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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Maid is Back!

We survived 3 weeks without our Cambodian helper! Hehe….. first world problem  ;-)

Was super relieved when we saw her at the airport after her 3 week holiday!! It was actually her first holiday after being with us for almost 4 years.
Performance wise, she's not super great, but ok lar.... just close one (sometimes one and half) eyes ;-)
Big plus point is that she adores Erin to bits! She has 4 boys of her own so she treats Erin like a daughter she never had.
Looking back at this old post, I was concerned about the 2 agreements I signed that week - for a new maid and a new job.  4 years on, maid is still here and I'm still with the same company.  I guess the decisions weren't too bad after all! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Speech Therapy for Erin

We started Erin on her speech therapy again. She has improved quite a fair bit, but still slow for her age.

Last Saturday was her 3rd session (my first one as the previous 2 were on weekdays), and the therapist focused on 3 sounds:
a) H  :  Ha-Ha-Ha, Hu-Hu-Hu, Hee-Hee-Hee.
b) P   : uP, iP, oP, eP
c) K   : Khhhh.  Ke, Ka, Ki, Ku, Ko

Erin was quite ok with the first 2. With practice, I think she should be able to master it eventually.

The "K" sound is tough tho! The therapist used a tongue depressor (like an ice-cream stick) to press down the tongue so Erin didn't quite like that.

Session in Progress
Luckily, Erin is pretty comfortable with the therapist.

Feeling the air for the "H" sound
Hopefully she will progress fast. Need to remind myself to spend some time daily to go through the speech exercises with her!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Adelaide Holiday - Day 7 (Part 2) and Day 8 (final day)

Day 7 (part 2)

After Carrick Hill, we drove back to Adelaide town center. Made a stop at Haigh's Chocolate Factory @ Greenhill Road. Too bad we missed the last chocolate factory tour.  What to do...just go to the chocolate shop loh.

Haigh's Chocolate Shop
Plenty of chocolate selection! Not exactly cheap tho. 
We were about to walk-off then discovered a section called "Chocolate Seconds" i.e. slightly imperfect chocs (eg: chipped off at side, broken bars) at discounted rates.  Whoo hooo!!!  We happily chose chocs from that section  :-) 

After Haigh's, we set the GPS to our hotel for the final night of the holiday.

Tonsley Hotel
After staying at the lovely apartment at Lady Bay Links, this hotel room was of course very different. Basic (but clean) small room with 2 single beds and 1 double bed, no cooking facilities. Pretty pricey too, at AUD 130 a night, booked via Agoda. 
We counted our blessings that we managed to stay at Lady Bay Links under the Marriott Vacation Club package!

We didn't stay the last night at Lady Bay Links partly due a silly mistake on our part. Booked 7 nights (fixed block) at the apartment, then booked the return flight based on 7 nights from departure date. But forgot that departure was just before midnight!!  So effectively, we missed out the first night at the apartment, and didn't have a place for the last night of our holiday. Bummer!  But then again, maybe it was for the better cos by flying out on Friday night instead of Thursday night, the girls didn't have to miss school (ok, mebbe that's just us consoling ourselves. hehe) 

Anyway, we rested a while at the hotel, then drove to Glenelg for dinner. (no more cooking facilities). Pretty near the hotel but what was totally UNEXPECTED was the difficulty in getting a parking slot on a Friday night! Gosh, we ended up circling the place for close to an hour before resorting to paying something like AUD 10 per hour at a premium parking zone. Grrr!  Ok, in hindsight, we should have just parked at the premium zone when we got there. 

Dinner at Outback Jacks 

My pork platter 
Nice but nothing great  

Girls were engrossed with the colouring packs 

We walked around Glenelg a little then headed back to the hotel to complete our final packing. We were about the sleep when we got a call from our neighbour that our home had been burgled!!  Aaarghhh!!  What a shocker!  3 men were spotted jumping into the compound. Further checks revealed they tried knocking the glass panel but didn't manage to enter, probably scared off cos my opposite neighbour got suspicious when our dog barked continuously (poor dog was cordoned-off to under the washing machine) and drove his car to our gate area.

Day 8
Nothing much for Day 8 since we had to return our rented car by 10am. (since we collected the car at 10am on Day 1. If not for the car restriction, we would have to be at the airport by 11+ anyway. No point paying extra for just that one hour).  We managed to squeeze in a last round of grocery shopping before we left though. Bought chocolates!

Bye Bye Car!  Our faithful companion throughout the 8 day holiday

Final photo of the holiday

Goodbye Adelaide!!  We'll be back one day!
It was really an easy paced, free-n-easy holiday for us. There was no wi-fi at Lady Bay Links which took a while to get used to. But when we went to the free wi-fi zone near Rundle Mall in Adelaide town and hubby's phone went "Peet" " Peet" "Peet" continuously with incoming messages and he started replying them, I realised,  "Hey, it is really good to be disconnected after all"!
Really loved the time we spent together as a family.  :-)
*finally I'm done with Adelaide posts, 2 months after our holiday. hehe*

Monday, May 11, 2015

Australia Holiday - Day 7 (Part 1)

Our last day at Links Lady Bay Resort!   :-(     (but luckily still one more day to go for this holiday)

With a heavy heart we bade farewell to our apartment...

Cleaning up for the last time

Some photos not posted earlier -

Our outdoor patio with view of swimming pool and tennis courts. 
We never got a chance to swim in the pool tho. The water was unheated and despite it being hot on certain days, the water was still far too cold to swim.

The playground that the girls loved 

We spent some time at Yankalilla town again, because hubby wanted to go the Buy-Sell Exchange shop AGAIN.

His favourite shop!

While he shopped, I brought the girls for hot chocolate at the nearby Yankalilla bakery.

Latte for me, Hot choc for them to share and a chocolate slice

Outside view of the bakery. Love the blue skies!

After he was done, we strolled down the street.

Spotted this lovely sewing shop

Went to another shop and the girls spotted chocolate!

Elyssa chose an Easter Bunny Choc while Erin chose an Easter Egg
Elyssa started a chocolate conversation - "Bunny Bunny" talking to "Egg Egg" here.  :-)

Passed by the furniture shop again
Can spot the yellow chicken mascot which the girls took photo the day before?

Another photo of the buy-sell exchange place
Before we got into the car, he made this last purchase of an old style picnic basket, complete with cups, plates and cutlery. Can't remember the price exactly, I think it was AUD 11.

And then, off we went again...

Some pics taken along the way-

Destination for the day was Carrick Hill, a 20th century heritage home musuem and garden, previous home of Sir Edward and Lady Ursula Howard.

Elyssa at the entrance

With my 2 girls

The house tour was at 2.30pm so we had an hour plus to kill. No probs at all cos the garden was just beautiful!

Had our picnic lunch there. It was a weekday so we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.

My sandwich - Bacon (yes, bacon again!), egg, ham and salad, with bbq sauce dressing. Yumz!

What's a picnic lunch without a bag of chips?  hehe.

"Here's mine!"

Just chilling....

There was little slope and the girls rolled down and climbed up over and over again!

Soon, it was time for the house tour.

Clockwise : Grand Dining Room, Fireplace (with original flower painting by Nora Heyson, whose house/studio we went 2 days before), Bedroom and Upstairs Area (this one reminded me of a typical Peranakan house)
The guided tour was just us and an Aussie couple. Girls got a little restless so I brought them around the house while hubby listened to the guide. He's more interested in historical details than me anyway. heh.

Clockwise : Living area, Kitchen, Foyer and Garden View from inside.

Bye-Bye Carrick Hill!  

--to be continued-- 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

School bag

Just look at the state of Elyssa's school bag ..... after only FOUR months!!

Gone, Gone, Gone

Got this bag during our Penang holiday last year for RM 50. Was hoping it will last at least a year but it lasted only 4 months. And her classroom is not even upstairs. Sigh.  
Just bought a replacement bag (Swan bag for RM 99) for her.  Now, that better last for at least one year!