Sentimental Moment

August 1, 2006

Last weekend, gone back to parent’s place to collect those old pictures of dad for my mission. Was busy setting up the scanner (we bought the scanner for scanning our wedding photos and after that we have not used it, so I have basically forgotten some very basic scanning function…sucks)  and selecting some nice one to scan…. I’m not even half way through the albums…..

My brother and me used to flip through these albums when we were young, but I guess it has been more than 15 years that these albums has been tucked away ..we had a few good laugh when dad brought out the albums. But when I was alone yesterday, sorting, selecting, scanning and editing the pictures… I feel very sentimental….. a feeling so strong that I don’t know how to describe…. It’s hard to believe that the baby that I seen in the pictures is now a 60 yro old man……

Here’s a few sneak preview….

Also found this picture of my brother…. we have totally forgotten that we have this shot…. my brother’s such a cutie (he’s no longer cutie nor is he a handsome young man…haha!)

 Dad and brother. The photo captured the moment of father and son bonding which is so heart warming. It’s good if I can have a current pic of my dad and bro for comparison….ok…must make a mental note to take of picture of them when I see them the next time…


Going Away…

June 23, 2006

YES!! We are going away for our FIRST EVER family holiday. When I say first, which means without any of the other family members tagging along, and without the maid and we are not going back to my hometown, but for a real holiday. It’s just the 4 of us.

Our holiday destination…. Not far, just “next door”…. SINGAPORE lah! We are going back to Subang tonight and will leave for Singapore tomorrow morning taking the Aeroline. I still haven’t finish packing…GOSH!

This is also the first time we travel with the kids long distant in a public transport. Most of the time hubby drives. But we wanted to let them try different transportation. We have tried the train, now is Aeroline (bus), then later we can let them take the plane. As it’s the first holiday for the family, we decided to go somewhere near first. See how we can cope before our next trip to somewhere further (Hong Kong Disney? Australia? Not too sure yet)

I’m excited yet a lot of worries…

We have to travel light. Unlike when hubby’s driving, we can dump everything into the car. The food basket to potty to extra lungages. Now we have decided to make do without the stroller. 2 lungages and perhaps 2 hand carries. Can manage ah?

No porriadge for WH for the whole trip. He will have to make do with what we have. A good transition to wean him from porriadge??? Not sure, let’s see when we come back. I’m worried he would not have enough, but I would have to take it easy… it’s holiday man.

I’m worried they don’t get enough rest. We have already timed it so that we can board the bus which is not too early and not too late. We have to make sure we reach there in time for their nap, and also for coming back that we won’t arrive here too late. Arhhh…so much to consider. I’m sure we will be wasting quite a lot of time in between.

The most headache part…packing. My list is so long. It’s unlike going back to Subang, all things are ready and we drives (so can bring more things), it’s not like on board of a plane (where you can request for games, snacks, water etc etc). It’s a bus trip, I worry….

Packing list goes:
– Extra cloths for the children, just in case they wet/dirty it, then we get extra change.
– Sweaters, hats to socks.
– Extra shirt for me, just in case I get wet cleaning them.
– Kid’s paracetamol (just in case).
– JS’s bolster (She can’t sleep without it)
– Diapers (counting how many do I need)
– Formula milk, milk bottle – though WH is breastfed but JS is a milk bucket, she can drank many bottles a day. I’m thinking how to pack the milk and easily accessible. Is the formula dispenser enough to last through the journey? Checked with Aeroline, they have got water provided, so no need to bring water. Got the refill type of formula, so I don’t have to bring a can.
– Kids’ drinking water is also in the list.
– WH’s breakfast cereal. Perhaps a litte bowl and spoon too??
– Snacks, a game or two and book for the journey
– Camera, charger
– Video cam
– Toiletries – for the kids especially
etc etc etc

I’m looking forward to a holiday so so much, but when think of packing, it can really be a bit “potong steam”.

Good Week

June 16, 2006

It has been one GOOD WEEK. I’m grateful. The kids are happy (look at all the happy contented little faces above). Everyone is loving. I realize that if I feel love and appreciated, I would be a very good mum. 🙂 Hubby’s moods play such an important role in my emotion.
Just hope that this good week will extend into a good weekend too. Putting my fingers and toes cross.

My Father

June 16, 2006

I have written about my mother and my maternal grandmother, and now it’s time to “showcase” my Father. I have specially reserved this for Father’s Day.

My dad, born in the year of 1946 in the small town of Teluk Intan is a very traditional, conservative China Man. He can be modern for his time, partying, dancing, idoling Elwis (mum told me dad use to have this “currypuff” Elwis hairstyle), plays the guitar and harmonica, a playboy (even in his golden years of age 40++ there were still many admirers. I knew particularly about these single ladies from the Buddist Association in our small town that use to admire him. They kept on telling my mum, how envies they were of my mum having found my dad as her husband. He has got this ability to charm women) but when come to raising his kids, he’s strict and conservative and full of Confusius thought. I suppose being the eldest of 12 sibblings (10 surviving), being send away to boarding school in Penang at the age of 13, being raised by my very strict great grandmother has formed what my dad personality and character. He shoulders the responsibility to be the good example, a role model for his siblings, hence the stoned face. He does not show his love and emotion to us easily. All are well kept and reserved. It’s like having a BIG BROTHER, FATHER status. A status which could be seen and respect but cannot be touched. A feeling of so near and yet so far. I remembered one of my aunt said my dad “吃古不化” (close minded, conservative)

We were once very closed. But the barrier slowly build up when I approach my teen. I suppose is his confusius thought that boys and girls should keep a distant (男女授授不亲), at that time I was also turning into a rebellious teen and found my dad couldn’t understand me and unreasonable so I pushed myself away from him. I respect him but I fear him. I was rebellious, but each of his teaching and nagging is deeply engraved in me.

爸常摆有父亲的威严. There were times that I couldn’t understand why, he can be so closed with his students, walking hand in shoulders with his students and joking around like brothers, but to me there’s always an unbreakable, untoucable barrier. We are as if in two different world. I even envy my cousins, because my uncle is very closed to my cousins. They are like friends, they can talk, they can joke but never me and my dad.

Until these day, I still fear my father. Each time I go back, we still don’t talk much. In fact I don’t know how to start. I know my father loves me very much, but he doesn’t show it freely. My mum is our messenger. Each time I got problem, mum will definately tell my dad, and then mum will called me and say “Your papa say……. (dad’s advise)” or “Papa asked me to call, to tell you….. “. I remember when I shifted from PJ to Seremban. I was suppose to drive my kancil here myself while hubby drive his own car. But my dad is very concern about my safety on the road. A woman driving long distant with 2 kids even with my hubby following me from behind is too dangerous to my dad’s point of view. So dad asked mum to tell me that he would drive the car down for me. A few times when we have the car back in PJ, dad would drive down or get my brother to drive down the car back to Seremban for me. It’s his way of showing his love and concern to me. It’s very heart warming, tiny little thing his does for us, me particulary that shows he really care even I’m 30 yrs old now with my own kids and family, but to him, he still protects me like a little girl.

Dad is strict, very strict. He sets alot of rules and curfews on me. He’s even stricter to me than to my brother. Maybe I’m a daughter, he wants to protect his daughter from being harmed. He can be sarcastic when lecturing us. There were constant nagging and lecturing. Everything, from the way we hold the chopstick, table manners, to walking and standing, each tiny behaviours has got to be corrected by him. I always fear him, cautious about my every single act that will cause a long winded nagging and scolding. (But to think back now, I’m really grateful for my dad’s strictness to instill good values, good manners in my brother and me)

Things I remember about my dad:
1) Plucking white hair for him and we – my brother and me get 1cent for each strain of hair. (Last time in the 80’s dying hair is not an IN thing yet)

2) The last time dad hugs me was when I was 12, I scored 7As in UPSR

3) I always thought SMARTIES come from the dragonfly, because each time we have SMARTIES, dad would say he wants to do MAGIC by catching the dragonfly and do some silly magic then *BLICK* ..there’s SMARTIES.

4) Dad bring us for holiday/makan angin during school holiday.

5) Helping dad add up the marks when he did the marking of SPM Additional Math Paper 2. Later on helped him to enter the marks into the computer sheets. (Don’t blame me for entering the wrong marks in the computer sheets if you ever failed your add maths paper 2) I still remember the parcels of exam papers (because dad’s is the team leader for his team) we’ve got every Nov, I like the stamps on it. Which also mean we got to stay in HOTEL when he’s sent for his meeting/briefing on how to mark the papers. (Being from a small town, we were very “jakung”, HOTEL in Ipoh and KL to us is like paradise)

6) Dad forced me to do past years paper for my SPM and he will then mark it. He gave me private tuition, which helped me to score As for both my Maths paper. 🙂

7) Dad forced me to write essays in English, BM, Chinese each weeks when I was still in primary school, of course he would be the marker again. He was the one who started me off writing diary as well.

8) Dad sings to us and put us to sleep when mum’s outstation for her training.

9) Dad is good at singing, drawing and Chinese calligraphy.

10) Dad’s a math genius. 😀 (but the daughter never inherited this talent)

11) Dad forced me to speak English ONLY to him at the age of 8. ( I’m now thankful for that, else I would be like any CHINA AH LIAN from the small town and would not be able to write this post)

Dad is still working very hard these days eventhough he has way past his retirement age. He has his difficulties and troubles, but he has never shared it with me. I wish he could slow down his pace and relax and enjoy life now. All I want to say most to him is “THANK YOU”. Thanks for everything that he has given me, thanks for everything that he’s taught me, thanks for all the values he has instilled in me. Though there were disagreement, I’m not sure if I wanted it to be done the different way. Would I still be me, would I still me the same as today if things were done differently? Nevertheless, I’m just grateful.

Dad and me.
Parents and me.
The happy family. Parents, my brother and me.

A Good Weekend

June 12, 2006

Last weekend was a good, relaxing weekend for me. Thanks to my understanding and loving hubby, we stayed at the comfort of our own home this weekend, no rushing and going back to Subang despite it’s a non working Saturday for him. This is rare, really rare, a non working Saturday for him and yet we get to stay home and I get to spent a lot of time with him. I really needed this break so so much. A break from the extended family, just the 4 of us. Though it’s not much different from the weekdays, but what I treasure most is hubby’s presence in the house. There were no rushing in packing, unpacking, rushing from one place to another. There was no SOMEONE to boss everyone around. There was no SOMEONE that try to find fault in my maid and keep nagging and complaining. There was no SOMEONE that indirectly hinting loudly I’m a lazy boss that doesn’t wake up early to supervise, or stuck my nose behind my maid’s back whenever and whatever she does. (Hey, c’mon, my maid gets up at 5am to work, and she’s suppose to lessen my burden, not add on the burden to supervise her early in the morning). There’s no pre-arrange activities/meals gathering that we have to go until I got no time for my own parents. And MOST IMPORTANT, there were no TANTRUM throwing and ill-behaved kids (JS always ignore what I say when we are back in Subang). With weekends like that, I cannot find inner peace, the atmosphere always very “luan”. Hubby is usually out when back in Subang leaving me alone with the kids without maid at SIL’s place or Mil’s place. Last weekend was really a refreshing one for me and I get to be with hubby most hours. ( Sban, there isn’t much place that he can go)

We did something together, just the 4 of us leaving the maid back at home. We went to the cinema to watch CARS on Saturday afternoon. A good family outing, just the 4 of us. I really treasure this moment, just the 4 of us doing things together, because it’s really rare without any other people tag along. It was the kids first trip to the cinema and my first since year 2003. Yes, that was how long I didn’t step foot in the cinema, can’t even remember which was the last movie I watched in the cinema. The kids enjoy the show. They were quite good though WH fell asleep towards the end of the show and JS getting a little sleepy and restless. The first time I watched finish a movie without much interruption. Usually at home I don’t even get to watch finish the VCD at one go. After show, we did some shopping and then tar pau dinner home… Night time was some more quality family time at home.

Sunday morning, hubby did go back to Subang, reason being that FIL was not feeling well on Tuesday, he wants to visit his dad. (Make me a bit guilty, because of me, we didn’t go back) but he came back at noon. If the kids were less dependent on me, I would be glad to just let hubby bring them back to visit the old folks for a day trip. But I guess it’s not possible for him to drive long distant alone with 2 kids and both also very dependent on me.

Talk about me being wicked and selfish, but I can’t possible be thinking of other people and please other people only all the time. I needed this break so so much and don’t care being label selfish. It was a simple, quiet and yet very fulfilling weekend. Just a break that I needed so much to recharge. Sometimes need to be wicked and “cuckoo” to get what I want. 😉

Saturday Activities

June 5, 2006

Saturday morning when we were still at home in NS, SIL called to say that there were complimentary tickets for us to go Cartoonival. We have got 6 tickets, each cost RM250, so we decided to go for it instead of wasting it. (Eventhough we do not know what is it all about, I have briefly saw it in newspaper ad that there will be Powerpuff girl… which is not to our interest)

Arrived KL at 12pm. Had lunch at PILs place. Left for KLCC at about 2. Surprisingly the traffic is smooth flowing from Subang to KL on a Saturday afternoon. Reached KLCC about 2.30pm, walked all the way to KL Convention Center. The show is at KL Convention Center, 1st floor, plenatary hall. Upon reaching there, only I realize it’s the same place as where the Book Fest is held. ( Which I have read about in Twinsmom’s blog, which I’ve wanted to go very much) OK, OK , I want to take this opportunity to go see the books. Told hubby, if got time I wanted to go ( if it’s not because of the show, hubby won’t have drove all the way from Subang to KLCC for me to just visit book fest, luck is on me this time!!) KLCC was really crowded with people. The show started 3.30pm, we waited for hubby’s friend to join us because we’ve got 3 extra tickets with us.

I don’t find the show interesting though the props were nice, in fact I was getting bored, sleepier and sleepier when the show goes on. I only recognize Power Puff girls (don’t even know the exact name of the three of them), the rest of the character, I have not even seen it. We don’t watch astro CH62, only watch PlayHouse Disney. The cartoons on Cartoon Networks are for older kids, and I don’t find them interesting and when my kids are older I’m not going to let them watch it. JS was scared of the character Myojo Jojo (the ugly monkey) and I don’t think she really enjoys it as she doesn’t know any of the character.

During half time break, hubby said if I want to go to the book fest, he can look after one of the kids. So either I bring JS along or WH with me. Yeah…so I brought WH along with me and went downstair. It was really crowded, queue to pay RM2 for the entrance and when I was in the exhibition hall, it was really stuffy and hot inside. Upstairs was freezing cold, but the book fest was so hot. There were too many books and I don’t know where to start. There were too many people, almost elbow to elbow. Maybe because it’s a Saturday, it’s a school holiday, it’s a Public Holiday, that’s why the crowd. I found it difficult to walk around, don’t even mention walking near the books to browse through it. I had a sleepy baby with me in the sling which at one time I was walking and nursing him finding my way through the crowd. Worst… I have only 1 hour to shop!! I wanted to get some chinese books for the kids, but the children books I found were in Traditional Chinese. I wanted to teach them Chinese Characters, but the school system use Simplified Chinese, so it wasn’t suitable for me to start them of with the traditional one which might be confusing to them. At 5.20pm, I’m finding my way out from the exhibition hall to return to hubby and JS. I don’t even have time to go to the English Book section. So I left the bookfest with dissapointment and emptied handed. What a pity, so much books and I’ve got no time to slowly savour it.

Apparently JS enjoyed the 2nd part of the show maybe there was some interaction between the preformers and the audience. The show finished at 5.30pm. By the time we reached home in Subang is almost 7pm.
This is what we brought home. No books from Bookfest, but these 2 event merchandize. A light up pendant which cost RM20 and a T-shirt which cost RM35.

Story Reading Session

May 31, 2006

One of the kids pre-bedtime routine is to have a story reading/telling session by me where JS would choose and pick her own books. She would also request/negogiate with me on how many stories she wants me to read in a night. She would usually start with the higher number.

JS: “Mummy, you read 3 stories tonight”
ME: “No, mummy tired, just ONE Short story”
JS:”Two, two then” (pointing out 2 fingers)
When I’m in good mood then I will comply. Else I would say “Mummy said ONE. Stop negogiating. Don’t be greedy else I wont read any” (Ha..bad mummy, threatening her!)

WH also loves this story telling session. Even from very young, when I’m nursing him and reading to JS, he would stop suckle and listen intensly to our conversation. Now that he’s older, when I say “Story Time” , he would drop everything he’s doing and come to me. Lately he can even go to their library to pick his own book. We have books accessible to them in a tiny library in the living room as well as the bedroom. His choice of books would be board books, books with big pictures, little words and also “Storybook for 1 year old” (He would never pick the 2 year old or the rest, as if he knows the 1 year old one is for him). He has got a special spot to sit too — ON MY LAP. JS would always sit beside me, so I can actually see her facial expression and her involvement but WH would loves to sit of my lap, back facing to my chest and I can’t see his facial reaction. Even when he’s far away, he would drop all the things, climb up the bed, and walk to this special spot. I tried to let him sit on the other side of me, but he would crawl to my lap.

Last night, I wanted them to finish their milk first before I start reading to them. But upon hearing the word “Read story”, WH quickly let go his milk bottle, went to the shelf and picked up the 1 year old story book.

I said: “OOh… you have choosen this book. OK , mummy will read later, but you have to finish your milk first”
He didn’t want his milk, and keep handing the book to me, then
I said ” OK, we will wait for Che Che to finish milk first”
JS protest :” No, I don’t want didi’s story book. I want a Long long story. You read to didi first, then after I finish milk , you read another long long story for me”
(arrgh…lazy me, don’t want to do double work)

At last , JS choosen a book with lot of words. WH doesn’t know how to protest, as long as there is someone reading story, he’s happy and content, no matter what book is it.

The way I read a story book to my kids is that I first find out what’s the storyline and then I re-tell the story with action and expression instead of reading it from word to word. Because this is the way I remembered my mum doing it when we were young. And also for young children, they will look at the picture more than the print, they would think that adults are actually reading the picture rather than the words when we read to them. Also I would like to cultivate the interest of books in them by making it interesting and exciting rather than boring plain tone reading so that they would pick up a book and read by themself when they are ready and become literate at their own pace. I tried a different approach a few times by just “READING” to them (really reading from words to words) hoping that JS might pick up a few words from here and there, though it’s just a short paragraph, they lost interest very fast and demand for another story. So it’s back to story telling instead of story reading again. Anyway, I remember my mum read to us until we enter secondary school. Though at that time we could already read very well, but we still enjoy the story telling sessions. And I also remember our little library at home. We loves book, beside my dad and my mum’s books, we have a huge collection of children books. Dad has this designated cupboards for us for our books. I’m the “librarian” for English and Malays story books and my bro took charge of the Mandarin ones. We would compete to see you can maintain the neatess place (my bro’s usually a mess) I would love to inherit all this books but they are still my mum’s treasure that she would not part now, she still uses it with her students. Maybe, maybe when we move to our own place 2 years later, I can get mum to hand me down all these books.