Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Princess Stories Are Bad Influence

One of the "grown-up" shows that the kids and I watched together is "Chef At Home".

It shows daily on Channel AFC daily at 5.30 pm with a chef named Michael Smith, a big hulking man with shaggy hair and permanent smile and jest in his ways.

Today, in the middle of the show, Eu asked me if this man is married.

Curious to this line of question, I asked her why and so what. I was relieved that her answer was logical enough.

"If he is married, it means he's cooking for his family. If not, he is cooking for himself and there is so much food!"

But before I could take a breath in relief, Qi confirmed my fear that Princess stories are bad!

"Mom look! Baby De IS IN LOVE with the Chef At Home..."

I should banned all their fairy tales books or any stories that has anything to do with love from their book shelves...And get more dinosaurs books.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Calm Down When You're Mad

A few days ago, Qi imparted a new lesson she learnt from her show : when you are mad, you have to calm down.

I immediately used this to address her sometimes hot temper. And it was to my chagrin and amusement that she herself used this lesson against me.

Later that day, Eu complained that Qi played rough to her. Ready to reprimand her, I called Qi out of the room for explanation.

Instead of apologizing, she told me, "Mama, if I hit Che-Che, you have to CALM DOWN".

For someone who cannot be amused when I am in my disciplining mood, this was one of the few episode where she managed to clamped my mouth shut and I was forced to disguised my smile with a cough.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bath Tub Magic

One of the scenario which easily raises the blood levels for mothers (with no saintly patience) like me - is not having the kids obey me on the spot.

We understand that they have their own mind and feelings - that it is impossible for them and unfair for us to expect them to stop whatever they are doing just because we told them to do something else.

So what do we do when we are faced with the same situations everyday where you have to repeatedly - for instance - call and remind them to come in from their early evening walkabouts to take a shower, at the risk of burning the food?

Find a reason for them to stop what they are doing by their own will!

For my kids, it's simply telling them that it's "BATH TUB TIME!".

And as if by magic, they will drop whatever it is they are holding, even leave their cousin brother in a lurch as they raced in door to ask "Whose turn is it to go first mum?!!"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

When The Lumut Baby Is Home In Sabah

When I got the kids ready for our trip back to Kota Kinabalu last week, even Baby De was visibly excited.
It was as if she knew that she will be taking her first plane ride. And I was glad that she enjoyed her plane ride without much fuss - in fact, I thought she behaved like she was quite the pro at flying!
But if flying excites her, arriving at my parents' home was a different story.
For 2 straight days, the whole neighbourhood knew that we are home from the sound of her constant crying. She cried at everyone - and woe betide the ears of whoever dared enough to carry her.
Fortunately, on the third day, she began to warm to nearly everyone and had begun to smile and grin at most everyone. Well, she had better be - before she is left with her sisters and gran for a few days soon!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kids Prayers

Whenever my kids and I prayed, I always ask them to say a short prayers in their own words. I taught them that praying is when they speak to God and that if they prayed sincerely, God will always listen.

Once after I gave them the usual reminder that God is listening to their prayers, Eu had the bright idea to focus on this :
"God, even though you are up there in heavan and we are down here on earth, we can still hear you..."
Not to be outdone, Qi prayed in her own version :
"God, I know you are up in the sky and we are down on the ground, but we can hear you. So talk to us."
Just as it was to me, I am sure that listening to kids' prayers is one of the most enjoyable job that God has to do.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sleeping Beauty

When I get tired of Eu and Qi's boisterous games, I have a discovered a new way to occupy them without resorting to TV.

Dramatize any scene from a princess story!

And we did this activity a few mornings ago, after they had a super energetic and noisy game of bicycling - which I am sure was heard by the whole of our quiet neighbourhood.

One in particular was on Sleeping Beauty as she was about to touch the spindle of the spinning wheel. Eu was the evil witch disguised as the spinning woman and Qi was Sleeping Beauty.

Everything was going along as expected, with such dialogs :
Qi : "What are you doing?"
Eu : "I'm using the spinning wheel"
Qi : "Can I touch it?"
Eu : "Come closer.."
What was a little unexpected was their own twist :
Qi : "Do I have to PAY?"
Eu : "No, it's free"

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sleeping Disaster

Unlike Baby De who'd usually fall asleep within 5-10 mins of being put in her bed, it is much longer for both Eu and Qi.

It is rare that they can go to bed without them coming out at least once to bade us good night - again and again.

I definitely wonder about those kids we see on TV - tucked in, a kiss good night and they will close their eyes and sleep - are for real. Because this never happens with Eu and Qi - except when they are extremely tired or when we went out and they were half-asleep in the car.

Worse, they would only be asleep after their dimmed room has turned upside down - and after one or both were sent out of the room for a while. Their stuffed toys would be strewn all over the floor and their sleeping bodies in all sorts of angle - with their blankets kicked off.

Drama is putting it mildly because bedtime warzone is more like it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Noise Galore

My brother who was here for the weekend commented that like Eu, Baby De too did not have a problem with him.

But it was his other comment which made me wonder what kind of household we will be having in 2 years time. As in, what kind of noise level will I need to endure when Baby De is more articulate. Because even now, even without any words, she is very loud.

Actually I was hoping that it was only my imagination. But unfortunately everyone who knew Eu and Qi when they were babies were very-very sure that these two were never as loud and noisy as Baby De.

Wherever she gets this gene from, I hope by the time she is with words, at least one of her two elder sister has tone down - because having her joining forces with her two sisters in wrecking the already near non-existent peace in my household is something I quite dread.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Born To Be Wild

Once I commented to my husband that I wished that our kids are not so high-spirited.

Nonchalantly, he only said that it was our fate.

Of course, he is mostly spared of the test of patience that I get from them. If there is an award to be won, I will surely win for still being able to give them hugs and kisses despite the number of times they make me want to tear my hair out in frustration.

I now realised that the reason why I cannot linger and eat more during meal time is because this is one of their favorite times for adventures.

Being physically confined to their seats, their mind and mouth will run absolutely wild. There is never any shortage of subjects, it is impossible for them to stop talking voluntarily and reprimanding gets me nothing but increased blood pressure.

Worse, when I told them to stop thinking of anything else but their food - Eu answered for both of them, "But we are born this way!".


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Headbutting It Girl

It is amusing to notice that when Qi came along with me to send her big sister to school, it is her and not Eu that gets the most attention.

Teachers will fawn over her and I am used to parents on nodding-and-smiling basis with me, greet her whenever we pass by. Eu's classmates always ask whenever she did not come along and when she does, her name will be the one they call out. Sometimes a bunch of kids from another class will even come out to bade us good bye when we leave the school.

But the best example of her fame was today.

We pass by a girl whose class escapes me and she gaily greeted Qi as if she knew her well. After Qi responded to her greeting, we turned to each other and asked, "Who was that?"

I wonder if they will still think her cute next year when they know her more than 5 mins.

This girl who today, headbutts her sister just because Eu refused to move a little to the side.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Wedding Song

When I introduced "Man On The Moon" to Eu and Qi, I never expected that they will like very much.

But before this damage my original REM album, I knew I had to get them to like other songs. But it's not easy to go through songs after songs to see how they it - not to mention dangerous as I was driving.

So the trick to get them to get hook on a song immediately is give an interesting story to it.

And the catchy story I used for this song was that it was "Aunty J's wedding song" - Aunty J being my close friend and the thought of her being a bride (which was before their time) sure fired their imagination.

Besides, it is a lovely song and whenever I did hear this song, it did brought back memories of a beautiful wedding, great times and lovely saris that we donned.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Problem With A Reading Child

My husband and I read a lot and there are women's (mine) and cars (his) magazines literally everywhere around our house.

So I guess it was only a matter of time before either Eu or Qi start to flip through our stacks as they themselves are keen on reading materials.

Well, flipping through the pages and seeing the pictures are not as bad - as Qi did, commenting "What a pretty girl, Ma" when she came across pictures of a little girl in a fashion spread.

But when Eu went to the relationship part in my "Her World" magazine and asked :
"Ma, what does this means : 'HOW TO KNOW IF HE IS THE ONE?'"
You know it's trouble.

Fortunately, it was not one of those intimacy section that usually comes with pictures! Looks like we have to start putting away all MY magazines from now on.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Animals Fan

One of Qi's trademark question is : "Can we touch a komodo dragon?"

She is obviously very interested in animals.

She adores pet shops and would insist that we go in any that we come across. And the one tiny pet store in the Seria is probably her favorite shop in the whole town and a visit to the next door kopi tiam (usually the only reason we'd be on this block) meant a detour to this shop first.

Her current hero is "Diego" from the "Go Go Diego" cartoon show about a boy who lives in the jungle and whose job is to save animals. She idolised him so much that for the last few weeks now, she insisted that address her as Diego.

Even in the middle of me scolding her, she can butt in with a "Call me Diego" and usually call out just before she is about to sleep that we greet her with a "Good night Diego!". Of course, she loves her toy animals (and dinosaurs) and there a lot of dramas when she is in her animal game time.

Perhaps one of these days, we will adopt a real pet.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Man On The Moon

Last week, I changed all the CDs in my car player. When I told Qi that her "CD no. 1, Song no. 11" (Peterpan's "Di Atas Normal" - she has terrible taste, I know) is no longer in the player, she was not pleased.

She refused to listen to any of the new songs I put on until I told her that I will play a song about the "Man On The Moon".

That sure got hers and Eu's attention.

Although, after having been made to play and listen to it over and over and over again for more than a week now - that's 5 days a week when I sent and pick Eu to school - it is getting a little annoying.

Still, such a coincidence that last week was also the 40th anniversary that human first landed on the moon (July 2oth 1969) and what's with this week's total solar eclipse, Eu and Qi have been getting some space knowledge and have the perfect song for it - since they only got the "Man on the moon" part right.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Perhaps A Future Builder

In order to maximise the space that we have for all our stuffs, I used a lot of plastic shelves. We have 2 levels to 4 levels in all sizes and pretty colours.

But what surprised me was discovering that Eu has a penchant for putting these shelves together.

The first time I brought one home, she eagerly asked for my permission then confidently worked away, assembling the legs and the shelves in a very short time.

Needless to say, I was impressed when she assembled her first shelves with no problems at all. From then on, it is considered her assignments whenever I bought a new set.

There are times when I felt that she is too old for her blocks set but she still enjoys building objects with their blocks and bricks.

With this interest in building combined with her artistic talent, I am looking forward to her design in the future.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Noisy Sisters

Friends sometimes wonder how I manage 3 kids without maid to help me with the household chores.

When Baby De first arrived, things were a bit hectic. There are times when she refused to be left alone, Eu and Qi didn't know how to play with her - and my hands were full and my legs on the go most of the time.

As Baby De grew older, things became so much easier. She adored her two big sisters and the best thing is, both of them are always ready to "watch" her. Qi would wake from her nap and straight away asked if she can go and "watch" the baby. Eu could be depended on entertaining the baby.

The only problem about letting Baby De spent so much time with Eu and Qi is that - she is becoming louder than them.

So used to spontaneous off-tune songs from Qi, or the sound of their drama or my scolding them - Baby De revel in loud noises. There is not much gurgling or babbling from this baby. She might be tiny but she shouts and calls like none of them ever did.

Judging by how Eu and Qi are right now, we are very worried.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

REM : Shiny Happy People

Because I rarely get online before late morning, I came to know of the Jakarta bombing news via my mother in law two hours after it happened.

It was a terrible tragedy to happened in this lovely city.

It's easy for us to quickly judge this a dangerous city but anyone who had visited Jakarta would also remember how courteous and helpful are its people.

I do believe that this act of terrorism, whatever were their motive, was perpetrated by a tiny group of people without the blessing or approval of the general public of Indonesia. That the majority of Indonesians would never willingly sacrifice innocent lives no matter what the objectives were.

Today was indeed a sad day and thus I chose a song which will hopefully remind us that despite these attacks, most Indonesians are also ordinary people who wish nothing more than to be happy.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Natural History Fan

One of the place that we brought the kids to when we were in Kota Kinabalu last month, was the Marine Aquarium and Museum at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS)

The first thing that caught Eu and Qi's eyes when we entered this place was the bones of the Cuvier's beaked whale. According to report, this whale was found dead at Mimpian Jadi, one of the resort along the coast of Tuaran in 1997.

This was the kids' first encounter with this kind of exhibit and I am eagerly waiting for them to be older so we could enjoy more museum visit of this kind.

Qi - who now calls herself Diego after a cartoon character who saves animals - is especially keen on animal and once I told her that there are no longer any living dinosaurs.

She concurred by saying : "Yeah, we can only find their fossils".

I was impressed that she picked up the stuffs that I actually told Eu whenever the subject of dinosaurs came up.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Still Michael Jackson's News

Only half braved the school last week - including Eu who was happy to be back in class with her friends.

This week, her class is full and on Monday, I overheard one of the student updating another friend of the news - since they last saw each other 3 weeks ago.

You would have thought that the latest and hottest news would be the "Transformers" movie.

But no.

The hottest story among the kids was still : "Do you know Michael Jackson died already?".

At the homefront, it was Qi who always requested to see (youtube) videos of "Madagascar" - how she mispronounced Michael's name. It took us a while to understand, until she explained "That man with the glove!".

Such is the power of this man!

Kazuo Ishiguro : Never Let Me Go

I have been re-reading Kazuo Ishiguro's "Never Let Me Go" again - a book I bought 3 years ago.

This book is excruciatingly slow but because it's a strange story, I can't help but finish it.. Besides, this is an author who despised readers like me and planned his story just so, that flipping right to the last page tells me not much.

In fact, there was nothing on the first or last page that tells you that this is a story about human clones. Of "humans" who came out of nowhere, reared to provide organs to actual humans.

But this is not a sci-fi novel. There is nothing technical here. How clones came about was never described and donations processes were only mentioned vaguely.

Mostly, this is a story of emotion. How they too feel like human. That they too feel anger, frustration, joy and love. That their lives are planned - and when it's time for them to donate, that's what they have to do and if they die after giving a few organs, that's just how their lives are supposed to be.

There is reportedly a movie in the making for this. It's just so typical British to pick this kind of drama for a movie. While Keira Knightley fits the bill in terms of age, I think Rachel Weisz should have been the lead. But we will see next year.

My Wild Child

When Eu and Qi role-play, their favorite being a good princess or an evil witch, they do it with a passion.

There would usually do it with a change of voice tone, face expression, body gesture and relevant props.

They are the culprits to missing chopsticks because these make the perfect "magic wands".

When I donated some of my oversize-pregnancy clothes to their dress-up collection, they had a field day dressing up. Once dressed, there were plenty of "You look pretty Princess Aurora.." followed by "Thank you., Snow White. You look gorgeous too..." spoken with soft voices and gentle manners - complete with some fluttering of eye lashes from Qi.

But of course, this demure princess role did not last long with Qi.

Soon this undersize girl, lifted her oversize dress, gave a hearty laugh and innocently announced (no offence meant): "I look FAT!".


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