf was a copy of the book! Yup, you bet. The moment I found it, I grabbed it off the shelf and borrowed it pronto…hehehe….

I was so happy to find the book. I can hardly contain my happiness. I was smiling from ear to ear all the way back to the office. All the stress of Monday was soon forgotten.

Today is by far, the best Monday I ever had. :)

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What was that?

I went to an Aunt house few weeks ago. It’s been a while since my last visit. I was waiting for her to open the door when I caught a glimpse of something protruding from under the cracked pavement of her frontyard. At first, I didn’t really pay attention to it. Then a few minutes later, I saw it moved. Whoa..I wasted no time asking Aunt about it.

I thought she’ll be surprised but I was wrong. She confirmed that there is indeed something living in the ground under the crack. It’s a small monitor lizard (biawak). Well, I was really surprise because I didn’t expect to see one in an urban residential area. Kalau di kampung lain cerita la… :) Good thing that I was not standing near the crack or else, I’d scream like crazy and terrify the whole neighbourhood.. LOL…I keep my distance from anything that belongs in the lizard family, the harmless gecko included…

Right, back to the main topic. According to Aunty, they only realize its existence only a few months ago. That was after her mother passed away few months earlier. Well, maybe it has been there all the while but didn’t make frequent appearance until then. She mentioned about it to her friends and they advised her to treat ‘lizzy’ in good manners. Not to harm it, not to chase it away or something like that. They said, ‘lizzy’ may bring her and family good luck. Some even suggest that it could be the reincarnation of her deceased mother.

Though Aunty is not really a believer in superstitious stuff but she gladly follows their advice. “We (as in her and family) don’t mind having it around. It’s not like it’ll harm you or anything,” she said. Yeah, right. *shudder* Obviously, she and her kids have no fear of this creature. Hehehe…Aunty, next time I come for a visit, I’ll make sure the ground is clear before stepping out of the car. I don’t want to harm ‘lizzy’ maa…*wink*

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Chilled treats

In view of the scorching hot weather, I bet most of us would love to stay indoor as much as possible. Because my house is not equipped with air-conditioner we have to rely on the fans. However, the ceiling fan, although switched on to the max, it is still very hot inside the house. We had to resort to additional help from the standing fan as well. Yup, that’s how hot it is. The maximum temperature outside can go as high as 33 Celsius… don’t play-play ah!

As if the hot weather wasn’t enough torture, there was power failure in our area yesterday afternoon. Huh! What a coincidence?! Vanessa was napping then and I was looking forward to some quiet “mommy time” watching TV, going online or reading a book when suddenly all the electrical appliances went dead! Dang! It certainly killed-off my mood to read. Instead I went to fan the little sleeping beauty, manually. Well, it didn’t take long before the she woke-up. I had expected that. Who can possibly sleep in that kinda heat? Thank God she was not cranky. :)

No TV to watch. No mood to play. Luckily, I had fixed something chilly and yummy earlier on. I have made a bowl of macaroni and fruits salad and the most important thing, it’s chilled to perfection. Just the right thing to have in any hot day!
Nasib baik sempat ambik gambar sebelum habis kena makan...hehe...

It’s so easy to make. All you need are macaroni, canned cocktail fruits or fresh fruits (I combined both), mayonnaise and low-fat plain yogurt. Cook the macaroni for 8-10 minutes, add some sugar and a pinch of salt. Drained the macaroni. Add in the mayo, yogurt and fruits. Mix well all ingredients and chilled before serving. Anybody can make this yummy food… :) We all loved it except Vanessa. She dislikes the sourish taste of the mayo and yogurt.

Knowing that, I had made her these. I named them Crystal-Clear Treasure. Hahaha…don’t mind the fancy name. These cute little ‘treasures’ are made of white agar-agar (jelly) powder, cocktail fruits and sugar. Very appealing, don't you think? My little girl loves them. :)

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Green Police

You are still using plastic bag to load your groceries? If you do, you better look around before you ask the cashier for one because the Audi Green Police may not be too far behind. *smile*

Who exactly are these fearful Audi Green Police? They are a fictional Green Police unit created by Audi, the German manufacturer of exquisite automobiles. The Audi Green Police, as described in their website, are “caricatures of today’s “green movement” and “a humorous group of individuals that have joined forces in an effort to collectively help guide consumers to make the right decision when it comes to the environment”. The Audi Green Police are here to facilitate our decisions-making, helping us to make a smarter and well-informed decision. As Audi says, “They’re not here to judge, merely to guide these decisions.”

Nevertheless, their Green Police commercial which made their television debut during the 4th quarter of the Big Game on 7th February, received different reaction from the viewers. Some find it amusing while others find it offensive. Either way, the ad is definitely memorable. In it ordinary citizens are arrested for using plastic instead of paper, throwing away batteries, not composting orange rinds, possessing incandescent light bulbs and setting their hot tub thermostat too high. That’s how serious those Green Police are.

Now, are there real Green Police in real life? Yes, there are. Numerous of them. In Israel, the main arm of the Ministry of Environmental Protection in the area of enforcement and deterrence is called “Green Police”. New York has officers within the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation that are affectionately called the “Green Police”. The “Green Police” is what Vietnam Environmental Police Department is popularly known as. And in the UK, they have a group who dresses in green as part of the Environment Agency’s squad to monitor excessive CO2 emissions.

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Bathing tantrums

Bathing time used to be Vanessa’s favourite time. She used to love it that bathing twice a day seems not enough. But, not anymore. The fun are over. Lately, she doesn’t even want to step a foot in the bathroom! Let alone taking a bath. *sigh*

Before this, her bathing time is around 09:30 in the morning and 5 o’clock in the evening. Now she will only take her bath at 11am and 6.30pm…and not after she put up some tantrums. Bila saja sampai time mandi, misti mau berperang dulu … She'll scream and struggle when her clothes are removed. *sigh* I pity Mom and maid because they have to go through this tiresome task everyday except on the weekend where I will take over the task.

We tried various ways to persuade her. Talk to her, let her do it herself, let her bath with her rubber deer … macam-macam la. Did it work? Yes, but only for a day or two. After that, we have to find another way to persuade her…and we are running out of idea already. *faint* Ntah apa lagi cara mau pujuk ini budak kici…When soft-talk doesn’t seem to work, then we had to force her. She’ll end-up screaming, crying and throwing whatever item she can get hold of until the whole bathing process is over. It’s not a pretty sight and I would very much like to avoid it.

But some day when she feel like taking a bath, she will stay in the bathroom for an hour…nda mau keluar2 dari tu bathroom la pula. Eventually, we had to persuade her to leave and get dress. Aduii..this little girl is causing me headache…

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Famous name

Have you ever read a book by Steve Berry? If you had, I’m sure you are familiar with the name Cotton Malone. Cotton is the nickname of the protagonist in his book. A former top operative for the U.S. Justice Department turned bookstore owner, Cotton was first introduced to us in The Templar Legacy. Now after reading another three of Mr Berry’s latest books, I am still wondering how Cotton got his nickname. It is still a mystery. *smile*

Out of curiosity, I browsed for the name in Names Browser and voila! There are 200+ records of people having that name. That get me wondering, did any one of the Cotton Malone listed have ever receive phone calls asking if he is indeed the famous protagonist in Steve Berry’s book? *smile*

Anyway, if you want to reconnect with old friends, find a long lost relative or need to verify a person's contact information from your e-mail address book, Names Browser can help you. By using their reverse e-mail lookup, you can get names and address (including city,state and zip code) of any e-mail address.

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