Books that I read

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Possession by Rene Gutteridge

In the aftermath of investigating the D.C. sniper case, police detective Vance Graegan is burned out on life and love.  Hoping to save his marriage, he quits the force and moves his wife, Lindy and his son, Conner to the other side of the country. But when the movers decide to hold his belongings for ransom, Vance is determined to ensure that his family’s new beginning is not ruined.

When Vance deals with the movers on his belongings, he is undergoing a lot of stress. Vance actually is having post-traumatic stress disorder without himself realizing it. Very often he has migraines, nightmares, seeing scenes of those days when he is awake and he can’t stand in open spaces. Vance has limited resources since he has already quit the force and he knows no one in the new place. 

Thing has become worst when the mover threatens Vance with the secret of his past.  Just when Vance realizes who is behind all these there was a corpse in his new house. Vance was being charged and held up in the prisoner while Lindy and Conner are being held by the person who wants to take away everything that Vance has. 

There are some spiritual content in the story and mostly comes through Conner, who become a Christian by watching a televangelist. And his innocent faith brings hope to this family.  

Possession is a very good book. It is not slow-paced. I find it very intriguing and just want to keep turning the pages well into the night. This book also makes us think what really matters in our lives. It’s so easy to get caught up in the extras of life that were intended as blessings but become harmful when we elevate them over what truly matters. 

I rate this book 4 out of 5.

Note: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sales season

I think most of the shopping malls are having sales now due to the festive season and school holiday. Since Chinese New Year is less than 2 months away, this is just the right time to buy Chinese New Year clothes while the sales is still on. And of course not to miss out for a new pair of shoes too. I have been looking for a pair of high heels for formal occasion. However I still could not find anything that suit me yet. Most of the high heels on the market are too high for me, more than 3 inches. It won't be good for my back too especially since I get back ache easily. I also need to get new shoes for the kids. They have started complaining about their shoes getting smaller again.

Getting shoes for the kids is not an easy task too. Whenever I walk pass the shops selling children shoes, it is always those cute baby shoes that catch my eyes.  Buying shoes for baby is always much easier. I don't have to bring the baby along with me. However for Lynn and Hao, I can't shop for them myself. I have to bring them along to try on the shoes themselves to make sure the shoe is the right size for them. And ever since Lynn has watch this video, she has been bugging me to buy a pair of buckle-up shoes for her. I wanted to get for her few months back but we could not get one for her size. Hopefully we can buy one this time.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hao's Toilet/Potty Training

It has been a while since I last update about Hao. Just few months before Hao turned 2 years old, we started to potty train him. I'm not too sure is it due to each kid is different, or because Lynn is a girl and Hao is a boy. The process of potty training him is not smooth at all as compared to Lynn. But of course the environment is totally different for both of them. And Lynn plays an important part in Hao's potty training.

Lynn was potty trained before she turned 2 years old too, by her nanny at that time. This was before we went her to child care and before Hao was born. This was not difficult to potty train her at all. Accidents seldom happen as long as we reminded her to go potty. And very soon she could tell me when she needed to go potty and did not require us to remind her at all. That was until Hao was born. The first month after Hao was born, lots of accidents happened at home. Even though I was mad about it but on the other hand I knew that I could not blame her at all. She was coping with the new family member at home. She probably was having stress about it too. Luckily the accidents part did not last long. I think on the 2nd month she improved a lot and slowly went back to normal.

As for Hao, as we are sending him to child care, so those children about his age are potty trained at the same time. However Hao is the slowest to cope amongst all children. As we did not spend time with him during weekdays, I only get to potty train him during weekend which is very limited. During first two months, accidents always happened. Sometimes I was so tired that after few accident happened on the same day, I gave up and put him back on diaper. I recognized it as he's not ready for potty train. But next day I would still try to make him diaper less and see how it goes. And at the same time I always reminded him to go potty. In child care, the comment that I got is he won't tell when he needs to go toilet. So when they did not remind him to go toilet, accident will happen. At one point, they almost want to give up on him. But I continue to make him diaper less at home, despite just twice a week. 

After few more months, accidents still happen but were getting less and less. But still need constant reminder to ask him to go toilet. I noticed that when he is so concentrate on doing one thing, even if he's just playing, he won't remember to go toilet. When we go out, I would bring him to toilet too despite he was still wearing diaper (I dare not let him go diaper less outside the house yet). Just want to make him a habit to go toilet instead of relying on the diaper. And despite child care told me that he won't tell them if he needs to go toilet, but at home he would tell me, or Lynn. I did not specifically ask how they potty train him (I did not want to sound as if I don't trust them). At home, each time after he goes to potty by himself, I will sure praise him and he will give me back a big smile on his face. Accidents were becoming less and less, almost down to zero but not entirely.

About 3 months back, when we go out for a short trip, I let Hao go diaper less too. I want to try force him not to rely on diaper. That means I have to be hardworking taking him to toilet. And that's another problem. Public toilet is definitely not as clean as home toilet, especially if we go to those Chinese restaurants for dinner. That was same problem with Lynn last time too, before she get used to those public toilets. For Hao, at the beginning, he told me he needed to go toilet but when we were there, he told me no. So we returned to the seat and 5 minutes later, he told me want to go toilet again. And again, he said no when we were in the toilet. Only at the 3rd time, finally he was able to pee. And that was probably because he could not hold back anymore. Hahaha. Can't remember exactly how long, but I think he get used to it after several times. And with this small achievement, I requested the child care to let him go diaper less when we go pick him up. And at the same time I constantly remind Hao to tell us if he wants to go toilet.

Accidents happened few times when we were outside. First time was on my car. He did not tell us he needed to go toilet. Second time was in a shopping mall while I was carrying him. Again he did not tell us he needed to go toilet. And despite this, I still insist he go diaper less when we go out. Because I fear that once I let him go back diaper, the toilet training will become more difficult. Third accident happened in my car too. But this one I could not blame him. We were stuck at the traffic jam on a highway on the way back home. He told us he needed to go toilet. But he could not wait for us to stop the car near any drain for him to unload.

Another person who plays an important part in contributing to Hao's potty training is Lynn. My this little girl, is like my spy on the boy, without me telling her to be one. Hahaha! She would "report" to me, when Hao peed on the floor. However if Hao went to potty himself without being told, she would praise him "Wah Hao good boy, shh shh in the potty" and then "reported" to me too "Mommy, you see Hao very good boy. He go to potty shhh shhh!" As if she's so proud of him. :) And when Hao requested to go toilet, Lynn will take him there. As I notice, Hao would prefer someone take him to the toilet. He would be glad if either me or Lynn take him to toilet, even though we are at home. Thus I think without Lynn, probably he's still way behind when come to potty training.

Oh yeah one mistake that I made when potty train him, is I did not ask him to pee while standing! >.< So used to "sit" potty. LOL! Until the people from child care reminded me.

Now, whenever Hao is with us, he will always go diaper less. Regardless when we go out for short or long period, I make him go diaper less. He will tell me or we will ask also, if he needs to go toilet, whether for big or small business. I know in the child care, he is on diaper when he takes the afternoon nap. But not at home as I can never impose their afternoon nap time at home. He just will not take the afternoon nap when I ask him to but he will go to sleep by himself when he get tired later. So I just let him go diaper less since I do not want to wake him up just to change diaper. I think it is about 7 months since the potty train started. It's a long and slow process, but I'm happy what he has achieved now - diaper less during day time, whether at home or outside. My next goal is zero accidents. :) 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


My very first perfume was bought when I was 20 years old. I was making a trip to UK by myself and on the way back to KL, I bought this Clinique's Happy from the duty shop in Singapore. Ever since then, whenever I have chance to travel to overseas, especially Europe, I never fail to buy some perfumes back home because they are so much cheaper. I like the scent of the perfume. It makes me feel good and refreshing. Even my 4 years old daughter found the perfume smell attractive too; "Mommy, you smell very nice!"

Perfume is a luxury item to me. I would not buy it unless I really like it so much and within my budget. Other than the nice smell, the shape of the perfume bottles can be attractive too. I remember I wanted to buy this perfume from Jean Paul Gaultier so much because of the perfume bottle. It is a crystal ball with a lovely female doll in black evening dress inside. My other favorite perfume bottle is from Moschino. Since most of my perfumes are bought in overseas, looking at each of them reminded me where I have visited. Some perfumes are limited edition, some could be no longer available in the market. Thus perfume bottles make great collectibles. There are many types of perfume bottles - antique perfume bottles, vintage perfume bottles, new and stylish perfume bottles, in crystal, in glass, in many beautiful and decorative styles. I think getting one of these beautiful crystal perfume bottles make a perfect Christmas gift for my perfume lover friends.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Good luck? Bad luck?

Read this story from an article from Choices and Illusions by Eldon Taylor. Like it a lot and would like to share with everyone.

An old rancher back in the Civil War days was just barely getting by. His wife had died giving birth to his only son, and he himself was somewhat crippled with arthritis. His son, therefore, did most the work around the ranch. Now, this rancher was a really nice man, and everyone in town liked him.

One day, the boy was out tilling the ground when lightning struck near the mules. The mules bolted, and the old harness could not hold them. The harness broke, and the mules ran off. Without the mules, the rancher and his son would not be able to get their crops in, and they were barely making ends meet as it is was. The whole town turned out to commiserate. "Such bad luck" they said. But the old farmer said, "Good luck, bad luck; who knows?"

The next day the mules came running home, and behind them came a whole herd of wild horses. The farmer and his son seized the opportunity because horses were worth a lot of money. Armies on both sides of the Civil War were paying a lot of money for horses. They ran outside and opened the corral gates. When the horses and mules were inside, they closed the gates. This time the whole town came out to congratulate them. "Such good luck!" they said. But the farmer just said, "Good luck, bad luck; who knows?"

The next day the son went out to break the horses, as nobody would buy a horse he could not ride. However, the very first pony he mounted simply sunfished and switched over. This means that he went up facing west and came down facing east, and then reared completely over backwards. The boy was lucky he wasn't more seriously hurt, just a broken arm and collarbone. This time the whole town came out to say, "Such bad luck." The old farmer simply said, "Good luck, bad luck; who knows?"

The very next day the army marched through town and conscripted every able-bodied man. Of course they did not take the farmer's son, because his arm and collarbone were broken. The whole town turned out again: "Such good luck." The old farmer simply said, "Good luck, bad luck; who knows?"

The army was heading to Shiloh. Not many lived through that battle. You just never know what is good luck and what is bad luck. But when your bones are broken, you tend to think only of the pain, the inconvenience, the discomfort and so on.

The point of this little story is obvious--and I think of it as just simply, "Stop and smell the roses." Every moment is precious and when we take advantage of each one--our concerns and worries disappear. May you know peace this holiday season and treasure every moment of love and joy that you experience and share!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Reading eBook

Hb gave me a smart phone recently for my last year's birthday present. Yes for last year birthday even though it came one year later. LOL! Alright won't talk much about why it came one year later, back to this smart phone. First thing I install is an eBook reader app.

There are lots of free ebook readers app out there. I got the one with more free fiction ebooks for the readers. Hehehe. I just don't feel worth it to pay USD$5-10 for an ebook. Not to mention some are even cost more than $10. I rather buy the paper copy from BookXcess with much cheaper price and more selections. Hehehe. Alright back to eBook reader, after comparing a few, finally I decided to install Kobo ebook app  on my phone. And right after register an account, I download one fiction book to read (will blog about this book in another post).

I have few ebooks in PDF format but I never complete reading any one of them. Why? Because whenever I open it subsequently, it always back to page 1. Zzzz.... Don't expect me to remember which page I stop reading previously. And sometimes I may need to leave my place halfway when reading. Upon returning, I have to search through the whole page to search where I stop. So after few attempts, I just gave up.

However reading ebook from smart phone is totally different experience. First there is bookmark. And it will always open back the same page where I stop last. As compared monitor screen size and smart phone screen size, obviously it is easier to look for the paragraph where I stop last much easier. Most cases, I will finish reading the whole page before I stop because it won't take you much time to finish a page (the screen is so much smaller). Some readers come with dictionaries feature, so you can check out those new words easily. Some come with night reading mode. You can also set the font to be bigger or small size. You can also read more than one ebook at the same time and switching them as you like to. More important, I can read whenever I go without carrying a book with me! I can read when I'm waiting for my food to come at the restaurant, in the car during traffic jam if I'm not the one who drive etc. Basically I can make use of the waiting time to read. But the down side is, the phone battery run out very fast if I keep on reading non-stop. Hehehe. But so far can last until I finish reading the whole book. Anyway, I'm happy to find another source of reading without spending money. ^_^

Btw, even if you don't have any smart phone or iPad or other ebook readers like Kindle, you still can install most ebook reader application on your desktop and read the eBook from your PC too! Some ebooks are in PDF format where you can read without the ebook reader. Some only available in the specific format for that you need to reader for it. So if you want to get some free books to read, you can always install the ebook reader app on your PC and download the ebooks to read. Some you can just read from the website too without having to install the app. But then you have to stay online to read. Most of the ebook reader apps are free. You only pay for buying the ebooks. Since it's free, you can always give it a try and get a free ebook to read. I have not tried install one on my PC at home so I can't share on this part. But if you don't like it, you can always just uninstall it.

My colleague asked me "How come you are not playing games on your phone?" Oh I have no interest on the games. I prefer to read! And yes, I'm still reading the paperback books the old-fashion way! I still enjoy reading the "real" books. :) I have bought quite a few books from BookXcess and BBWS recently. I definitely want to read all of them. Btw reading eBook from phone can be very addictive, even more addictive than  reading paperback. Because since it's not a physical book, I won't realize how much I have read and how much more to go. I will just continue reading and reading, until I did not realize it's been hours since I have started reading. LOL! eBook is another way that I can read anytime and anywhere. And I wish there are more fiction books available as free ebooks! :D

Happy reading!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I've raised my hand. How about you? Let's Get on board!

Early last month when I went to BookXcess to get some books, I was stopped by a lady halfway when I was in a hurry to leave (hb was waiting for me at the roadside since it was a quick 15mins shopping for book). I thought she was trying to ask me to sign up for new credit card, as I was in a hurry I did not really want to stop. But instead she told me I just need to enter my name, email and contact number for the Stop the Child Abuse campaign by UNICEF. Oh just that simple? OK so I filled up the details without asking much details of the campaign and left.

Few days back, I received an email from UNICEF. UNICEF has started a nationwide movement called "Get on Board" to provide the public with the information, insight and resources to stop child abuse. This knowledge will empower everyone to protect the children in our families and communities. The more people who raise their hand to be counted, the stronger the campaign becomes to deter an abuser from hurting a child.

Average of 7 children in Malaysia were reported to be victims of child abuse each day in 2008.  Statistics show that there has been a rise in reported child abuse incidents. Moreover, these numbers could merely be the tip of the iceberg because many cases are believed to have gone unreported. Some may even have been reported to the authorities but remain unproven. Neglect is the most common form of child abuse in Malaysia, followed by physical abuse and sexual abuse. Failure to provide care and supervision has become the most frequent cause of death among children. What is most disturbing is that many child abusers are parents, immediate family members, relatives or foster parents of the victims themselves.

Child abuse distorts and destroys a child’s development and has serious consequences that affect the child for life. Unchecked, child abuse leads to a disturbed adulthood. At worst, it ends in the death of the child. In between these two possible consequences, many children live their lives neglected, unwanted, unloved, fearful and without hope. Evidence shows that the physical, psychological and behavioural consequences of child abuse have a serious impact, not just on the child and the immediate family, but on the community as a whole.

Child abuse is not someone else’s problem. It is OUR problem. We can do our part to help and make a difference: By learning more about abuse. By talking about it and raising awareness. By asking questions and staying alert. By minimising opportunities for abuse. By getting involved and reporting abuse or any suspicion of abuse. Children need love and support if they are to grow and develop to their full potential. They need protection from abuse which can distort and destroy their lives.

Get on Board is a "peoples' campaign" by UNICEF to provide the Malaysian public with the knowledge, insights and resources to stop child abuse. The digitally-driven campaign, a first by UNICEF in the region, aims to unite 100,000 supporters to raise their hand in support of children. We hope the Malaysian public will embrace this campaign as their own, and support and promote it in their own unique ways to ensure a safe and protected childhood for every child in Malaysia.

You can become a Campaigner for Children by hopping on the bus, and rallying others to join us on our journey to end child abuse in Malaysia. UNICEF has prepared materials for you to use to help spread the word and to get as many people as possible to sign up for children. Here are some of the things you can do to promote the campaign for children:
  • Blog about the campaign.
  • Donate your Facebook status message or change your profile picture to the picture of your designed hand.
  • Email you friends. (We even pre-made an email template for your convenience)
  • Create conversations on Twitter.
  • Send a letter to the Editor of your daily newspaper.
  • Organise a sign-up at your company, college, place of worship.

Every choice we make on behalf of children today, impacts their tomorrows. With appropriate attention and guidance, children can flourish in safe and protected childhoods. Get on Board and help us spread the word to stop child abuse today! What will you do today that is more important?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Jealous? Or possessive?

Wherever we go, eat dinner at parents' house or outside in the restaurant or walking in the mall, most of the time Lynn will say

"Mommy I want to sit with you"
"Mommy I want to hold your hand"

"Mommy sit here (point at the chair next to her)". 

She will definitely choose her beloved MOMMY. The only time she wants papa is to ask papa to carry her. Hahaha.

How about didi? This boy usually won't choose or maybe still don't know that he can choose. He's fine with either papa or mama.


Back at home......

"Mommy I want you to switch on the light for me."

"Mommy I want you to go down take for me."

"Mommy I want you to take."

"Mommy I want you to sleep with me."

"Mommy I want you......"

She's not saying please, because all those things she can do it herself but instead she wants me to do for her. I think, this is her way of feeling me loving her if I fulfill her requests. 


It was a lazy Sunday morning; me and hb were lying lazily on our bed. Lynn climbed up our bed to join us, lying between both of us. Hao saw it and came up too. Hb caught Lynn and hugged her tightly.
"No no, boy boy friend and boy boy friend. Girl girl friend and girl girl friend. Papa with Hao. Me with mommy."

"No, boy and girl. Not boy and boy and girl and girl." Papa said.

Whenever hb hugs me...
"No, papa you cannot marry my mommy. Only me can marry my mommy.
 Not sure where she get the idea hugging = getting married? LOL!
"But Papa and mama already married." Papa said.

"Cannot. You cannot marry my mommy." 
 And then she will try to push papa away from me. LOL!

Oh my dear Lynn, whether mommy sits with you or not, whether mommy holds your hand or not, whether mommy do things for you or not, mommy always loves you!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Favorite Wife by Tony Parsens

I'm a book lover and I love reading. Many thanks to Smallkucing and Cleffairy who inspire me to go back reading after entering parenthood. :)

I bought this book from BookXcess when I went there to shop for some children books for the kids. Attracted by its title but then later I regretted buying it and reading it.

My Favorite Wife is the story of a lawyer, Bill Horden who brings his young family from London to Shanghai, China. He will be made partner in a couple of years so that he and his family can have better life.

However not everything in Shanghai are what they have expected. There are farmers have their land ripped away from them, babies being thrown into trashcans, and there are women selling their bodies to earn a living.

Their lifestyle also has changed a lot. Bill always leave the home early for work and come back after his wife Becca and his daughter Holly have gone to bed. He spent very little time with his family and most of his time at work, entertaining the clients after working hours.

After Holly's sudden asthma attack, Becca shock at finding a baby in the trash, and at the same time worrying on her sick father back home, Becca demands to go back to London. Leave Bill alone in Shanghai.

In Paradise Mansions, the place where Bill and his family are staying has a group of young women being kept as mistresses by rich married men – some local, some foreigners. After Becca and Holly went back to London, Bill gets lonely and strikes up much more than a friendship with the beautiful JinJin Li, one of the ladies from that group of young women. And you probably can guess what happen next.

The second half of the book mainly talks about Bill being alone in Shanghai and his interactions with JinJin Li. I dislike the fact that he knew he should not do it, he knew it is wrong and yet the next minute he has forgotten about it and go all out with her.

The story of the book made me in low mood for quite a while and made me have a good thought about myself and my own marriage. I feel dissatisfied about the ending of the book. Not that I don't like the ending but I feel it is a bit rush. The author jumps to the ending without talking much about the interactions between Bill and Becca on this issue. In fact this book mainly focuses on Bill. There is no much mention about Becca after knowing her husband has betrayed her. There is no much details about her feelings and how she can forgive her husband on this matter.

I won't say this book is not a good read. In fact it is a very interesting book because it’s a Westerner’s point of view of Asian life. But it's not a book to make you feel comfortable, not for me.   

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Lynn likes to wear clothes in matching set. If she chooses a green color top, she will choose a green color pants and green color panty too! Yes the inside one also she wants to be the same color. LOL! Not only that, she will also choose the same color series for Hao! Normally I will ask her to choose and take her own clothes. Usually she will choose and take for Hao's too. If we are going out, let say she chooses red for her, she will also take red t-shirt for her beloved didi!

Last weekend, she had chosen a white dress for herself. This girl of mine likes to wear dress. Then I took a white color Chinese style costume for Hao. My parents bought it when they went holiday in China. All 3 grandchildren got a set of it. It was getting smaller so I thought let Hao wears it while he still can fit into it. Seeing her didi was going to wear that, immediately she said "I want to wear that same one with didi! Mommy I want that also!" "You sure you don't want to wear this dress then?" Just want to assure she wanted to change her mind. "Yes, I want to wear that one, that one same with didi." "OK." So I put back the dress, and take out the same Chinese style costume for her. When we reached MIL house later, she was so happy to tell her grandma and uncle "See, me and didi same!"

Yesterday after picking up the kids from my parents' house, on the way back home, Lynn told me that she had given her blue color dress to her friend. I asked her why and she told me because her friend did not have the same dress so she wanted to give it to her. Lynn has the same dress in three different colors - blue, red and pink. I usually pack two sets of clothes for her in her bag and normally only one set is used. Another set is for back up just in case she may dirty her clothes. Her intention to give the blue dress to her friend was so that she and her friend can wear the same dress at school! After reaching home, I checked her bag. Yes the blue dress was not inside her bag. And the panty also not there (I packed two sets of clothes with two panties). I asked her why she gave her friend her panty also. She told me "Because she does not have the same panty also!" *FAINT* I'm not sure what will the mother of her friend will think and react. But I think maybe I should buy few new t-shirts of the same design for her and her friends. She has few good friends in her school that she always tells us about them.  

I did not scold her for giving away her dress to her friend. But I did tell her next time she should ask me about it first. Sometimes kids just like to give us some surprise. :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cheeky papa

Last Thursday, while on the way home, I asked hb to stop by the Chinese shop near our house as I needed to buy milk for the kids. Lynn asked for lollipop. I did not want the kids to get down from the car to the shop with me as I wanted to make it quick, so I asked what lollipop she wants and I would buy for her. She was happy that I agreed to buy the lollipop and did not insist to come down with me. So three of them (hb, lynn and hao) were waiting for me in the car. This happened while I was inside the shop and hb told me about this the next day.

While waiting for me, Lynn saw there was a ride in front of the Chinese shop. Immediately she asked hb to take her for the ride. There was no parking space and hb stopped the car at the road side. So it was not possible to let the kids to have the ride.

Lynn: Papa, I want to sit that one. The kitty cat!
Papa: Er... why do you want to sit that one? The one that you are sitting now (referring to the car as all of them were sitting inside the car waiting for me) is better! It's bigger and can move. That kitty cat cannot move.

Obviously Lynn did not know how to answer papa. She asked for one more time and get no response from papa. Then a while later, she told hb "So sit this one is better-la, bigger and can move, that one just sit there shake shake shake and cannot move."

LOL LOL LOL! I wonder next time the same cheat still work on her or not. LOL LOL LOL!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Big Sister

Lynn and Hao, when Hao was 6 months old.
Few weeks back, I was reading some old post dated 2 years ago, the time when Hao was just born. During that time, Lynn gave us lots of headache due to the jealousy over the brother. I did not and I could not blame her. She was merely 2 years old at that time and she is the first born. She was so used to having full attention from all of us. And now she had to learn to share. So what have she learn over the past 2 years?

The very first thing I trained her was to sleep by herself. I was the one used to put Lynn to bed. Actually was more on she needed me to be there with her before she fall asleep. She has her own mattress. I used to sleep beside her until she had fallen asleep. She would cry if I left her before she had fallen asleep. She also rejected hb to get her to sleep. When Hao was born, I was still accompany her to sleep, but not on her bed. She would sleep on her bed, while me on my bed in the same room. Not long after that, I let her fall asleep by herself. I would leave the room after I had done with nursing Hao. To unpack and pack Lynn's bag for next day, to clean and sterilize the breast pump and bottles for next day, store and milk according to date etc. I was glad that she did not make much fuss about it and the whole process went on very smoothly. Today, she would give us good night kiss and go to bed together with Hao. As for Hao, as long as I have spent some time with him on the bed, he never needs me to accompany him until he has fallen asleep. I used to let him sleep on my bed, and I would carry him to his crib later when I sleep. Now after we have switched him to sleep on the floor next to our bed, maybe he used to see Lynn sleep by herself on the floor also, I never have issue asking him to go to his own mattress to sleep after finish nursing him on my bed. He would obediently get down from my bed and go sleep on his mattress with his bolster. And if I did not remind them to sleep, they could continue playing after I step out of the room. Yes, they like to play. :D

Lynn was feeding Hao ice cream. :D
Whenever we dine out, sometimes we would share our food with both of them, sometimes we would order another set and let both of them share. As for the drink, we usually let both of them share one drink. And Lynn would not finish the whole cup. After she drank some, she would go over to Hao and offered him the drink. Whenever she asked for food at home, she would take some for Hao also. Let say for yogurt, she would take 2 spoons, one for her and one for Hao. At the beginning, before Hao learn how to self feed, Lynn would feed Hao to eat. But, after she finish feeding Hao and wanted to eat her own yogurt, Hao would cry for her share of yogurt too! LOL! Poor Lynn. To avoid that, usually I would feed Hao so that Lynn could eat together with Hao at the same time. :) When they share the ice cream, Lynn would take turn to feed Hao and herself the ice cream. One spoon for Hao, one spoon for herself, until all ice cream finished. She hardly rejects sharing food with Hao. She would just ask for more! Hahahaha! Just one thing, they will never let mommy to eat alone! They will always want to eat the food from my plate!

She learns to play together with the brother, including sharing the toys. And she enjoys playing with him. Why? Because this little boy listens to whatever she said! LOL! She taught Hao to sing song; she taught him to dance; she taught him to somersault (only on our bed and not on the floor); she taught him how to play the toy etc. Basically Hao would just follow Lynn for everything. Of course if Lynn did something naughty Hao would follow also. So have to keep an eye on what they are doing.

They learn to "share" papa and mama. 1 year ago, whenever I let Lynn or Hao sit on my lap, the other one would get jealous and sure come to me and asked for sitting on my lap as well. Now, when Lynn or Hao sits on my lap, they would make space and call the other one to come over to sit on my lap as well. So one sits on the left; and one sits on the right. :) Papa likes to play with them carrying them on his back. They would take turn to be on papa's back. Instead of saying "me me me", they would say "my turn, your turn". They stop fighting for papa and mama anymore. :)

Lynn loves to play the role to take care Hao. Whatever I asked her to do, let say go take Hao's water bottle, take Hao's clothes for change, take Hao's handkerchief etc, she would happily do it for me. She would also take Hao to the potty or toilet, take off his pant, help him to wear back his pant, comb his hair, serve him milk, wear his socks for him etc. She's my little helper when come to taking care of Hao. ^_^

I would say from a jealous sister, Lynn has become a caring sister. Sometimes she would still fight with him though. For example when Hao was not listen to her that he should not play the remote control; when Hao took away her color pencils when she was coloring; when Hao took away her school books. Does Hao like Lynn? I think so. One day, while I was taking my shower, I heard some quarrels and Lynn was crying came look for me in the bathroom.

Lynn: Mama, didi beat me.
Me: Why didi beat you?
Lynn: Because didi want to eat the cereal, and I said cannot.

Right before I took my shower, Lynn did ask me if she can eat the cereal. As it was very close to dinner time, I rejected her. Hao must be seeing the cereal and wanted to eat too. And Lynn knew that I won't allow it. So she disallowed Hao to eat the cereal too.

Hb went to check Hao and scolded him for beating Lynn. Hao came up to look for me too. So now 2 crying kids outside the bathroom! Hao cried because papa scolded him. 

Lynn: (now got papa back her up, she talked loudly to Hao) Cannot beat Jie jie!
Hao: (still crying) Mama.... mama.....
Lynn: Say sorry to jie jie.
Hao: (still crying) Mama.... mama.....     
Lynn: Say sorry to jie jie.
Hao: No! Mama.... mama.....

Finally I finished taking my shower.
Me: Hao, cannot beat jie jie. Say sorry.
Hao: (Crying) Mama... mama.....
Me: Say sorry to jie jie.
Hao: (Crying) Mama... mama.....
Me: (In a very firm voice) Say sorry to jie jie.

I insisted that he should say sorry to Lynn. But he just refused and was still crying there. I get annoyed and scolded him for crying so long and yet it is him who beat Lynn. Guess what? He turned to Lynn and still crying, saying "jie jie.... jie jie.... "; asking comfort from Lynn! Hahahahahaha! Just few minutes earlier he was angry with Lynn because Lynn disallowed him to eat the cereal. And now he seeks comfort from Lynn because mama scolded him! And what was Lynn's reaction? She gently pats his head! She was not angry at him now! LOL!

Lynn: It's ok. Jie jie sayang. Why you beat jie jie?
Me: Say sorry to jie jie and sayang jie jie.
Hao: (Hugging Lynn) Sorry jie jie.

It's a nice feeling seeing both of them becoming more loving to each other. Two weeks ago when we had problem with the cars, we were so glad that we have 2 kids to entertain each other instead of come bugging us for carry or whatever! Of course they are still not perfect yet. Hao has to learn to listen to Lynn when Lynn reprimands him for doing something not right. And also learn to share and be more caring to Lynn. Nowadays whenever Lynn say something, he will sure say "No!" back to Lynn. LOL! And Lynn also has to learn to talk to Hao in a more gentle way, when Hao is doing something not right. I feel so blessed having both of them with me. ^_^

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

One Hand, Two Hands by Max Lucado

One hand, two hands,
Five fingers, ten.
God, thanks, for my hands.
Please, use them again.

After waiting for almost 2 months, finally I received this book on last weekend. The beautiful illustrations straightaway captured the kids' attention and requested me to read for them on that night.

One Hand, Two Hands is written by Max Lucado in rhyming text and illustrated with the charming art of Gaby Hansen. The language is very simple, plus the interactive illustration, it is very easy for the children to understand. It teaches what wonderful things our hands can do from clapping, scratching, latching, squeezing, waving and petting a pup to washing dishes with mommy and putting toys in a box. As I read along, the kids will actively follow along doing all sorts of fun activities using their hands. Besides that, Hao is also attracted by the beautiful and sweet illustration of the book. This is one of the few books that he will sit with me listen to me finish reading the whole book without running around. :)

I like the message of the book - To encourage the children to help others with their hands, and to encourage them to be creative and think about other ways they can use their hands to be helpful. I rate this book 5 out of 5.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Unlucky but Lucky

This week did not start well for me. Some unlucky things happen, but seem like God pity us and give us some good luck though. It started with Monday morning, when we wanted to leave the house heading to office and drop by the kids to kindy and child care along the way, my car could not get started. After a few tries, the car alarm system was triggered and could not stop! I called up the service center; he taught me a simple way to use the remote key to stop the alarm. But it failed. Then he said if in this case, should be the car battery problem. Luckily hb was with us. He went to the nearby workshop to get a new car battery using his car, and then fixed it to my car. After that I sent my car to the service center to get the calibration done. It is for resetting the gear box after changing new battery. I left my car at the service center for servicing too. And I went to collect it on Tuesday morning when going to work.

Tuesday morning, I went to collect my car. Drove it to my parents' house and parked there. As after work, we will pick up the kids from my parents' house before heading home. Due to limited parking space near office, I and hb usually just drive one car to work. So I parked my car near my parents' house, and went to work with hb on his car.

After work, as planned we went to my parents' house. The road of my parents is a dead end. It is a slope too and my parents house is somewhere in the middle. We drove down the road, make a 3-point turn and wanted to head back up the slope so that later when we go home, we could drive out straightaway. Just right after hb had reversed the car and wanted to drive up the slope, something wrong with the gear! The screen at the front panel was showing the gear at the N position, and no matter how hb tried to change the gear, it did not engage at all! The car was stuck there blocking the way. We tried to push the car to the side of the road but as soon as we released the break, the car was actually moving backwards due to the slope. One Indian man saw that we were having problem with the car, came out from his house and helped us to push the car to the side. At the same time, I called my father for rescue.

As soon as the car was pushed to the side of the road, I saw my father walking down the road coming to us. He asked us to open the front bonnet, put his hand inside and pressed/pushed something (I could not see clearly whether he was pressing or pushing the thing), and asked hb to check what gear was it. Eh seems like can change gear from there! My father made the gear set at D, so that hb could drive the car to the front of my parents' house. Apparently, something has broken inside the thing where we switch the gear. That's why the gear was not engaged.

For 2 days, our 2 cars gave us problem one after another. LUCKILY
1. My car was just battery issue. And hb was around to change it for me. Could not imagine if just me alone with the kids! I would probably need to get help from neighbour to jump start the car so that I could drive to workshop or service center to change the car battery.  
2. Hb's car gear problem happened outside my parents' house, and not in the highway or when he was driving! It could be dangerous especially if the car was moving up the slope.
3. My father is a mechanic. He could not fix it on the spot without some tools. But he could drive it to his workshop the next day and get it fixed.
4. Since I parked my car near my parents' house that morning, we did not need to borrow car from my parents to go home.
5. I'm glad that I get my car fixed on Monday itself despite we could just drive to work using hb's car. Mainly due to the noisy alarm. We did not want the neighbor to complain about it.

I consider myself very lucky when come to car issue. Since my father is a mechanic, whenever my car gives problem I just need to tell my father. I also don't have to worry getting cheated or slaughtered by any bad mechanic. I never feel shy or shame whenever people ask me what's my father's occupation, just because he is not a manager or someone works in big company or someone who works inside an office. My father is a handyman and he fixes lots of things that not working in the house. I respect him a lot. And at one point, way before I was dating hb, I even wish to get a handyman husband like my father! LOL!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rumble! Zap! Pow!

This is a very good quality hard cover bible storybook for children. It highlights the adventurous stories in the Bible and points its readers to God's mighty power. The language used is simple and the stories are short, about 3 pages. The stories are presented in cartoon-style art to keep the kids engaged. Lynn is very much attracted with the bright pictures of the stories. This is our very first stories book in comic's style. Each story is paired with a “Mighty Thought” — a simple statement that summarizes the Bible story. There are total 42 stories in this book, started with God created the world, Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark etc.

Despite Lynn like this book due to the cartoon-style art, I personally quite disappointing with the book. The stories presented are too brief. As I'm not a Christian, I do not have good knowledge on Bible. I have some difficulty relate the stories to each other. I cannot see the connection between each story. For some of the stories, I also could not relate the stories with the "Mighty thought" that summarizes the story. The stories are just way to brief. Or it could be just me who does not have good knowledge on Bible stories. The story also ends with an activity designed for the active child, for example measure yourself with books and measure Goliath’s height with books; make a megaphone from a milk jug—to have a loud voice like Jonah needed. As our reading time is usually before bedtime, I did not do much of those activities with Lynn. 

I will rate this book 2 out of 5.

Note: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, September 17, 2010

When mommy is sick

I was sick over the Hari Raya holiday. It started with bad sore throat on Saturday. I was thinking what to have for dinner, and then hb told me that, he had promised the gal to buy pizza for dinner! I was very reluctant to eat pizza actually, as it most probably will make my sore throat worse. Approaching dinner time, the gal kept on asking me, "Mama, papa said buy pizza." Sigh. Since hb already promised the gal, so I went ahead to order pizza. And it was a wrong decision! I was regretted after that. I should have explained to her that mama could not take pizza. :(

As expected, I woke up with very bad sore throat the next day. Plus some coughs. And stuffy nose. Lynn asked for gai gai. I told her mommy is sick, cannot go gai gai. Ha, guess what she answered me "Then mommy stay at home. Lynn and Papa and Didi go gai gai."

I took an MC on Monday. Lynn knew I was sick and did not go to work. I actually wanted to go back to work the next day. Somehow when I woke up in the morning, I had a very bad blocking nose, until I could hardly breathe! Had a bad experience on this before, I nearly suffocated in the office as the air-conditioner will just make the blocking nose worse. So I took another day off. At night when the kids came home, Lynn told me "Mommy, tomorrow you no more sick you go to work ok?"

I still had some blocking nose when I woke up the next day, but not as bad. At least I don't feel much difficulty in breathing. So I went to work. She's so happy. "Yay, mommy is going to work today!" And I came home with dry throat and coughing non-stop. And on that night, I lost my voice. :(

Yesterday was holiday. Good for me don't have to go to work. As the air conditioner environment always made me worse. However the two demanding kids would not stop come near me, wanted to sit on my laps etc. Worrying that I may pass the virus to them, I had to ask them to go away. And despite mommy is sick, both kids finished our breakfast (I bought 4 cream breads, for each of us. But both kids ate all 4 of them.) Despite me having sore throat, coughing and no voice to talk, they made me blood boil and yelled at them! Because they made the Ballet dance DVD which my parents bought in Paris, full of finger prints and some scratches! They know that they are forbidden to touch that DVD! I hope the DVD still working fine, if not I will cry! At night, I told Lynn no reading tonight, as mommy has no voice; don't want to talk so much. "Mommy, you get well tomorrow, and then read book for us, ok?" 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sports Day

Although Lynn has been with this child care for about 2 years, but this is her very first Sports day! And first sports day for Hao too. Actually both of them are not going to the same place - Lynn is at the kindy, while Hao is with the infant and toddler group (from 2 months to 3 yers old). But both places are very close, just 3 mins drive from each other. Both are under same principal, so most of the events are combined event for both sides, and mostly held at the kindy compound, which is called Yellow House.

For the whole month of August, the teachers are busy preparing the children for the Sports day. Teaching them marching, singing the national anthem, playing all sorts of games. The Sports day falls on August 27, Friday. Since I'm not working in Selangor, it was not a holiday for us. I took leave for that day. But due to the need of getting ready for an important event on the following day, hb did not take leave. So he missed the kids first Sports day.

I reached there very early. And manage to snap some pictures before the event started.

Program for the day

Chairs for the parents.

Presents for the children.
Teachers getting ready the children before the event started. All children are requested to wear white pant. The blue color t-shirt is provided. To be return to the school after that.

Field where the sports events will be held.
Marching in - 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2.... It was drizzling in the morning. Luckily it stopped right before the event started. And the sun decided to continue hiding behind the cloud. So it was a good weather that morning!
Gymnastic Senior

Maching Fruits - This is a team event for 2 years old. 

Scooping Ping Pong Ball - individual event for 2 years old. Watch the video to find out how Hao performs in this event. :)

Wooden Round Board - Actually these 2 kids are just 1 and half years old. They have to put the wooden sticks on the board.
Jack and Jill - team event for 3 years old

Where is my shoe? - Individual event for 4 years old. Lynn the turtle was not able to wear her shoes as fast as her friends. :D 
Gymnastic Junior - Can you spot where is Lynn? :)
Threading beads - Individual event for 3 years old. 
Kangaroo Hop (5 years old)
Bean Bag Speed (6 years old) - The bean bags were placed some distance away. The children suppose to run to collect the bean bags and place them on the basket at the starting line. After finish collecting all bean bags, take the basket and run to the finishing line.
Father's Race - They have to walk to the finishing line with the balloon.
There were few events that I missed to take the picture. I was actually helping out on that day by holding the finishing line. That explains why all pictures were taken from same angle. :D

Children waiting for their presents. All children will get at least one present. I would say the school has been very generous on the presents. Let's see what did Lynn and Hao get. :)
Hao got this water tumbler and snack box with the Pooh sling bag. This is from winning the Scooping Ping Pong Ball event. Hao was so happy and he wants to use this water tumbler immediately. Because Lynn's water tumbler is something like this.
This is what Hao got from the Matching Fruits team event.
This is what Lynn got from her team event. 
I got something too! As a token of appreciation for helping out, even just holding the finishing line. :D
Everyone enjoy themselves on that day, especially the children. And I enjoy watching the Scooping Ping Pong Ball video clip again and again! :D

Friday, September 10, 2010

Buying shoes for kids

This morning, when I send the kids to school, Lynn told me "Mama, the Hello Kitty shoe is getting smaller, need to give to mei mei". Lynn has a cousin who is 1 year younger than her and we always pass down clothes that Lynn cannot fit to her.

At her age now, the rate she outgrows her shoe is very fast. Her first baby shoes last for less than half a year. And subsequently every 3-4 months we need to get a new pair of shoe for her. Thus it is important to get a good shoe for her growing feet. This can be tough because of the variety of cartoon characters and design that decorate kids' shoes, kids may want that particular shoe due to the cartoon character but the design may not be the best for their growing feet. The design of the shoe itself can make a big difference to how kids feet  develop, and choosing the right shoe can make a difference in later life as far as foot problems are concerned. Backless or slip-on shoes are only limited to going to school as they need to take off the shoe. Other time whenever we go out, the kids will wear sneakers. Since they like to run and jump, I always get those sneakers or walking shoe with flat soles. Especially Hao who likes to kick off the shoes, wearing sneaker can prevent him from kicking off his shoes.

Unlike adult, the main reason for replacing kids' shoes is that the kids outgrow them. Thus to me high quality and long lasting shoes are not as important as a shoe that give better comfort, protection and support for all-day wear. I will check if the soles of the shoes are thick enough to protect, yet flexible enough for walking. And make sure the depth of the grooves is deep enough for better traction. I usually just buy one pair of shoe for each of them for all occasion since they outgrow from it very fast. The boy is still fine but the shoe may not always match with Lynn's outfit all the time especially some of her dresses. I think it is time to get her a pair of smart fitted shoe for more formal occasions. And this video is a good reference on how to fit buckle-up shoes for girls.

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