Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lost World of Tambun

It's been a quiet school holiday for me as this month I haven't really been working as my mum was in KL and the kids were at home with me, making lots of noise and making it impossible for me to make business calls when they would come calling "Mummy,........" or they would start bickering.

Hubby has been busy with his work as well even though he was on leave for 2 weeks. We only went for a local break in Penang and Ipoh while some of our friends are travelling to Thailand, Australia, Indonesia, Disneyland, etc.. We have to be prudent in our spending and I too didn't want to spend so much on a holiday this time round.

It was a pleasant family day we have at Lost World of Tambun and for the kids, it didn't really matter where they go as long as it's fun, fun, fun! And boy, did they have tons of fun in the sun and water from morning to the late afternoon when it began to rain a little.

Dinner that night was barbeque buffet which was sumptuous and delicious. It was a good time together with other families and my business associates. It's been tiring, and we are all sunburnt, but it's time well-spent after those month long of 'babysitting' the kids :-)

Short visit to Penang

This holiday, we didn't make earlier plans to take the kids anyway except for my company's family day in Ipoh. So we decided to head up to Penang first prior to the family day and visit my sis there. Ever since she had her baby, we only get to see her once in a blue moon. Our visit to Penang is always about food and of course spending time with my little sister.

Seafood and other Penang local food are always a must, though this round we didn't have time for muar chee, cendol, ice kacang and many more. Due to time constraint, we go to our usual asam laksa place at BB near Sunshine Square.

The kids remembered the fishes and the turtles at the aquarium and so we took them there, only to find out that the place is under renovation. The turtle and huge aquarium was still open though and I don't understand why the kids just simply love watching the turtles swimming around. It's a pathetic sight though when we see adults and teenagers acting like hooligans, touching and even hitting on the turtles and disturbing a tiny little alligator there. Was really pissed with these uncivilised people.

On our way to Penang, we stopped at Bukit Tambun for dinner and on the second day, we ate at Teluk Kumbar. It was a satisfying meal and the price was pretty reasonable too. I would say that the food at Teluk Kumbar or the one somewhere near Batu Maung is so much more better than Bukit Tambun.

A special seafood laksa in Bukit Tambun (can't remember the restaurant name, but it's not very deep inside the road), which is cooked in tom yam soup. This is very nice dish.

Crabs with a tinge of tom yam taste. I personally still prefer sweet and sour style, chilli style or kam heong style. It's still good, just that my taste bud was yearning for something else. hehe

Steamed prawns at Bukit Tambun. Very fresh and nicely done

Never tried this style before. Clams in some special cili and lime sauce. Kinda nice, but again, I was dying for the clams in ginger and wine sauce or chilli clams.

Everybody's favourite. Perfectly done, and not so rubbery like some places. The kids love this.

Assam laksa is always a must in Penang.

Brendan and Eryn sitting on the swing by the beach while waiting for our food to arrive at Teluk Kumbar.

It's year end already

In just a few days' time, it will be another brand new year. While I try not to think too much about it and enjoy my December break, it's now back to reality.

Anyway, Christmas this year was a quiet affair for us as we had to skip a Christmas lunch and headed to Penang to visit my sis there.

Christmas set in when we took the kids to Midvalley, Sunway and Curve to see the decorations. The constant bickering at home is already driving me up the wall this holiday season, and their frequent pestering to go 'kai-kai' to see Christmas decorations is just those little delights for the kids. Just having the opportunity to step out of the house to go 'kai-kai' for them bring so much joy to their little faces.

The kids were moody at Sunway except for the second time when we sent to Sunway Lagoon night park where they were beaming with joy.

Eryn loved her photo with the 'golden angel' taken above.

Midvalley was packed with people but I personally loved the ambience there.

Gardens was more quiet which makes it more soothing.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dentist visit

I finally took the kids to see Dr Priscilla of Pristine Dental yesterday.

It was a surprised that Brendan took it so calmly and sat with his mouth opened wide without a tinge of fear being shown. He had two patches done up in his baby molar and it's due to accumulation of food particles between two teeth on both side that caused the little cavities. It was a difficult place to brush and hubby and I only started flossing the kids teeth in recent months.

Eryn, on the other hand was an even bigger surprise when she threw a tantrum before going in to see the dentist, and didn't want to go on the chair, unlike her previous visit. All this was due to us asking her to stop seeing the root canalling magazine. sigh!

After seeing her kor-kor having his teeth done, she then quickly climbed up onto the chair and opened her mouth wide. While Dr Priscilla was cleaning her teeth, she started giggling non-stop. She had one big hole on her bottom right and a very tiny small one at the top right. The patching could have caused a small pressure on her tooth, I think, that she started crying after her bouts of giggles. She refused to open her mouth to get the second one done and used her hands to cover her mouth. Though the doctor says that that can be done at another time, I decided to get it done once and for all. It took a few minutes before we manage to persuade her to open up with much difficulty. double sigh!

The bill came up to RM260 for both kids for both molar patches each. A little pricey, but worth the trouble and the TLC shown by Dr Priscilla.

Scary, but just had to get it done. triple sigh!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holiday mood

Yes, we're all in a holiday mood at home. I haven't been getting much work done, and been at home busy with the kids and doing some reading while the kids turn the house upside down! haha...

It's a wonderful feeling and after visiting Midvalley yesterday, it makes me so dreamy of Christmas and not doing anything. Oh boy, just can't imagine the hectic schedule I'll have to draft for myself come 2010.

I took this photo at Midvalley using my camera phone. My own camera has almost gone kaput and though I do wish for a brand new one, I've decided to just stay put with my ever-handy handphone with a camera function. Never mind the lousy turn-out. Afterall, it's the memories that are for keeps..

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Lack of sleep kills!

Time and again, we hear of health issues arising which we normally tend to ignore till it's too late. I've been hearing news of acquaintances with heart problems and cancer for the past one year.

Today, I received an email from one of my ex-boss which is as appended below. This is getting scary and people are just way too ignorant about their precious life.

This story reminds me of a top CEO guy in Malaysia many years back, who died upon touching down at the airport, after coming back from a holiday with a fiance.

Here's the story which appeared in newspapers in India not too long ago :

Ranjan Das Passed Away on Wednesday, 21-October-2009
SAP India CEO Ranjan Das Dies After Gym Workout

Carried : Wednesday, 11-November-2009
What killed Ranjan Das and Lessons for Corporate India

A month ago, many of us heard about the sad demise of Ranjan Das from Bandra, Mumbai. Ranjan, just 42 years of age, was the CEO of SAP-Indian Subcontinent, the youngest CEO of an MNC in India . He was very active in sports, was a fitness freak and a marathon runner. It was common to see him run on Bandra's Carter Road . Just after Diwali, on 21st Oct, he returned home from his gym after a workout, collapsed with a massive heart attack and died. He is survived by his wife and two very young kids.

It was certainly a wake-up call for corporate India . However, it was even more disastrous for runners amongst us. Since Ranjan was an avid marathoner ( in Feb 09, he ran Chennai Marathon at the same time some of us were running Pondicherry Marathon 180 km away ), the question came as to why an exceptionally active, athletic person succumb to heart attack at 42 years of age.

Was it the stress?

A couple of you called me asking about the reasons. While Ranjan had mentioned that he faced a lot of stress, that is a common element in most of our lives. We used to think that by being fit, one can conquer the bad effects of stress. So I doubted if the cause was stress.

The Real Reason

However, everyone missed out a small line in the reports that Ranjan used to make do with 4-5 hours of sleep. This is an earlier interview of Ranjan on NDTV in the program 'Boss' Day Out'.

Here he himself admits that he would love to get more sleep ( and that he was not proud of his ability to manage without sleep, contrary to what others extolled ).

The Evidence

Last week, I was working with a well-known cardiologist on the subject of 'Heart Disease caused by Lack of Sleep'. While I cannot share the video nor the slides because of confidentiality reasons, I have distilled the
key points below in the hope it will save some of our lives.

Some Excerpts:

* Short sleep duration ( less than 5 or 5-6 hours ) increased risk for high BP by 350% to 500% compared to those who slept longer than 6 hours per night. Paper published in 2009. As you know, high BP kills.

* Young people ( 25-49 years of age ) are twice as likely to get high BP if they sleep less. Paper published in 2006.

* Individuals who slept less than 5 hours a night had a 3-fold increased risk of heart attacks. Paper published in 1999.

* Complete and partial lack of sleep increased the blood concentrations of High sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-cRP), the strongest predictor of heart attacks. Even after getting adequate sleep later, the levels stayed high!!

* Just one night of sleep loss increases very toxic substances in body such as Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Tumour Necrosis Factor-Alpha (TNF-alpha) and C-reactive protein (cRP). They increase risks of many medical conditions, including cancer, arthritis and heart disease. Paper published in 2004.

* Sleeping for less than 5 hours per night leads to 39% increase in heart disease. Sleeping for less than 6 hours per night leads to 18% increase in heart disease. Paper published in 2006.

Ideal Sleep

For lack of space, I cannot explain here the ideal sleep architecture. But in brief, sleep is composed of two stages: REM ( Rapid Eye Movement ) and non-REM. The former helps in mental consolidation while the latter helps in physical repair and rebuilding. During the night, you alternate between REM and non-REM stages 4-5 times.

The earlier part of sleep is mostly non-REM. During that period, your pituitary gland releases growth hormones that repair your body. The latter part of sleep is more and more REM type.

For you to be mentally alert during the day, the latter part of sleep is more important. No wonder when you wake up with an alarm clock after 5-6 hours of sleep, you are mentally irritable throughout the day (lack of REM sleep). And if you have slept for less than 5 hours, your body is in a complete physical mess ( lack of non-REM sleep ), you are tired throughout the day, moving like a zombie and your immunity is way down ( I've been there, done that ).

Finally, as long-distance runners, you need an hour of extra sleep to repair the running related damage.

If you want to know if you are getting adequate sleep, take Epworth Sleepiness Test.

Interpretation: Score of 0-9 is considered normal while 10 and above abnormal. Many a times, I have clocked 21 out the maximum possible 24, the only saving grace being the last situation, since I don't like to drive (maybe, I should ask my driver to answer that line ).

In conclusion:

Barring stress control, Ranjan Das did everything right: eating proper food, exercising ( marathoning! ), maintaining proper weight. But he missed getting proper and adequate sleep, minimum 7 hours. In my opinion, that killed him. If you are not getting enough sleep ( 7 hours ), you are playing with fire, even if you have low stress.

I always took pride in my ability to work 50 hours at a stretch whenever the situation warranted. But I was so spooked after seeing the scientific evidence last week that since Saturday night, I ensure I do not even set
the alarm clock under 7 hours. Now, that is a nice excuse to get some more sleep.

Unfortunately, Ranjan Das is not alone when it comes to missing sleep. Many of us are doing exactly the  same, perhaps out of ignorance. Please forward this mail/article to as many of your colleagues/friends as possible, especially those who might be short-changing their sleep. If we can save even one young life because of this email, I would be the happiest person on earth.

Source : news

Thursday, December 3, 2009

TwoPixels anniversary giveaway

"A picture paint a thousand words", especially with photos, which brings tons of sweet memories.

I first came across
Two Pixels when it first started out.

TwoPixels was started by Jazz and Sue, two wonderful women I know through the mummy blogsphere, who self-taught themselves to take superb photos through their special touch and very attentive details. They're so specialised in taking beautiful photos, focusing on babies, children, families and even pregnancy. I remember a friend, Caitlyn, telling me that Jazz and Sue are just so patient, creative and they're very good with babies.

TwoPixels is giving away three photo sessions and I just have to participate in this contest. I simply can't resist a photo session with the two lovely mummies. The only time I had a real photography session was for my wedding album taken about eight years back I think. Our family has also not taken one before.

TwoPixels creates a memory for a life through their natural shots, made to pefection in their self-learnt skills which I've never seen. So, I'm crossing my fingers that I'll be one of the chosen one (^-^).

Happy anniversary to you, TwoPixels! All the best in the coming years!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dentist Dentist here we come

It was about a year ago, when we were experiencing Eryn's tooth problem. I called up numerous dentists and finally found ourselves the best dentist for Eryn with the best advice I've ever heard after many attempts in finding a suitable dentist for Eryn.

Lately, Eryn has been complaining of food getting stuck in her bottom right molar while Brendan seems to get food stuck in his molars on both side. Their molars seem to have small holes which could be the cause of food getting stuck. So far, there's no pain, but we will have to nip the problem, if any, before it gets worse.

The kids used to brush their kids on their own but now, hubby and I have taken the task of brushing it again and flossing it as well after they've brushed their teeth.

Looks like I have to take the two kids to
Pristine Jalan Gasing. I called them up and booked a time for them some time next week and it was such a great pleasure to know that the nurse, Ms Prema, actually remembers Eryn.


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