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29 June 2009

Father’s Day and Mom’s 61st Birthday

20 Jun 09

This year's Father's Day fell on 21 Jun 09 and it was close to Mom's 61st Birthday. We celebrated both occasions together.

SC suggested not to bring kids along to crowded, noisy restaurant. She suggested to let the kids to have their dinner at mom's place. They ordered Domino pizza for the kids.

The kids were so happy that none of the parents, grandparents, auntie and uncle would be at home to watch over them. Darren said "Yes!". We settled them with their dinner, while our maids watched over them.

We had our dinner at the new Selayang Palace Restaurant which is located at Bandar Selayang (near Selayang Hospital). The restaurant was new, big and impressive.

We ordered the Father's Day set menu at RM638 nett. We requested the restaurant to replace suckling pig by upgrading the fish and add in salted egg crabs. Dad is against eating baby pig and find it cruel to do so. The food was good and the set menu was just too much for the 10 of us. However, the food serving was slow and our dinner was like wedding dinner, from 8.30pm till 10.30pm. We were glad that the kids were not with us, otherwise they would be cranky and complaining.

We bumped into our old neighbour which was also celebrating Father's Day at the same restaurant.

SC baked this strawberry cheese cake for Mom's birthday, following Catherine Lau's recipe. She decorated the cake with fresh, whole strawberry and Ferrero Rocher chocolate and dust it with cocoa powder. It was a job well done, especially this is the first time that she tried to bake this cake. The cake was yummy with strong strawberry taste.

Glad that Mom was happy with the birthday celebration with her children and grandchildren. It was a pity that Patti and Qi Wen could not join us.

28 June 2009

Team Building at Cope Adventure

13 and 14 Jun 09

Our company team building was held at Cope Adventure which is located at Hulu Langat, Bukit Langat, Ampang. It was a 2 days 1 night program.

We stayed at the camp itself which is in a jungle. There were exclusive, one-of-its kind Khyam tents imported from France. The unique tent was equipped with camp beds, for up to 8 people, fitted with reading lights & electrical points, fully tiled and air-conditioned. Its a pampered, modern camping concept.

It suppose to give us an unforgettable experience during our stay there. Yes, I will not forget the experience as I couldn't sleep the whole night and I had the urge to go to toilet but had to hold on to it. Who dare to walk out in jungle in the middle of the night to go to common toilet?

Only special group of people got to stay at their limited chalets ie old colleagues, pregnant, overweight, back ache and slip disc problem, etc and I was not one of them :(

We had many activities throughout the 2 days ie greater heights, wild woozy, jungle tracking which was adventurous especially after a heavy rain pour, paintball, etc.

The food at the camp sites was good, especially their curry, spice cooking. At night, after our dinner, we walked up to Lookout Point Restaurant, which is very near to our camp site. There's spectacular KL view from the restaurant. We had our coffee, drink and dessert there. Its a perfect place for "soon to be" couple. We were told by the staff there some of their customers walked in to the restaurant as friends but after a romantic dinner with nice KL view, they walked out as couple.

Overall, the team building benefited us with better bonding and team work.

Cope Adventure (M) Sdn Bhd

Pusat Pelancongan Menara Tinjau

Jalan Ampang - Hulu Langat, Bukit Langat

43100 Selangor


Office Pot Luck

12 Jun 09

In conjunction with Sales Meeting and team building, since our outstation and Singapore colleagues were in town, our office decided to have pot luck for lunch.

We were break into groups by department, branches, etc and informed the committee in advance dishes/food that we would cook or bring.

Some of the main course:

Pineapple fried rice, fried meehoon, pizza, broccoli stuffed mushroom by Fei Yin, curry chicken, assam prawn by Jess's mom and Muar famous otak-otak sponsored by my boss.

We had the makan session at our showroom which is equipped with our appliances in a modern kitchen concept, adjacent to our living hall ie guest waiting area.

Steamboat corner using our new induction cooker.

Dessert corner

After the big relief from my Urinary tests, I volunteered to bake cupcakes (top middle) which were freshly baked the night before the pot luck.

It was a good get together session for us to get to know our colleagues better ie who can cook and who should stay away from cooking :)

KL Bird Park

7 Jun 09

Jared had been asking if Jaselyn and Darren could come and stay with us. Over the school holiday, they came and stay with us for a night. The next morning, we had pancake breakfast at home and then left for KL Bird Park.

Earlier, we've bought the KL Bird Park tickets from the Ikano school holiday promotion, Bird Park @ Ikano which were at discounted price and I had one free child ticket for spending above RM200 in a single day at Ikano during the promotion. KL Bird Park does have promotion with Mykad, Jusco J card, etc.

The KL Bird Park is world's largest free-flight walk-in aviary. It is located in Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens and home over 3,000 birds of approximately 200 species of local and foreign birds, sprawling approximately 21 acres of verdant valley terrain.

We were impressed with the Bird Park. There were so many colourful birds around the beautifully landscaped surrounding.

The park is divided into 4 zones:

  1. Zone 1 and 2 make up the free-flight zone;
  2. Zone 3 is the Hornbill Park
  3. Zone 4 is where the birds are placed in separate cages and mini aviaries.

We liked the KL Bird Park's most extraordinary feature in Zone 1, 2 and 3 where birds are let free in the aviary ie free-flight concept. We were able to see and took photos of the birds in close proximity.

3 of the kids wore green, thin cooling t-shirt knowing it was a hot sweaty day. The kids were so sweaty, tired from the long walk around KL Bird Park.

We managed to catch the 12.30 pm bird show at the Amphitheater. It was a good and impressive show by those talented birds. A must do thing in KL Bird Park.

Check out KL Bird Park official website for more info on the map, operating hours, etc.

KL Bird Park

920 Jalan Cenderawasih

Taman Tasik Perdana

50480 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 603 22721010

25 June 2009

Wesak Day 2009

9 May 2009

Every year I like to go for prayer at temple on Wesak Day and on half day vegetarian.

This year's Wesak Day, I followed my sisters to temple and brought my 2 boys and Nina along. The good thing is my youngest sister and her family joined us too.

There were flowers, candles, donation box, blessed apples, etc in the temple. It was a strong Wesak Day atmosphere in the temple.

Most of the people there wore white clothes. I must remember this for next year Wesak Day.

Kids showering the Buddha.

Nowadays temples are unlike the old day. Most of them were air-conditioned in nice cool room. We had prayer session in an air-con room too.

Vegetarian lunch were provided after the prayer session.

Monk and Jaden.

24 June 2009

Genting Highland Mar 09

20 & 21 Mar 09

I went through "My Pictures" folder in the computer and realised I've not put up in my blog for a few occasions. And this is one of them.

We did not plan for any holding during the Mar 09 school holiday. Jared asked us "Where are we going for vacation?". We were caught speechless. So, we taught of going up to Genting Highland since its near, cool weather and have lots of activities for the kids.

This time round, we stayed at Resort Hotel.

We bought 2 RM100 Genting Holiday Card which was retailed at RM85 each, an instant 15% discount. The card can be used at theme park, F&B, etc. We used the holiday card to purchase Indoor Theme Park tickets. We did not go to Outdoor Theme Park since we've been in Dec 08.

Jared enjoyed the Junior Bumper Car rides, Jaden enjoyed the Ferris Wheel rides and Nina had the opportunity to ride the thrill ride, Euro Express.

We had dinner at Ming Ren Restaurant that was famous for its lamb. We ordered lamb ribs and lamb skewer and the meat was so tender and yummy.

Thereafter, we went for 9pm Dreamz show at Pavilion.

The next day, the kids had gala time at the Vision City Video Games Park.

Jared enjoyed this drum musical game.

Christina family together with their friends came to Genting. We met up for lunch at the same Ming Ren Restaurant. Thereafter, kids played at the indoor theme park. Nina was our child taker and she accompanied the kids for rides. The 3 fathers went for their round at the casino.

In the evening, we went to Awana Genting Resort, where Christina family stayed, for swimming. We had dinner at Gotong Royong and also durian dessert and ice-cream. We left Genting for home passed 10pm.

18 June 2009

Father to Son

My mother in-law bought this book for her eldest son a.k.a my hubby, when she was visiting my sister in-law in US.

"Father to Son" is a book on life lessons on raising a boy. We have two boys, naughty ones and I guessed that's the reason my mother in-law bought this book for my hubby.

The 5 keys:

  1. Be around.
  2. Be his father, not his friend. Imagine his confusion when you must discipline him.
  3. Be a good husband. Show his mom respect at all times.
  4. Be home for dinner
  5. Be his hero.

Turning a boy into a man is a man's job. In this little book of wisdom for fathers, there's hundreds of succinet thoughts which are practical and intangible, lighthearted and serious, all supported by a strong moral backbone - to guide, to remind, to teach and to inspire. The author has been gathering material for this book since the first of his two teenage sons was born.

I particularly like these two.

When Jared first learned this from hubby, he told me "Mommy, I can not tell you. Daddy teaches me to keep a secret.

In the end,

Jared showed me this page and said "Mommy, the book said Let him go. When I want to buy toys, you must let me go. Let me go wherever I want to go".

Father's Day is around the corner and I take this opportunity to wish all the fathers out there "Happy Father's Day". Happy turning a boy into a man!

15 June 2009

Why are you not rich?

After the stressful week from medical examination, I decided to bake cupcake to rest and relax. While I was baking cupcake, Jared came to me and ask “Mommy, why are you not rich?” I got a shocked; it’s an unexpected question from Jared.

Me: What do you mean?

Jared: Why are you not rich?

Me: Like who?

Jared: Like the two girls.

Me: Which two girls?

Jared: The one on the TV.

Me: What TV?

Jared: The TV you like to watch!

I got him. He was referring to “Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane” that I like to watch on E!

There was once it was showing Kimora planning for her girl, Ming Lee’s 8th birthday party. The fabulous party was a camping themed party. The indoor pool was turned into a tropical forest and one of the rooms was turned into a camp with fake fire, tents and sleeping bags. There’s face painting lady and a Ming-shaped cake. The Clique Girlz group performed for Ming in their big theater and all the girls were jumping around dancing.

Who doesn't admire or wish to have this type of fabulous birthday party? I was stunt for a moment and didn't know what to say to Jared.

10 June 2009

Blood in Urine (Hematuria)

I experienced pain in lower back and had more frequent urination.
I went to see a GP who did a urine dipstick. The paper showed that my urine was acidic. The GP prescribed me with urinary tract infection medicine. After a few weeks, I went back to the GP again and this time round, I had blood in my urine. I asked for referral letter to see a specialist.
On 12 Mar 09, I went to see a specialist (urologist) and did urine test and also ultrasound of my abdomen. The ultrasound report was normal but I had blood in urine of 64 (normal is just 2). The specialist also treated me as UTI and prescribed me with antibiotic. I took the antibiotic and also bought 21st century’s cranberries juice and finished the entire bottle.
On 7 Apr 09, I went back to the specialist and did urine test again and also UFM (Uroflowmetry) to measure urine speed and volume. This time round, the blood in urine dropped to 4 and the result of UFM test is normal. It was a relief that there’s improvement though there’s still blood in urine which is higher than usual 2 reading. Women are more likely to have urinary tract infections.
On 18 May 09, I went for my long overdue General Health Screening. The health screening covered urine test and the test result was normal. There’s no blood in urine and the infection was cleared. I was totally happy and surprise to hear it.
On 26 May 09, I went back for the follow up visit with the urologist. To my surprise, the blood in urine rose to 6 and since it exceeded 5, the urologist recommended me to perform IVU and Cystoscopy as it can identify most problems of the lower urinary system, especially cancers of the bladder and prostate. According to the urologist, some causes of hematuria are serious while others are not. Only after a series of tests and a thorough evaluation should blood in the urine be attributed to a non-serious cause.
I goggled in internet to find out more on blood in urine, IVU and cystoscopy. I had dinner at 7pm+ the day before, took 2 pills given by the hospital which is to clear off my bowel to prepare for the IVU test. I couldn't’t sleep well that night.
On 10 Jun 09, hubby accompanied me to the hospital and we reached the hospital at 8.40am. Luckily, it was a school holiday that we didnt have to go home to pick up Jared from kinder.
The IVU procedure took about 30 minutes from the injection of dye. According to the nurse there, some people took 2 hours and some took one whole day. This is due to the blockage in the urinary tract that the dye is not able to flow thru the urinary tract. Hubby left for business discussion after I came out from the IVU test as the report would only be ready after an hour.
I waited for an hour for the IVU report. Though I was holding the report in my hand, I was not dare to read the report.
After the IVU report, I went to the Day Care Surgical section for the cystoscopy test. The nurse asked about the IVU result and I told her its in my hand but I hadn't look at it yet. She took the report, read it and told me its normal. Big relief!
The urologist advised that local anesthesia is sufficient as the procedure is very minor and fast but I chose full general anesthesia. I was pushed inside the operating theatre about 2pm. Were in the hospital till 4pm. It has been a very stressful day especially while waiting for the tests and results. Thank God everything is fine!
After the procedure, I had burning sensation of having to urinate but little urine produced. The hospital gave me 3 days MC. I felt ok and went back to work after 24 hours post procedures.
After gone through the above, I will encourage all of us to go to toilet when the nature call, dont hold on to our urine and do drink lots of water.
Causes of Blood in Urine
  1. Injury or damage to the upper urinary tract (kidneys) or damage to the lower tract (ureters, bladder or urethra) as in a car accident or a bad fall.
  2. Kidney disease
  3. Urinary tract infections (UTI) for people younger than 40 years of age.
  4. Cancers of the kidney, bladder and prostate become a more common concern in people older than 40 years of age.
  5. Blockage of the urinary tract, usually the urethra - by a stone, tumor, a narrowing of the opening or a compression from surrounding structures.
  6. Blood clotting disorders
  7. Medications/Antibiotics
  8. Benign, non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate (BPH - benign prostatic hypertrophy), a common condition in older men
  9. Chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and sickle cell anemia
  10. Viral infections
  11. Inflammation of the kidney - usually of unknown cause
  12. Strenuous exercise, especially running - results from repeated jarring of the bladder
Urine can be colored pink, red, or brown for reasons that have nothing to do with bleeding in the urinary tract:

  1. Foods - beets, berries, rhubarb in large amounts
  2. Food coloring
  3. Medications - Certain laxatives and pain medications
  4. Menstrual blood
  5. Liver diseases - also can be very serious

Urine dipstick
A strip of chemically treated paper is dipped into a cup containing a sample of your urine.
Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP/IVU)
An x-ray
of the urinary tract where a dye is first injected into our vein; the dye is filtered by your kidneys and provides contrast so the kidneys are easier to see and a series of x-rays is taken over a 30-minute period, looking for blockages or problems and it can localize obstruction, stones, or a tumor.
Cystoscopy A thin tube with a tiny camera on the end is passed through the urethra to visualize the bladder and ureters.

01 June 2009

Meetings - places where minutes are kept and hours squandered?

My boss forwarded this article “Are meetings places where minutes are kept and hours squandered?

I read it and I must say that it is very well written. I am so glad to see such article written. Some of the excerpt from the article:

We tend to keep quiet and compliant during meeting and then voice our objections to the whole world after the meeting. This is due to scared of the consequences of voicing ideas and opinions that may be different. Offending staff that may be placed in cold storage and leads to a culture of “silence” and unthinking “compliance.

Do we still remember the purpose of meetings? Meeting is to draw on our collective wisdom, knowledge, intelligence and experience as many minds are better than one. It is a place for intelligence gathering rather than a personal inquest. Meetings are the time for us to voice ideas, objections and opinions.

Is meeting a place for discussion or announcements where the boss speaks, the rest listen, nod their heads attentively, provide verbal affirmations and praise, and in the end no real knowledge has been exchanged?

Our role is to provide our boss with all the possible information i.e. options, market intelligence, potential threats and weaknesses which can help him make an educated decision. Our boss does not need us to agree and affirm and tell them what they want to hear which is negligence.

When the staff perceive their bosses to be very defensive and aggressive when they receive bad news, and dismissive when they hear differing opinions, the staff will shape their behavior accordingly to survive in that environment. If it is necessary to hide the truth to remain in the good graces of the boss, they will do it. In the end of course, this type of organisations will become uncompetitive because they are un-intelligent organisations. Defensive behavior is the tendency to take any criticism personally i.e. personal criticism of their leadership.

We need bosses who are secure and confident enough to allow their staff to contribute ideas and opinions freely, instill a culture that encourages truth and accuracy.

Boss has the final call as there will be some who may agree, and others who may not. We need to respect and subject ourselves to the authority of our boss in order for organisation to function effectively. Once a decision has been made, it is our role to support the corporate line.