Friday, 29 February 2008

All Said...

Took this in our bathroom, 7.30am this morning:

Precious package expected to arrive in October. :)

Thursday, 28 February 2008

A Bad Word

"Don't be a hooligan!"
A desperate grandma calls after her first grandson. He had thrown off his shoes in the park and was running off as if he had wings and those shoes were his shackles. "Come back here and wear your shoes!" She yells after him.

Grandpa uses it on Micah too, because he loves climbing every where, including onto the tables to reach for the shelves of forbidden things (batteries, sharp instruments, a load of knick-knack) placed beyond his reach. "You're like a hooligan! Come down!" Grandpa growls.

Hooligan was a word my grandpa used on us too. I can't remember on what account, though, but it always gave me the impression that it meant a savage of some sort. I think I heard my father used it before, but not on us. My generation, my siblings and I, never use this word.

Anyway, I looked up the word in Wikipedia and here it is:

Hooliganism refers to unruly and destructive behavior. Such behavior is commonly associated with sports fans, particularly supporters of professional football and university sports. In some countries, the hooligan elements of a group of supporters are known as Category C. The term can also apply to general rowdy behaviour and vandalism, often under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The term has been used since at least the 1890s, to describe the behaviour of street gangs. The first use of the term is unknown, but it appeared in an 1898 London police report. One theory is that the word came from the name of an Irish hoodlum from Southwark, London named Patrick Hooligan. There has also been reference made to a 19th century family by that name who lived in rural Ireland, known for their wild lifestyle, resulting in anyone who lived similarly as being referred to as a hooligan. Another theory is that it came from a street gang in Islington named Hooley. Yet another theory is that the term is based on an Irish word, Hooley, which means a wild, spirited party.

The "bad" word I use most on the kids these days, and you can tell, because Max is echoing me, is "Nonsense". Sometimes when he catches me scolding Micah for doing something silly, or behaving terrible, throwing tantrums and all, when I pause for a breath, Max will say it: Nonsense. And I will have to try not to laugh, because I would have said that in my next breath.

The "bad" words my boys use these days, bad because they have the potential to aggravate and will result in either the adults scolding them or one of them crying:
go away
me first

I hope they don't catch their grandparents' "bad word".

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Like On Tour - Taiping, Day 2

Continue from the Last Post...

The next morning we had breakfast at the market. The food was good. Even though the price has been raised since Chinese New Year, it's still much cheaper than in KL. (Sorry, no mouth-watering pictures to show. Too busy feeding the boys and myself.)

We then visited my grandma for a while. She was asleep at first when we arrived, so my boys played around the garden. Then they went in to see their great grandma, just to shake hands, ask if she had eaten, then they ran off to play again.

We had earlier decided to go visit my mum's older sister, my boys' grandaunt, who lives in a fishing village in Perak. Both her sons are there, one into supplying frozen seafood all over Malaysia and the other running a seafood restaurant.

When we arrived, we stopped by see my cousin running the restaurant. It was also close to lunch time, but the thrill for the boys was seeing live crabs and getting to play with a couple.

After a quick lunch, we went to where the other cousin is. His family live closer to the river mouth and you can see the sea right our of the window. When my siblings and I were little we hung around this place like every year. My dad would drive us here and we'd stay the whole day, eating, playing, walk along the boardwalk, looking at trawler-fishing boats. Occasionally we'd take the boat out to sea where my dad would do some fishing. Sometimes my parents would let us swim in the sea. (It's actually quite dirty due to the people and fishery industry. In fact, when we were little this place did not have any electricity nor modern plumbing. It was always icky to have to go to the "toilet" and we were laughed at when we asked for the dustbin coz everyone just threw everything out of the window and expected the sea to magically make the trash disappear. Thankfully it's a little better now, with more environmental education and there are enforcements of cleanliness in the place.)

The half day stay sure was a thrill for my city babies. They had never seen so many boats and they even got to ride in a parked boat - something my siblings and I enjoyed too, when we were kids (yeah, we too are city slickers :P).

We headed home a little after 4pm and reached KL about 8pm. Had dinner with my family and then just in time to pick Daddy up dfrom the train station. He was in Sabah the weekend because of the MAS Travel Fair.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Like On Tour - Taiping Day 1

Personally I have never been on a group tour where the itinerary is all lined up back to back to make your trip worthwhile, but our trip up north was like that for the boys.

The target of the trip was really to visit my grandma in Taiping. She is 87 this year. She is my mom's mom, my only living grandparent. The only living great-grandparent my boys have.

My grandma.
Photo taken in early 70's
at the National Monument.

We started our journey quite early, about 9am we had hit the highway. We arrived in Taiping for lunch about 12pm and about 12.45 we decided to head for the zoo. Only one of my cousin brothers tagged along. His sisters had tuition classes to go to.

Considering a relatively small zoo, we actually enjoyed ourselves a lot. Maybe it's just Taiping, the town where time seems to stand still. We were at the zoo for about three hours, but it felt like the whole day. The enclosures we hung around most were the rhinoceros's, the elephants', deers and hippopotamus (this was because we were trying very hard to see one, and when we finally spotted some ears, eyes and nostrils at the far end of the lake, we were trying to get Max to see them).

One of the thrills we had was when a zoo keeper brought a young orangutan for a walk and ice-cream and I got to shake hands with it. It's really such a gentle creature. My boys sat for a little beside it, but were too nervous to do anything else. Of course we did not want them to get a fright in case it decides to be too friendly and give them a cuddle. I think Grandma was most nervous of all.

The walk ends with a crowd gathering around some people taking photos with a python around their neck and a view of the Macaws.

After we exited the zoo, we were suppose to check into a hotel. The relative we usually stay with is away and my aunts place was a little inconvenient to house the boys.

On the way out, Micah asked, "Are we going to paddle boats on the lake now?"
Well, on the way to the zoo, we had to drive through the lake gardens and he had wanted to go boating. Absentmindedly I said we could after the zoo, so then he was holding me up on my word. So we went. I can't remember when was the last time I did this on the lake. Maybe as a pre-teen or early teen. That's like eons ago.

So we bought the tickets waited for our turn. Grandma and I were a little on the edge because we weren't too sure about the boys' safety. So when we saw they were taking a big boat out, we opted for a boatride rather than a paddle boat, which 2 of my cousins went for and said it was exhausting!

The boat ride was fun and easy - very safe. The scenery beautiful - the lake , surrounded by greens, at the foot of Maxwell Hill.
(When these Taiping cousins of mine heard my son was named Maxwell, they laughed and quipped, "Like Maxwell Hill?")

After our short boat ride, it was about 5pm and we went back to the hotel to freshen up. We were hoping to rest a little before dinner. A couple of hours in an enclosed area, i.e. the hotel room, got the boys restless and were jumping too much on the bed for the two grandmas' nerves. So we took them out again. We walked down the road from where our hotel was to...


It's those old fashion fun fairs with rides and game booths and a horror house even. We were like the first on the fairgrounds as it was only about 7.30pm and not really dark yet. So we were privileged to go on rides without having to queue for anything.

the boys loved the two different kinds of train rides.

And they also enjoyed the merry-so-round. Max of course rode in a jeep while Micah chose a horse. We were worried if they would sit still, and reminded them many times, ok, nagged and nagged, to not to get up because they could get hurt.

Micah and I went on the ferris wheel twice. Once just the two of us, and the second time with Max and another cousin sis. On the second time, we got a gift, a memento, from the fair - a green cicada. It was on the floor of our cab the second time round, so I got hold of it and placed it into a clear plastic bag. the boys were thrilled. My cousins were shocked.

As we were leaving the fairground Micah had another treat. We spotted a digger/tractor parked behind some trailers and we went to take a close-up look. The boys are such boys, the love all kinds of machines. So Micah was delighted to touch one and get his photo taken.

Then we had dinner and sent my mom to stay at my aunts. On the way there both boys feel fast asleep in the car. What a day.

To be continued...

Friday, 22 February 2008

Clock Readjusted

Boo-hoo for Mommy.

They boys are back to sleeping late hours. Thanks to all the excitement for the past 2 weeks of Chinese New Year celebrations. Now as I am typing away, Max is busy scribbling/drawing in his sketch book and Micah, just finished some milk in his bottle is joining is brother.

Brother!! Can't wait for them to SLEEP!! So that I can finish some chores and then finish some packing. We are making a trip up north to see my grandma, my mom's mom. Will post a pix up soon.


Tuesday, 19 February 2008

A Potty Post

Max is still under potty training.

To date he will willingly sit and poo into the potty if you manage to catch him on time. He himself is completely amused by the whole process and will declare, as he sits on the potty, if it's going to be a "small one" or a "big one". Then he'd be really thrilled to see what the end result is. Even Micah is taken in and wants to stare into the potty and then the two boys will follow Mommy into the bathroom to see it flushed down and the potty washed.

I know this sounds rather disgusting but this little one is discovering a few new things about the human body, his body, and so I think it's worth a post. Anyway, I am still coaching him on telling us before he starts to ask for "potty, please".

The peeing part is a little trickier. Sometimes in the evenings after his nap, I'll let him go without diapers and remind him he has no diapers. Still accidents happen like all the time because he is still not too sure about his body signals. Sometimes he will tell me he wants to "shee-shee" but will run in and out of the bathroom a few times before a success. There were a couple of times I took him and cued him to pee. I think whistling and letting water run does work as some kind of stimuli.

After having said all the above, I must say that at one point I wonder if we were ever going to get Max to be potty trained (I know, I know, these things are all a matter of time...) because as a baby he always constipated and so he had this fear of being held over the toilet. So I am glad this is going quite well for this boy.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

CNY in a Picture Parade

Just a few shot of what we did this year... like almost every year...

New Year's Eve's Reunion Dinner finds my mom, younger sis and youngest sibling at dinner with my "new" family.

Steam boat dinner and low-sang at Ah Ma's house for first day dinner. Ah Ma's especially happy that all her children and grandchildren are under her roof. Her brood is complete.

Second day's lunch is with all of Mike's relatives, which starts like a buffet line followed by low-sang and then a round of card games.

Thanksgiving prayers to the God of Heavens at Ah Ma's on the 7th night of CNY.
The legend goes that at the end of some the civil wars in China, the Hokkiens came out to safety about 12am on the 8th day of the Chinese New Year. They had hidden in the sugar cane plantation (that's why sugar cane is always required for this ceremony) and so this is the day they remember their escape from death and give thanks to the God of heavens.

Some shot just for records:

The kids and their Mommies and Daddies.

Their delights and our delights. :)

Other things the kids did during this week of festivity...

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Toddler Troubleshooter

Micah sometimes amazes me with his calm solutions to my sudden exclamation to things I forgot or when I just speak my worried mind aloud. These real solutions offered by my three and a half years old.

4 Accounts... as far as I can recall for now.

Today, while driving out to take my sis and her kids out, ...
Mommy: Aiya, forgot to bring the camera. I left it on the table.
Micah: It's OK, Mommy. You can just use your phone.

Another time, Micah ran his toy car under the bed and asked me to get it out. It was one of those crabby days for me when I was tired of picking up after the boys, cleaning their mess and fixing their broken toys. I thought I'd teach him a lesson, so I scolded...
Mommy: Micah, not everything lost can be found and not everything broken can be fixed. No, I can't reach the car. It's too far under the bed.
Micah: Mommy, you can just use a stick. That one behind the door.

Once he saw me struggling to get something from the top shelf of my wardrobe...
Mommy: Arrgh...
Micah: Mommy, how about you use a chair.

The other day, we were at the park (I usually bring a bottle of drinking bottle as well a can of isotonic drink. The boys usually take their can drinks with a straw to prevent spills. That day I forgot to pack in a straw):
Mommy: Sorry, Micah, I forgot to bring a straw. Just drink from the can.
Micah: Never mind. We can just use this one. (He pointed to our drinking bottle which comes with a straw.)
Mommy: But we haven't finished the water yet.
(The other day, when we finished the water and not the isotonic drink, I poured the isotonic drink into the bottle and they had it in the car on the way back. The plain water is also sometimes used to wash their hands. Didn't want to waste that.)
Micah: Just use the straw, Mommy.
(Then I got it. I unscrew the bottle cap with straw attached and stuck it into the can. Problems solved.)

Sometimes the Mommy brain can't help but must give way to new and fresh brain cells!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

CNY Time-Warp Freeze

It's the Year of the Rat.

I was born in the year of the Rat. That means I'm either less than a month old, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 or 72...

Well, 72 is a familiar number...
I wish I'm still 24...
...but if you know how old my kids are I'm more likely to be 36 or 48... maybe 24....

The thing is, I am caught in this time-warp zone where the body is moving according to the time measured by the rotation of the earth around the sun in its orbit, but everything else, the mind, the heart, the other scientifically non-concrete measurements of a human being is running in slow motion and can't seem to catch up with this 60-60-24-365 measurement of time.

At one time, on our birthdays, just among we three sisters, one of us would pop the question, "So how old do you feel?" This was when we were in our twenties, and already we realised there is this time-continuum interruption. We were then stuck in our late teens. A few years down the road, we might or might not have moved from our last answer. If we had, it seemed like we were moving at a snail's pace.

This year, the family friend we visit every 1st day of Chinese New Year, the daughter-in-law was also complaining about how we can't seem to catch up with our physical age. Her words exactly, "I think we are just too cerebral... etc. etc. It's when I look at a mirror then I think, God, is that me?!"

My complaints are more of the physical:
I wish I have as much energy to do all the crazy stuff with the kids all the time.
I used to be able to stay up 36 hours straight before crashing into bed for a 10 hour recovery sleep.
I wish my body could respond, in reflex, as fast as I could before.
I seem to succumb more to skin irritation, rash and eczema than I ever knew I could in my younger days. (Probably the chemicals are getting more lethal plus the body becoming less resilient. Now have to wear gloves to soak my laundry and to get them out to prevent rash between my fingers. Such a sissy. Bah! Can't even wear my wedding ring because all the cup and dishes that I do gets me a ring of rash where soap water was trapped for a few minutes a few times a day. Double Bah!)

Other complains:
I wish I was as brave and adventurous as before (exploring new areas/roads on wheels).
I can't imagine going back to school and staying up late working on assignments (mental block).
I still don't know if I can take on a roller-coaster ride. The last one I did was in Disneyland, February 2000.

So how old do I feel... apart from the few complains...

27... there about.

(I've actually moved. I think the last time I thought about this about 3 years back, I was feeling 26.)