Tuesday, June 23, 2009

To move or not to move...

Since coming back from Melbourne, many people have asked us the inevitable : So are you planning to migrate?

A friend shared this article, written by Bishop Hwa Yung - a man I greatly respect. (We even chose his name to name Joseph and Joseph had the privilege to be baptised by Bishop Hwa Yung).

So should Christians emigrate?

I know for a fact that our senior Pastor at DUMC, Dr Daniel Ho is one who greatly opposes this. God has placed us here and we should not run away.

I have no comments about what others do but here's my personal take.
I do not deny that I loved it in Melbourne. Living there for 8 weeks gave me a taste of what it would be like, although not totally for real because we were in vacation mode. The air was cleaner, fresher and the grass greener (literally!).
My nose was clear and the kids were great.

Back home :

- I have stuffy nose everyday.

- Joseph has allergic rhinitis (or more commonly known as sinusitis). He's only 4 years old!!! It breaks my heart to see him wake up in the middle of the night, gasping for air and trying hard to breathe. His eyes itches and he has had a chronic cough for 6 months (which disappeared while we were in Melbourne).

- Joy-Anne has diaper rash + fungal rash on her bum everyday. Her forehead is covered with red spots (like rashes) and she's scratching all the time. Mozzie bites are everywhere.

Edwin and I have agreed that we will not put in a PR application. If and when we are to move, it will be because he is offered a position there, and the university pays for our PR application and our relocation.

I am actually quite hesitant to move for the time being. Joseph has just settled into Juara Cerdik and loves it there. We are quite happy being in DUMC and are happily serving there. As much as we feel needed here, I believe that no one is indispensable and God can raise up people where there is a need.

In any case, Edwin has put in an application for a Research Fellowship position. It is a very prestigious position and will do his career a lot of good. It is also a much sought-after position hence it is very difficult to get and probably successful only by divine intervention. We will know the results in a couple of months.

IFFFFFFFFFF he is successful, the position commences early 2010 and will be for 4 years. My prayer is that the application will be successful only if it's God's will for us to relocate.

So back to the original question.... no, we are not planning to migrate but if God wills, we will relocate.

In the mean time, Lord, if it is your will for us to stay here, will you please heal my kids completely!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Girls are more gentle....NOT!

I was told that girls are more gentle.

I know now that this is so not true.

Joy-Anne is just as samseng as her brother if not more samseng.

And I absolutely love the way she says "please".

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My first Teacher-Parent Day

Yesterday (sat) we went to meet Joe's teacher at our very first teacher-parent day. Initially Esther told me that we didn't have to go but I said it was not troublesome to go because we would be there all Saturday anyway.
So I was her last parent for the day and I had a good chat with Teacher Esther. She said that Joseph is a good student. Very attentive and obedient. But he day-dreams a lot. And she has to remind him to swallow his saliva!!!
I think day-dreaming must be a 'skill' he inherited from me. My kindergarten teacher also complained about my day-dreaming when I was a kid. Day-dreaming progressed to sleeping in class which I did all the way to secondary school and into university. ( I don't fall asleep while treating patients though. )
To this day, my school teachers remember me for sleeping in class.
Back to Joseph, teacher said he's good with numbers.
I'm surprised he got his chinese all correct.
He recognizes the words and know their meaning but he hesitates to say it because he's afraid of getting the sound wrong. I realize he would rather smile and pretend to not know, or say "I don't know" rather than try and get it wrong.

His english is not a problem either.
I like how he coloured the birds so neatly.

He got only this vowel wrong. (why does blogger keep rotating my pictures???)
Teacher said that he 'reads' with pictures. When she covers the pictures but not the words, he can't read. I told her that he can memorize entire books.

His writing....
Messy... but good enough for me. He's only 4.

Teacher Esther commented that he takes a long time to colour.

Partly because he day-dreams. I think it's partly because of how meticulous he seems to be.

He can write his name all by himself and will tell me NOT to spell it out for him. Usually, he writes alright. But I've no idea why he wrote right to left and mirror image on the Father's Day craft today.
Nevertheless, Papa wore it proudly while eating lunch at the DreamCenter cafe.

Friday, June 19, 2009

roses, wheels and a potty for Joy

We're trying to get Joy-Anne to do her big business in the potty.
Mama : shee shee where?
Joy-Anne : potty
Mama : Joy-Anne poo poo...
Joy-Anne : yuck yuck
Mama : poo poo where?
Joy-Anne : potty.
But even after sitting on the potty for an hour, she doesn't want to poo there. And barely 5 minutes after you let her up, she does it in her diaper.

Last week, she broke one of the pretty hairbands I made for her. So I salvaged the roses. Then I found some really hard wire which I bent into shape, wrapped with satin ribbons and set the roses on them.
Haha....now they are unbreakable but fully adjustable. RM15 each if anyone is interested. The pink one in the middle is not for sale.

Joe now loves taking his new scooter to the poolside for a spin. Not to be left out, Joy-Anne also has wheels of her own.
She will say "baby!!! push...."

And lastly, I couldn't resist capturing this on video....

Monday, June 15, 2009

swimming pool and shrinking dresses

We took Joy-Anne swimming on Saturday. It was her very first time in the pool. I must say we are very late starting her in the pool. She didn't quite want to go in. So Nana had to slowly sink herself into the pool to immerse Joy.

Joseph was only 7 months old when we first took him into the pool. On Saturday, he finally let go of either of us and splashed around by himself.

I have very cautious kids. They seem to have built-in danger sensors and will cling to us.

On another matter, I came home from Melbourne to find all Joy-Anne's dresses have shrunk!

Gotta go shopping or pray that 'santa claus' will send more pretty dresses (size 3 years ok...).

It's a good thing I bought her flower girl dress in an extra bigger size. It should be a perfect fit by August.
She's grown so much so fast. And she's quite a parrot. She says everything we say.... including words like 'abuthen' .... abuthen?

Friday, June 12, 2009

cheeky kids

Joy has been enjoying this 30-year-old slide. It's probably actually more than 30 years old.She now walks up the front portion. And then she slides down and says, "wheee!!"

Joseph loved it too. This was taken when he was about 15months old.

And this is me....when I was about 15 months old... (ahem! the prettier one in the photo... )
I think Joy's prettier than I was as a kid.

She's even more cheeky than she is pretty. Yesterday, she tripped and fell all by herself, and hit her lip against a stool.
thank you Aunty Yin Fern for the pretty Gymboree (size 3 yrs!!!) clothes...
they fit me perfectly!

As she was crying, Nana asked her, "who bully you?" and without batting an eyelid, she pointed to Joseph and said, "kor kor!".

In actual fact, kor kor was nowhere near when she fell and even came over to pray for her when she cried.
kor kor enjoying his new toy
Joseph is another cheeky fellow.
I was doing some revision with him (so that Teacher Esther doesn't go mad on Monday) and I pointed to the first character (below) and asked him, "what's this?"
He said, "heng". Then I pointed to the second one and asked him, "now what's this?"
He paused a while.... and then he said, "elephant".
Mama : What???
Joe : Ya...see....it's an elephant.
See why I can't homeschool?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

pretty, chubby baby

We took Joy to see her paediatrician yesterday. I had noticed while we were in Melbourne, that her tummy is very big. When naked, she looks 6-months pregnant! Of course that's not possible but that's how big her tummy is. I also thought her belly button is slightly everted.
Anyway, her paed said there's absolutely nothing wrong and she's perfectly healthy. She's just had lots of good food and clean air in Melbourne.

Joy-Anne weighed in at 12.5 kg yesterday. 81 cm tall. And she's not yet 17 months. At 17 months, Joseph was 12.2kg and 83cm tall. So she's certainly more chubby than Joe.

And these.... are some things I enjoy doing more than dentistry.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

one week - still adjusting

It's been exactly a week since we got home. I'm still trying to get adjusted to life back home and am very surprised it's taking so long compared to how I adjusted to Melbourne so quickly.
Actifed is still my best friend, although on a lower dosage.
I never imagined I would miss Melbourne this much. It's depressingly crazy! I've been trying to make a list of all the things I didn't like about Melbourne so that I wouldn't be thinking of all the things I don't like about Malaysia.
Malaysia -
- weather sucks. The kids have reddish spots (like rashes) on the neck, armpits, groin. Joy's bum has been reddish all week. She is perpetually scratching her head which is dripping with sweat.
- the air is bad. I have yet to see a spot of blue sky since getting home. Joseph woke me up at 5am this morning to pray for him because he was screaming "my nose is blocked! I cannot breathe!!!"
- I cannot stand the haphazard parking and reckless driving in here in Bolehland.
Australia -
- I don't like carpet floors.
- Most houses have only 1 bathroom/bedroom.
- toilets have no draining holes. How do people wash toilets?
- the houses (at least those we lived in) have silly small sinks with taps so low, it's impossible to wash pots.
The list makes me even more depressed because the things in Australia that I don't like - I can change it if it's my own house. But I can't change the things in Malaysia that I don't like - I can't change!!!
My grandma asked if we're moving to Melbourne. She said she'll miss my kids if we go. So I told her that I'll wait till after she dies. My Children's Pastor loves us too much to let us go now. Joseph loves his kindy and it's doing him good.
So I guess we'll still be here for now... unless God opens a door somewhere.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Home sweet, sweaty home.

It's been roughly 48 hours since we arrived home.

Goodbye clear blue skies. Hello grey hazy skies.
Goodbye cool dry air. Hello hot humid air.
My brain is not functioning. I'm a sweaty mess. The humidity makes me feel so sluggish. My nose is stuffy - actifed is my current best friend. Complain complain complain.... I could go on and on and on.
Today I asked Joe if he feels hot here and would like to go back to Melbourne. He asked me, "Mama....is it you miss Melbourne very very very VERY VERRYYYY MUCH??? How about we put ice on you?"

Joe's happy to be home.

I'm thankful. So thankful for so many things.

Thank you Lord for a wonderful 2-month holiday.
I think God knows I'm not the kind who can go on a rush 10-day tour. I would need another holiday to destress from the holiday. So I've always had long holidays overseas - 8 weeks in Melbourne this year, 3 weeks in Hawaii last year, 2 weeks in Melbourne in 2004, 2 weeks in Melboune/Sydney in 2003, 6 weeks in UK in 2002, 2 months in UK in 2001 and 1 month in USA in 2000.

Thank you Lord for your providence.
Not having to worry about money is a blessing. The houses we rented were also very conveniently located. And Westfield Doncaster reopened (after being closed for 1.5 years) just in time for our arrival.
Thank you Lord for wonderful friends and family.
People whom we meet for the first time take us out for a picnic. People whom we've never met loan us their car every weekend. Others give (without us asking) and loan us warm clothing at perfect timing. It was wonderfully warm hospitality everywhere.
Thank you Lord for your protection.
I heard a plane crashed in the Atlantic Ocean yesterday.

Thank you Lord for bringing us home safely.

The children have grown, and not just physically. I know Joe has learnt a lot from this experience.

We're happy to be home. But I will certainly miss the lovely parks, playgrounds and picnics. I will miss the yoghurt (the same tub that costs AUD3.89 there costs RM19.99 here!!!) and the ice-cream. Of course I will miss Sofia's too.

Now it's back to real life. And if you (like everyone else) ask when we're going there to live, the answer is in God's time, if God wills.