March 27, 2013

Artworks (#16 – #20)

The next five:





 Ants colony

March 25, 2013

Artworks (#11 – #15)

Yiu Yiu's creations from art class:






March 23, 2013

Of school holidays and homework

Yay, school holidays are upon us again!  Even though it’s just for a short one week, I welcome the respite it offers – a break from rushing in the morning getting the girls ready, and clearer traffic to work.  But what I look forward most during the school holidays is the respite from homework!

With the new KSSR syllabus, there really isn’t that much homework, compared to the horror stories I heard with the old syllabus.  Nonetheless, it still stresses me out as I have to ensure I get home early enough to coach Yiu Yiu with her homework.  Otherwise, she’ll end up doing her homework late into the night and not getting enough sleep – she needs to wake up early even though she attends the afternoon session as we drop her off at the daycare in the morning before work.  Sigh!  Perhaps I should engage the service of a Los Angeles tutor to relieve me of this stress.

But perhaps I am just being overly concerned – after all, she’s only in Standard 2.  I didn’t have any tutor until I was in upper secondary.  But then again, the standard of the syllabus now is definitely way more difficult than it was years ago.  Little wonder why the private tutor industry is thriving so well, with establishments such as VarsityTutors springing up like mushrooms after the rain.

Chinese New Year 2013

Chinese New Year has come and gone…it’s a little late but here’s a round-up of the celebration this year.

We made kuih kapit – this was the only CNY delicacy we (sis, mum and I) made.  I get my supplies of CNY cookies as gifts from MIL and babysitter, both prolific bakers.  My babysitter even makes and sells home-made prawn crackers!

 Making kuih kapit

My CNY goodies 

As usual, CNY is a time for gathering with family, relatives and friends, with lots and lots of food.

It was a wet CNY in Kuantan, and it rained everyday throughout our stay, except for the 3rd day of CNY, and we took the respite from the rain to visit Teluk Chempedak beach.  The girls had a blast with their cousins.

We headed back to Ipoh on the 4th day of CNY.  The highlight of CNY in Ipoh over the past few years has been the fireworks and sparklers that sis bought for the kids, and this year is no different.

We also celebrated two birthdays throughout CNY – an early one for MIL since everyone was back, and Valentine’s cum birthday celebration for sis.

(L) PIL with their grandchildren (R) Sis with her nephews and nieces

On the 14th day of CNY, we attended a charity dinner for the underprivileged (children and old folks).  There were some performances and one of which was the Gangnam dance, which got some of the old folks on their feet and doing the Gangnam!  Nice!

 Gangnam dance on and off the stage

And here’s the girls’ loot.  I have a confession – I haven’t even banked in their loot from 2012!  I hope I won’t wait till CNY 2014 to bank these in.

March 10, 2013


This was the main reason we went to JB (not Hello Kitty) and it was totally worth the long drive and entrance fees.  We paid the full adult price of RM 140 each, and redeemed two child tickets with vouchers.  We were blessed with good weather throughout the day – not too hot and thankfully, no rain, though the sky was menacingly dark during the early afternoon.

We arrived slightly past the opening time of 10am, and the park was already quite busy but being a weekday, I’m sure it was still better than weekends or the school holidays.  Many of the visitors were foreigners from Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, etc, bringing in much tourism revenue for Johor!

We started at the Lego Technic, and Yiu Yiu promptly went on the Technic Twister ride with her papa.  Then she went with me on the Aquazone Wave Racer and Project X.  Poor Yiu Yiu was so terrified at the beginning of the ride on Project X where there was a steep drop from the top that she was practically frozen throughout.

Technic Twister 

Aquazone Wave Racer 

Project X 

Next we went to Lego Kingdoms, and while I went on the Dragon’s Apprentice (a mini roller coaster ride) alone (Yiu Yiu was still too scared), the girls spent their time playing at the Forestmen’s Hideout.  The Dragon’s Apprentice was pretty mild, and I only realized later that there was another full size roller coaster ride named The Dragon.  Anyway, the queue was pretty long so I gave that a miss.  Yiu Yiu got her face painted, and while waiting, papa took the little one for horsie ride at the Royal Joust.  She went on a couple of rounds as there was hardly any queue.  Yiu Yiu joined her later after finishing her face painting.  The last ride at Lego Kingdoms was the Merlin’s Challenge, a carousel ride.

 The very mild Dragon's Apprentice

Forestmen's Hideout 

Horsey ride @ The Royal Joust

 Merlin's Challenge

We move on to Imagination, where Yiu Yiu went on the Kid Power Towers with papa.  They had to pull themselves up the tower before releasing the rope and glide down. I then joined the queue for the Observation Tower while the girls enjoyed some air-conditioning and playing with Lego bricks inside Build & Test.  They joined me later when it was our turn to go up the Observation Tower.  We skipped the Lego Studio where 4D movies are played, as the queue was much too long.  The girls spent sometime playing at the Duplo Playtown and going on the Duplo Express.  We then had our late lunch at Pizza Mania.  Food was pretty decent, but slightly overpriced as expected. 

 Kid Power Towers

(L): The Observation Tower, (Top R): Inside the deck, (Bottom R): View of the Kid Power Towers from atop 

Duplo Playtown & Duplo Express 

After lunch, we visited the Land of Adventure, where Yiu Yiu and I wanted to get on the Dino Island ride.  Unfortunately, she was below the height limit L  And with two whining girls who wouldn’t let me get on the ride myself, I had to give it a miss L  So we settled for the seemingly kiddy Beetle Bounce, which turned out rather fun, and since there wasn’t much of a queue, we went on the ride a couple of times.  We then went on the Lost Kingdom Adventure ride – a ride through some Egyptian scenery to hunt for lost treasures.

Dino Island ride, which I missed 

Beetle Bounce - you get butterflies in your tummy being bounced up and down

Our penultimate stop was the Lego City, and the girls enjoyed the ride on the planes at the Lego City Airport.  The girls and I then took part in a rescue mission at the Lego Rescue Academy, before the girls learnt driving at the Driving School and Junior Driving School.  We then went on the Legoland Express, a train ride that took us all over the park.  Our last activity at the Lego City was going boating at the Boating School.

Riding on the airplane @ Lego City Airport

 The Rescue Academy

Helping put out a fire @ The Rescue Academy 

The girls learning driving

Boating @ The Boating School

By then, it was already past 5pm, so we did a quick tour around Miniland.  I was really impressed by the level of details of all the buildings.  I harboured the hope of being able to revisit The Dragon and Dino Island if we still had time in the end but no such chance, since the park closes at 6pm on weekdays (and 7pm on weekends).

Clockwise from top left: Fishing town of Balinao @ Philippines, Tanah Lot @ Bali, Angkor Wat @ Cambodia and Mosque @ Brunei 

Clockwise from top left: Hoi An @ Vietnam, World Peace Gong and Patuxai @ Laos, Karaweik Hall @ Myanmar and Forbidden City @ China

Clockwise from top left: Wat Arun @ Thailand, Taj Mahal @ India, Merlion and Boat Quay @ Singapore 

Clockwise from top left: Railway Station, Twin Towers and Masjid Jamek @ Kuala Lumpur

Legoland is definitely worth another visit or two, but will probably wait till Yan Yan is slightly older so that she could get on more rides.  During this trip, she could only get on few select rides.  Work is in progress for Legoland Water Park, which is supposed to open in 2013 so will definitely revisit Legoland then.