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!

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