Monday, November 13, 2017

Khye's First Piano Recital

12 September 2017 - Khye @ 5yo

Just like his brother, Khye also started piano lessons when he turned 4yo. He had been going for Yamaha classes since end of last year.

And after much delay and postponement, finally it was their mini piano recital/concert in September 2017, just 2 days before he turns 5yo. (Yes, I am 3 mths late in posting this!)

Khye had been waiting ages for it! He had been practising hard for it.
And so I'm going to jot this memory down, just like what I did for his brother 3 years ago.

And since I super love Shern's teacher, I got the same teacher for Khye as well. And I had been dutifully sitting in classes with Khye every week.
I enjoy the 1+ hr I get to be alone with Khye and fully concentrate just on him. Khye calls it "Mummy and Yiu-Khye's time"! Very precious indeed!

This is my 2nd round (my 3rd year) sitting in for Khye and I think I'm a little bit smarter nowadays although I have no music background myself.
I now know how to listen to chords, what are cadence etc. Haha.

But I must say his teacher makes learning sooooo fun.
Khye loves going to class, where he gets stickers for good behaviour and good playing. lol #gettingstickersishistoppriorityinlife

This mini recital was actually just for the kids to experience what was it like to be on stage.
The audience was just the parents and siblings of the kids performing. Not too big a crowd. Just nice.

My handsome cute little darling Khye, all dressed up for his recital.

This is a short clip of Khye's first ever piano recital, him playing 2 short songs - Hush A Bye and Jingle Bells.
He was a little nervous but I think he did great! We were mighty proud of him!
I love how he introduced himself. ;)

Look at him fully concentrating on his pieces.

This was when he was introducing himself to the audience. ;)

After that, it was party time!

The teacher, as usual, being a "big kid" came with balloons and gifts for the kids and stickers too of course!

Here are Khye's classmates, but I blurred their faces coz I think the parents won't be too happy if they see their kids' photos here without permission. 

And this is his teacher, who told me he is too shy to be on the internet. ;)

Thank you teacher for all your guidance and dedication to the kids.
I always believe that choosing the right teacher is so important!

It was a great night!
And well done, Khye! :)

Photo Credits: The clearer pics are taken by my friend Aaron.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Khye Taking the Best Reader Award In His Class!

6 Nov 2017 - Best Reader in English

While I was in Bangkok, hubby sent me a photo of Khye bringing home an award from school - Best Reader award!

If you can remember, he bagged the Best Reader in Chinese last year.
And so hubby went to ask, if this Best Reader award is in the English subject? The teacher told him yes, is in English.
And she mentioned that he also did very well for his Chinese, just like last year, but then each person can only take him one award and "must give people chance". Not sure if this means he bagged it too, but nevertheless we are #superproudparents! :D

Khye started reading rather fluently sometime beginning of this year, when he was about 4 1/2 years old. And since then, he has been reading most of the books his level with no problems.
He brings books home from school every week, and 90% of the time, he could read all the words in the book all by himself without help.

Reading to our kids every night before they sleep pay off.
Nowadays, Peter settles the reading bedtime routine with Khye. Either, Peter reads to him, or he reads to Khye. It depends on which books Khye chooses.

I think it is important that they kids get to choose the books they like to read, or to read to.
We, as parents, can guide, or narrow down the books. But ultimately, let the kid chooses.
Reading, after all, needs to be fun!

But, remember, each kid reads at their own pace! Just be patient!
Shern only started reading fluently at 6+yo, and  he is now a bookworm.

Congratulations Khye, we are very proud of you!
You are doing really well at 5 years old!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sabah With Kids: An Adventurous Day @ Kundasang & Ranau in Sabah

16 October 2017 @ Kinabalu Pine Resort with the Mount Kinabalu backdrop

We stayed in Kundasang for one night and it was one of the best decision ever.

We stayed in Kinabalu Pine Resort, which is a chalet/cabin type of accommodation, situated among beautiful pine trees.
But the main reason we chose this place is the magnificent view of Mount Kinabalu.

The wooden cabins built we stayed in are surrounded by beautiful, lush Pine Trees and have a magnificent view of the majestic Mount Kinabalu.

The price is quite reasonable too as the standard cabin can fit our family of 5 with an extra mattress. And it comes with breakfast and dinner too!
Source: Source:

The wind was howling the whole night as we were surrounded by trees and such. We all thought it was raining but it wasn't. Just the loud rustling of the trees in the surrounding.
It was super chilly in the morning. It was only 16 dC when we woke up at 7am! What a nice change from the usually hot & humid Malaysia. 

And so we whipped out our semi-thick jackets in the morning. 
Look at the view while walking to their humble restaurant for breakfast. Beautiful pine trees and the mountain behind. So beautiful right?


This is at the top terrace overlooking the nearby village, and again with the mountain view.

I think given another chance, I would have chose to stay there for 2 nights instead of 1 while we explored the nearby area. We loved it so much there. 

Upon reaching the Kota Kinabalu International Airport, our hired driver picked us up in his van and off we went straight to our accomodation in Kundasang.


On our way from the airport to Kundasang, we stopped at the Rumah Terbalik / Upside Down House in Tamparuli, Sabah.
By the way, we flew direct from Penang to Kota Kinabalu via Air Asia. 

The entrance fees were quite steep when compared to the rest.
There is the fee to go inside the Upside Down House and also a separate fee for the 3D Wonders Museum, or you can get the Combo package.  

The Rumah Terbalik is supposedly the first one in Malaysia, but to tell the truth, inside the house is nothing much. It is a guided tour and no photos allowed inside. (We think because if you know what is inside, no one would wanna go in haha). We finished touring in like 15 minutes or less. "_"
Yes, the interior of this Upside Down House. Skip it if you can. :P

But the outside of the house has a few booth featuring upside down stuff, like this one below.
But both the kids and adult had soooo much fun posing for it!
See how Vern also joined in the fun and clung onto my leg. 
As usual, our hair gave it away! lol

 And our favourite is the 3D museum.
We all spent a loooong time inside there. There wasn't much crowd so we had so much fun taking turns posing for the camera. I think we spent like more than 1 hour for this place.
I won't spoil it here with all the photos. Bring your kids there. I think they would love it. Just these 2 photos to let you see how they are like.
ok, we don't really know how to pose though. haha.

Rumah Terbalik / Upside Down House
Entrance Fees & Operation Hours


After breakfast the following morning after our night in Kinabalu Pine Resort, our driver for the day came to pick us up at 7.45am. 
And then we headed straight to Desa Cattle Farm not too far away.

The main reason I chose to go there is because that place has my favourite view of the Mount Kinabalu as it is located at the foothill of the mountain. And with its fat cows and pine trees and majestic mountains views, we felt like we were in New Zealand. 
Weather also seemed like it was in New Zealand. It was windy and chilly so early in the morning.

See....New Zealand picture-perfect view right?

All of us donning the thickest jacket we bought.
It was school holidays so it was packed. Majestic mountain behind but ugly vans n cars in the photo. Blueks.

See how my hair was blowing away with the strong wind, and baby Vern holding close to me to shield from the strong wind. 

Ok, a more decent wefie of all of us with the mountain and the fat cows (without the vans).
You can't really see it here but the cows were all really fat.

One more of the 5 of us.

Desa Cattle Dairy Farm
Opening Hours: Open Daily, 8am-5pm
Adult: RM5, Child: RM4

PORING HOT SPRING (We skipped this)

After that, we went to Poring for the Canopy Walkway.
It is the same place as the famous Poring Hot Spring. You need to go through the Hot Spring to get to the Canopy Walkway and also to the Waterfall.

So therefore, you need to purchase the entrance fee of the Poring Hot Spring, which is RM3 for adult, and RM1 for child. Senior Citizens only pay RM1 too.

I did not choose to go to the Hot Spring because the last time I went, I was so disappointed with it. It was no natural hotspring from the ground, but is channeled via "taps" into a few different tubs.
A tub can fit 4-5 adults.
So it is basically turning on the tap for the "hot spring water" - no difference from the hot tub in my house.

And so we skipped that.
Here is a photo of it as we passed by, just in case you are still keen to go.

We just took a photo in front of this plague. ;)


Just walk past the Hot Spring and follow the sign boards that says Canopy Walkway. Our driver / guide also walked with us.

As you can see, there is another entrance fee for the Canopy Walkway, but it is reasonably priced at RM3 for adult, and RM1.50 for child. But the charge RM5 for per camera. 

It was about 15 minutes hike up mostly stairs and we see beautiful nature along our hike. 
So old and young all hiked up to the canopy walkway.

I was babywearing Vern up and you know him being such a big n tall baby kinda blocked my view. Thank goodness it was an easy hike. 

There were 3 hanging walkway suspended high onto the tallest tropical trees, and the last one was the longest and thus swing the most. 
It was fun for all, even for my dad who is scared of heights!

Hiking down was easier of course and it took us about 10 minutes to reach the intersection. We decided to hike up to the Kipungit Waterfall as well.


There is no entrance fee for this hike to the waterfall, so it was free.
The hike up this waterfall also took us around 15 minutes. But the hike was more gradual. Less stairs and less steep so it was a leisurely height.

I decided to backcarry Vern and luckily this time he obliged. And so it was a much easier hike for me although I'm carrying a 15kg baby on my back! But at least my view is not obstructed. :)

I have always loved waterfalls and surprisingly, it was not too crowded there.

 Even Vern was happy soaking his legs into the cool water.

The most fun is that we all had a mini fish spa at the water. The water was so clean and clear that mini fishes came to nibble at our toes and legs. Kids were really enjoying this.

We spent almost 45 minutes up there just soaking our feet and having mini fish spa. Then we hiked down.
Hiking down when all the kids want mummy only. ;)
A photo of me babywearing Vern on my back and Shern on my left and Khye on my right! 

I'm really proud that Shern and Khye hiked up and down both the Canopy Walkway and the Waterfall without any complains at all. :)
So it is time to arrange more hiking trips!


Next in our list is the Fish Spa.
This is by far our most favourite experience.

We paid RM3 for adults and RM1 for kids and each got a packet of the Fish Food.

What is so awesome about this is how huge and enormous these fishes are. And I couldn't imagine having those nibble my feet/legs. See the size of these fishes as compared to our feet.

The guides there taught us how to feed the fishes. By putting the fish food firm into our grip and then let these toothless fishes suck the food out of our palm. My kids got the hang of it real fast.

Look at how Shern is stroking and petting these fishes as if they were his pets? "_"

Vern sat nearby daddy and he also enjoyed feeding them, and also tucking his feet in and up if the fishes got too near him. lol.
He was hesitant initially but then got really brave too in the end. 


Here is a short clip of my kids feeding the fishes and enjoying their Fish Spa.

To tell the truth, it was a little bit ticklish especially when the fishes sucked so hard trying to nibble the food out of my palm.

But in the end, everyone had so much fun we didn't wanna leave.  

Bombon Kg Marakau Fish Spa
Adult: RM3, Child RM1


This was the last place we went for the day.

This place was quite spacious, and it was like a rabbit's sanctuary. 
It is built on a slope and so the rabbits had some exercise to do. There were tunnels and burrows and shades and etc. 

We liked that you could go near and personal to the rabbits. You could hug and feed them and stroke them. My kids certainly had fun doing all those.

My pet-lover son. He even smelled the rabbits as he fed them! "_"

Even Vern was getting really brave!

Arnab Village
Adult: RM3\5, Child: RM3, Senior Citizen: Free

After awhile it started to drizzle, so we left the place at about 4pm. And we headed straight to our accomodation in Kota Kinabalu. 

It was a tiring but really adventurous day we had. 
It was back to nature for all of us and the kids and even the adults had a marvelous time in Kundasang and Ranau.

So for all of you heading to Kota Kinabalu, please don't give Kundasang and Ranau a miss, especially if you have kids!
There are lots to do and see!

Stay tuned for the next part of our trip to Sabah........

***Our Driver for Kota Kinabalu-Kundasang/Ranau-Kota Kinabalu

I would recommend him because he was quick to respond Whatsapp messages, which made planning easier. He also helped to plan the route to optimize the time.
He also volunteered to take some group pics for us.
I liked that he joined us for the hike up to the Canopy Walkway and also to the Kipungit Waterfall, guiding and leading us the way.

For those of you interested in our driver/guide, you can contact him via Whatsapp him at +6014-9550124.
He also has a Facebook page :
He has his own mpv to cater for smaller groups, or he can also hire a van for bigger groups.

I typed/spoke to him in Bahasa Malaysia, but he knows simple English too.

***Read about our other travelling adventures here in my Travelogue page.