My Ramblings

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Merdeka !!

Happy Merdeka everyone !

Amber's kindie had a small do today. The kids were required to wear national costumes and the principal explained to the kids on meaning of Merdeka with a little bit of history.

Doing our part, we donned her in baju kurung, we thought it's a nice change from the CNY clothes she has and since Hari Raya is around the corner, baju kurung is easily available too. actually, I don't have any cheong sam!!

When there's a reason to celebrate in school, she'll wake up early. Her first words when she opened her eyes today was : today need to wear costume ah ? I want Mama to stay in school to take picture for me !!  vainpot!

She was very obedient, got up early, brushed her teeth without fussing and I did up her hair. I put some talcum on her back, just in case the baju kurung is uncomfortable as it looked kinda stiff with hundreds of sequins sewn on it.









Very 'stiff' looking Amber



















Then, she turned and asked us to take the 'back view' :
I had a small chat w her before she left for school. I taught her to wish her teachers "Selamat Hari Raya" and say "Saya suka makan nasi lemak dan ketupat" .. I don't know what made me do that but seeing her dressed in baju kurung, looking resplendent and sweet, I wanted her to utter all things Malaysian. Crazy me !

The school is all ready to celebrate Merdeka. At the morning assembly, the principal was explaining to the children about Merdeka, the year we gained independence and such. I don't know if the kids understood but it's not too early to teach them some patriotism.





Everyone wore a national costume. In orange punjabi suit is one of the teacher assistants and at the back is Teacher Mila dressed in her national costume, from one of the Russian countries, near Uzbekistan, I think !

















It does not matter where we are from and our race. As long as we are living in Malaysia, we should live in harmony !

Happy Merdeka !

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Homework habits.

One day, I caught this photo of her at the childminders,  doing her homework obediently. Everyone had left and she was all alone.

According to her childminder, she gets distracted very easily and will disturb others doing homework. Amber will only sit quietly to finish up her homework is when everyone has left, like shown above.

The other option is to send her to the attic, the 3rd floor room to do homework alone, and she'll feel lonely and be crying out for company. Sometimes Boon will send Yang Yang, a 7 year old Kor Kor that Amber always picks to play 'weddings' with to accompany Amber for 5 minutes. With her 'husband' present, Amber will quickly finish up her homework to join the other kids to play.
 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Weekend With Friends


Last Saturday we had a great gathering with Jaclyn and Collin over at our place. Collin is an old time friend of mine, known him more than 10 years and Jacss is a friend I got to know through blogging. KL is such a small city and one day Collin called me to support and vote for his friend's wife's bento contest and I thought that sounded familiar as I just read about javapot's bento contest from another blog.

Here is me, Jacss, Stephen - her hubs, Colin and his mom and sister and Amber.

Jacss and me !

I had a great time preparing dinner. It's been a while since we had a gathering at home anyway. Hubs was itching for roast pork (again !!! ) and I did just that. Not many dishes, just a few :

Home roasted pork. This time, i managed to get the skin crispy and crackling, much crunchier than before. I think it must be the quality of pork. I got the premium belly from TTDI wet market, Lee Wah Trading. A premium belly is perfect for roasting as the thickness of the rind and meat was just nice to yield a juicy and tender roast with crackling skin.

Hokkien mee, the traditional braised method. Everyone said it was good. *burps*
Pretty easy to cook, no need the big flame charcoal fire like those 'tai chows', I just braised them slowly and the secret ingredient I added was 'flounder fish broth'. To make a good hokkien mee, the base broth is very important. A tasty broth makes a tasty noodle.

Curry Chicken, nothing to shout about but an easy peasy dish that everyone likes

Lap mei fan - forgot to take photos ! I think not hubs favourite.. otherwise he would have snapped all the way.

And for desert, we had lemon cheesecake, fruits and Aunty Mary (Collin's mom)'s jelly mooncakes. Everyone was happy and so is the host. I likee when my guests enjoy their meals, including Amber, who loved the Hokkien mee .


 
I finally got to meet Stuart, Jacss bao bei. I've missed his full moon, his 100 day celebration and was so glad to meet him. Jacss bao bei is really one special kid. He was so obedient and didn't cry or make a fuss at all. All of us went ooohh - aaahh over this handsome little boy with pink complexion.

Us and our kids.

The highlight of the evening for Amber was Pamelia's presence. When she stepped in to our home, Amber asked her "Aunty Pam, can you paint my nails or not ?"

and she kept asking .. and asking .. and asking until Pam opened her treasured kit :


Pamelia is a music teacher and she has a talent of nail painting which she does as a hobby. And we are her lucky friends who got our nail painted, especially Amber, who kept close to Pam all night long.


Look at the detailed flower and design on Amber's little fingers. Very nice.


And this is so perfect. A small Barbie like imprint on her tiny little thumb


And I got my nails done too. I last did my nails during for my wedding and that was such a long time ago. I was all giddy and excited to get my nails done. I told Pam I wanted something that can withstand housework and washing and she came up with this :
Japanese inspired stamping on a clear glittery base. She chose a clear base for me and should the paint accidentally chip off, it won't be obvious or noticeable. All I had to do was apply top coat every couple of days. One week on and my nails are still good.

I sooo love Konad nail art and can't wait to get my startet kit from Pam. Amber too is excited and keep reminding me to apply 'top coat'.  'Top coat' is a new word she learnt and I keep hearing top coat every other day. That little busybody keeps reminding me to apply for her and myself !

All in all, it was a great night for all 3 families. Nothing's better than a good makan at home !

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My daughter and Me


Most daughters will have a very good relationship with their mothers but my Amber has always been a papa's girl. From birth till now, there's no guessing whom she is closer to.

Papa is her playmate

She looks up to Papa

She wants to marry Papa ( I put a stop to that !)

She brings socks to Papa every morning

She dances with Papa

She request to dance with Papa everynight, a trade off before she agrees to go to bed

Papa has the energy to 'wheeeee her up in the air' like this :
She demands plenty of affection from Papa and will not hesitate to say " Love Papa forever" everyday.

With me ?

She doesn't show as much affection with me as she does with her Papa but she'll always look for me, shout for me when Papa fetches her home.
She doesn't shout for hubs if I fetched her home instead.

I still come secondary after Papa. She does not realise we parents are smarter than she think and I know it when she say something in purpose, with hidden meanings.

She'd say things like :

- Love Papa forever, Mama also (notice it's not the other way round, as in Papa also?)

- Amber is Bumble Bee, Papa is Optimus Prime, Mama is Megatron (she thinks I'm st****) -- this one hubs and I die laughing and I'll remember till old.

- Playing doctor, she'll pretend to feed us medicine. Nah Papa, eat medicine, your medicine sweet. Mama's medicine is bitter.

and many many more instances. I've always been placed secondary. I know she loves me very much but she thinks she can get away bullying me. Oh .. and she told her childminder once,. I like to bully my mummy because my mummy doesn't cane me !

The term 'daddy's girl' is very true and Amber is truly one daddy's girl

She and me, poles apart, we always have differing view and end up arguing. I'd say yes, she'd say no. If I'd say pink is nice, she'd choose purple. If I say strawberry is sweet, she'll insist it's sour. I'd say dress is nice, she'd insist on jeans. I'd say tie up her hair in pony tail, she'd insist pigtails. I'd say pigtails, she'd insist on ponytail !

She's the Opposition Party, always at loggerheads with me. You know what I mean ? Take a look here, this photo describes us perfect :

we can't even agree on directions!!

Many times, it's exasperating having a conversation with her. We'd always end up in a huge argument and yes, she argues, loud and full of words. At 4 year old, she can outdo me !

A couple of time I'd give up and say :
Amber, oh Amber! Wait till you grow up and have a little daughter just like yourself ! *evil grin*

She'd say :
No! My daughter not like me ! My daughter like Princess, Snow White and Barbie Doll !!

Aarrgh !! I want to hang myself !

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I like Ipoh Salted Chicken - Aun Kheng Lim's

Without fail, every trip back from Ipoh, our car boot will be filled with these Ipoh famous Aun Kheng Lim's salted chicken. Last trip, on our way down from Camerons, we grabbed 5 of these red boxes :


 
Aun Kheng Lim Salted Chicken
24, Jalan Theatre, 30300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
605-254 2998
11.00am to 6pm 

Located at a red painted corner shoplot at new town Ipoh and  Ipoh is a very small town and going round it, you are bound to come across Aun Kheng Lim's. Don't worry on getting a parking, the staffs are ever ready standing by the road to take your order.


Now, how did we end up with 5 salted chicken ? We were turning into Aun Kheng Lim's and the guy caught hold of my eye and nodded with the fingers up 1, 2 or 3 as in asking how many chickens do I want. I thought.. wait, let me get a parking first, I wanna go down and walk and I waved my palm gesturing him to wait.


We got a parking, and before we had a chance to open the car door, the guy had walked over to our us with 5 boxes of salted chicken in one hand and a RM15 in another. **Pat sap emmm kau**.. RM85 and he had the RM15 change ready should I pay him with a RM100 bill. Talk about efficiency !


Well, I intended to get only 2 or 3 salted chickens but ended up with 5 !!


Hubs and I love the salted chicken. They make a good snack or dinner dish too.
On naughty days, we have it as a snack with beer.

On busy days, I serve it as a dinner dish with hot steamed rice.
I kept it frozen and ready to be dished out as a quick weekday dinner dish when I've lack of time to cook.
Good idea to stock up, eh ?
 
 

Where to eat at Cameron Highlands - Restoran Tringkap

Dining at Camerons is a different experience altogether. The cool weather and anticipation of lots of walking, shopping and sight seeing really whets our appetite. Agnes told me to try Restoran Tringkap and it's famous black pepper talapia fish.

We took the Simpang Pulai route, passing by Kg Raja and few other small kampung-ships until the magical word 'Tringkap' appeared on the signboard. All eyes were alert, me, the driver, the passengers. We were looking for 'Restoran Tringkap'. Not too difficult, the moment we see signboards on Tringkap, we saw another sign to the right 'Restoran Tringkap' with an arrow pointing inwards to the right.



It is located off the main road but you'll see a big sign when you reach a school and market.


Restoran Tringkap
14 Taman Puncak Tringkap
Tringkap 39100
Cameron Highlands
Tel : 05-4962324

Do call if you have plans for dinner, especially if you are staying at Tanah Rata and it's quite a distance to Tringkap. The lady owner is very pleasant and that's one of the reasons why we came back here again when we left the highlands. Food is #1 and service comes a very close second.



Their signature dish - black pepper talapia. Not to be missed. This is so good. My tummy is rumbling now, thinking of the talapia. Comes with a side dish of kerabu and it complements the crispy fish slices so well.



Steamed kampung chicken. I kept pestering hubs to order this. Highland and cold land bred chicken would be different from our KL kampung chicken.. don't you think so ? The lady owner told us she takes in young chicks, as in chicken n hen ok ??? *laughs*....  and she'll breed them for couple of weeks before sending them off to the kitchen for consumption (let's skip the slaughtering part, ok ??) We ordered half chicken and walloped everything. Oh yeah.. the ginger sauce is fab too. I walloped the minced ginger before hubs had a chance to take a second helping.



Belacan loong sou choy, dragon beard vege.The .We had quite a few of this dish at various restaurants at Camerons and RT's is ze best. Not spicy or oily but the vegetable is swimming in the creamy belacan sauce.
We ordered an extra large portion.

Our bill for 4 of us came to RM57.50. Cheap ????

Restoran Tringkap is worth a try. Food is good and the see tau por is a very nice lady. Her sister in law grows her own vegetables and sometimes when harvest is plenty, they'll sell at their restaurant. We bought yellow cherry tomatoes from them and it's much more delish and cheaper than those bought at Brinchang night market.s

And.. I have a little story to tell about loong sou choy.. Back., 8 or 10 years ago, this vege was not popular at all. I was introduced to this vege by a good friend Josephine. Her parents run a vegetable farm at Camerons and she brought us to her family farm one day. She took a basket and we went to a slope part of the farm where chayote patch is and taught me how to pluck the leaves. I've been eating chayote (mou kwa) for years and didn't know the leaves were edible and delicious too. Those memories of Camerons with Josephine remains in my heart forever as Josephine, who is a year older than me, passed away in 2005 of cancer.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Bits and Pieces from Fairlie Estate

This was how it feels like being atop the View Point at Fairlie Estate.. WONDERFUL !!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Morning, startled.

My friend Kevin msn-ed me this today, really LMAO !!


Abdul Razak also insinuated that Dr Pornthip was here to attack the MACC and that her opinion was based on her imagination.
But when Abdul Razak asked Dr Pornthip if she had ever jumped out of a window, counsel representing the Selangor Government Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said: With questions like these, we would all want to jump out.



a good joke is better than coffee, anytime !

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

@ Farlie Estate on a Windy Afternoon


This is a short clip of being at the lookout point at Fairlie Estate, another Boh Tea Plantation. From Brinchang, pass Tanah Rata, you'll see a left turnoff, before Habu dam. It's not as popular as Sg Palas Estate, but I like this plantation. I've been here before once, during my Form 6 days, back then, we had to walk in to the factory from the main road as the roads were so narrow, no cars were allowed in.

I insisted on making the trip there when I was told of the 'tea shop' there.

 A very windy afternoon, winds blowing 'whoosh whoosh whoosh' and tea buds swaying. 
A very lovely afternoon too. Indeed !


video

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Chatterbox and Opposites

My girl loves to talk. In fact, she talks too much. Our poor ears ! From the moment she gets home till bedtime, it's all about her. Listen to her, she's the Princess. The King and Queen cannot talk when the Princess is talking. That's what she said.

Hubs boycott her tonight because she was naughty, didn't want to talk to her and manja her.
She was talking aloud in the car, to herself :

opposite of white is black
opposite of bright is dark
opposite of off is on
opposite of tall is short
opposite of big is small
opposite of day is night
opposite of expensive is cheap

but she did get a few wrongs :
opposite of cat is dog
opposite of house is car

both hubs and I giggled quietly while she chatters at the back seat. At least we know she's learning something at her kindy.

Then going home, she sings this :

Five little duck went out one day
Over the hill and far away
Mother duck then said quack quack quack
but only four little ducks came back

four little ducks went out one day
Over the hill and far away
Mother duck then said quack, quack, quack
but only three little ducks came back

and on .. and on.. and on.. sometimes missing out some ducks,, from five to two, then to four, all in the wrong sequence..

but she can go on singing for hours.

as I'm typing this, she's still singing.

coz the father had boycott her, not manja-ing her as she's naughty

My girl, she just loves talking, yakking, singing on good days, screaming, yelling and commanding on bad days !

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

but sometimes...

my ears needs a break !
 

Amber's Allergy Doctor @ Tangkak

Blogger Chin Nee enquired on Amber's progress after she had read about us visiting the allergy doctor here
Many bloggers and friends have been asking me about Dr Wong and it's very hard for me to explain his method of testing allergy and treatment without sounding bizarre. Not many of the friends whom I've spread good words about Dr Wong did see him, Tangkak is a bit far but living with allergies is annoying and painful and I'd do anything to make Amber more comfortable.

Chin Nee took the next step and made the trip to see him, and found out she's allergic to a 5 spice powder.

Past few days, I've received a few emails asking about 'the special doctor from Tangkak, who practises muscle-energy testing, ie kinesiology to test allergies'

I've taken a many photos of him conducting the allergy test but he told me he's 'nobody until his treatment is proven'. 4 month on, from our first visit, I'd say Amber's allergy has improved tremendously, she :
  1. no longer scratch her backside every night, in public and in school
  2. no longer cough incessantly
  3. Rhinatoil Prometazines are out.
  4. no longer takes antihistamines, as in almost every other day
  5. no longer applies steroid based eye creams and eye drops
  6. only needs 'pei pa koa' to sooth irratating cough
  7. uses a lot less Elomet cream
  8. has much better appetite
  9. has a glow in her face compared to 4 months ago
  10. feels a lot heavier to carry now
All these, thanks to knowing what she can and cannot take, modifying our lifestyle a little bit, never mind the inconvenience of ordering only food she can take, never minding paying more for hypo-allergenic bedsheets, covers and quilts, never mind working extra hard to vacuum and mop our bedroom more frequent, never mind the extra load to change her bedsheet, wash in warm water, spin dry and ironing.

I believe, freedom from allergy is not a distant dream.

If you want to know more about Amber's treatment, you can read it here, here, here and here

If you want a hope to rid yourself of the inconvenience, irratation and lifetime lifestyle restriction that your allergies has caused you, see Dr Wong Meng Kiang at : 

114 Jalan Payamas, 84900 Tangkak, Johor, Tel : 06-9781576



Dr Wong and Amber
His clinic hours are from 9am till 4.30pm, Mon - Sat.

I got to know Dr Wong from a blog visitor, Linda Phua.
Linda, if you reading this, thank you very much and I still owe you a visit and coffee.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

What We Did At Camerons

Once we checked in at Equatorial Apartments, our first stop was Sg Palas Boh Tea Plantation. Since it was a weekday and not many tourist up at the highlands and rushing in and out of the plantation, driving through the narrow windy road was easy!

Stopping by Boh Plantation is now our ritual, if I could have things my way, I'd live here and sip English Boh tea everyday, breath fresh air, sooth my eyes with the greenery. Camerons would be an excellent retirement home except that medical facilities are not up to par in case of emergencies and retirees need the best medical care right ?

Lush, lush greens

and more..




She requested for her hair to be blown salon style.. 'turn turn turn the fringe' and blow, left right and middle. Amber ! She's taking me as her special assistant. Mama to pack her clothes, Mama to coordinate her clothes and Mama to style her hair  like Tweety Bird and Mama to blow her fringe 'pok pok' style.. aka puffed up fringe. It was a lot puffier until the breezy wind at the plantations messed it up.

We stopped by at the Big Red Strawberry Farm and squeezed in some time to pluck some strawberries. At Rm40/kg, the price is triple of what you'd have to pay at pasar malam or pasar pagi but it's worth the fun. Not to mention the few that we nicked and popped into our mouth ! :)

She's sulking when I said Rm40/kg is way way toooo expensive !!

Plucking strawberries is an experience and fun too but I don't think it'll be fun if I have to stoop and spy for fat and ripe strawberries 8hr/day x 5day/wk .. right ? or not ?

a flower budding to a strawberry.



I had to make sure she cut only the fat ripe ones as there's 'sherrifs' walking around and reprimanding those who cut not-so-nice ones and dump them to the floor when they find fatter, redder berries.



Our loot.

Amber was looking for this poser. She remembered the last time we were here with Yuen Wen cheh-cheh and Ah Huat kor-kor, all 3 posed for a pic here. This trip, she had to pose alone.

Tataaa... for Day 1. nothing much to report on this trip anyway, since it's a part work trip.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Stopby at Ipoh

Last week, we made a short getaway to Camerons, partly a work trip as hubs had some tasks to do there. I hope he has more things to do at Camerons, that means we get to go up the highlands more often. YAY !!!

As usual, we'll not give Ipoh a miss, not a chance. I need to have my Ipoh white coffee fix before heading up the highlands. I arranged to meet up with Claire and Agnes, at unearthly morning hours on a weekday. Claire, took time off from her work and luckily she still hold her job now :) and Agnes had to drag Maine up from bed to meet up with us.. as if I'm VIP eh.. but thanks ladies, thanks for dragging your feet to Old Town that morning.


There's Agnes and Maine, me, Claire and a Agnes' morning yum-cha kaki, who happens to be Claire's good friend from school. What a small world eh ? You get to meet your school friend from a blogger's meet ?


and there's Maine, the cute cute Maine, very clingy to Agnes but she allowed me to carry her around the coffeeshop and stopped to ask for an apple. Very cute !

A very rushed and quick meeting, nonetheless, a fun one too. Meeting up in such a crammed place at Sun Yuan Loong coffee shop at Old Town Ipoh is not the best place to chit chat but we'll be back, for sure !

Claire and Agnes gave us some Yee Hup biscuit. Thanks ladies!!

Before heading up to the highlands, we had to complete our all round Ipoh ritual by stop at Funny Moutain tau foo far and pick up some yummy fluffy kaya puff at :


Sin Eng Heong
64, Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri (previously known as Clare Street)
30300 Ipoh, Perak
Tel : 05-2439659

At 70 sen a puff, it's worth every calorie.
They bake 70 puffs per tray and gets snapped up very fast. Patrons order by the boxes of 10, 20, 50 and some even 100. To avoid disappointment, order first. We ordered 50puffs on our way back and didn't have to wait. I walked in with a breeze and smiled when I saw a long queue waiting outside. You can see the queue from the photo above. So, please call, the number is above :)


The kaya puffs, close up. Heaven sent ! and it's non-halal (patutlah sedap !!!)


Another new discovery, their heong peah is fantastic too. 50sens a piece, the cheapest heong peah by far and very delish too.

And so, with a satisfied tummy, we went up the highlands, approximately 1.5 hours drive away.