Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I believe the children are our future...

Wow, it's been a few days since my last post!

Adam fell sick on his birthday and he's still not better. Took him to see his paed yesterday as he was coughing quite violently. Fortunately, he sleeps ok at night although he does cough in his sleep.

Several times I've seen how children's safety were compromised, which gets me thinking about today's blog. A few days ago, I saw a family with small children in the car, travelling about 80km on a highway. Dad was driving and he had his seatbelt on. Mom and 2 of their children in the back. A 3-year-old boy was STANDING on the front passenger seat! This family is training the boy to be a human cannonball?? Two months ago, the rear windscreen of a van carrying school children to and from school was shattered. The proprietor cleared out the broken windscreen and used a plastic sheet to over where the windscreen was supposed to be. Recently I saw the van again. This temporary measure was not rectified even after two months! Why do parents allow this van to carry their children when a basic thing like repairing a shattered windscreen is not even looked into? I've lost count of the number of times I have seen people with infant on their lap on the front passenger seat, travelling at breakneck speed on the highway. I am sorry to say an acquaintance of mine lost her 3-year-old daughter that way and she wasn't even driving fast. Her daughter was in the front with their helper.

I do my big grocery shopping once every two weeks at the Pudu Market. Every time I pass by one of the shops selling dry sundry goods, I have noticed young children busy working, peeling garlic and onion. These children are about 4 or 5 years old only. They will be sitted on a stool with a big bag of onion or garlic in front of them, diligently peeling and cleaning. I do not know if these are the proprietors children helping their parents out or if they were hired by the shop. My heart breaks seeing these children working so hard when they should be enjoying their childhood. I want to do something but what can I do? Report the proprietor for child labour? Will I really be doing these children a favour? If I don't do anything, will these children be losing out on education and a happier childhood? What am I supposed to do?

My children are blessed with everything they could ever need and more. They get to choose which toy they want to play with, what they want to eat for their meals. They have more clothes than they can ever wear out before they outgrow the clothes. On the other hand, there are children who have to work at a young age, or have to grow up quickly to take care of their parents or grandparents.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Happy Birthday, Adam!

Adam is 2 today! It has been quite an uneventful day for the little man actually. We had already celebrated his birthday with a party on Saturday. He remembers his cake with trucks on them and said he liked the cake. That he remembers and that he said he likes the cake and has made all the hard work worthwhile :o)

Laura had to skip school today 'coz she was complaining that her throat hurt when she swallows. Took her to see her paed and met a lovely lady with her two sons in the waiting room. Deola is from Nigeria and was here for a holiday. Her husband has been posted to Labuan, so she foresees that she will be spending a lot of time commuting between Labuan and KL with her sons. I will love to see her again and for our children to play together. Her sons are aged 3 years and 3 months. Beautiful children!

Then Laura and I went to the GE Mall for lunch. I had my fix of wasabi chips from O'Brien's. The wasabi chips is about the best thing there really. The sandwiches was not bad but I don't think I'm in a hurry to go back there for their sandwiches. We were stopped by a fund raiser from WWF. Now I'm a proud contributor to WWF's causes! Yup, one born every minute... Hahahaha!

Now I'm going to take the children downstairs to play badminton. Found them a couple of kid size rackets which is short enough for little people.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Milestones and growing old

From birth, we look out for milestones our children achieve. First smile, first giggle, first roll over, sit up, start crawling, first speech, first steps, first day in school, etc. My 2-year-old son amazes us every day with his development. Adam can now speak in short sentences and even hold a telephone conversation briefly. He imitates us on the phone, answering a call and laughing in appropriate places.

Do we ever stop achieving milestones? I am 37 years old, I still have so many things I want to do and achieve. I want to learn to sew dresses, learn to work a power drill and be able to do simple DIY stuff, I want to visit New Zealand, play paintball, learn to make props and costumes for plays, etc, etc. I also want to learn to dance, do capoeira before my knees give up on me with age. I want to visit more exotic places, try exotic food, meet people. I want to stock up on costumes for my children and for myself so we can play dress up and have fun together. It is so easy to get caught up with making ends meet and being too tired to play.

I have to thank Mama Lou for thinking the way I do now. When I met Mama Lou, she was 78 years old but she was so full of life. Never once did I hear Mama Lou say "I'm too old for that". On our last trip to Minnesota in March, we looked through Mama Lou's photos and got a glimpse of what she was like when she was younger. Mama Lou was widowed at the age of 30, with a 3-year-old daughter and a 10-month-old son but that didn't stop her from living a full life. She was very active in politics, worked and eventually ran a resort with her friend, Lucy. There were photos of Lucy and Mama Lou dressing up for fun, fishing, going on trip, managing their resort which didn't have running water or electricy. In the late 90's when I met Mama Lou, she was still doing white water rafting, she loved to fish, read a lot and had incredible knowledge about the woods in Minnesota. She loved card games and gardening. The only thing which slowed her down was her heart condition. Her mind was really sharp as she loved crosswords puzzles.

When I'm 80 years old, I'll be down at the nearest club with my maroon coloured hair cut in the latest fashion, "Olivia Newton John in Grease" type tight pants and a sexy top boogeying down - NOT! I'll be growing old gracefully but definitely not be boring!

Monday, June 13, 2005


Laura is 5 today! Adam will turn 2 on Thursday, 16 June. We had a birthday party yesterday to celebrate their birthday. 20 kids in the pool! That was quite something. Laura and Adam enjoyed themselves so much. Laura is already looking forward to a party for her next birthday!

We almost didn't have birthday cakes for the children. I had wanted to bake two cakes because they both like such different things. The plan was to bake Laura a music box cake and Adam a construction site cake. I underestimated the batter needed to make 2 cakes, and ended up having enough for 1 1/2 cakes. I thought I would bake one first and then quickly whip up half a recipe to top up the pan which was not enough. Nope, cake making doesn't work that way! One cake turned out pretty ok. I topped up the other pan and popped that into the oven. After about 20 minutes, I smelled something burning and turned on the oven light. Gosh! The cake not only sank, it overflowed over the sides and dripped chocolate batter onto my oven. It looked like there was poo poo all over my oven! It couldn't get worse right? Wrong! I'd run out of cocoa powder! Went through my recipes and found another simple cake recipe. I wasn't in the mood at midnight to whisk butter and sugar, etc, etc. Hot milk cake recipe! Yay! The first recipe was the Hershey choc cake which is almost fool proof *blush*
Then came the time to decorate. Laura was supposed to get a music box cake, which meant cutting part of the cake to make a lid, held up with skewers, etc, etc. I cut a section but how to remove! The cake is very moist and I suspect I didn't allow the cake to cool enough, so couldn't cut. How? How? Panick! Panick! Then I calmed down and thought, no music box can have jewelry box lah... Phew! Laura helped to decorate the cake with candies and whatchamacallits which can be eaten. We started a tradition with Laura's birthday cakes in the past where her cakes were always decorated with candies/gummies so her friends can pick the candies off her cake after the birthday song. Her jewelry box cake kept with the tradition...
Adam's construction cake was simple to make but looked really good with the die-cast construction vehicles. When he saw it, he wanted to take the vehicles to play. Had to hold on to his arms when taking the photos so he won't take the trucks and stuff.

As with previous years, one of the squash courts were filled with balloons for kids who have had enough of the pool. Ya right... Kids get enough of the pool. Hahahaha! Most times, their parents have to call them several times and threaten to leave without them before they will get out of the pool. A couple of toddlers whose parents wouldn't take them into the pool had balloons to play with.

Photos tomorrow when I have figured out how to use Hello.... Hello! Hello!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Theatre experience

This morning, Patrick and I brought our almost-5-year-old to a performance by a children theatre company. This was the first time PT and I were in Panggung Bandaraya since it was refurbished after "the" fire almost 10 years ago. I had only been to the Panggung once in 1991 to watch "Emily of Emerald Hill" and remember being enchanted with the theatre. I remember it as cosy and welcoming but do not remember in detail what it looked like. Patrick has performed in that theatre before and he is not impressed with the refurbishment. Millions was spent on refurbishing the theatre but it looked like most of the money went into ornate carvings and decoration instead of into the overall quality to enhance performances in the space. As with most things in Malaysia, what looks good in the outside may not be as good in the inside. More about Malaysia Boleh'ism in another post...

Anyway, we had a wonderful experience watching the Duffle Bag Theatre Co from Canada perform Beauty and the Beast. The show was interactive, so everyone in the audience were encouraged to cheer, jeer or clap in all the appropriate places. Members of the audience were invited to act along with the cast. Laura loved the show and was laughing out loud. We were ALL laughing out loud. A lady who sat behind me was laughing so much throughout the show, I was afraid she would burst her gut!

Such a simple idea. No frills set, quick costume changes, funny narration, audience participation... In fact, the whole set and prop can fit into a suitcase quite easily. Certainly the costume and props could have fitted into a duffle bag. Hence the name Duffle Bag Theatre, I guess.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Virgin blogger

Been hearing about blogging and reading other people's blogs. I want my own blog! Why? There have been times when I've felt I have something to say but nowhere and no one to say it too. I guess this will be where I can say what I want to say. Yes, in a way, thinking aloud.

How does one juggle being a mom and work? And I have the luxury of setting my own work time! Earning an income from work is wonderful but at the same time, I see my children growing up so quickly. My son who will be 2 years old in 2 weeks time speaks with a Filipino accent. Sings: A B C D E Ep G... I feel like I have missed out on his baby phase.

Feels like only yesterday when I was pregnant with my first child....