Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chadstone - a free bus ride away

Last night, I was browsing thru the junk mail and local newspaper that comes free in the mail box when I came across an ad about a free bus service. Apparently route#903 has just commenced and is free till this Sunday 3rd May. And it goes to Chadstone Shopping Center as well as Doncaster Shoppingtown!
So this morning, we packed lunch for the kids and hopped on the bus to Chadstone.
Joe's first stop was ToysRus.
He made himself very at home.
Joy got onto this skateboard with handles all by herself and then said, "push".
They went round and round and round. It's a good thing we didn't get chased out.

By lunch time, Joe said, "I'm very hungry". We walked past a stall selling chinese food in the food court on our way into ToysRus and Joe said he wanted fried rice!

So I got him fried rice. He looked as if he had not eaten in days!

I thought he was a 'banana' but maybe he's really chinese after all. And so he ate a really huge portion of the fried rice. This is his first rice meal in more than 3 weeks!

The rest of the day was spent only at the toys section of Myers and David Jones, with stops each time we come across one of these money-eating machines.

Joy-Anne had a nap and then woke up with really lovely rosey cheeks.

Tomorrow we'll check out the local library which is nearby. One can borrow up to 70items with a single card!

Joe's story-telling

We bought a few books here for Joe's bedtime story. After reading it to him a couple of times, I found he could 'read' it all by himself.

In actual fact, he is not yet able to read. But he has learnt it by heart and tells the story just by looking at the pictures.

Last night, he could even 'read' it without opening the book!

I think he's gonna be quite a showman!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Joseph says...

...that he wants two more siblings. Last week he said to me, "I want Papa and Mama to have 4 children. Now you have Jojo and Joy-Anne. So you make 2 more and then you will have four!"

Wow....good huh his maths!

There was another day, he said, "I have enough cars and toys to share with another brother and another sister".

Talking to myself, I responded by saying "go to supermarket and buy..." because I've been thinking of 'closing shop'.

And Joseph said, "Hey... you cannot sell children in the supermarket!"

Wise guy....

Yesterday morning, he prayed for snow.

And in the evening, he prayed for the customs officer to allow Ah Mah and Ah Kong to bring in keropok.

I hope God answers just the last wish. Snow might be fun though it'll be very cold. But two out of three will definitely be enough.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A very cold Sunday

It was really cold today. Temperatures of 9-14C and winds up to 80km/h. Way too cold for Nana. So she dressed Joy-Anne up like an eskimo. Joy-Anne's jacket is a hand-me-down from one of Ah Mah's nice, generous friend. It's a very good quality one and it came just the week before we left home - God's timely providence.
A friend whom I've not seen in at least 10 years gave us a lift to CityLife Church @ Knox. I met Kenneth at MYF Camps when I was about 15 years old. He was then from Canning Garden Methodist Church and I was from Penang Trinity.

I came across his name in the list of LifeGroups from the CityLife Church brochure I got from the Manningham location. Thank God for Facebook to help me connect with him. And then I found out that he lives right here in Box Hill! Coincidence? I prefer to call it divine intervention.

Because Kenneth could not fetch all 5 of us in his car, another friend gave Edwin a lift to church.

Joseph and Joy-Anne had fun at Roar Kids. No photos because of their strict policy. Joe went to the Mighty Warriors group (for 4-5 year-olds) and Joy-Anne went to the Lion Cubs (12months - 2.5 years).

After church, Kenneth gave us a lift to the nearby Knox City Shopping Center. Because there's 5 of us, he kindly made 2 trips. God bless him!

At Knox City, we found this Kids Play Area which made Joseph's eyes open wide.

Edwin kept watch over him while Nana, Joy-Anne and I went shopping. Joy-Anne soon fell asleep and we could window-shop in peace.

We had pizza for lunch. Then the kids played some more while mama went window-shopping.

We took the 3.12pm bus #732 from Knox City to Box Hill where we did our grocery shopping before catching the #733 bus from Box Hill to the bus stop right at our doorstep.
I'm so thankful for the jackets (that I didn't buy) which kept the kids warm. Joseph's parka is from Aunty Su Yin who bought it for Timothy but found it too big for him. He also got some warm clothing from a friend who recently moved back to KL from China and has 2 boys who are a bit bigger than Joe. The perfect timing when the clothes arrived and the perfect size is testimony to God's providence.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Seeing lots of seafood!

This is our third Saturday in Melbourne and we decided to check out the Melbourne Aquarium. We left home at 9am, took the #733 bus to the Box Hill train station and then got on the train to Flinders St.
While walking from the Flinders St station to the Aquarium, we got a glimpse of the Anzac Day parade about to start. The admission fee to the aquarium is pretty steep. $31.50 per adult and $18 per child. We managed to use 20% discount coupons (obtained from the many tourist brochures) and Nana got in for $19.50 (as a senior citizen) so the total came to $84.30.
It's pretty worth the money since they've got a new Antartica exhibition - supposedly the only King Penguins in Australia. The kids enjoyed looking at the penguins swim gracefully and then waddle around in the ice enclosure.

no flash photography allowed

After the Antartica exhibit, we made our way to the Weird and Wonderful exhibit. But we got stuck for a while because Joy-Anne didn't want to let go of the ski machine on display.

Lots of really weird sea creatures....some which I was seeing for the first time.
that's a seahorse?

Then it was downstairs to the Oceanarium where the sharks and giant stingrays are kept.

Joy-Anne was thrilled. She kept saying "wahh....." and "catch!"

We watched the live feed at 11.30am. Two divers got into the tank and hand-fed the sharks and stingrays.
don't do this at home!

Then we took a break for lunch at the cafe and after that went upstairs to the rockpool for a Touch and Feel Presentation.
Joe didn't want to touch the shark egg.
Yup...that's the empty egg shell from a Port Jackson Shark.

But he became brave to hold a seastar.
Today I learnt that it should be called seastars and not starfish because these creatures are not fishes and are in fact nothing at all like fishes. They have no bones, no eyes, not even blood.

This is a billabong. I always thought it was a brand name of clothing.

While Joe had fun 'fishing' at the play area after looking at all that sea stuff....

Nana and I walked to Spencer Street to check out the DFO (Direct Factory Outlet) which a friend recommended. It was nothing great. Plenty of brand names which I've never heard of. And I found nothing worth spending my money on.
We then took the tram to Smith St which is known for factory outlets too. We walked from one end to the other....Adidas, Nike, Timberland, Fila....still nothing to buy. Finally I found Pumpkin Patch....full of kids stuff. Bought 2 pairs of shoes (for Joe and Joy), a sweater and a hat for a total of $48.
While we were busy shopping, Edwin took Joe for a walk down the Yarra River towards Birrarung Marr (a really cool playground). Joe fell asleep in the stroller but he soon woke up at the playground.
Refreshed and recharged by the power nap, he was very happy to climb and play!

I wasn't there but Edwin says Joe had a blast!

What did I say....happiness is finding a playground!

We met up on the train to Camberwell.... to Sofia's again!
This time we had the Cookies 'n Cream Cheesecake.

And then Pasta Mista for 2 again. We picked Spaghetti Carbonara (because Joe likes it), Tagliatelle Sofia and Spaghetti Marinara.

Mmmm.....plenty of succulent scallops and huge prawns. Lots of cholesterol too!

Joe fed himself the cake and also the pasta.
He now knows we have to get off at Camberwell to eat yummy pasta.

Joy-Anne pretended to eat. And then she made a very huge unladylike mess!
I forgot to take an 'after' photo but there was still about half left which we 'tar pau' of course. So there will still be yummy pasta for tomorrow.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

new house in Box Hill

We moved over to another rented house in Box Hill yesterday. This house is cheaper and bigger than the earlier one in Elgar Road. We actually wanted this house but it wasn't available for the entire duration hence the need to move. It's got 3 bedrooms and can comfortably sleep 6. Large living/dining area and well-equipped kitchen.
But there's only one bathroom/toilet. Houses here can be rather weird. I've come across houses with 6 bedrooms and only one bathroom/toilet.

Joy-Anne has been very cheeky lately. She talks non-stop and says everything we say.

I noticed that she has a beer belly! It's really big and round and even more obvious when she's got no clothes on.

This evening, I suggested to Joseph to make a card for Ah Mah as her birthday is next week.
Joy-Anne wants to busy herself too...

But he wanted to make a card for Tua Um and Tua Pek. He said it's because he went to their house before.

So he wrote in the card and decorated the outside. And he said, "Tua Um and Tua Pek will be really pleased". I hope so indeed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

i'm lovin it...

We move over to Box Hill tomorrow. So before we throw out all the rubbish and move, I thought I should take a photo of all the yoghurt and ice cream we have eaten and are eating...

Cookies & Cream is my favourite ice cream flavour. This Bull Creamy Classics one is currently on offer at Coles for $5. At home it's more than RM35!
Joe loves strawberry yoghurt. Of course it tastes even better with real strawberries.
And this is the yummy chicken we've been eating. We went to the store at about 8pm.
The batch of chicken cooked at 6pm was selling for $9.99 while the batch that was cooked at 4pm was selling at half price.
Grapes are as cheap as bananas. So that's what we've been eating.

Last night, we bought a pack of fish fillet. After paying for the groceries, I noticed on the receipt that it was billed for $11.69 instead of the display price of $10.99.
So I pointed it out to the lady at the customer service counter and waited to see what would happen. Back home, they would make you fill up some form, send their runner (who walks really slowly) to check the price and then refund you the price difference.

Here, I got the full refund of $11.69. Cool! That's one reason why I'm loving it here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 13: Miniature railway

Last Sunday 12th April, we took a walk to Elgar Park where we found this miniature railway line. It wasn't running though and there was a sign that the next run would be on 19th April. So yesterday, we made sure we were there! Just a 10-minute walk from our rented house on Elgar Road, this miniature railway is pretty cool. I'm surprised such a small train can take so many people. Rides cost $3 per person, regardless adult or child. Joe had a ride with papa...and he was thrilled!
Then he had a run at the adjacent playground.

Before going home, we decided to let him have a second ride.....this time with mama!
I must say I enjoyed it too.
It was pretty cool to have the wind in your hair.
I think we will now give Puffing Billy a miss. Joe will not understand nor appreciate the significance of Puffing Billy. I'm sure he doesn't quite care if it's the oldest steam engine or a brand new electric train.

On another note.... at dinner today.... Joe asked me, "How does papa inject sperm into mama?" do I explain the birds and the bees to a 4-year-old???