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Friday, April 29, 2011

Little Busy Bee

Elyssa drives me half nuts sometimes, but at other times, she can really put a smile on my face.
I was busy cleaning up the kitchen one day - then without a word and with a very serious face, she got herself busy in the backyard too.

First, she took a cloth to wipe the floor

Then, took an old toothbrush to scrub the floor

Yay !!! I had about 30 minutes of peace and quiet while she "cleaned" the floor!! Ok... she just made the floor wet (and probably got it dirtier) and got herself wet in the process. But I enjoyed watching her, cos she was soooo serious the whole time.

She smiled and asked "Why Mummy?" when she saw my camera :)

After I was done cleaning the kitchen, I proceeded to prepare lunch.
When she saw me, she declared it was time to cook lunch for her "children" too, so she brought her kitchen utensils and made herself busy right next to me...


Well, a "busy bee Elyssa" is definitely better than a "crying/whining Elyssa" !!! ;)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Medan Holiday - Hotel Photos

There's nothing much to do in Medan, so we spent quite some time in the hotel to just rest and relax. For the part of the holiday on our own, we stayed at the J.W. Marriott Hotel...... our favourite hotel chain since we joined the Marriott Vacation Club. :)


Nice and spacious hotel room
Comes with huge work desk, 42 inch flat screen tv, big wardrobe, comfy sofas etc

As usual, Elyssa had her bath tub fun!
I like it when there's a big window in the bathroom, as I keep an eye on her without needing to be physically in the bathroom

Some info on points for this hotel -
No. of Marriott points required : 15,000 pts per night
Current promotion : 10,000 pts per night

No. of Marriott points we receive when we refer friends for the free 4D,3N Phuket vacation : 10,000 pts.
So yes, it's a win-win situation when it comes to referral - our friends enjoy a nice vacation, we get points to redeem for a free stay :)


More photos -

Hotel Pool

Elyssa in the baby pool
She didn't spent much time in there cos we forgot to pack her swimming floats :(

Instead, she preferred to laze around in the huge daybeds by the pool
We also ta-pao'ed A&W burgers to enjoy at the poolside :)

Bonding time with daddy

Buffet breakfast was one of the best we had


Tight security to get into the hotel
Feels like in the airport. They were pretty strict - even my plastic bag with a loaf of bread had to be put through the scanner!! But makes us feel very safe each time we stepped into the hotel

Cheeky girl @ the hotel lobby

ps : Can contact me at adrineong@yahoo.co.uk for the free 4D,3N holiday. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Medan Holiday - Sightseeing & Food Photos

Besides Berastagi, the only other sightseeing place we went in Medan was to Maimoon Palace, built by the Sultan of Deli.

Rather well preserved but there was NOT a single board/sign/person explaining the history of the palace.

Throne Room

Ceiling of main hall

Bright yellow exterior

As usual when it comes to visiting historical sites, Elyssa will be sound asleep!

Some of the food we had -

Mee Goreng Indonesia @ Nelayan in Sun Plaza

Ice-blended chocolate avocado drink with durian pancake

Local Fried Banana Pancake with Syrup

On our first night, we decided to try out Nasi Padang near the hotel. First time eating and we were surprised at the number of dishes brought out for just the 3 of us!

Later discovered that we could just take what we wanted and leave the rest. (not dim sum style either, where you must take the whole plate. For nasi padang, if there's say 5 pieces of beef curry in a plate, can just take and pay for 2 pieces, leaving the other 3 pieces behind). Interesting concept, but seems so unhygienic!!! The same food item could have been served many times previously and what if the previous customers played around/touched the food with their own utensils????

In the end, we only took fried fish and fried chicken. Dare not touch the curries and mashed vegetables! The fried chicken was one of the best I've tasted though - crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. Yummy!

More than 10 dishes


Food collection of what we didn't eat in the end. Rather impressive skills to carry 10 plates in one hand eh?
(but again, there's another unhygienic point - the base of the plate which had touched the table and dunno what else, actually touches the food items on the plates below it)

For dinner on our last night, we had Nasi Padang again with hubby's colleagues. Didn't feel the "unhygenic" factor so much since we finished the 10+ plates among the 8 of us on our table (so it feels like a normal meal), but of course what remained questionable was where the food items had been BEFORE being served to us!!! But just close one eye and eat lah......

Thursday, April 21, 2011

3 Years Old !

My precious baby is now 3 years old!

A belated monthly update since she turned 3 more than a week ago, but then better late than never. This is probably going to be the last of my monthly update on her progress anyway (up to 3 years old was my original target) since there's less monthly progress compared to the earlier years.

About her -

1) Weight : 14.5kg

2) She is a real chatter box and her vocabulary is increasing by leaps and bounds these days. Some of the simple things she picks up like "I have xy, YOU have xy, BOTH OF US have xy" never ceases to surprise me.

3) She likes to ask questions about her baby sister, most common being : "Why baby sister still not out yet?" And her question that really stumped me so far was "Is baby sister wearing diaper?" Errr...... if I say "yes", how do I explain how to change the diaper? And if I saw "no", then how to explain how her baby sister pees/poos?

4) Though a non-stop talker at home, she can be completely quiet in the presence of strangers or someone she hasn't seen for some time.

5) Most of the time, she runs or turns away when she sees my camera. I guess I have taken too many photos of her!

6) Not as greedy as she used to be.

7) She's still drooling!! I wonder when she's going to stop.

8) When she saw daddy drinking beer recently : "Daddy, I can drink beer now. I am THREE years old already. I am a BIGGG girl" ;)

9) She has stopped wearing diapers when we go out, but only if we know the car journey is going to be short and that toilets are easily available at our destination. She's more keen on the diaper-free idea compared to us. (yeah, again it's a lot of - "I am three years old already. Bigg girl already. No need to wear diaper").
On our part, we really dread the "I want to pee pee" words when we are engrossed in shopping, halfway through our meal etc.. Much easier to just let her wear diaper but I guess we need to move on!

10) On bad days, she can really whine and cry A LOT! Drives me nuts when I see and hear too much of this -
Hmm.... now that she's three, does that mean the "Terrible Twos" phase is over?? (fingers crossed, but somehow I doubt it!)

11) Then, there are times when she can be pretty angelic -


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Medan Holiday - Berastagi ( Day 2 )

We're currently on a short break in Medan, Indonesia. Yup - hubby, Elyssa, myself and my 30 week pregnant belly. Probably my last chance to follow hubby on a business trip before I get too big!

His official work part is Mon to Weds, but we flew in earlier on Sat for a little family holiday. For Day 2 (will write about Day 1 later) we chartered a taxi to Berastagi, a highland town about 2 hours away from Medan.

Berastagi is actually half way to Lake Toba, but we decided to give Lake Toba a miss cos there were lots of online reviews about very bad road conditions. Turned out to be a good decision - 2 hours was bearable (some parts of the road were just full of potholes! a horse could have gone faster than a car. but overall, not as bad as I feared), but 4 hours would have been a torture!

Some photos taken in Berastagi town -

View of the volcano

My princess and I

I loved the cool weather and the scenery!


There were plenty of horses for riding - either on horseback or in a carriage
Fixed pricing so we didn't have to negotiate
3 of us in a carriage
25,000 rupiah (slightly less than RM10) for a 10 minute ride. Elyssa was so excited!!




For our late lunch, hubby was a little worried that our stomachs couldn't handle the roadside stall food hygiene, so we asked the taxi driver to bring us to one of the nicer hotels.

Our lunch
Simple but tasty fried noodles and rice. (110,000 Rupiah, approx RM40). We sat out in the open so it was really nice

Happy girl posing after lunch

Blur photo of a fruit stall, taken from the moving taxi
Plenty of these stalls on the way


The journey back from Berastagi to Medan took us almost 3 hours! There were more vehicles so that created a backlog at some parts of the road that which were full of potholes.

So, was the day trip worth it? Well, the journey back and forth was longer than the amount of time we actually spent in Berastagi itself. Also, travelling with my pregnant belly and a young child meant we had to miss some of the key highlights of the town such as trekking up to the volcano crater and trekking up to the hot springs.

But still no regrets cos we had an extra day to spare. The cool weather (almost like Cameron Highlands) and views were lovely. And it was indeed an eye opener to see the living conditions of the locals as we moved further and further away from Medan town. We also coudn't help thinking that the government could better develop tourism in Berastagi simply by improving the road conditions. After all, it's less than 70km away from Medan! Imagine spending 2-3 hours on the road for that short distance.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Elyssa's 3rd Birthday Celebration

Elyssa is now three years old!

For her 3rd birthday celebration, we went out for dinner with close family members.
When she goes to pre-school next year, she will finally be able to have a birthday event with her own friends. (Right now, her "friends" are her soft toys and other kids she meets when we go out - after a few minutes of playing, she happily declares them as "my friends!")

Dinner (2 tables) was at Extra Super Tanker Restaurant @ The Club, Damansara.

Food was good! We ordered -
1) Whole Roast Duck; chinese sandwich style
2) Steamed Patin Fish with soya sauce
3) Braised Claypot Pork Ribs
4) Fried Crab meat & egg with lettuce leaves
5) Thousand layer crispy beancurd
6) Spinach & century egg soup
7) Birthday noodles.

BUT I was so busy eating / entertaining that I completely forgot to take a single photo of the yummy food. Aiya.....!
Pinched some photos from a food blog -

Roast Duck

Beancurd

I only remembered the camera for the cake cutting session.

Happy Birthday girl with daddy & mummy

Cutting her Hello Kitty cake

Hubby and I with our six kids???
Ha ha.... that's us and Elyssa with her cousins - Chloe jie jie, Justin kor kor, Charmaine jie jie, baby Jensen and baby Jo Ern

Elyssa with Ah Kong and Justin kor kor
(Ah Mah was in Taiping)

Elyssa with Ku Jie

After the photo taking, it was time for the more important event - ENJOYING her birthday cake ;)

Must test first - nice or not??

Nice! Very nice!


Happy 3rd birthday my little princess!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Time Apart.....

Time apart is important because -

When I hear Elyssa's voice after just a few hours of being apart, my first thought is often :
"My little girl's voice is as sweet as an angel"

BUT :

After being alone with her the whole day and having to put up with her almost NON-STOP chatter and questions, all I can think of is :
"Oh my god.....I'm going out of my mind. Why won't she shut up????"


I'm so glad my little chatter box is finally asleep. My ears need a good rest!!!

__________________
PS : The only time she's quiet is when she's sleeping. Cos during the day, she's either happy or unhappy. Unhappy = cry/scream/whine ; Happy = talk/laugh out loud/talk some more.
There's the occasional silence during tv/ipad/computer/eating time, but it doesn't last long!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Photo in Parenthood Magazine

I got a pleasant surprise last week when I received an email from Parenthood Magazine. The next morning, I went to the bookstore and was grinning from ear-to-ear when I saw this -

Elyssa's photo in the April edition of Parenthood Magazine

Close-up

I have already given up hope since I submitted the photo more than 6 months ago.

I have't collected the free Pigeon products yet, but seeing Elyssa's photo in the magazine is really "syiok" enough for me!! He hehhh ;)