Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

lantern festival 2013

This year, the mid-autumn/ Mooncake/ lantern festival fell on the 19th of September. The kids had a great time playing with lanterns, especially flying lanterns, which is the new fad now.

The weekend before, all the kids went to Mei e e's house to hang lanterns all around the garden. Then they went for a short lantern parade walk round the block.

The kids were very excited when daddy released a few flying lanterns!

Then on the actual day, Mei e e and kids came over to the condo. The condo is just behind the Friendship Park, and every year, the park is packed with people playing lanterns. 

So when the wind blew to our direction, the hundreds of flying lanterns would float our way! It was a beautiful sight indeed! Even though there was school the next day, the kids were so excited they could not sleep until almost midnight! They went down to pick lanterns which had crash landed on our compound. Most of them had wishes written on them!

The next morning, flying lanterns were littered everywhere, even in the swimming pool! We also spotted plenty along the road, and on rooftops, on the way to school.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

the smelly market

I remember when I was small, the wet market was situated at Padungan, near where the big cat statue is right now.

We would sometimes go there after morning mass on Sundays. As kids, we never liked it, as it was all wet and icky! We called it the "smelly market"! However, I loved the part where mum and dad would get us helium balloons from the ah pek across the road afterwards! :)

Well, nowadays people prefer to frequent the supermarket, where there is air-conditioning, refrigeration, dry floors and a generally cleaner environment.

I still go to the wet market (now in Stutong) most mornings though, because I find that supermarkets open too late. I like to get my marketing done early so I can attend to other things. There are also plenty of interesting things to be found at the market. It is however more work, as the market is bigger and so shopping there involves more walking and hauling.

The one thing I love most about the wet market though, is the sense of community which can be observed daily. The vendors there range from all ages to all races. Young, old, Chinese, Malay, Dayak and Indian all go about their daily business under one roof.

It doesn't matter if a Chinese aunty is selling her goods next to a Malay uncle; they help watch each other's stall when the other is away on a toilet break. They will attend to their neighbour's customer for them.

Sometimes when one doesn't have a weighing scale, the neighbour kindly shares his.

So the other day, I had a huge bag of plastic bags, collected over weeks. Since I use those large black bags for rubbish, I have a lot of small plastic bags which I do not use. So I bring them to the market for vendors to re-use.

This time, I passed them to an Aunty who ran a small sundry shop. She was very happy and asked me what I wanted to eat! I told her it was okay, as I had no use for those bags anyway, then I went about my marketing.

After a while, she hunted me down and pressed into my hand a small black bag. She told me it was just a little something for me; and I saw it was sweet potatoes and some salted vegetables. I told her it was unnecessary, but she insisted, so I thanked her for her kind gesture.

I know these are simple people, far from wealthy. So her gift really touched me. It may not be much material-wise, but as they say, it's the thought that counts. 

It feels good to have this sense of community with complete strangers! It's amazing how a humble bag of used plastic bags resulted in the return of a healthy dose of good will to brighten my day! This is something you definitely can't find in the modern, automated, sterile world of hypermarkets.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

random pics 2013

Here are some random photos in my phone...

This is one of Solomon's cute drawings. Those are rockets and the yellow triangular creature at the bottom is an Angry Bird! :)

3/4 of my kids in my car...

Solomon is over the moon! He inherited Cousin Marc's soldier costume.

Eva performed during school assembly. Her class sang a Chinese song; "The Moon represents my Love". (I think.. Hehe..)

Here's Claire and Cousin Michelle! People mistake them for sisters!

The night we went to the Kuching Food Festival..

Birthday presents shopping at Toys R Us!!

Solomon proudly showing off his 'Perry the Platypus' creation..

Kung Kung Paul's birthday at Joyous Shanghai.

The Singapore cousins having a sleep over at Ta Ee's house.

Cousin Adam with an Angry Bird toy up his nose!

Cousin Michelle's 11th birthday at Sarawak Club.

A meet up with ol' friends at Bing.

At my cousin Gerald's wedding.

Cousins Bryan and Ethan receive their first holy communion. Don't they look handsome!

Ta Ee's birthday in Singapore.

Helping with the cooking...

At our friend, Olivia's wedding.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

dentist misery

Solomon has an appointment to see the dentist tomorrow! I am very stressed out!

This photo is very deceiving. Here it seems he is very happy at the dentist's office. The fact is, however, that the dentist has left the room to attend to another patient first, after spending more than half an hour coaxing this little boy.

So she actually went to see another, last patient of the day, halfway through, so that she could get back to my son and spend more time on him!

Well, the poor boy most probably got this phobia of dentists after his very first visit to a guy dentist. This guy one was not very good with kids. So when he started drilling on a cavity without explaining to Solomon first what he was doing, Solomon got really scared! He struggled and the drill must have hit the inside of his cheek a bit and caused some bleeding.

After that awful episode, I decided to change dentists to a female one who is very gentle and patient. She also has two girls of her own and they happen to live at our condo, so she knows how to handle kids. 

Unfortunately, Solomon had already developed a deep-seated fear of dentists. Just like uncle Polycarp! :)

On the very first visit to this female dentist, Dr Christina, we couldn't get anything done at all. He wouldn't even open his mouth. He did try. He was very brave right up to the moment he lied down on the chair. Then he panicked I guess.

So we returned a second time and managed to clean two cavities without drilling and filled them. Since they were done without drilling, the fillings fell out pretty soon. Hence this third visit, last month.

So after the dentist attended to the last patient, she came back to us. We tried everything, from bribery to threats! Nothing worked! First he refused to even sit on the chair! Then refused to open his mouth! Then he kept pushing her hands away!

After more than an hour, I had no choice but to hold him down. The assistant and I held him down and restrained his hands while Dr. Christina went to work.

I was so distressed I forgot to tell her about the second cavity on the other side!!! She obviously didn't see it because Solomon was being so difficult!

So now we have to go again!!!

I am so not looking forward to this...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

uncle frankie

Uncle Frankie passed away yesterday, after a year-long, brave battle against cancer.

He defied doctors' predictions of only months left to live. He was a fighter and he fought to the last breath.

Uncle Frankie will always remind me of the sea. A captain and an accomplished fisherman, he even appeared in the newspapers once, for catching an enormous marlin!

We will miss you Uncle. May your soul rest in peace. I'm sure mum will be welcoming you at the gates of heaven.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I am 36!

Happy birthday to me!

I am now 36! 

Hubby bought me a gorgeous bouquet of pink gerberas and roses!

Sis 2 & 3 surprised me with a cake!

Then Hubby brought us for a lovely buffet dinner at Four Points.

My sweet band friends also bought me and another friend Linda a cake earlier on at a meeting.

I'm a lucky girl! ;)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

raya holidays @ damai beach

All the grandkids at Damai. Cousins Bryan and Ethan were the only ones missing :(
So Ta E brought cousins Benedict and Dominic back to Kuching for the long 2-week Raya break.

The highlight of the holiday was of course the trip to Damai Beach. I'll let the photos do the talking...

they literally played until the sun set!

 We were at Damai during the peak of the Perseids meteor shower! 

Unfortunately the kids were not patient enough to wait for shooting stars. It was also difficult to manage 15 kids on a pitch-black, mosquito-infested beach! We ended up building a mini campfire and roasted marshmallows instead.

Anyway, it was great fun. The kids always enjoy a good holiday with the cousins.

Well, we also managed to squeeze in some other activities like watching Smurfs 2 at the cinema, playing games at Spring and creating chaos at Kidz Paradize.

Ta E also gave a brief demo on how to do CPR

horsing around..

 It was a great 2-week break from the mundane school runs! The only thing that could have made it even better was the two missing cousins Bryan and Ethan!
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