Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Joe's new toys

My not-very-big apartment is getting increasingly cluttered with Joe's toys. For his 2nd birthday, my mum decided to get him a car. Yes, a car! Just like Noddy's car she says. So we went shopping and found this at Carrefour Midvalley for RM66.70.He loves it so much. Although it is a pedal car, Joe doesn't quite know how to use the pedals yet. So it's still foot-powered. I took off the ugly stickers that came with the car and decorated it with Joe's favourite Cars stickers. So now he's got Lightning McQueen, Sally, Mater and Luigi on his new red car.
Yesterday, we got him another 2 new toys. A bouncing hop-hop ball for RM19.90 and a hop-hop pony for RM59.90, both from ToysRus.
The ball is too big for him right now. Our neighbour's kid who is 5 years old enjoys it much more. But Joe is happy on the little pony. I hope all that jumping will make him more tired so that it makes my life easier come bedtime.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

two years of love, life and laughter

Joe turned 2 on Saturday 14th April 2007. I reflected and wrote a 'letter' to him in the journal that I've been keeping since the day I found myself pregnant with him, way back in August 2004. It has been 2 wonderful years filled with lots of laughter and smiles, tears and fears, pee, poo and puke as well. When I look at how he's grown and all the things he has learnt, I feel so grateful to God for giving me this privilege of experiencing motherhood. I think of all the many women who yearn for a child but are barren and I'm so thankful.

Every birthday should be celebrated. Life is to be celebrated. Joe got 3 cakes in all this year. We had another one at cell group on Friday 13th, but no pictures coz the camera battery kaput-ed.
On Sunday 15th April, my in-laws drove up from Seremban for dinner, and to celebrate Joe's birthday. He's one blessed boy! We got him this cake, made by a friend who's business, Cakes for Kicks is run from home. It cost RM70 and I got to eat the extra side cut-outs too.
Joe didn't care about the shape or the deco or the taste of the cake. He was just eager to light and blow the candles.
Joe is at an age where he's like a sponge. And a parrot. He learns everything we teach and says it back to us. My mother taught him this on Monday night...

mummy : Can a rocking chair take you to heaven?

Joe : Cannottttt

mummy : Can a rocket take you to heaven?

Joe : cannottttt

mummy : Can Barney take you to heaven?

Joe : cannotttttttt

mummy : Who can take you to heaven?

Joe : Jesussssss!!!!

Ahh....I love this boy!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

fun family holidays

My in-law side of the family...the Tans have in the last couple of years got into a tradition of having a annual family holiday. It all started in 2004. We booked a 5-bedroom bungalow with private pool at A'Famosa Resort in Alor Gajah.

In November 2005, we spent 3 lovely days at the OMF Bungalow in Cameron Highlands. I believe this was by far the best holiday. We loved it so much we want to go there again this year. Unfortunately, Irene the caretaker will be leaving the bungalow and she's not sure if there'll be a replacement. Hence, no more bookings at OMF Bungalow...boo hoo hoo!

Why do we love that place so much? First of all, the weather is just lovely. Though Cameron Highlands is no longer as cold as in previous years, it's still nice to get away from the heat and smog, hustle and bustle of the city.
OMF Bungalow is this lovely old bungalow in Brinchang with a nice big compound filled with flowers and bugs, on a mountain top so you get a lovely view.

Here's a view of the bungalow from one upstairs room.

Sean and Brandon checking out the flowers.

We stayed in huge nicely furnished rooms, all with attached bathrooms and hot showers of course. The rooms were tidied up every morning, beds were made and our dirty clothes were collected for laundry. We got back our clothes - smelling fresh and warm in th afternoon of the same day.

There was a cosy den full of children's books and toys and also a tv, vcd/dvd player and Astro to keep the adults entertained.
See how cosy all of us are....watching "Madagascar" - the hit movie at that time.

When it was drizzling outside, we played monopoly inside. The boys were crazy over the game at that time.

Meals were simply delicious. At breakfast, the maids came round to ask how we would like our eggs - scrambled? omellete? sunny side up? Lunch and dinner was either chinese style rice and dishes or a western style 3-course meal. Apart from that, we could at anytime (even at 3am, if you wish) help ourselves to the homemade cookies and self-serviced tea/coffee/milo/horlicks. I was particularly in love with the oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip cookies.

Besides eating, there was plenty to do at the bungalow. We were happy to just stroll in the garden.

Brandon enjoyed talking to the dalmation.

There was a living room with piano and we enjoyed singing. Here's Ah Mah and Brandon enjoying themselves.

Sean also had some biology lesson with Ah Kong.

Where else on earth can you get comfortable accomodation, 3 fantastic meals a day, same-day laundry, unlimited amounts of cookies, milo/horlicks/tea/coffee, lots of space for playing, reading, running around etc.... all for just RM85 per person per day. Yup....it's that dirt-cheap! Senior citizens and full-time christian workers pay merely RM60. Now you see why I want to go back there?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

early birthday celebration

Joe will be 2 years old in a few more days. We were up in Penang last weekend and Joseph's generous Ah Chor offered to sponsor a cake for him. So we had an early celebration in Penang. A friend recommended this cake shop in Pulau Tikus called Jenni's.

We took a drive there to check it out and order Joe's cake. I was overwhelmed by the selection and almost drooling with indecision. Everything looked so good. So after mulling over the various flavours, we finally decided on a square-shaped 1.5kg chocolate brownie cake. It costs RM63.
At home, Joseph was so happy with his cake.

We sang the happy birthday song for him and he happily clapped along while shaking his head right to left, left to right, right to left...

Then he blew out the candles.

And he started to cut his cake.
Then he started to taste his cake. First he put a little bit into his mouth and very cautiously tasted it. After that, there was no stopping him. He continued to dig the plastic knife into the cake and then put it into his mouth. And as he did it, he said, "nice. yummy" without anybody prompting him. He even said, "Thank you Ah Chor". Then he continued eating and saying nice and yummy. When he was finally done, he had cake all over his mouth, cheeks, on his nose, on his shirt, both hands, the table, the floor, cushion...just about everywhere. But he thoroughly enjoyed himself and we enjoyed watching him. The RM63 was worth every sen.

Being the good and thoughtful boy that he is, he shared his cake and fed mummy some, careful not to make a mess and make mummy look like a clown.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

time well spent

I've just started at my new job after a 3-week break (which coincided with my miscarriage and thus I didn't need medical leave nor were any patient appointments disrupted). Spending 3 weeks at home with Joseph was absolute bliss. I took him to a few malls (which are actually very educational trips), got him toilet-trained, had a trial session at Tumble Tots, went to Bukit Tinggi for day trip, spent a weekend in Yong Peng. But most of all, I think it was fun just tumbling around on the bed with him and reading to him.
Right now, Joe's favourite book is "The house that Jack built". He will say "house jack built" and point to the bookshelf where we keep the book. Then he takes the book, sits on my lap and says, "mama read for you". So we read together...
me : This is the...
joe : house
me : this is the malt
joe : mop floor (I think he's confused malt with mop)
me : this is the...
joe : rat
me : the rat ate the malt
joe : no more malt
me : this is the...
joe : cat
me : the cat ate the rat
joe : no more rat. rat inside stomach.
me : this is the...
joe : dog
me : the dog worried the cat
joe : no more cat. (I laugh...)
me : this is the...
joe : cow. mooooooo....
me : the cow tossed the dog.
joe : dog fly.
and so on and on.....
Reading to him can be so entertaining. And he enjoys it even after we've read the same thing again and again and again.
Yesterday I told him that I had to go back to work. Joe whined and said, "I dowan". Then he said, "mama dowan". When I finally got home from work, he put his arms around me and said, "hug mama". Sigh....my heart just melted.
This morning, my mum took him to the playground as I went to work. When he got out of the lift at ground floor, I waved and said, "bye bye darling". And he waved back and said, "bye bye darling. bye bye mama."
I wish I could just stay home with him all the time and not have to work. When I tell this to friends and relatives, I often get the feedback that it's such a waste to have studied so hard and so much and not work. But....what's the real waste? To not work or to miss out on Joseph's childhood?
Dentistry evolves so fast. What I learnt in dental school several years ago is now obsolete. Technology is always changing. I figure that even if I quit for a few years, I can always relearn the skill I need. The basics are actually kinda like swimming and driving. You never really forget even if you've not done it for years.
But if I have missed these cutest and most memorable years of Joseph's childhood, I will never be able to regain them. He will grow up. And as he grows up, he will become more and more independent. The apron strings will loosen and one day be cut. I do not want to regret not having been there for him when he needed me most. That would be the real waste.