Sabah & Singapore

I had great plans on writing a post on our trip to Sabah, but then realised I really didn’t have any photos to post. We took our cam along of course, but then pretty much left it in the room/bag most of the time because our friends were quite happily snapping away with theirs! And then we went to Singapore, and came home with pictures mostly of animals. So I think I’ll just put up summaries…

Sabah (June 2013):

Where we stayed: Nexus Karambunai. Loved it.
What we did: Hang out by the beach and the pool every.single.day. Oh yes.
Highlight: Visiting Orangutan orphans at the Shangri La Rasa Ria. A must do for adults and children alike.
What else: Seafood – good. Visiting Manukan island – meh. Kinabalu park – ARGH! (Explanation: windy and narrow roads to get there, nothing much to do unless you’re climbing the mountain, haze obscured the view of the mountain etc etc. We did however have some interesting local fruits and had fun just hanging out at our chalet)

Singapore (July 2013):

Where we stayed: With family.
What we did: Eat a lot, drive around a lot, laugh a lot… you get the gist.
Highlight: The Zoo! The River Safari was alright too.
What else: Watching the Phantom of the Opera, just me, sans kid. The show was brilliant! Discovered that the chili crabs at Jumbo are better than the chili crabs at Long Beach.

And there you have it. 2 trips in a nutshell.
We really had a great day out at the zoo, so I just have to put up some of the pictures here:

2013-08-03

The 3rd Birthday Party

This happened in June of course, but what the hey. This year Daphne was old enough to decide on her own theme, and picked Minnie Mouse. I agreed since I knew this would be pretty easy to pull off. I found some really great printables and that set us off. Add in some pink balloons and a cake, and we were good to go. The only problem we had was finding broad pink polka dot ribbon for the cake. I found red, green and purple but Daphne INSISTED that Minnie wear pink and in the end my mum found some thinner ribbons and sewed them together.

2013-06-16

The birthday girl had a complete blast. She got sooooo many presents and some of them are actually still in their boxes tucked away. I have a cupboard where I store all her gifts and bring stuff out slowly over time. I know that she’ll figure this out (and the hiding place) eventually but it hasn’t happened yet!

_MG_4235

She’s now asked her grandma to make a Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse cake for me and my sister; our birthdays are up next. Hah!

More on Car Rides

So… right after I come out with this resolution to update the blog more, I come down with a viral fever that knocks me out for pretty much the whole of last week. Not a pleasant experience let me tell ya. We even had to call in my mum for reinforcements once DaddyCool got sick as well. All’s well now, so we should be back on schedule soon enough.

I talked about our daily car journeys, and today’s was a really good one that I thought I’d share so I wont forget it as well.

Daphne: My Kitty Kat lantern Mummy! Got music! (A present from the nanny today)
Me: It’s a bit loud, can we play with it at home please?
Daphne: Oh okay… and at home you don’t cover your ears okay Mummy?
Me: Okay
She continues with whatever else – I don’t always pay attention, just make the appropriate noises at appropriate intervals. And then…
Daphne: Oh hey! COWS!
Me: mmmmhmmm… what? Daphne there are no… oh hey! Look at the cows!
Daphne: Cows on a truck!
We were stuck in a traffic jam (a spill or some sort on the opposite road), and this is Malaysia, but it’s not everyday you see cows travelling on a highway. So it became a game for us. The truck would pass, or we’d overtake the truck. Each time she’d squeal and point them out. The best part:
Me: There they are again!
Daphne: Where? Oh! Cow butts!

And there you have it. I’ll be back next week. Pinky promise!

Chatty Chats

Here’s the latest with us. I told Daphne to hurry up for breakfast, and she said “Yeah yeah, just a minute.” Rendered DaddyCool and I speechless for a few seconds that.

——-

Typed the above (and the title) in March and it’s now August! I’ve been neglecting this blog, I know, and according to DaddyCool it’s because I like watching TV more. Hmph. My sister and mother have been on my case too – apparently so much is happening and I’m not keeping tabs. So here I am in an attempt to revive my posts. And on the subject of chats…

We, my friends, have a talker on our hands. Daphne will make conversation from the time I pick her up at the nanny’s, till we get home; that’s a 45 minute journey. She’ll just babble away, updating me on her day, yelling out random things she spots on the road, bringing up events and people from weeks or months ago; and sometimes she’ll sing. We’ve moved on from nursery rhymes to select pop songs now. Her favourite is Justin Bieber’s Baby Baby (god help us), but she also does a mean Bruno Mars (When I was Your Man), and Pink (Just Give Me A Reason). The best though is Beyonce’s All the Single Ladies, complete with shoulder moves baybeh! The things I do to keep my kid occupied in traffic jams.

Will be back with udpates on the 2 trips we’ve done – Sabah and Singapore, and a letter. Eeeps, I really need to get cranking! See you soon!

Bangkok!

I have to write about this trip before I forget all the details. It was a pretty last minute thing, DaddyCool had to head there for work, and we thought Daphne and I could join him for a quick holiday. I was a little nervous about travelling alone with her, but it was a short flight (2 hours plus) and as it turns out she was no trouble at all. Once we got there, the one rule we had was to use the train systems for everything – Bangkok traffic is notorious, and you really only use the roads to/from the airport. This worked out really well, Daphne found the trains to be fun, and the Thais seem to love children, so there were always people smiling and giving up their seats for us. Besides that, we planned a very loose trip, having a rough idea of where we wanted to go, but open to changing plans. Here’s the lowdown on what we did:

Day 1:
We flew there via MAS, which luckily enough was having a promo so the tickets were cheaper than Air Asia and the likes. Good thing too, since KLIA is a bit easier with a kid in tow. Service wise as well, the stewardesses were friendly and filled up Daphne’s water bottle promptly when asked; and she got her kid’s meal way before mine arrived. The pizza looked wonky but hey, she loved the Ribena so it was all good. I took snacks along for the journey, and a colouring book. Those and Rio playing on the tiny screen kept her happy throughought the journey.
DaddyCool was put up at the Westin and we loved it. Daphne thought it was “so beautiful”. Super convenient location with a BTS station outside and one of the newer malls, Terminal 21, right across the street. We had dinner at the foodcourt there and walked about a bit, visiting the toilets (a tip from my sister, each floor has a different “theme” and it’s quite fun) before calling it a night.

2013-02-28 19.22.18

Day 2:
We hit the Jim Thompson House, caught a tour, did some shopping and had amazing food at the restaurant (still thinking about that pomelo salad!). It was pretty kid friendly, the guide handed Daphne an origami crane, and although the tour got a little hot at times – it’s a bit humid there – we managed it fine. The gardens are open for you to wander around, and there are fish and turtles to keep the little ones happy.
We head back to the hotel, checked out, and headed to the Citadines, our home for the next 2 nights. I got a pretty good deal for the studio apartment at only RM200 per night. This place wasn’t as “nice” as the Westin of course, but it was clean and comfortable, and also close to a BTS stop, about a 5 minute walk away. The hotel provides a tuk tuk service though, and Daphne really loved riding on it.

DSC03131

That evening we headed to Asiatique. The wait for the free boat ride was pretty long, it was Friday night after all; and we got a bit tired but it was still worth going. Lots of restaurants to choose from, and a huge number of shops. We left a bit early, and thankfully the wait was a bit shorter this time. I wouldn’t recommend staying past 10:30pm, seeing at the last boat is at 11:00pm. Unless of course you didn’t have a toddler’s bedtime to worry about, and wouldn’t mind taking a cab back instead.

Day 3:
The Chatuchak market! Everyone wondered how we’d manage this with Daphne, but it wasn’t too bad. We just had to be conscious of her limits, and got out of there in time for lunch, which we did back at Terminal 21 (with air conditioning!). You can get really hot and bothered wondering the lanes here, and there isn’t very much to keep a child entertained. We happened to come across a stall selling loads of stuffed elephants and I quickly picked one up, so that tided her over for a while. We also got her coconut ice cream and promised a second helping… We shopped a bit, and so I think markets are doable with little kids, but I’d play it by ear.

We kept things simple for dinner, heading to another food court, at Siam Paragon. We’d shopped plenty by then, and since it had already been a long day, decided to head back early and skip the crowds heading towards the Central World/Platinum malls.

DSC03178

Day 4:
There wasn’t much time for anything except a foot massage after breakfast! We packed up and headed to the DMK airport; had a quick lunch at Starbucks, Daphne made friends with the kind ladies at the Jim Thompson boutique (who made her a paper fish!) and headed home.

DSC03185

Farm In the City

We visited in December, taking advantage of my year end break. I was actually thinking of hitting the zoo, but some friends suggested this place and so off we went. First of all, this wasn’t in the city at all; thank goodness for GPS or we’d have gotten hopelessly lost. It wasn’t too far though, took us around 40 minutes and we’d probably get there sooner next time since we have an idea where it is now.

Daphne wasn’t sure where/what was going on at first and then… we went in an met a turtle. She was hooked there on end.

_MG_3717

We were there just as they opened at 10:00am so it wasn’t very hot, but we slathered on sunscreen anyway and plopped that hat on her head. The place was clean, the animals seemed happy and healthy, and the staff were all friendly. The highlight for me would be the aviary – the “Bird Man” was full of info and the peacock was stunning. We had a non stop supply of bird seed for the ducks and parakeets. Daphne wouldn’t hold her hand out for the birds, but she quite happily threw the seeds into the pond for the ducks.

2012-12-19

The highlight for Daphne on the other hand, would undoubtedly be feeding the guinea pigs and rabbits. In fact, I think this was the highlight for all the kids! The keepers had bunches of vegetables on hand, and they just kept asking for more:

2012-12-191

Overall, we were pleasantly surprised. Besides the birds and rabbits, there were chickens, a cow, a goat that ate pants, horses… you get the gist. Also funky things like skunks and porcupines. Everyone had a good time; we might even head back there again!

Farm In The City (Fb page)
Lot 40187-40188, Jalan Prima Tropika Barat,
Bandar Putra Permai, Seri Kembangan, 43300, Selangor
Tel: +603 8941 2099/3099

Eeeps!

So I blinked again and Christmas went by and we’re smack in the middle of Chinese New Year. We did a bunch of things that I should have blogged about – visit The Farm in the City, head to Ipoh for Christmas, the gift haul which really got me thinking about how much STUFF we buy kids these days, celebrating New Years… phew. Let me try to get my thoughts in order, and I think I really do have to put up a post on the farm trip at least!

Hope you all had a great start to 2013, or if not, a great start to the Snake year!

The Big Bad Wolf Sale 2012

It’s taken me more than a week to put this post up – we went for the sale last Monday! So let’s get down to it. I think this is the best the Wolf and gang have done so far. The venue is a bit out there, but it’s not hard to get too and there’s lots of parking space. The hall itself is huge, quite like the one last year, but seemed better organised this time. Plenty of room to walk around and wheel your trolley too (bring trolleys people, boxes make your arms ache).

The books were better sorted as well, and while I heard/read that the crowd at their 60 hour marathon the weekend before left the place in quite a mess, they had cleaned up pretty well before reopening their doors.

Here’s the haul:

bbw2012

75 books in all, and once again, mostly from the children’s section. Really good buys as you would expect; and this time I spent some time checking out the Activity books, and picked up some colouring and sticker books for a steal (RM3?! for ANY book is cheap, much less one that comes with stickers!).

I would have filled up the trolley a third time if we’d been there any longer. 2 hours felt about right though… Big hurrahs for the BBW sale!

December!

Doesn’t it feel like we just blinked and it’s time for Christmas already? The days are long but the years are short – rings ever so true when there’s a kid involved! We’ve been a busy bunch lately; dinners here and there, trying to get laundry in order (always!), learning new words and phrases (mangosteen, “I not naughty, I good girl”), making sure we get all the Lego cars on sale at Shell, obsessing over jigsaw puzzles… I’m really looking forward to my annual year end break, it has been a crazy couple of weeks.

I’ve almost sorted out my gift shopping too, which has to be a new record. A visit to the Big Bad Wolf booksale next week and the last bunch of names should get crossed out. After that it’ll be time to chill with my toddler and sit back and wait till Christmas! Hope you guys are starting to get into the holiday groove as well – see you again soon!

Stickers

On our trip to Singapore, we were at loose ends one day and my sis in law suggested a trip to ToTT. I loved it! Loads and loads of kitchen stuff and I managed to pick up some cookie cutters (wayyyyy cheaper than the ones I’d been eyeing from Cuisinart!) as well as popsicle and jelly moulds. On our way out I spotted a range of kids party themeware; cards, plates, cupcake kits, party bags and…  wall stickers! Gosh, I was really excited. There were only around 5 options or so, but I was drawn to the Petter Rabbit and Animal Parade ones and in the end we let Daphne decide, and she chose the animals.

We talked about wall decals ages ago, but DaddyCool and I could never really agree on them. These we both liked, and they didn’t cost an arm and a leg either. Daphne “helped” me put them up last month and I must say, it turned out better than I expected.

I did some Googling and found out that Meri Meri is a pretty popular stationery brand from the UK and they have a really large range of party themes beyond those carried by ToTT. The stickers are removable of course, and one of the trees is actually a chalkboard one, which is a nice touch. I’ve had my heart set on the decals from Pop & Lolli for yonks now, but with the exchange rate and cost of shipping, all I ever got was raised eyebrows from DaddyCool, so these guys will be here to stay, for a while at least.