Friday, December 31, 2010

Taking A Break In Langkawi

Took the kids on a short 4 day-3 night trip to Langkawi. Hubby was busy the last few weeks so I had the task of finding suitable accomodation. I looked up the internet and found this little motel at Pantai Chenang called White Lodge Chalet which was within our budget of below RM200 per night. Nothing fancy, but comfortable and clean.

the entrance of White Lodge

the porch of our chalet
Left on Monday morning at around 7 am to fetch hubby's sister who was coming along with us. It's a 6-hour drive from KL to the jetty at Kuala Kedah. Reached the jetty at 2pm after a few toilet stops and a quick lunch at KFC in Autocity, Butterworth. Couldn't get tickets for the 2.30pm ferry so we had to wait till 3.30pm for the next ferry to Langkawi :(

our ferry arriving
Ferry ride was an hour and a half, our ferry left only at 4pm and we finally reached Langkawi island at 5.30pm. Had already arranged for a rented car a few days before the trip so we met up with Kapten Rosli, who is a friend of a friend of a friend. We had booked a Proton Saga but was given a Kia Rio instead because the holidaymaker who had used the Proton Saga broke the steering wheel....strange things people do! He charged us RM90 a day, which was really cheap since most car rental companies I looked up on the internet charged around RM150 during the school holiday season. 
 zooming around in our little rented car
Was glad we stayed at Pantai Chenang because according to the locals, it is the most happening place at night...something like the night market at Penang's Batu Ferringhi. Had dinner and walked around, CoolTeen managed to buy some interesting T-shirts and hubby bought a nice white linen shirt for Chinese New Year.

The next morning we got up early and visited the Langkawi Cable Car which was about 30 minutes' drive away. We reached there at 9am but there were already people queueing up at the ticket counter, which opens at 10am. I really dislike cable car rides and this one is really scary because of the very steep incline, but the view from the top of the hill made up for it...a cool and very windy place, sometimes the gust of wind is so strong that you feel you might be blown off the viewing platform!
cable most un-favourite form of transportation!
The shops at the foot of the hill have a variety of clothes, bags and souvenirs at quite reasonable prices. Nice place.

After lunch we headed for the Langkawi Wildlife Park and the kids were complaining about why we needed to go see animals but changed their minds the moment we stepped into the enclosure. Most of the animals were left free to roam about and we could really see them up close or even touch them. Had some fun feeding the deers and rabbits. The duty-free shop there had some of the lowest prices of chocolates compared to other duty-free shops in Kuah town.

Had dinner at Pantai Chenang and walked the night market as the stretch of road is quite long and we didn't manage the cover all the shops last night. Picked up some souvenirs.

Day 3, the kids wanted to ride the go-karts at Morac International Karting near the airport. It's RM37 per person for 10 minutes. CoolTeen and PreTeen had lots of fun, their dad's wallet felt lighter.

Then we walked around Kuah Town and realised that the prices of goods are not that cheap after all, even though it's supposed to be a duty-free zone. Things like perfume we can get back in KL for almost the same price.

things that are cheap in Langkawi
Went to the Underwater World and spent about an hour there. Some of the fishes there are really huge and there are a lot of species on display. It's a lot more spacious than the Aquaria in KL, and benches are provided here and there for people to take a rest and enjoy the undersea creatures. Nice.
the penguins were like those from the movie "Happy feet"

The widely advertised Wednesday night market at Kuah town was a real disappointment. We could walk the entire pasar malam in 5 minutes and things are really pricey there, probably because it mainly caters for tourists...but the tourists are smart too, they go to the night market at Pantai Chenang where things are cheaper and of better quality!

Day 4, checked out of the motel early at 10am and headed for the jetty where we returned the car, and thought we could do some shopping at the supposedly duty-free shops there but found that things are really expensive compared to the rest of the shops in Langkawi...and the toilets are in poor condition although we pay 30 sen, compared to the ones at the Kuala Kedah jetty which were clean...and free.

Boarded the ferry at 11.30am, reached Kuala Kedah at around 1pm and headed for home. Had a relaxing time in Langkawi where the pace of life is so much slower and driving around is quite easy. Hubby was disappointed we couldn't walk the curved suspension bridge at the cable car place because it was closed due to strong winds, but I was happy I got to step on the famous black beach. Next time we will go island-hopping instead!

Pantai Pasir Hitam - black beach

Monday, December 20, 2010

Had A Great Week

Now that I am mobile again the first thing I did was...yup...go shopping! Went to MidValley Megamall the other day and this year's Christmas decor is absolutely gorgeous because I have a soft spot for soft toys...

I heart those giant teddy bears!

Also went for our 3 day-2 nite church camp in the little town of Kampar where storks (or flamingos, not quite sure which, because we only saw them from afar) can be seen hunting for fish in the lake. Stayed at the Grand Kampar Hotel.

The day that we arrived back in KL, someone dropped by with this....

...and it really made my day. These mini cupcakes are from Wondermilk Cafe and they are just heavenly...the cupcake is so small that I could finish it in 2 delicious bites!

Christmas is just 5 days away...looking forward to it!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Freedom Again!

It's 4 weeks since my surgery and I'm feeling good physically. Finally able to go to church on Sunday. Tried reversing the car on Saturday and there was no pain at all. That gave me the courage to actually drive on Sunday but didn't venture too far. By Monday I was zipping around in my little car terrorizing other motorists (ok, that was an exaggeration!)  and it feels GREAT to be mobile again after not driving for a whole month.

A few days ago, hubby decided to redecorate one of the walls in our home. We had taken some pretty nice family photos back in October and had framed some of them. I am pretty hopeless at hanging up pictures on the wall, I can't even hammer a nail straight, so I left it all to hubby to get the job done.

There were lots of stuff on the dining table....nails, hammer, measuring tape, wall putty, even a laptop....yes, a laptop...and this is what I saw on the laptop monitor...

Every thing was meticulously drawn and measured out on the laptop by my engineer husband who likes things to be orderly...and this is the end result....

A wall of memories :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

3 Weeks Post-Op

It's been exactly 3 weeks since my surgery and I have been enjoying the total rest from housework except for some simple cooking. We tried a home food delivery service for a week and decided that we didn't enjoy their style of cooking. So I am now queen of my kitchen once more, with a little help from Ms PreTeen.

The kids have been very helpful around the house...they can wash and dry the dishes, mop the floor and wash the toilet, PreTeen tried ironing for the first time last week (thankfully she didn't burn a hole in her skirt!) and she can cook rice and do laundry.

To show my appreciation for all their help (while I lay on the sofa and watch TV), I thought I would order fastfood delivery once in a while as a treat. There is a McD's very close to my place and I called the toll-free 1300 number to place my orders but was told that there is no delivery service from that outlet (which I later found out to be untrue) so I looked up the internet and found that the Kenny Rogers' Roasters nearby did deliver, and the food came all neatly packed, warm and smelling great!

I have also gone for short shopping trips to the nearby shopping mall...PreTeen says I need the exercise but the real reason is so that she could go shopping too :D
Hubby's car is rather tall and I cannot climb up into the passenger seat because my abdomen muscles are still healing, so he came up with this idea...

...a 'royal footstool' for the 'queen'...(haha)...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Did You Know?

Did you know that...

An ostrich's brain is smaller than its eye.

Non-dairy creamer is flammable.(uh-oh!)

There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange, purple and silver.

Roses may be red, but violets are indeed violet.

Men can read smaller print then women can, but women can hear better.

Yup, it's impossible to lick your own elbow

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand

Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey

People spend about two weeks of their lives at traffic lights!

Pearls melt in vinegar.(so be careful with those pearl necklaces!)

My kids can actually do household chores without my supervision...I'm impressed, all those years of training has paid off!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Quick Solution

Ok I admit I watch too much TV these days but this advertisement that has been playing on Astro over the last few weeks really tickles me because I am reminded of my own this were to happen in my home it would probably be the kids screaming and hubby or me looking up the internet for the about tech-savvy parents, hehe!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Things That Bring A Smile

Am recovering well but not without the usual post-surgery discomforts like backache if I sit for too long or stomach gas causing my abdomen to bloat up every once in a while. Insomnia was a problem for the first week but the thing that got me worried was having my hair fall out without me even touching it. CoolTeen, who helped to sweep the floor, kept complaining about finding hair all over the place...specifically my hair.

So I'm really glad to have stumbled upon this website HysterSisters that has a wealth of information about hysterectomy and from there I found out that all the backache, wind in the tummy and hair-fall is actually quite common to those who have undergone surgery...phew!

Time seems to pass by painfully slow now that I am stuck at home but people have been so thoughtful and I can't help but smile when I see these...

A 'Get Well Soon' card signed by the Techflow committee, university students
Cupcakes from a nearby bakery...I always love pretty cupcakes!
I'm beginning to get addicted to these sour sweets :D
Pillow chosen by my daughter for me to use to support my abdomen and lessen the pain when I get up from the bed or sofa.

Gifts brought by family and friends. I now have enough Essence of Chicken to last me the whole of next year!

And of course, PreTeen says this little 15cm Teddy bear keeps me company when hubby and kids need to go out for a while and I'm all alone at home.
  And not to mention my mum-in-law's yummy chicken soup and the fact that my hair has stopped falling (big smiles).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

8 Days Post-Op

It's been 8 days since my hysterectomy and I am beginning to feel a little bored at home doing nothing. Have you noticed that there's always nothing interesting to watch on TV when you have time to watch TV....?!

Hubby went out with the kids for a few hours the other day. Before leaving the house he made sure that I had everything I needed to keep myself occupied and comfortable. He set up the laptop for me in case I wanted to surf the internet and I had a bottle of water, my handphone and TV remote control with me on the sofa.

He also made sure I had contraptions that I could use to help me pick things up from the floor (since I can't bend down too much)...

belongs to my daughter 
...and something to help me reach the fuse box and turn off the power supply to my bedroom in case there is lightning, because the modem is in the master bedroom (as I can't go up and down the stairs too often)...

kitchen utensils turned into a hook of some sort

...a closer view of the melon scoop to help me hook stuff
And I had settled down comfortably on the sofa to watch some TV thinking that I had everything close at hand... until the house phone rang...and it was way on the OTHER side of the room...sigh...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Goodbye, My Uterus

The time has come
But I won't shed tears,
Although you've been with me
For 40 plus years.

Thanks for being a home
To each of my unborn child,
I wish the unwelcome stranger
Would only stay a while.

But it kept growing bigger
Every month or two,
My pants got tighter and tighter
And I often visited the loo.

So I bid you farewell
My upside-down pear-shaped friend,
I'm looking forward to
Regaining a flat tummy again.

It was a difficult decision to make...whether to go for a major surgery or to just bear with all the inconveniences of having a uterine fibroid grow larger every few months and dominate the space in my abdomen, squeezing my poor bladder into a little corner.

But when my pants got tighter and tighter, I knew that my uterus had to go. I am a long way from menopause (by which time the fibroid will shrink) and I certainly was not keen for people  to keep asking whether I was pregnant or not...especially since my kids are already teenagers.

So a date was set...15th November 2010.

Monday 15th November:

10am - Arrived at Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre, Jalan Ampang with hubby. Admitted to a 4-bedded ward because no beds were available yet. Waited for about an hour before I could actually go to the ward.

11.15am - Taken to the ward, my bed is by the window. The ward is pretty noisy with the other patients having visitors. Blood and urine sample taken. Asked to be upgraded to a single room. Waiting time begins.

12.00noon - no lunch for me, have been fasting since midnight last night. Can't even drink water :(

2.30pm - single bedded room is finally available after someone got discharged. It's so much more convenient to have my own bathroom instead of sharing with 3 other patients.

3pm - wheeled into the Operation Theatre waiting area, it was nice of the nurse to ask hubby to accompany me for a while before I get wheeled into the OT. Hair is put into something that looks like a shower cap. Feeling a little nervous...

3.30pm - OT is like a very large freezer. Hooked up to drips and a machine that monitors my heartbeat. Anaesthesiologist puts a breathing mask over my face and asks me to take deep breaths. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out...and I am out.

6pm - I wake up in some pain. I am in the waiting area of the OT again. Hubby is there too. Wheeled back to my room and given a jab for the pain.

Throat feels extremely dry but am able to talk after I get a few sips of water. Groggy, but try to chat with hubby for a while. Drift off to sleep. Hubby goes home.

view from my room
Tuesday 16th November:

7am - Wake up. Hooked up to drips and external urine bag so I can't get out of bed. Nurse comes to check temperature and blood pressure. No need to eat since the IV drip supplies all the nutrition I need, I just drink water. Throat is still dry and my voice is raspy.

8.30am - Phones hubby at his office to let him know I'm ok. He'll be coming after lunch. Nurse comes to give me a spongebath...glad that she uses warm disposable wipes. Watched some TV after that...quite a good selection of Astro channels available :)

My pastors and some friends drop by throughout the day. I am able to sit up in bed for short periods. Love the remote controlled the click of the remote I can adjust the bed for maximum comfort (big grins). Hubby brings my in-laws and kids after dinner.
my own itty bitty tv
Wednesday 17th November:

Feeling much better. Am now on a liquid diet...clear soup for lunch and dinner. Friends and family drop by throughout the day since it's a public holiday. Unhooked from drips and urine bag (hurray!) and can get down from bed. Can walk around the room a bit. Felt rather drained by bedtime but couldn't sleep. Finally dozed off but kept waking up every 2 or 3 hours :(

IV drip securely taped
Thursday 18th November:

Had a relaxing day watching TV, and napping now and then. Glad to have internet access on my handphone. Am on a soft diet of soft rice, hospital food is not too bad. Took a short walk around the ward. Doc says I can go home tomorrow :D


my lunch - soft rice with chicken and vege

my bed for the past few days

...and the remote control that made my stay more comfy

Friday 19th November:

Discharged at 11.30am but the bill took quite a while to be processed. Finally able to leave for home at 2 pm. Am hogging the sofa, TV and laptop for the next 3 weeks. Plan to stay downstairs during the daytime and go upstairs before bedtime at night.

It was certainly strange to see hubby and the kids cleaning the house while I laze around on the sofa. Am officially banned from my own kitchen for a few weeks, and I am so going to enjoy the next 3 weeks of total rest :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Change Of Colour

Went to buy PreTeen's new school uniform after dinner today. Thought I'd better get it early because I remember at the end of December before CoolTeen started Form 1 I had a difficult time buying his secondary school uniform because most of the sizes were already sold out.

My girl will be wearing a new colour more dark blue pinafore but a light blue one. She looked so grown up when she tried on her new uniform at the store and there were only a few more sets of her size left. She even got a baju kurung set, and giggled when she tried it on because she had never worn a baju kurung before. I made sure it wasn't too long so that she wouldn't trip over her skirt in school...or she will never wear it again (teenagers being so easily embarassed and all)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Too Much Plastic

I was buying some gifts at MiniToons store in Sunway Pyramid the other day when I was given a free membership card for purchases above RM50, to add to my ever growing collection of free membership cards.

My wallet keeps getting fatter, not because I have lots of cash (how i wish!), but because I keep getting all these discount cards...which I often forget to use because I can't really remember which cards I have...until I have already bought my stuff and then I realise, "Hey, I have a member's card for this shop"! Getting older, memory not so good...sigh.

Membership cards seem to be the trend nowadays...even the neighbourhood Chinese sundry shop has a card! Here are just a few of the very many cards I have in my collection....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It's Official!

Today Miss PreTeen and I were standing in front of a full length mirror when I noticed that she is now 1cm taller than me. The time has finally arrived and I am sad to declare that I am now officially the shortest person in our family...! CoolTeen is a whole head taller than me and hopes to be as tall as, if not taller, than his dad.

Oh well, time to dig out my stilettos and platform shoes (by the way, those are not my legs in the picture...wish they were!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

21st Century Char Kuay Teow

I love char kuay teow. A new char kuay teow stall has opened at a food court about 5 minutes' drive away from my home. This is no ordinary char kuay teow stall - the owner, Jacky, gave his business card, and says we can call up and make our orders then come and collect it. No need to find parking or wait in line when there are many customers, how convenient.

Not only that, he is pretty IT savvy too and has a Facebook account and even a blog - he runs a few stalls at various parts of the city and he informs his customers of his whereabouts. How's that for a 21st century char kuay teow stall!