November 30, 2014

Phuket – Marriott's Phuket Beach Club

Day 3 was the day we were scheduled to listen to the sales pitch of the Marriot Vacation Club.  We left the girls at the Kid’s Club while we were busy at the sales gallery.  I honestly think it’s a great program, and if it wasn’t for the price tag, I would probably have signed up.  Good thing that the sales consultant was very professional and never once pushed us.  However, he was very visibly disappointed when we finally said no.  The presentation took us the whole morning, so we went for lunch at Turtle Village, a short walk away.


In the afternoon, we wanted to go cycling but unfortunately, the hotel doesn’t have any bicycle that could accommodate Yiu Yiu as a pillion rider (she didn’t know how to ride a bicycle at that time, so we made it a priority to teach her cycling when we got back, and she very quickly learnt it J).  We abandoned the plan and spent the rest of the day at the pool and beach.

November 27, 2014

Phuket – Hong by Starlight by John Gray’s Sea Canoe

The next day, we signed up for a canoe tour with John Gray’s Sea Canoe.  We were picked up from our hotel at about 11am and were driven to the jetty.  Once we boarded the boat, we were served with a simple lunch of salad, fried noodles, spring rolls and fruits.  After lunch, our guide gave a safety briefing and shortly after, the boat was docked near some limestone caves.
At the jetty

The captain welcoming all those on board, followed by safety briefing

The canoes were lowered into the water, and each canoe was helmed by one of John Gray’s staff member.  I was on one with Yan Yan with Yiu Yiu on another with her dad.

We canoed into limestone caves and hidden lagoons populated with macaques, water monitors, kingfishers, mudskippers, egrets and eagles.

We also had some time to canoe on our own and swim in the sea before going back onto the boat in the early evening to make kratong, with the help of the staff.  Dinner was served after all the kratongs were prepared.

Once darkness falls, we went on the canoe and released our kratong into the water.  After the spiritual experience, the boat headed back to the jetty, wrapping up a tiring but extremely enjoyable day.  Both girls have been asking to go on this tour again :-)

November 24, 2014

Phuket – City tour

During the Aidilfitri holidays in July, we went to Phuket for a short holiday.  We stayed at the Marriot Mai Khao Beach Resort, under the invitation of the Marriot Vacation Club.  The catch is of course, we had to listen to a 2-hour sales presentation of Marriot Vacation Club.

We took the early flight and arrived at the hotel at about 11am.  After some paperworks and confirming the time for our presentation, we rented a car and drove to the town to meet up with hubby’s classmate who has settled there.  He took us for lunch at a local restaurant, before playing tourist guide.

Our first stop was Baan Teelanka (Upside Down House).  Aside from its novelty and quirky photo opportunities, the house has nothing much to offer, though it’s touted as one of the best of the dozen or so upside down houses in the world.

Next stop was Wat Chalong, one of Phuket's most important temples and visited by thousands each year.  It is beautifully decorated with infinite reflections from hundreds of tiny glass pieces. 

We then headed to the Big Buddha, one of the island's most important and revered landmarks.  The huge image sits on atop Nakkerd Hills.  The site also offers 360-degree views of the island.  On the way down the hill, we stopped by one of the many little elephant petting farms.

We wrapped up the day with dinner with our hubby’s classmate’s family.

November 09, 2014

Yiu Yiu’s 9th birthday

Yiu Yiu turned nine last Saturday.  On her birthday, we went for an impromptu crabby dinner at Wong Poh Restaurant, Aman Suria, since they are having a promotion of two crabs for RM 55.  After dinner, we headed to ToysR’Us for her to choose her birthday present.  The girls generally get to buy toys only during their birthdays.  I gave her a budget of RM 150, and she chose two items, and since I have another RM 30 voucher, Yan Yan also got to choose a simple toy J

Decisions, decisions 

Opening up their presents 

(L) The presents which Yiu Yiu chose, plus a Barbie bag from the babysitter (R) Yan Yan with her simple princess tea party set

Yan Yan made this birthday card for jie-jie

As with customary, we had a birthday celebration with whole clan and babysitter’s family at Duck King, Jaya One, accompanied by our favourite durian cake.  We are so predictable that my nephew said this to his mum before they left home: “二姨姨一定又买durian cake 的。Haha.

Girls with the babysitter and her daughter

Part of our dinner

One for the family

Birthday girl cutting her durian cake

October 25, 2014

Going under general anaesthesia

Yiu Yiu and Yan Yan have very bad genes when it comes to their pearly whites.  While they do not practice the best dental hygiene (they sometimes skip brushing their teeth before sleep), I don’t think they have the worst practice either, e.g. they hardly, if ever, slept with the bottle when young, and if they did drink before sleep, they at least gargled before going to bed.  Our regular dentist (a very child-friendly one) told us some children just have “weaker” teeth.

Anyway, Yan Yan had caries in at least 7 – 8 of her teeth.  The dentist said it would be traumatic for her if we tried to fix them as we would need multiple visits.  Also, Yan Yan has very bad gag reflex and since most of the caries are at her canines and molars, the dentist may not be able to do a good job cleaning the caries out since Yan Yan would likely not be able to cooperate.  This would also likely cause her to have a phobia for dentists too.  As such, the dentist recommended that we fix them under GA, and referred us to HKL.  Several of her young patients had done so and they have only good things to say about the whole process.

We went for the initial check with the pedodontist, and subsequent consultation with the paediatric anaesthesiologist.  Besides the general risks of GA, I was worried about the possible long-term side effects, and the anaesthesiologist assured me that it is very safe, and that her exposure to GA is considered to be very short.  I also asked both the pedodontist and the anaesthesiologist if it’s worth putting her through GA just for dental procedures, and both gave me the same reply: that the risk for her is very low, and since she has so many caries, it’s better to get it done once and for all to prevent any potential future complications like tooth abscess and root infection.

So we went ahead with the procedure on Oct 8.  We were required to go in by 7.15am, and so I was there with her bright and early.
Bright and early waiting for the pedodontist
After checks and explanation of the day’s procedures by the pedodontist and anaesthesiologist, signing the necessary forms, and application of anaesthetic cream to both her hands (for insertion of needles later) we waited for her turn to go into the theatre.
She’s the 3rd and last patient for the day for dental procedures, as the queue is determined by the patient’s age…the younger ones get to go first.  And so we waited…and waited.  She was on an overnight fast and had her last sip of water at about 8.30am, and luckily, she never complained of thirst of hunger the whole time.

Mummy brought her laptop with downloaded cartoons for her to kill time

Finally at 11.30am, we were called to the theatre.  And it was another 60 minutes wait at the theatre before we were called to the operating room.  I carried her as the anaesthesiologist set up the IV line on her hand, and to my surprise, she didn’t flinch one bit.  I laid her on the operating table and the GA was injected into her via the IV line, which immediately knocked her out.  I gave her a kiss and left the room at about 12.50pm.

The procedure was done by 2.30pm, and I was called back to the recovery room of the theatre, so that I would be there when she awoke, which she did shortly after.  This was the most difficult part for her as she was still groggy from the GA, and complained that her mouth hurts (it was actually numb and children can’t really described the feeling so it’s just pain to them).  She had both lower first molars plus an upper central incisor removed, besides multiple fillings.  And the site of both first molars was still bleeding.
At the recovery room of the OT
We spent about 30 minutes in the recovery room before she was transferred back to the day care unit, where she could only muster 1-2 tiny sips of water.  She was checked again by both the pedodontist and anaesthesiologist at 3.30pm to ensure everything was ok before they signed the discharge forms.  We finally left HKL at 4.00pm, after buying Yan Yan a can of cold drink (as advised by the pedodontist – something cold and sweet) – her first real drink since 8.30am.  She finally had something solid to eat at home – and I knew she was none the worse for wear when she chose to have ice-cream first before porridge J

For all the consultations and use of the operating theatre, I paid a grand sum of RM 21.50 (which I've no doubt would have been thousands if done in the private sector).  People always gripe about government hospital but after this experience, it is my honest opinion that public healthcare service is not bad at all, except of course for the waiting time.  It also made me realise that the impending healthcare reform by the government is inevitable, coz there’s no freaking way the government can continue providing “free” healthcare.  If only they can also plug all the leakages in the system, but that’s another story altogether.

October 22, 2014

2014 TJC concert

Yan Yan kindy organized their biennial concert at the end of last month.  The theme this year was “Party in the 70’s”.

The event started with the children marching in, followed by welcome speech by three Year 6 children in Malay, English and Chinese.

Preparing for the march-in outside the hall

Marching in

Welcome speech in three languages

After the speeches by the principal and DUMC senior pastor, it was time for the presentation of scroll to the six year olds.

The concert started immediately after the presentation of scroll, and boy, were they good!  There were 10 performances in total, and were really well choreographed.  The costumes were really pretty too, and surely brought out the spirit of the 70’s. 

First performance by Year 5 students, to the tune of Hooray, Hooray by the late Sudirman

Year 3 students dancing to the tune of "Lollipop"

Mambo Rock by Year 6 students

A Hindi number, and no, it's not Kuch Kuch Hota's Haina Bolo Bolo by Year 4 students

 Doing That Thing You Do by Year 6 students

 Year 4 students doing the twist

Year 6 students dancing to a classic Chinese oldies Ja Jambo by 葛蘭

Yan Yan's dance was the third from last - We Go Together, a number from the movie Grease 

I think Yan Yan danced quite well, but this is of course my biased opinion :-)

Mamma Mia by Year 6 students 

A dance from another Chinese number, Ta Lang (踏浪) by 卓依婷

With jie jie and babysitter after the concert