Monday, February 29, 2016

Ian's Updates Post Europe

Whoa... Time really flies. Today is the 29th of Feb which also makes Ian exactly 27 months old! Although technically he is considered to be three this year, he turned two just three months ago so it isn't really fair to compare his development to a three year old.

Ian is very chatty. He can really chatter some serious gibberish nowadays. I find it so cute that he really makes an effort to 'talk' to us. Of course, he has picked up some words along the way.

A development that we missed while we were in Europe was him saying "Waitttttt!!!" while holding his palm out in protest, whenever anyone attempts to walk out the door. Due to this, his Datuk always 'cair' and ends up bringing him along in the car to whenever he needed to go. Other than that, my maid also reported that if he is watching TV alone in the living hall and he decides he wants to look for her, he would walk around the house saying "Heyooo? Heyooo?"

However on Jan 5th, just two weeks after we arrived back in sunny ol' Malaysia, he said "Tatak!!!" (Kakak) for the first time. Since then, instead of saying "Heyooo" when looking for the maid, he would say "Tatak!! Tatak!!"

Other than that, his vocab has also increased significantly. He now knows various parts of the body (eyes, nose, hair, hand, ears). However, sometimes he would interchange 'mouth' with 'eat'. He also recognizes basic colours (red, green, blue, pink, yellow, black etc). Here are his other common words:

Abiiii = habis
Tatuh = jatuh
Bot = robot
Bibi = TV
Shu = susu
Tar = car
Bawer = flower
Yuuu = thank you/love you
Atum = welcome (you're welcome)
Main = mine (also used to indicate that he wants someone to play wit him, aka main)

In terms of physical development, he finally figured out how to jump at the end of December. I got a video of him finally being in mid-air... it was quite exhilarating for me to see that he finally 'got it'. I am soooo looking forward to bringing him to Jumpstreet to test out his jumping skills. He can also run quite confidently. Loves to play tag with his brother. Even though he doesn't know how to say it in words, he would do a 'garang' face and growl at his brother.... and automatically Aiden would understand that that's the cue for him to start running and for Ian to start chasing.

Still in the spirit of monkey see, monkey do, Ian wants to do everything his brother does. Everyday, he would request to dress up like Aiden and follow Aiden to school. He would tap on his chest (to indicate that he wants to change into school uniform) and feet (for socks and shoes). Similarly, he would open his mouth and point into his mouth to show that he wants to eat or drink whatever Aiden is holding/drinking/munching. He would even repeat whatever Aiden says, trying as best as he can to replicate the words exactly. Aiden loves to make Ian repeat his favourite line in The Good Dinosaur, "Aa Aa Aa Arlow!" and we would always love hysterically at Ian's version of it! ("Ayy yow")

Ian biggest asset to date, is his unruly curls. It is usually the first thing that people notice about him! Even though his hair looks short (but huge sideways *giggles*), if you pull a single curl down, it actually goes over shoulder length! And the biggest advocate against cutting those adorable curls, is none other than our beloved maid. My maid loves Ian like his own son, and for that I am truly blessed, and thankful.

Not to forget, on the rare occasions that we get angry at Ian, he would wrinkle his nose and wring his hands in (what seems to be) anger, quietly.

A thing that I really noticed about Ian that Aiden didn't have, is the traits of a perfectionist. He loves putting things in a row, and even colour coordinates them. When we were at the JKids ball pit, he took a basket and started filling it with only pink balls. The next round it was blue balls. We would tease him by putting in a different coloured ball or two, and he would immediately remove it out! Similarly, he was doodling with a pink coloured pencil on a page. The next day, he saw the page and requested to continue doodling. I opened the box of colour pencils and handed him a purple colour pencil. He shook his head, took the whole box and rummaged until he found the exact pink colour pencil and continued colouring!

He is also starting to form sentences and questions now. Even though it's usually coupled with a lot of gibberish, but so far we've been able to make up this much:

Weer Daddy? = Where's Daddy?
Ah tat? = What's that? (Aiden's version was Wat tis? = What's this?)
Wat pen? = What happened?
Mummy tar = Mummy's car
Babang, jom naik = Abang, jom naik (let's go up)

That's all for now! I am really looking forward to him forming proper sentences, so that he and Aiden can have a proper conversation. Major love! Happy 28 months old baby!

Friday, February 26, 2016


The afternoon rain has been quite torrential nowadays. Just two days ago I was waiting to pick Aiden up from school, and it started raining cats and dogs. From inside the car I had to crawl from the front seat to the back and pried the back seat open just to get access to my spare shoes and umbrella in the boot. Even with the umbrella, Aiden and I were both soaked to the skin!

Due to the constant heavy rain, the pokok ubi kayu in my quaint kebun at the back of my house, jatuh merebah bumi. I was so sad, because I didn't even get the chance to get a photo of it when it was all tall, mighty and strong. It was nearly twice my height!

But, it was certainly a great life experience for Aiden. In his science subject at school, he is starting to learn about 'tumbuhan', so I took the opportunity to introduce to Aiden how potatoes and cassavas/tapioca are harvested from the ground.

(Truthfully, it was my first experience too! #citygirlfail)

Visiting tempat kejadian. Siap sinsing seluar! Looking cute with his muka baru bangun tido.

Aiden trying to dig out a cassava, which was too hard to dig out of the ground.

Aiden was so excited when I told him that we could make desserts from the root and savory dishes from the leaves.

We managed to amass quite a huge pile of ubi kayu, and there was no way we were going to be able to finish everything ourselves. So we bagged some into individual plastic bags and distributed them to the neighbours. That was this morning. Well in the afternoon, so many ubi kayu based desserts turned up at my door step! *giggles* Thanks to them, we feasted on baked tapioca cake (bingka ubi) and talam ubi kayu for dinner.

That is certainly one huge pile of ubi kayu!

A bouquet of pucuk ubi.

Meanwhile, my maid made a special tapioca dish that is popular at her kampung. She shredded the ubi kayu, sweetened it with gula melaka, steamed it to cook and served it with shredded white coconut. Aiden really loved it. I jokingly asked whether he wanted to bring it to school for recess, and he eagerly agreed. I laughed my head off! Mummy pun tak pernah bawak ubi kayu pegi sekolah, Aiden! Sorry, but I felt that the whole situation was quite amusing! *chuckles*

Aiden's recess - sorted!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Aiden's First Real Swim!

Aiden is the epitome of aqua phobia - it used to be a running joke at his kindy that he was one of the few who would go for swim classes but come out of the pool with his hair still dry!

We've tried everything. From coaxing him to even near drowning him (just kidding)! Hubby used to get so exasperated with Aiden's water phobia that he would simply drag Aiden kicking and screaming into the swimming pool.

Recently we saw a slight improvement - he agreed to blow bubbles underwater for short durations. He was also willing to go into the deeper end of the pool, clinging on to us for dear life, of course. However, whenever we tried to enroll him in a swimming class, he would frantically disagree, pleading for us not to force him to swim.

Until just early this month, a friend of his enrolled for swimming classes at our local clubhouse pool. I offered for Aiden to join his friend at the said class, and surprisingly he agreed! I was so surprised! I then sent him for his first trial class and was impressed that he could follow instructions and all. (I think he also wanted to 'show off' to his friend! *chuckles*) I signed him up for classes on the spot that day! We took him out shopping for a new swim suit and new goggles to get him motivated to continue. Since then he has attended two more classes, and here is his progress from just last week:

Amazing right? Yes of course, it was filmed at the kiddy pool and all, but the fact that he dared to put his head and full body, gliding underwater for over three strokes, is just too awesome to believe! He claims that he can do the same at the big pool, I guess I simply have to wait for his next class to get a video of that one. Can't wait!

Well done Aiden! We are sooooo proud of you!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Beebop Circus Garden Themed Party!

Hey everyone! Remember this post?

Well, the awesome folks at Beebop Circus will be celebrating their second year anniversary this coming weekend. In conjunction with this, they are planning a Garden Themed Party to raise funds for the at-risk children in Chow Kit (under Yayasan Salam). What is more wonderful, is that these funds will be used to sponsor these kids for a day of fun - the Beebop way!

This charity fundraising campaign represents BeeBop Circus' effort to contribute and do their part to serve the community, by extending and sharing the complete BeeBop experience with those children who would otherwise never have the opportunity to enjoy these enrichment activities.

Multiple events are lined up for the day, such as interactive story telling, face painting, costume runway, art and craft, cupcake decorating, balloon sculptures, magic show and of course - their award-winning instructor guided playgym sessions, because we all know how much kids love tumbling, climbing, and exploring!

If you are looking for a fun family day out, while at the same time raise funds to benefit the children of Yayasan Salam, the Garden Themed party is this Sunday, 28th February 2016 and starts at 12pm onwards. Admission is FREE!

Here are some photos from last year's event:

More information can be found at their official event page here:

Don't forget to dress up to the theme! There are fantastic prizes to be won too. Aiden and Ian will definitely be there, we hope to see you there too!

P.S: I am looking forward to the cupcake decorating activity. *giggles*

Beebop Circus
Unit 019 & 021, Upper First Floor,
The School, Jaya One,
No.72A Jalan University, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
T: +603 7492 4567

Friday, February 19, 2016

Before and After

Hi everyone, sorry for the short silence. I have been slightly under the weather, and adjusting to the 'back to school' phase with Aiden.

For starters, he will undergo his first big boy school exams in merely 10 days. And I've been pulling my hair teaching him Bahasa Malaysia, of all things. He's also struggling with Mathematics in Malay; if it is merely numbers he can cope no problem. But if it is the long winded tok nenek stories in Malay, about si polan having two marbles and another polan giving him another two so how much will he have yada yada yada... Well it's simply 'lost in translation'!!

He missed his best friends over the school holidays, so much so that wrote their names on his pencil box!

Just a few days back I lost my temper at him, cos he didn't understand the meaning of 'sebelum', 'selepas' and 'di antara'. (Apakah nombor sebelum 5?) These are all 'formal' malay vocab that he obviously hasn't mastered. I even tried teaching him, "There is a B in the spelling of sebelum, therefore it means  Before", but he just couldn't get it. Needless to say, he got quite an earful from me that day. I said some nasty things too, which I'm not proud of. In the first place, it's not his fault kan? It's mine for not conversing to him much in Malay. I mean, if I learnt what before, after and between were in French, do you think I would be able to remember it in just one sitting? To him, Malay is simply like French for me! *sigh*

Look at how my son crosses the road. Sempat gossip lagi!

Sometimes I wonder whether I send him to school for sports, or for learning. His teacher requested for everyone to be dressed in sports wear every day of the week. Since tak sempat nak basuh baju, I had to dress him up in any white t-shirt I could find, and seluar tido

On a lighter note, I've been sleep training Ian these past few days. We started last Monday - we told him he had to sleep with his "Babang" (on the mattress on the floor just beside our bed). The thing about Ian is, he listens to instructions. So whenever he tried to climb our bed, all I needed to do was give him a firm "No, Ian! Sleep with Babang!" and he would climb back down and lie beside his brother. The first night he cried for a bit but I sent Hubby to calm him down (tepuk from our bed but not join him on the mattress) and he finally slept. The second night I guess he was quite tired so he went to sleep no problem. I thought I was home free then! However the third night was a repetition of the first night. He bawled his eyes out and I sent Hubby again. It worked for a few hours but then he woke up again crying. It's like dia tak tido nyenyak, he was restless all night and easily disturbed by any sudden sounds and such. Usually he would sleep until 10ish but since we started this sleep training, he would be wide awake by the time we take our morning shower to get to work.

Anyway, as I am writing this, we are on our 4th try. Surprisingly when we said our good nights, he obligingly climbed my bed to give me a big hug then obediently climbed down to take his place beside his brother!!! *super impressed*

Let's pray hard that this sticks. I can't wait to reclaim my full space on my bed!!!!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Chanel at 31, Rue Cambon

To be frank, 31, Rue Cambon was certainly not as what I had imagined. I was so used to the busy and massive Chanel boutiques in KL......... and 31, Rue Cambon was tiny if compared to that! And just my luck, there wasn't even a queue to go in. Since I was expecting to find an establishment with a long line outside, I actually walked the length of the street a couple of times, as I couldn't find the boutique.

Nevertheless, I was enthralled as soon as I walked into the Chanel mothership. The whole concept of having a boutique within such a historical address is simply remarkable. There was undeniably a certain allure and aura to it. I guess it even charmed Hubby as he said, "Yang, I don't know what it is, but you've got to get something from here."

*jaw drop*

It takes a lot for Hubby to say something as powerful as that. Who am I to violate such an instruction??!! *chuckles*

The boutique wasn't that crowded. All of the Sales Advisors (SA) were friendly; whenever we stumbled upon one they would say hello, but never once did they ask "Can I help you?" or anything similar that would make you feel pressured to inquire or buy. They were not pushy nor patronizing either. I felt so comfortable just browsing around.

They had iPad on coffee tables strategically placed all around the boutique. It showed their latest collection, but it doesn't show the availability, therefore you have to ask if the item you want is available in-store. Hubby and I really made ourselves at home on the couch, flicking through the virtual pages. The staff barely bat an eye!

Ogling over a WOC.

On the other hand, my eyes were set on a beautiful copper coloured WOC on the iPad catalogue but unfortunately they had none left worldwide (other than one last piece in Dubai). Hence I decided to just tell the SA what I was looking for. "I'm looking for an iconic medium caviar in gold, silver or beige." She answered that she had nothing in caviar (they sold out!), but she told me that she will pick out a few beautiful pieces for me to look at.

While she was away looking for the bags, I slyly commented to Hubby. "If there are no caviar bags, I'm not going to get anything." Hah... easier said than done. She came back with some bags. I remember watching her walk to us and me exclaiming excitedly to Hubby, "She's holding a few bags and I see a gold one... Oh no...... it's beautiful!!!"

The bag I had fallen in love with, wasn't in caviar but rather in calf leather. Although a classic, the design is part of the 2015 Cruise collection. The metallic exterior was perforated with the classic quilted diamond pattern, and pixelated in a similar texture as the caviar. Usually handbags in gold are too flashy and sometimes gaudy, but despite the all gold exterior and gold hardware, this one was soooo classy! *drool*

Goodbye money, hello instant noodles.

This style actually came in two colours, gold and silver. Initially, I was quite confused between the two, I even asked Hubby to take photos of me with the bag. Although it is quite a well known fact that you are not allowed to take photos within the boutique, my SA was kind enough to just tell us very nicely, "Please be careful, we usually don't allow pictures in here" and Hubby, always the goody two shoes, immediately kept the camera away. *smacks forehead* Kalau yer pun, amik lah gambar satu dulu sebelum simpan. *sigh*

After parading both bags in front of the mirror, we both agreed that the silver was more of a darker shade hence too similar to my black Jumbo caviar. I was then left with the gold. Then I had some reservations about buying such a flashy handbag, but at the end of the day I told myself, it's all about how you pull it off with confidence. Kan?

While we were waiting for the paperwork and for my purchase to be packed, the SA served us some orange juice and offered to help us with anything else we wanted to see. Since she was so nice, I requested to see their latest Mini and WOCs. Despite knowing that I wasn't going to splurge on anything else, she was very accommodating and took the time to show us around. Never once did I felt rushed! Seriously superb service, I would definitely return in a heartbeat.

But the pinnacle of the entire experience was when she offered to take a photo of us at the Coco Chanel famed staircase. This historical staircase leads to Mademoiselle Chanel's apartment. I was so excited, it was simply the perfect ending to my Chanel dream.

This picture is a testament, that dreams do come true.

Thank you Hubby, for spoiling me and being so patient throughout the time we were in the boutique.

A selfie with the famous Coco Chanel.

The boutique, nestled in the quieter side of the street.

Camouflaged my packaging in plain white plastic bag. Returned to the hotel with a giddy feeling and the biggest smile plastered across my face!

Anyway, enough words. Let's get to the unboxing video and some photos of my new baby. (I made poor Hubby sit outside at our room balcony in the cold Swiss subzero temperatures while I recorded this video. *giggles*)

The famous white paper bag and white box - only available at 31, Rue Cambon. The box wrapping was a work of art in itself!

Posed the bag with the Eiffel Tower replica that we bought outside Musee de Lourve.

Gold leather interwoven with gold chain hardware.

The interlocking CC in gold hardware.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Paris In A Day

It is so quiet in the office! Almost everyone on my floor has extended their CNY leave. Not that I'm complaining, though! *cheeky grin* I especially appreciate quiet times like these. I can review work documents with few interruptions, and of course, update this blog! So why not spend this time to recap our 10th Anniversary Europe honeymoon?

To kick off my recap, I'll start with our first day in Paris. (I'll save the new handbag for a separate post.) We had just landed the day before via Emirates. I made sure I didn't sleep on both flights coming in, therefore by the time we got to the hotel I was already swaying in extreme fatigue. (I think I even managed a short doze in the RER train.) But by doing so, I got over my jet lag in no time; waking up the next morning as per European time. We didn't have much on our itinerary that day as we were going to board a train to Swiss that night. Hence we took our own sweet time and visited Musee du Lourve, Pon des Arts and last but certainly not least, 31 Rue Cambon! (We saved Eiffel Tower for our trip back home via Paris.)

We kicked off our morning with a 'home' cooked meal of white rice and Adabi chicken curry plus some serunding bilis. Did I tell you that my mini rice cooker has been with me since my Sakhalin days (10 years ago) and has traveled the world? This time around was no different. No need to worry about looking for breakfast in a foreign country. After a very satisfying meal, we repacked our bags, left it at the hotel and took a train to the Lourve. We stayed at Mercure Paris Gare De Lyon, hence transportation was just a stone's throw away at the Gare De Lyon station.

Musee de Lourve.

Due to the recent Nov 2015 bombings (just two weeks prior to our arrival!!!), I could see that Paris suffered a considerable tourist slump. Although we didn't have much problems going through immigration (the perks from flying Emirates - plenty of other folks who looked more suspicious than us!), the streets of downtown Paris were significantly empty. There was an obvious genuine concern for public safety; army personnel clad in green uniforms with their finger on the trigger of their machine guns were a common sight at all train stations and tourist sites. I was so used to Paris being loud and chaotic. Hence the quiet streets of Paris felt.... different. 

Love the weather!

Gambar wajib! They even erected stands all around the compound for this purpose!

Inside the Lourve museum. Even the ceilings are beautiful!

Musee du Lourve has certainly changed since the last time I was there. Well either that, or I didn't know how to appreciate the place when I was younger. Back then, Mona Lisa was just another smiling portrait. This time around, I took in everything as if it was my first time. It was a shame that the art pieces didn't have English translations, other than a select few. Since we didn't have time to see everything, we prioritized our walk based on the key art pieces. Our first priority was the Mona Lisa. Surprisingly, the queue to view the masterpiece was short. We even managed a few well angled selfies with the famous smiling lady.

Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Painted between 1503-1506, it has been on display in the Lourve Museum since 1797!

Selfie with the famous lady.

Next on Hubby's list was Venus de Milo. Discovered in April 1820 on the island of Melos in Greece, this statue is believed to depict Aphrodite, goddess of Love, known to the Romans as Venus. This masterpiece of Greek marble sculpture, whose sculptor is unknown, is dated from about 120 BC.

We were not allowed to use our selfie stick/tripod in the museum, hence the close up selfies!

The statue was created using two blocks of sculpted separately; the legs draped to the hips and the nude bust to the head.

Next up, a sculpture by Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo; Captif or also known as the Dying Slave. Created between 1513-1516, made from marble 2.15 meters in height.

Musee du Lourve also has a dedicated wing for the Islamic Arts. We made a point to visit that, although in my opinion I thought they didn't have much to show. We also visited the Egyptian Antiquities section - rows and rows of stone coffins (sarcophagus), mummy portraits and even a temple room.

Islamic Arts.

Eerie but so interesting.

Love this shade of blue!

This is one hugeeeeee painting.

We couldn't even get it to fit the frame of the camera!

The courtyard within the museum.

After that, we took a stroll along the Lourve compound. It was certainly a beautiful afternoon. Blue skies, nice weather. There were a couple of souvenir merchants touting their wares outside, and Hubby made the mistake of receiving a huge replica of the Eiffel Tower from one of them. But at the end of the day it was quite a good deal so no harm done. 

Blue skies.

Lovely weather.

From there, we walked to Pon des Arts. When I was smaller, the Lover's Bridge wasn't in our family's list of things to visit (for obvious reasons). So it was quite a memorable experience for both Hubby and I as it was our first time there together, on our 10th anniversary trip too! Unfortunately, they had taken down the bridge with the locks and replaced them with clear glass panels. But at least they moved the 'love locks' by the road side so you could still admire the sheer number of locks that was hanging off the bridge pieces. Some of it were even attached to the lampposts too!

Clear glass panels gives you a clear and pretty view of the Seine River.

The tradition is, you buy a padlock, attach it to the bridge and throw the key into the Seine River.

Naaahhh... we didn't get our own love lock. Hubby said it was a waste of a perfectly good luggage lock. *giggles*

After that, we took a long stroll along the park and headed towards Rue Cambon. By then my feet were aching like mad but I still marched on in determination. Since I promised the handbag story for a separate post, I'll skip it for now. But in a nutshell, I went in with a wadful of cash and came out being broke. Together with my precious package, we took the train back to Gare De Lyon, had a scrumptious meal of fish and chips at the station and walked to the hotel to get our bags. Of course, drama surrounds me at all times; there was a long queue of people waiting to check in so we couldn't get the attention of the receptionist to unlock the luggage room. In the end, I had to apologize profusely to the people in the said queue and asked for the receptionist to prioritize us first, as our train was due to leave in 10 minutes!

The TGV Lyria. Since we had booked our tickets way earlier, we managed to get a good deal for First Class! We even had our own private conductor cum waiter!

Fish and chips at the train station, and another meal on the train. 

We arrived just before midnight at Interlaken West, Switzerland. And that brings us to the end of Day 1. Till the next recap, thanks for reading!
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