Thursday, September 30, 2010

The King's Christmas List by Eldon Johnson

Lovely. Marvellous. True. Opportunistic. Appropriate.

These words come to mind as I read ‘The King's Christmas List’, another great book compliment of Booksneeze. It's a great book for kids below 8 and IDEAL for me. The pictures within the page are well drawn, colourful and relate exactly to the words being read.

It’s a simple story really, about Emma and her dog Shu Shu who got invited to the King’s Birthday party. They got a gift ready, of course. But on the way, circumstances caused them to give away the gift, as well as Emma’s prize possession.

Every page within this simple story line gave me ways to further elaborate God’s goodness and mysterious ways to my kids. I never knew a children’s book could be narrated so simply yet hold so much hidden meaning within.
I would definitely recommend this book to all parents who have toddlers. And I would even go so far as to say I would be buying this book for other children as a Christmas present this year.

Can't wait to read it with my son tonight.

Wonderful. Priceless.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

4th Anniversary!

4 years....many more to come!
2 kids....no more, we are done!
:)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado

Ever felt the need to make a difference in the world? I feel that all the time actually. But recently, I have been slumbering, thinking perhaps I can concentrate my ‘difference’ to bringing up my kids well. Perhaps that is sufficient. Perhaps that is my ‘calling’ in life. But I know deep within, the difference I can potentially make could be far greater than that if I would, as Max Lucado puts it, ‘Outlive my Life’.

I got a copy of this book free from Booksneeze. And in the first chapter itself, I realized the appropriateness of the title. That any difference we make should out live our life. The impact of it would last generations to come. And it helped to be reminded that God does call us regular Joes and that he allows for people to come together to see His purpose through. I never did realize that it is God’s command that we do things together, never alone.

Read this book. It will surely open your heart and mind to the possibilities of making a difference in your life. For me, I just gave a friend an open invitation to my house for dinner anytime.

Monday, September 27, 2010

FTWM without maid

Was talking to my colleague the other day. She was maidless for 3 weeks. Thankfully for her, her hubby took a 3 week leave/work from home to help her. And she was also granted 3 week work from home.

However, she was complaining that without a maid, she has to run up to work/clean, run down when she needs to clean/cook/look at her youngest with her hubby.

And we kind of took a stock of things.

Among the 3
1) being a housewife (meaning cleaning and cooking and ironing etc.)
2) working and
3) being a mother

Can a woman really do all 3 well? Or can we only juggle two without yelling at our hubby all the time?


We didn't consider being a wife as one of the options since if we were not a wife, we would not have to consider this issue at all!

For me : I do all three and I don't have a maid. When my #2 came along, many told me to get a maid. I still don't have one. And yes, I may not have as much time with the kids since the chores do keep me busy at times. But I feel as the kids get older, they will start to help with the chores and hubby is around to also be 'a mum'. But I also don't feel the stress of it coz my work ends at 4 pm (and starts at 7 am).

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thoughts running around caller IDs

I was washing my hair just now. And as the water flows, my thoughts were running too.

Was thinking to condition my hair since the shampoo together with the lack of water had made my hair quite tangled up.

And at 5 months since Caylee's birth, my hair was still dropping with every little tug.

So anyway, I looked around and saw the hubby had placed my conditioner above the shower door. Unreachable even if I stand on tiptoe.

I was contemplating standing on the toilet seat bowl to get it. Which would mean I would need to get out of the shower area and in wet feet climb on to the toilet seat.

I am not the most coordinated person. So, I am thinking this could be a dangerous feat. What if I slip and knock my head on the floor? Or twist an ankle?

How would I drive to pick up the kids later? And would my aunt know which number to call to let the nanny and the school know someone else would be picking them up?

Made a mental note that perhaps it would be better the change the Caller ID of the nanny to 'Caylee's nanny' and 'Christopher's school'. But then again, if my phone ever got stolen adn someone wanted to pretend to be me and pick up my kids....

What about you? Have you ever thought of something like that?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Understanding

Taking care of everything this week (so far) has made me realise a few things.

I am doing all the chores - meaning what hubby used to do previously I am doing as well. Which should mean that with hubby gone, I should be feeling more tired. But I am not. I have somehow managed to put hubby's chores into my routine so I don't really feel the burden of it. But looking at the other side of the coin, if hubby is around, I would be getting more rest. But I find I complain I am tired more when he is around. Maybe coz I nag too much when he is around. :)

Boyboy can be very understanding. I usually hear hubby complain to me that boyboy kicks up a fuss putting on his uniform. So I was dreading this week when I would have to deal with his fuss and his crying when I sent him to school. (He almost always cries whenever I sent him to school previously!) So I prepped him as this week approached. I told him he must not cry when I sent him to school coz it is only me and him and Caylee this week. He has to help me. Which suprise surpise, he has not been crying so far.

As for uniform wearing. He cried on Monday. And I reminded him kungkung told him to be a good boy and help mummy. So he put it on after much coaxing. Tuesday he also cried but I managed to talk him into putting on his uniform again. On Tuesday night, I told him I don't want to him to cry tommorrow when he has to wear his uniform. It's simply NOT NICE at all all this crying. So on Wednesday, no fuss at all. He put on his uniform without the usual preliminary "I don't want to wear this! sob sob!" I did however play a game with him while he was wearing his uniform. The game was 'dress yourself and shake it loose'. I ask him to put on his underwear himself and then do a little shake to see if it can come off. If it doesn't he has done it well. So, we shake our bum bums after the underwear, after the pants, and when his shirt is tucked in. Of course, mummy has to shake her bum bums together as well! :)

Well....to me his wearing uniform and going off to school cheerfully is a great milestone for me. But hubby will be in trouble....coz if I can get it done, he had better know how to get it done as well.

Which leaves me with this. How understanding are you?
(if you get my question.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Blessed are we

This boy is really blessed. Another cake from his Chek Chek (uncle) and another present from his Aunty WY and Uncle Simon!


The cake was an oreo cheese cake. Not really my favourite, so it is sitting in the fridge consumed slowly by my Ah Yee and Poh Poh.

As for the race car track.....this boy was pushing me to open it as soon as Aunty WY left. On hindsight, he was a good boy to receive it and keep it aside first. And only open it later to play when the guests have left.

(I have taught him this with regard to ang paus and made a passing remark that this applies to any presents given to him. That it can be opened only after the person has left. I am impressed if he was really practising what he has been taught!)

After playing it for a few rounds, making tunnels with our legs and body, he kept his side of the bargain and went to sleep. No fuss.

***

The other blessed person is me of course.

Christopher has been a blast helping me how ever he can with the baby and the chores.

He took out the clothes from his school bag yesterday and put it in the washing machine, upon my request.

He talked to his mui mui while I went down to make milk so that she won't cry.

When I was bathing him and mui mui was left in the room by herself, both of us were alternating shouting "Don't cry mui mui, we are all here." And later when he came out of the bathroom, he went over to his little sister and stroked her and told her not to cry. (heartwarming!)

He helped me rinse the dishes yesterday and put them aside. Also helped me clear some tupperwares and put them back in the cupboard without supervision.

He went to pee by himself in the toilet. Later asking me to flush for him. (yes, he knows how to pull down his pants enough for the shee shee to come out into the little container I have for him in the toilet. He is not tall enough to pee in the toilet bowl yet.)

Today, I will ask him to help me wash dishes again. And soon maybe I will train him to mop the floor. hahahahaha.....

But you know....he really enjoys getting involved in the activities we are doing. Only we consider it chores. He considers it helping mummy and later getting rewarded.

His reward yesterday was half a packet of Smarties. And he really ate half and then gave the packet back to me.

Thank You God for this little miracle of a blessing!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A long week 'alone'

Hubby is in Jakarta again for 8 days.
My parents will be in Taiwan (still awaiting confirmation their plane can land in Taiwan following the typhoon) for 6 days.

I have asked my Ah Yee and Poh Poh to come down from Ipoh to stay with me. Just in case something comes up and I need someone to stay with either/both kid(s). Also just in case one acts up and requires my attention.

But sigh....a bit of a backfire. My daughter doesn't know them and thus refuses to stay with them for long. Also they don't know how to handle this demanding creature who requires them to forever carry and walk around.
(Actually she just wants to be talked to, not necessarily carried....but well....their baby vocab is quite limited!)

And my boy when he is in a sleepy/irritated/angry state also refuses them. "I want mummy! I want mummy!"

And so.....I am really running around like a headless chicken. Got to teach them to use the washing machine and maybe cook rice so that that is at least 2 things off my to do list.

It's going to be a loooonnnnnggggg week. Hubby so needs to get me a present when he returns. I can feel the stress in my system working overtime! :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Christopher's 3rd Bday

Christopher will be three as of tommorrow. However, we celebrated his birthday a week early as his kungkung will be out of town on the actual day itself.

This is the Barney shirt I bought for him. All thanks to Barbara and her suggestion.

He doesn't look that happy here coz he didn't want to sit still and pose.

When he first saw the big truck that his Yee Ma and Yee Cheong got him, he exclaimed, "Wah! So big!". And then he said "But I got alot of cars already woh." To which Yee Ma ask him, "So, you don't want this one?". And he said ever so quickly "Want. Want. This is Yee Cheong's car."

His Yee Cheong used to drive a Toyota 'truck' (you know those vehicles with the open back. Don't know what you call them.)

Anyway, thanks to Barbara's contact, we also managed to get him his Barney cake. For which he only ate 3 bites. Most of it was finished by my mum who loves jelly.


When I went to pick up the cake, hubby was looking at Mdm Lee's garden and later he told me..."check out all her pandan!". Her whole garden was filled with healthy growing pandan! :)
When I was there, Mdm Lee gave me one of her jelly mooncakes to try. It was delicious. Very different from the other jelly mooncakes. The pandan one we tried has pandan lotus paste inside. And the mint one was minty, the coffee one was tastefull, the black sesame and the yam ones were also yummy. It is really different coz the filling is really made out of black sesame paste and yam paste. We ended up buying a box for RM26. Definitely will go back next year.
And a pic of the 2 kiddos for the record. Reckon Caylee is catching up in weight and length really quickly.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Super virus

These days I feel the viruses we are exposed to are like super viruses. And when I say these days, I really mean only this pass 2 years.

Previously most flus and coughs that hit the family are cured within 4-5 days given proper rest and medication. Now, coughs bring sore throats that ache like mad, swollen lymph nodes and phlegm that seems never ending.

And the flu hits your head like a one ton hammer and lasts for several days!

Our medication can't even seem to keep up with the mutation of the virus. When we find a medication for one, we find that it has laready mutated and the medication doesn't work anymore. So, we have to make stronger and stronger medication.

It's a never ending cycle of doom!

Right now, grandma is nursing a lost voice and hacking cough. Sounds like Christopher has caught it and has been coughing non stop at night. Hubby is down and out with the flu as well. And I am nursing swollen lymph nodes. Grandpa is still alright and Caylee is having a slight cough and flu.

I so hate this. I hate it to the core.

***
As the day progressed and I started to surf the net, I was brought to this article : When I am Weak

I believe God wil bring me THROUGH this.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

He made me cry

I was reading my previous posts on Christopher today.

His coming of three years somehow marks a significant difference to me - He seems to have suddenly grown up.

So it made me think back and thus read what I have been blogging about Christopher in the pass year. To check if the change I am experiencing about him has been gradual or really as sudden as I am feeling it.

I shall relate an incident to you. This incident happened at sunday school.

As usual, for the younger kids' class, when the lessons and the singing is over, the teacher lets the kids (and parents) do their own stuff - eat, play or just hang around. However, this week, one of the teachers decided to bring some McD freeby toys for the kids to play. She commented that she did bring some boys' toys but it seemed to have gone missing. So, most of the toys were girly in nature.

My son however, managed to find one aeroplane which he picked up straight away and came to show me. Mind you, he loves his vehicles. We played with it for a while slightly a distance from the pile of other toys. After some minutes, my son puts down the aeroplane. I am not sure why. Mind you, he left the aeroplane VERY NEAR to himself.

But here comes another mummy who has a son who was without a toy. She spots the aeroplane and decides to take it for her son to play. I was turned the other way talking to another mum. She picks up the plane and asks if she can have it.

My son, who is still sitting beside the aeroplane notices that an aunty has picked up the aeroplane. He looks (actually glares) at her and doesn't answer when she asks if she can take it.

I notice the aeroplane being taken away before my son could answer.

I decide to intervene in the situation and ask my son to allow aunty to take it. I go on and on about sharing and let's look for something else to play.

He looks at me and says "no. I don't want mummy. I want my aeroplane".

Now....if you were the aunty, what would you do ?

Anyway....this aunty still holds on to the aeroplane and says "Can lah. Share lah. Aunty play for a while lah."

And then my son BAWLS !!!!

Of course, I tell him "share ok boyboy. let your friend play also ok. never mind lah, mummy give you biscuit."

I was also trying to stop him from crying.

The aunty does nothing. She is still holding the aeroplane.

After a while my son starts to throw a tantrum of course. Coz he did say no and he does want to play with the aeroplane. And geez....he loves aeroplanes! So....no, he doesn't want to give in. And he doesn't want to share this aeroplane.

After a while when it seems my son is adamant about not sharing and is still crying.....the aunty says "hai, never mind lah. ok lah, don't want already. give you back lah."

I see her put the aeroplane on the floor. My back is to her the whole time since I am facing my son. I ask my son to get up and walk him to the other room.

He follows, crying of course.

In the other room, I talk to him. I tell him that the aeroplane does not belong to him so if he wants to play with something else, he has to let other people play with the aeroplane. And of course I tell him to share. And also that if I ask him to stop crying, he has to stop.

To my surprise, he says "Sorry mummy." And then when I ask him if he understands, he says "yes, I understand."

I give him a drink of water. Then I hug him. Then I ask him to do the worse thing.....I ask him to go to the other room and give the aunty the aeroplane and say sorry. (Although part of me wishes to tell the aunty off instead!)

And he does go over and says sorry to the aunty. The toys are already kept away so we couldn't give the aunty's son the aeroplane to play.

After that my son sits quietly eating his biscuits while I continue to chat with the other mums.

At night while I was putting him to bed, he told me "Mummy, I am sorry for being naughty." Then he hugged me.

I felt my eyes mist up. I have a good boy, I do. No matter how difficult he gets sometimes, I know I have a good boy.

Remembering the good in him even when he is at his worst.....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Birthday coming up!

Christopher is at the age of "I wants". It was never really that prominent before and of course at this age, it's still under control. However....there are some exceptions.

COZ his birthday is coming up. And whatever he wants (under reasonable circumstances) for his birthday, we try to accommodate.

It's also the first year he is aware of his brithday and is counting down to it.

Actually his only REAL request is:
"I want a BARNEY birthday cake."

And he has been asking his kungkung if he will buy him one. But hubby and I have beat kungkung to it so kungkung and pohpoh are now busy looking ALL OVER town for a Barney shirt.

Which for goodness gracious me is quite hard to find. Heard only Isetan in KLCC has it so we may have to make a special trip down. Even the night markets don't have it! (kids don't really know the diff in quality anyway)

We may have to settle for some other Barney stuff in the end. Maybe a plate or a cup or a towel.

Anyone know where I can get any Barney shirts?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Seng Kee, Ching Han Guan and Hoong Tho

OK....now for the (very late) confectionary bit!

ALAS we tried the famous JJ Swissroll (Motormouth has a good write up on it with map and menu). Went to the outlet at Hotel Fairmont. Hubby went down to buy the delectables since the kids were acting up and Christopher was moaning that he was too tired.

(They woke up really early coz church was at 8 am and so by 11am, they were understandably tired.)

He got the fruit mix (RM15) comprising (clockwise from left) : strawberry, dragon fruit, kiwi and orange. The taste is not that strong. A good indication perhaps that there was no added flavouring. Loved the orange and the strawberry.


I asked him why he didn't get maybe the durian or the cempedak one. His rationale was that the roll looked really big. And to eat the entire roll of just one flavour seems a bit too much.

Any time you mention you are going back to Ipoh to relatives and now Caylee's babysitter as well, people will always expect Ipoh Heong Peang as gifts!

So, this time round, I decided to give this new (to me) heong peang shop a try - Seng Kee Heong Peah. The bickies (no pics, sorry but gave you a link with a good write up and pics) actually look smaller compared to the (in)famouns Yee Hup. But at RM6.50 for 10, I guess they are entitled to the size difference. Heard Yee Hup now stands at RM8 per packet ! ALSO....this Seng Kee heong peah is still made the traditional way (supposedly).

(Feedback : Father in law says these were better than Yee Hup)


Our only 'old' stop was one to Hoong Tho. We had always got our mooncakes there, partly coz my parents knew no better back then and therefore the tradition of buying it from there stuck with me! But the tradition ends this year coz the kam tui (mixed nuts mooncake with ham) that I bought was not fragrant enough. You would think with ham it would be really fragrant BUT sadly the Hoong Tho kam tui was a poor comparison next to the Hilton mixed nuts one.

Really yat cham chin yat cham for (one kind of price, one kind of goods)!

(Feedback : My mum says the shop opposite Tuck Kee, Pasir Pinji sells better mooncake!)


But Hoong Tho's kung chai peang (biscuit made with mooncake 'skin') is still good enough for me. That is (sigh) given I have not tried this other new shop we visited.

The new shop (again, may be only to me) in question is this biscuit shop along Hugh Low street - Ching Han Guan. We came here of course to get some of their much mentioned meat floss lotus paste biscuits. When we came back to Ipoh, hubby and I opened it up and starting discussing how much to keep for ourselves and how much to give to my inlaws. In the end, we kept 6 and gave them 6. Meaning....it was only a so-so for us.

Hubby says the pastry felt like Seremban Siew Pau pastry but to me it feels like Tau Sar Peah pastry but crispy (akin to Heong Peang pastry).

Hubby was also tempted and bought some kind of mooncake they were promoting. Very different. Quite nice.


I would say it really is different visiting Ipoh nearing the Mid Autumn festival. There were different kinds of mooncakes being sold everywhere. Teochew, Hokkien etc etc. So different indeed from shopping for mooncakes amongst Overseas, Bakers Cottage etc. in KL.

So, REALLY if you are thinking of visiting Ipoh, do go before Mid Autumn. You will really be spoiled for choice and well educated too!!!

By this way, this mooncake (3 piglets) were given to me by my colleague from Kluang. Lotus paste with aslted egg yolk. Cute isn't it!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Caylee has turned

And the little girl has turned!!!

Cheerios to Caylee. Now comes reinforcement time!