Monday, 29 January 2007

Happy Hour

Micah is very athletic and loves to run. Even in the house he runs around quite a bit. So naturally, he loves going to the park near our place where he can run on and off the jogging path, go on the swings and slides, climb around some rocks and run around the fish ponds.

Grandpa is the one who takes him to the park most of the time. Before Max came along, grandpa would take Micah to the park in the evening and I would walk the dog while Grandma cooks dinner. When Max was still very little, he would take his evening nap about 6-7pm and we still carried on as usual. Since Max became more active around 8 months, he has been joining his brother at the park. So grandpa and I take the two boys. (In case you are wondering about the dog, Grandpa will walk the dog later while i shower the boys when we get back.)

Last Saturday daddy took Max to the park while I had to drop something off to a friend before heading to the park. Somehow we missed daddy and Max, but to our delight, Micah met a playmate: Meet Ganeshsri. She is almost a year whole older to Micah. She is the most delightful girl I have ever seen and she giggles at the slightest thing. Micah obviously found her to be really funny and a great playmate too. She shared her toy with him willingly and they both have the same enthusiasm when it comes to running around the park. I watched them both run around, then sit down under a tree and giggled, then one would get up and the other followed and run around again. Her father and I chatted a bit about our family, but strangely we never introduced ourselves properly. We both kept our eyes on the kids almost all the time. He seemed a bit more relaxed than I. When they got out of sight, I would excuse myself and go looking for them. He did not seem to mind her not being in his line of vision. One of the times when they ran too near the jogging track, I called out my warnings and gave the reason: "Be careful. The uncle and unties could run into you. Careful. There are bicycles coming. Micah, Come over here..." He: "Ganeshsri. Don't go there. Go chase those leaves (though no leaves were falling at that time)." Hmmm... maybe that is why she is so funny and delightful.

After a while Mike called. He had gone back with Max and was coming in the car to pick us up. I asked him to bring some bread for us to feed the fish. Meanwhile we had gone "rock climbing". Mike soon arrived with Max and they joined us there, but he did did not find the bread I had packed earlier. So I hunted around the back seat and found a container of biscuits. That will have to do. We all went to feed the fish. Then Ganeshsri's mommy came to pick them up, and we left for home too. Ah Mah (my mum) was coming for a visit, with Ee Ee (my younger sis) and Ah Ku (my brother). What a happy evening. And the evening visit did not end without a visit to the supermarket at 9pm because Ah Mah needed to buy ingredients for making a good chilly sauce and as well as some eggs for CNY cookies. Talk about late evening excitement! By the time we got back it was almost eleven. Max had fallen asleep on the journey home. Ah Mah did not leave till a little past eleven.

Indeed family and friends makes our days worth being alive for.

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Glass Shattering Birthday

Today we celebrated Mike's birthday. Grandma cooked a fantastic dinner of crabs, prawn, curry chicken and chicken with mushroom and sea cucumber, and soup. After everyone had finished, we had the usual cake cutting ceremony. Mike's bro brought the cake. And after that I brought out the chilled sparkling grape juice. As I ended a phone call (a friend just had her baby this morning!!), I heard Mike giving a yell and then a "C-R-I-A-N-GG!" Micah somehow knocked the glass off the table. Grandma and I cleaned up.

I actually have a phobia of broken glass. It is probably because as a child I had a chip of broken glass stuck into the sole of my foot. I can't begin to describe the pain and agony it gave, and then the horror of having to get it picked out with a needle! Also, I remember my grandfather exclaiming that broken glass is more dangerous than broken ceramics because it is transparent. That sure magnified my fear of broken glass. It's like some kind of booby trap that will just spring on you unawares. So I studied the floor very carefully and did a wide radius search for broken glass. I was down on all four and my nose almost touching the floor. I actually studied the floor from a few different angles and hopefully, still uneasy about the whole thing, I have cleared all glass.

After Mike's bro and his girlfriend left, we all went upstairs. Max fell asleep in no time and so I had some quality time with Micah alone. Mike watched TV while we sat beside him looking at a story I did with the playgroup earlier in the day. Suddenly we heard a loud "C-R-A-S-H!!" Mike went down to check what had happened. Grandpa said it was from upstairs. We checked the back door where cats like to hang out at the back of our house and sometimes do knock thing over (in fact, they have broken quite a few jars and bottles). Nothing. Much later, after Micah had fallen asleep, I went to the bath room to remove my contact lenses. That's when I discovered the "CRASH". It was the bathroom glass soap tray on the wall which broke. It had perched precariously before and a few months ago I had straightened it. So now it is the end of it. Mike later confessed he bumped into it while washing Micah's feet earlier. So round two of picking up broken glass pieces, some in tiny chips, and wiping the whole shower area with tissue paper and hope that I had picked up everything. So now there are two naked grips on the bathroom wall.

They say thing happen in threes, but I sure hope this is the end of our sort of uneventful birthday celebration for Mike. And while I am here click-clacking away, he is watching Troy on TV. Well, it is his birthday, and tomorrow is Saturday, so he can vegetate all he wants. Happy Birthday, darling. You are the best friend and life partner one could ever have. Indeed God has blessed me with more that I can hold - 3 boys!!

Post Script( 27 Jan 2007, 7pm):

I offered Mike another piece of his birthday cake after lunch. As I was cutting the cake, the plastic cake knife broke. My ma-i-l laughed and said in Hokkien "No three no success", i.e. third's a charm, as they say... well, it was just a plastic knife and the cake had been in the fridge and was quite hard...but I was still surprised.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Max.Mission #2: Green Space

Max started his first W.A.L.K. (Working Ankles Legs and Knees) training on green lumpy bumpy terrain. Since it was his first time and it was at difficulty level 5, Dad, the biggest of the team members gave him some assistance. He obviously enjoyed the challenge, but could not have done it on his own. This was actually Big Bro's mission: to send sustenance to red scaley swimmers in the circular H2O crater on this Green space. His mission was called "A Walk in the Park". Mother Bird, Dad and Max had come along because we wanted to observe Big Bro on his course. Of course we were also there as an exercise.

All went smoothly as far as the mission was concern. As usual, after all the duty done, we explored a little more to enrich our encounter in the new terrain. Big Bro set off in hyper-drive, so Dad had to zoom off after him. Max had hitched on to Mother Bird so that he could move faster to try to catch up with the other two team members. Max released squeals of excitement to warn all moving objects that he was headed that way. Mother Bird, as usual, being overly concern about showing Max some observations, i.e. winged and beaked creatures, H.U.M.A.N. on 2 wheels, etc., failed to notice danger ahead. It was M.U.D (Materials of Unstable Dirt) in the path. Mother Bird slipped, did a balancing act, and Max suddenly found himself in lower altitude but still upright. Mother Bird managed to regain control without anything more that a scratch on her K.N.E.E ("Kalsium" Needed to Engage with Ease) and a slight bruise on her ego as an alien actually witnessed the whole incident and laughed. Max sustained no injuries at all.

Back at home base, Big Bro and Max took turn prodding at the scratch, laughing as Mother Bird jerked back and gasp "Ooch!" each time. After some laughs, Big Bro did show some mature response, though: It's OK, Mummy. I Love you. That fixed all the damages on Mother Bird, including the ego.

Sunday, 21 January 2007

Max.Mission #1: The-Mall

Max is exploring his universe on his feet now- W.A.L.K - Working Ankles Legs and Knees. He had been doing a lot his training in the main hall at H.O.M.E (However Obstructed Must Explore) to build up stamina and stability, and recently he had his first mission on planet The-Mall. His training proved very useful because on the planet The-Mall he could WALK quite a distance on his own without any assistance. However there were a lot of large moving objects, namely H.U.M.A.N (Homosapiens' Uncoordinated Movements And Noise), coming from all directions fast and slow. So he needed some assistance from Mother Bird to navigate around them, especially on coming ones, to avoid collision. Mother Bird had along with her RACh (Relative Associated through Church) to assist in lending eyes and arms should the mission get out of control.

Along the path of somewhat charted territories, Max came across some familiar Cuddlies, code named Teddy, that he knew back H.O.M.E. But these were bigger and looked cuddlier. Max broke contact with Mother Bird in his pursue to confirm his hypothesis of these creatures. He confirmed his findings by sending back his signals, audio and visual, to Mother Bird who by now was following his WALK path. Max signaled: "OOH!", waved excitedly and squeezed a few of them at the same time. The Cuddlies, always polite and gentle, were greeted with a nip on the nose and in no time found themselves under Max. Interrogation time was up. Mother Bird picked up Max and headed at light-year speed in pursue of the other members of the WALK team, Dad and Big Bro. RACh followed close behind.

Before leaving The-Mall, all involved in the mission got some cold creamy refuels from the station marked by the symbol of golden arches.

There were a few more explorations done on planet The-Mall in that mission. Will have to study the captain's log for more details.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Chinese Droology

Max has major drooling problem. According to my mother's ancient Chinese beliefs, it is due to the fact that when I was carrying him I did not get to have all that I craved for (To her, the demands, especially for food, of a pregnant woman is to be taken seriously). Hence, the baby drools a lot when teething. Yeah, now that I am repeating this, I am just so tickled and can't stop shaking my head to myself, but when she first mentioned it I just looked at her with the you've-gotta-be-kidding look. She said that is why there is a Chinese custom to stop the babies from drooling when they are four months old. She did it with us (her 5 children), and yes, there are photos to prove she did it.

Today is Max's 1st birthday by the Chinese Lunar calender. So my mother said it would be a significant day to do the "Stop the Drool" custom. So here is what you are suppose to do:

String some biscuits with a red thread (8,10 or12 pieces of plain round biscuits i.e. marie or wheatameal) and let the baby wear it round his neck. Then every adult in the house/relatives present is suppose to break a piece off from him, wipe his mouth with it and say, "Keep the drool," and enjoy munching the biscuit. So we did that in Ah Mah's house today. I giggled. So did the other two grandmas. Well, it was an auspicious event. After that we went out for a late lunch at 2.30pm, and we ordered a whole drumstick and mee shua for Max. These are the usual Hokkien birthday food. The only thing missing was red eggs. Max took the the first bite of both, then Micah and I ate the rest.

Later that evening I made a couple of red eggs and grandpa did the mouth wiping with the biscuit. Daddy had a dinner appointment, so the rest if us ate the rest of the biscuits on the string, including Max. It was a happy day.

When it comes to comes to customs and traditions there are times there is just no logic to it. But I love symbolisms and rituals and customs. So as long as there are no religious clashes I will just enjoy the richness and the silliness of it all.

Happy Birthday, Max, and happy walking!!

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Calling Card

Why, you may ask, did I choose such a header for my posts. Well, it's because when you are with two young boys, you are like the Medical Officer on call. That means 24 hours on duty and you really have to be prepared for any emergencies. Most of the time the emergencies involves keeping the babies' worlds from falling apart, i.e. feeding, changing nappies, kissing a boo-boo, rescuing a toy from under the sofa or inside the hi-fi speakers. At the same time, we try to keep the rest of the world in peace and in place, i.e. cleaning up after your child threw up his dinner in bed. These experiences have often given me some insights about my boys, about myself and the people around me, but more than these, I see a reflection of my heavenly Father's heart. He is always there in any of our emergencies, big or small.

Now let me explain how "Moomy" came about: It was one of those times when Mike was putting up a pix of Max and I on our photo blog when he accidentally typed "moomy" instead of "mommy" and we laughed, saying he was influenced by the fact that I am still breastfeeding Max. The whole thing actually started quite a few years back when I was talking to a friend who was then a full time mother with 2 girls and she, in passing, referred to herself as "the cow" as she was fully breastfeeding her second girl. Somehow the phrase just stuck to my mind, and now I say that of myself sometimes, too, to some friends, that I am working like the cow: providing milk. So "Moomykin" is me. :)

Being a parent has helped me to see how small we really are in this universe. When I see the minute concerns of my children, and how they do not realise the work the adults put in each day to make it a happy day for them, I see how we sometimes can see only so little of the whole world that our Heavenly Father is at work at. Yet at the same time, I am surprised each day by the child who puts thing in the perspective of the eternity for me: the things that matter most - the people around us and how we should live to make it a better place on earth, reflecting a glimpse of heaven here. Every day when I look at my boys, I am just awed by the wonder of my Creator. Truly, they are the most beautiful creatures on earth... and I am sure every parent will say that of their child. :)

Micah with teddy at 6months ---Max in his 1st month ---Micah holding Max for the first time---- Daddy& the boys, January 2006

Friday, 12 January 2007

Beat the Clock!!

"Change the batteries! Change the batteries!" Wailed Micah. His new toy was not functioning as it should, but it was not a battery problem. It was mechanical.

Earlier Micah got a new toy: It's Thumper, a new addition to his collection of Thomas and Friends trains. Thumper is not a train, but a new character in this series, so he was totally captivated by it when his grandma took him to Toys'R'Us when playgroup ended. I had stayed behind to talk to a few of the mommies that were there and all of them were marveling and cheering for Max (yes, he is walking quite a few steps now!!). I had parked the car at Bangsar Village because traffic was just crazy due to a few city hall officers walking around the blocks with their summons-book in hand. So when went back to BV, Micah insisted that he wanted to see Thomas before going off. Grandma gave no heads-up as to what would happen.

At BV, Micah raced to the Thomas section.
Mic: Mummy, look! It's Thumper! It's Thumper!
Me: Oh..? so it is... (Looking at what this new character is about. Thumper works at the quarry, has caterpillers like Terence).
Mic: Do you have money, Mummy? Do you have money?
Me : No, darling. I'm sorry. We'll come back tomorrow with Daddy, ok? (No money for toys right now, that is. Besides I thought he has enough Thomas and Friends toys already.)
Mic: Do you have money, Mummy? Do you have money?
Me: No, baby. I'm sorry. We'll ask Daddy, ok?
Mic: Mummy, I want Thumper.. I want Thumper... (starting to sound really desperate.)
Me: Micah, we will come back tomorrow with Daddy, ok? (This is in all honesty because Mike was going to a meeting in Bangsar Lutheran Church.)

Micah suddenly saw another train set (Greenline Express, or something like that). Distracted...for now. I told my ma-i-l that I wanted to look at some baby stuff so I walked to the end of the store. I wanted Micah to learn to wait for good things. Very often we give no second thoughts to letting him have instant gratification. After looking around the store I walked back to the train section but could not find any of my family. This time Mummy got lost. "Micah. Micah..." No response. Then I heard Micah's voice in a distance. I walked towards the front of the store and just before I reached the cashier, Micah met me with a Toys'R'Us plastic bag in his hand. Grandma paid. I sighed, and we left for home. Usually Micah would sleep on the journey home after our morning outings, but today he made himself stay up so that he could play with Thumper when we get back.

After two rounds of pushing Thumper around, the spring broke. We did not notice this till later in the evening when he woke up from a late nap and started to cry because Thumper was not working. "Fix it! Fix it!" he cried, and I, as usual, trying to mind his manners, "Micah, please ask properly."
"Mummy, can you please fix it?" He whimpered, swallowing his cries.
I examined the thing and had to break the bad news to him. "Sorry, sweety. It's broken. We will have to go back to morrow and change it, ok?"
"Change the batteries! Change the batteries!" Wailed Micah.
"It's not a battery problem. There's no battery in this."
"Just change the battery, Mummy!!" Micah seems to have a hearing blockage.

So Daddy asked Mummy, "Shall we go back now?" We looked at the clock. It's 8.30pm and we had not quite finished dinner. We decided we will try. So we rushed to push the food down our throat. Daddy went up to get a quick splash and change. Mummy, with the help of arguing grandparents, packed the milk stuff, gave Max his cough syrup, changed the boys and made sure Thumper and the receipt got into the bag. It was 9.03pm on the car's clock by the time we hit the Connaught highway. Just before we hit the toll booth Max was fast asleep in his car seat. We debated on which was the best way to BV at this hour of the night as we passed the Taman Desa exit. Driver makes the call, so we took the Kerinchi turn off and went past Pantai Hospital (I would have taken the Midvalley way). By the time we pulled out at the drop-off lane behind BV, I noted: 9.28pm. I prayed that the shop had not closed yet. Most shops in BSC closes bout 9pm. I was not familiar with BV. "Come Micah. Hurry up." I picked him up from his car seat, carried him in one arm and grabbed Thumper in my other hand. I let Micah down as we got onto the escalator. We ran to Toys'R'us. We made it. Micah got a proper working Thumper now.

All the time when we were preparing to go out I actually thought it was a lost cause. I really did not think we would make it before the shop closes and was thinking what else we could do since we are all out already. If this had happened at my time as a child, I think my dad would have insisted we go the next day and I would have wailed the night. Micah has very dotting parents. He is much loved.

Saturday, 6 January 2007

Good morning. Good morning.

Micah woke up at 5 am this morning and wanted to sleep in his hammock cradle downstairs. We usually try to keep him in the room through the night so that he will not wake his grandparents up. Well, after trying to coax him to stay with us in the room a couple of times, I looked at the clock and thought it was OK. Grandma is normally up about this time cooking breakfast, and I was right. But, before we could make a move, Max cried for a feed. Micah cried too, wanting to go downstairs NOW. Sigh...the competition between the two during wee hours are the toughest. So I told Micah we have to let Max settle and sleep first, so I said "I will just pat him". But Max still cried and i was surprised by Micah, when between sobs, he said, "Just give him nan-nan (to nurse him)." Then he lay down behind me and for the next 5 minutes I did not hear a pip from him. I thought he had fallen asleep. Then just as Max unlatch himself, Micah popped up like a jack-in-a-box and said most calmly "I want to go downstairs." I smiled and said "OK". I carried him downstairs, put him in the hammock, made him milk and swung him to sleep. As I looked at him, I realised this two and a half year old is already learning to make sacrifices for his little bro. Its a good sign. It's more than what a mommy could hope for. I whispered my thanks to God.

I climbed back to bed about 6.30am, and then Max woke me up for his "breakfast in bed" a little after that. I was too sleepy to see what my little munchkin was up to but Daddy was I snoozed..until i heard, "O, Max, what have you done?! Dear, he broke your glasses."'s my wake up call...again... 8am. Good Morning... Another day of adventure and fun with the boys.

Thursday, 4 January 2007

At Last!!

At last my dear hubby got this set up for me, the not really techie of a wife of the comp whiz.

Today we went to do a bit of shopping at OUG. My mum and my m-i-l (mum-in-law) took both the boys down to the shop while I looked for a place to park. When I finally showed up at the shop, Micah already had his adventure for the day: he got lost. The shop we went to was basically a Chinese pharmacy with an extension to the back shop lot and sold all kinds of household goods. I was there to exchange a pack of diapers and to pick up cod liver oil for Micah and panadol for Daddy. While the two grandmas were talking to one of the attendants about some dried goods, Micah ventured on his own to the back of the shop. It was probably just 3 minutes later that my mum realised he was missing. She went to the back lot calling his name and then heard him crying at the back of the shop, among the bags of dog food. When I finally showed up, Micah's eyes were dried but still a little red, and he hugged my legs when he saw me. He really needed a hug. After all the necessary was done, we had a quick lunch, went back to my mum's and the boys played till almost four before we said our good-bye.

Micah actually got lost twice before this, but he just did not know he was lost. The first was at mid-valley jusco when he raced off on his own and disappeared round the corner. We could not find him anywhere, and he did not respond to our calling out his name. Finally my m-i-l heard him talking to a sales assistance at the little green circle at the golf section. He was happily telling the guy his daddy plays golf too...

The second time was when he ran into a lift and the doors closed and went down to the next floor even tough I was holding on to the button on the outside. Again both the grandma's were with me, so while my mum waited at the front of the lift, I rushed down the stairs, calling his name. My m-i-l was close behind carrying Max. I found him running around some cars and giggling by himself. He must have thought we were playing catch or hide-and-seek. Unknown to him, that was a loading area and it was really dangerous for a 2.5 year old to be running round. These two incidents were really scary for us and i was praying with every breath i was gasping for.

Anyway, later in the evening (back to today), Daddy took us out to the new mall and Micah obviously had forgotten his lesson in the morning...or so I thought. He took off on his own in the mall, and I had to call out to him to stay close to us. He turned around and said,"afterwards you be lost again" (yeah, he still gets his first and second person pronouns mixed up). So he did remember his lesson and stayed closer to us, and would turn back to check that we were following him...and I had to explain to Daddy what had happened earlier today.

Actually, it's all now yesterday...

Well, after a long day of "hanging out" with the kids, I think I now just want to play game on the PSP and vegetate before I snooze.