Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Time for A Feast

Of course Chinese New Year is not complete without our customary dinner with the Phuah's (Ah Ma's side of the family). We'd left Ipoh yesterday afternoon after having lunch in one of the few coffee shops that was opened so soon after CNY. So obviously it was VERY crowded. First, we had to get a place to sit. Then we needed to wait for the food to be served! Now I know why Ah Ma decided to have lunch at home.

So we drove back after packing the car. Of course, we'd left behind several things! Sigh.. your little bag, Ah Kong's Blackberry. But thank goodness Chek Kong, Chim Poh and your 3 Kor-kors were coming to Penang the next day, so they brought with them today all the things that we'd left behind in Ipoh.

This afternoon, we tried to get you to nap before you got excited again when our visitors came. But no.. you had other plans. So in the end, when we found out that your Kor-kors were already in Penang, we brought you out to buy "cendol" from them. Goodness me, the traffic was madness. It was jam all the way from town until the Reclining Buddha temple! And even to buy the cendol took us a while. Daddy had to park a little further and had to queue a while before he finally got the cendol. Next was to buy a cake. Ah Ma's birthday is just 2 days away, so we decided to buy a cake to celebrate early since everyone was around.

By the time we got home, Chek Kong and family were already here. So after entertaining them, I had to haul you into the room to get you to take your nap. (Didn't want a sleepy + grouchy little boy for dinner). Of course you protested but after a few minutes, you were asleep. By then it was already 5pm. In the end mummy had to wake you up as it was past 7 and you needed to shower before our other guests arrived.

You woke up in a cheerful mood and after a quick shower you were all ready for our guests. They started to arrive at around 7.30pm and we soon feasted on Ah Ma's yummy cooking. Boh-boh Poh cooked Tou-tou's famous tanghoon dish. We even had a special dessert of glutinous rice balls (tong yuen) with peanut soup. It was yummy.

Eating with Ashley Kor-kor

While Ah Ma freshened up (after slaving over the stove cooking our delicious dinner), we sneakily brought out the cake. It was an ice-cream cake and while it was taken out for a while before Ah Ma reappeared, it did not melt at all! Everyone (except for Chek Kong who refuses to take anything made of diary products) enjoyed the strawberry flavoured ice-cream cake.

All the kiddies with Ah Ma (singing the birthday song)

It was a great dinner with wonderful food and dessert, and great guests. Of course with your aunts around you had another late night.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Day for Visiting and a Barbeque

Ready and waiting for everyone else
The second day of CNY starts with everyone getting ready to go out visiting. First stop was to visit Ah Tai's elder brother. He lives in Chemor. The ride was around 20 minutes from Ipoh. Of course, the ride was filled with your questions: Why is the traffic light red? Where are we going? How come we are going to visit Ah Tai brother?

You had a wonderful time there. Why? Not because of the ang pows. I think you are too young to know what ang pows actually mean. It's because of the many snacks there were in the house. They even had the Hakka "Hor Por Char". Under normal circumstances, you would not touch this with a ten foot pole. Reason? It's a meal served with several different types of vegetables. And you "love" veggies so much! But in this case, you love the soup a lot. So kor-kor helped take you a bowl of soup with some peanuts and rice. And a good thing she did too. We had another stop to make before heading home for the moi lunch that Kor Poh had cooked.
Next stop was Tanjung Rambutan to visit Ah Kong's cousin's family. The uncle was not around so we waited around and chatted with his children and by the time we finally left Tanjung Rambutan, it was already 2.00pm! Went home to eat moi and I tried to put you to sleep.
Stuffing yourself with prawn crackers
You took a while to finally fall asleep and when you woke up, it was close to 6pm. Had your drink and soon is was BBQ time. The weather this Chinese New Year is very strange. It used to be very hot during Chinese New Year but this year, it rained every evening. And there was heavy rain too.. not just a slight drizzle. It was the same today, the sky was dark and gloomy. It even started to drizzle. Your daddy and Kor-kors and Ah Pek were kept busy bringing the BBQ pit away from the rain, back out into the open and back under the porch.
Everyone had pitched in to prepare the food and it was delicious. After everything was cooked and cleared away, I tried to get you to sleep. But you decided that the night was still young and you wanted to play around with your aunties and uncles. So as they drank wine upstairs and chatted away, you also kept them entertained until it was past 12midnight (again!). Mummy had to finally drag (a very unwilling) you to bed and after some protests from you, you finally slept.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The First Day of CNY

Surprisingly you woke up quite early today. Maybe it's the excitement, maybe it's sleeping on a different bed. Anyhow, you woke up earlier than your kor-kors and we headed downstairs for breakfast. After that, we got ready (took a shower and dressed up). Here you are dressed up in your kung fu outfit that your kor-kor bought you when they went on holiday to China last year.
The lion dance troupe was supposed to arrive at 10am, according to Chek Kong. Luckily everyone was ready early this year. They arrived at a little past 9.30am.

Of course before the lion dance arrived, you had already wished Ah Kong "Gong Xi Gong Xi, Keong Hee Huat Tai (Chai), Ang Pow gia nai (lai)". We'd taught you to say that for a long time and you managed to master it, but I was worried that you'd refuse to say it correctly as you had been the few days before. Thank goodness you said it correctly to everyone's amusement. So after saying that to Ah Tai, all your Kor Pohs, Chim Pohs and Ah Mm waited to give you and pow and to hear you wish them.

The lion dance started and there were two if them this year. Daddy carried you as they danced inside and outside the house. And you watched them, perched on daddy's shoulders (with daddy covering your ears). Later on I took over with you while daddy tried to get some nice shots of the lion dance. He even managed to catch an orange that they threw.

Too loud

After that was over, we gathered everyone for a family picture. Since Ah Tai was seated outside, we decided to take the picture under the porch. Quickly stools were gathered for the elder generation to sit on while daddy adjusted the camera (luckily Chim Poh found Ashley Kor-kor's old tripod). After a picture of the whole family was taken, we took turns to take family pictures with Ah Tai.

Getting everyone ready and visible in the picture... not an easy task

The best shot we got. Big family eh? But not complete. Some were overseas.

Lunch was the customary mee suah soup with fried eggs. Even you enjoyed it. Unlike last year, this time you ate whatever we had for lunch and dinner. Before your afternoon nap, as usual you were parked on the organ, playing with it, until mummy had to persuade you to take a nap.

Dinner was with more people than last night. There were 30 Ban's having dinner tonight. Your Chim Pohs, Kor-kor and Kor Poh cooked a lovely meal. There were around 8-9 dishes. After dinner there was the usual longan-lychee drink. Even 7 you liked it. Perhaps because it was a cold drink. You kept telling me "mmm... it's owange joose, mummy.."

Before heading off to sleep, you went to wish Ah Tai goodnight. After kissing her, you attention was drawn to the fact that she had no teeth (thanks to one of your kor-kors!). When asked why Ah Tai had no teeth, you said "Maybe Ah Tai didn't brush her teeth". Having so many people to keep you entertained, you only slept after 12midnight! Yup.. in fact daddy fell asleep even before you did!

Gong Xi Fa Cai 2009

Gong Xi Fai Cai from Evan and All of Us

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Today is the Eve of The "Niu" Year

Today is the eve and lots of work needed to be done. Daddy had to fix up a lot of little things around the Ipoh house, you had to keep everyone entertained and I had to enjoy my "holiday". Daddy, Ah Kong and Chek Kong even tried to fit in a golf game. But the weather did not allow them. They even drove all the way to Meru Valley in hope of the weather improving, allowing them to play. But... no such chance. So as I was trying to get you to take your nap, daddy came back. Of course, you had to play a while with him before daddy left and I tried to get you to take your nap. You NEED your nap, don't want to risk a grumpy little boy for the reunion dinner.

Your kor-kors were also very busy as we were napping upstairs. One thing about living in a house is that someone had to keep you company when you took your nap. (Meaning mummy also got to nap when you did *grin*). You must've missed walking up the stairs. You were hopping as we walked up and down. Mummy had to remind you that you were not allowed up or down the stairs alone, which you thankfully followed.

What were your kor-kor's doing while we were napping? They were cutting and cutting and cutting the apples, pears, carrots, and I'm not too sure what else for the "lou sang". Yummy. When you finally woke up, you had some tea and played around.

Everyone got excited when dinner time finally came. The lou sang looked to yummy. Su Kor-kor even cleared a place for you to squat on the dinner table so that you could reach the lou sang with your chopsticks. See...
Here's the lou sang and some other yummy dishes
Here's everyone mixing the lou sang (including you and your little pair of chopsticks)

You had a wondeful time lou sang that you dropped one of your choptick and yet continued to stir until mummy realised that you'd left it in the lou sang and had to remove it.

After dinner, we all and to queue up to use the bathroom. As always, you were allowed to cut cue. Er.. probably because you didn't take too long to shower. Also, like last year some bathrooms did not have water. So there was a long queue to use the bathroom upstairs. We went down to chat and play with your aunties, uncles, grand-uncles and grand-aunties until it was nap time.

Here you are all pooped out after a long busy day... wearing that adorable dinosaur PJs that Lee Mei Kor-kor bought you:
Funny thing about you is that when your kor-kors teased you about the PJs being scary you got a little upset and didn't want to wear the dinosaur PJs. In the end, we went down again and after everyone telling you nice the PJs were did you agree to wear them to sleep!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's the Eve of the Eve

As usual, we work our way back to Ipoh on the eve of the eve of Chinese New Year. This time it is a Saturday, so we planned to leave early.. or so I thought. In the end, daddy's car which was in the paint shop for some touch up which was supposed to be ready on Thursday was only ready today. So in the end, daddy and Ah Kong went off to play a round of golf (daddy in the driving range while Ah Kong played a round of 9 holes). And you also had some last minute things to do. Get a hair cut. This is even more last minute than last year!

I had to wake you up early as Ah Ma wanted to go to the market to buy some last minute things, while I loved seeing the crowds and the many stalls set up to sell Chinese New Year goodies. We arrived at Pulau Tikus at around 7.45am and the crowd was already madness. We managed to get a parking spot in the Plus Zoone carpark and headed off to wander around the market while Ah Ma bought her things. Even you could tell that it was crowded. You kept telling me "Mummy, the market is so crowded".

We headed home to have breakfast and wait for daddy. Daddy called later to say he'd be late so Ah Ma took us to Uncle Austin's for your haircut. Surprisingly, there was no one having their hair done. Maybe they'll be in later. So it was time for your cut. How did it go? Not as well as before. You decided that you didn't want to sit on the chair and kept holding tightly onto me. So in the end, you had your haircut which ended in less than 20 minutes and I had you hair all stuck to my clothes! Thankfully it went well (ie no protests and crying and screaming).

Headed home to have another shower and off we went. How many rounds did we have to go up and down before we were finally ready to go? So many, that I'd lost count! And at long last, we're off. Nope.. headed out and Ah Kong remembered that we'd forgotten to pack the wine. So back we went and picked all the needed and we went across to bridge. Traffic was quite heavy as daddy drove us home. I'd thought that you'd nap in the car since you woke up early... But no, you had no such plans. You asked questions after questions and at long last you fell asleep 20 minutes from Ipoh. When we arrived, daddy carried you up to the room and surprisingly you didn't wake up. You continued to nap for almost 2 hours in total.

By the time you woke up, everyone was waiting for you to wake up. As usual, you were a bit "sticky" to mummy before you finally warmed up to everyone. Okie.. looks like my holiday has begun. Yup, you no longer need to stick to me every waking second. You've got so many aunties willing to keep you entertained.

Goofing around with your new toy from Su Kor-Kor

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Naughty boy...

There are times when you refuse to do as you are told. And Monday was one of those times. What did you do? Well, there was only 3 of us at home: you, Ah Kong and mummy. We were playing and trying to fix the Thomas & Friends Mega Playset when we noticed that Ah Kong had dozed off while watching the news.
So mummy told you to be quiet and not wake up Ah Kong. Of course a request NOT to do something will not be met. So you walked to Ah Kong and touched and called him "Ah Kong" just to wake him up. Sigh.. Ah Kong woke up and we laughed about your cheekiness.
We continued with your game when we noticed that Ah Kong had dozed off again. Must have been a busy day. Of course you had to wake him up again. This time, it was with an "AH KONG!!!!!" and you stood really closed to him when you said that. Poor Ah Kong.. he nearly jumped right out of his skin when you shouted at him.
I wonder if reverse psychology will work: by telling you to wake Ah Kong up?

Last Night

Nope.. nothing happened last night. We only went to Gurney Plaza to do some last minute shopping. But "last night" seems to be your favourite time these days. What do you like to say?
Mummy, last night we went to the zooOooo... ("Zoo" pronounced in a sing-song way)
No dear.. we went to the zoo more than a month ago!
Last night we went to Parkson, mummy
Dear, we went just came back from Parkson
Last night, we ate Bah Kut Teh (your favourite)
Of course, we didn't. That was last week.
Seems like you cannot tell the time so everything that has happened is classified as "last night"

Monday, January 19, 2009

Oh No...

My heart almost dropped to the floor when I touched you on Friday. I was trying to catch you to put you on the high chair when I realised that you felt a little warm. Maybe it's the fever that made you a little grouchy so when I tried to put you in, you refused and no amount of cajoling would make you sit. So in the end, I let you sit alone at the coffee table and in the end, I joined you there for dinner.
Anyhow, after reconfirming that you had the fever I fed you PCM which (thankfully) was taken willingly by you. Yup, you've decided that you like to take medicine and sometimes you'll tell me that you need medicine even though you are not sick. The fever did not really subside but you behaved normally. Not tired or weary. In fact you were very active the whole Friday night.
When I woke up at close to 6am on Saturday, you still felt warm so I had to wake you up to feed you more PCM. I expected a lot of fuss, but you took the medicine happily. And then.. you refused to go to sleep after that. Sigh.. I was still so groggy. You decided that you wanted milk, then you needed to wee wee in the toilet and after putting on your diaper (I was hoping that you'd go back to sleep!) you decided that you needed to poo poo in the toilet. Arghhh...
At long last you went to sleep. And when you woke the fever came back on and off so I fed you PCM a couple of time and thank goodness by Sunday, there was no sign of your fever. You had a wonderful time at the Youth Park, sitting on the ferry and shopping with Nanna.
Hope that the fever does not come back anytime soon. Chinese New Year is coming...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Bath time

One thing about you that puzzles me is whether you like taking your baths or not? I still cannot figure it out. Why do I ask this question? Well when it comes to bath time, you'll tell me "it's not time yet" or "I'm not smelly" or "No.. I dowan to bathe". You've got loads of excuses. Of course there is the occasional time when you willingly come with me to the room to get ready for your bath. When you were younger you'd happily get your bath with a "Eeww.. you need a bathe 'cause your smelly!". Sadly, it doesn't work anymore.

Of course you still have more excuses. We need to count: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 (yup, you finally got your sequence correct). And nope that's not the end of your excuses. You want to cuddle with mummy for a while first. And finally you'll get into the bathtub (after a lot of "persuasion" from mummy).

Then all goes well with the bathing process. Wash, shampoo, soap. Ah.. then trouble starts again. When I turn on the water to wash off the soap I get a "NoOooo.. I'm not ready yet". And you'll proceed to wash my bathtub, arrange all the soaps and shampoos on the bathtub. And when I finally get to turn on the shower, you'll get upset when I try to wash off the shampoo. You really dislike the water getting onto your face. So I try to be very careful. Yet, you'll make a lot of noise as if I had washed your face with the shower!

At long last, you're clean. But now you REFUSE to get out of the bathtub! Sigh.. after more persuasion we're finally done with the bath. And it's already 11am!

How does it go for daddy? You'll usually say "No, not daddy. Only mummy". But when he bathes you... you're as good as good can be. No complaining or delay tactics! So unfair.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Back to Work

Sigh.. the two weeks passed by so quickly! At times I was bored to tears, at others I kept wishing that the holidays would last longer. Either way, our biggest fear was how you'd react to no more mummy 24-7, after having me around for the past 2 weeks.
This morning was really a big task for me to get out of bed. Can't blame me for being able to sleep in as I wished (or should I say "Until you wake up") for the whole duration of the holidays. Well it was all fine and dandy until I was ready to go out for breakfast. I was carrying my handbag, a plastic bag of things and then I noticed that my notebook bag was unzipped. With it gaping, I had to close the bag in case my notebook decided to bungee jump. Of course, lazy me did not put the other things in my hands down and struggled to zip up my bag. With all that rustling, who'd not wake up? Sigh.. of course the first thing you said was "MUMMY!!!".
Thankfully you were in a good mood. So after a while I changed you and told you that mummy had to go to work. Of course, you insisted that I should NOT go to work. In the end, you told me that I had to make "milk and Mi-yo and notty-gwain" before I was allowed to go to work. Of course that was not the last of it. Before I went off, I had to sit down at the sofa for a kiss and hug, then as we were walking out, daddy had to have his kiss and hug too before we were allowed to go off.
Phew.. first day of work and no tears. Have a great day with Ah Ma!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Question time..

.. and boy do you ask A LOT of questions. It's always "why? why? why?". It scares me most when we're in the car. Here's how a typical conversation in the car goes:
Evan: Mummy, why is daddy driving Ah Ma('s) car?
Mummy: Coz daddy's car is in the workshop
Evan: No-la.. Daddy's car is in the paint-shop

After a while...
Evan: Why is daddy's car in the paint-shop?
Mummy: Coz daddy's car got into an accident
Evan: Why is daddy's car accident?
Mummy (getting tired!): He hit the pillar
Evan (obviously this was coming..): Why did daddy hit the pillar?
Mummy: [Silence.. because I have given up answering your questions]

But that's not the end of our conversation:
Evan: Why is the traffic light two red wan?
Mummy: Because it's not our turn to go yet.
Evan: How come not green?
We have taught you that red is stop and green is to go. As for yellow, I have told you that is to slow down, but you have decided that yellow is to go. Yikes.. are you picking up the typical Malaysian driving style?
Mummy: Because it's not our turn to go yet
Evan: Why not?
Mummy: [Silence again]

And later...
Evan: Are we going to Island Plaza?
Mummy: No
Evan: Why not, mummy?
Yup, the questions are never ending. And we've just passed Island Plaza, meaning that we have only been sitting in the car for less than 10 minutes! Can you imagine how it went when we drove back to Ipoh on Tuesday?!
Yes, I know that you're being inquisitive is good. Good for you, but I wonder how good for mummy's sanity! Nanna laughed when I told her about your questions and she reminded me about how worried we were when you were younger. We worried that you had not started talking. NOW, I am wondering if you have an ON/OFF switch!

Let's go fishing...

Here's one of the many toys that you got for Christmas. It's from 10th Great-Grandaunt. It's not something new to mummy and daddy. Hehe.. i think this toy has been around for a long time.

It's a little fishing game. It came with batteries, but daddy had to use the batteries for another toy. In fact I had already bought a big pack of AA sized batteries before the Christmas party but they weren't enough for all your toys. So a few nights later, upon your request, we went out to 7-Eleven just to buy the (long promised) batteries for you. The moment the batteries were put in and the toy turned on, we knew it was going to be a noise maker. Yikes! Not another one...

It played the song "Lambada" at a very high pitch. After a while we turned it off to put the fishes back in and when we turned it on again, there was no more music! You know what? It was a simple game as compared to the other toys that you got for Christmas, but you really seemed to like this game. You don;t play with it everyday, but once in a while you'll still take the game out to play. You'd turn it on and not let it stop to cool down the game but after a while you learnt your lesson. Why? Because it would not turn on again for a while after being turned on for too long.

Even when Ee-ee visited, she played the game and said that it takes a lot of patience and (some) skills to catch the fishes.

Here you are (picture taken today) playing your fishing game before your afternoon nap. Even Ah Ma has joined us a few times in the game. You have been very helpful to everyone in catching a fish. How do you help? We'd patiently put our "hooks" near to a fish, to wait for it to open the mouth and while we're trying to get the hook into the mouth, you'd help by pushing the hook into the fish's mouth, closing the mouth and lifting the fishing line for us!

The toy is no longer a noise maker. After the music shutting off totally on the "opening night", it turned on again the next day and has been a lot softer (and bearable) to date. I guess the price of a toy does not determine how much you'll like it. Happy fishing dear..

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!

The new year has come. It seemed rather quiet. We expected heavy traffic on the Penang Bridge when we came back from Ipoh yesterday, but it was smooth sailing. Maybe it was still too early as we crossed the bridge at around 9.30pm.

Well, your nap and sleep time has gone hay-wire with mummy and daddy on holiday for the past 1.5 weeks. So you managed to stay up to watch the fire works at the stroke of midnight. Only thing is that we had to watch from inside the house halfway as the ones being released at the beach nearby were too loud for you.
Happy Near Year!