Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Parenting.....

Bet word of the Tiger Mother has got to you?
No? Then enlighten yourself with this short article.
What do you think ?
Truthfully.
If Amy Chua is 100% tiger, where would you rate yourself on the tiger scale?
Reckon some people I know would rate me definitely pass the half way mark! :)
I consider myself quite strict too.
At any rate, I want my kids to echo what Sophie said in her past para in this article.
It is how I was brought up and it is an attitude I want to instill in my kids.
That you are capable of loads more if you only pushed yourself to achieve it.
Discipline your mind.
Put your hands on the plow and push. Hard.
Never stop learning. Learn something new each year.
Grow. Life can never be stagnant.
It is a sad thing, we are lazy by nature.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The incidence of a CNY dinner

So, CNY kicked of for us with our annual SG CNY dinner. We had it in Pantai Seafood this year. Total bill came up close to RM600 for 6 couples.

This is (some/all) of what we had:


Kudos to WaiYin for arranging everything - from booking to ordering. We just had to arrive on time! :)
Was it fun? Got to admit, I have had better outings.
I was busy making sure the boy ate without creating much of a mess and that the girl wasn't crying. And with 5 kids of the same age around, you bet that as soon as the last spoon of rice was in their mouth, OFF they went to see the fishes. Good thing the younger 3 stuck to their parents (Caylee stuck to daddy, not by choice). And the elder 2 helped to look after the other 'mad' toddlers.
There was an incident though which really 'spoiled' my mood later in the night. The 4 toddlers were playing in a reasonably open area, although there were table on each side. And our table being in a corner of where they were playing.

When the 'game' got a little wild, the kids started chasing each other around one table. I reckon they ran round that table maybe 2 times. I sensed danger. There were 2 of us looking after the kids. The other father was carrying his son as well. So, I decided to take some action to reduce the toddlers' madness down a notch. And to stop them from running around that particular table.
BUT.....
I was a little too late. The 'queen-of-the-table' called out to me and gave me a earful.
Was I mad? YOU BETCHA. My dad hated kids who ran around in restaurants. It was a nuisance to other diners and very dangerous. So I was brought up to bring up my kids to never run around in the restaurant.
And although Christopher has been told and he was not the one running around this peron's table, I still had to swallow this earful down and take responsibility. It was a bitter pill to swallow.
It was the first time I actually raised my voice at ALL the kids. I literally shouted them all back to their parents. And asked hubby to clear the bill, I wanted to leave.
To be fair, I left it as that. When the kids were with the parents, I relinquished responsibility of their further action. I just put Christopher in check and took Caylee. Shortly after, we cleared the restaurant and went outside to chat a little more.
You bet Christopher was upset. He gets sad when I scold him. But after some talking to, he was alright. I don't really blame him for playing with the rest. After all he is only a kid. And I don't blame the other kids for being a little 'mad'. They are only kids after all. And I also don't blame the 'queen' who complained. She had a right to.
Am I making a big deal out of this? I know there are some who don't really bother about kids running around. Do you? How strict are you with your kids on this matter?

Chinese New Year

I reckon for many of you, the Chinese New Year (CNY) flame is already burning. Everyone seems to be running around getting new clothes, changing new money (recycled by BN this year), buying/baking cookies, buying mandarin oranges, stocking up on raw food and planning the reunion dinner.

I have to admit, celebrations have always been rather low key in my family. My parents have never been consistent with the new clothes rule. I don't remember having abundance of cookies in the house. My mum would only get what was needed to give to the elders. Reunion dinner was the only constant hoo-ha. 3-4 women would be in the kitchen, my mum included, preparing the 2 table feast. Us kids would then have to clean up afterwards. Usually my sis and I would be the ones left behind to wash up all the dishes.

Only when I grew up and earned my own moolah did I start buying cookies for CNY. But that was all I did. No new clothes, no changing new money.

Now that I am married and with kids, I still find there is no real need for new clothes and new notes. Hubby begs to differ. So, the kids have new clothes. Hubby will always have a new shirt and I try to have at least one new piece of clothing. And hubby changes new notes not only for ourself but for his parents and his brothers as well.

For me, since young, the only thing I equate CNY to is TRAVEL. Hubby being a KLnite never did need to travel. So he bears with my CNY travel plans and I bear with his CNY new-ness. And we both bear with $$ of bickies and raw food and eating out and other requirements that make CNY memorable for the kids.

So, upon reflection, I wonder if the hoo ha of the celebration is such an important memory for the kids. When we got Christopher's new shirt, we just asked him which colour he wanted and I did not emphasize the fact that CNY required new clothes. It didn't seem important to me.

Would travel be the only thing the kids would remember of CNY? Would the gathering of family be what they equate CNY with? And in the back of it all, of course, the red covered tins of goodies forever available on the table.

And if tradition continues, my kids will also have the memory of the CNY annual dinner with their fellow cell mates.

It would be nice that they have strong memories of CNY eating and catching up with the family - both blood and spiritual. It would be nice that even without decorations and new clothes, my kids would look forward to CNY for the warmth of family ties renewed.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Which radio station?

So, the big drama for red.fm listeners when J.D. and Dilly went missing is resolved. For those who have not yet realised it, the 'dynamic duo' is under mix.fm now.

Hubby found this out for me the first few days of Jan itself. He is a frequent radio surfer when he is on the road. And it was a mystery we were intending to solve when Jan 2011 approached.

So, I happily defaulted my radio back to mix.fm.

I thought that DJs were quite important to the popularity of the show. Especially since I was quite put off with red.fm when Pietro came on board the morning show. Sigh....

However, of late, I have been finding that I am not sticking to mix.fm even in the mornings...even with J.D. and Dilly. I have been switching between lite.fm (my first time favourite) and red.fm. It's not them, per say. Though the daily dilemma is somewhat tiring and J.D's classifieds is well running a little too long. Is what they do what they want to do or what mix.fm wants them to do?

I prefered their carefree banter when they were in red.fm.

My other reason for now leaving mix.fm is that I really don't like Reefa@mix.fm when I am on the road at 5+ pm. Give me Rex @ lite.fm or that 'I-love-you' DJ @red.fm (can't remember his name now!) anytime.

So, the conclusion is it's not entirely the DJs that count. The radio station's vibe/strategy plays a greater importance.

Now that I am premanently at lite.fm, I may get a little outdated with the latest songs (was so ontop of it when I was with red.fm) but then again 80's music has always been my cuppa tea.

By the way...anyone heard the Dell advert? There is one part of the advert that says something like "the ppl will come and repair your Dell whether you are at home or on the road." Followed straight away by the girl saying "And they will come the next working day."
Which strikes me as....on the road? the next working day? They shouldn't have put the 2 sentences together. Or they shouldn't have mentioned on the road. Well.....just a random thought.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

3y4m & 9m

The 3Y4m kiddo

Christopher went back to school with not much problems. He was a little sad the first day back but I reminded him that we talked about this and he was ok with going back to school. So there should be no reason so be sad. He stopped being sad after about 2-3 minutes and went back to sleep.

At about 3y, Christopher remembers selectively (as in only stuff which is to his advantage to remember). I cannot use temporary suggestions to stop a tantrum or his whining now. He would remind me what I suggested we do if he was good and request that it be fulfilled.

It's a good thing actually though it takes more effort on my part to discipline him with reasoning. And I find I have to tell him more behavioural stories and moral stories to encourage better behaviour on his part. Preventive action rather than curative reaction.

He is no longer that crazy about Barney now. Though he does watch it when it is on TV. Doesn't like Handy Mandy. Not sure if it is due to hubby's persuasion that Handy Mandy is not nice so let's change channels or that he really doesn't like it. Prefers movies now....as in Bolt, Incredibles, Avatar etc.

The boys in his school must be playing hero and villian coz he is ultraman-ing me and playing swords and guns with me now. Recently asked my parents for a transformer as a gift after 2 days of excellent behaviour.

This reward system is practiced (I realised) by my parents and in part my husband. Though my husband balances both the reward and the fear treatment to get him in line. For me, it is retraction of reward if reasoning does not work. I realise that my boy doesn't like me to be angry with him coz I play with him more than hubby. So, he will not do anything I don't like. Of course, I need to exercise patience on my part too.

As for the 9m old kiddo.....

She is crawling now and even attempting the stairs. The way she crawls is really weird. One leg in the usual crawling position, knee on the floor. But the left leg would remain in a cross leg position and then swung in front when the right leg has moved sufficiently in front. Or sometimes she will attempt to use the left leg to crawl and end up walking with the left leg and crawling with the right. It's too weird!

She is also pulling herself up on anything that can support her and will walk along the sides. We are training her now to walk while holding onto her hands but she takes too giant steps when we do that.

What amazes me though is that she is very good at getting from the standing position to the squat. And then only to the sit. She goes down slowly to the squat and sometimes from the squat stands back up again. Sometimes she even can stop and hold midway.

Wakes up in the middle of the night for a feed now. She is taking 7 oz, 4-5 times a day with 2 solid meals and 2-3 snacks. She has more milk and more snacks during the weekend coz mummy is too lazy to cook 2 meals a day! :)

Caylee doesn't like soft toys but loves books. She can flip through books pretty well and seems interested in the texture and colour. She will turn everytime a tune can be heard on TV - may it be an advert, start/end of a show. She can wave bye bye and clap her hands very well.

Started bathing her using the shower and she seems to love it. She giggles and smiles when the shower hits her body and neck. And she will look at the shower head and look at the white hose connecting the head to the heater. It's like she is examing where the water comes from.

When she hears a noise, she will try to look for the source. She also loves to throw things to see where the will go. She understands that things can be hidden. And will go in search for them usually in the right place.

When kor kor runs into the room, she will no longer look at me and wonder where kor kor is. But will continue to head towards that direction to look for her kor kor.

Health wise, she seems to have more skin problems. Alot of rashes not only on her bum but her neck and even on her arms and legs. We are using alot of Daktarin cream and powder for her.

As for the 2 together....

I try to engage both of them in play together. And the only way to do so would be to make Caylee the enemy/monster and Christopher and I would shoot at her or circle around her. And sometimes there are casualties coz Caylee puts stuff in her mouth and we pretend that she is a monster eating them up. Or that her saliva is poison and thus the ppl/vehicle will die! Caylee doesn't know better, so she doesn't mind. She just enjoys the fact that she is in the middle of our play. And yeah....that would mean I have to wash most of Christopher's toys before playtime.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Invasion by Jon S. Lewis

Invasion is about a typical 16 year old boy surfer boy, Colt who has is living a totally out of this world life after his parents death. Shortly after moving in with his grandpa, he receives mysterious messages that his parents’ death is not an accident. He comes across mind blowing vehicles and weird looking creatures that are after him. Of course, he has friends with him to share his journey of adventure.

This book is what every UFO interested teenager or adult would love to get their hands on. A world where comic heroes and flying motorbikes are real and the world we live in just secondary.

For a reader who has never been into this super hero stuff, I quite enjoyed Invasion. Although I admit it was quite hard for me to imagine the red eyed people and the green alien creatures. However, it still kept me so interested till I realized I was half way through the book and well, dinner was still not on the table. It’s an easy read, with a mixture of some high school emotional drama in between the fast and furious chase of alien beings.

I won’t mind reading more books like this if they are as good as Jon S. Lewis’s narration.

Disclaimer : Booksneeze provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.