Thursday, December 07, 2006

Joe and his brothers

Joe has been having a lot of interaction with his brothers lately. Ok they are actually his cousin brothers but it doesn't really matter, does it?

Brandon came to stay for 4 days last week while his parents went to Alor Star for training.
During the 4 days, Joe and Bran had a gala time tearing my house apart. They jumped on the bed, dived from the bed to the mattress on the floor next to it, went swimming, climbed up and down my furniture and threw toy cars everywhere. Whatever one did, the other wanted to do too. For example...

me : Bran, go shee shee.

Brandon : Jojo shee shee...Jojo shee shee.

me : Bran, drink water.

Brandon : Jojo drink water.

me : Bran, time to eat.

Brandon : Jojo eat.

As for Joseph, he would point to the spot where Brandon always pees and says "Bannn" (he can't quite pronounce the 'r' sound). Then he points to where he pees and says "jojo".

When Brandon's parents came to get him, he cried and said "Jojo come! Jojo come!!!"

This couple of days in Singapore, Joseph has also had a gala time with his 3 other brothers who have been spoiling him with their collection of toy cars. They give in to him and makes sure he has all the cars he can get his hands on. I took him out to Thompson Plaza and Junction8 but I think he had more fun playing with his cousins.

He keeps looking up....maybe he's asking God for siblings....???

Monday, November 06, 2006

time flies

It's been 2 months since I quit the civil service (and lost the facility of broadband). Working in private practice is so very different. I used to have about 30 patients waiting for me as soon as I arrived at the clinic. Now I sit and shake legs most of the time. During lucrative times, I can earn more than RM200 in an hour. But when there's no patients, oh well....I sit and read everything from Women's Weekly to Men's Health.

Joseph has past the 18month milestone. He's learning new words everyday and learning to throw a tantrum too. Here's the prince on his throne.

At times he can be so cute he melts your heart. Many times I find that I underestimate him. Last week, during a meal, he kept fidgeting and trying to stand up to climb out of his high chair. We used the cane to keep him in his seat. After dinner, much to my horror, I found his legs covered with mosquito bites. No wonder he was trying to get out of the seat. He was in fact trying to avoid the mosquitoes. I felt so bad.

Then another night while I was trying to put him to bed, he rolled on my bed till he found the hand fan. Immediately he stood up, walked to the side of the bed, put the fan on my bedside table and said, "keep!". Then he went back to the middle of the bed, laid down, hugged his Barney bolster and went to sleep. I was speechless.

We went back to Penang last month for 10 days over the DeepaRaya break. The main reason was of course to attend John and Ai Ling's wedding.

It was good to meet up with so many ex-classmates. I had not met some for more than 10 years since we left school. And especially cool that we now have kids of our own.

Joseph has friends. He can point to Janae in the picture above and say, "mei mei". Then he points to Nathaniel and says, "nat". Nat loves to hug. Joseph obliges him.

On 1st November, we celebrated Edwin's 30th birthday. He was kinda nostalgic about hitting the big 3-0. But I told him he's done pretty well in 3 decades and there's a lot of blessings to count.

The next day 2nd November marked our 4th wedding anniversary. Four good years. Sure we've had our fair share of arguements and disagreements. But I wouldn't trade it for anything else. Life is good.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Another trip down south

This is Joseph's 3rd trip to Singapore. And he's not even 18 months old yet. He's having quite a ball here playing with his cousins.

Here's Joseph and his cousins...topless!

Just now I prayed with him before he went to bed....(when I switch off the lights and tell him "pray", he will kneel down, fold his hands together and bow his head)

me: Dear Lord....Thank you for watching over Joseph today. We commit him to you tonight, grant him a good night's rest. Cover him with your blood from head to toe...

Joe : toe

me: Protect him from all harm, keep all the mosquitoes and bed bugs away...

Joe : bug bug

me : Give him a good night's rest. Refresh and renew him as he sleep. Bless him with good health and strength

Joe : bless bless

me : In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Joe : ish...ish... (Trying to say "finish", while shaking his hands like "boh")

I have to try hard to NOT laugh.

Monday, September 18, 2006

My darling's a winner!!!

Last Friday 15th September, Edwin won the Pro-Vice Chancellor Award for Distinguished Teaching. It's a recognition for great teaching in the whole Monash Malaysia Campus. I'm so proud of him!
Next up is his application for the Vice Chancellor Award. That's for the entire Monash University (all campuses including Malaysia, South Africa and Italy).

Saturday, September 16, 2006

In transtition

It's been a while since I updated this blog. The reason being I no longer have unlimited broadband connection and the luxury of time. Having served my compulsory service of 3-years with the civil service, I quit. I now work 2 days a week at a private practice clinic in PJ. Joe went to school. He had a bad traumatic start. After the first day, he clung to me like a koala on a eucalyptus tree, refusing to let go even when Edwin wanted to carry him. Suddenly "mama" became his favourite word. He became so fearful that I would leave him. So unlike the confident happy boy he was. We persisted for 3 more days. But I couldn't bring myself to torture him further so we have spoken to his teachers and decided to defer his going to school till next May at least. No more school for now. At least I can concentrate at work, knowing he's happy at home with his Nana.

This was Joe getting ready for first day of school.

Joe and his daddy

Yesterday, Joseph turned exactly 17 months.

He's grown so much. At 12.2kg and 83 cm in height, he is 3.5 times heavier and 60% longer than at birth. I made a count of all the words he can say and counted almost 50.


Bob (the tomato from Veggietales - when he wants to watch the show)

"boh" (don't have in hokkien)


chiak (kinda like boo but in hokkien...I think)









fat (he pats his tummy and says "fat fat")

nat (his reply when asked "what's your friend's name?")




how (his response when he sees a puddle of pee on the bed/floor)

mole (his reply when asked "wat does kong kong have?")


"ar" (meaning Car)



nen nen







mum mum

puh (when someone farts)
















"mai" (don't want in hokkien)

I might have missed a few in my count. But he keeps me amazed as he learns new words everyday. Indeed, wonderfully made!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Chocolate Pie

This is a memory from my childhood.
My mother used to often make this wonderfully delicious pie. It has a pastry base, a thick delicious middle filling layer, and sweet fluffy meringue on the top. The filling can be either chocolate, banana or coconut....or anything else you can think of.
Joseph was fascinated with the pie. He said "wahh...."
Last Monday my mother made a chocolate pie. It was supposed to be for my brother's birthday. I had requested that she make the pie. However, since we celebrated Reuben's birthday earlier on Saturday, Reuben was not around to eat the pie on Monday.
Instead, Reuben had Domino's pizza and KFC chicken on Saturday night.

Monday, September 04, 2006

blufology absorbent diaper

I went to the "Mummy and Me" fair at Midvalley Exhibition Center last Friday. At the booth that was selling ScoobeDry diapers, this man was trying to sell me some diapers.

I had seen this brand of diapers before and thought it must be pretty premium because of the high price. It works out to almost one ringgit per piece. But this man claimed that since it was even more absorbent than a certain reliable brand known for absorbency, it is cost effective because only one piece is needed throught the night. He even boasted that he could put his own son in the diaper from 6pm till 10am the next morning. I wasn't convinced enough to part with my hard-earned money so he gave me 2 pieces as samples to try.
On Saturday night, I put Joseph in this supposedly-premium diaper after his bath at about 8pm. He went to sleep soon after that. Very early the next morning....too early in fact.....Joseph woke up crying in discomfort. The clock showed 5am. I found his shirt and pants soaked with urine. So much for all that boasting about super fantastic absorbency.
So I got up, changed Joseph's pants and diapers as gently as I could so that he slept on. Dry and comfy, Joe continued in his slumber. Then I felt this sharp pain on my left middle finger. I went to the bathroom to switch on the light and found a 1.5cm long papercut-like opening on my finger tip.
Grrr.....this darn lousy diaper not only leaked through Joseph's clothes and caused him discomfort, the velcro part nicked my finger!!!

I'm so can bet I'm never gonna purchase this brand of diaper and I'm certainly not recommending it to anyone I know. In fact, I think I'm gonna write to the company and ask them to compensate me for my pain and the cost of my plasters.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Joseph's favourite new toy

Joe has a new favourite toy. Every morning when he wakes up, he crawls over the the other side of our bed, opens the bedside drawer and takes out his favourite toy.

He waves them around, arranges them on the bed, twists and turns them around.

I thought that since he loves them so much, I should use them to teach him the colours of the traffic light.

After all, it's never too early to start. And he doesn't need to know the actual purpose of this 'toy' for the next 20 plus years.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

the end of my civil service

Tomorrow, 30th August 2006 will be my last day as a civil servant. It has been over 3 years since I started working with the Ministry of Health Malaysia because of the compulsory service regulation which was imposed just a year before I graduated.
I started work on 1st July 2003 at Klinik Pergigian Bangsar. After 6 months there, I went to the Oral Surgery Dept in HKL for 3 months. Those 3 months must have been the most horrible 3 months of my life. Standing for hours in the operation theatre looking at blood and bones is definitely not my cup of tea. Nope, I need to be able to take a gulp of water every hour, go to the loo every 2 hours (at least) and be able to scratch my nose as and when I need to. It's real torture to have to stand still draped in sterile gowns with sterile-gloved-hands for hours and do nothing except retract the patient's cheek while the surgeon rumbles on about how Mr so-and-so has 4 wives and is divorcing no.2 and blah blah blah.
I was glad to be done with Oral Surgery in March 2004. From April to June 2004, I was attached to the Paediatric Specialist Dental Clinic also in HKL. This was slightly better than Oral Surgery because OT days were only once every 2 weeks. And the cases were much shorter. Usually it was just dental clearance for some absolutely uncooperative kid with rampant caries.
There were also several touching cases that I cannot forget. The most touching must have been this mother who had 3 sons with some hereditary muscular dystrophy syndrome. I first saw the eldest boy who came into the surgery in a wheelchair. After doing scaling on him, his mother wheeled him out. A few minutes later, she wheeled another boy who looked very much like the first one, and in the same physical condition as the first. At first I didn't realize it was another son until I checked his card. Later, I went out to the waiting area and saw a third boy in the same condition. My heart went out to this stoic mother who must have strength beyond my imagination. Having one special paraplegic child must be difficult for any parent, what more with three!
After I was done with all my specialist attachments, I went back to Klinik Pergigian Bangsar in July 2004. Joseph came along in April 2005 and I took 4 months off work. I went back to work in August 2005 and shortly after, in October 2005, I volunteered to transfer to Klinik Pergigian Tanglin where I have been till the end of my civil service.
It has been 3 interesting years. Sometimes it is fulfilling when patients are grateful to me for restoring their smile. Some comment that their extractions were painless and they didn't even realize the tooth had been removed. Others say that the experience wasn't as frightening as they had anticipated. Then there is the occasional extra demanding patient who thinks the government owes it to him to treat him like a VIP. They come in here, pay a mere ONE RINGGIT and expect to be treated like royalty, demanding on-the-spot treatment even when there are a dozen others waiting outside for their turn. Such patients need to know that even if he were to go to a private clinic and had to pay for it, he would still have to wait if he did not have an appointment.
Anyway, I'm leaving, as some might say, for greener pastures. Who can blame me when I can work half the time, and earn double the money in private practice. I'm merely trying to make a living. I have served my time. I'll be a 'free woman' after tomorrow.

Friday, August 25, 2006

flat tire

Ever heard of how birds learn to fly? Or how ducks learn to swim?
When one is thrown into the deep end of the pool, either you sink or swim.

I went home for lunch yesterday. On my way back to work at 1.30pm, I was stopped at the traffic lights in front of Universiti LRT station when the driver of the van on my left kept on pointing to the back of my car. I quickly got out and to my horror, saw that the back left tire was flat. I waved a 'thank you' to the van driver and got back into my car.
What was I to do? I had to get back to work by 2pm. Edwin wouldn't be back so early. As soon as the lights turned green, I switched on my hazard lights and carefully made a u-turn to go back up the hill and home.
Out of the hot sun and back in the safety of my parking lot, I quickly got out the jack and got to work. I have seen how it is done but never had the opportunity to do it all by myself. This must be my lucky day!
Adrenaline rushed through my veins and I loosened all the nuts effortlessly. I jacked up the car, changed the tire, put back all the nuts and jacked down the car....all in just under 15 minutes.
I drove back to clinic cautiously and arrived at exactly 2pm. Then my right arm started to ache a bit. I thought it would be worse today but surprisingly, I feel just fine. Feel so proud of myself!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I was browsing through a copy of today's Harian Metro as I ate my lunch. There was much coverage of the wedding of the year - that of Malaysian pop princess Siti Nurhaliza (now Datin Siti Nurhaliza) to her prince Datuk K. Somewhere in the centrefold page were pictures of the many hantaran. Then I came across this picture...

kafling???? What on earth is a kafling?

New word ah?

Then I looked at the picture closer.....

ohh.....cuff links!!!

And Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka complains that our national language is being contaminated, diluted and treated with no respect. Just a few pages away in the same malay language newspaper are some comments that our Malay language is NOT treated with enough respect and that we should use it more to be proud of it. How ironic!!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

no electricity...again?

We were back in Seremban for the weekend. On what was supposed to be a lazy relaxing Saturday, Tenaga was at it again. Power supply went out in the late morning just as I was about to sit to read the newspapers.
It was so hot. Just way too hot for clothes.

Unfortunately for me, I couldn't just go topless like the boys.

Even in the heat, Joseph and Brandon could enjoy themselves.

At 1.30pm, Joseph decided to do his big business. Then I showered him. Poor kid had a cold shower since the water heater runs on electricity.

Just as I was starting to rock him for his afternoon nap, power came back. Thank God for air-conditioners! Joseph slept 2.5 hours peacefully. I had my lazy afternoon nap.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fish 'n Chips for ONE ringgit

After Rebecca's shopping spree, I had 3 coupons that entitled me to purchase Fish n Chips at Hooked (The Curve) for a mere ONE ringgit. RM1.00. I mean...this is the 21st century. What can you get for one ringgit? Sure one ringgit can pay for per-entry parking at several shopping complexes (on weekdays only) but to get a satisfying meal for RM1 is almost impossible.
So off we went to Hooked. I promptly presented the voucher and this is the meal I got.
I must say it tasted as good as it looked. Absolutely no complains for this one ringgit meal. Rebecca had this for lunch.
I ordered the set lunch for RM9.90. Again it was quite a bargain. I got a nice hot bowl of tasty mushroom soup, a decent serving of spaghetti carbonara with fish, and a big glass of iced-lemon tea.
this photo was taken when I was half way thru the soup.
The soup was definitely not the tinned kind. The spaghetti was tasty enough and the iced-lemon tea had a nice kind of zing to it.
Very filling on the stomach and easy on the wallet.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Another long week..Rebecca goes home...and Penang.

After working for merely 2 days on 26th and 27th July, I was off for another 10-day stretch. In all, I worked a grand total of 9 days in July. Unfortunately, all good things have to come to and end. Plus the fact that I can't live on fresh air and sunshine.
Monday 31st July 2006
I drove Rebecca, Reuben, Mummy and Joe to Bukit Tinggi Resort for a day trip. Citibank is currently having a promotion whereby it's 50% off the entrance fee. So off we went to see some rabbits, donkeys and deers.
The drive there was pleasant once we got out of the KL traffic jam. On arrival, we went to Colmar Tropicale first and found a nice picnic table with stools where we had our lunch of packed sandwiches.
After lunch, we walked around a bit, took in the lovely scenery and surroundings and snapped photographs

Then we took the tram to the Rabbit Farm. But it was certainly no farm. The rabbit kandang was no bigger than my bathroom and contained at most, 15 rabbits. Joseph looked around unimpressed.

We then walked to the back of the rabbit kandang and found another 2 kandangs. One contained a few donkeys and the other, several deers.

The vast greens of the adjacent golf course soon had us making use of it as a backdrop for lovely pictures.

Back at Colmar Tropicale, we sat down at the pizza cafe for a snack. Joseph decided to dig into the pizza.

This tarte flambe pizza for RM25 actually tasted quite good. The cheese was nice and gooey and the toppings were sufficient for a good bite.

We left the place at about 4pm and Joseph slept the whole way home. This is my favourite picture for the day :

Other photos at Colmar Tropicale can be viewed here.

Tuesday 1st August 2006

This is the day before Rebecca flies back half way around the globe to Dallas. Tuesdays are Earthquake Days! That's 50% off the Earthquake at Swensen's.

Wednesday 2nd August 2006

We went to KLIA to send Rebecca off. She didn't cry. Neither did Joseph. I'm not sure he's gonna miss Ah Yee as much as Ah Yee is already missing him, and planning her next trip home.

After returning from the airport, Joseph and I travelled back to Penang with my parents. This is my first trip home to Penang this year. I'll be spending the next few days catching up with a few friends.

Sunday 6th August 2006

Joe, mummy and I fly back to KL on AirAsia. I'm glad to say that the crowd was much more orderly this time. There were 2 separate aisles with clear signages. The AirAsia staff was also more pro-active. Nevertheless, what I cannot understand is why everyone was made to climb down a flight of stairs, walk out onto the tarmac and up the movable stairs to get into the plane when it was parked right next to the aerobridge. All the had to do was extend the aerobridge to meet the airplane door. Joseph was in his stroller when we had to board the plane. A young Arab boy who spoke no English came and eagerly helped me carry the stroller, with Joseph in it, down the flight of stairs. He didn't wait to be thanked. I said "Thank you" a few times but he didn't seem to understand English. Too bad I can't say it in arabic.

The flight was also almost on time. We touched down at KLIA at 3.45pm as scheduled even though take off was about 10 minutes late. And the lovely thing about the LCC-T is that the bags come out much faster than at the main terminal. I usually try not to check-in luggage but this time, it was unavoidable because it was impossible to carry the car seat into the cabin.

Here's Joseph on arrival at the LCC-T....blur and tired because he had only slept 45 minutes the entire day.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bali and the long week that was

It's been a long work-free week for me. I was on leave for 7 days making a total of 11 work-free day in a stretch. Had such a hangover this morning. And I miss Joe already!
Here's what happened during my long work-free week.

Saturday 15th July
Joe played football. He's a natural!
Monday 17th July
We flew to Bali on AirAsia. It was not a very pleasant experience overall. I saw the ugliness of Malaysians. We were waiting to board the flight. There was a bunch of super kiasu senior citizens who started queueing at gate T7 way before any announcement was made. However, when the call for boarding was made, families with infants, children below the age of 12, expectant mothers and senior citizens were asked to queue at gate T8. Instead of going to the back of the line at gate T8, this bunch of extremely rude, uncivilised senior citizens cut queue and went in front of those already in line. Not only did they jump queue, they actually pushed and shoved others aside so that they could all stand together in front of everyone else. I was standing in line, carrying a sleeping Joseph in my sarong sling and trying to protect him. One bald old indian man actually bumped Joseph's head. I said a loud "excuse me". He just looked the other way and pretended not to hear anything. How rude can one get? And these are senior citizens?!?!! Or should I just call them a bunch of rude old farts! Who can blame young people these days if we do not respect our elders? We're merely learning from their example. Respect is after all earned. Not demanded.
Anyway, the flight itself was fine except for the 1 hour delay. We landed in Bali at 8.30pm to find out that there had been an earthquake and tsunami in southern Java. Reaching our hotel room at almost 10pm, we promptly went to bed.
Tuesday 18th July
The day was spent resting, rotting and exploring the hotel grounds. Joseph looked cool in his batik shirt.
Wednesday 19th July
Joseph busied himself exploring the hotel room.
We took a walk down to the beach. Joseph touched an ocean for the first time. He was absolutely at home.
Thursday 20th July
We have yet to leave the hotel grounds since we checked-in on Monday. This evening, we take Joseph to check out the playground. It's pretty well-maintained. He enjoyed his first time on a see-saw.
Friday 21st July
We're going home today. I'm actually looking forward to it. We extended our check out time to 5pm for an extra USD25, so that we can rest before our 8pm flight. This is our room that cost USD63 nett per night.
Nothing great about it. The place is actually pretty old but at least it's clean. For that same price, we would probably be able to get a much nicer hotel in Malaysia.
I find Bali is not my cup of tea. In fact, I think it's pretty overated. I couldn't find anything worth buying. The batik there is no different from the ones you find here. And I don't waste money on trinkets that do nothing more than collect dust. What I found eerie was that there was either an idol or a picture of one everywhere I looked. Every corner, every hallway, every room, every wall. I don't think we'll miss anything if we never go back to Bali again.
Saturday 22nd July
Ah...home at last. So nice to wake up in my own bed. Spent the morning at home. In the afternoon, I took Joseph to Bueh Yee's house in SS2 to see Rebecca. Joseph found the trampoline to be quite fun.
Then this is Joe and Rebecca watching Veggietales.
And this is Joe checking out his new guitar.
Monday 24th July
Rebecca, Mummy, Joe and I went to Midvalley after lunch. I needed to print some photos. They looked great! Rebecca went shopping.
Tuesday 25th July
More shopping...Joseph and I spent the day with Rebecca and Reuben at Tesco, Ikea, The Curve. It's a first for me to be out with my siblings and my darling son. Rebecca went shopping for more dresses. We had quite a good time. However, Joseph refused to sleep taking merely 2 short 30-minute naps all day. At dinner time, he refused to eat. After cleaning him up, putting him in clean diapers and pajamas, he decided to poo. sister says babies like to poo in clean diapers just like how we like to use clean toilets. So while I was trying to wash the poo off his bum, he decided he wanted to splash around in the bath tub that still contained his earlier bath water. When I took him out, he started yelling and crying and throwing a tantrum. After that....he spent the next 2 hours crying in pain and discomfort. I spent 2 hours trying to put him to sleep. He would appear to have fallen asleep, and 10 seconds later start crying again. He arched his body backwards and wouldn't stop kicking. I was at my wits end. Didn't know what to do. It was 2 hours later that he finally fell asleep. My diagnosis is that his hungry stomach got filled with air and the trapped air was giving him pain. The more he cried in pain, the more air went in and the vicious cycle continued. I hope this trauma doesn't happen again. What a dramatic end to my nice long work-free week.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

stinky smoke...back again?

It was a hot night. Joseph woke up at 4.30am crying in discomfort. I got up to comfort him and was overwhelmed by the acrid smell of smoke all around. Looking out of the window from my 13th floor apartment, the MPPJ tower looks a blur behind the light blanket of haze.

Is the haze back? Memories of last year's mega-haze are still vivid in my mind. Air Pollution Index (API) readings don't fool me. I've got a nose you can call a haze-o-meter. I can smell smoke even before I see smokers. Days before the haze is visible, my nose will start feeling stuffy and runny.

I close the window, switch on my Greenaire revitalisor and get back into bed, trying to ignore the stinking smoke. Can someone please tell the Indonesians to stop burning? Stop polluting my air. I've a right to breathe fresh clean air!!!

a salty kind of stink

Joseph started having smelly feet eversince footwear became a necessity for him. He officially started walking at 13 months and has already outgrown his first pair of shoes. After we get home from a day out, I remove his shoes and socks and find that they emit a salty kind of stink. Smelly feet on a 15 month old boy? This can't be for real. So I started looking for alternative footwear. Joseph's generous ah yee who just came back from half way around the globe to visit him brought with her a pair of Timberland sandals that cost USD24!

That works out to around RM88. I don't even wear shoes that cost that much. My Renoma high heels which was bought at a warehouse sale cost only RM80. Okay..that's close to RM88. But it's still less!'s a good deal. I checked out the Timberland boutique in 1-Utama and the same pair of sandals retails for RM139. What a bargain huh? But Joseph can't wear his yet. Being kiasu, my sister bought a size 9! The store salesgirl suggested a size 5 for a 1-year old. Oh doesn't really matter. He'll grow into it. Right now, there's more than an inch of room between the tip of his toe to the edge of the sandals. I hope it'll be the end of his smelly feet when he starts wearing the sandals.

In the mean time, I bought him another pair of shoes last tuesday. We were out window shopping at Metrojaya when I spotted this pair of shoe by Larrie. It has a non-slip rubber sole which is flexible. Beside looking good, it was priced at only RM25.90 (Even kikilala shoes cost more). And it was the last pair! So it was either buy it, or regret it.

Joseph needed new shoes anyway. His current pair bought by his Ah Kong is getting tight. There's hardly any room between the tip of his toe and the edge of his shoe. Children grow so fast! I need to enjoy him before making a sister/brother for him.