Friday, July 27, 2007

Complain, complain, complain

Welcome to the customer service department. Feel free to unload all grouses. Even if we do not speak your language, we promise to show empathy and lend a listening ear. We do not discriminate against babies. In fact, they are our favorite customers.
The above video is an example to show you what I say is true.

Translation of the above conversation:
Baby: What kind of management is this? No service at all.
Me: You are not happy with our service?
Baby: Of course not. I am suppose to be carried.
Me: You need to go somewhere?
Baby: I always need to go somewhere. You know I can't walk yet. You expect me to fly like this?
Me: We will try to do better sir.

Mamas tip:
  • Enjoy your babies babbling because when you know what they are saying, it's not quite as fun anymore.
  • Don't think babies can't have conversations. Talk to them often.
  • Don't scold and nag in front of baby too much. See what he's picked up from me? :)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Humor in the Home

During our homeschooling with K, I thought I'd give her something fun. I found this book called Imagination Works! (Grades 3-6) that gives exercises to promote imagination. And I chose to do this:

Assignment = What did the dog say to make the doctor laugh?
Here's the conversation:

Me: So, what funny thing can a dog say to a doctor?
K: I am sick.
Me: That's not funny.
K: How about, there is a boy carrying a tree across the road. Is that funny?
Me: No.
K: Mmmm... you are a dog. Is that funny?
Me: No. How is that funny? Sounds more like an insult.
K: I don't know.
Me: You are so clever to use your imagination when you play. Use your imagination now lah.
K: Everything is funny to children. But not everything is funny to adults.
Me: Hahahahah. Now that is funny.

So, this has turned out to be a lesson for mommy instead -- Everything is funny to children. But not everything is funny to adults.

I tried to explain what is funny by giving her an example, AND I couldn't even think of a joke! Alamak. Where has the humor gone in this family??? No wonder she can't think of anything funny. She has not been exposed to "funnies." Everyday is scold, scold, scold, scream, scream, scream. Sigh!

Mamas tips:
1. Don't forget to practice some humor in the home.
2. Teach your children how to tell good jokes.
3. When you come across something funny, explain why its funny. They might not get it.
4. Watch Mr. Bean (but make sure they don't emulate him).
5. Read funny comic strips together. Maybe put them up on the fridge too.
6. Next time you buy them a book, get one that is funny.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Rocking Girl Blogger Award

Mumsgather and Anggie's Journal graciously presented me with this award. Backache like crazy but looks like I'm rockin' in other ways. Heheheh.

I'm to pass this badge on but I think many super-duper fantastico ladies out there already been given this. So I must dig deeper. I give this badge to:

1. J@n!ce
2. Momofcairo
3. Big Pumpkin
4. Blur Mommy

Cooking Lessons

I've always had my kids help me whenever I bake cakes or muffins. But I decided to give K a go at cooking a dish all by herself. Scrambled eggs seemed easy enough. I let her do everything -- cracking the eggs, putting the seasoning, beating the eggs, turning on the gas, putting the oil, pouring in the eggs, scrambling it and dishing it out. I just stood watch and played the boss barking out orders. The pictures I took above is actually her second time cooking eggs. First time must pay more attention to teaching and making sure no one gets hurt (including the eggs) instead of taking pictures you know.
Well, now she wants to be the official egg scrambler in the house. I have no objections. What she doesn't know is that this is mommy's sinister plan of having her take over all cooking tasks in the future so mommy will have more time to blog. MUAHAHAHA. Just kidding.

I think apart from scrambled eggs, other essential beginning cooking lessons are:
1. How to cook rice
2. How to cook instant noodles
3. Cooking sausages (the Americans call them hotdogs)

With these 4 lessons, I think they are saved from starvation.

What was the first thing you learned how to cook? For me it was cooking rice. I remember my amah would make sure I didn't wash it too many times (or else all the vitamins will be gone). Then how to measure the water. I remember one time she commented on how nice the rice turned out. Wah, felt so proud about it. But I also remember she didn't trust me to cook the fish. I knew that I knew how. But she took the opportunity away from me and did it herself. I remember thinking in my head "how am I going to learn if you don't let me cook?"

Mama's tips:
1. Encourage your child to learn living skills - don't chase them out of the kitchen.
2. Trust them... even though you don't.
3. Once in a while, let go of your need to shelter them (or do everything for them). Give them room to learn and grow.
4. Eat their cooking even if it's a bit flawed (yes, a BIT flawed, not plenty flawed to the point of giving you food poisoning). My kids would eat all my less-than-perfect baking like it was the best thing they ever had. So it's only right that I return the favour.

Monday, July 16, 2007

SAHM or FTWM tag

I was tagged by The New Parent on whether I would choose to be a SAHM (Stay-at-home-mom) or FTWM (Full-time-working-mom). Let me include the rules to this tag first.

Here are the rules:
1. If you are given a choice, SAHM or FTWM? Give at least 3 reasons.
2. Include your name in the thread below.
3. Tag 3 other people.

1. Immomsdaughter prefers to be a SAHM
2. Miche prefers to be a SAHM.
3. Msau prefers to be a PTWM.
4. Everydayhealy prefers to be a SAHM.
5. Jazzmint prefers FTWM.
6. Cheryl prefers to be a FTWM but will consider SAHM.
7. Mom of Cairo prefers to be a PTWM.
8. The New Parent is a WSMWTMC (but would like to be a PTWD).
9. Lian choose to be a SAHM

My choice would be... SAHM
And that is what I am now. Why?
1. Don't have to go crazy fighting traffic jams everyday.

2. Don't have to go hunting for the right babysitter/daycare and then worrying if they are okay, or if they are exposed to negative influences, or if they are getting the right kind of stimulation, or if they are being disciplined the right way, or if they being instilled with the right kind of values. By staying at home with my kids, I take full responsibility on how they grow up. In this crazy world today, it is vital for mothers to be in the home.

3. Still referring to babysitter/daycare, I think it puts a damper on how many children you can have. If you have one, it's still okay on your pocket. If you start to have 2 or 3, then it starts to get expensive. By staying at home, I don't have to limit the number of children I have according to how much I can pay a babysitter/daycare. Also, kindergarten is expensive. By staying at home, I can homeschool my kids. Kindergarten level -- I can still handle. Teaching calculas -- maybe I'll think twice :)
What I'm saying is, by choosing to be a SAHM, my choice of how many children I want to have is not influenced by money issue. I believe having children don't have to be expensive. It only gets expensive if you make it so and choose all the "must-haves". Some of you may think, "wah, it must be crazy with 3 kids now." Actually, let me tell you, it's not so bad la. You might not think you can handle it, but when the situation presents itself, YOU CAN. Of course this doesn't mean I'm planning to have 8 kids!!! Hehehehe.

Being a SAHM is definitely an adjustment. Plus, it depends on your attitude and what you value in life. For me, I want my children to know that anytime they come home and yell "Mom?", they will get an answer "Yes, what do you want?" Children need that kind of security. As long as I am able to give that to them, I will.

Of course, if you really need to earn a little extra cash, there is the option of being a WAHM (Work at Home Mom). That's why I have my little bookshop. So, come and support me okay?

Now this tag is passed onto:
1. Big Pumpkin (because I love your writing)
2. Hui Sia
3. Health Freak Mommy

Friday, July 13, 2007

Baby Milestones: 6 months

1/2 years old already. My, my, my... time has gone by quickly. Let's take a quick look at what BabyD has been up to:
  • The discovery of feet.
    At first he would just grab and play with it. Now it's considered a food item, just like all the other things he grabs. He makes it look like it's so yummy. Maybe I should have a try too. Baby's feet that is, not my own feet lah. Don't you wish you were still that flexible?
  • Mastered the art of turning.
    He is wayyyy more active now. He turns so effortlessly onto his tummy and back again.
  • Octopus hands.
    Grabs everything in his sight... and so quickly too, much to the distress of dear mommy.
  • Inch-ing like a caterpillar.
    He is always on a lookout for something to grab. He is so adamant that he can actually move his butt inch by inch towards the object of his focus. Really like a caterpillar that wriggles and lifts the butt to push himself forward. This activity is often turned into a form of entertainment for us dear parents as we put things just out of his reach for him to grab. Kinda like a donkey with a carrot in front. I'm sure we will grow to regret our motivating him to reach out for things. It's like encouraging an octopus to grow more hands. But it's okay. We'll sacrifice our sanity for the sake of development :)
  • The making of U-hu glue.
    He is entering into the stick-to-mommy phase. When someone else is carrying him, he will constantly check to see where I am. If I am nearby, he will sound his signal that time's up and that he needs to return to the comfort of my arms.
  • Apprentice in training.
    Baby is always observing what his siblings are up to. His eyes are fixed on them and you can really see him just taking it all in. Scary! You won't believe it but he will sometimes call for his siblings. He will cry when they suddenly leave his presence and be pacified when they return again.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Time-Out Box

Fed up of seeing 'barang-barang' (things) left on the floor? I AM!

Really tiring to always repeatedly tell the kids to NOT leave things on the floor, to put their things back where they belong. I even tried the soft approach; cooking up a story about how their things have a home, like how they have a home. And that the things need to 'go home'. How would they feel if one day mommy took them out and forgot to bring them home? Well, that's how their things feel. Nice story eh? But not effective.

To always pick the things up for them would be to spoil them. To collect the things and throw them away would be cruel and also not economical. So, I decided to come up with THE TIME-OUT BOX.

The Time-Out Box is the home for all 'homeless' things. The box I use is quite big because it has to accommodate badminton racquets. The ideal 'treatment' would be to just pick things up and put them in the box. But I still have a soft spot and give warnings before I do a sweep for things.

How to redeem? Well, I have a chart to record down the days they give me 'good attitude' during study time. Every 'good day' earns a smiley face. For every smiley face, they get to redeem one item from the Time-Out Box. Of course you can set up your own conditions. It could be every kind act or every time they clean-up their plate. In a way, you get to reinforce two behaviors at one go; kill two birds with one stone sort of thing.

Okay, that's my latest trick.

Monday, July 09, 2007

How To Eat Spicy Food

We've been trying to teach our children to eat spicy food. Only one, so far, seems to have inherited this trait from the father - KokoD. Jiejie K is like me -- can't take so much spicyness.

Mamas tips on how to eat spicy food:
  1. Eat, DRINK, eat, DRINK, eat, DRINK some more :)
  2. Don't scare your child or make it sound like something negative. We are always trying to protect our children. So when there is any spicy food, we automatically sound the warning "*Lat-lat ah. Eat this one instead (give something non-spicy)". Psychologically we already train them to stay away from spicy food. Instead we should encourage them to try. Of course warn them of the spicyness, but don't turn them off e.g. "This is a little spicy, wanna try? I have some water ready."
  3. Don't give up on your first try. If they don't like it this time, maybe try again another time. My kids, at first, didn't want to eat the curry chicken we cooked. Only after many attempts at introducing it did they venture to try. Now they love it.
*Lat-lat means hot-hot in chinese

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Language Problems

Here is a funny one for you guys:

I was sitting on the floor with baby on my lap. My leg then fell asleep and started tingling all over -- pins and needles. 'Koko D' comes around and tries to move my leg:

Me: Don't touch my leg. I've got pins and needles.
Koko D: Where got? No. No pins and needles (looking at me like I'm the biggest liar).
Me: No lah. Mommy's leg feels prickly all over like pins and needles poking because Mommy sit here too long with baby on the lap. When you feel like that, you say you've got pins and needles.
Koko D: I see no pins and needles.
Me: Yes lah. I just FEELS like there are pins and needles.

Poor guy. He must think we talk crazy sometimes.


Dani over at Lonely Hurts mentioned in his review on my blog that he and his brother kept secrets. It made me wonder if my kids kept any secrets from me. Actually, I wonder if they even know what a secret is. He is an account of my "interrogation":

Me: Do you guys know what a secret is?
K&D: No.
Me: A secret is like when something happened, and you don't tell mommy. Is there anything both of you know but don't tell me?
D: No
K: Yes
Me (getting curious): You have a secret, K? What is your secret?
K: Kung Fu!
Me: Huh? Kung Fu?
K: Yes, Kung Fu.
Me: You mean you have secret kung fu moves?
K: Yes lah.

So, I guess I am safe for now. If her only secret is about her kung fu, I have nothing much to worry about, or do I?
Conclusion: Mama's interrogation tips can wait till they are older.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Tag Time

Okay, it's time to catch up on my tags. I have been tagged by Miranda, Big Pumpkin and J@n!ce to do 8 random facts about myself. Actually, J@n!ce's tag says 7 things but nevermind-lah. 8 facts it shall be.

The Rules:
  • I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
  • Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  • People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
  • At the end of your blog, you need to choose people to get tagged and list their names.
  • Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
Okay, let the tag begin:
  1. I got my golf handicap when I was 11 and started to play competitive golf thereafter. I won my first state open at the age of 14. It was the Perak Open at Royal Perak Golf Club.
  2. I was honored the title Malaysian Sportswoman of the Year 1992.
  3. I was conferred the award Ahli Mangku Negara (AMN) by the Yang diPertuan of Negeri Sembilan when he was Agong.
  4. I am the only Malaysian to have won the Malaysian Ladies Open and did it 5 times.
  5. I hate, hate, hate migraines. I get them at least once a month. No it has nothing to do with my menstrual cycle. I get it when it's too hot, when I'm too tired, when there is haze etc....
  6. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some people know us as the Mormons. Getting baptized is one of the best things that I did in my life. I have learned so much from the church: what is this life about, how to be happy, the importance of family, how to be a good parent, how to face trials and tribulations etc....
  7. I love reading good children's books. That's why I started my online bookshop for children and parents.
  8. I love to sleep in and hate waking up early in the morning. I am a night person.
Okay, hope I didn't sound too braggy at the beginning. Just some of my achievements that are kept in the cupboard since becoming a mother. So since the opportunity was presented to me, thought I'd bring them out :)

This tag is now passed on to:

Now on to the next tag. Karen Yiau and Momofcairo gave me Blogivitis. I'm to list 10 symptoms that define me as 'infected'.
  1. I gladly sidetrack into blogging and blog hopping instead of posting up books to sell at my bookshop.
  2. Camera is always ready to take pictures for blogging purposes.
  3. Cannot just post the pictures, but must scrap them first (when time permits). Must add some 'spice' to the blog so people will come back. Everyone enjoys scraps. Plus give me an outlet for some creativity lah.
  4. I use my blog to blackmail my kids -- "I'm going to show all the aunties how naughty you are".
  5. I also use my blog to encourage my kids -- "Wah, so clever. Let me go tell all the aunties how clever you are."
  6. It makes my day to see comments on my posts. Blogivitis makes me crave for more, and more, and more comments. Good comments okay, not spam and hate mail. Don't you agree that your motivation to blog increases when you see more people visiting you.
  7. I know more about my bloggy friends than I do my neighbours.
  8. I eat 2 packets of Tom Yam noodles so I can torture myself with the spicyness (I'm one who can't take very spicy food)... so I can get rid of my headache (and it worked)... so I can finish this post and publish it tonight.
  9. I am sitting here, cracking my head as to what other symptoms of blogivitis I have instead of going to bed (it's now 12:35am) and getting the sleep I need.
  10. AND last of all, I know I have blogivitis when my children asks to use the computer and I tell them NO, with the excuse that mommy has to do work on the computer... when actually it's just blogging.
Okay, now passing this infection to...
That's it for my tags this time.