Monday, January 29, 2007

Kuala Selangor - Bukit Melawati Silverleaf Monkeys

It's Family Day out to discover Malaysia's countryside with Pop, Mom, Mama, Aunty Doreen, Kakak Esa and Kakak Mika.

This time, Pop took us to Bukit Melawati in Kuala Selangor, a quiet town at the mouth of the Selangor river. It took us about and hour by Subang way to get there. Instantly, I notice the Road Train waiting for passengers at the entrance to the park. Many local tourists come here on weekends to see the picturesque lighthouse, monyet kelabu (Silverleaf Monkeys) and the famous fireflies.

While waiting for the train driver, we bought cut fruits at the nearby stall and munched keropok on board. Pop said we had to finish up our snacks or the monkeys will want them.

The Road Train took us up a winding road and in a short while we were at the top of Bukit Melawati hill near the Lighthouse.

There were Silverleaf Monkeys all around - on trees, sidewalks, signboards, etc. They are dark haired and have a silver shining on their fur. Their babies have bright orange fur which turns dark to look like the adults after two months. They are a delightful bunch and did not fear us at all. In fact, they will come and sit right next to you or follow you everywhere if you happen to be carrying some food.

Near the Lighthouse, there was an Indian man selling ice-cream who seems to be able to communicate with the Silver Leaf Monkeys. He fed them some cut up long beans and they waited for their turns without fuss. He would reprimand the occassional greedy monkeys and they will back off as though they understood every word he said. Amazing!

Next on our itinerary was SEAFOOD of course. We had lunch at Restoran Jeti at the fishing village which overlooked the river. Pop ordered salt egg crabs, steam fish, o-chien, fried lala beehoon, vege, fried squid, etc

Here's the 'Sea Ouchy' that I tried.

My tummy didn't feel so good. Mom agreed that there was quite a bit of noise in there.

After buying some keropok, fishballs and dried seafood, we left. On the way, Pop stopped by a fish market. Mom and Aunty Doreen bought fresh fish which Pop said made his car stinko.

Pop took a different route back which took slightly longer than an hour. We passed Batang Berjuntai and also the Selangor Fruits Valley, the Selangor Tropical Nursery and the Herba Farm. No time and tired this trip but Pop said we'll definitely visit those places another weekend.

I fell asleep in the car.

My Classmates at King's Kids

Here's a picture of by buddies at King's Kids K2 class of 2007! I haven't got to know all their names yet. I usually hang out with John J, Zachary and Adam.

A day in my Pre-School Life

I'm getting used to the 'going to school routine' now. Every morning, Mom wakes me at 7.45am, draw the curtains and open the windows so that the bright sunlight streams into my room. We snuggle and roll about in bed and talk for a while, usually about the weather, my dreams or what's the program for the day. Sometimes Pop will jump into my bed and tickle me so much.

At 8am, off to the bathroom and Mom helps me brush my teeth - she does the molars and I take care of the front teeth. I rinse and puff my cheeks like Federick, my hamster. Then it's potty time. Sometimes I will ask for privacy if I need to poo, otherwise Mom just checks my pee pee color. 'Hey, it's yellowish!' she'll say followed by ' Aha, not drinking enough water.'

Mom will turn on the huge shower rose and adjust the temperature until it's just right. Then in I go for a hot shower. Great feeling and great way to clear stuffy noses.

After that, Mom dries and wraps me tight in a towel. Most of the time I get changed in my room unless the air-con is still very cold inside. Mom will rub me till I'm warm before she unwraps and powders me. Sometimes she'll cuddle me like a baby (still?) and sings a few old bathtime favorites like 'Home on the Range' but modified to 'Home by the Tracks'', 'Hush Little Baby' or 'I love you forever'.

By about 8.20am, I'm at the breakfast table in the kitchen. My regular breakfast is milk + fruit + cereal and a sandwich - sometimes cheese+jam, kaya, fried egg.

Whilst eating, Mom will flash some Shichida pictures and dots cards and also Linking Memory cards. Sometimes she'll read a short story. When she's busy or not around, I usually read a few books on my own or bring my trains and tracks to the breakfast table.

By this time, Pop would have finished bathing and joined us. He'll have his vitamins and breakfast. Then I put on my socks and velcro shoes - Mom still complains that I don't do it myself, but I DO, in school, he he he. Musn't forget my backpack which Kakak has packed my drink, snacks, change of clothes and towel.

At 9.40am, Pop and I will leave for King's Kids. We enjoy listening to the radio advertisements along the way, like 'Luigi, what are you doing talking about me on the radio?' and sing catchy jingles like 'Stand by your pan...' or '1300 88 2525'.

Other than the first few days, Pop just needs to drop me off at the back entrance and one of my Teachers will take me in.

First, I'll take out my water bottle before stuffing my Thomas and Friends backpack into my pigeon hole. Then take off shoes and put them aside on the rack.

I'm in K2 and I have 2 class Teachers, Aunty Jennifer and Aunty Fiona (like my hamster's name). My Bahasa Malaysia Teacher is Aunty Lara but I'm not sure of my Mandarin Teacher's name. They are all very nice. I like Aunty Jennifer even though sometimes she reprimands me and sends me to stand in the corner. Of course, that only happens when I have been up to some mischief.

So, I've just learn words like 'berhenti', 'bersedia untuk berhenti' and 'jalan'. For Mandarin, I can recall some words like 'siow' for small and 'ya' for duck. Used together, 'siow ya', it's duckling.

As for English, Aunty Jennifer told my Mom she was surprised that I could read. Sometimes, I would be asked to read short stories to other kids. Aunty Jennifer said that I could fit into K3 but she would like me to hang around for a few months first as I've never been to school before and had to learn things like 'circle time', 'sitting cross legged', 'keeping quiet when teacher is talking', etc.

We also go to the playground behind the school 3-4 times a week. We line up in twos and walk there while singing.

At 11am, we have a short break for biscuit and drink. We have to close our eyes, put our hands together before we eat.

Everyday school ends at 12.45pm except on Thursdays at 12.15pm. Most days, Pop will pick me unless he's busy. Mom will come instead by cab.

By 1.15pm we'll be having lunch at home prepared by Kakak.

My weekly routine for now looks like this:

King's Kids - Kumon - Yamaha

King's Kids - free!

King's Kids - Aunty Wohdy

King's Kids - Shichida

King's Kids - free! (till Art class is rescheduled)

Kumon - Family Day - Swimming

Family Day

Since I turned 4, I've hardly taken afternoon naps. I used to sleep very late, about midnight like Mom and Pop but these days, I'd like to be ready for bed by 8.30pm. In my room, Mom will either play board games or do worksheets with me for a while then it's lights off except my bed reading light. We usually sleep on the lower bunk. Mom sticks poems and reminder notes under the upper bunk so we can't miss them when we lie down. Mom will usually ask me to choose 2-3 books, depending on how sleepy she is, to read to me in bed.

Usually, I'm off to dreamland by 9.30-10pm.

That's my day!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

My Chinese Name

I'll be attending my first Mandarin class at King's Kids today and the teacher had requested that I provided a Chinese name.

Thanks to Aunty Shee Hoi, I now have a translated Chinese name - 赖 宁 思

I think it's pronounced as 'Lai Nerng Tze'. Will let u know later how the class went.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My 2nd and 3rd Day of School

Yesterday I was upset when getting ready to wear shoes to go home. I cried in King's Kids and shouted at Aunty Jennifer. Mom says I should apologise cos I was wrong to block the doorway when wearing shoes. She said good trains don't block the main tracks, they go to a siding. I understand that now.

Erin and Jayden came over for lunch and to play. Later Mom took me to Jayden's to play with his Lego Train. It was fantastic. The engine went around the tracks so smoothly when it pulled one or two coaches but a bit hicuppy when it had to pull more or when it came to the split tracks.

Aunty Sue Ann took us to visit the Bukit Jalil park to feed turtles and fish. The playground was very nice. It was a good workout and Mom said I could have 100 Plus after that. Yeah!

After a bubble bath with Jayden, we went dinner with the whole jing gang. I heard Aunty Sue Ann telling Mom that she managed to book Air Asia tickets for holidays to Langkawi and Sabah sometime in June. We went home about 8.45pm but I didn't get to sleep till about 10pm. I could see that Mom was a bit worried that I don't have enough sleep.

Anyway, school was good today. As usual, Mom would wake me at 8am, whisk me off to brush teeth, potty time and hot shower, change, breakfast then off to King's Kids with Pop at 8.30am. So far so good. Mom came by cab on time and had a discussion with Aunty Jennifer. I was asked by Aunty Jeannie to read to other kids at the next table. She then read 'Tootle' to me, which I enjoyed very much. It was one of the books Mom donated to the school's library.

I think Aunty Jennifer suggested to Mom that I will be transferred to a 'bigger kids' class soon since I could read and count already. She also asked Mom lots of questions about what I learnt at home. Pop came later and we went home for lunch.

Tomorrow, there will be Mandarin class and I was asked for my name in Chinese characters. Oh dear, Mom says I have no Chinese name and she quickly contacted Aunty Shee Hoi to translate a name for me. I wonder what she'll come up with.

Erin and I had to bring 'small' umbrellas for Aunty Wohdy's class this evening. As usual Aunty Pat took us and Kakak too. Mom said she's still feeling a bit queasy and preferred to stay at home.

Monday, January 8, 2007

My 1st Day at Pre-School!

Today Mom & Pop sent me to King's Kids. How did I feel?

We arrived early at about 8.45am. I think I was 3rd to arrive and Aunty Lara and Aunty Fiona welcomed me. At least they squatted down to smile and shake hands with me, not like the other 'BB' school where the teacher dragged me in crying on the first day.

I was taken to a table where 2 other kids were playing with playdough. I was comfortable and starting making some trains and coaches. I knew Mom was sitting nearby. She took a picture of me too. She left after a while but told me so first. I felt good.

Mom told me later that she hung around at the coffee shop and the playground park while waiting for me. She peeped at me occasionally but I didn't notice. There are 17 in my class (10 girls and 7 boys) but we were split into groups of 4 or 5. Aunty Fiona played counting sticks with my group. I enjoyed storytime by Aunty Jennifer.

School's over early today at 12pm (usually 12.45pm) and I was the first to leave as Mom & Pop came a bit early. After Pop took some shots of BHP stations, we went home for lunch.

After bathtime, Kakak took me for Kumon class. Then we made cup cakes. In the evening, Mom took me to Yamaha for music class. We waited quite long for a cab and Mom had to pay extra. She said both trips cost a total of RM20 that day. Pop couldn't pick us as he was golfing with Uncle Chan, Uncle Lamb and Uncle Tony.

Teacher Maggie said we were all rusty after the long break. I could play Cuckoo's Nest but right hand only. I can play Kangaroo Family too with my left hand cos my fingers are pretty long and can stretch to reach the keys, 'ti' and 'so'. I nearly didn't get stickers cos Teacher Maggie reprimanded me a few times for disturbing Jayden and not paying attention.

Mom paid fees early to get more stickers. Yann Ling cried and Mom questioned me about it. I think Jayden and I kind of played quite rough and accidentally hit her.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Dengue Fever!

Oh dear, it's confirmed that Mom's got Dengue Fever. She went to Selangor Medical Center in Shah Alam this morning expecting to do an endoscopy but the Gastroentero... something specialist recommended a 2nd dengue test and true enough it was positive. Her platelet count was 61K which the doc said was very low but since she was feeling better today she need not be admitted. But she needs to go back for more tests tomorrow.

Went riding on my new bike with Erin. When Mom came back, she made Mulligatawny Soup, which is a peppery Eurasian soup that my Dad's family enjoys during New Year.

Grand Aunty Jack called me before going back to Australia.

It was Chinese duck song at Aunty Wohdy's and then Erin and Aunty Pat came over. Next week to bring umbrellas???

Mom's driving me bananas giving me instructions in Malay to fix the Bygga motorbike.

Grand Aunty Jac from Australia

Pop's Aunty Jacklyn - that makes her my Grand Aunty Jac, came for a visit. It's the first time I've met her. She lives with Uncle Mike in Harvey Bay, Australia.

She's cool. She gave me crackers and lots of junk food. We went for nyonya food with Grand Aunty Doreen as well. They came over for fruits and to see Mom (still queasy) but I had fallen asleep by then.

Mom said that when she and Pop (not married then) visited them when they were staying in SS3 PJ long ago in the 80s, she made sure they stayed in different bedrooms!

Here's the Preston Train she gave me. It's solid diecast! Couldn't find much info on the net though except that it's probably from Lancashire.

Grand Aunty Jac is so nice. I like her and hope to visit her soon.