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Elyssa's Ticker

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sisters - 5.5 and 2.5 years old

Here are a couple of photos of the two sisters and 5-and-a-half years old and 2-and-a-half years old :

Bedtime reading 

See their matching skirts!

Enjoying a snack together

At a birthday party
Their favourite activity at any shopping centre


I dug out the photos above after seeing these from my old memory card -

Here they are at 3.5 and 0.5 years old.

Will try to take more sisterly shots next year.  After all, they are only going to be "x" age and "y" age only once!  :-) 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Tupperware Craze

My sis and I went through a Tupperware craze a few months ago.

It pretty much started from a Tupperware shoot at my home. (someone posted in our neighbourhood FB forum that they needed a location urgently. Hubby responded and the shoot was done 2 days later)

Photo Shoot
It was certainly interesting to watch! There were the people from the shooting company, the production company, 2 child models and mum & grandma of the 2 models. And then there were all the camera equipment in the house. And of course the Tupperwares. (loads and loads of em!). 

Cute child models (Sis and bro team)

After the photoshoot, my sis and I talked about Tupperwares and then she mentioned an online site where she saw a sale.  We spent the whole weekend agonizing about what to get, in what size (which involved us pouring water into different containers to see how big is 800ml, 250ml etc) , how many units, what shape etc etc  ;-)
Part of my loot

Another part of my loot (bought later using my colleague's member card)
I love these modular mates in my kitchen cupboard. All used up by now.

 And here's more
Hey, they make good toys too! Here's Elyssa practicing her balancing skills.

I've got quite a few more not in the photos above.  Tupperware shopping can be very addictive!
My collection is way, way less than my sis tho.  Hers is probably double or triple mine. Hehe.  Come to think of it, I should reword my first sentence.  I went through a Tupperware phase (partially cos I was running out of storage space), but she's still happily going through it.   :-)  

Penang Holiday (Part 2)

This is a wayyyy backdated post, which I wrote part of it more than 2 months ago here. Well, it's one of those better late than never post.  ;-)

We stayed 3 nights at Hard Rock Hotel. Supposedly a family holiday but it turned out to be hubby's work trip. Plus point - we got to stay 2 nights for free. Minus point - I had to take 2 days of my precious annual leave at the very last moment. Grrrr!

Photos -

We got a nice room overlooking the kids play pool

Super excited to go to the pool

Watching the band at night
They were very good!

Pool time again, when daddy went to work the next morning

Colouring in the Play Room

No post about a Penang holiday is complete with at least some food photos.  So here's two  :-)
Yummy Indian Curry @ Little India

Assam Pedas @ Nyonya Breeze

And erhm..... that's all about the Penang trip!  (That's the problem about posting so late. Can't remember already. keke)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Elyssa's Sticker Chart

A few months ago, Elyssa went through a difficult behavioural phase - tantrums, angry face, shouting, fighting with others etc etc.  What I've learnt these past year is that Elyssa responds better to the soft approach. When scolded or smacked, she can respond rather aggressively.  My, my, the words she has spoken and the tone used have certainly shocked me before. (words like "I hate you", I don't want my sister", "I want you to go away" in a very, very angry tone).

I tried an experiment once - when she was very angry and agitated, I just hugged her close to me without saying anything. She struggled, screamed and tried to get away from me. After about five minutes of screaming and kicking, I felt her body relax. I calmly asked her whether she wanted to read a book. Surprisingly, she said yes and that was the end of that tantrum episode.

From that experiment, I learnt how to handle her DURING a tantrum session. But to PREVENT a tantrum, I had a lightbulb moment - sticker chart!

So, the deal was - 1 star sticker for each day that she's good. Once she gets 100 stars, she gets to choose her own gift (with mummy's consent).
She was super excited with her star chart!

Beginning was tough - in the first week, I think she got 3 stars only.  In the second week, I think it was about the same.   She tried really hard tho.  On the days she didn't get a star, she would whisper to me at night : "Mummy, is it ok if I try to get a star tomorrow?  I"ll try and try ok?"

And somehow, from the 3rd week or so onwards, it went smooth sailing.  I was so, so, so happy to get my little princess back (and not the little monster she turns into during tantrums)!. 
She got a star practically every single day.  It became almost a nightly ritual to give her the star and for her to happily count them.

Happily counting her stars

Getting more and more!

Almost there!

Even my mum was really surprised with the behaviour change. These days, almost daily when I pick the girls up, she will say "Elyssa is good today, She is good every day these days". (Elyssa LOVES to hear this!).  Yay!! 

Last month, she managed to accumulate her 100 stars.  For her reward, she requested for fairy wings and a magic wand. (I was prepared to give her a much bigger gift, but she insisted on this)

So, so happy with her hard earned reward

My 2 fairy princesses
I bought the pink/blue/yellow fairy wings for her first. Regretted it cos it was so big that it kept flopping down. I bought another set for Elyssa and she generously gave the earlier wings to Erin  :-)
These days, she gives me a lot of these " sweet" moments!
She is now on her second reward chart already. Same concept, but this time I told her she needs 101 stars. hehe.  She has about 20 stars now.
I never imagined such a simple reward chart can result in such a drastic behavioural change to Elyssa. She is such a lovely, lovely girl to handle these days. :-)    Ok, there's still the occasional drama but hey, she's only five. 
Now, what I really need is another lightbulb moment for Erin. I am still at a loss how to handle that mini wildhorse!

Daddy's new toy - Tent

Shortly after our camping trip, hubby got all excited and bought a HUGE 6-man tent from a warehouse sale.

He wasted no time setting up the tent in the garden:

The huge tent

Look at the size! 
I can even stand up straight at the centre of the tent

Say hello, Erin!

Elyssa and Erin happily brought their toys to play in the tent

Playing session in progress :-)

So, will this tent be another white elephant in the house??  Time will tell.  (ahem....yes, I was obviously not consulted before this purchase!)  But then again, after reading this, I'm sure hubby will put the tent to good use.  haha.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

My India trip - 2013

I made a short 3D 2N working trip to New Delhi last week as my company is setting up 2 new subsidiaries there. The meeting was only from 10am to 5pm for one day though.  The other two days were for travel time.

Timing wise, Malaysia is 2.5 hours ahead of New Delhi. After a 6 hour morning flight, we arrived around lunch time.

Bad traffic from the airport to the hotel
During the 1 hour journey, a lot of  kids knocked on the taxi window either peddling stuff or asking for money.  Some were no older than Elyssa.  Sad sight indeed.

During the ride, I discovered something else - Indian drivers honk a LOT!  Can hear honking practically every 10 seconds. Everyone jostles to get their way.  Driving in New Delhi is definitely not for the faint hearted.

When we (my boss and I)  checked into the hotel, I had to request for a room change as my original room faced the main road.  No way I could sleep with all the honking noise. Freshened up a a bit then we went for lunch at the hotel restaurant.

 Free Appetizer
I was rather surprised with this huge plate of raw onions! Discovered later this raw onion dish is a norm.

My (half eaten) Butter Chicken and Plain Naan was sooooooo good!
 I was rather tired from the whole journey, but after taking a few bites, I perked up immediately.  Happy, Happy  :-)

After lunch, workaholic boss went back to his room to work while lazy employee went out shopping. Wheeeeee!

Negative point - Most of the markets are closed every Monday.  And yup...we arrived on a Monday.  Bummer.

I asked the van driver to bring me to Khan Market, one of the few markets open on Monday.  (but it's a more upscale market for their expats)

Some photos from Khan Market:

Variety of Necklaces

Handmade Paper and Notebooks


Little trinkets

Nothing really that interesting. (but I did a elderly guy squatting down to poo at the carpark!). After less than 2 hours, I asked the van driver to bring me back to the hotel.

Plenty of these 3 wheelers on the road

For dinner, we joined our other colleagues for dinner at the upmarket Hauz Khas Village.

Trendy restaurants and bars 

We went to  roof top restaurant called "Out of the Box" (pic from the net)
Food was excellent again! Discovered that Indian Rum + Coke was very good as well  :-)

Day 2 -  We had our meeting from 9am to 5+ pm. 
Then it was time to go shopping again.  Yay!

One of the external consultants drove us to the nearby Lajpat Nagar market. When we went into his car, he rolled down the windows a little to let in the cool air. But remember the kid peddlers? I got a shock when a girl put her hands through the window gap asking for money when the car stopped at the traffic lights. We couldn't drive off with her hands in the car!!  The consultant patiently explained to her that we were tourists and she shouldn't give a bad impression.  After a while, she made a face and then left.  Phew. My heart was beating so fast throughout the incident.

The consultant suggested a dining place for us and then dropped us off at the market.

I was so glad we made the trip there! We walked around absorbing the sights and sounds of the market. So interesting!

Some photos :

Freshly made bread
Smelt so good!  But dare not try in case our tummys can't take it. (the seller handles the bread with bare hands and wraps it in newspapers for takeaway)

"Kitchen area" just behind the bread stand
Everything made fresh on the spot. The oven is basically a huge pot embedded into the ground. 

Another bread stall

This one had a more modern kitchen

Local spice shop

Me, at one of the market streets  :-)
The weather was really nice.  Cool, but not too cold
After walking around for a while, we went for dinner at at Indian restaurant called Pind Balluchi.
Our Drinks
Being adventurous, we ordered the most exotic sounding drinks on the menu.
They were absolutely AWFUL !!! Salty and milky and with plenty of  spices. We just couldn't finish them.

Appetizers - can't remember the name but one was paneer cheese and the other was stuffed tofu. 
They were both very good. (cheese was oh, so light and creamy inside)

Our main meal
Err....chicken dish, vege dish, spinach naan and another type of bread. (must remember to take photo of menu next time. hehe)
Again, they were excellent!!!  Definitely over-ordered.  Burp!

After the very filling and yummy dinner, we walked the streets of the marketplace again-

Roadside stalls - fried potato wedges

Roasted corn, sweet potatoes and lime

Random stalls


My haul from Lajpat Nagar Market
Dried figs, pistachios, walnuts and organic tea

The next morning, we checked out after breakfast and headed straight for the airport.  Traffic was surprisingly clear so we had plenty time to shop around the airport.  Got myself a nice Pashmina shawl :-)

Bye Bye New Delhi!