Monday, 31 March 2008

Roller-Coaster On My Mind...

It's a happy preoccupation... but I feel it's slowly going to mount to a kind of nervousness .

It's what I want to do, but time is not on my side, especially with Max being more sticky recovering from a running nose and me having a sore throat (Just starting to get drugged today for the the next 4 days. Doctor's order.)

I'm happy planning, imagining, trying to picture certain scenarios...

Then I get nervous with all the "what if's":
What if it rains?
What if there's a sudden crowd at that certain location this weekend?
Should we change venue?
What if...

Oh, must start preparing the boys mentally on meeting new friends.

Oh, gotta start on some handcrafts now that the boys are fast asleep and I'd had an hour's nap.

Excited, anxious... butterflies in my stomach...

Feels like I'm planning for a trip overseas.
It's that kind of excitement and nervousness.
A Roller-coaster ride within.

(Breath.... breath.)

p/s- Must resist temptation to venture into other people's blog... for tonight at least.
No time. No time.

Mommy's Day Out

I just got back from lunch with a dear friend. She's the one who taught me how to play the piano in school. :)

We ate at KimGary's in Midvalley and then walked around*. She was looking at buying a belt because her 14 month old boy broke two of her belts (It happens that her son likes to push himself up, stepping on the belt, when he is being carried. Broke his daddy's belt too!). So we walked around but she didn't buy a belt. Bought something else instead. So typical of us girls. ;)

Anyway, while on the way to meet her, after I had parked the car, I walked into the mall looking for the restaurant. I took a wrong turn.... Actually it was the correct turn but it was the wrong floor. I was suddenly panic stricken, can't find my way out and I didn't want to be late for our date. I was walking through underground food stretch heading towards the garden. I walked back all the way towards the escalator from the car park to start again and that was when I realised I was on the wrong floor.

It was also at this point of retracing my steps that I realised it's been ages since I walked the mall. It's really hard to go shopping with 2 boys who just want to run whenever they see wide open spaces. If we ever walk in a shopping mall, it'd be most likely into a restaurant and then walking out and back to the car. Occasionally we'd do some shopping, but it's the same: know where to get it, go get it, and then head back to the car. No more time to browse around, look at stuff just because they look interesting, or that it's a new shop, or check out a few shops and compare the prices and go for the best deal. It's now, "Oh, I can get it here, now, quick. Stay close to us, boys."

Well, grocery shopping is done with looking at catalogs for good deals and then go get it. Usually I go with grandma and we will take turn to push the trolley with the boys in it, of which we will hand out at the seafood section so they can see some live catfish as well as other stuff that will entertain them. Their bonus is when there are free sampling of food. They are actually not so interested in the food as the novelty of having them served in tiny cups and toothpicks. So fancy.

I think I am becoming more and more like a frog under the coconut shell (katak di bawah tempurung - Malay saying of one who has no knowledge beyond his familiar surroundings, a country bumpkin). My world really just revolves around the kids now...

...and must have to admit that I'm over the hill...

* I've actually never been the type to like hanging out at the malls. Usually if my friends and I do meet at the mall, I'd rather we just eat or get a drink and just sit and chat. Most appealing thing to do next is to hang out at a bookstore or the music store and talk some more. A lot of my Uni girl-friends from smaller town just don't get me, a girl who grew up in the city but is not attracted to the lights and like.

p/s- No photo to show. Obviously not the shopping mall type.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Brothers Talk

I decided to do the ironing early today since we had stayed home the whole day. Gadget-daddy was watching TV while keeping an eye on them. The following conversations were heard while I was ironing...

Conversation #1

Micah: No, Max. You cannot do it. You are not strong and powerful like me.
Max: Can-lah. Max can.
Micah: No, Max. You cannot yet. You are not strong like me yet.
Max: Can. Max big boy (alrea)dee. See...
Micah: (giggles hysterically)
*At this point, Mommy just had to take a peek to see what was happening downstairs.
I saw Max trying to lift the beanbag onto the sofa but not very successful. That was what Micah was giggling and laughing about.

Conversation #2

Max: Waaaah....! (crying.)
Micah: Why, MAx? Why?Why? Why, Max? Why? Why?
Max: Daddy beat me. (spanked)
Micah: Why, Max? Why? Was it because you were naughty?
Max: Yeah... Waaaaah!
Micah: Why? Why, Max?
Max: Max go in store room.
Micah: Don't be naughty next time, ok? OK?
Max: Waaaah.... Mommy where?...
*Max came up stairs to lodge his complain and to get some Mommy band-aid - cuddle and comfort.

(Done ironing and back in our room. The boys watched some race cars on Youtube)

Conversation #3

Max: Me, Ferrari. You Lamoghini (Lamborghini).
Micah: Ok Let's race.
(Runs in circle around the room, jumping on and off the bed.)
Micah: Oh, I need some petrol. (Takes Mommy's hand and sticks it into the crook of his arm.)
Max: This one petrol-lah. This chocolate milk. Here take some.
Micah: No, I already had mine.
Max: No. Take this one.
Micah: No. I'm Sally. I'm going to crash into the mud.
Max: (Points to himself) Not Lamoghini. MyQueen. Come on, let's race!

They are still running and crashing around the room ....

Friday, 28 March 2008

Mrs. Gadget-daddy

Many assume that I am techie because I have a blog... But mostly because I am Mrs. Gadget-daddy.

It's the same how others think I must play some musical instrument because Gadget-daddy is pretty musically inclined and can pick up playing an instrument quite well and quite fast. Well, in my schooling days there was a few good friends of mine, but one in particular, who would sit with me and teach me how to play a few songs on the piano with chords. We used the old piano in the school's chapel. She was a very good teacher and I soon could play some songs on my own, reading the chords off the song books. Still, just slow songs as my fingers were rather stiff.

Getting back on the techie bit...

I attended some computer classes in school (Lynn was my partner for one of the terms, I remember), and my dad brought back this old second hand thing for us to mess around with, but mostly for my brothers to play some games on it... (what was that?.. 'Moon- something' ...and my brother in Penang and I got it: Moon Patrol and Taipan.)

Then for the next 7 years my life had nothing to do with a computer of any sort. Not one that I operated anyway, if you don't include the microwave oven.

When I went into University, I suddenly found myself in a fix. I have no computer and I don't know how to work one and I can't type properly on a typewriter for the life of me, and assignments were coming in like tidal waves and I was about to get sunk. So I had to get help -
Gadget-daddy to the rescue!

At that time were were just very good friends. We had always hung out with a bunch of close-knit friends and never thought of anything beyond good friendships. So came was those late night with my clacking on the key-board, me really like the chicken pecking away one key at a time, and he trying to let me do my work. Alas my pathetic composure with his user-friendly machine got the better of him. It must have been nerve-wrecking for him to see his wonderful machine not performing as she should under my fingertips. He sat with me many nights typing my assignments while I dictated them. Then I'd point out what I wanted underlined, highlighted, in bold, in italics. Yeah, so SO pathetic.

Well, after two semesters of such stressful sleepless nights, you'd think my good friend had had enough and would pretend to be busy and run away from me...but surprise surprise (or not), we fell in love instead.

That was it. Courted and engaged for 8 years (wedding put off a couple of times for one reason or another) and now, come this June it'll be our 7th anniversary.

Thanks to this user-friendly cute little computer (u-fclc), ...

... used by the most non-computer friendly user.
That's our techie-non-techie love story.

The following year, Gadget-daddy went away for 6 weeks to the interior of Sabah and I had to babysit the u-fclc. That was when I took the courage to explore manipulating text and also improved my typing skill.

The when he left for UK to finish his studies, he got me registered on icq and we chatted online every night and morning for 9 months. Again, I was incidentally cool and high-tech. Lol.

Then he did a one year stint in US and we were again on e-mails, skype and by this time, he could afford to call on the phone too.

So here we are now, with 2 pretty techie boys who love to watch Youtube everyday.
Demands for trains, race cars, chicken little, gummy bears, more cars, more trains, train cashes, funny sleepy animals, Thomas and Friends, so many. I have now put Micah on a Youtube ration: only allowed to watch Youtube once a day, and that is with my supervision and until I am tired or bored of it.

But technology is really their future. I am sure they'll be showing me more stuff that I can do through the internet and with a computer than I could ever imagine...when they are like 10 years old.

p/s - This post came about because Gadget-daddy finally helped me pull out an old photo to update my photo on the blog. Even he had a hard time trying to locate and import this photo I specifically wanted ...but then of course it was at 2am when we were fiddling with this thing.

New Me

Got a new me on "my photo".

This was actually taken in Oct-Nov 2004, when Micah was just a few months old. Gadget-daddy left us at Starbucks downtown while he ran an errand in the next building. A baby book and hot chocolate kept us happy for almost an hour before Gadget-daddy came back for us.

So this is how I am usually while blogging - with a cup of hot chocolatey-malt drink and my mind preoccupied with the boys.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Tagged: Why I Blog

Got tagged some time back by hissychick. Sorry it took me so long to get around to this. So here it is (I actually did some thing like this some time back, but I think it's a little different now from then):

So, Why do I blog?

1. I want to keep a record of my children for my children.

I think we have many fond memories of our childhood, but there are some moments that will slip us because as a child you see the world differently and you will miss some of the magical moments noticed by your parents.
One example of my own magical childhood memory was this: At the supermarket, (I was about 4 years old) our mum got us some chocolate milk in small cartons. Those were real treats to us. My older sis and I came to this conclusion: Chocolate milk must come from brown cows. The black and white fresien cows (picture on other cartons) give regular milk. Of course we never heard of strawberry flavored milk then, or at least our mum didn't expose us to it.

So I would like Micah and Max to know of some of their funny and magical moments.

2. I want to keep a record for myself.

Micah is 4 months older than his favourite playmate, B.
B's mommy is really good at keeping records and stuff about her. It was when B's mommy kept quizzing me about Micah's milestones that I realised how easily I forget certain details, i.e. what was his first word? (First few words I remember, but not the first), when did he start talking? (err... maybe 9 months? He was talking before walking. Monosyllable but he got everything he wanted: up, down, go, yes, no, this, ... Soon he started on double syllable words like apple, turtle, purple, tractor. Micah walked on the day he turned 1. That I remember.)

So, realising my poor memory, I decided it was time to keep some kind of record. This was perfect, although I actually had to bug Gadget-daddy to help me set up my blog. Me the almost-not-techie married to the super-high-tech. I'm like the post-it notes decorating your PC screen. :)

Actually, there were many poignant moments and some funny incidences in the middle of the night when I was up and nursing Max that I had some insights of myself and motherhood that I wanted to remember and share with my friends. So there were a couple of e-mails out as a pre-blog. I really wanted to put some thoughts down for myself to remember.

3. Last weekend I declared this to a friend who asked if I am still keeping my blog updated, to which I said "Yes, It's my new Hobby."

Hobby is such an out-dated word. Today people use the phrase "past time", i.e. what do you do to pass time, or what's your favourite past-time?

Well, it's my current (new) and only hobby that I get to indulge in now. Others- like reading (not counting my children's books), swimming, window shopping with girl friends, cooking for my friends, experimenting recipes, collecting pencils, making my own cards, etc. - these are all in the past and like my many sentimental mementos, they are kept in boxes in my memory covered with layers of dust.

Gadget-daddy once teased me when I was excited to see if there was any comment on a recent post. He called me a comment-junkie. Well, that leads to my next reason...

4. Blogging is now my connection to a world of friends who share the same passion, preoccupation and "obsession" : our child/children. It also help me keep connected to other friends who are now physically far away.

Sometimes I feel like we are just sitting around a table with our favourite drink and chatting about what our day has been, the good and the bad. Talking about the important things and not just senseless small talk. So this has become very meaningful to me.
I am a huge social bug. The kind that loves people and want to be with people and talk to them and learn about them and learn from them... And now, with my days revolving around my boys, this has become like a haven for my sanity. To not just read about trains or cars all day long, to stop thinking about the cartoons and the nursery rhymes and to rest from working so hard to keep the boys happy and healthy. We still talk about all that but in a very different angle. Unloading and sharing the day => happy and relieved.

5. Finally, for whatever artistic bent that I may have towards writing.

Some people like how I write, basically a personal touch, but I actually envy those who write with real witty expressions and bombastic words. I like to have my wit and mind blown away sometimes; get some cognitive stimulation and do some cerebral stretching.

Like ann, I like words. I like the sound, the print, the way they make my tongue twist, turn and roll. I am just glad for technology that has made it so easy to "publish" and to be free of looking for scraps of paper to scribble on, pen running out of ink and "liquid-paper"! And that, I must thank Gadget-daddy who got me to overcome my fear of this machine* that I felt would just protest and freeze on me whenever I sit in front of it.

This will be it for now.

Thank you, my friends, for having "tea and talk" with me in cyberspace.


*I am now using a Mac and our first computer was also the Mac.
"Our" here actually means it's actually Gadget-daddy's but mine to use whenever he is not on it.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Hide and Peek

Micah invented a new game while playing with Daddy.

They were rough housing for a while, throwing all the pillows and soft toys at each other and all over the room. Finally Daddy "surrendered" and just lay on the mattress on the floor.
Micah started piling all the pillows and teddies on him.
Max decided it was nicer to snuggle beside Daddy and get covered under the pillows too. Then he called Mommy to join him under the "covers". Finally Micah wanted to get in with us too.

Micah: Come, lets do this. Lets do Hide and Peek.
Daddy: Hide and Peek?
Micah: Yeah everyone hide and then peek.

So the aim of the game if to see who catches who peeking first.

Not a bad game for toddlers. After a few rounds we got them to brush their teeth. Both boys wanted Daddy to brush for them, so Mommy get a break - and so glad for the break too. (Max has been battling teeth-brushing for the last two weeks.)

Then Daddy went downstairs to do some work.

Micah requested to watch the last 5 minutes of the Bee Movie (like for 4 times) while he had his night cap and Max his nan-nan.

Mommy fell asleep with the boys and then woke up because of pins and needles on the left hand.

Now to head for the ironing board...

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Chatter in the Car

Pepperboy recently commented on how Max is talking so much now compared to the last when she saw him. Then he was just starting to walk and hardly talked except to yell and point at what he wanted.

Monday morning: We were dropping Daddy off at the office before running an errand and then to visit Ah Mah. The conversation in the car on the way went like this:

Max: Small world, got train one. Got plane one. Aeroplane one. Got boat one. Racing (to)gether one.
Daddy: Max, what are you talking about?
Max: Small world one.
Mommy: Oh, you mean from the song "It's a small world?" (They show this clip of the miniature world exhibit in Amsterdam while playing the song.)
Max: Yes, Small World one.
Daddy: Max, why do you talk like that? Don't say "one." Just say, "small world".
Max: OK. Small world. Got trains. Got planes too. Got boats too. Got cars too.

We all, including Micah and grandma burst out laughing. Can't tell if it was intentional or not, but it was just too funny to try to analyze that moment.

"My Favourite"

These are some of Max's favourite phrases:

1. My Favourite

I don't know exactly where he picked this up from, but for certain it's from TV, PHDC.
So often when we are watching a familiar music VCD, he'd start stating, "This, my favourite." and it's not just one but a few of the songs which he really likes. He'd also point out, "This, Mommy's favourite?" To which Mommy will say "Yes".
Sometimes he'll say that about food, "My favourite. Black noodle."

Drinks, "My favourite. Strawberry milkshake."

Snack, "My favourite. Cheese snails." (Cut up strips of slice cheese and roll it up.)

Cartoon character, "My favourite, (Lightning) McQueen*." (He actually says it as my-queen, which makes him sound so adorable, and sometimes we the adults around him forget ourselves and follows him, saying the "wrong" thing.)
Dessert, "My favourite. Ice-cream!"

Sometimes, when he is simply happy about what's given, or what we are doing, he will just declare that that is his favourite.

2. Don't Know

Whenever we try to quiz him about something, more like drilling and grilling I feel at times, his first answer would be, "Don't know". Then he'll give you the expected answer if you wait just over a second. So if you ask him,
What color is your dog?What car does Daddy drive?
What animal starts with 'A'?
How old are you?
To these, his first answer would be "Don't know" which comes with a cheeky smile.

Other phrases he uses more than 3 times a day:

carry me
what is it?which one?
carry me!
mah-mah (grandma) where?
koh-koh (older brother) where?
daddy (at) work?
carry (me)!
nan-nan now. (want to nurse)
you mean now?
MyQueen where?
Carry me! Carry me!

* This post was actually inspired by Max's favourite MyQueen. His favourite is the one you saw above. It was one of the collectibles we got from McDonald's when they had the Cars promotion about 2 years back. He has held the car so often that most of the paint had come off.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Daddy's Boy

He has his daddy's inclination towards technology and modern gadgets.

It's like a skill that comes so naturally to him. Daddy set the camera up on to the tripod and showed him how to set the timer. Since then Micah has been experimenting with taking shots of himself, the furniture and other people around him. In fact, he was the one who showed me how to set the timer on. I didn't even know because I just have not thought of doing so.

There are actually quite a few that he took with no interference from any adults because sometimes Mommy was just too busy blogging and he amused himself. At other times, all the other adults were too busy doing something else and Mommy was with Max, so Micah had his freedom with the camera. Apart from some shots which I told him where to sit so that he'd appear in the middle of the picture and not at the side, he basically handled the camera all on his own.

These are some of the self portraits he had taken over a few days.

These are the family shots he took with his brother and parents.

He took a few with the puppy his aunt brought back about a month back.

He even took one with our visitors, Mummy-yeoh and Sara when they visited us last Friday.

So apart from trying to whistle, this is what Micah has been up to.


Sunday, 23 March 2008

Remembering My Father

A little bit more of my Dad.

This is a photo of Dad walking me down the aisle on my wedding day, 2 June 2001.

He was almost blind as he had retinal detachment, and he actually had a prosthetic leg. He had a below knee amputation (left) due to an infection on the foot that ate into his bones. He agreed to the amputation when the doctor suggested it because he knew it was either to lose a leg or to lose his life.

He was very brave about that losing his leg. In fact, when he came out of surgery, we were all anxious and asked how he felt. His response was, "OK. I'm ok. Now I can join the cacat (handicap) race." We burst out laughing. We were the only family members of a patient laughing at the waiting lounge.

He always carried a 2 litre dextrose solution in his abdomen as that is his dialysis treatment - peritoneal dialysis. The solution was to be changed 4 times a day in a sterile room and measured and recorded every time. He also had to take a certain jab 2 times a week to help build red blood cells. I, as the "nurse", handled the dialysis treatment and administered the jabs too. Our frequent visits to University Hospital made us a familiar face to many of the medical staff, security guards and canteen operators.

His constant worry was money, rather, the lack of it, as he could no longer work and he did not have an insurance policy that covered critical illnesses. On better days, when we would tease him, and tell him he could try sitting in the pasar malam (night market) without his prosthetic leg and play his guitar and we'll see how much he could collect. Of course it was all in jest and we'd all laugh.

Gadget-daddy and I talked a few times about what it would have been like if he's still around. He'd have been a really fun and funny grandpa.
He'd have played nursery rhymes on the guitar for the boys and even taught them some simple oldies.
He'd have made funny faces at the boys and taught them to roll their eyes.
He'd have teased them with his stump and let the boys play with his fake leg.
He'd have told them jokes and confused them, and we, the parents would have to undo some silliness.
He'd have given them rides on his lap while he's on the wheel chair when shopping at the mall.
He would definitely tickle them, blow raspberry on them, cuddle them and kiss them.
His early passing on is a great loss to my boys.

Dad died in his sleep in Novenber 2001. It was a Wednesday, pre-dawn. The phone rang at about 6.30am and I jumped out of bed. I already sensed it was bad news. It was a few months after my wedding, about one and a half month shy of his birthday. He would have been 56 that year.

Tea ceremony at home.
Mom sitting with Dad.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Repressed or Self Control

I just got up from the kitchen having done the dishes. But I was so mad I wanted to smash a few of them on the floor just to make a statement... or just to release some of my anger.

This is the down side of living with extended family that's not yours.

Micah broke a small cup and a certain other adult in the house started cursing and saying things like "How can anyone be so stupid to give a kid glass."

First, I felt breaking a cup was not that serious a matter.
Second, it was a calculated cost.
Third there are lessons to be learned:
1. appreciate and enjoy fragile things;
2. not everything broken can be fixed.

Many times I don't react rashly, or as I feel I want to because I know I will regret later and will have to do damage control/ make amends, which would be harder.

Right now I am just bubbling down...the kids are already over the whole thing and playing happily without a care.

Anger...on the Holy Weekend...


Thursday, 20 March 2008

Parents+Child+20 years(or more)=Best Friends

I was reading hissychick's blog and her mention of wanting to be her daughter's best friend, a darling threenager, but that's a really hard trick to pull off.

So I thought of how my parents and I became like best friends.

Before we were teenagers, my parents were just mostly instructive and acted as disciplinarians. They also provide physical care and other necessary external stimuli to help us grow intellectually and socially. Of course we'd sit and listen to them talk to their friends at dinners, etc. and get a bit more clue of what they are like and how they have good friends.

Dad was a lot more easier to talk to, with his sense of humour and his love to tell us stories of his bachelor days, catching butterflies, swimming in the mountain streams, going for camping trips with friends, etc. He learned to play the guitar to serenade to the girls as well as to sing all the pop songs that he liked. Until the day he died, almost blind due to his sickness, he still played the guitar to entertain himself and us. He never stop telling us all sorts of stories of the past. Gave us a love for nature and adventure as well as pretty good idea of our family roots too.

Mom was scarier (she's now so mild compared to those days we were growing up). She was the very-strict and no-nonsense kind. She was of course not beyond reasoning, but we always felt a lump in our throat if we ever needed to reason something with her. She is a lot more traditional than Dad, but ever supportive of our school activities. You know you can go to her if you needed any help last minute. She can cook and sew and she'll do either burning the mid-night oil to save your skin in school. (Btw, she worked too.)

Anyway, I remember very clearly when I was studying like mad for STPM (Pre-U) and one of those times I complained to her that it was just too tough, I was actually surprised by her response, "It's ok if you can't manage. Don't take it if you can't." I had walked into the kitchen with those words of complain spewing out of my mouth and suddenly I was stumped and speechless. All our lives she had nagged us about the importance of studies and we should never be lazy or distracted by friends and fun. And suddenly this?! I went back to my studies that evening, somewhat relief by her "no-pressure" statement.

It was later that I recalled how one of my childhood friends, and my mom knows her mom, actually had a nervous breakdown preparing for this exam the year before. She must have feared I would lose it too, knowing me to be the more "obsessive" one of her 5 children. Anyway, those were the days that my parents (and I myself too) were surprised at my not wanting to go out to the mall with the rest of the family so that I could study at home in peace. Hmmm... actually growing to be more mature and responsible...

Later in University, my mom surprised me again by showing her care and love for us by cooking me fish every weekend when I came back. I stayed in the hostel where food was provided, but I could never take the fish there. Somehow I found the fish too "fishy" or that it tasted like plastic. One complain of that (just in passing actually, and with no ulterior motive) and mom made most wonderful fish dishes every weekend, steamed (done in a few varieties), fried with "rempah" (spicy paste) stuffed inside or curry fish head. Those were the times I knew for certain my mom loves us, and did not just care for us out of a sense of duty all our growing years.

Then my father fell terribly sick. He had kidney failure and had to undergo dialysis. She and I became the primary care giver: Me the chauffeur and nurse, she his constant moral support and now the main breadwinner. Those years were somewhat the most painful years for me because I had to change my role almost overnight. I was no longer a child to be pampered and cared for, but had to be an adult and be the care giver. I assumed the very serious role of making sure my father's health was maintained.

The 5 years I took care of my father were the years that really changed my outlook in life. I changed from a total goal-getter to one who sits and watched the season change absorbing everything. I watched my father "managed" health deterioration, emotional despair and trying to see hope in the midst of darkness. That was very painful for me. That also made me a lot more human than I had ever been. That's what makes me treasure everyday that I have now with the people I love around me, even in the most mundane.

The 5 years I took care of my father were the 5 years I grew the closest to my parents. Many times the relationships were blurred. We were not always father and child or mother and child.
We were sometimes friends, sharing a meal and gossiping about people in high places that they have personal encounters with.
I was sometimes the nurse scolding my father for not following his diet.
He was sometimes my boss ordering me to take him into the heart of the city for a certain noodle at a particular shop he wanted. Everyday we drove out to have a meal of his choice at different parts of the city.
Mom and Dad confided in me regarding legal matters of their property as well as personal worries of certain siblings.
Dad told me his life's love stories.

Today Mom and I talk all the time about her friends, my kids, her other kids (my siblings), her dogs, her neighbours, my in-laws, my friends, food, some Chinese drama she's watching on TV, her concerns about her appearance, her concerns about my appearance, etc.
We are each other's sounding board.
We buy stuff for each other, more she for me and my family than I for her due to my two tag-a-longs.
I still play chauffeur for her occasionally, with and/or without my tag-a-longs+grandma.

It took a lot of time. A lot of pain, a lot of growing up and change for us all.
So now, in may ways we are best of friends.

p/s- This is with thought of you and A, hissychick.

p/p/s- Hope to scan a photo in soon. Just for the record.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Toddler Art Class @ Home

Today Micah and I did a little painting while Max took an early nap.

Mommy drew the train and Micah painted it. (Anything train is a good motivation for Micah.)

He started with the red caboose then the engine. the two coaches is a mixture of the yellow and red paint. Looks like Annie and Clarabel I thought (from Thomas and Friends).
Mommy help him to pain the mountain. Held his hand with the brush to make the curves for a couple of times and then he did it on his own. Quite a nice colour mix. Then he learnt how to twist the brush to pain the grass.

After that I gave him a blank paper and he painted whatever he wanted.
He wanted to do finger painting. So he started squeezing paint onto his hands, and then needed mommy to help him put more paint onto his palms. His picture:

A couple of Friendly Jellyfish.


He started with some green circle. I asked him what it was and he said something, but at the end with a few more strokes, I said, hey, that looks like a chameleon. He was happy with it.
It was only at the end of our painting session that I added the branches because there was extra paint.

He asked for more paper. Said he wanted to pain a dolphin. So I helped him squeeze some blue onto the paper. (Forget the pallet.) he was painting the "body" and then decided it was to be a boat and added the blue propeller at the far right. Mommy helped him paint the sea. Again, a couple of rounds with the brush to show him how to do a sideway stroke, and then he did the rest. After that he wanted to paint a dolphin in the sea, but it turned out to be a jelly fish (grey blob).
Mommy: So are you going to paint a dolphin?
Micah: Nope. It's a turtle (green turtle) and it's eating the jelly fish.

Then Max woke up. I got him an empty art block and asked if he wanted to paint something. He said no, but would like a picture too. Train. All Max wanted to do was to squeeze out the paint from the tubes, so he chose the colors while Mommy did the painting for him.

A night train.

After that was the tough part: Cleaning up.

Both the boys had to be showered as we did the painting on the porch and they sat on the ground. Plus they had paint on their hands, feet and face (Max). Not too big a mess this time as I managed to pour away the water before they decided to pour it over their paintings.

Then I went in and it was my turn to nap. Still feeling a bit lethargic from the D and C. It seems it takes about 7-10 days to fully recover from the loss of blood.

Buzz Off!

There's a fly in my room and it's now "trapped" between the window panes and the curtains... And the buzz is just so irritating to a worn out Mommy.

Micah fell asleep last night about 8pm only to wake up crying about 11pm due to growing pains and then again at 3am.

Max fell asleep about 9pm (what an amazing time for the boys to sleep to early).
Then when Micah cried at 11pm, he also wanted some attention. So mommy was nursing one boy while reaching over to rub the other's knee. Daddy tried to help, but both boys only want Mommy. Wish I was like Mrs. Incredible nee Elastic Girl.

Finally both boys fell asleep. Daddy put on 007 Casino Royale for me to watch (did not catch it in the cinema and didn't finish the show last night too) and then he feel asleep.

2am: Max cried and wanted to sleep in his swing downstairs. I took him down, put on his favourite music, got myself a drink and came back to try to finish my post on growing pains. Then 3am, got Max up to the room again. He slept well this time, but Micah cried a few more times through the night. Sometimes he just wanted me to scratch his back.

We all woke up about 8.30am, but Daddy had already kissed us all goodbye sometime earlier.

Now I'm gonna take a nap while the boys play and the grandparents watch them. Can already hear grandma scolding them... but I need to lie down. My back is scolding me for sitting in front of the computer even...

Will come back later and tell you what we did to pass time today.

Now to lie down....

Monday, 17 March 2008

Growing Pains

Micah has it.

It actually has been a problem that springs up sporadically for the last year. At first we did not understand why the wailing and screaming and crying, and thought it was nightmares, but he kept saying "painful", and grabbing his knees. We massaged him until he fell asleep again. But it was quite a few rounds before we got to sleep till daybreak.

The next time it happened, it was in the evening and he was not asleep yet, so it obviously was not a nightmare. So we consulted our doctor, and also another and they both told me the same thing. It's growing pains.

The first thought that hit me was the sit com we saw as a teenager (even that was rather vague).

Anyway, here's an extract of what I found out from here.

"Your 8-year-old son wakes up crying in the night complaining that his legs are throbbing. You rub them and soothe him as much as you can, but you're uncertain about whether to give him any medication or take him to the doctor.

Sound familiar? Your child is probably experiencing growing pains, a normal occurrence in about 25% to 40% of children. They generally strike during two periods: in early childhood, among 3- to 5-year-olds, and later on, in 8- to 12-year-olds.

What Causes Them?

No firm evidence exists to show that the growth of bones causes pain. The most likely causes are the aches and discomforts resulting from the jumping, climbing, and running that active children do during the day. The pains can occur after a child has had a particularly athletic day."

"athletic day"?!! Micah is like athletic everyday. No wonder...

So, due to Micah's growing pains and Max's occasional night feeds (reducing now) and bad dreams (this on the increase), Mommy has not slept through the night the last 4 years. I think I don't know what that's like anymore.

p/s- Just to refresh some of our memory, here's the Growing Pains we knew:

Sunday, 16 March 2008

I Insist...

Max is a very persistent boy.
It's one of his more obvious traits.

But we all know that a two year old cannot always grasp the actual sense of quantity and space.

So Max's persistence got Mommy to sit in the blue basket.

The conversation around that event was such:

Max: Mommy. Come in basket.
Mommy: Mommy's too big, Max.
Max: Mommy, come in basket. Sit (to)gether, OK?
Mommy: If Mommy sit inside, there'll be no space for you.
Max: Mommy sit inside basket. (To)gether. Come on.
Mommy: But Mommy's too big, Max.
Max: Mommy. Come on.
Mommy: Ok... ok... (put her big behind into the middle of the basket with the legs sticking out.)
Max: Mommy, come out. Come out Mommy.

He never asked me to sit in the basket with him again.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Rewind: Missed A Few Daddy Details...

I was working on this half way in the night (a few nights back) when I got interrupted by Max and then I fell asleep while nursing him. The due to the change of event, I forgot about this. So here is a be-lated post:

Referring back to my labor for Maxwell:

There was this time between contractions, when I was not given the gas yet, I was gasping and trying to withstand the pain, and Mike squeeze my hand. He thought it'd distract or divert the pain and he got a, "Don't squeeze me. I squeeze you" whispered between pants to him. I squeezed his hand all the way. If it was not for the pain that was suffocating me, I'd probably had yell out those words. But I'm not really the yelling type. But we do look back and found this funny.

The other "Helpful" thing Mike tried to do was to do the breathing exercise which we learnt in the ante-natal class from the time I was pregnant with Micah. Of course you can't expect a woman in pain to concentrate. Mike was going, "Hooo. Hooo..." at a consistent interval (I think. Just can't focus on that irritating blowing sound in my ears.) I just held my hand over his mouth, said "stop" and gasped and panted more.

I guess the gas, if it was not good for anything else, helped me to breath a little better or I may have passed out for lack of oxygen.

Dear daddy, always so involved in our lives. :) Thank you.


I had the procedure yesterday evening about 5pm. It's called the D and C, dilate and c? Can't remember the term.

Well, what they do is basically insert a tube into the womb and suck out "growth" that's there.

It was painless. Actually the doctor gave me a jab at the back of my hand, like how they'd put in an IV drip, but just a jab and I was knocked out almost immediately. The next thing I know there were two nurses talking very loudly over me in Cantonese. Probably that's how they try to wake you up. I was already wheeled back into my room and was instructed to climb over to my bed from the stretcher.

I was still quite drowsy. They left, Mike came in and said I was only in the operation room for 10 minutes from the time the doctor walked in. We rested a bit. Mike took a nap too. Then we both got ready to leave about 8.30 pm. There was a little bleeding, but the abdomen felt congested still, like a heavy period day, but no cramps.

We got home just before 9pm, had dinner and rested in bed, trying to do some lego modeling of a train with Micah. They boys came up about 10.30 pm. Max fell asleep almost immediately as he nursed. Then Mike fell asleep. Micah slept about 11pm maybe.

Today we played at home. The boys cycled at the porch. Later Micah watched Little Einstein while I read the papers (have not done that for a whole week, so lots to catch up on the local headlines especially) while play pretend with Max: He was pretending to bake muffins by the dining table and kept bringing me one, asking what flavor I wanted next. Then Max and I did a 12 piece puzzle.

Then grandma came back from the market and got us all roti chanai for lunch. Now I gotta get the boys ready for their nap.

Thanks, my friends, for all your care and prayers.
Thank you for walking through the shadows of death with us.

p/s - Some poignant moments:

While we were at the clinic, they also have a nursery there and we saw 3 new born girls and we stood there for a while enjoying other people's babies. That was a rather painful moment for us because we have to wait a little longer before we get to hold another of our own.

Then, while I was waiting for the doc, another baby was delivered in the next ward. It was a boy. 3.8 kg the doctor said when I asked. I mentioned my first was also 3.8 and second was 4.0kg. He laughed, "Wow, big babies," (that's by Asian standards.) Yes, we will always remember what we still have to enjoy and give thanks for the boys.

Between my waking and sleeping moments in the clinic, I saw tears in the Daddy's eyes. He later told me he was saying goodbye to a little "M" that would never be. Letting go, especially a precious one, is never never easy. Mommy? Mommy just have tears roll down her cheeks now and then whenever something triggers the feeling of loss, could be at most unexpected times and at familiar places...

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


Saw the doctor again today.

Seems the baby is not "thriving" (his word).

There is still no heartbeat and the last few days there has actually been a bit of spotting.

Not good news...

His words:
"Pregnancies are 90% reproduction and 10% waste.
It's biological. It spares no one..."

Ugh! Those percentage again...!

He explained a bit about miscarriages and some cleaning procedure... can't recall now what his words were exactly...
Called Mike from the car park, but phone's battery died.

Got home and put to the boys into their swing for their nap.

Mike came back for lunch. We talked a little.
Waiting for one more week before we decide what to do...

Talked my gynecologist friend (the one who was in Melaka GH before and now in KLGH)...
We talked about different symptoms. She was assuring. It's no one's fault.
She said she'll pray. She even offered to take me on a holiday this weekend.

Mentioned to Micah that we might not be having a baby after all and he almost cried asking,
"Well, the baby is not growing."
"Is the baby not eating? Who feeds the baby?"
"Well, Mommy eats and the baby is suppose to get the food from me."
"I think it's the umbilical cord. You need to snip it off, then the baby will be out."

I smiled. I wish some things are as easily fixed.

Micah and Max blew raspberry for the baby (on Mommy).
Then we looked out of the window, it was starting to rain...

Raining in my heart...

Looking to God.
Don't know how to pray.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Cronic Cravings

The crazy thing about cravings is that you want the normal things at the oddest hours.

Where do you get tau foo fah or loh-mai kai at 4pm?

Where do you get a slice of fruity fresh-creamed cake in the middle of the night?

How to get your mother's fried bee-hoon when she's in Hong Kong for a week?

I feel like I want more and more of tom yam...

Nasi lemak is always welcome.

Other times I just think of KFC and the coleslaw.

My babies are all so Malaysian in taste.

There are already a few times after a meal I feel like I'm full but not satisfied.



Sunday, 9 March 2008

Carrying Two Boys

Max, I always say, was a surprise from God.

I was still breastfeeding Micah when Max was conceived. (Warning to all breastfeeding moms : Breastfeeding is not an effective form of birth-control in our modern and well nourished urban lifestyle. In some remote village where food is not easily purchased from supermarkets and restaurants, maybe.) So in a way, we were caught by surprise when I started having strange late night cravings again. The arrival for Max was a little early than we planned, then, because I had imagined the next child to arrive in 2006 (Max is a December 2005 baby). Max was discovered at 8 weeks, and arrived 4 days after the expected due date.

It was when I discovered I was pregnant again that I handed in my resignation to my boss. I gave up a job I really enjoyed but had found it increasingly hard to focus on the job with Micah demanding for more attention and intellectual stimulation at one year old. So I had to choose one. I obviously could not choose to give up my baby, so I gave up my job. It was more than a job. It was my occupation, my vocation; my contribution to the society and the human race.

So I was a stay home mum with one boy and expecting another. We were happy and actually busy. I spent a lot of time with my family, visiting my mom frequently, and travelled quite a bit to Singapore as Mike's work took him there often at that time. That also gave me the opportunity to visit my older sister who was about to have her first baby then.

So here's where you'd fit in the details of my vomiting, not due to morning sickness but Micah's dirty diapers. But apart from that, most of the time I functioned like a regular mum with a young kid. We went everywhere. The only thing was that if there are other adults around me, Micah would have more freedom on the ground, and the other adults do all the running after him. If no one is with us, I carry two boys. I found that more manageable than running and risking falling or slipping. I carried two boys a lot and got commented by neighbours and relatives.

Max was also the baby I prayed for to have more joy. This was because I remember some old-wives tales that what you are like during pregnancy the baby will catch on the trait/ characteristic. I was scolding Micah a lot. So I prayed Max would be a happy baby and not grouch. He certainly was and still is the sweetest, with his dimpled smile on top of that.

Max was suppose to be due on the 24th December. Christmas eve! But on Christmas day everyone in church was surprised to see me present for the Christmas service. On the 27th was our scheduled appointment with the doc should the baby not arrive before that. Doc checked me and said, "You're 2 cm dilated. Come in tomorrow."

So when I saw the doc the next day, before they prepared me for labor (I was still in a daze), he said, "Well, today is the day." And I was like, "Today?" I thought I was just checking in and we were waiting for more signs. "Yes, today." He laughed at my look on my face. He left me for a while.

So I was prepped for labor. The nurses asked about my previous labor, found out it was just a year ago and was a C-section and decided to prep me for that, just in case we need to do so. I prayed it would not be so, as it would cost us a big bomb to pay for using the labor room and the operation theater.

Max's Birth Story

When we went into the labor room, I noted that it was a little past 9am. The nurses, very good and experienced, started to put me on the drip for dilation. They checked the baby's heartbeat, as well as measured the contraction and got Mike to help hold the contraption strapped on to my big belly, and disappeared. They turned up occasionally to make sure all was ok. By 10 am, the contractions were stronger.

I had asked how long the labor usually takes, like what time would the baby expected to arrive. She said 4pm. I was starting to get really nervous. The contractions were getting stronger and stronger and my moans were starting to get louder.

By the next hour the nurse asked about painkillers, "If you want epidural, you have to get the anesthetist to come now." The pain was still manageable and I was still quite calm, but I was not sure how much worse it was going to be. My sis had mentioned her terrible labor contractions which made her feel like her spine was going to snap and I couldn't imagine how far it'd be before I get there!

The nurse told me I was actually doing quite well, and only need the jab on the thigh (I remembered when pregnant with Micah and we had attended antenatal classes, the doc said the jab would reduce the pain about 30%, but who knows what the percentage counted for anyway?! How do you measurer pain in percentages? *frown*). Anyway, so I agreed not to take the epidural.

Clock: 12.++pm. The contractions were very strong now and I kept wanting to lie on my side, but the nurses said not to so that they can continue to monitor the baby's heartbeat, etc. My moans were starting to sound more like growls. The pain was like very bad diarrhea stomachache and that I had not gone to the toilet for 3 days. The pain was starting to be unbearable and the nurse suggested we take the gas (reduce pain another 10%?), can't remember what that is in scientific term, but it's like the laughing gas.

The gas actually made me so drowsy that between contractions I fell asleep and wake up screaming and almost sitting up. It was somewhere in between that I kept asking for the time because I was wondering when it'll be 4 pm so that it'll be over.

The doctor was called in. I had heard the nurses discussing that I had dilated fully very fast but the baby's head was still a bit high. The Doctor came in told me calmly what he was doing along the process, which was quite good because you know something is happening and you're starting to see the end of this painful tunnel for me - and the light for the baby.

Then I felt another jab there, the incision made, episiotomy, was asked to push and I pushed like all my insides were going to come out. Doc said he was going to use vacuum suction to assist. I said ok. Didn't feel anything of the vacuum. Then I felt the head was out. Told to push again and I felt the rest of the baby slide out. The word relief was never more meaningful. He showed my baby to me and then handed him to the nurse for a cleaning.

I asked or the time and Mike said 2.30pm. The nurse replied, no, it was 2.0+pm (can't remember exactly) when the baby came out. I was so so glad I didn't have to wait till 4pm. Then I felt the placenta, like a jelly, coming out with a "bloop-bloop" sound. The doctor stitched me and I could feel the needle going in and out. Slight discomfort, but not really painful as he had jabbed me earlier.

I slept a lot after that, for hours. It must have been the gas as well as the whole process of labor. Yeah, labor - hard work.

Maxell Foong Zi Yi arrived: 28th December 2005, 2.0+ pm, 4.05kg.

Our very wonderful surprise.