Friday, March 30, 2012


Just beside the arch welcoming you to Sydney's busy Chinatown, there is a little restaurant called iTaiwan.

As we walk in, we are greeted with rustic lampshades and brown leather cushion seats.

With the music of Jay Chou playing softly in the background, the ambience would appeal to the younger Asian crowd.

Another hit with the younger crowd would be their electronic menus (which we fiddled with for quite a while).

Between the two of us, we share a dish of salt and pepper calamari and...

... a dish of bitter melon with salted egg.

Each of us had a bowl of Chinese Angelica duck with thin noodles in soup (we found the name pretty intriguing).

On a whole, it was not as bad as we expected. I particularly enjoyed the bitter melon with salted egg, perhaps due to my growing liking for the bitter melon. The noodles a little on the bland side but still a pass.

52 Dixon Street, Haymarket, NSW 2000, Australia
Tel: +61 2 9212 2220

ITaiwan on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 26, 2012

Common Childhood Illnesses - Urinary Tract Infections

by Dr. Dan Giap Liang

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
UTI can occur in children and infants, Bacteria in the urine and bladder can sometimes infect the kidneys and enter the blood. Potential complications can be serious in infants. Unlike adults, the symptoms in children can be rather vague and non-specific. In an older child, the common complaints are painful and frequent urination with worse cases having bloody urine, stomach pain and fever. Unfortunately in infants and toddlers, sometimes the parents will only notice irritability, loss of appetite, fever, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Diagnosis usually depends on urine tests. However, collecting urine from babies is very challenging. Sometimes, a urine bag is attached to the genitalia but the urine may be contaminated and so the results must be interpreted with caution. The best and most reliable is a clean catch mid-stream urine, as the risk of contamination is least. Pure cultures in significant amounts are most reliable and usually confirmatory of a UTI.

Treatment is with antibiotics. The type and duration of treatment usually depends on the age and severity of the infection. Very ill and young children, more so babies, will need injections and longer courses. Older and less sick children can be treated with oral antibiotics. Another important issue is to exclude any underlying kidney and bladder abnormalities. Hence, ultrasound examination is required and occasionally, more detailed radiological investigations carried out. A condition which is called vesico ureteric reflux can occur where infected urine in the bladder back flows up the ureters during the time of urination. This can potentially cause damage to the kidneys due to the infected urine. Children with reflux will need to be monitored carefully.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How to childproof your bathroom

Sharing what I read in the papers today:

Accidents do happen, and they can happen in the bathroom. While taking efforts to childproof your bathroom, remember that no safety device outweighs the importance of adult supervision.

Set water heater to 120°F (49°C) to prevent scalding.

A moment's inattention can result in tragedy. Keep toilet seat cover closed to prevent drowning.


Keep hair dryers, curling irons, electric shavers and other electric devices unplugged and out of reach.


Medications, toiletries and cleaning supplies should be kept out of reach. Tablets and pills may look like sweets to a child.

Sharp objects such as razors, manicure scissors and clippers should be kept out of reach.


Place non-slip stickers in bathtub to prevent injury.


The bathroom floor can be very slippery, so place non-skid bathmats on floor to prevent slipping.

Remove lower locks on bathroom door to prevent accidental locking by the child.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Picture book suggestions for Easter

It's the holidays now. Only the childcare program children are present. While we enjoy plenty of creative and expressive art activities normally, the holiday period is when there are even more of such learning experiences.

This holiday, we talk about Easter. The display boards outside, both at the Taska and Tadika, now have Easter bunnies, Easter eggs and such. They have been singing songs and watching videos relating to Easter. Also, the teachers have been sharing stories with rabbits in them. Here is a brief list of picture books that may be used. Of course, there are plenty of other books to choose from in the market, so maybe you could suggest some, too?

  • The Magic Rabbit by Richard Jesse Watson

  • Grumpy Bunnies by Willy Welch, illustrated by Tammie Lyon

  • Playful Bunny by Kimberly Zarins, illustrated by Bernadette Pons

  • Clean Up, Grumpy Bunny! & Let's Share, Grumpy Bunny! by Justine Korman Fontes, illustrated by Lucinda McQueen

  • Rabbit's Ears by Amber Stewart, illustrated by Laura Rankin

  • Bunny Day: Telling Time from Breakfast to Bedtime by Rick Walton & Paige Miglio

  • Big Chickens Fly the Coop by Leslie Helakoski, illustrated by Henry Cole

  • The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd

  • Sunday, March 04, 2012

    World Read Aloud Day

    Yes, it is exactly as you read it. A day to read aloud.

    This is not to say that we only read aloud on this one day. Ideally, we should be reading aloud to and with children as frequent as our situations permit. However, in our not-so-perfect world, reading aloud seems to be classified as luxury more than necessity.

    I suppose not many people realise the magic of this simple act. What is the difference between reading a book quietly and reading it aloud? Well, reading aloud provides more opportunities for social interaction. It is not just a transfer of voice but also body language, intonation and mannerism. Children, especially, enjoy being read aloud to.

    Reading aloud also stimulates our hearing senses. There is a reason to why students are encouraged to read their study notes aloud to themselves when preparing for an exam.

    I also find that reading aloud helps us correct our own mistakes. Even better if a voice recording device of some sort (your mobile phone works, too) to record ourselves reading. Listening to ourselves may be funny, but is also helpful in correcting our intonation and pronunciation.

    So if you are up for it, spend some read aloud time with your kids and yourselves this coming Wednesday. Have a good one!

    Thursday, March 01, 2012

    Year One Student Application, Review and Management System, Selangor State Department of Education

    This post is especially useful for parents:
    • with children aged five (born in 2007) or six (born in 2006) this year
    • with children beginning Year One next year (2013) or in 2014
    • wanting to secure a place in a local government school
    The Ministry of Education has now made it compulsory for children to be registered on the Year One Student Application, Review and Management System under each state. For Selangor, this is the link:

    It will be handy to have the following information before beginning the application:
    • The district of the school that you are interested in enrolling your child in
    • Your child's MYKid number
    • The MYKad numbers of both parents
    If you are unsure of which district the school falls under, look up the School Directory Review System. For example, if you would like your child to attend SJK(C) Serdang Baru (2), just type the name of the school into the empty space and it will bring you to a table that tells you which district the school is in. In thise case, SJK(C) Serdang Baru (2) falls under the Petaling Perdang district.

    When you are done with the application, please make sure to PRINT THE PAGE. This is important, as you will need to bring this printout to the school for them to confirm your application.

    So far, we have not heard any negative comments from parents regarding this system. Do let us know if you face any difficulties, so that we are able to alert other parents.