Friday, December 31, 2010

Ushering in 2011

Today the last day of 2010. And what a year it has been. I feel like I've been on an emotional roller coaster with moments of excitement, anxiety, anger, sadness, relief, and happiness.

In the past I used to usher in the new year with my family and friends. At the stroke of midnight, my late father used to take out his gun and fire into the sky to "announce" the arrival of the new year while my brothers, cousins and friends would splash each other with water with whatever means they can - water hose, pail, bottles. I guess this wouldn't be happening this year. My dad passed away in May this year and this has been a big cloud over my head and in my heart, and it's not going away.

I hope I don't get any midnight calls to wish "Happy New Year" because it gives me the creeps. I got a late night call from my brother moments before my father passed away and to me, out of hours calls are a no no now.... unless of course its an emergency or work related. I think its just part of phone etiquette.

When I entered my 30's, my new year celebrations were celebrated with my best friend Janet... clubbing... and then with her family as her brothers would always have superb fireworks action to welcome the new year. It's hilarious watching her dogs getting scared of the noise and of course her nephew would hide! I won't be there tonight. Janet is married now and this year (as in last year) she is celebrating her new year in Canada with her husband Magdy. I'm sure they'll be having great time together there.

But wherever I've been during those hours or minutes before the coming of the new year... be it in the night clubs, at home with my family, or with Janet and her family.... one thing is for sure - there's always bbq-ed chicken wings to enjoy.

There's no loud music, relatives or hoards of strangers around us hugging and wishing everyone happy new year, water fiesta, fireworks or even a bbq for us at home tonight. But guess what, there is (or shall I say "was" now) chicken wings!
Husband and I went to "tapau" bbq chicken wings from a stall near our home. We gobbled each of these flap-flaps just now!

So to all of you out there, I hope you are having a wonderful time ushering the new year... however and whatever way you choose to celebrate.

Yes, mine is gonna be quiet but that's the way I wanted it to be this year. I wish for all of us good health and greater successes in 2011.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My camera vibrates!

For nearly 3 years, my camera has been my loyal companion. It was a gift from my husband as I lost the camera I had before. Just a couple of days before Christmas, my camera showed off its new found feature.... vibration mode! It does this every time I slide the lens cover down. How is that possible? Did my snappy happy fingers exhaust the camera so much that its acting like a little old lady with wobbly hands and knees?

As such, I haven't been able to take much pictures over this Christmas. At my grandma's traditional family Christmas eve re-union dinner, I didn't bother take the camera out at all because I'd have to wait for the camera to stop vibrating then I can take pictures. Imagine me asking the family all ready for group photos... "Wait..... My camera has to stop vibrating 1st!" And I also just left the camera at home while we attended our church's Christmas service/lunch reception.

I love this camera not only because of its sentimental value, but also because it's compact and is able to take pretty good pictures. After all, I'm no pro and I certainly don't have space in my bag for those huge DSLR cameras. I don't want to carry an extra bag just for a camera... My back may give way! Although I must say I love the picture quality and features of a DSLR camera. If only there are compact DSLR cameras.... or are there?

I'm going to hold on to my CyberShot DSC-T50 for as long as I can but in the meantime, I'll have to do research on our next camera purchase. We don't want to miss capturing precious moments after all!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Truly simple decorating this year. I'm simply not up to it! Hopefully next year I'll be motivated (and energised) to do a little more.

Our Christmas tree nearly got covered by all the presents. If I put ALL the presents here, we wouldn't be able to see the tree. LOL! Husband sent out nearly half the presents earlier this month. Most of the presents here belong to Mia, lucky girl.

Her photos got "framed" for the season

My quiet, coffee sipping area out on the porch has a centrepiece

Mr & Mr Claus and reindeer lights for our dining table

My nephew says my angel looks like a drag queen! LOL!

We must remember, Jesus is the reason for the season.

Sometimes Mia is good and is friends with Santa

Other times she's cheeky and never ever want to wear her Santa hat. So, I put her nappy on top of her head.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Liew Family Getaway 2010

Now this is a first.... The Liew Family Getaway.

The Liew family went away for just 1 night to let the cousins have their fun and stay in a hotel together.

This is where we went: Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort. (Photo taken from their official site!)

Someone is really "Rasa Ria" (feeling joyful)!

Not a very good picture... some are not facing the camera, but it'll do! That's the family there sans 1 person this time round.

This is where we had our buffet dinner and breakfast the next morning... The Coffee Terrace. (Photo from the hotel's official site)

Just some of the food I had from the buffet spread. The buffet costs RM110 per person. Children under 12 years of age eat for free. Pricey but then again, it is at a resort.

A favourite among the kids... chocolate fountain. That's Jake up there... one of the cousins.

One of my favourites... the bread section. Yum!

One of my husband's favourite... Blue cheese.

While we were enjoying our coffee, bread and cheese... these 2 went for a stroll outside!

All the Liew grandkids with their grandparents

Align Center
After breakfast the next morning, Mia decided to crawl onto the stage to play with some traditional musical instruments
"I'm taking you home with me!" LOL!

Joyce (Jake's sister) with the gorgeous flower display in the hotel lobby

One final photo before going into the car for home sweet home

Bye bye now!

Monday, December 13, 2010

No accident

Santa got knocked off his "throne" by an angry elf and all because I wouldn't let her take a present from under the Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Caroling 2010

What a night we had last night. First it was to Cinda's boy, Jacob's birthday party then it was off to Christmas caroling with our church members.

Mia had a great time "exploring" Cinda's place. She was enjoying Jacob's attention (he was trying to feed her with rice and chicken wing!).

And Cinda.... I can't believe that woman! She was cooking up a storm in the kitchen for the party... fried noodles, chicken wings, fresh green salad, special rice, pita bread, chicken sausages, and there was a rack of lamb in the oven! I could never pull that off, not in this lifetime anyway. It was such a shame that I forgot to bring my camera with me to take shots of Cinda's beautiful food, homey home and gorgeous kids.

We had to leave the party before it really kicked off cos we had Christmas caroling visitations with our church. Oh... there was an incident with the "flying food" and paper cups at the party. Main thing is, Mia had fun with Jacob.
That's our group (sans Kevin the leader & guitarist cos he's the one taking this picture!)
There's Kevin (on the extreme right, holding his guitar)
I spent most of the night running after our little runaway caroller. See how she makes herself at home here... she just conveniently slip away to "explore" as soon as we get started.
Overall, I think Mia enjoyed herself the most. She seems to be able to find something to keep her occupied in every one of the 4 houses we visited. Especially so at the last house, it was like "Toys R Us" there.

Friday, December 10, 2010

We Got Mail

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened our mailbox this morning.

We got our 1st Christmas card... a real Christmas card. From our dearest friends Janet & Magdy.
Our Mia was really happy that I let her take the card out of the envelope. Thanks Janet & Magdy!

There were 2 more cards in there for Rosie, and Teresa & her mum. I'll be handing them over to the ladies when we meet for our pre-Christmas breakfast. I told them about their cards already.

These days I rarely receive actual cards... it's all e-cards, sms greetings and now "tag"s in Facebook! The times I do receive any greeting card would be from companies that I've been buying goods from, and even then, its quite rare.

Don't get me wrong, not that I don't appreciate the e-cards, sms greetings and tags in FB. I do, I really do. But I miss the days of sending and receiving actual cards. Speaking of which, today I finally did it. I sent out my very first Christmas card in over a decade!

The card is for Janet and her husband Magdy who are in Canada now. This card has been sitting round our house for 2 weeks and I keep on forgetting to post it. When I received Janet & Magdy's card this morning I was overcome with guilt! I packed our Mia into the car (she wants to hold on to the card) and off we went to the post office. Done!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Shopping

In the past, I'd normally leave my Christmas shopping to the very last minute. Since last year I decided to make a change and start shopping in November. Not that I had a choice then cos I was due to give birth on 23rd November and knowing that I won't be able to go shopping during the confinement period of 1 month, I had to get everything done by 22nd November.

So this year, I started early. In November too. Usually I'd shop alone, but this year, I have a shopping buddy. My Mia! The 2of us went shopping at 1Borneo last Saturday while her Papa was away on his company trip. We completed everything in 5 hours... all 12 gifts. Other gifts were bought during earlier shopping sprees.

Mia is a real mummy's helper.... She insist on helping me to carry this HUGE box on our way to our car so I could get it and other goodies out of our way and return to the mall to continue shopping.

See that ball hanging on the stroller? That's hers to play with at home. I let her choose 1 ball and she chose this one, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I think she chose it because it was the only pink ball in the pile. I bought it for around RM5! The pink backpack hanging at the back... that is another gift for someone with gifts for others inside it. I try as much as I can not to ask for plastic bags.

The thing with shopping with our toddler is that she's gotta have something to hold on to while I'm browsing. So, the first thing I'd do whenever we walk into a shop knowing that we'd be there for a while, is to look for a soft toy for her to just play with while I look around. After which I'd conveniently return the toy upon check-out.

Upon reaching home, I fed Mia, got her changed into her pajamas, put her to bed and finally wrapped up all the presents. All 20 of them. I'm happy, hope the receivers will be too!

Here are just some of the prezzies sitting under our Christmas tree... just waiting for Christmas morning. The other gifts couldn't fit and so I had to put them in a bag to be delivered straight to the recipients earlier this week.

Yo... Wake UP!

My love affair with the black out curtains started on the day I discovered black out curtains (while staying in a hotel). I've been wanting black out curtains for my bedroom ever since. Even before moving into this first home of ours, I've insisted on black out curtains for all the bedrooms. I don't think that my husband quite get why I put my foot down on this.

Anyway, I managed to convince him and I'm pretty sure he's happy with our decision because otherwise, we'd have the morning sun shine into the bedroom. And when you really need to sleep in after an exhausting day (before), it would not be so grand.

When our daughter wakes up in the morning (which is at most times, really early), she'll stand in her crib and make her announcement that she's awake. I would normally respond with, "Hi darling, good morning". Because it'll still be "dark" in the room, she'll then sit in her crib and continue to play with her toys, and I can continue to catch a bit more shut eyes before getting up.

Lately, our daughter has also caught on the purpose of our black out curtains. When I don't get up when she wants me to take her downstairs, she'll do this:Arrrrggggghhhhhh! The sun.... the sun! She'll then stare at me and give me a look that says, "Yo, get UP already!"

Vampire me would be forced to get up and bring her downstairs for play, change diaper and breakfast time.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Popular Book Fair

Once again, Popular Bookstore is holding their book fair (2 - 12 December 2010). Up to 70% off on selected books. This time its held at the Lower Ground floor of 1Borneo Shopping complex (in between McDonalds and KFC) and we were there last Saturday. Some of the books on sale are really good with just some minor defects (easily fixable with some cleaning or a bit of strong glue at home).

They also have some stationery on sale too, good for "back to school shopping" or even as Christmas gifts. But beware, some items are only discounted with purchase of other items.

If you were to apply for or renew your Popular Membership Card, you'd get free gifts too.

I wanted to get some books for myself and had set aside a RM150 budget. But once I got browsing, I bought these instead:
All hard cover books. The one on the top right had 6 mini books inside. A bargain!

Beware of the look

When your normally active child suddenly stops what she/he was doing and gives this kind of look:
you'd better be prepared for what may come.... check out what's swimming with her toys in the tub.Mia handed me a "sausage" of her own making (and she looked really proud of it too). I shrieked, grabbed the poop out of her fingers, threw it into the tub and cleaned our hands in the sink.

I guess the "relaxing bath" was a really relaxing experience for her.

The Birthday Party at the beach

Our family have not been to a picnic in such a long time. When we were kids, I remember our dad used to organise picnics a lot... at the beach, the island, by the river at our "kebun". It was great fun hanging out with the cousins, the aunties, uncles and grandmas. Mum would get up early in the morning to prepare the picnic food, and at times dad used to pack the barbeque set into the back of the landcruiser while the rest of us pack our change of clothes and towels. I miss those days.

For Mia's 1st birthday party, we decided to have it at the beach: Tg Aru 1st Beach on the morning of 27th November 2010. Here are just some of the pictures of the day.
This is my nephew Benjie's 1st time to a beach! He was so excited. I guess the air at the beach made him really thirsty and hungry. While waiting for the soft drinks to chill, he decided to grab some ice cubes to drink!

Aunt Allison also came with fried noodles and mixed vege which were really yummy. Thanks Allison!!! Unfortunately my camera went missing and I didn't manage to take pictures.... :(

My aunt Bertha and bro-in-law Nelson in action.That's my late dad's custom made bbq set. It has and continues to serve us well.

Ha, this is Abel, another nephew of mine. The naughty one. At first he was with his older brother on the beach offering his "special touch" to their sandcastle. Soon enough, the older brother carried him back to to the picnic area under the tree. Kesian, kena buang negeri. He then grabbed Mia's birthday gift... sandcastle building set and got started on digging sand and make his own sand sculpure.
Asked later what he was building, and he replied "Ultraman mati". Huh?! Oh yes, Ultraman is his idol.

The bigger kids divided into 2 groups for the sandcastle building competition. Total failure. They can't work in a team and were too busy arguing with each other to come up with anything acceptable. So no prizes were given for this competition.

While the kids were building (or shall I say, fighting over) the sandcastles, our birthday girl cuddle up on grandma (my mum) and have her nap.

My cousin's son came to join the picnic after work and showed the kids how to make a dragon sculpture.

We did have more exciting games for the kids later:

A cousin wanted to have a drinking competition, but I told him not this time. Maybe next year we'll do it!

Finally, Mia's cake:

I guess she's saying, "Noooooooooo! You spoilt my cake mummy! It's my cake. Let me do it myself!!!!"

More pictures and coverage here!