Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Night Owls

Myron and I are up. He is now on my lap.

Poor baby has blocked nose and from that has also developed a cough.

So I took him down for another batch of medication, of which by now he takes without ensuing a battle. (Hmm... that Says something about his experience with meds, huh?)

While I was giving him his medicine, Mil woke up. Sine she was already holding Myron, I decided to express milk into a cup for him to drink. Sucking usually ends up with him choking due to the stuffed nose.

Good boy, Myron, that you can already drink from a "sippy" shot glass. :)
Get well soon.

Now lets try to get back to sleep.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Kids' Krazy Kuote

Funny quotes from my boys today:

Micah, after playing with Myron:
Mom, when I am big enough, I want to have a trillion babies.

Max when called for Brush-teeth time:
But, mom, Transformers don't brush their teeth.

Lazy Monday

I am so glad the boys' school is only Tuesday to Friday.
Sunday nights are usually a late night for us, with a visit from my mum.
So I am glad we need not rush for school the next day.

Today Gadget-daddy ook the car to work, so we are just playing at home. While the boys are playing with building blocks and their Transformer toys, Mommy is also indulging in some quiet time for herself:

Lazying in bed beside a beautiful sleeping baby,

... and getting into some reading (Finishing Ripples and will start on Thirteen Tales as soon as I can.)

By the way, Shi-Li Kow's book, Ripples, has been short-listed for the Frank O'Connor award.


We finally got to watch Transformers 2 in the cinema with the 2 big boys.

They behaved quite well.

Micah sat through the whole show, of which, 2/3 of the show he sat on Gadget-daddy's lap. I suppose it was a bit cold, but it was also for comfort and to have his questions whispered and answered.

Max sat on my lap, but also did a bit of a walking up and down the stairs by the side (we sat next to the aisle).

All in all, we enjoyed the show.

After the show, Gadget-daddy sent me back and took them to the toy shop. These are the "spoilts" they came back with:

But that did not deter Micah from constructions of other kind. In fact, Max was the one more interested in the cars, and Micah spent the whole night building a plane.

It was a great day which ended with a visit from Ah Ma, Ee-ee and Ah Ku.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Finger Lickin' Good

Myron would like to tell you that he loves touching and grasping things with his perfect little hands. But besides all the discoveries, the next best thing is to put them into his mouth.

Hmm... The toy looks good, but my fingers are still the yummiest.

So they say ... slurrp.. I can't eat...mmm.. them biscuits yet, ...sluurrpp... even when strung ... ahhmmm... around my ...mmm.. neck.. Can they be as good as what I'm having now? Sluurpp...mmmm... aahhmm...

Is the right hand more yummy, or the left?
Sluurp..... hmmm... Let me see... mmm... I can't decide...

But Mommy and Daddy always tell me not to eat my hand.
Awww.. The temptation.. Ah... This is so tough...

Ok.. I think they can't see me now...

Friday, 24 July 2009

Playgroup Malaysia, Bangsar Gospel Hall : A Need To Say My Piece

Update: This post was originally posted on 17 July 2009. I have changed the title so that it would be easily found when one searches for "Playgroup Malaysia" on the internet.
A special thanks to all the mums who have voiced their support for the wonderful playgroup which we have been/ are all part of.

I was shocked (appalled, aghast, angered even) when I read this "blog" about the playgroup my kids use to go to.

I know the place well, and I know the coordinator well through the four years my kids have been there.
Everything said in that blog is untrue.
On top of that, the person who started this "blog"* obviously did it with out of malice and with intent to slander.

(AArgh! ... Ok... Let me be cool about this and tell you the TRUTH about this place without)

This group has been running for years by the same coordinator. And I know of friends whose kids were there and are now in their pre-teens and they would be shock if they read the lies on that site.

Here is what I and the mums at the group would tell you about the playgroup.

# The person in charge is a fully qualified Montessori teacher. There are three full-time teachers and at least three regular volunteers who have a number of years of experience handling children of ages 0-6 in this place. The coordinator is always gentle and never raises her voice. She is always encouraging and never insistent. (In fact, when she came across this blog, she was so troubled by it, and then was apologetic to have called and troubled me regarding this: She, not really into blogging and surfing the net, wanted to know how to go about contacting the person to seek some explanation, which was impossible anyway.)

# The teachers and volunteers are really dedicated. The teachers and volunteers are moms themselves. I once volunteered to be involved and was called in for a planning meeting. We planned a theme for the term and then down to who is to do what for each playgroup meet. Most of the time the coordinator will step in to fill in all the gaps herself, should one of us not be able to make it, even at the last minute.

# Should you choose to join the group, you are given a list of guidelines to make the place comfortable for everyone, and every child. There is even a list of suggestions of what kind of snacks to bring should you volunteer to be on duty to be sure that it's nutritious for the kids. (I really found that so helpful, especially when it's your first time bringing a snack. On top of that I'm not the serious cooking-baking type. Hahaha)

# Moms are usually invited to be involved in taking a session so that they have a place to explore their talents, and also to bring the snack of the day. The key word is invited. Some moms have confessed they have stage-fright and were never forced to do a session, while some were happy to do more than one a term. Some mom's would be happy just being on the snack duty roster. (When I am on snack duty I bring what I know my kids would eat. Hehehe..)

# Should you be in the group and your child has some behavioral problem, she normally shares about how she would address certain problems with the child And this she does in private with the mom so as not to make that mom nor others feel uncomfortable. But some moms are really open and we discuss on coping with certain issues with our growing child.

# Should you choose to join the group, you pay a fee for a term (for three months), which is really nominal. We have never been asked to pay for any of the materials for crafts, even when we used some really expensive stuff, like glass paint and magnets discs. We were never asked to fork out anything when we discover new toys brought in at the start of a new term. The coordinator once brought a mini slide in from her own home even!

# There are always new people coming to visit or joining in the group simply by word of mouth, and sometimes there is even a waiting list (when I frist brought Micah, he was almost 2, but because of the crowd, she asked very kindly if I would mind coming to the younger group first until some of the children "graduated" to pre-school). Most of us are Malaysians, but we also have quite a few who hold foreign passports, who are PRs in Malaysia. (Here I have tasted food from quite a few countries, and also learnt interesting things about their cultures and homeland.)

# Some of us moms choose to celebrate our child's birthdays there because it is a place we have come to belong.

Micah celebrated his 2nd birthday at the playgroup.

# The year end Christmas party is always a big bash, by sheer number of moms and their kids, and sometimes even the fathers and grandmas and granddads come too. The goody-bag for the kids always amazes me, and the array of food at the party, pot-luck style, is amazing. Some moms are so kind that even when they can't make it for the party, they still volunteer to send the food for the rest of us to enjoy.

# The playgroup does a special Mother's Day celebration for the mums every year, strictly for mums only, so that we have a couple of hours to relax and enjoy our food and chit-chats without having to fuss or worry about our little darlings. And this is free of charge even! (They have even asked me to bring my mom and my mil!! So generous of them.)

I think the playgroup we go to really is great. In fact, so may times I have wished that I drive an MPV, if not a bus, so that I could bring moms and their kids from my neighbourhood for this enriching and bonding time together.

Now I'm just waiting for Myron to be a little better from his cough before I bring him in.

*Come on. How can you call this blog "Malaysia Playgroup" when there are no other entrees on any other playgroups (good, bad, location, programmes, etc) and there are no updates whatsoever. There isn't even an option to post a comment or to contact the author of the blog, who has remained anonymous.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

"New" Toys For Everyone!

We haven't bought the boys any Transformer toys, even though they have been eying on a few different characters. But they are quite good, and have said they will wait for their birthdays and Christmas. (Makes me want to run out right now and get them, and hide them till.. tomorrow?!)

So, today, they got their Transformer toys themselves:

Made out of Lego, Micah made (L->R) "Starscream" for mommy, "Bumblebee" for his brother and "Interrogator Barricade" for himself.
(Quite clever, isn't he?)

Meanwhile, Myron has been busy in his Astrosaucer, Thanks to Aunty Minni, who gave it to him even before he was born!

He also has been busy on a walker with the "Hey Diddle-diddle"* toy strapped onto it.

The "Hey Diddle-diddle" also gets to get some fresh air coz it also gets strapped onto a stroller.

Like they say,
A kid just can't have too many a toy.

* The "Hey Diddle-diddle" toy was a gift from a few lecturers from HELP College when I had Micah. That was 5 years ago! I was working as a student counsellor then.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Funny Max

Max made us laugh the other day.

First, he acted a little fishy when he came down the stairs with his hands behind his back. I asked him what he was hiding, and he sheepishly showed me a diaper he had taken out from Myron's bag of diapers.

After questioning his intention, I smiled, struggling to not giggle, and got him an "empty"* diaper.

And this was what his "bright idea" was:

Max, you are so funny and so cute!
Love you, darling.

* The "empty" diaper was introduced by an aunt who pulled out the filling of a used diaper (the valcro strap kind, and not poo-ed on of course), washed it and then uses it as a cover for holding up cloth nappies. safer and more convenient than a safety pin!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Clicking The Kids

Here are some shots of my three darlings together.

They do this now and then, but most of the time Mommy's without a camera. I finally decided these precious moments should not go unrecorded.

Free play on the bed:

Posing for the camera.

Ramblings Before Bed

I had a headache this evening.
I mean a real physical-pain headache, and not the kind your kids give you sometimes.
I don't usually get a headache, and I can't remember when I had one the last time.

I can't tell if it's from the running around the whole half a day,
or a lack of sleep,
or that I'm finally having my first menstruation 4 months after giving birth,
or that I had cleaned up Max's puke in the car, after taking it to a car wash (which did a shoddy job and totally did nothing to clean out the puke). Is it the bending over for a long time in puke fume or the disinfectant?

Fell asleep with the two older boys after telling them their bedtime story, while Myron was sleeping in grandma's room. Don't know when Gadget-daddy got back from his games, but he woke me up when grandma brought Myron in, and that was at 1am. Now I am done with the bits of left over of the day - done ironing.

Tomorrow: school.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Taiping In 24 Hours

The last trip we went up to see my grandma, to see her for the last time, was evenful enough of a holiday for my boys.

The first thing we did when we arrived at Taiping was to grab lunch before heading to see my grandma. By the time we were done sitting and chatting with her and other relatives, plus getting the boys showered, it was dinner time.

We stayed at my aunt's place, which rendered me little sleep as I suddenly got myself in a spot of a tiny sleeping spot with my 3 boys on a double bed. It was also a sleepless night for me as the boys took turn waking and asking for more space to get comfortable in. The next morning, the two older ones woke up at 7am and played in my aunt's garden while I slept in with Myron till 9am. After breakfast, we went around town.

We were driving around the lake gardens when we I thought, the boys should finally, after so many trips to Taiping, join me and a whole of of other people, from many generations before, to take a ride on their slide in the playground. THE slide have been there for more than 40 years, my aunt recalls, as she went around town with us while her kids were in school.

They have changed all the other parts of the playground, upgraded every few years, but these wonderful enormous slides have been here ever since the days my father courted my mom on his Vespa scooters.

We also stopped by a stone dinosaur to take some shots (this is at another part of the lake gardens). One of my brothers has a photo on the back of this rock dino too, when he was about Micah's age.

It was also here that we spotted some monkeys on the trees. We did not wait for them to come down to see if we have food on us. They are known to be pretty fierce when it come to getting food out of people, and have often "robbed" picnickers.

And finally, as we rounded back towards town, we made an unplanned stop at the museum. All because of this plane on display outside that caught our attention.

L->R: Ee-poh (my aunt), Ah Ma, Micah, Max, Myron, Grandma.

Unfortunately the inside was under repair and only one section of natural history was opened. Still, that was good enough for my boys to look at stuffed wild animals and also some crocs and snake skeletons.

The thing about Taiping is that time almost stands still in this small town. All the sights above, we did them in 2 hours on the morning before heading back to KL. After all that we had a western set-lunch (only RM8.60 each, complete with soup and a scoop of ice-cream for dessert and tea/coffee) at a cozy restaurant.

On the way back, we made a couple of toilet breaks. On one, at the Tg. Malim stop, the boys asked to go have a look at a police motorcycle parked at the side and got a treat!!

Their "boss" (a very high ranking office out with all his stars and colours on display) was very friendly* and actually carried my boys onto the bike and told me to take a photo.

Despite the grave intention of our visit to Taiping this round, it was still good fun for the boys.
In a day, so much can happen.

*This confirmed what Mommy had been saying all the time, that you need not fear the police if you do not break the laws. Micah so excited that the policemen were so "friendly" that he wanted to "visit" the army trucks next. (The police were actually escorting a fleet of army truck, which looked like they were transporting some weapons and explosives. There were parked along the emergency lanes of the highway just beside the rest stop.)
Mommy had to say no to his request.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Goodbye, Grandma

Thank you for all your comments and well wishes. I have not replied because the updates would let you know what's going on.

My grandma passes away this morning about 11.30am.
My mom called to inform me as I was heading out to buy something.

Grandma actually gave birth to 10 babies, 3 boys and 7 girls. But due to a hard life, she gave away three of her babies. Only one was acknowledge as this one was given as a favour to a relative who wanted another child, but could not conceive after many years.

Grandma was widowed more than 10 years ago.
Today, she leaves behind 7 children,
30 grand children and 27 great grand children.

She was holding on to her last breaths, waiting for her youngest son to see her. He finally did visit her on Friday night. This morning she passed on.

I am glad I took my boys up to see her one last time.
When we were there and I heard that this uncle would come see her, I somehow sensed that even if I planned another trip this coming week, we might not make it to see her again.

When we were there, I was glad my boys were not afraid of her. They climbed on to her bed and played and sang around her, while my aunt fussed, asking if she wanted a drink. Then we brought Myron to her. The latest addition to her great grand children.

Be at peace, grandma.
All your children have come to see you before you move on.
In your own ways you have done all you could, you have done your best, to care for your hildren and your children's children.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Under Currents - Updates

Turns out that the little bumps/blisters on Myron's feet are actually ants bites.
Phew. What a relief.

Yes, I am so So glad Gadget-daddy was right, and that I need not have panicked and got all worried for nothing.

So tomorrow we will be off to see my grandma.
I hope she will wait for us.

When We were kids, my older sister and I would go to Taiping a few days ahead of our parents with a relative and stay with our grandma, my mom's mom. We would have three cousins (children of my first uncle) if not more (children of other aunts and uncle sent to be cared by grandma full time for a few months if not years) staying with grandma and we played all the time: Hop-scotch, hide-and-seek were our favourite.

We would sleep on an elevated wooden platform, all the kids in a row, with a pillow and a blanket. At certain seasons there would be a huge mosquio net hung across the platform. I remembered the one we had was pink, and it made me think of candyfloss. Usually we all would chat and laugh until grandma comes in to turn off the lights and then we would settle to sleep one by one. Grandma slept on the edge of the platform.

Every morning she would serve us a cup of coffee, with sugar, but no milk, and we would have to wait for breakfast to be bought back from the market. My uncle's wife usually did that for us. Lunch was usually plaine rice porridge with a fried egg each. We added soy sauce and pepper to taste. Dinner was a little more lavish, with a meat dish and vegetables. I remembered her steamed mince pork was my favourite.

Grandma's family lived simple lives. They had no TV, no refrigerator, and no telephone for the longest time. I remembered my mother had to call a neighbour's house and she would holler over the fence and grandma would hurry over. Sometimes my mom would put the phone down first and call again in a minute to save on outstation-calls charges.

It was at her place I had a first hand experience of bathing by a well (getting water out with a bucket at the end of a string requires real skill, I discovered) and using a real outhouse, bucket toilet (tandas tong!!). The later probably gave me constipation for the years to come because I would try not to go as long as I could. It was really too disgusting to describe.


Ah... so many stories to tell... but will have to wait till I come back in a couple of days' time.
Now off to bed for I will be driving that 3 hour journey up north.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Under Currents

I'm in a frazzle.
I feel being swept under by a huge river.

Myron showed 3 little bumps on his feet this evening.
Gadget-daddy says don't panic. Don't be so negative.
I have booked a place at the doc's.
Going off soon to have it looked at.
My greatest fear: Hand-foot-mouth.

I was packing half way this evening.
I had called my mom and asked her to call my aunt in Taiping.
My grandma is dying. She would be 90 this year.
I had wanted to bring the boys to see their great-grandma for one last time.
Been thinking a lot about her the last few days.
She has not eaten for three weeks and now just sleeps all the time.
I am anxious: will we make it before it's too late?

Gotta go to the doctor's now.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Myron's Biscotti Bash

Myron is four months old!!

Well, tomorrow, actually, but we did a special four month old celebration for him.

There's this thing the Chinese do that is suppose to stop the babies from drooling (not like I actually believe in it, but this was more for the fun of it) which I had written before regarding Chinese Droology here.

Myron, Mommy has been singing this to you because you have been drooling a lot lately:

"Super drooly,
Darling baby,
Big, big eyes.

Super drooly,
Darling baby,
Cutie pie.

Super baby,
Darling drooly,
...Oh, I'm confused."

Anyway, here are some of the shots for the No-More-Drool celebration.
(and let's see if you'll actually droll less after this, though I seriously doubt it, as it did not work for Max either. Haha.)

It was the stringing of the biscuits,

Followered by the mouth-wiping ceremony,

(The ceremony was started by the two grandmas,
followed by Ee-ee, Ah Ku, Mom and Dad, and the the two older boys.)

and then dinner after that.

Myron with Mah-mah at the restaurant.

Happy four Months old, Beautiful Boy!!

Friday, 3 July 2009

Lotus Bonus Day

The boys had two specials today.

On the way to school, we picked up Ee-ee and Ah Ma. We had an errand to run.

As in habit, Max always asks for a surprise after school. But he insisted today that he did not want food, he wanted a toy*.

After we dropped the boys at school, and Gadget-daddy at Midvalley, we ran the errand and then headed for a special breakfast at Lotus Restaurant, at Jalan Gasing.

Ah Ma declared it was the best Indian breakfast she had had in ages.

Special Tea, Bathura (in the basket) and Rava Thosai

After that we picked the boys up and then Gadget-daddy from Midvalley on the way back.

Gadget-daddy informed us of some cars at display, but we decicded we better head home first as Myron would be waiting for Mommy.

Later in the evening we made a special trip just for the boys to have a look at the cars at display:
4 Lotus in a row!!

Just look at the thrill the boys had!

Despite the jam we had coming out of the parking, I'd say the trip was worth it.

* This is the day I congratulated myslef for buying the boys something else other than a car, and I did not even step into atoy shop. Instead I found these wonderful floor puzzles at MPH.

The boys really love them.