Friday, September 23, 2011

She Is All Grown Up

Tonight marks the 3rd night in a row she went to bed without her best friend aka pacifier. Hooray! I didn't anticipate that she would wean herself off it, this soon and this easily! Pacifier is only given to her to lull her to sleep at night and nap, and we pull it away from her once she dozes off. She hardly cries for it in the middle of night and would go back to sleep quite instantly. Although she was not seriously addicted to it or can't live without it (and occasionally does fall asleep without it at all), 80% of the time, she needs it to go to bed.

*picture sourced from google search - modified

We had initially planned to wean her off at 1.5 years old. She is now 2 years and 4 months. Yes, we put our plans on hold. I can't even remember why. Lazy parents, I guess.

I had previously thought and imagined of countless ways to wean her off it. I was also afraid and worrisome of how was I going to cope with her tantrums during the process. But now that it happened, on her own accord, I am SO relief! And shame on me for having so little faith. I should have had more faith that when she is ready, things will just fall into places. "Isabelle, Mommy & Daddy is very proud of you! And thank you for making this such a breeze for Mommy"

*picture sourced from google search

Apart from feeling a great sense of achievement, I have a mixed feeling. This milestone dawned on me that my girl is growing up fast. I am missing her being a little baby. She is growing to be independent and I miss having her relying on me. She can do so many things on her own now that I feel she need me less. Sigh.

Does any Mommies out there feel the same or is it just me?

Monday, September 19, 2011

An Evening At Chrystal Children's Home

We tagged along with Mom and Dad when they went for a visit to the Chrystal Children's Home. It was one of the Woman's Fellowship activities.

Isabelle had a blast with the children at the home. And I had a ball snapping away.

My little girl is too young to benefit and experience any emotional lessons from this visit. But for me, getting to know the children is getting to know my own blessings and to be thankful. The blessings of having our parents and their unconditional love. Many times we take our parents' love for granted when this is what the children long for most. Most of them were abandoned by their own parents when they were very young and some of them were left wandering the streets at very tender age. It is heartbreaking and bitter to listen to their stories.

My heart and prayers are with them. Thank the Lord that His love has placed them in a proper home and His love found its way to their once inadequate and insecure lives. May God's grace and mercy continue to keep them happy and bless with them a happier childhood every child deserves.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hello Canon!

I am pleased to introduce to you my new buddy from Canon and her name is EOS1100D!

She put my cameraless days to an end since my old Lumix failed on me.
I was struggling between sending my Lumix for repair and getting a new one.
DH made my decision making a breeze.
He said, if repair is going to cost anything more than RM300, forget about it.
So I did and my dream to own a DSLR came true.

Here are the first batch of photos I took with my new Canon on the first day she came home with me. She came in handy and just the right time for me to capture nice shots during our recent trip to Hatyai.
But, I know, lots of room for improvement.

My first picture taken with the new camera

One of my favourite photo.
Mom with both her precious pride & joy : Isabelle and her plants (background)

This... MY precious pride & joy

Something green for the eyes

I am looking forward to learn more about photography and now my new passion can go full swing with a good camera!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Travel ~ Hatyai 9-11 Sept 2011

It is the time of the year Dad's company go for their annual company trip. Destination: Hat Yai. And this year, we tagged along. Made Dad a very happy father and grandfather! The more the merrier! I am excited as well. My last trip there was almost 10 years ago.

Journey started at 2am!! Thank goodness Isabelle continue to slept like an angel, from the moment I transfer her from the bed to my arms, then into the car and up on the bus, into her toddler car seat.

Sound asleep while the rest of the entourage grabbed
a very early breakfast at Changloon

Even when we had to get down to get our passports stamped at both Malaysia and Thailand immigration counters, she continued to sleep! She is such a good girl and made me a happy & stressfree Mommy! :)

At 7am, she rise and was a little astonished. But it didn't take her too long to get warmed up and started getting acquainted to everyone in the bus.

photo taken at a bus-stop outside a shop we had our breakfast
before hitting Hat Yai town

Time for shoes.
At a bag and shoes souvenir shop

After stopping at 2 souvenirs shops, we head for lunch. Pork knuckle at Restaurant 59, here we come! By the way, the locals caught my by surprise. They speak real fluent Hokkien and Mandarin.

Glorious braised pork knuckle
Very tender and juicy

Chive buds stir fried with crispy beancurd
MUST TRY : Very good

What is a trip to Thailand without tomyam?
This tomyam was so so, nothing to shout about.
Except, it was seriously and fatally SPICY!

A glass of chilled SINGHA, a hot & spicy lunch's best friend

*** PEK LEK 59 Restaurant ***
273/1-2 Niphat Uthit 1 Rd, Hat Yai

Food therapy done. Time to get some well deserved snooze. Checked into Siam City Hotel. Not the best choice of hotels but because their regular Mayflower were fully booked, we were left with no other choice. But I must give thumbs up to the concierge and doorman service! I forgot to catch his name but he has the 6 star hotel service and attitude in a 3 star hotel! I hope he gets a job elsewhere because he deserves better!

Shoes again.
Right after we checked into Siam City Hotel

After a power nap, we gathered at the hotel lobby and head to Floating Market, about 30 minutes away from the city centre. Weather was not too hot as it rained earlier in the morning. So it was pretty comfortable and didn't drive me crazy.

I was too busy playing around with my camera and didn't really had the chance to taste much of the food sold on the sampan vendor. Only remember tasting some coconut juice served in clay cups and mango sticky rice. Both was nice. Not forgetting the scenes was colorful and most of the vendors were decently dressed. The ladies vendors even had make up on their faces!

Colourful scenes at the floating market

God was good, as usual :) It started pouring heavily once we left the floating market. We adjourned to dinner at Washington Restaurant. We have an extra agenda. Mom's surprise birthday!

Here are some more pictures of our 'extravagant' dinner.

Squidballs stuffed with prawns on sizzling plate
with lots of fragrant garlic bits

Suckling pig (pitiful)

Kids connection

She found the stage and the mic and the fun began

And the fan went frenzy taking picture of her on stage

Cute figurines stolen from Mom's birthday cake

*** Washington Restaurant ***
130 Niphat Uthit 1, Hat Yai
(Next to King's Hotel)

A trip to Hat Yai would be incomplete without a visit to their streets and night market. So that was where we went. We had about 2 hours before the stores close. Had a brief shopping trip to Central and Odean before we hit the night market.

After dinner stroll at the night market

Head back to hotel and snooze away. The rain welcome us the next morning and since we were made immobile by the rain, we had breakfast at McD Lee Garden Plaza. Isabelle had her first tuk tuk experience and was very excited about it. She kept saying 'Car... no door? Where is the door?'

Happy tuk tuk passenger

McD Spinach Pie
I wish this is available in Malaysia!

Time to pack and go home. DH tried to take a picture of us queuing up at the Immigration Counter despite knowing it was an forbidden act. Took our luck and was warned. Right after he took a shot, the officers asked us to go into the office. Everyone thought we were in trouble and for once, I thought my camera is going to be confiscated. However, it turned out that the kind officers saw us with a toddler and exempted us from queueing. We get to sit in the comfortable office while we get our passports stamped and the rest had to stand and wait for their turn outside! How nice!

Onboard entertainment

Hopped on board and on our way home. It was a short trip but we enjoyed the company, the fellowship and most of all, we enjoyed just being with our loved ones. Goodbye Hatyai!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Accident - 8 Sept 2011

DH was expected to reach my hometown to reunite with us before we go off for a family vacation this weekend, in about an hour's time. His call came in but it was not his usual call to report about his whereabouts. It was the most unwanted and dreaded call I wanted to receive.

'Accident. It's me, accident'. I remember everything infront of me just turned white and blank.

I remember me asking him where is he, is he ok and to reassure him that we will be right there. So many things ran through my head. But I had to stay calm. And I even forgotten how to pray and I just remembering thanking God it was DH who called me and not someone else (you know what I mean).

DH's car was hit by an express bus from behind and it pushed him further and hit another car infront. The impact must have been so strong it then threw his car to hit the divider on the right and then landed on the left lane.

My brother and I rushed to the police station as DH had left the accident scene with tow truck to lodge police report. When I reached and saw the severely wrecked car infront of the police station, I broke into tears. I was so grateful that my husband came out of this horrific accident alive! The damage was beyond my imagination!

DH escaped with cuts and bruises on his right arm and legs. It was not obvious immediately. But we took the advice and send him for a check up. The bruises started to show its garang-ness later last night and today.

But we don't mind that at all because it could have been worst!

God was really wonderful and merciful. Thank you Lord for your protection in times like this and sparing DH's life. It is a miracle he came out alive and it is from no one but You Lord. Thank you thank you and thank You that he lives to tell the story and Isabelle gets to see her Daddy alive, safe and sound.

Thank You Lord.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Day at the Zoo - 1st Sept 2011

We really did quite a bit of outing during the recent long MerdekaRaya holiday.

Shopping - checked but will do it again and again, be it holiday or not.
Movies - checked.
Food hunting - ongoing but checked.

Since we have done almost everything, DH said we should visit the zoo, AGAIN! This is Isabelle's second trip. But I do agree that at her current age, it does make a lot more sense to her. The animals look more familiar and she can relate to them more now than the first time we brought her there.

I woke up a little earlier to prepare our zoo breakfast. Mashed hard boiled eggs (with raisins & sundried tomatoes strips) to go with buns and iced coffee.

Breakfast gone

I was extremely hungry when we reached the zoo. Stopped at the air-conditioned rest hut for food therapy. Home made breakfast in a cool room on a warm and not so cool morning with the view of a pond filled with storks and pelicans. Sounds awesome? Apparently, not really when you have a happy and active toddler running like mad around you. Isabelle was excited and she was running everywhere and suddenly bump into me when I was holding a cup with my beloved iced coffee. The coffee splashed onto my white tee. And it was just the beginning of our day at the zoo and I don't have any spare tee with me. ARGH!

I braved myself and continued our zoo excursion with a coffee stained tee and smelling so very caffeiney. I am glad I did not let my frustration take over the situation because we did had a really good time. Yeah, it was a very hot day and all but when I know our little one is happy, everything else don't seems to matter.

Here's some shots from our adventure :)

Making conversation with a little lamb

Posing with some storks

The graceful giraffes