Thursday, July 30, 2009

Top of the world

Hubby has pretty slim legs and ankles (so unfair), compared to the size of his body, so he has always perceived himself as ungainly and rather far from graceful! There was a point in time when he said that he would never attempt mountain climbing; what with his lack of agility, he was sure it would end up badly!

Therefore, I'm so proud (he's even more pleased) that on 21/07/09, he reached the summit of Mount Kinabalu. It is the highest mountain in the Malay Achipelago, with it's highest peak, Low's Peak, measuring 4,095 m (13,435 ft) above sea level. It is located in Kinabalu National Park, which is a World Heritage site in Sabah, Malaysia. (Wikipedia makes it so easy to sound smart!!)

gorgeous sunrise at the top

here's where he had an encounter with the unknown... (think 'Sixth Sense')

beautiful natural bonsais on the way up

good food after hard work... (looks like snails with algae growing on them if you ask me...)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Grandpa's 70th birthday

Grandpa celebrated his 70th (according to the Chinese calendar which adds a year to the conventional age) birthday on the 18th of July at Toh Yuen Restaurant at the Hilton Hotel.

The kids had great fun over the weekend with their cousins who came back from Vietnam and Miri. Their great-aunt also celebrated her 70th birthday the day before.

Since everyone was around, the whole Ng Clan went to have our extended family portrait taken at Alvin Leong's studio. It was a lengthy, sweaty affair, with cranky babies thrown in. However, I'm sure that in the future, we'll all be happy we took the effort to document this moment in our busy lives, which seem to pass by all too fast.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hybrid word inventions

Claire has this knack for inventing new words by splicing and merging two words of similar meaning together:

1. plick: (verb) a combination of 'pluck' and 'pick'. Eg: Mum, can I plick this flower?

2. splace: (noun) a combination of 'place' and 'space'. Eg: Move over!! I have no splace to sit!!

This one took me a while to figure out:

3. backstan: (adverb) a combination of 'backwards' and 'gostan' (a Malaysian slang derived from the English phrase "go astern"). Eg: Look mum! I can walk backstan!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

up Mt. Singai

On Thursday afternoon, we brought the kids to Bau, to climb Mt. Singai. It's a relatively mild climb, but definitely still tiring, with steps provided all the way to the church at around 1/3 of the way up.

It's beautiful and peaceful there. There are quarters, a cafeteria, an amphitheatre and a grotto complete with fish pond.

Annie had school till 3pm, so dad went to bail her out at lunch time, with some bogus story about having to do her passport!! *tsk, tsk, tsk*

Solomon obviously enjoyed himself the most, what with the good excuse that he still cannot walk!

The small ones were rather tired but Alaena didn't once complain! Claire however, was grumbling most of the way!

Eva fell asleep on the way down so dad had a real good workout!

The reward at the end of the ardous climb was... SUNNY HILL ICE-CREAM!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lost at sea?

Sunday hubby and I went scuba diving again. My body is still aching all over because the two of us were almost swept out to the big angry sea, never to be found again!! (Note: This is based on a true story. Certain parts have been dramatized for viewer's enjoyment.)

The day started out sunny and the sea was pretty calm. We did our first dive and explored the coral and rocks near the island. The visibility was rather poor though and there were no big fish to be seen. Some of our friends had caught big, huge (for our standard) lobsters/crayfish. Claire just told me the week before that she wanted to eat lobster. So, hubby and I decided to hunt for lobsters on the next dive.

On the second dive, we managed to catch two lobsters and were very excited, as this was a first for both of us. So, we went further down the coastline, hoping to find even more! They stick their antennae out from under the rocks and you need a certain skill to yank them out without detatching the antennae. We were not prepared with a net to keep them, so hubby stuffed one into his BCD pocket and I held on tight to the other! Luckily we met a fellow diver later who had a net and gave one lobster for him to keep.

By the time we surfaced, our boat was quite a distance away. That was okay, we just had to inflate our BCD, roll onto our backs and leisurely kick our way back.

Alas, the sea was much choppier than before, and after about 15 minutes of kicking, we realized we weren't moving much, if we were moving at all! When we stopped kicking, the current swept us even further out! *panic*

So we had to blow our whistle and wave hubby's bright orange flipper, hoping the rest on the boat would see us. (hubby didn't bring his 'sausage'; an orange, sausage shaped float which you inflate to get attention) The boat didn't budge, so we were worried that they could not see us at all.

Apparently, they did notice a black speck in the sea with an occasional flash of orange. The whistle was useless though. Anyway, they were waiting for others to surface and get onto the boat, before they could come rescue us. In the meantime, I held onto hubby's BCD and we had to keep on kicking, to stay within sight of the boat, because we were drifting towards the other side of the island.

A half hour of kicking later, they finally came and fished us out. Even the boat had trouble going against the current!

Geez... I sure hope at least I burned a lot of calories that day!

Well, I can't say my Sunday was boring, that's for sure.

And guess what? After all that, Claire decided she didn't want to eat lobster after all.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Devil's advocate...

So yesterday we were driving home from Grandpa's place and Claire and Eva were fighting over a toy (their favourite past-time). One of my usual methods to get them to share is to lecture them about the Devil and their Guardian angel.

It usually goes this way; 'If you are good and listen to your Guardian Angel, she will love you and take care of you. However, if you are naughty and do what the Devil tells you to do, he will love to follow you around and be your friend!'

This method usually has a high success rate when used on Claire and Annie. Not so much for Eva...

After settling that tiff, Claire was playing by herself and pretending to talk on the phone;

Claire: Hello Devil, don't disturb my sister okay? Thanks, bye.


Oh ya, Devil, I forgot to ask you; are you a boy or a girl?


Oh okay, never mind. Bye.

Later, they started arguing again because Eva put her shoe-clad foot on the car seat and refused to listen to Claire's instructions to remove her foot.

Claire: Mummy! Eva put her leg on the cushion!
Mum: Eva, put your foot down.

no response...

Eva, put your foot down.

no response...

Eva, if you don't put your foot down, I'll tell the Devil you're a naughty girl who doesn't want to listen to her mummy!

no response...

I'll tell Miss Tan!

quickly removes leg...

Okay no more!

Apparently Miss Tan (her playschool principal) is scarier than the Devil!

Dad: (just for fun) Is Miss Tan a boy or girl?
Claire: Girl!
Eva: Boy!
Claire: Girl!
Eva: Boy!
Mum: Miss Tan is a girl.
Claire: Nah...
Eva: Girl got long hair!
Mum: Girls can cut their hair short like boys.
Eva: Only boy got short hair!
Mum: No, girls can have short hair as well. She is Miss Tan, that means she is a girl. If she is Mr Tan, then it's a boy.

long pause...

Who is Mr Tan?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Monkeys jumping on the bed

Saturday night, Annie had her cousin Allyson come for a sleep-over. It was already pretty late at night and the girls were still 'rioting' in their room, when Annie suddenly came over to our room, holding her head and telling us she had knocked her head on a corner of the wall and was bleeding!

There was quite a bit of blood, so the first thing I did was to apply pressure till the bleeding stopped. Upon further investigation, we found the wound to be a small gash which did not look too deep.

So, hubby and I piled the whole gang into the car, (all 5 kids, since we were 'maidless' and could not leave them at home!) and headed for the 24hrs Accident and Emergency clinic at Kuching Specialist Centre.

In the car, I took the opportunity to 'nag' the kids, "This is why I tell you all over and over again, do not jump on the bed!"

Eva promptly replied, "I didn't jump on the bed! I only be the crocodile!"

So I concluded that they were jumping from bed to bed, trying to escape the 'crocodile' when Annie hit her head!

Then Eva launched into the very appropriate nursery rhyme;
"Five little monkeys, jumping on the bed.
One fell down and knocked his head.
Mama called the doctor, the doctor said,
'No more monkeys jumping on the bed!'
Four little monkeys...."

3 little monkeys + 1 crocodile (far right)

Anyway, Annie was really worried and asked what would happen at the hospital. I tried to prepare her for the probability that she might have to get stitches. So, I explained that the wound didn't look too bad and hopefully she would not need stitches. Even if she did, it would only be one or two. It would hurt a bit, like going to the dentist.

She started freaking out because she did not believe the last bit and she really has close to zero pain threshold!

So dad tried to help, "It's not going to be painful. They'll give you an injection first and you won't feel..."

"INJECTION?!" cry, cry... sob, sob...

Ooops... wrong approach...

Anyway, after plenty of waiting, the doctor said there was no concussion, no need for an x-ray and no need for stitches!! Hooray! All that had to be done was to (in Claire's words), "superglue the head"!

A bit of tissue glue, a waterproof plaster and some RM63 later, we were free to go. It was around 11pm when we got home. Solomon had already fallen asleep and the rest of the girls were already zombies!

So, I hope it was a very educational field trip for all, with the very important lesson; "No More Monkeys Jumping On The Bed!"

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