November 30, 2008

Christmas in KL Malls

We never expected that Christmas is such a big event here in Malaysia. Or commercialized more like it. All the malls have big Christmas trees and Christmas songs are playing on the background. We love it though.

Above photo was taken at Berjaya Times Square. The Christmas tree is so huge and tall. When we went down again yesterday, Santa and his sleigh were put around the tree. EJ always says "wow" eventhough he's seen it a lot of times.

Pavilion Mall has a white and gold theme. Their tree looks more like of an ice cream on top of a cone. But it looks gorgeous.

See what I mean? At around 8PM yesterday, there was a shower of gold glitters. People flock to see the show.

After the show the kids gathered round to play, picking up the gold glitters and throwing them up in the air.

EJ had fun! We let him play for almost thirty minutes. He didn't even want to leave yet. We had to bribe him. What kind of parents are we? Hehehe.

November 27, 2008

The 'Fier Update

Just wanted to say that EJ is completely 'fier-free! Yippee!!

After my last update, he didn't ask for the pacifier anymore. He's been sleeping peacefully and no more early morning interruptions to our sleep.

This wasn't a one night success. We've had many trials and failures and crying sessions in between. We were firm but we also compromised along the way. We didn't want him to feel deprived by taking away his comfort zone.

Our trick might be the reason he stopped using pacifier but I think talking him out of it daily really did the job.

To each his own child. I cannot guarantee that our trick will do it for other kids. What I can say is that we did it with a lot of patience and love :)

It's Gymboree, As You Can See

I am the mother queen of indecision. I have been going back and forth about enrolling EJ in a toddler class. One minute I am excited to see him off to school but the next minute I retract.

As much as I want EJ to socialize, mingle, play, interact with other kids his age, there are other things we have to consider as well. There's the price, location, school, facilities, teachers, etc. So far most of the schools I've seen are in Ampang and that's a little far from where we live. I've actually liked one school but it is not accesible by train or bus. That's one problem for us who doesn't have a car. So we've decided to postpone sending EJ to a toddler school for now.

Yesterday however, we went to Bangsar Village to try out Gymboree for EJ upon a friend's invitation. Our friend's daughter has been going to Gymboree for the past month and she has seen an improvement from her daughter. She's more interactive now.

The class starts at 9:30AM so we had to leave the apartment at 9AM. I had to wake EJ up at past 8AM. He didn't make a fuss because I told him we were going to school. He even said yehey!

When we arrived at Gymboree, I asked for a trial class. I expected EJ not to participate in the "class" as it was his first time. The first couple of minutes he just stood there motionless. But after that, he warmed up and joined the class. The "teacher" asked them to climb and to slide afterwards. When the teacher asked them "guys, are you ready?" EJ shouted "ready!" I had to laugh (the other moms did too) because he was the only one who answered and he was shouting with glee. The rest of the session went very fast. EJ was enjoying himself. Although at the end, he didn't want to get a stamp on his hands. LOL.

We're definitely going back next Wednesday. EJ didn't even want to leave after his class.

Bangsar is not by any means near our place but I am thankful that we can hitch a ride from our friend. And it so happens we both live on the same building.

I guess once a week social interaction is enough for EJ. We'll add more as he grows a bit older.

November 25, 2008

Zoo Negara

A friend invited us to go to the National Park of Malaysia (Zoo Negara) last Sunday. Like us, they also have a toddler who's getting curious about animals. We all felt it was time to introduce our kiddos to the live animals.

We left our apartment at 11AM. It was just a short ride, probably 15 minutes more or less. I never expected the place to be crowded but when we arrived there was a line at the ticket counter. Mostly families with little tykes.

We paid an entrance fee of RM15/adult and the kids were free.

Again I was surprised that the place is huge. We didn't even get to check the savannah walk, the reptiles, and the aviary part.

After almost two hours inside, we were tired already. It was also a very hot day so we were all covered with sweats :) EJ even slept before we could go out of there.

Here are some pics taken inside.

That's EJ's girlfriend. Hehehe. At the start of our trip both kids were active. If they were not running, they we're walking slowly holding hands! Hahaha. We had a good laugh out of them.

After the zoo, our friends took us somewhere in Petaling Jaya for a very late lunch. It was a long drive from Zoo Negara but it was worth it. As promised, the food was great. I was too hungry to take photos of the food. Imagine it was already 3:30PM when started eating :)

It was an exhausting day but we all had a fantastic time.

November 24, 2008

A Night of Dancing

At home, we're already playing Christmas songs.

One night, EJ was in the mood to groove along to the music. See what happened.

Sorry if it's dark. We turned off some lights because we wanted the lights on our chirstmas tree to glow :)


November 21, 2008

The Expat Life

Just been thinking about being a Filipino expat.....

It's like putting our real life on hold. I feel like we're on a long extended vacation and there's this fear of going back home to start the real life. Although of course, it doesn't have to be like that. But on our case, that's how we feel or rather that's how I feel.

In Maldives and here in Malaysia, we don't really buy stuff for our place. We always think it would be a waste of money to buy things we won't be using anymore after we leave the place. And in the Philippines, we haven't started furnishing our condo because we are not sure when we are going to stay there for good. It's like being suspended in mid air between two places.

Of course there are more pros than cons to being an expat. There's the bigger salary, opportunity to travel, learn other culture, and possibly learn a new language.

But because I can't see myself living outside the Philippines for good, I always think that this expat life is temporary and short-lived.

But there are things that's making me think otherwise too. There's the constant job offer for hubby, more interesting than the previous. And also this fear of starting our real life back in Philippines.

Now the question is, how long should we live as an expat?

November 20, 2008

Don't Like 'Fier

We've finally made a big progress with weaning EJ off his pacifier. Actually it's been a week now that he can sleep on his own without the aid of his trusty friend. But always at the early morning he'd wake up and start crying. He wouldn't ask for his pacifier though. He would just cry and cry. And if we don't give him the pacifier he couldn't go back to sleep. So we always compromise at the mornings.

His nap time is a different story though. He can already sleep for two or three hours without it.

So how did we do it?

His current pacifier is a bit tattered already. I was thinking of buying a new one. Then I remembered that there was a certain pacifier he didn't quite like before. It was the big and flat design. So I thought maybe he wouldn't like it again and stop using it. It was worth a try. Anything to wean him off the pacifier. Actually, we had some sort of progress before. But we didn't follow it through. We've thought of putting chili on his pacifier but only as a last resort. We've tried going cold turkey on him but we cannot handle the screaming fest that ensues. I've tried putting marmite (a nutricious spread but smells awful) only to get a sour face from him and then off he go enjoying his pacifier laden with a yucky smell. Hahaha!

Anyway, I was lucky to have found the same big and flat pacifier. That night when he asked for his pacifier I gave it to him. It stayed for only a second in his mouth before he spat it out. I gave it to him again and he screamed "No mommy, don't like fier!"

That first night, it was difficult. He cried and cried. So I gave him his old pacifier. But he still refused it saying "don't like fier!" Hehehe. After almost midnight, he finally slept without a pacifier in his mouth. But at the wee hours of the morning, he cried again.

Just like I said above, it's been a week now that he can sleep without a pacifier. But will wake up in the early morning to cry, never to ask for a pacifier though. But still cannot go back to sleep if I don't give him the pacifier.

Until today.

It's already 8AM and he is still sleeping soundly. No pacifier in his mouth. No crying session in between.

Hopefully there won't be any regress. Cross fingers!

November 17, 2008

Escape to the Mountains

We went to Berjaya Hills (Pahang, Malaysia) last weekend. We spent one night in their french-themed resort called Colmar's Tropicale.

It was the perfect setting for a family with a toddler. There were several activities and places to entertain both the adults and the kids. Needless to say EJ was in his element. He loves the outdoors.

Road leading to the Colmar's Tropicale...

Stalls selling different souvenirs and toys for the kids...

The towers on the bridge...

EJ found a toy. It was perfect since it was windy on a Saturday afternoon...

L'Orient, one of the seven restaurants inside the resort. We were serenaded by a Filipino band...

At night, it was dreamy...

There were several shows and activities lined up all throught out the day. At 9:30PM, a group of dancers performed several interpretations of dances from Africa, Malaysia, etc..

EJ was fascinated with this "knight". He kept on asking where the face of the "person" was.

This was taken during the morning. He was alone so he didn't have much fun. But when we came back at night, there were a bunch of kids older than him inside. He relished the moment with other kids. I think I was the only parent who was tensed. I kept on reminding him to be careful. I think I have to learn to trust him. Otherwise, he will forever be pampered.

We went to the rabbit farm. As expected, he was chasing, patting and hugging the rabbits. It was fun!

We also visited the Japanese Village which is 3,500 above sea level.

The cascading waterfall with a koi pond at the bottom...

We left Kl at 9:30 AM on Saturday and stayed until 12NN the following day. I would have loved to stay a bit longer so we can visit the horse trail and the golf club but the receptionist did not give me a free late check out. For three more hours, he said he'll charge me a half day rate. At their rate, thanks but no thanks.

Aside from the disappointment of the room (we got the family suite but it was blah) and of not having a free late checkout, we had a good time.

November 14, 2008

Grammar Lesson from a 2-year Old

EJ has learned to distinguish a singular from a plural form. He says "car" if there is only one car, and "cars" if there are two or more. He's actually pretty good at it already.

So one day we were inside a mall. It was a weekend so the mall was crowded. EJ was excited and in a hurry to ride the escalator. I told him "Look, there are so many people. Let's wait a while."

And of course he mimicked me. "Mommy, yook (look)! So..many..peopleS". "No baby, it's just people. No more S after the word" I corrected him. I never bottered to tell him that it's already in the plural form. I thought that was already complicated for him. Guess what he told me?

"Mommy, NO! Mommy, NO! So....many....peopleS." He said with an emphasis on the letter S.

Hahaha! Now he's correcting me already. What's in store for me when he grows older?

{My police grammar! Hahaha!}

P.S. Up to now he still say peopleS when he sees a a group of people. :))


The weekend is here. We're planning to go out of town. But I am not sure it will be such a good idea. The weather seems unpredictable lately. Right now, there is a heavy downpour complete with thunder and occasional lightning.

What's your weekend agenda? Hope you have fun-filled weekend everyone!

November 12, 2008

Music to my Ears

We were at KFC today for lunch. While I was waiting to be served, my favorite crew came up behind me (she was stationed at the dining area). We exchanged pleasantries. Then it was my time to order. I thought she left already. But she was still at my side. What she said next, made me pump my hand and shout Yes!

She said "Miss, you're losing weight. Are you on a diet?"

I could have hugged her right then and there. Hahaha!

I am so giddy! I couldn't take the smile off my face!

November 11, 2008

Mall Visit

In our quest to visit every mall in Malaysia (hahaha! exaggeration, of course!) we went to 1 Utama Mall last Sunday. Hubby wanted to buy more Christmas decors while I wanted to check out the Kiz Sports & Gym I've been reading in the forums. I wanted to find out if I can enroll EJ in a playgroup.

I didn't expect the mall to be humungous. I think this is the biggest mall here in Malaysia. I think it is even bigger than the Mall of Asia in Philippines.

We didn't get to go around the entire mall. It was just big. And the layout was just confusing to us newbies.

Although we found the Kiz Sports & Gym, I didn't enroll EJ. The mall is a bit far from where we live. EJ wasn't keen to go inside either.

After two hours inside the mall (including lunch) we decided to go home. We didn't even buy anything.

I am ever so glad my favorite mall is just a walking distance from our place!

November 10, 2008

Show Off

I couldn't help it. I just have to post our "finished" Christmas Tree along with another decor at home. What can I say? Aside from being giddy about Christmas, I am also a show off. Hehehe.

After four years of not having a tree, we couldn't stop staring at this one especially at night with the christmas lights on. It is gorgeous.

We decided to put some more decors to make our place more Christmas-y. And now it really does look one with the addition of this.

Christmas couldn't come soon enough!

November 6, 2008

Santa Has Come

Christmas has officially started in our house. Santa came in his sleigh bringing a medium-sized fake Christmas tree for us to decorate. And why not? We're ready for it!

Look who's excited to open the box? Must have a picture too whilst opening :)

It's EJ's first time decorating a tree. Will he remember this?

Up close. It's mostly red for now but we're going to buy more decor tonight.

Tada! Presenting our half-complete Tree. We need to buy lights too to make it alive.

This is my fifth consecutive Christmas away from Philippines. Four Christmases were celebrated in the Maldives. And never with a tree. So you can see that we're very excited with this one. It's our first tree as a family too!

What about you? Are you geared up for Christmas yet?

Gift Idea

Still on the topic of watches...

If you're looking for a not-so usual gift for your girlfriend, boyfriend, friend, niece, nephew, godchild or basically anybody, then consider buying one of these talking watches.

They look just like any other watches. But don't be fooled or surprised. They can talk! They have voice capabilities that can tell time in a clear voice. Now, that's not usual isn't it?

I think not only kids would love it but adults too. I find it cute :)

November 5, 2008

As Vintage As You Can Get

I am not really a watch person. Never have been. I had worn several watches before but they were all gifts from my parents and my eldest brother.

When I started work, I never bought a watch for myself. Since my parents and my brother hasn't gifted me with a watch anymore (thinking I could afford to buy one for myself), I didn't have a watch for more than four years! But I didn't mind. There was always my celfone to keep time.

Lately however, I have become fascinated with watches. Maybe it's the influence of hubby. I have a Buffalo and an Esprit watch. Both are big and not the girly kind of watches. It would never suit me otherwise.

Anyway my brother sells vintage and authentic watches on Ebay. And I have become hooked. Although I don't bid (I can't afford) but I am lusting over his collection.

Men's Rolex Tudor Prince Oysterdate 9111/0 Auto Watch

Vintage & Authentic Ladies Cartier Automatic Wristwatch

Vintage Hamilton 3 Register Chronograph Auto Wristwatch

Vintage Ladies Omega Deville Two Tone Quartz Wristwatch

He has other brands like Tag Heuer, Longiness, Bulgari, Movado, etc. (And no, he doesn't have any Nautica watches.) His bestseller is always the highly collectible Rolex.

So if you are into vintage things including watches, drop by my brother's Ebay store. You might just get lucky and own a vintage watch for less (pray there aren't many bidders).

November 4, 2008

Uber Amazing Blog Award

Thanks to Rachel for giving me yet another award.

Uber (synonym to Super) Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites who:
~ inspires you
~ makes you smile and laugh
~ or maybe gives amazing information
~ a great read
~ has an amazing design
~ and any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing!

Now I'd like to share this award to my fellow bloggers:
1) Kayni - who gives amazing information especially the Italy and the Rome tour
2) Kaye - who makes me smile with her stories in Singapore
3) Duskfading - still blogging even with her current situation :)

Weapon Against a Toddler's Tantrum

The "terrible two's" expression does not exist for nothing. I am sure parents have a lot of tales to tell regarding the terrible two's stage.

While I may agree that EJ has his tantrums, he is not unmanageable. Sure, he cries if he doesn't get what he wants. But we've learned how to deal with it. We just distract him and in less than five minutes he is appeased. I usually follow this up with a "talk". I explain why he can't always get what he wants. And more often than not he answers "okay mommy" or "alright mom". I am not sure if he understand the words I tell him. But I am pretty sure he gets the idea.

Today though was a different story. As we had lunch at home, I decided to go down together with EJ and hubby. I was planning to go to the bookstore to let EJ run around (we usually do this) and then choose a book to buy afterwards. Hubby went back to work. On the way to the bookstore, EJ noticed that his daddy was not around anymore. He asked me "daddy work?" When I nodded yes, he started crying. I distracted him by saying we're going to the bookstore to buy books, but it didn't work. He said "don'!" Now he was really crying complete with "sipon". Hehehe. So I asked him calmly, what do you want? In between sobs he said, "home".

So I pushed the stroller back home. He seemed to stop crying. When we arrived home, he cried again and wanted to go outside. I asked him, "you want to go to the bookstore?" "No, don't like books!" he yelled. As understand it, he wanted to go outside of the building. I would have given in to his wish but it was scorching hot and I know that once outside he would just complain.

Seeing me not budge, he threw a fit. He pushed the jigsaw puzzle off the table and scattered all the neatly arranged toys. Then he ran to the door and tried to open it while crying and saying "mommy, pint (open)".

Surprisingly I was not irritated at all. So I purposely didn't distract him. I just let him be. I thought he needed a release of his emotions somehow. And I know that he was tired and very sleepy.

After a few minutes, he came to me still sobbing and said "mommy bed". I carried him for a while before putting him to bed. When I laid him on the bed he was half asleep already. But I still explained why we couldn't go out of the house. I promised to take him out later when it's not so hot anymore. I told him there was no need to cry. He answered "okay mommy". Before he dosed off I told him I love him.

November 3, 2008

A taste of Malaysian food

When it's hard to curb our food cravings, there's only one place we go. And we have never been disappointed. Yummy food and light on the pocket too.

I am talking about the eatery near Bukit Bintang. I don't know what it is called though. Hubby and I call it "kainan sa likod" (literal meaning: eateries at the back) because it feels like it is just at the back of our apartment. It's actually a street next and parallel to Bukit Bintang.

It's a whole street of restaurants on one side and the tables and chairs are set on the street. It's far from fancy. But the service is fast, the food filling and delicious and most importantly cheap considering it is a touristy place!

This is one of the restaurants. It's our favorite spot.

{Grilled stingray fish}

{Buttered prawns}

{Sauteed kangkong with chili}

{Fresh coconut juice with meat}

{Char Keow Tew - must have food for me}

All these food plus two rice and two more drinks for only RM65 ($18). Beat that!

All Kinds of Trophies

I wish we knew years before when we were looking for unique trophies to give during our org's sponsored events. All kinds of sports trophies are there. To name a few there's archery trophies, badminton trophies, football trophies, tennis trophies, fish salmon trophies (I have no idea what kind of sports this is..hehe) etc. They also have plaques and awards for sale. Have a look if you need any trophies.

November 2, 2008

Trip to Sunway Pyramid

EJ's friend, Yasmin, turned two yesterday. We were invited to her birthday party held at Atrium Restaurant of Sunway Pyramid Hotel.

We have been meaning to go to Sunway Pyramid. But since it's about 30-minute taxi ride from where we live, we always get discouraged. We're so used to the malls being walking distance from our place (heck, we live on top of a mall) that even a 15-minute taxi ride sounds like a million miles away.

We arrived early, the celebrant wasn't even there yet. So we checked the food on display. The Atrium is a buffet restaurant and I dreaded the food I was about to consume. Hahaha! But luckily I wasn't in the mood to eat a lot that day.

EJ had a lot of fun playing with the celebrant. They were jumping up and down, throwing balloons at each other and just happy to be in the company of someone his age.

EJ was sleepy in this picture. It was way past his nap time. And I bet he was exhausted from all the yelling, jumping and clapping they did earlier.

After the party we went around the place. Sunway Pyramid Hotel is connected to the mall and of course the Lagoon was just outside.

The place looks great. We might visit again if we can drag our lazy selves.