My "Too Cute"s

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Easy Peasy Cooking

Just to announce that I finally have the guts to share how I cook, online. It's still under construction, meaning to say that pictures are minimal. And the number of recipes are growing slowly but steadily. So if you are interested, you can click on my profile and then on the blog name or you can go directly to http://ezpzcooking.blogspot.com

In my cooking blog, I demonstrate that cooking is actually very simple and that you can cheat (sometimes, I make stuff from the tin). LOL I dedicate this blog to you, Ja.

Anyway, if you do try my recipes, do tell me if it works for you. I am most interested to know. Thank you.

I am not my hair: Confessions of a shallow wife

I am not my hair is actually a song by India Arie. I have actually heard it many times and everytime I hear it, the same thought would occur to me, "What does my hubby think when he hears this song? Is he going to start singing to me that he is not his hair? Oh noooooooooooo."

Should I admit that I could be a horrible wife? A wife who dictates how her hubby's hair should be? That I can be so shallow...Well then, so be it. I am a horrible wife who dictates how her husband's hair should be; BUT hear me out.

My hubby sometimes gets dandruff and gets so annoyed with the dandruff that he goes to the barber and shaves it all off. It's not like he's Yul Bryner who looks gorgeous bald or Telly Savalas who at least looks like he's a force to be reckoned with. My hubby just looks er hek er hek erm buruk or plain horrible when he's bald. He thinks otherwise though. You got to hand it to him....the man has got confidence! Or should I say a false image of himself? Hahahaha I keep telling him that he's a turn off when he's bald. I know he's still the same guy but hair can certainly do wonder. Just take Legolas (Orlando Bloom's character) from LOTR, e.g. or Gary Oldman in The Scarlet Letter, they look so different out of character. So, hair is important. They say that a woman's crowning glory is her hair. I think this applies to men as well. With the right hair, my hubby can look pretty yummy, if I do say so myself.

Anyway, I forbade (I know it sounds harsh) my hubby to shave his head. LOL as if I am that powerful. Despite my threats to go bald myself, my hubby did shave his head again, and again. I remember closing the door in his face when I saw his bald head and sheepish grin. Until recently, that is, coz in my attempts to save his hair, I have bought this wooden comb (from 1 Utama, and it helps) for like RM25.90 or RM29.90 (I'm not very good at remembering prices) and shampoos like Stieprox (RM46) and upon Halwafy's suggestion, Body Shop's ginger shampoo (RM30 something2). So far, he's still using the Stieprox and it has reduced his dandruff greatly. I'm happy he's happy. And as long as he doesn't resort to shaving again, I am happier. He, on the other hand, has no problem with shaving his hair though coz, to him, it'll grow back, but in the meantime...

Anyway, since there's a problem hyperlinking, here's the lyrics to the song. I have also included the website I got it from coz you can also listen to the song for free. Of course, India Arie's lyrics goes beyond the point that hair isn't important, neither is colour of skin and that it's the soul within that matters. Haha I'm sure my hubby will have a field day with the lyrics but what to do? I just don't like my hubby's bald look!

Artist Name- India Arie
Song lyrics- I am not my hair [Featuring Akon]

[Akon]
See I can kinda recall
A little way's back
Small, tryin' to ball
Always been black
And my hair I tried it all
Had a gumby curly and all that crap
tryin' to be appreciated
Nappy-headed brothers
Never had no ladies
Then i hit the barbor shop
Had em give me little twists
And they drove 'em crazy
Then I couldn't get no job
Cause corporate wouldn't hire no dread-locks
then I thought about my dogs from my block
Kinda understand why they chose the steel and rock
Was it the hair that got me this far?
All these girls, these cribs, these cars
I hate to say it
But it seem so flawed
Cause success didn't come till I cut it all off
[Indie.Aria]
Little girl with the press and curl
Age 8, I got a gerry curl
13 and I got a relaxer
I was the source of so much laughter
At 15, when it all broke off
18,when I went all natural
Feb. 22, went on and did
What I had to do
Cause it was time to change my life
To become the woman that I am inside
'97 dread locks all gone
Looked in the mirror
Felt the first time that...
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am the soul that lives within
Good hair means curls and waves
Bad hair means you look like a slave
At the turn of the century
It's time to redefine who we be
You can shave it all off like a South African beauty
Got it on lock like Bob Marley
You can rock it straight like Oprah Winfrey
It's not what's on your head
It's what's underneath
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations, no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am the soul that lives within
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am the soul that lives within
[Akon]
Who cares if you don't like that
With nothing to lose
Posted with the wave cap
And the cops wanna harrass
Cause I got waves
ain't seen nothin' like that
In all my days
Man you gotta change all this fear
Steady judgin' one another by their appearance
Yes India, I feel ya girl
Now go on and talk to the rest of the world
[India]
Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person?
Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend?
Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity?
I'm expressing my creativity!
Breast cancer
Chemo therapy
Took away her crown and glory
She promised dad if she was to survive
She would enjoy every day of her life
On national television
Her diamond eyes are sparkling
Bald-headed like a full moon shinin'
Singing out to the whole wide world...
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations, no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am the soul that lives within
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am the soul that lives within
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations, no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am the soul that lives within
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am the soul that lives within

http://www.circularmoney.com/artistlyrics/indiaarie/iiianmh.html

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I should have....

Through Link Referral, I have been visiting other sites which I normally don't do. One site that I found rather refreshing and liberating, as well as funny and interesting was www.ishouldhave.com. It's really funny what things people regret doing. Or NOT. It's a site worth visiting even if you don't want to unload your deepest darkest secret.

If you've noticed, I've linked it from my blog so that anyone who wants to make anonymous confessions can go there and get things off his or her chest.

Happy confessing!

A book review - Totto-chan: The Little Girl at the Window by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi

I couldn’t believe my eyes. Certainly, there was a funny assortment of books in the library. I don’t know who’s in charge of acquiring books in the library but I thank God for his or her good taste, even if it’s this one time. 8) Who would have thought that I’d come across this book again after all these years? Perhaps I never thought to look but I know that it is kismet that the book found me.

Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi was one of my childhood reads. I couldn’t remember exactly when I read it but it should be between 12 to 15 years of age. My friend N got me to read it because it’s one of her favourite books.

I don’t really remember the story but I remember that I liked it. A lot. All I remember is that it’s about a little girl and her school. So, being reunited with the books after so many years made me want to catch up with it immediately.

I re-read the book with great speed. Actually, to be honest, I don’t have the time to read it but it’s not a thick novel, and it’s not complicated. So, I recommend this book with great passion to whoever who hasn’t read this. It’s really a good book and it’s based on the recollections of the author Tetsuko Kuroyanagi of when she was a child. So, it’s not exactly fiction. After reading it, it makes me want to become a better mother and a better educator. If only everywhere in Malaysia, there is a school like Tomoe that doesn’t stifle a child’s curiosity and mould a child to some society’s preconceived notions, our children would grow up with their innocence intact and be better people.

The book is also like a tribute to the man who was her headmaster, and the creativity, patience and understanding he had in dealing with children. I have to say that when reading the book, I wished I had his wisdom, and her mother’s wisdom too.

The book begins with Totto (as Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, the author, was called as a child) being happy to be at school but totally oblivious to the fact that her class teacher was unhappy and at a loss at what to do with Totto. Apparently Totto was disruptive in class and disrupted her lessons by opening and closing her desk, which opens upwards (unlike her desk at home), and stand at the window to invite street musicians to perform for her and her classmates. Totto meant no harm but the teacher couldn’t control her. So Totto was expelled from school but her mother didn’t tell her that; she only said that they were to go to a new school.

And the new school was a in a train, and the school gateposts were growing. Amazing, isn’t it? Totto-chan was most curious if her schoolmaster was a stationmaster or a headmaster. Her mother asked her to ask the man himself and those were exactly one of the first words she uttered to him.
“What are you? A schoolmaster or a stationmaster?” she asked him spiritedly.
Her mother was embarrassed but before she had time to explain, the headmaster laughed and replied that he was the headmaster of the school.
Totto-chan was delighted and said, “Oh, I’m so glad, because I want to ask you a favor. I’d like to come to your school.”
And then the headmaster asked her to tell him anything she liked (without the presence of her mother) and she talked and talked and talked until she couldn’t think of anything else to say; and he listened with rapt interest. When she stopped, he informed her, “Now you are a pupil of this school.” He had listened to her talk for four solid hours until she had nothing else to say! How many people would do that?

I don’t want to reveal much about the book but just enough to entice you to read it. It’s not just for children, but I believe parents and teachers should also read this book as it shows us that children are capable of so much, and that we shouldn’t stifle their creativity and the excitement kids have towards life. So find the book and read it. It’s a keeper.

Here are some other reviews:
http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~prewett/writings/BookReviews/Totto-chan.html
http://daphne.blogs.com/books/2005/09/mini_review_tot.html

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Whhhhhhhyyyyyyyyy?

Mika has for some time now given up screaming for whining. If he doesn’t get his way, he’d start to whine and cry. It’s like a rotation. I think we’ve gone through his whining phase before. This is when we ignore him unless his cries are due to pain. Yesterday though, Mika took his whining to the highest level. He cried nearly the whole day. It actually started the day before. We went shopping and Mika wanted a golf set. He already has one; so I said no. I told him if he didn’t believe me, I would show it to him when we got back. And I did. I also told him the reason why his set was so high up was because he had used his golf stick as a weapon to hit people when he wasn't pleased with them.

That night, he kept asking for his box to be brought down even though I’d given him a putter from the set. He clearly wasn’t satisfied with only one stick. So, to my annoyance, he started to whine. And when I tell him, “No”, he goes, “Whyyyyyyyyyy?” Although he has the cutest way of saying it, too many whys does test one's patience. After sticking him with so many reasons, I finally gave up and started to use my husband’s answer to any query which he doesn’t want to give much thought to. For example, if Inez were to ask, “Why are they doing that?”; my hubby would say, “B’coz…they are too cute.” It used to work with Inez but for some time now, Inez would simply accept his answer then say, “AND…” Obviously, “too cute” doesn’t cut it anymore.

So when I told Mika it was because he was “too cute,” Mika immediately said that he didn’t want to be too cute. He wanted his box. And the boy is very single-minded. No matter how much you try to distract him from what he wants, he’d wake up the next morning asking for the very same thing he didn’t get the night before. So yesterday, his daddy took the box down only to have it kept again by his nana because out of 20 plastic golf balls, only 13 were recovered. God only knows where the other 7 went. So with every chance he got, he whined to my mom, whined to my dad, and then whined to me when I came back from work. Whine, whine, whine. Anyone with hearing found him soooooo irritating. I tried to interest him to play hide and seek. It didn't work. I was already preparing a vege dish. I was soooo annoyed that I told him if he didn't shush it, I'd stick the carrot into his mouth. Surprisingly, that got him quiet. As he was about to open his mouth, I showed him the carrot again. He immediately closed his mouth. Interesting, I thought. I suppose after that, he got tired of whining, coz he went to sleep.

Today, however, boy woke up all cheery. It’s amazing! It’s like the two days never happened.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Inez is Competitive

Only the other day, Flowerin, my blogger friend was saying that she's worried about her daughter's competitive nature. It turns out my daughter is the same! We knew she was competitive but we didn't realise to what extent she was competitive.

One night, Inez and Mika decided that they wanted to race from one end of the carpet to the other end of the carpet with a ball between their legs. So, on your mark, get ready and go, and the two kids were off jumping, each with a ball between their feet and the first round Inez won. So I said, now it's Mommy's turn. Winner gets to compete with a new guy, since there are only 2 balls. And so of course I won. So Mika's out and it's Daddy's turn. Then it's Inez against her Daddy.

Now they wanted to walk with the ball between their legs, so 1st round, it was between Inez and Mika again and this time round, Inez won again. And we got Mika to say "Congratulations" to Inez; and Inez to say to Mika, "You can do it!"

But later, when Inez lost, she didn't want to shake Mika's hands. What a sore loser, I thought. What are we going to do?

So we continued the race. Since Inez lost, she's out. So, Mika raced with me. I lost on purpose and congratulated Mika and Mika assured me that I could do it. When Inez wanted to race in my place. I said, "No, Inez. Since you did not congratulate anyone just now, you can't play anymore. If you did, you are going to be frustrated many times because you are NOT going to win every time. If you want to play, you have to be a good loser and congratulate the winner and enjoy yourself playing/ racing."

Inez was silent for a while. Then she disappeared into her room for a while. It turned out she went to get some stuff and made sort of a barrier or hurdle in the middle of the carpet. She said she wouldn't be racing coz she was a bad loser but everyone else could. When we reached the barrier of toy bears and drums and cushions, we had to jump over it. Whoever reached the end of the carpet first, won. Woho, this was going to be how it was... So my hubby and I exaggerated our enjoyment when playing this new race she created but couldn't join in and made a fuss over congratulating each other that suddenly, Inez wanted to join in too. So we asked her if she was going to be a bad loser. She said, "No."

And we tested it. Sometimes we made sure we won, and sometimes we lost to her but Inez did not keep her hand to herself now. Tonight, maybe we'll race again and see if she needs reminding.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Of Rainbows and Monsoon Rain


Today, I was telling my friend that I saw a rainbow at the beginning of the week, perhaps Monday, while driving to work. It's been a long time since I last saw a rainbow that I was smiling all the way to work. Spotting a rainbow is like spotting a shooting star for me. It's not an everyday occurance. It makes my day. So my friend went, "That's good. It isn't everyday you see a rainbow," which got me wondering if it was really a good thing or a bad. I'm not being superstitious here but right after, the monsoon rain came pouring. LOL

Anyway, my friend was stranded in Segamat for some days coming back from Batu Pahat, I haven't spoken to her yet coz she's been busy catching up on work. Luckily for her, her family was with her. Imagine, if her family hadn't followed, she'd be frantic about getting back to her young `uns. While she was away, we back here were talking about how bad the flood situation was. Another friend was talking about how her friend lost all his cats to the flood, coz water went up to the roof. There wasn't time to save anything, let alone cats.

Today, thank God, the rain has stopped for a while, and we saw the sun. Basically, good weather. Alhamdulillah. But one thing I don't get about floods is how some people like to "main air bah" or play with flood water. It's just icky and dirty, and most importantly, dangerous, especially if you are walking with yor slippers off. You don't know what you might be stepping on.

I remember when I was young, and water got into our rented house, only up to the steps. I don't remember water getting into the house and when water was receding, there were moving things in the water: black and slimy. I dunno if they were snakes or eels or worms! Imagine stepping on one of those. Euuw!


On a lighter note, I'm glad I found and bought raincoats for my kids. They are usng the raincoats now every day and I don't worry about them getting wet and chilled. Well worth the money I spent.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

My Amateurish Cupcakes


I finally bought all the stuff I needed to make Inez's cupcakes. I got myself disposable piping bags, an icing nozzle, some red ladybirds (made out of sugar and damned sweet). Everything else, I figured I already got.

I wanted something light and maybe spongy for the cake and used this lemon roll cake recipe. No lemon in the cake, only lemon in the filling, plus it's easy to make; so I thought, "Perfect!" For the icing, I used whipped cream, divided it into 2 portions: one of which I added about 2 drops of dark green colouring to. In my mind, my ladybug will be nestled in some green leaves on white background.

So here's the cake recipe:

Ingredients
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp cold water
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

First, in a mixing bowl, beat sugar and eggs until creamy. Then add in cold water. Then add in flour, salt and baking powder mixture and stir. Put about 2 spoonfuls into the paper cups and bake in a heated oven for about 10 - 12 minutes, or until cake springs back.

For the icing, I simply whipped the whipping cream. I didn't add any sugar as it was already sweet and using my creativity. Voila! 3 ladybugs on some leaves, 1 ladybug on a green heart and 1 ladybug in a green circle of 'leaves', which don't look like leaves. Still need some practice I think.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Black and White

Sometimes I get some very interesting stuff in my mailbox and instead of the usual forwarding I do, I thought, why not put it in my blog this time. Here's one food for thought.

Harry Potter vs The Matrix

Last night, aloud, I wondered what the last Harry Potter book would be like. My youngest sis was quick to answer that she thinks he's gonna die. I went, "Oh nooo! Not another Matrix!"

"He died?"

"Didn't he?" I replied. Actually I don't really remember. The whole trilogy is like a vague memory to me and apparently for my sis too. "She didn't die, right?" my sis asked refering to Carrie Anne Moss's character.

"Nope, she died too."

Last night I answered with utmost confidence that she died, and he died and he died because he finally understood what being the chosen one meant. He finally realised that he had to sacrifice himself for the greater good; if not evil will prevail. The ending was like the resurrection of Christ or something, so that the world wouldn't come to an end. And then things sorta went back to normal, or something; and I can't even remember what I had thought of that.

I don't know and at that time, I didn't really care. I had more important things to think about than the philosophy of the Matrix. The same sentiment applies to the present time.


But to follow Harry Potter or Harry Pothead as my hubby would call him, only to see him have the same fate as Neo is kinda crushing. Is he gonna die? Who else is going to die? My sis seems to want Ginny to be a casualty too. I guess we'll just have to wait for the book to be released. Btw, the fifth movie will be released July next year. And that's like a heartbeat away considering how fast time flies these days. I don't know about you but I am not so charmed by Daniel Radcliff's portrayal of Harry Potter. Don't think he can act as well as the actors playing Ron and Hermione. He's kinda stiff. Just like watching Jennifer Garner in Alias or even Keanu Reeves, for that matter. Love Keanu Reeves in Speed though. That's like my all time favourite action movie.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first movie though. The rest are kinda boring and I found myself falling asleep midway. That's very unlike me. So I suppose the movies are for die-hard fans only. The books are of course decidedly better and I guess for me, I watch the movies to get a better idea, for example of what a Quidditch game is like, and so on. So, although, I am not a fan of Harry Potter movies, I still look forward to seeing the book being brought to life.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Peach Cobbler


This recipe is actually courtesy of Tobi Breternitz of Bay Port, Michigan who sent in her recipe for Apricot Peach Cobbler to Tastes of Home's Recipe Card Collection Magazine (volume 5, 2004 issue). I actually first tasted this simply scrumptious dessert when my friend made it for Berbuka last Ramadhan. However, it's a little on the sweet side for me. So I usually reduce the sugar. My kids on the other hand only ate the cake topping that I just make the topping on its own sometimes in a tiny rectangular cake tin abt 3 x 5 inches. It takes about 5 minutes to mix it up and half an hour to bake. You don't even need a mixer. My kids love it.

I will give the original recipe given by Toni and comment on the side the changes made.

Apricot Peach Cobbler
1 can (29 ounces) sliced peaches (I only use the Peach, hence, Peach Cobbler.)
1 can (15 ounces) apricot halves (Didn't put in apricots)
1/2 cup sugar (Give the syrup a taste, if you think it's not sweet enough, add just enough, even 1/4 cup is still very sweet for me and my family)
2 tablespoons cornstarch (abt 1 tbsp)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter (I like butter, but you can reduce this to 1/2 tbsp)
TOPPING
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar (I usually reduce this to 1/4 cup.)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, softened
HONEY CREAM
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons honey (I usually put in a tsp of honey and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Drain peaches, reserving 1/2 cup syrup. Drain apricots, reserving 1/2 cup syrup. Cut apricots in half; set fruit aside. In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg,and reserved syrups until smooth. Bring to boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in butter until melted. Stir in peaches and apricots. Transfer to a greased 8-in, square baking dish. For topping, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add egg and butter; mix well. spoon over fruit. Bake at 350 deg for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. In a mixing bowl, beat cream, honey and cinnamon until stiff peaks form. serve with warm cobbler. Yield: 6-8 servings.
By the way, the picture above is not my own, but it's from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Peach-Cobbler-VI/Detail.aspx and it's the closest pix that resembles what the recipe above yields. You can also click on the link and try the other recipe. It doesn't use apricots either.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cool Colouring Link for Kids

It's not easy to find a colouring link that caters to both your boy's needs and girl's needs but I found one, and it's cool because it has colouring pages ranging from alphabet to cartoon characters like Mr Men, Raggedy Ann and Andy, Powerpuff Girls, Medabots, Transformers, Winnie the Pooh, Barbie, Thomas the Train, you name it to holiday pictures, transportation, and firefighters and rainbows and flowers. And it's quite up to date, they even have Happy Feet. And Card Captors. We've struck gold, people; so why don't you check out this site coz it even has online colouring and drawing programme. You tell me, cool or not?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Kids Say the Darnest Things; They Really Do! (Edited in purple due to new information)

The other day, I was talking to my mom in the car and Inez was asking me a question about something and I remember replying, "Oh this, you have to ask your Nana because she has a better memory."
To my mom, I said, "I don't know why, but I think my memory is very poor compared to yours."
The next night, I asked Inez to pick up her toys, and do you know what she said, "Oh Mommy, Inez forgot. Inez is so like you, Mommy; Inez has poor memory."
Back at me, how can I scold her for being so like me?
"But Inez, my dear, you are young, you are not supposed to have a poor memory."

Yesterday, my brother was telling me that Inez is now a liar because when he was outside washing his car, the children came out to play bicycle and they rode out onto the main road which they were not supposed to. In fact, they couldn't even play outside if there was nobody to supervise them. So when he asked them who allowed them out, Inez answered that Nana had given them permission to go outside and play. When my brother asked my mom, my mom said, "No such thing! I did not give them permission to go out." It turned out according to Mom, when the kids saw my brother going outside, Inez quickly went over to the TV, switched it off, called to Mika and she heard her say, "Mika, Uncle Juhan's outside. Yay, now we can go outside to play bicycle!" and out they went. So their Uncle Juhan confronted Inez and said, "Inez, don't lie to Uncle Juhan. I can ask Nana and find out from her."

Do you know what she answered? "What I did just now, I don't remember and I also don't know what I'm doing now." BIG SIGH!

And just like that she got herself out of that tangle. When Juhan told my husband about what the kids did and said, I realised the story is not complete. Hence this update.

That evening, when my brother told them to tidy up their toys, Inez said that she had forgotten again due to poor memory and that she was tired. She didn't get a good night's sleep the night before. Where do they learn all this?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Zul's Family Day(s) and Inez's Birthday

This year we celebrated Inez birthday in Kuala Trengganu. We almost didn't go because my husband had thought of going to KT on his own for his company's Family Day. Only the night before he said that he wanted to bring us along. I went, "Whaaa! I got something on at work. I said okay to it because I didn't expect to take leave. So what's the earliest time you'd like to leave?" My hubby answered, "Noon, but take your time; don't rush."

So I figured if I missed the time, only my hubby would go. There was an preliminary interview session going on the next morning and I was supposed to be one of the panelists for lack of better people. I'm being modest here, lol. It ended at 1 p.m. and so I took a half day leave that day and a full day leave the next day and we left for KT at 3 p.m. Mika slept throughout the journey and Inez slept through the first half of the journey. We had to wake Mika up when we arrived. He sure wasn't happy about it. He was also not dressed for it and he wasn't happy about being changed either.

The dinner started at 8 p.m. We were told we were supposed to go to a Jim Resort and I was wondering what food we would be eating coz I was soooo Goddamn hungry! I told my hubby that the food had better be good but he said he wouldn’t bet on it. It turns out that Jim Resort was a place called Gem Beach Resort about 30 minutes away from KT town near somewhere called Bukit Rakit or Batu Rakit( ?) and it unexpectedly gorgeous. Haha you could tell we didn't have a high expectation of that Jim Resort at all. My hubby said if the price was right we’d stay the night there. One room costs about RM160.00. Okay la.

My hubby was actually standing in for his boss who couldn't make it, and he had to give a speech too. We found the idea of him giving a speech funny, and he was soo totally unprepared for it. He’d thought he’d have some time to prepare before the dinner but just after he sat down, he was called upon to give a speech and officiate the Family Day Dinner. I must say he winged it pretty well, after a rather boring intro. Towards the end, he had the audience's attention and one could see he was getting more comfortable on the stage and he was cracking jokes. Then, it was the award giving ceremony and then makan! Food was not bad, quite tasty. Do remember I was starving. We had ikan masin, some sotong dish, curry fish, fried cabbage, kerabu mangga, ayam goreng rempah, sup ayam or chicken soup which the kids ate with rice and fish crackers, but mostly they drank the soup and ate the keropok. Mika ate watermelon for dessert. Inez? Hmmph, don’t ask.

After dinner, there was lucky draw for the staff, and there ended the Family Day Dinner. It was a very simple affair.

Then we went to our room. It was okay. Not too shabby. And I dunno what fascination my kids have got for hotel rooms but they are just quite contented to be in the room although they was nothing much for them to do. They ransacked the room for hotel paper and pen and found none. In the end, we had to give them whatever scraps of paper we had so that they could draw and write.

The next day, Friday, (Dec 8) was actually Inez’s birthday and she woke up smiling. Mika on the other hand had pee-ed on the bed b’coz it was so cold. I was so upset coz he was sleeping on the wet patch. The reason he gave, “I cover it, Mommy!” I had to consciously stop myself from laughing. Oh I should have used the spare diaper I had brought just in case. I told him I would tell his friend, Luq all about it if he did it again. So far, no more accidents. I guess one should always expect an accident or two.

So, for breakfast, I met my friend and her hubby at the famous shop in KT where a fish head curry was priced at RM45. It was in the papers. We ate the Nasi Dagang there. Okay laa. I still prefer the Kelantanese version. And then we headed back home. We didn’t really spend time in KT or explore KT coz apparently my hubby had to go to work. He’s still new, so he hasn’t got that many leaves.

So that night, I cooked us a dinner of prawn sambal with petai, Thai basil chicken, fishball soup for the kids and one lettuce dish, and prepared some sushi with fried egg and beef and black fungus filling and invited my mom and brother over. And we bought a cake for Inez. Before we could sing the birthday song, she’d blown out the candles and mutilated the cake.

The next night, we celebrated her birthday and our anniversary at a Thai restaurant with my parents, my brother and his two friends. Alas, both my kids were sleeping. I told Inez we’d throw her a party next year, maybe some time in January. And that she’d have to participate in the party games. If not, we will never ever throw her another party in her childhood. I never said I would not throw one for Mika which she can tumpang. So she was very excited about the party and in planning the party games until Sunday, when we went for my husband’s yet another Family Day (the real one) at De Rhu Beach Resort. When the MC called for all children to participate in the Limbo Rock, my children both refused to join in. My hubby joined the adult male category though. Haha He immediately got backache after that. It’s amazing how low they went. I think they stopped at 3 ft. Yg gendut pun boley buat. Some didn’t even realize what they were capable of. They joined in for the fun of it. Amazing!

Anyway, I haven’t made my girl her cupcakes yet. That will have to wait till her party. If you have any excellent cupcake recipes and ideas, feel free to share. I’m all ears. Or should I say eyes? Thank you.

Favourite Car

This morning, Mika found his father’s old Motor Trader and got excited at seeing so many pictures of cars. He pointed to one and announced that this was his favourite car. I took a look at it and saw that it was a Subaru Imprezza Wagon in ultramarine blue. What a coincidence coz his father’s many dream cars included an Imprezza though I doubt his Imprezza was a wagon. So I said, “Go, Mika, go show Daddy what your favourite car is. Inez, go and show your Daddy as well.”

So, the both of them climbed onto our bed, bringing the magazine with them, and started pointing at their favourite cars.
“Daddy! Daddy! I like this car! This is my favourite car,” Mika said.
“And this one is my favourite car,” said Inez, not to be left out, pointing at a blood red Toyota Celica 1.8 VVTi.

Both my kids seem to have very high taste in cars.

My husband who didn’t have his specs on had to peer at the pictures. I knew he did not favour Wagon, so I guessed he pointed to one he liked and asked Mika, “What about this car, Mika?”
Mika was really quick to reply, “That is your favourite car.”

Hahahahaha I found that entirely amusing. When I picked a car myself and showed it to the kids, they said it was very yellowish. I had pointed to them a yellow Volkswagon. Funny kids.

Monday, December 04, 2006

My Little Woman and My Little Man

I am proud to announce that both my kids are OFF disposable diapers day and night! I am very proud of them. No more accidents. I think the last time was more an isolated case because my son was sick 6 days ago. I dun know what came over him, whether it's food poisoning or gas, but he started vomitting until there was nothing to vomit. Before he went to sleep, he asked for milk despite having eaten half a bowl of mac and cheese. At about nearly midnight, he started whimpering in his room. I rushed to see what he wanted. I thought he wanted to use the toilet but before I could do anything or he could say something, he vomitted all over me and himself and the carpet in the room, the floor and some part of the mattress. Out came the milk and some mac and cheese, and some more mac and cheese. Some came out in whole pieces, I was like, "Doesn't he chew?" Oh, soooo stinky. I had to wash the carpet 3 times before I got rid of the smell completely.

I took him to the toilet, stripped him, washed him and put him on my bed. Then 10 minutes later, while I was cleaning myself up, he started crying again. This time he vomitted all over the floor of my room. Out came more mac and cheese and milk. Took him to the toilet again, washed his face, rinsed his mouth.
"Mommy, Mika wants water."
"Okay, Mommy get you water."
Then like after 2 minutes, he vomitted the water. The water looked slightly yellowish. And he was crying in pain. I feel his pain. It's like morning sickness all over again, especially when you haven't got anything else to vomit out. From there on, his vomit became yellowish greenish. I kept giving him water. A medical book said to give juice and dry cracker. It did not keep him from vomitting. But at least he wasn't vomitting green stuff. He was vomitting the juice and cracker. Throughout the night, he did vomit and by morning, there were four wet patches on the bed, vomit in a container and one of the patches was pee coz he didn't have time to inform us and get to the toilet himself coz he was soooo weak already by that time. However, he didn't have diarrhoea. According to the medical book, if he continues to puke after 6 hours, I should take him to the hospital. Basically, after 6 hours he stopped. Actually thank God the book was there, it's Miriam Stoppard's A-Z Medical Book and mine is lost. But my friend has just ordered a copy and we used my address since she's away for work. I remembered her copy was with me and used it. And my husband was on his way back from KB, so it was only me dealing with all this crap.

By 7 a.m., he'd stop vomitting, and I monitored his intake of fluids and his temperature. This time, all the fluid stayed in. I gave him water every half hour. Made him porridge but he didn't want to eat. That night we took him to the clinic because he was warm. There was no fever, however.

After 6 days, my boy still has no appetite. I see him shrinking before my eyes. I give him milk, he says it's yucky, I give him food, he spits it out. There were a few times his appetite seemed to have come back and he was eating quite well, like 10 fishballs 2 days ago and some nuggets yesterday and fries 2 nights ago but they're not enough and they're the only stuff he'd eat. It's better than nothing I say. According to the doctor last night, if he doesn't improve, we'll have to get him hospitalised. I hope it won't get that far and that today is a better day for him.

On the bright side, nobody's wearing diapers anymore coz they've grown. They're now my little woman and my little man.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Of Happy Feet and books

Now there's a new movie out, Barnyard! I've just watched Happy Feet with the kids and they aren't too happy about it. Neither was I, as a matter of fact. Too many songs I guess that became part of the dialogue. It was like watching a long karaoke session. Yawn! I felt for Mumble though and imagined what it was like for the poor penguins we saw in Underwater World, Langkawi. After 3 days, Mumble lost his voice, and after 3 months, he lost his mind. That got me wondering if we were looking at demented penguins there!

Then again, I was watching these new VCDs I bought for the kids called Letters from Felix, about a toy rabbit called Felix who travelled the world and wrote home to his owner Sophie about his adventures. In one episode, he found himself in the South American jungles and some animals, a jaguar, a toucan and a sloth (not too sure)on particular, purposefully got themselves caught by poachers to live in a zoo; only they weren't going to a zoo but to a restaurant that served exotic animals. So, if you believe one, you'd have to believe the other, right? I guess you'd have to be demented too, right, to want to go live in a zoo?

Anyway, they liked Over the Hedge, and Madagascar. Mika watched Monster House through his fingers. We haven't watched Ant Bully yet, but we should, coz it's about a destroyer and Mika's a destroyer too. He likes to kill bugs and he thinks he's doing us a service. Some months ago, I found a ladybug and excitedly called to my hubby and the kids. My husband picked up the ladybug and gave them a close-up look of it and accidentally dropped the ladybug on the ground. Immediately, Mika stomped the life out of that bug. Let's hope after the movie, he'll change.

The other day I bought Hansel and Gretel VCD for them. Not bad. It had Dakota Fanning but she wasn't the main character. Inez watched it twice and wanted to watch some more but Inez's Daddy said it's time to watch big people show, so she hasn't asked to watch it for the 3rd time yet. She's very into fairy tales now.

I remember I loved fairy tales as well, and my mom told us quite a number of fairy tales like the one about the king who wanted to marry his own daughter because she looked so much like his wife. She said yes upon the condition that a dress like the moonlight was made for her and the king made it happen. She then asked for a dress like the sun and the rainbow. After that she escaped and worked as a servant in a nearby kingdom. When the young king threw a ball, she attended in her 3 dresses, and the young king was very smitten with her but knew not where to find her until she dropped her ring by accident into his broth. And they lived happily ever after. I remember making my mom tell me that story over and over again. When I was old enough to read, I read all the Ladybird books like The Elves and The Shoemaker, The Gingerbread Man, etc. When I was about 11, I read all the Andrew Lang fairy books I could find in the library: The Red Fairy Book, The Yellow, the Olive, I think there are 12 altogether. I found them in Acmamall and bought the whole set. Working Mom has one set too. My daughter would usually bring out a book sometimes and ask for a fairy tale or two. Since I have to read aloud, I usually choose short ones. Mika is not into fairy tales yet (or ever, I dunno) but it's nice that he loves books too. He likes the Grolier ones with Opposite Words, etc. and of course Dora the Explorer!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Caterpillar lives in a raccoon?

Usually, when we go back home at night, I'd slow the car down when we approach the rubbish area coz if you're lucky, you get to see the three little pigs. Not exactly accurate. You'd get to see a papa wild boar or a mama wild boar or both and their two kiddie wild boars or just with one of the kiddies or any one of the boars. One morning, we saw a huge monitor lizard. We love going by the rubbish dump area coz it's like our very own safari adventure. But alas, that night, we didn't get to see anything. So Inez thought that we were too late, the wild boars must be home sleeping. I looked at the time and told her since it was still quite early, they're probably on their way.
"You mean they're still awake?"
I said, "Yes, there are some animals that are only awake at night, Do you know any?"
"Is it like raccoon ah Mommy?" Inez asked.
Suddenly Mika was saying, "Caterpillar lives in raccoon."
I'm like, "Huh? Do you know what's a raccoon?" which sent Inez going, "I know, I know, I know! It's like [what'shername] in PB and J Otter!" and Mika went, "Yes! Caterpillar lives in raccoon and then it push its way out and it's a beautiful butterfly!" I laughed. Was I slow at getting what he was trying to say or what? Should've guessed he was going in that direction.
"Oh, Mika, you're a clever boy but it's pronounced COCCoon!" and he dutifully repeated coccoon after me, and said, "Yeah, caterpillar lives in coccoon and pushes its way out and becomes a beautiful butterfly!"
They are back home by the way. Aah, missed them so much!

Monday, November 27, 2006

It's all about Sushi




If you had asked me a year ago if I liked sushi, I'd have straight out answered, "No!" followed by an "Eeuuw! I think sushi is an acquired taste," and I'm the type of person who'd give it a try before coming to a conclusion whether I like something or not. And that was based on eating sushi some time back. But if you ask me again today, I'd answer, "Yes!" Somehow, over the months, I have acquired the taste for sushi. It all started with my friend Mums, (pronounced Mooms), who made me sushi when I went visiting. It wasn't the typical sushi, so I ate some. My friend sorta tempura-ed her crabstick and carrot stick before rolling them up. Then my friend Yap brought back some sushi she bought from Carrefour. And then I went to another friend's house for berbuka and she made sushi and some Korean dishes. Then Yap gave me some homemade sushi, and suddenly I was craving to eat sushi. I started buying my own sushi and had spent a small fortune; so I decided to learn to make my own.




I called my friends up and to start off, I bought Japanese short grained sticky rice, wasabi, and seaweed/nori, Japanese mayonaise, and Japanese rice vinegar. For the filling, since I'm new at this plus we don't have a Japanese specialty shop here, I made do with Japanese cucumber, carrot sticks, crabstick, and fried omelette. Yap did a combo with tuna and Japanese cucumber.




According to my friend you can cook the rice as you normally would in a rice cooker but add extra water. Actually there are instructions on how to cook the rice on the back of the packet. So cook 1 cup of Japanese rice. When it's cooked, in a bowl put in 4 tsps of rice vinegar, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar. Stir and add to hot rice; mix well.




Usually you don't spread hot rice on the seaweed or it'll melt, and always wet your hands when dealing with the sticky rice or the rice will stick to your hands/ fingers.




Okay, now on a sushi mat/ cling wrap, place a sheet of nori, shiny side down. First time I did it, I didn't have a mat yet, so I just used a cling wrap - okay laa. But you can also use aluminium foil.




Lightly press rice on bottom two thirds of nori, and then squeeze the Japanese mayonaise along the bottom edge of the nori on the rice. Put your preferred filling such as cucumber strips on top of the mayonaise, and if you like it hot, finish with a few drops of wasabi. My friend Yap uses crab sticks (which she bakes in the oven for a few minutes), egg omellette, and hot and spicy Ayam brand tuna as filling for her sushi.


Then using the mat, roll up sushi tightly, moistening the edges to seal and let rest.


Cut sushi with a sharp knife and arrange on a platter. Serve with wasabi and soy sauce. Usually, it's Kikkoman soy sauce.




For the uninitiated, here below is some info on different types of sushi. By the way, according to my sis, if you have thyroid problems, you shouldn't eat sushi b'coz seaweed has a very high content of iodine.


Types of sushi


The common ingredient in all the different kinds of sushi is sushi rice. Variety arises in the choice of the fillings and toppings, the other condiments, and in the manner they are put together. The same ingredients may be assembled in various different ways:




* Nigiri-zushi (hand-formed sushi). Arguably the most typical form of sushi at restaurants, it consists of an oblong mound of sushi rice which is pressed between the palms of the hands, with a speck of wasabi and a thin slice of a topping (neta) draped over it, possibly tied up with a thin band of nori. Assembling nigirizushi is surprisingly difficult to do well. It is sometimes called Edomaezushi, which reflects its origins in Edo (present-day Tokyo) in the 18th century. It is often served two to an order.




* Gunkan-maki (軍艦巻 - warship roll). An oval, hand-formed clump of sushi rice (similar to that of nigiri-zushi) has a strip of nori wrapped around its perimeter to form a vessel that is filled with some ingredient that requires the confinement of the nori, for example, roe, natto, or less conventionally, macaroni salad. The gunkanmaki was invented at Kyubei restaurant (est. 1932) in Ginza.




* Makizushi (rolled sushi). A cylindrical piece, formed with the help of a bamboo mat, called a makisu. Makizushi is generally wrapped in nori, a sheet of dried seaweed that encloses the rice and fillings, but can occasionally be found wrapped in a thin omelette.[1] Makizushi is usually cut into six or eight pieces, which constitute an order.




* Futomaki (large rolls). A large cylindrical piece, with the nori on the outside. Typical futomaki are two or three centimeters thick and four or five centimeters wide. They are often made with two or three fillings, chosen for their complementary taste and color. During the Setsubun festival, it is traditional in Kansai to eat the uncut futomaki in its cylindrical form.




* Hosomaki (thin rolls). A small cylindrical piece, with the nori on the outside. Typical hosomaki are about two centimeters thick and two centimeters wide. They are generally made with only one filling.




* Kappamaki, a kind of hosomaki filled with cucumber, is named after the Japanese legendary water imp fond of cucumbers, the kappa.




* Tekkamaki is a kind of hosomaki filled with tuna. The "tekka" (鉄火) means "gambling" as they were often eaten while gambling.




* Uramaki (inside-out rolls). A medium-sized cylindrical piece, with two or more fillings. Uramaki differ from other maki because the rice is on the outside and the nori within. The filling is in the center surrounded by a liner of nori, then a layer of rice, and an outer coating of some other ingredient such as roe or toasted sesame seeds. Typically thought of as an invention to suit the American palate[2], uramaki is not commonly seen in Japan. The California roll is a popular form of uramaki. The increased popularity of sushi in North America, as well as around the world, has resulted in numerous different kinds of uramaki and regional off-shoots being created. Regional types include the B.C. roll (salmon) and Philadelphia roll (cream cheese).


+ The dynamite roll includes prawn tempura.


+ The rainbow roll features sashimi layered outside the rice.


+ The spider roll includes fried soft-shell crab.


+ Other rolls include scallops, spicy tuna, beef or chicken teriyaki, okra, vegetarian, and cheese.




Brown rice and black rice rolls have also appeared.




* Gimbap, a Korean dish, is similar to makizushi. It was adapted into a Korean dish sometime during colonial rule.[3]




* Temaki (hand rolls). A large cone-shaped piece, with the nori on the outside and the ingredients spilling out the wide end. A typical temaki is about ten centimeters long, and is eaten with the fingers since it is too awkward to pick up with chopsticks.




* Oshizushi (pressed sushi). A block-shaped piece formed using a wooden mold, called an oshibako. The chef lines the bottom of the oshibako with the topping, covers it with sushi rice, and presses the lid of the mold down to create a compact, rectilinear block. The block is removed from the mold and cut into bite-sized pieces.




* Inari-zushi (stuffed sushi). A pouch of fried tofu filled usually with just sushi rice. It is named after the Shinto god Inari, whose messenger, the fox, is believed to have a fondness for fried tofu. The pouch is normally fashioned from deep-fried tofu (油揚げ or abura age). Regional variations include pouches made of a thin omelet (帛紗寿司 or ukusazushi) or dried gourd shavings (干瓢 or kanpyo).




* Chirashizushi (scattered sushi). A bowl of sushi rice with the other ingredients mixed in. Also referred to as barazushi.o Edomae chirashizushi (Edo-style scattered sushi) Uncooked ingredients artfully arranged on top of the rice in the bowl.o Gomokuzushi (Kansai-style sushi). Cooked or uncooked ingredients mixed in the body of the rice in the bowl.




* Narezushi is an older form of sushi. Skinned and gutted fish are stuffed with salt then placed in a wooden barrel, doused with salt again, and weighed down with a heavy tsukemonoishi (pickling stone). They are salted for ten days to a month, then placed in water for 15 minutes to an hour. They are then placed in another barrel, sandwiched, and layered with cooled steamed rice and fish. Then this mixture is again partially sealed with otosibuta and a pickling stone. As days pass, water seeps out, which must be removed. Six months later, this funazush can be eaten, and it remains edible for another six months or more.




For sushi recipes, do visit these sites:




The above site has step by step pictures.










So far, I can't bring myself to eat the raw stuff yet but the cooked toppings, and fillings, I'm okay with.

Did I just die and go to cupcake heaven?











Inez's birthday is coming. So this time round, after that disastrous episode with Mikael's cakes, I thought I'd make cupcakes. Inez would love cupcakes! So I started searching for recipes and this is what I found. I lifted these pix off a cool blog called Cupcakestakethecake. The blog doesn't really provide recipes but they have some interesting links including:




http://bossacafez.blogspot.com/




which leads to:




http://cupcakeblog.com/index.php/




which leads to other gorgeous sites, all have which have beautiful cupcake recipes. No way I could come up with cupcakes like in the pictures but they are sooooo pretty, don't you think? Wouldn't one be inspired? I'll find one easy recipe that is managable and see if it turns out anything like the pictures.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Casino Royale at long last!

The moment the movie was out, my husband was excited about watching Casino Royale. The first time we went, we were 20 minutes late and were too early for the next show that was at 9:40 p.m. as the children would be sleepy and cranky.
The second time we went, the guy in front of me bought the last tickets for the 9:05 p.m. movie. Yeah, no luck again. But had we bought tickets, we would have been cricking our neck from the first row.
But we did finally watch it. Do remember that my kids aren't with me at the moment. So, we took the opportunity to have a be-early anniversary western dinner of Black Pepper lamb Chops and Grilled Salmon in Lemon Butter sauce and yea, watch James Bond! When we finally got to watch it, I was more interested to see if the new Bond smiled at all. Yes Nell, he didn't just frown the whole time though he did have a Zoolander pout going on, but yes, he smiled and quite a number of times too! The first was at the Ocean Club when he snuck into the security control room after posing as a valet, banging the Rover into a fence. (Hah, even I can do that!) And when he was chatting up the receptionist, and next when Vesper Lynd noticed "perfectly-formed" tush and he replied, "You noticed," and after that I stopped counting.
Anyway, after all the reports about Daniel Craig this and Daniel Craig that, you know: can't drive a stick, too short, too blond etc., etc., I must say I kinda like him being Bond. I mean, he's got big boots to fill, yet he filled them very well. He was very cool, had this air of nonchalance about him and wears his clothes well. Must applaud the director for bringing out the best of Bond in Craig. Or should it be the best of Craig in Bond? Whatever. I say this because the movie shows a very deliberate Bond, a guy who assesses the situation before acting on it, and makes calculated risks.
Does this movie seem to you like it has the most fight scenes? I think so, coz I keep seeing Bond beating up one dude after another. And I do think this is the first Bond movie ever to exploit Bond himself rather than the Bond girls. Then again, this is the prequel. So I guess the exploitation of Bond girls comes later. Haha Also, you get to see the lovey dovey and tender part of Bond though the death scene was a bit overdone, and I think if not for the dialogue, there wasn't that much chemistry between him and Vesper. I mean there was, but not enough. You know how in some movies, you'd go, "Oh kiss each other already, why don't you?" in exasperation but in this movie, not really. So the script was good though the ending was a wee bit abrupt but on the whole, if you haven't yet caught the movie; go watch it! Daniel Craig portrayed Bond as realistic as a Bond can get, OR go watch for his abs! Mmmm Doesn't he remind anyone of a more rugged version of Nick Lachey, Jessica Simpson's ex?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What to do? What to do?

"Inez, wake up! You are going to KL today!"

"Today? So fast ah Inez is going to KL already?"

"Yea, come and give Mommy a hug."

"It's okay, Mommy." She came to give me a hug, and then sat facing me. "Now you can go to work early," she reasoned. "The house will be tidy because there's nobody to mess up the house and you don't have to go to the beach."

BUT oh! How my heart crumbled into a gazillion pieces and how I felt like a horrible and bad mommy but in my defense, it takes 1 hour to get to my workplace, partly due to traffic light jam and distance, unless one leaves the house just before 7 or after 8, then you won't be stuck in traffic light jam. And if classes begin at 8:00 a.m., you can just imagine what time I have to get them to their nana's. I take turns with my hubby. If I am in no rush that morning, I'll be the one sending them. As long as I work at least a 40 hour week (8 hrs average per day), I'm okay. But it means that if I clock in late, I'd have to clock out late. So nearly every morning, it's "Hurry up! Mommy's late for work!" We have especially more of this when we have to clean up unexpected accidents, courtesy of Mikael. As for going to the beach - if I leave office at 5:30 I'd reach home by 6:30 and it'd be too late to take them to the beach sometimes. As for the toys, Inez is very good at tidying when she's in the mood. She's hardly in the mood, and Mika's worse. He's never in the mood! I usually tell them that if I have to clear their toys, I'm putting their toys away and they won't be seeing those toys for some time. Hahaha and I have a special box for that.
That gets them to tidy up. Mika though usually needs some alone time in the corner to reflect first before he decides to clean up.

Well, back to this morning's conversation, here is my reaction:

"Oh, Inez, Mommy doesn't have to go to work early all the time, except for when Mommy has classes or meetings. Today, for example, Mommy is not early. (The clock shows 8:24 a.m) And Inez has been going to the beach nearly every day except for Tuesday. Is Mommy a bad mommy?"

God bless that child's heart. She shook her head and gave me a hug.

I still feel like I am a bad mother though, that she feels like she gives me trouble. And that it's good for me not to have her around.

Well, I explained to her that my workplace is faraway and that is why I have to leave early and why I have to work. She is a good girl. She understands that we are all victims of circumstances. I wish I could spend more time with my kids too. I am working on getting a job nearer to home. Hopefully, by next year or mid December, I'll get that post I want.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Lohicimos! We did it, hooray! The trials and tribulations of toilet training

I think we finally did it! I hope it's not too soon to pat ourselves on the back, though. We have been toilet training Mikael for some time now but we really took off his diapers about two months ago, just before Mikael turned 3. We also have been trying to ween both the kids off sleeping in their diapers, and for the past three days, we have not been cleaning up any pee or poo, accidental or otherwise.

Training Mika is not as easy as Inez because you could tell when she wanted to poop and you could quickly carry her to the toilet. Then I told her how proud I was of her and I praised her for being so clever and I promised her THE INCREDIBLES underwear if she could do it every day; and she did. And she got 2 INCREDIBLES undies to show for it. If I'm not mistaken, it's RM10 per undie. Training her to tell people that she wanted to pee was harder. But we never had to wash or clean her accidental poo. And she liked to control to the very last minute.

Mika on the other hand, seemed to be very comfortable in his poo and wouldn't tell anyone that he's done it unless the stink lets the cat out of the bag. Then only, he'd be dragged to the toilet to be cleaned. Even when his diapers came off and he was only wearing his big boy underwear, he would treat it like his diaper and poop in it. One public holiday, we thought we could laze around all day. Hmmph, we spent half the day cleaning up after Mika who was worse than a cat. We had the wash the floor, wash the carpets, wash his underwear, and wash the boy himself. By the time we were done, it was already 3 p.m.! So much for the idea of lazing around.

When we first took off his diaper, we took him to the toilet every half hour. Sometimes he did and sometimes he didn't. Sometimes, he said he wanted to but his real intention was to play with water at the sink. Sometimes, we missed his pee time and he'd pee wherever he was: on his toy motorbike, in the drain, on the carpet, on the floor. We told him if he pee-ed everywhere again, he'd have to stay in the toilet. NOT a good idea, coz he LOVES playing with water. His one joy is playing with the spray and spraying water everywhere. One cannot put a toilet roll in the toilet without it getting wet, courtesy of Mikael.

With Mika, peeing in the toilet was easier but getting him to poop took longer time. (FYI, that was an understatement, but you know what I mean.) It was like he was afraid to poop in the toilet bowl. I tried to train him using the potty but he only used it to play with water. Whenever we took off his diaper, he would not poop the whole day. Sometimes, he would control for two whole days! Finally, we purposely wore him diapers so that he'd poop. Then when it seemed as if he was was about to do it, we quickly took him to the toilet. When he got used to using the toilet, we took off his diapers completely. Then I got him to poop standing up and that helped reduce his fears. I promised him a big fire truck if he could pee and poop every day in the toilet bowl. Now, every time he goes to the toilet voluntarily, he will ask if he can get a cement mixer truck. I told him it is very expensive and we need to save up for it. We actually do coz it costs nearly RM70. Crazy!

Anyway, since Inez is going to be 5, we decided to stop wearing her diapers. The first few days, there were some accidents but no more on Inez's part. Usually, Mika would give me a lot of work. The first week, 2 'no clean-up' days. Then, when I was about to celebrate, 5 days of clean-up in a row! Though I put 'protection' in the form of medical underpads and a plastic sheet underneath the bedsheet, I find that sometimes these move or the children move. Then, we got to know of the existance of DISPOSABLE TABLECLOTHS which costs RM5.60 for 10 sheets. It's very soft like a plastic bag and 1 piece covers 7/8th of a queen sized mattress! I use 2 sheets.

I hope this lasts! I will keep you guys updated if it doesn't.

Parenting isn't easy

Recently, we had an episode with my son, and we sort of left him outside at night. Of course we made sure the gates were locked and we kept him within our sight. Here goes:

One night, about two weeks ago, upon coming back home from an 'open house', I really needed the ladies', so I rushed into the house leaving my husband to deal with Mika. Mika refused to come out of the car and refused to have my husband carry him in. He said he wanted me. So my husband got the other stuff into the house first, and when he got back to the boy, Mika still refused to come out on his own or be carried. Still, my hubby carried him out but he struggled with my hubby. He still insisted on me going out to get him! My son can be really stubborn when he wants to and I was not appropriately dressed to go outside. So I was like telling my hubby to go get him. My hubby though, got so ticked off with Mika that he threatened Mika that he either came in or Daddy closed the door. Since Mika didn't budge from where he stood and crying, my hubby turned on the porch light, and closed the door.

After about half a minute, I opened the door, called to him but he kept saying, "I want Mommy to carry."

I said, "Why do you want Mommy to carry you? Why don't you walk here? Come, baby. Come in."

He simply continued to cry and waited there for me to come out and carry him.

Finally, I took a square basket, lined it with a pillow, and pushed it out the door, "Here, if you don't want to come in, you can sleep outside in this basket. Are you coming in or not?"

Haha, finally he came in, still crying. He saw that I was serious. I held his hand and walked with him to the sofa. Then I carried him to my lap and hugged the silly boy.

"Silly boy, Mommy sayang(i.e., Mommy love you). Why didn't you want to come in by yourself?
He hugged me back and then fell asleep.

"Silly boy," I said to the sleeping child.

Now, thinking about it, I think I know why he kept insisting on me to carry him though when my husband asked me why the other night, I said, "I dunno!"

When we were out visiting, I asked my son to 'salaam' (something culturally similar to a handshake) and he refused to do it. (BTW, I finally got my 5yo to 'salaam' though I can't remember what I promised her in return for her to 'salaam' people forever but I know i've fulfilled that promise coz if I hadn't, I'll never hear the end of it from my girl.)

Anyway, since he wasn't wearing slippers, when he asked me to carry him back to the car, I told him, "Ask Daddy. Don't expect Mommy to carry you after that horrible display of behaviour." So I guess that was his way of getting back attention from me.

Sigh, it's sure not easy being a parent. But that doesn't give a person the license to be a vindinctive parent.
Were we too strict? I dunno. All I know is that my hubby and I should be a united front coz no matter what, he's still the child and not the boss of us. Giving in to him would have just given him the upper hand and the knowledge that he can simply cry until he gets his way.

Oh-oh, somebody left the Astro Card

This morning, just before I left for work, I received a phone call from my mom.
"Are you still at home?" she asked.
"Why?"
Apparently, when my husband left them at my mom's, the kids were making so much noise outside that my mom went to see what all the ruckus was about.
"What's going on?" she asked.
Mika answered, "Somebody left the Astro Card at home."
Inez was like, "Stupid! It's WE! WE left the Astro card at home!"
Clearly she exasperated with her brother, who was then suggesting to her to telephone Mommy.
"I don't have a phone! How am I going to call Mommy?"
So, they asked my mom to call me and luckily for them, I hadn't left yet, and so made my way to my mom's just to send them their lifeline. If I did not, ooh, poor Nana! I can just imagine them driving her up the wall!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Activities to do with your kids

My son is crazy over anything with wheels. I'm sure any Mommy with boys say the same thing. If it isn't cars, it's dinosaurs or pirates! Though Mika isn't that crazy over dinosaurs, he loves pirates yo ho ho ho ho! But most of all, he wants to be a firefighter!
Interestingly, I didn't teach Mika to like cars. It seems as if this great love for cars is natural and innate. Inez has a toy cookie monster cement mixer truck and we had to literally teach her how to play with it. When Mika was old enough to play it, he was pushing the truck all over the place and making engine sounds!
Once I observed Inez and Mika playing with cars:
Inez: I think this car is cold. Let's cover it in with a blanket.
Mika: (banging two cars together) Acdent! Acdent!

This was a year ago or so.

Nowadays, the children are into colouring. Every day, Inez will draw and colour flowers, and rainbows, sometimes, fairy princesses. Her princesses used to be stick people, but now they are getting more meat. Sometimes, Inez will draw a car or two for her brother, who is now also very much into colouring as well.

Mikael doesn't draw on his own, prefering instead to get other people to draw for him. So, every day I have to (or their daddy has to) draw cars, trucks, buses for Mikael, and the boy would take any one of his three fave colours (i.e., yellow, green and blue) and colour all the drawings in one colour! Sometimes two, but usually it's just one.

Recently, I searched the internet for Firetruck printable colouring activities and the ones Mika liked are from: www.apples4theteacher.com
This one can be printed and you can also colour online. The drawing is nice. Other things like frog and caterpillar and fish are nice as well.

If you want to make your own firetruck box toy, I'm sure the kids will enjoy painting the box and messing themselves up. Have just found this just now. So, methinks this will be my weekend project with the kids since they love sitting in boxes, pretending it's a boat or car etc.
From the same site, you can download a whole other load of activities to do with fire-fighting.

Another thing my children love is artpad on www.art.com. I got this from watching TechTV quite some time ago. You need to have Macromedia Flash player to get started.



Favourite TV shows

"Mommy," a soft voice whispered, "Can I watch my favourite show?"

It was Mika. It was barely 7 a.m. and he wanted to watch Bing and Bong's Adventure or Tiny Planets. And Mika, being Mika, could watch it again and again and again. He also still likes to watch Dora the explorer though Inez is bored of Dora already. How can one not be bored, I ask you? When they like it, that's all they want to watch. And because it's educational, we indulge it.

When Inez was a baby, she was an MTV baby (she was around 1 plus and my two youngest siblings always turned on MTV, or V) . Though I tried to introduce Barney at that time, she refused to watch Barney etc. I didn't have playhouse Disney then. I bought her quite a number of VCDs, all of which she rejected.

If you wanted to get her to drink her milk, MTV had to be ON! Or she wouldn't drink. And as long as she was eating, I was okay, until I noticed one day she was listening to Jenny on the Block and she began to pull up her top to reveal her navel. I stole a glance at the TV. Oh my GOD, she was imitating J. Lo! That was it, from that time onwards I screened her MTV and allowed her to watch 'proper' music videos only (Avril Lavigne was okay, she loved Craig David, and Nelly and Kelly's Dilemma) and more children's shows, which did not really interest her until Dora the explorer. Thank God for Dora. I don't think Inez remembers she used to be so crazy over MTV the rate she's watching Playhouse Disney now.

Anyway, Inez doesn't like to watch Dora that much now, unless it's an episode she's not watched before. To date, she is also now bored of Little Einsteins, Lazy Town, Hi-5, Blue's Clues and these are shows she used to watch avidly. She also likes Higglytown heroes and PB & J Otter. She is still also okay with Barney provided they are the all new episodes of Barney. Her all time favourites are Madeline and Bananas in Pyjamas. I think B1 and B2 tickle her funnybones.

Mika is less fussy but totally loves Tiny Planets, and Pokoyo.

Mommy's fave shows are
Grey's Anatomy
CSI Vegas (best CSI by far, I think)
House M.D
Medium
Gilmore Girls
Amazing Race (at the moment, am following the Asian edition)
The Apprentice
Project Runway
Oprah (so difficult to catch this nowadays coz of work)
Desperate Housewives (was more excited about the 1st season though)
love home makeover shows; saw Debbie Travis's Facelift on Channel5 Singapore TV. Wish we had it here. Love Nate Berkus on Oprah. Also like What Not to Wear (too late at night though!) and cooking shows too!
sitcoms (whenever I can catch 'em) and MTV's Boiling Point and Punk'd and I caught the premiere episode of the Ultimate BoyBand or The Return of something, I can't remember (we sorta stumbled onto it) which was interesting to watch coz you get former boy band members getting together to form the band! Also like talk shows like Letterman or Leno, Conan O' Brien and Jon Stewart'. However, we swapped the news package for Discovery Channel package on Astro, so we won't be watching talk shows for a while.
Charmed, Criminal Minds, NCIS and Vegas whenever I remember.

Interestingly, my hubby likes watching most of the shows I like except for Desperate Housewives, and Charmed which he can go without. He also likes documentaries, which I watch too sometimes when he's watching.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Of Teachers and Aliens

Inez has stopped going to school. Or rather I stopped her from going to school upon her refusal to go to school. However, she has promised to go to school next year. And she doesn’t mind going back to the same school if her brother is also going. It’s really going to be a busy year for her next year coz I also intend to send the both of them for Iqra’. That will take 2 hours of their mornings daily. In the meantime, it is back to homeschooling for Inez. She’s giving my mom a hard time coz it takes her hours to finish an exercise. No wonder she doesn’t like school. I talked to the kindy teacher and she said that once upon a time, they didn’t give homework to students but parents came back and told her that once kids start attending school, since they were not used to homework, so they couldn’t cope. So this school started giving homework as well to train the kids that school life sometimes involves homework.

Did anyone hear RedFm this morning? Nell and David played an interview about a little 8 year old girl who had vomited in class and was smacked on the shoulders and was called ‘Pengotor!’ by her teacher? So many comments! Teachers are rolemodels, they are teaching the students to behave and be like them! One caller gave an example of 4 friends who so happened to be laughing when a teacher walked by, and this teacher wrongly assumed that they were laughing at him, and so went over and punched each student in the back. Parents reported this to the HM and the teacher called them out in class the next day and somewhat challenged them, saying that he was not afraid of anyone, so they can go report to whoever they liked. Sound like brave words from a scared man, I’d say. So this caller disagrees that it should be handled locally or internally first, as suggested by an earlier caller! She suggested that the Ministry should prepare a guideline for when things like this happens. Ideally, the teacher should’ve instructed one child to call for a cleaner and another to get a cup or glass of water. The child could have been very sick. Another called up to say that the teacher should apologize to the student and the class for the bad behavior exhibited because that’s the adult thing to do. Children should be treated with respect.A lady with 6 kids of her own says not to blame all teachers; treat it like an isolated case. Maybe she’s had a bad day and this was just reflex. Teachers are human too (prone to err). Another called up to say that he had a similar experience and it happened back in 1988 and it was in the papers. The headmaster himself was involved in the incident. Another SMSed to say it’s difficult to find quality teachers. Some say it’s because of the pay. Some say it’s not. But alas, no teachers came out to give their two cents worth about what was being said.

Then again, would what they say change anything? People seem to have a preconceived notion of what a teacher should be and shouldn’t be, of what a teacher should do and shouldn’t do. Sometimes people forget that teachers deal with so many many many students a day and each student has a different behavior and stories.

Just before I stopped Inez’s school, I was feeding the kids dinner and Inez said that she didn’t want to eat anymore because she didn’t have an alien in her tummy anymore.

“How do you know?” I asked. Then she told me that the teacher said I had lied to her. I was upset. “What exactly did your teacher say?” I asked.

“Teacher say there is no alien in my tummy and that Mummy lied to Inez,” Inez answered.

“Why did she say that?”

Apparently, Inez told her teacher that she has an alien in her tummy which will grow if she doesn’t eat and which will shrink if she eats. Okay. Then? Then, the teacher said that there was no alien and that I, the Mummy lied.

“Who are you to negate what I tell my daughter?” I thought, “especially when you don’t know the circumstances.” Because of the alien, my daughter has been eating very well since the 2nd day of Raya. She keeps pulling my head so that I can listen to her stomach to tell her that the alien is getting smaller.

On the 2nd day of Raya, Inez wore a fitting T shirt which revealed the roundness of her tummy. I sighed loudly, saying, “Inez, Inez, so skinny, and yet your tummy is so huge like a balloon!”

Suddenly, my sister-in-law said, “Inez, I think you have an alien in your tummy. So you’d better eat. If not the alien will grow and grow and then come out to eat you!”
I joined in and said, “if you eat, the alien will shrink and grow smaller and smaller and disappear. But it’s not easy to get rid of the alien, because you’ve not really been eating for a long time.”

So between the two of us, we created an alien that doesn’t like to eat rice, or vegetables or drink milk. So a lot of this will cause the alien to shrink. The alien loves junk food and even fries and sausage if she eats too many fries and too many sausages. This was backed up by my husband and reinforced by surprise, surprise! Senario XXX that was shown on TV that night, which featured aliens! Wonderful!

So when we got back, my mom also got her to eat using the alien, and Inez started eating more. I was so proud of Inez and so happy to see her eating well….until she came back and told me there was no alien b’coz I made everything up. She’d only been eating for like 5 days!

So to continue the story, I asked my daughter, “Eh, who do you want to believe, your Mommy or your teacher?” In my mind, the teacher should ideally ask who said it and why. There must be a reason why a mommy would tell her daughter that she has an alien in her tummy.

So when I went to work the next day, I was telling my friend all about it and told her I felt like confronting the teacher for telling my daughter that I was lying without knowing the circumstances. After listening, she said, “The teacher is not in the wrong. It’s true, you are lying la.”
“I know I’m lying but the teacher shouldn’t tell my daughter that or she should check with me first! Why would I be lying unless it’s for a very good reason!” I maintained.

“Well, it’s a teacher’s job to tell the truth. If there’s no alien, of course, she’ll say that there’s no alien, you cannot fault her for telling the truth to your daughter.”

“Yeah now she doesn’t want to eat!”

“Well, you have to train her to eat without resorting to lies.”

Hmmph, easier said than done. I’ve tried everything I could think of, including getting her to help in the preparation to making shapes and faces, everything’s been tried and tested and so far nothing has worked. I never thought of using aliens to get her to eat. Common sense, health, science and beauty reasons don’t work on her. Not force, nor threats nor coaxing.

“Well, can’t she just say, ‘Okay, if that’s what your Mommy told you.”

“Do you know, nie laa susah jadi cikgu (this is why it’s difficult to be a teacher). Do you know how many students a teacher is in charge of and how many stories a day she has to listen to and figure out which ones are made up or true or false? Takkan laa nak call up every parent for verification?”

So my friend has a point. I can just imagine the situation for the teacher. I still believe she shouldn’t be so quick to negate my alien, but I understand her position.

I managed to re-convince my daughter of the alien. She has been eating very well again after two days of not eating so well. My mom had a hand in making her believe again too, I’m sure of it. As for teacher in RedFm’s Mid Week crisis, I think she needs to clear the air, have her say and explain things from her point of view. I know kids are honest and they don’t mince their words. Sometimes, however, their honesty is also selective. I remember my daughter telling my mom she’s eaten nothing even though I gave her fried mee-hoon that morning, or telling me that she learnt nothing from school because whatever she did for the day, she was not interested in. So, it’s not that they are lying but telling the truth about what matters to them from their own point of view. Therefore, we are only viewing this from one perspective, and should listen to the other side as well. And we shouldn’t be so quick to judge before we understand everything fully. However, if the teacher was in the wrong, she should apologize and change her approach and methods in dealing with this. Since she’s teaching 8 year olds, this is bound to happen again.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Birthdays! (Part II)

Mikael's birthday was on the 20th of October. Last year, I ordered a Dora cake for him. This year, I thought of making him a cake with the help of my friend Mona (though she's a bit out of practice, due to not baking for a long time.) Because, the 20th was a Friday, we had to celebrate his birthday the next day. So the next morning, we got together and made a bumble bee cake for Inez and one fire engine cake for Mika (Mona had already baked a vanilla butter cake and a chocolate cake the night before to save time). He was so excited that he'd be getting a fire-engine cake. After 2 hours of hard work, I took both cakes home. We would celebrate his birthday at iftar (when we broke fast). It was still fasting month then. But guess what happened? I had put the cakes in my boot and unthinkingly, I took the cakes out of the boot and stacked them at the back of my car, you know, not on the seats, but at the top. I dunno what I was thinking and I closed my boot, I forgot that the boot door slopes down and as I pull it down, it pressed down on my cakes and sorta penyek-ed or squashed the top of the cakes and most of the icing. I felt so bad the rest of the day. Luckily, everyone took it well, even Mika, I told him the cake looked like that coz it was involved in an accident, which it was. He was so cool about it, almost excited actually to imagine his birthday cake being involved in an accident. hahaha I think I imagined that last part but seriously, he was really cool about it. I don't think I'm over my guilt. I phoned my friend up and she thought I was involved in an accident. I said, "Noooooo, the caaaaakes." She was like, "Never mind the cakes, how are you?" I said, "I'm fine but the cakes look totally mutated!" Poor woman couldn't really register what I was saying cause I was talking in a rather shrill distraught voice, which was the state I was in. She said, "Talk properly, were you or were you not in an accident?" I said, "I can't talk properly. I was not in an accident but I had an accident with the cakes, they're all penyek-ed! Aaaaaaaaarrhhhh!" She was so relieved that I wasn't involved in an accident that the cakes didn't matter. So, that's why I didn't take any photos of the cakes. They were a wreck! and it's all my fault. I shall remember this day for the rest of my life and hopefully don't repeat that dumb*** mistake for the rest of my life!

Birthdays! (Part I)

My birthday this year was overshadowed by Hari Raya but I'm not too upset about it coz my hubby promised me a private celebration later and I did celebrate it with the rest of my family on the fifth day of Raya. All of us met up in KL to attend my cousin's wedding that evening. So before the wedding, my brother Juhan and dad chipped in to get us (us being anyone in the family with a birthday from July to October onwards) a cake from Cake Sense (Mango Yoghurt cake? Sorry, I don't remember the name but the cake was delicious - not too sweet). It was nice. Everyone was there! A pity we didn't have time to stay on in KL to have a big family dinner or lunch somewhere nice. That's how we usually celebrated birthdays-with FOOD!
This morning, my little came to me and asked me if anyone is celebrating his or her birthday this month. I said noone was but you will be 5 next month.
She got so excited.
"Next month is December ah, Mommy?" (She speaks with a Chinese accent. I do too, a little, a lot, I dunno.)
"Yes."
"Do we have to wear winter clothes?"
"No, we don't have have winter in Malaysia?"
"Then what do we have?"
"Flood."
"What's that?"
"So much rain that it gets into your house and things."
"Oh...what about autumn?"
"No, but some trees turn yellow though."
Then she looked a little downcast. "But I opened all my presents already....."
I smiled at her and said yeah coz she couldn't wait. Suddenly her eyes lit up.
"Mommy, you know the money your friend gave at the office, aunty, aunty...I forgot her name, what is her name Mommy? She gave me some Hari Raya money, remember? Can I use that money to get myself a present?"
How could I say "No?" So I nodded and she was so happy. I'm sure she's thinking about what she wants to get herself. I hope it's not a PET!

Inez Wants a Pet

One day, recently, Inez comes up to me and says, "Mommy, can I have a hamster?"
I say, "What?" in slight disbelief. Did I hear correctly?
She repeats her question and okay, apparently I did. So I said "No."
"Why?"
"Because Mommy doesn't like pets and cleaning up after pets.
"Oh, okay."
"Besides, you had fish before; what happened to your fish?"
"Died?"
Till today, she hasn't asked again. Maybe when she's much much older like when she has her own kids, I'll let her get a hamster or something. Actually, I bought her pet Siamese fish before and guppies to put in my mom's fish bowl and that whatchamacallit, wooden water fountain contraption that every house has got to have coz it's like the trend? A pergola or something. Anyway, the wooden thingy was not deep enough and the fish jumped out the very day we bought it. Then a cat jumped to eat it. So there went one fish and the other fish disappeared too not long after. And before that, my youngest sis and mom went crazy about fish, I dunno what started the craze and we bought so many fish, including a pufferfish. We also bought those beautiful Siamese Fighting Fish and of course housed them separately. My sis had one and so did my daughter, and she took joy in feeding it. My sister kept the water clean.
Do you know that a tiny pufferfish could be quite vicious and that it attacked other fish? It's like there's a Bermuda Triangle in there and fish were going missing, but there were no remains. I swear to you it was spooky at that time. Turned out the pufferfish was eating all the other fish and we caught it in the act. It was tearing off the flesh of a fish that was floating by pulling it down to the bottom of the bowl to press it down so it could take a bite. I guess the fishbowl was kinda small and there was not much room for escape for the other fish. So we took the pufferfish back to the shop and exchanged it for another. When the last fish moved on, we did not buy fish again until my mom bought herself that pergola thingy and you know what happened to the guppies...
Also, that thing started leaking and it became very messy; so now my Mom puts plants in it, on it and around it.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Grey's Anatomy

About 3 days ago, my friend was telling me that her husband has diabetes and during Raya, he didn't watch his diet. As a result, his thigh is now swollen with pus. I don't know the medical term for 'bisul'. He might have to go for a minor operation and with diabetes, it would take longer to heal. And the situation would be worse if the thing burst; and if it doesn't heal, he might just lose his whole leg. So she was telling him, "You're a diabetic patient. A lot of things can happen. We have four children. I have to take care of a lot of things. And if you become crippled, I also have to take care of you. So, why don't you take care of yourself first from now before the unwanted happens?" Then, out of curiousity, she asked,"If I'm sick, would you take care of me?" He answered,"I will hire a maid." So she asked again, "What is the maid for?" since they already have one.
"To take care of me," he replied, smiling.
"That sounds like you."
Then he said, "Noo-lah, the maid will take care of you." So the conversation ended here and he didn't notice that my friend was upset. Little did he know that his answers (though light-hearted on his part) hurt and were creating a snowball effect. Because, some time back, she had asked, "If I died, what will you do? Who will take care of the children?" He answered that he'd remarry because he still has strong sexual desire. She was upset then and he didn't notice it either. The Malay would say, "Tak sayang mulut" as this would be considered as suicidal remarks. Kalau nak kawin pun, tak yah ler cakap or avoid answering it altogether. (Please note that I'm retelling this with permission.) But what has this got to do with Grey's Anatomy?
Anyway, when I heard this, I was amazed that a husband can come out with these kind of answers and I had this burning curiousity to hear what my husband would answer.
My chance came last night. I am a peminat mati keras (die hard fan) of Grey's Anatomy and even though my husband wanted to eat out last night, I opted to cook and stay home. By 8:10p.m., dinner was served. However, I missed 10 minutes of the series because I was waiting for the news to end and it went on. I didn't realise we were watching TV3! Aaaaaarghhhh!
So, after watching the show, when I got some 'us-time' with my husband, my children were sleeping, and I was folding tonnes and tonnes of clothes, I told him what happened in the show. I said it was such a funny episode because that Sandra Oh's character (I remembered her name last night) and Burke went on their first dinner date, and it was clear that they didn't really know each other's likes and dislikes. But I digress. So I told Zul about the patient that was assigned to Meredith, an old lady named Esme, who underwent an operation. The doctors discovered that she had gallbladder cancer and informed the husband who asked the doctors not to inform his wife. He wanted her to be happy before she went. So Meredith was somewhat in a dilemma: to tell or not to tell? So I asked my husband, "Darling, what would you do? Would you tell?"
"Of course!"
"Well, that's what Dr. Bailey said, 'You have a responsibility towards your patient. She is your patient. You have to tell her that she is dying!(or something to that effect.)"
So Meredith told Esme that she had cancer and guess what Esme asked Meredith to do - to not tell her husband that she was dying! So now both of them know but don't know that the other knows too!
"Darling, would you want to know that you're dying?"
"Of course! I have to make plans," he answered.
"Would you tell me that I'm dying?"
"Yes."
"If I'm sick, would you take care of me?"
"Ye-es!" he answered in a strong, confident manner. There was no hesitation in his answer, his tone reflected that he found it strange that I'm even asking as if there is somebody else to take care of me when it should be him.
At that moment, I was so proud to have him as my husband. My next thought was, "Poor friend of mine."
So my question is: Have you ever asked this question to your spouse? If so, what is the answer?