Monday, June 25, 2012

What it means to have a myopic kid?

It definitely means higher maintenance what with a kid like Wyng who always tests the durability of glasses.  He hardly takes care of them.  After only two years of being diagnosed with myopic, he has ruined 3 pairs of glasses.  He was wearing the fourth pair of glasses with no damages until a few days ago, unfortunately, we had to give him a new set of lenses as his power (for myopia) has increased by about 100 for both eyes. His fourth pair of glasses was only a few months old, less than six!  Thankfully, he manages to maintain his astigmatism at the same level as last year.

Left with no choice, we had his lenses changed whilst still retaining the old frames.  On top of this, we made another pair of spare glasses for him as a contingency for 'accident', just in case. At a power of 200 and 175, this can be blinding enough for this avid reader.

Having an increase in his myopia just means that this boy has been writing or reading at a distance with his eyes too close to his books.  Sigh.. I have caught him a zillion times with his chin on the desk whilst doing his homework. This does not include the time he spends alone in his room alone for his bedtime stories or reading during other times of the day.

I'm glad that his astigmatism doesn't increase. It shouldn't be as he hardly has access to the computer and television watching is mostly at a 'safe' distance.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The best joke book for the family

As usual, Wyng was babbling about jokes from his favourite joke book.  He had been rattling during the weekend, at home and in the car.  Even when we were eating at the table outside, he couldn't stop telling his jokes.  Talking about grabbing attention!

Somehow, this time, his Qo Qo bothered to entertain him and answered his jokes which start with a riddle-like question.  Now, this is hilarious to me.

At the table, Wyng was still enthusiastically pestering us with his jokes. Although his parents ignored him, we couldn't stop laughing when he gave out the 'funny' and 'senseless' and 'impossible-to-guess' answers.  Wyng just couldn't stop despite being told not to do so.  While all of us were waiting for our dinner to be served at the restaurant, Wyng took the golden opportunity to ask us another question.  Probably due to the fact that not many riddle jokes are easy to answer, Daddy replied to one of Wyng's questions which sounded like this.

"If a dictionary goes from A to Z, what goes from Z-A?"
When we thought that nobody was listening and bothered to answer, Daddy quipped, "Zebra!" not expecting the answer to be correct.
"Yes!" Wyng smilingly responded.

Hoe and I were amazed with Daddy's intelligence and ability to answer Wyng's jokes.  This even motivated Wyng to continue to ask us more jokes.  For a particular joke, he said, "I already said a lot, you all were not listening just now."

Then, came a joke riddle which sounded like this.

"What is in the centre of gravity?"  This instantly rang a bell in Mom's head.
In just a second, yelled Mom, "V!", much to the amazement of Wyng and Daddy. Hoe was still pondering why was the answer so.

Cackling at the dinner table, this was a nice ending to Wyng's jokes for the night.  Our plates of food were slowly served, one by one.

Wyng's jokes actually managed to tickle our funny bones although we may be, at times, slightly irrirated by this relentless 'joker'.  At times, we can't help it but laugh when he revealed the 'absurd' and 'unguessable' answers to his riddle jokes.  This make us 'dread' answering his riddle jokes.  But, one lesson I learn is such laughter and joy can only be felt when the entire family gets involved, to laugh together, no matter how silly the jokes are.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My kid made a confession

He did it first thing in the morning at the breakfast table before he even sat down.

"Mommy, mommy, you don't be angry."
"I created an account last night."  he confessed. Instantly, my mind digested that early news and knew what he meant.
"How did you do it?" I asked curiously.
"When you were downstairs..." he explained.
"You don't be angry. I created an account. I had a nightmare after that. You go and delete it,ah."

As Hoe was late that morning, I didn't have the chance to interrogate him.  He dashed outside as Dad would be impatiently waiting for him to get into the car.

I wasn't mad, no, I was fuming that he 'meddled' with my computer again despite all that had happened, but my anger was just for a moment.  I am actually glad that he confessed his guilt to me.  At least this time, he knew he was wrong to do that unlike previously when he was caught creating an account and yet he did not feel regretful.

So, does this mean that rules for Hoe to have free access to the computer can be relaxed?  Frankly, I don't think so unless he can prove his discipline.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Don't leave home without your Mykad at Langkawi

With your Mykad, the entrance fee is cheaper. We were able to enjoy discounts at two places at Langkawi, the Underwater World and the Cable Car but not the kids as we don't carry their Mykads around.  The savings is RM10 with a Mykad at Underwater World.

Not wanting to forego the opportunity to visit the steepest cable car in the world, our enthusiasm drove us to rise early to be the first few at the Cable Car ticket counter.  We were not the firsts but still okay as the crowd was starting to build. Here, you can see the queue spilling to a portion of the Oriental Village.

The cable car station is right inside Oriental Village

A panoramic view of the island from the cable car
Wyng, always the intrigued one, 'wow' at almost every angle.
I'm 700 metres above sea level
The spot to enjoy a breathtaking sunset

Hoe couldn't resist snapping away with his Dad's camera.
The deck at one of the stops when we took a ride in the cable car
At each stop, three altogether, visitors have the chance to disembark from the cars and enjoy the mesmerising view of the panoramic mountain and sea view.  Shutterbugs will be snapping away whilst other holiday makers will breathe the freshest air and breathtaking view all 360 degrees.

The sky bridge which was closed for maintenance
This is the attraction which brought us to Langkawi and yet we didn't get to enjoy it. Perhaps, a second visit will make our dream realise.

The crowd-puller deck for a glimpse of the stunning view of the sea and mountain
Guess what! Mom shunned getting onto these kinds of decks.  Somehow, I develop a fear of stepping onto such concreteless deck or platform regardless of the view that I get to enjoy.  If I get to see the mountain or sea below my feet, no way! Perhaps, the closure of the sky bridge is a blessing in disguise for me.  Even if it is opened, I believe I wouldn't dare to walk on it.  Sigh....My guts only allow me to settle for the concrete platform such as the one below.  This is safe enough for me.

Our final spot before leaving this beautiful island was the Crocodile Farm.  Not something that Mom fancies as I was resting at shady spots while waiting for the boys and Daddy walking around the reptile farm. We got to witness how workers transferred two crocodiles from one enclosure to another. Not an easy task to move them although the enclosure was just next to each other.

No tail porosus
Where are the mating crocodiles?

A stuffed reptile at the education corner
Well, that's the end of our trip at Langkawi.  A pleasant surprise awaited us as we were given VIP seats in the ferry.  This was much less crowded than the normal seating.

Overall, we enjoyed our trip and the kids want to go back again to this beautiful and interesting island.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pulau Langkawi is the best island destination - Part 2

We had originally planned to go to Langkawi Cable Car after island-hopping.  To our dismay, it was raining when we reached the station and due to the rain, the cable car had to be closed temporarily until the rain stopped.  We also discovered that the Sky Bridge was also closed for maintenance. Sigh... we may be missing 2 very crowd-puller spots.

Not wanting to waste our time, we headed for Underwater World after checking the map for the next nearest tourist spot.  Mom and Daddy are actually not very keen on visiting this kind of park but for the sake of the kids, we don't really mind especially with the disappointment of the closed cable car.

So, after paying for the fare, Dad 'summoned' all of us to better spend more time in the park with the money that he had parted with to get us in there.  Thinking it is just any normal waterworld, we started our venture without much expectation. We were quite impressed when we discovered that there are a few sections, namely the Tropical Rainforest, Sub-antartica, fresh water, marine life, coral and even the reptilium.

Striking a pose in front of a shoal of fish
Don't the fish look huge? 

The guys posing in front of one of the many enormous aquariums
For an entry fee of RM38 per adult and RM28 for child, all of us agree that this is the best underwater world we've been to, beating even Singapore's Sentosa Underwater World. Oh, after discount, adults needed to pay only RM28 provided we show our Mykad.  Kids can enter with just RM18 but unfortunately we don't carry their Mykads around.

A fur seal, hanging upside down, in its tank

The fur seal, known as a social animal, here seemed to be enjoying life in the water tank.  When we were there, the seals were joyfully swimming around, as though somersaulting in the water.  What's being captured here was one of the seals performing a 'headstand' whilst clapping its flippers.  They really looked contented and happy living in the tank and they even seemed to be enjoying our company as we watch their antics in amazement.

Wyng's eyes literally opened up when he feasted his eyes on the countless creatures exhibited.  Most of these were those he has seen on TV and a chance to see these creatures in real life excite him.

Jellyfish, the invertebrate without brain, nervous system and blood
Mom was amazed with this spineless creature. They seem mysteriously elusive and lethal although superficially they look fragile.

This was one of the many miniature seahorses we saw

Yellow cup coral
We've seen many corals elsewhere but not this yellow cup coral at Langkawi's Underwater World.

Lobophyllia brain coral
The name speaks for itself, brain-like.
Bubble coral
After a satisfying and educational visit here, we proceeded to a duty-free shop just adjacent to this park.  As it was still drizzling, we gathered that the Cable Car might still be closed.  Our plan to visit it had to be postponed to the following day, our last day on the island.

We spent the rest of the evening walking along Pantai Cenang. This place is something like those shops along Penang's Ferringhi Beach.  Though there are numerous souvenir shops, they are almost identical except for a handful of unique shops.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pulau Langkawi is the best island destination - Part 1

Having been to this island 18 years ago, little did we realise that this island has transformed into a bustling tourist spot, packed with numerous places of interest ranging from the mesmerising marine view and aqua activities to the historical museums and parks.

After our arrival at Kuah Jetty and gotten our rented Viva, we headed for our hotel, Bayview City. Car rental promoters swarmed us like bees as soon as we touched the jetty from the ferry.  So, no worries about where and how to get transport to move around this small but bustling town.  Wasting no time, we drove to the nearest spot, Eagle Square. There, Wyng was intriqued by the giant eagle.  We snapped countless pictures with the breathtaking horizon as our background.
Enjoying sunset at Eagle Square with the boys
Let's fly!
Dinner was just nearby at Saloma Nasi Lemak. Saloma, if this is the name of the owner of the restaurant, is enterprising enough to have her restaurant signage placed in a few places all over Kuah town.  There are various types of nasi lemak sold, from the common rendang ayam and beef to the sambal kerang.  Their speciality is rendang itik (duck) but we didn't try as we don't fancy ducks.  Nice ambience, good food, not too expensive.  We also ordered 3-flavour fish (ikan 3-rasa) from a stall next door.  The 3 flavours were spicy, sweet and sour. Not too bad for our first dinner meal there.
Wyng couldn't resist but blow off the little flame on the table. 
My sinful rendang beef nasi lemak
My rendang beef nasi lemak came with only a few pieces of beef, not enough to satisfy my hunger pang.  We called it a night after dinner and headed back to our hotel.  After being on the road for more than 8 hours, all of us especially Daddy were dead tired.

On the second day of our 3D2N trip, early in the morning, we made a beeline to the jetty to take us for island-hopping.  This was the first time that we woke up sooo early to have our buffet breakfast in the hotel. We couldn't believe the discipline that all of us had by being at the cafe before 8 am.

At the jetty to Island of the Pregnant Maiden

We were supposed to go island-hopping at 3 islands ie Pulau Beras Basah (Wet Rice Island), Pulau Dayang Bunting (Island of the Pregnant Maiden) and Pulau Singa Besar.  Pulau Beras Basah was where we were supposed to snorkel but due to miscommunication, we missed it.  The boys had a swim and frolicked for a while at the white sandy beach.  Without any toilet, this beach was surprisingly filled with soft and fine sand.  

                                                      The boys had about an hour swim at Wet Rice Island

Our next stop was a fish farm where we were supposed to see some of the biggest and most aggressive fishes.  Truly enough, the fishes were swimming aggressively as they were being fed.

Eagle-feeding is something new to us.  Although it was just a short sighting of the birds feeding themselves on the food thrown by the boatmen as we were in our boat, it was an eye-opener for us. 

Pulau Dayang Bunting was our last stop. If you believe in myths, this island was named after a pregnant maiden.   

                                                    Pulau Dayang Bunting (Island of the Pregnant Maiden)
                           Imagine a pregnant woman lying down with the head on the right of this picture.  

                                                             Dayang Bunting Marine Geoforest Park

                                                                     The scenic jetty at the Geoforest Park

                                                                         Let's snap first before we swim

Who would not be tempted to snap some pictures here at the scenic jetty f this beautiful island? 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Our trip to Langkawi was too short

Simply because we didn't get to walk on the much-talked about Sky Bridge.  It was closed for maintenance until further notice when we got there.  There was much anticipation about 'walking in the sky' but all was tarnished as soon as we reached the cable car station.

Langkawi Sky Bridge was closed for maintenance
Not only that, we were taken for a ride (literally we WERE taken for a boat ride to a so-called bat cave) when we were supposed to visit a place called Gua Kelawar (Cave of Bats). Instead, we were taken to this place, as shown below. Even our small boat couldn't get into the cave.  Alas! we were charged an extra RM15 per person for a ride to this place, the fish farm and the eagle feeding place.
Where are the bats?
Pulau Payar is supposed to be a place for snorkelling of which the kids were looking forward to.  But, we were told that this island is far from Kuah and needs about a day to reach. Hence, we had to forego this plan since we had limited time at Langkawi.

We also didn't get to go to Bird Paradise. The only bird we got to see was a talking parrot at Underworld Park.  Go-Kart was a place we wanted to go if there was enough time. Hoe would be enjoying this kind of sports car ride.

Perdana Gallery, we were told about this PM Museum at the jetty. We'd love to visit this memorable place to have an insight of what kind of gifts our former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir received during his tenor as the head of Malaysia then.

We missed these places too Snake Sanctuary and Lagenda Park. I remember passing by this park which is just a stone's throw away from the Kuah Jetty but we just didn't even have time to pay a visit here. What a waste!  Waterfalls, all three of them, Seven Wells, Temurun and Durian, we missed going too.  Just for the kids to experience, we should just drop by Pasir Hitam (Black Sand) Beach.

Daddy said we probably need a 7-day trip to be able to visit all these places.  I really don't mind another visit especially when we haven't even stepped onto the world-renowned Sky Bridge yet.