Sunday, December 23, 2007

Active boy

Since coming back from Penang, little boy has suddenly decided that he had enough of lying down, and has been crawling around the house super fast. At times he gets over-ambitious and even tries to stand on his own. So... he has been knocking his head on the ground a few times each day, and has a blue-black bengkak on his forehead to show. He is now super-energetic and not easy to keep up with.

He has also developed some itchy eczema rashes on his elbow crease, neck and ankles. A pediatrician friend recommended Aqueous cream to keep the area moist always. Some senior parents have suggested formula milk may be a cause of his itch.

Anybody out there got some good advice?

Winter Solstice

Not sure when is the exact date, but I think Dongzhi, the Winter Solstice Festival is around this time. A friend called to wish Happy Dongzhi just now. I know some families have big reunion dinners during Dongzhi.

My mum used to make Tangyuen (glutinuous rice balls in sweet soup) around this time. Inspired by the tasty Tangyuen we ate during Tony's wedding dinner last weekend, I decided to try make some this week. Made a first batch on Tuesday... but didn't know how to wrap the gula Melaka fillings properly, and they all leaked.

The second batch today looked better... coz I made all plain ones. Hehehe.

Happy Dongzhi Festival, and a bowl of delicious Tangyuen for you. Play the Winter Sonata if you like.

Christmas is coming soon

Members of the Kingfisher Methodist Church came over to our place for carolling on Tuesday. Really appreciate them for coming.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A trip to Penang

My little sister got married.

We flew over to Penang on the 5th of December to attend Julia's wedding. It was the first flight of the day. We had to wake little boy from his sleep to catch the 6.30 am flight (which took off at 7.00 am urrrghh).

It was little boy's first experience aboard an aeroplane. Lucky fella. 8 months old already got to fly on a plane. Luckily he was quiet and slept through most part of the flight, and it was a direct flight to Penang.

It was also Ryan and his mummy's first trip to Penang. He was obviously very excited. Well, I have been to Penang a couple of times. It's still a much awaited break and holiday. Besides, we'll be meeting families and relatives that we have not seen for a long time.

The first day was rather uneventful. We dropped our stuffs at Julia's apartment. Then went for a bit of shopping at TESCO hypermart. Hey, it's also little boy's first trip to a TESCO. The rest of the day was spent resting at home and a dinner at a dimsum restaurant (don't believe me? Penang people really eat dimsum for dinner!).

Julia lives in an apartment that's quite near the sea. Here's the view from the balcony. You can see the Penang Bridge at the right upper corner. Many people live in apartments on the Penang Island. What to do, land is limited and expensive.

On the second day, we did the tourist thing... we went to the Kek Lok Si temple. Actually it's more than just a temple. It's a huge temple complex, with big prayer halls, living quarters, and the famous pagoda, built on a hillslope. So, it really take some leg muscles to tackle those stairs.

There is even a cable car that takes tourists up the hill to see the gigantic bronze KuanYin (Goddess of Mercy) statue. The statue is done already, now they're building an equally gigantic "pondok" to shelter the KuanYin from rain and sunshine. But we were more interested in the nearby park which looked like a playground with stone animals and cute doggy benches.

After Kek Lok Si, we went and check into the Vistana Hotel Apartments, where we will be staying for the rest of the days.

My parents and brother's family arrived from Seremban in the afternoon. Here's little boy meeting his faraway cousin Aden for the first time. Aden was born four months after Ryan. Other relatives arrived later in the evening. At night, we went to see Julia's wedding rehearsal.

Friday was pretty free. We went to Penang Hill in the afternoon. Gosh, the place was crowded because of the school holidays. And since the little train has only very limited capacity, we had to wait for more than an hour to get onto it. Makan makan in the mean time.

We weren't sure what to expect on top of Penang Hill. Julia said there's nothing much. Well, we were greeted by a wonderful view of the Penang Island and the bridge that links it to the mainland of Peninsular Malaysia.

There was the cool air, some souvenir stalls, monkeys running around, and a couple of grand colonial mansions. Didn't have time to explore far as it was getting late.

After coming down from Penang Hill, we went to QueensBay Mall, the largest shopping mall in Penang. Didn't shop much la. We were totally exhausted from carrying little boy all day. Went there for dinner only. There was this restaurant where you get to see the chefs stretch out hand-made noodles from doughs of flour in a matter of minutes. Business must be really good. They distribute numbers (like government hospital) for you to wait for an available seat.

We bought a Secret Recipe with mix and match flavours, to celebrate my mum's birthday later in the night.

The next day was the actual wedding day. We got ready early, coz the bridal gang was coming. Little boy got an angpau for opening the car door for the bridegroom. There were the usual wedding tricks they played onto the bridegroom and his gang. Then we left for church.

The chuch wedding was held at the Penang Christian Church. I was very impressed to see a church like that. There was a guardhouse with a real guard inside, a posh elevator, and a very modern and luxurious main sanctuary.

The pastor gave the wedding sermon in English, and his wife translated into Mandarin.

The senior pastor did the solemnisation part.

And my little sister became Mrs Wong. How time flies. Not too long ago, we were still fighting over toys and tantrums. I only managed to give her angpau for Chinese New Year for the first and last time early this year. Now she no longer qualifies for angpau anymore.

I am really thankful that both my siblings married Christain spouses and had their weddings in church.

In the evening, Mark and Julia hosted a Chinese wedding dinner at a nearby restaurant.

We had a good time of get-together with relatives from near and afar. Most of them had not seen Ryan before, and so little boy was quite popular that night.

Mark drove us around Penang Island the next day. We bought many boxes of the famous HeongPeah biscuits to bring home. We cramped in a little shop for a taste of the famous Penang Road Asam Laksa and Cendol. Then went back to Kek Lok Si to buy some Penang T-shirts for souvenir.

Little boy playing with his little cousin.

The new in-laws had a seafood dinner together that night.

On Monday we bade farewell and flew back to Kota Kinabalu, while my parents drove back to Seremban.

To see more photos, click HERE. Hardly any food photos la. They went into my stomach before I could get my camera out.