Monday, August 30, 2010

Solomon in school

This is Solomon's first passport-sized photo taken at the shop. It's so funny how he looks exactly like his Daddy! :) I had to take a photo because I just enrolled him in playschool today. He'll be going to the same school Claire and Eva went to. He starts on Wednesday!

He came along to visit his new school and fell in love with the toys! After the tea set, he went on to play with the farmyard animals set and refused to go home! Let's hope when he starts school for real he'll have this same level of enthusiasm!!

Here he tried out the uniform. Doesn't he look dapper?

*sniff*  My baby's a big boy now! Now there won't be any more babies at home with me while the big ones are away at school...

ABBA's back!

Saturday night, we went to a charity dinner, featuring ABBA's back, an ABBA tribute band from Australia. This dinner was in aid of three charities, namely the Catholic Welfare Services (of which Kung Kung Titus is the chairman, so we were all busy selling tickets previously...), The Sarawak Kidney Foundation and the St Vincent de Paul Society.

It was held at The Borneo Convention Centre. The production of the event, the entertainment, down to the cost of the food served were all generously sponsored! They managed to raise RM1.2 million for this event!

All 12 of Kung Kung's Kuching grandchildren were there to support this grand occasion.

Killing time before the concert...

We were seated up at the gallery. Tickets were RM100 per seat up here. Down in the hall, tables of 10 were sold for RM10,000, RM5,000 and RM3,000.

The whole gang enjoyed each other's company. Luckily there was a Gameboy, a PSP and many handphones to keep them occupied during the boring and super long opening acts which included a Chinese orchestra and Dayak sape music. They were good, but could not hold the children's interest and went on for waaaay too long.

They had the usual 8-course Chinese dinner downstairs...

... while we had a '3-course western' snack upstairs!! :)

L-R: Bishop Dominic Su (my mum's cousin), Archbishop John Ha and Kung Kung (who did join the seminary for a while in his younger days!!) launching the Catholic Welfare  Services website. Kung Kung also gave a speech, inviting the public to help their cause, and it was screened on the big screens set up on the walls and all the little ones were so excited!

Here's one of the opening acts which was quite amazing. They're doing a line dance, which is boring enough, if not for the fact that they're hearing impaired (deaf)! I think there was one lady in the front who wasn't, so she lead them. Still, very well done!

Here's a guy called Stanley who was one of the Akedemi Fantasia (Malaysia's version of American Idol) contestants. He sang the Spanish version of "Unbreak My Heart" and has a very good voice. Then he sang Josh Groban's "You Raised Me Up" which he said was requested by the organizers and also reminds him of his mum who suffered from kidney failure. Coincidentally, this song also reminds us of our mum. We played it during her funeral.

Hmmm... I wonder if it was my dad who requested it, though I doubt he knows much about songs from this decade!! 

Hehehe... better not underestimate him... :)

ABBA's back finally came on at 9:30pm! The kids were already pretty tired! It was worth the wait though, cos who doesn't know and love ABBA songs? The kids definitely enjoyed it more than the previous acts and were clapping along (even Solomon) while us old folks sang along! (If you know ABBA lyrics, I'm sorry, you are old!)

I really wanted to catch my favourite, "Dancing Queen" (which I later learned was left to the very end), but the kids were all too sleepy to stay on, so we left at 10:45pm. The concert finished around 11:30pm, after some encores. Annie was also hoping to catch "Mama Mia", but that was the third last.

Although a little draggy in the beginning, it was well worth the wait. The ABBA performance was of good calibre and now even the kids are singing, "Money, money, money... Must be funny... In a rich man's world..."!

You can have a peep at ABBA's Back here:

National Day concert

Annie's school held an assembly cum concert to celebrate national day on Friday. There are a lot of Indonesians and Koreans in her school, so they celebrated their countries as well. Their concert was entitled "Lodge (maybe) got talent" :)

Annie performed in a Bidayuh dance and also recorder repertoires of "My heart will go on", "Eight days a week" and "Can you feel the love tonight?".

Here is Da Bin, our neighbour, with some friends in gorgeous traditional dresses. They performed a traditional Korean fan dance.

Cousin Amanda was in a skit portraying multiracial harmony. It was about a Malay wedding, attended by friends of different races, speaking different dialects. It ended with a loud "Yaaaamseng!" (a toast to the couple, Chinese style)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

King of fruits *burp*

I thought I should write a tribute to the fabulously unique King of Fruits, a.k.a. the Durian! You either love it or loathe it!

Durian from Kung Kung's house

Kung Kung Paul has a durian tree at home, which he brought back as a seedling many years ago from Terengganu. It is apparently a Thai breed and I can attest to it's superior genetic make-up, because it's fruit is a beautiful yellow, with thick, sweet, rich, creamy, mind-blowingly delicious flesh! I have never bought any durian in Kuching which tastes as good as Kung Kung's. Thus, this tree is understandably famous, and dare I say legendary, among those who have tried it's fruit! So much so that I don't bother with other durians in the market, because they are never as nice and are not at all worth the calories and the stinky breath which results (and not to mention the other noxious bodily gases!).

Rich, creamy goodness!

The only time I have eaten durian which tastes as good is when I was with Hubby at KL, on the road, what's the name, the one behind Lot 10? Where there are plenty of durian stalls (during durian season) selling branded durians by weight! We had one called "Wang Shan Wang" or something like that which cost RM100+ for just one durian! It was expensive alright, but really good!

I forgot to take a photo of the fruit in it's shell, and durian season is over, so I took this off the net, for the benefit of those poor deprived souls who have never seen the inside of a durian! :)

Kung Kung's tree is huge, around 3 stories high, but is now really old and not producing as many durians as it used to in it's heyday. During the peak of it's career, some 4-5 years ago, the faithful tree could produce as many as 200 durians in a single season! Now it only produces less than a 100. Efforts are being made to graft the tree to make new seedlings, but have so far been unsuccessful. We tried planting from the seed, but it resulted in a tree which produces durians of a different quality, whiter and thinner flesh, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Anyway, when the tree was performing at it's very best, that was the couple of consecutive years I was pregnant with Claire, then Eva. My due dates for both of them were in the middle of the year, right smack in the middle of durian season! Thus, during my last months of pregnancy, I had durian every single day! There was always at least two containers of fresh durian in the refrigerator, it was like yummy durian ice-cream! It's no wonder I gained around 20kg per pregnancy!! :)

Well, I sure hope the good ol' durian tree has many more good years left in it!

So what are you? A durian lover or hater?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Little Miss Destructive III

Eva has struck again...

This time, she broke this water gun/ pump thingy...

when she bashed her Daddy over the head with it!! :)

For more on Little Miss Destructive:
Little Miss Destructive II,
Little Miss Destructive

Friday, August 20, 2010

New ambition

Yesterday, the kids were having roti canai at the Indian coffee shop next door. Claire and Eva were watching the man making their rotis. Just to let you know, Claire is passionate about food.

So, when I sat down to join them, Claire informed me of her newest ambition:

Next time I want to be a Indian so I can make curry! :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kampung Segong

On Sunday, we followed Sis no.3 and family up to Kampung (village) Segong. It is her colleague's kampung, and there is a nice stream there, just right for some dipping and catching small fishes. It is a 40 mins drive from town, and I was initially reluctant to go, as Hubby was not around, cos that meant that I would have to drive. I have never really driven long distance, since Hubby always chauffeurs me while I snore away! :)

However, Annie is obsessed with catching fish (like her mummy and her mummy's mummy!), and if I did not bring her, I would never hear the end of it! It also didn't help that Sis no.2 and family were spending the night at a beach. So, I had to either bring them to the kampung, or listen to, "No fair!" for the rest of the day...

The place is pleasant, clean and not overcrowded. Annie went straight to her fish catching while Claire and Solomon took a while to warm up. Eva however never warmed up and refused to sit on the stones, let alone go in the water! She stood up the whole entire time and wouldn't even sit on a towel I placed on a bench! Oh dear, she really needs training. When we go to a park, she sometimes even refuses to step on grass!

When the others started throwing stones into the water, she wanted to join in, but would not pick up the stones herself! Sidekick had to pick up the stones for her and wash them first, and only then would she hold them and throw them into the water!! In frustration, I forced her to sit, thinking that if her butt touched the stone, she would think that it was already 'contaminated' anyway and she might as well just remain sitting... but it only made her cry!! :)

Anyways, here are the rest of the pics:


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Second hand books

Last year, a group of people came to Annie's school to sell second-hand books from the US. I bought her a few books and she seemed to like a series called 'Junie B. Jones' by Barbara Park. Annie barely read books then, so I was exhilarated that she found this book interesting and would actually read the book from cover to cover! I only managed to buy three of these books and then the book fair moved on. I tried looking on eBay, and apparently this series is very popular and common in the US. I tried bidding a couple of times for a complete set, but the price always went too high!

So, after a while I gave up looking for Junie B. Jones books and forgot about them. Annie also stopped reading! Then recently, when her friend Samantha and cousin Amanda came for a sleepover, I noticed both of them reading some books which Amanda had gotten for her birthday. I told Annie to go choose a book to read with them, but she chose to go to sleep instead! (She dislikes going to sleep early, but apparently considered that the lesser evil!!)

Amanda and Samantha continued to read into the night and I had to know what they were reading. It was the 'Geronimo Stilton' series; books about a mouse who is a detective or something like that...

So, I bought Annie a Geronimo Stilton book to try and she really liked it and has read many of them since then. Thank goodness! I think reading is so incredibly important, not only to improve the language, but also for general knowledge. I used to love reading the many books we had at home when I was a kid. We had all the Hans Christian Anderson and Brothers Grimm fairytales, Bible stories, Mother Goose nursery rhymes and I loved a book called 'The Book of Where, Why and How' with lots of interesting and unbelievable facts.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, we heard that the book fair was back, at one of the shopping complexes. As usual, they had good condition, second-hand books from the US, priced from RM3.90 to RM19.90 only! We've been there twice and Annie has managed to add another 13 Junie B. Jones books to her collection. What's more, she has almost finished reading them all!

The smaller ones also chose some books for Mummy to read to them at bedtime.

Plenty and plenty of wonderful books! I had to control myself from buying too many to carry!

There were so many classics, like Dr. Seuss, Disney, The Berenstein Bears, Richard Scarry and this was one of my favourites; Babar!

I truly hope that all of my children will discover the joy of reading!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kuching food festival 2010

Last Wednesday was uncharacteristically sunny. Although is it supposedly the dry season now, here in Malaysia, it is still raining almost every other day! It used to be that mid-year was when rain was so scarce that we faced water shortages and haze due to open burning. Instead, it it now almost the same as the monsoon season which is wet and gloomy.

Anyway, since it was nice and dry on Wednesday, I decided to bring the kids to the Kuching Food Festival. This festival or food fair, is held every year during the month of August to celebrate the day Kuching was promoted to 'city' status. We didn't go last year because of the hand, foot and mouth scare. There were many cases then, so it was best to avoid crowded places.

Well, this time, went early, at 6pm, to beat the crowd (or so I thought), but when we got there, the place was already packed! We barely managed to find a place to sit. The huge crowd was evidence of our love affair with food. Malaysians adore food, and since this was basically a congregation of all the different types of hawker foods imaginable, it was definitely a food lover's utopia. (Besides, there's nothing much else to do in this small town... sorry, 'city')

There were stalls selling Taiwanese sausages, German style sausages, Chinese, Thai, Malay, Indian food, ice-cream, cakes, dumplings, nyonya kuih, you name it...
This stall however, caught my eye. It was a stall selling all things durian; durian crepes, durian puffs and durian mooncakes!

There was also a garden display and the kids enjoyed the fountains and gazebos and there was even a wishing well equipped with an iron bell you could ring.

The night would, of course, not be complete without ice-cream and balloons all around! :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rock climbing for beginners

Here's Solomon and Claire scaling the stone feature outside St. Joseph's Cathedral on Sunday. I remember doing the very same thing when we were still small enough to be allowed to play outside during Sunday mass. Then also as a teenager while waiting for our parents to pick us up after school, since school was just next to the church.

Yup, my kids are playing on the very same special stones I played on.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Binikles, binikles I say

So the other day, Eva came home from school and proudly announced that her teacher had taught her all about 'binikles'!




Anyone want to take a wild guess?

Binoculars? Bikinis?


I was too...

Bewildered, I asked her, "So what are 'binikles' then?"

Seemingly frustrated with her Mummy who doesn't seem to know anything, she replied, "Cars, lorries and motorcycles lah!"

Ahhh...... binikles......

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


So, this happened quite a while back. Annie asked me about menstrual periods because she heard her older cousin and some friends talking about it. She was only 8 then, but I figured it would be better to get the facts of life straight from your mum, instead of learning the wrong things from peers!

Mum: Yes, you will get your period maybe when you are around 12, 13 or 14 years old.

Annie: What?! (not too happy with the idea)

Mum: Yup, you will have your period for a few days, and it happens every month.

Annie: WHAT?!! Every month for a whole year?!

Mum: Ermmm....... no....... every month until you are around 50 years old...

Annie: WHAT?!!

Hahaha.. wait till she finds out what happens after that!! :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Claire's point of view

Claire is very straight forward and will say whatever comes to her mind (without editing):

Here's the thing; Hubby wants me to start brainwashing the kids into accepting the fact that studying medicine is what they will all want and have to inevitably pursue when the time comes! :) The deal is that they study medicine and after they qualify, they can do whatever they want, even if it means becoming a painter (Annie wanted to be a house painter once!) or electrician (Claire wanted to be a 'fixing-light-man'!), etc...! hehehe...

So, one evening, the kids were watching me make a cake and talking among themselves:

Annie: I want to open a bakery next time when I grow big. But cannot ho mummy? Because Daddy say we all have to be doctors.

quiet pause...

Claire: We wait until Daddy die la! Then we can open a bakery!


As you know, Hubby is always travelling. He usually goes to Bintulu for the week and comes back for the weekends. The previous trip however was exceptionally long; he stayed there for 2 weeks and did not come back for the weekend.

When I told Claire that Daddy was coming back that night she said:

Claire: Why Daddy always travelling, travelling ho? 

Mum: Well, he has to go to work and earn money in Bintulu.

Claire: He go Bintulu so many days, like our Daddy already die like that!

:) Poor Daddy...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Eva is four!!

Wednesday was Eva's real birthday. She turned four years old! :) So, as tradition dictates, we brought her a cake to school to celebrate (again). As usual, Solomon tagged along and Claire came over from her class to join in the festivities!

I made her a ladybug cake. She actually had a ladybug cake 2 years ago when she celebrated her 2nd birthday. I hadn't started making cakes yet then, so I ordered it from a bakery. It was buttercream and only okay looking. So now, since I can finally make decent cakes on my own, I decided to make her a nicer ladybug cake with fondant this time.

I should have added a mouth though.. but I have no idea how a ladybug's mouth should look like! :)

Here's Eva two years ago, she had just started school! I like to let them start playschool around a month before their 2nd birthday, so that they can celebrate their birthday at school and feel special and happy about school! Only Solomon has missed his 2nd birthday in school because the playschool I want to enroll him in is under renovation and will only accept new students in September. So now I'm thinking that he may as well start next year... hmmm... 

Claire jie jie and cousin Alaena were also at the same playschool when Eva celebrated her 2nd birthday, two years ago. 

My, they really grow up fast don't they?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sunday barbie

So we finally had the combined birthday party on Sunday at our condo poolside. Thankfully the weather was gorgeous and perfect for swimming and barbecuing. Here are the pics:

Family and friends...

Swimming, of course...

Here are our lovely little guests!

We played musical chairs, but kids kept crying when they lost, so one game was more than enough! :)

The menu included burgers, hot dogs, pandan chicken, root beer float, beer, beer and more beer...

Happy Birthday Claire, Eva and Solomon!

Hubby says it's such a good idea to celebrate their birthdays together that next year we should include Annie as well, never mind that her birthday is in May!! :)
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