Books that I read

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.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews

When I get the hold of this book, I can't get my eyes off from it. It is so beautifully illustrated. Even the kids are attracted by the beautiful color and requested me to read for them immediately. The Boy Who Changed the World shares the stories of Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug, Vice President Henry Wallace, Inventor George Washington Carver, and Farmer Moses Carver. Through the stories of each, a different butterfly will appear. Norman might not save two billions people without Henry's idea. Henry would not have interest in plant if not because of George. George wouldn't have grown up if Moses hadn't saved him from the outlaws. You see, even the smallest of our actions can affect all of humanity.

I love the beautiful illustration of the book. Each story of the characters is short and clear to keep the attention of the children. I can easily split the reading of the entire book into few reading sessions. The book ends with a flourish of butterflies and a charge to the child that they, too, can be the boy or girl who changes the world.  I would say this book is more suitable for children above age 5 or 6. I will rate this book 5 out of 5.

Note: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews

"Every single thing you do matters. You have been created as one of a kind. You have been created in order to make a difference. You have within you the power to change the world." - Andy Andrews.

Most of the time, we care about what others have done to us. Because the impact is on us. However, how many of us, will think of the decisions we make and the way we treat others have more impact than we may ever realize? In this book The Butterfly Effect, Andy Andrews shares a compelling and powerful story about a decision one man made over a hundred years ago, and the ripple effect it’s had on us individually, and nationwide, today. It’s a story that will inspire courage and wisdom in the decisions we make, as well as affect the way we treat others through our lifetime.

The book is not very thick, less than 60 pages. Very beautifully illustrated. I like the writing style - very simple, and yet able to pass the message to the reader. Everything we do, every move we make, every action we take matter. A very good reminder to me, especially when I deal with the kids. This book is very easy to read. Very good for people like me who don't have much time to read. Within one month I have read it again and again. It is a very good gift book. I will rate it 5 out of 5.

Note: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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