Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My little ambassador of humanity

Ryan is a vegetarian since birth. I had always been afraid about whether he can still maintain that when he goes to school.

To help him understand why we do not eat meat, I told him that all animals are our friends and therefore, we do not eat them. Thankfully, he accepted this.

About a month ago, Ryan started to eat lunch in school before he goes to nanny's. I would cook in the morning so that he will get home cooked food. In school, the kids will be eating sausages and nuggets etc. Every time he asks the teacher what it is, the teacher will tell him that it contains chicken ... and he will say it's ok, he does not want it. He will then just eat the food I prepared.

His teacher was so impressed with his understanding and determination that she has now decided to cut down on her meat consumption - wild boar and mutton. She said that if a 3-year old boy can be a vegetarian, she should also follow him.

I am so proud of my little boy. I am not sure how long he will continue to be a vegetarian, but the fact that he now is, willingly, is enough for me.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sharing my food

Lately, Ryan has been sharing my food quite a bit. Before, it was just a quick bite here and there and it never seemed noticeable to me.

Last weekend, I took Ryan to Mid Valley and we had a set of toast with 2 eggs. I got him a Milo and me a coffee. I threw in a butter cake because we were really hungry.

Before, I could consume all these, but now, I have to share with him. He ended up eating half the slice of cake, half cup of Milo, one egg, 1/4 of the toast. And I ate the balance. I had initially thought that it would not have been enough, but surprisingly, I was ok.

So, being a mother, not only would you lose some weight from all the chasing the toddler around, you would also lose weight from sharing your food! Which is a good thing I guess especially for me = )

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My parents are on the NET!!!

I am typing this entry in my parents' house!
This is so exciting.

Decades ago, when we first had internet access in the house, it was on some Pentium 75 computer with a mega huge screen and CPU and DIAL-UP!!! And it was deemed a luxury then in my household.

Decades later (and after many years of lapsed usage), my parents finally got hooked on the NET again - this time on broadband!!! And guess what?! they have unlimited hours on the net - as opposed to me and my miserable 60 hours a month.

Just now my old man asked about having a blog of his own = )

More books

This is getting a little out of hand ..... I just bought more books this morning.
I even got a whole book on dinosaurs for Ryan.

I can already imagine my problem when I get home - I have no more space.

.... and my list of completed books is still at 1. I must start counting reading Ryan's books as part of this list too .... then it will not be so bad = )

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My reading list

Today is already 3.5 months into 2008 and my completed read books is still standing at 1. That is so pathetic.

Sigh ... must put in some effort to complete all my books.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I am doctor, and also cement mixer

My little baby has taken in quite a bit of imaginary play of late.

Last week he was a teacher and this week, he has gone from a cement mixer to a doctor.

He was playing at the sink some nights back while I was busy feeding him. He had had enough and was trying to tell me so but I continued to ignore him. Then he told me that he was making a cement mixer and that the cement mixer said that he has enough (of food). I was "Huh?!" and then he repeated himself. Haha .... so rather than him telling me he has had enough, he said the cement mixer has enough. How can I rebutt that right? Ok lor, so I gave in and accepted that he has enough and has to stop.

This morning I had woken up with a bad shoulder and so, I have plastered those medicated stuff on my neck. He got up and looked at me and said "What happended to your shoulder?" then asked "Why got 2 plasters" Both time I had told him that I had a pain and the plasters are supposed to help me. He quickly ran outside the room and got his doctor bag and proceeded to get everything out from taking my temperature to checking my heart beat to giving me (3!) injections and giving me sweets to trick me into eating my medication. LOL. It was very funny when he reassured me that the injections were no pain and he even kissed the spot where he supposedly injected me.

In one of his doctor ritual, this conversation took place:

Ryan: Put this (thermometer) under the armpit ah?
Me: Yes, to see if you have a fever.
Ryan: The armpit got hair ah?
Me: Yes, the armpit got hair.
Ryan (he took a peep at his armpit): When Ryan grow big boy, then Ryan's armpit also got hair lor!
Me: Hahahahahaha! Yes, you are right!

Kids, sometimes you just got to know what you teach them!

A story from a friend

Today I read a story Mag sent to me, she had gotten it from a friend's blog (apologies, I do not have that website). She has sent it to me because (she knows) I am in a constant circle of hiccups in my relationship.

I want to thank (& hug) Mag for sending me this, for it is a beautiful story to share and it will serve as a constant reminder to me about how life can sometimes be so difficult for us but it takes lots of patience and faith to work it through.

The story goes like this ....

To All Married Couples and Singles Who Intend To Get Married.

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why? I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer, she had lost my heart to a lovely girl called Dew. I didn't love her anymore ..I just pitied her! With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces.

The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Dew so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Dew. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again. In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a months time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage. This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that everyday for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Dew about my wife's divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully. My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mummy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly, don't tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest.. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realised she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was greying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Dew about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger. She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily. Suddenly it hit me, .. she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mum out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly, it was just like our wedding day. But her much lighter weight made me sad.

On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy. I drove to office... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind... I walked upstairs. Dew opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Dew, I do not want the divorce anymore. She looked at me, astonished. Then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Dew, I said, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other any more .

Now I realised that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Dew seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away. At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote: I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart . The small details of our lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank, blah..blah..blah. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves.

So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage! If you don't share this, nothing will happen to you, but if you do, you just might save a marriage.

- Author unknown -

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


There are several sides of me when it comes to money.

When I first started working, my spend on a monthly basis would be far more than my income, far far more. I was constantly indebted to the banks. And my typical attitude to that was "Hey, I am young, I can work so long as I am breathing". I remember my mum used to be really upset with me and constantly nag me to save save and save.

Fast forward ... I was lucky at work. My initial years saw me through yearly promotions and so my income levels increased. Still, I was struggling to make sure my income could keep up with my spend. But still, I did not feel afraid or worried, I just carried on.

Then one day, I just woke up and found myself really really afraid of my financial standing. I'd also taken a fancy on Robert Kiyosaki and his Rich Dad Poor Dad book really changed my perspective towards my life and financial standing.

I took a proactive step towards making myself better, financially wise. I took up a CFP course. It is not something that I do not know, it's just the fact that I needed some directions, some guide.

Fast forward again, I have since completed my CFP. For each module, I have set out to do something that relates to it. As a result, I have bought an additional insurance policy, I have made some adjustments when paying my taxes, I have taken a more proactive stance with my investments and I have also done my estate planning. The ultimate is for me to have my retirement planning on track. This, I am still working on.

Nowadays, I have taken an additional step and make a note for each of my spend on a daily basis. It has helped me think twice, thrice about my spend before actually spending it. I am happy to say that I have more peace of mind where money is concern, but the occasional worry still creeps up.

Some people ask me why I am so obsessed with money. There was this night many many years ago where I had tried to sleep, but could not ... because I was worried how I was going to make the money to pay for my rental (+ my house mates's share, since she was always broke). I was so worried, that I was perspiring, really. And it was a horrible feeling. I had decided that I was not going to feel like that again.

Here I am then, counting and budgeting. Not easy, but definitely worth the effort.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I am teacher

Yesterday Ryan surprised me with the following ....

"Mummy, you see, I am teacher"
He proudly pointed to his book and asked "What shape is this?"
He was attempting to "teach" me circles, squares, rectangles, triangles etc. but he stopped at "triangle" ... he asked "Mummy what is this?"

Haha ... so the "teacher" needs to be "taught" also!

He has progressed well .... his imaginary play has finally started.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Buildings and such

Yesterday Ryan built this and proudly showed it off. This to him, is a car building. The building can be mobile and moved around. Now, wouldn't that be a great idea when we are experiencing land limitation? We could just move the buildings that are old or which are in places where the jam is crazy!

This one he says is a water fountain where the cold water and the hot water will come out and flow all the way down.

This is the entire city which Ryan built. Oops, I do not know how to turn it around, but you get the idea. He is very proud of his creations and he does not hesitate to show them off every chance he has.

Now, I wonder why my creativity is so cacat. I cannot even begin to picture the possible "buildings" they are!

4 things about me

Yesterday, WSL sent a mail with the above header and I thought it was interesting enough to have it here.

4 jobs I've had in my life
1. Consumer Planning and Insights Head
2. DM Head of Banking X-sell & Segments
3. Business Intelligence Manager
4. Project Director

4 places I have Lived
1. Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan
2. Lukut, Negeri Sembilan
3. Petaling Jaya, Selangor
4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

** The above could have been collapsed into 2, but I wanted to fulfill this "4" - hehe

4 four places I've been to on vacation
1. Hong Kong
2. Cambodia
3. Italy
4. France

4 favorite Foods
1. Chocolates
2. Wan Tan Mee
3. Yee Mee Soup
4. Bread

4 places I would rather be right now
... I am at home now, so there are no other places I would rather be.
If I am at work, then I would rather be ....
1. By Ryan's side
2. Somewhere else where I can use my Financial Planning skills
3. Sipping my mocha while watching people stroll by
4. Somewhere my boss cannot find me!

There, this was supposed to help us understand a little more of each other.
I only have 2 answers similar to WSL, it is no wonder then she is always stressing we are different. = ) But it is good to know that although we are all different in our ways, we can all still be good friends.

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Bye Bye Gymboree

Last Sunday was the last Gymboree class that Ryan attended. There were 54 classes in total. When he first started, he was in Level 4. He left Gymboree in Level 7.

It has been an enriching experience for Ryan and also to us, more for me actually. Ryan first listened & followed to instructions when he was not even 2 years old. By the time he left last week, he was able to respond, share, take turns and co-operate most times. There are also times when he decides to be a little rebelious.

However, there was a disappointment with 2 things at Gymboree:
1) They maintain a pool of teachers who were fairly good when we started. Lately, they changed them because they had gone back to school. And so a guy took over the class and you can see an immediate drop in response from the kids. The mothers in the class started conversations amongst themselves! We all ignored him!

2) We had bought the sessions to be completed within 2007. However, we could not and had to carry forward 9 sessions. We had asked for an extension for a month and asked if we could do this without any charges. We were denied flatly! Outright! I was pissed. I mean, how can anyone dealing with children be so rigid? How can we be sure that the kids are healthy all through the year? Surely some degree of flexibility will not cause the business to go bust??

Nevertheless, we paid for the additional 9 classes. We were constantly asked if we would continue with more classes etc. Each time I will refuse them. On my last day, they had asked again. This time I mentioned that I will not come back again, neither will I recommend anyone to Gymboree.

Really, for development wise, why not! But to Gymboree with the current management? Maybe not. Teachers' standard dropped, and management is so rigid. Definitely not somewhere I would continue nor to start again.