Saturday, October 29, 2005


I'm blogging from Bangkok! Sitting in the Executive Lounge of the Royal Orchid Sheraton which has an amazing view of the Chao Phraya River. What a busy river! Barges carrying sand, river taxis and lots of other small boats. Very picturesque. My friends, Cynthia and Graeme, has treated me to this stay with them. Our room has the same amazing view!

This trip to Bangkok is a treat for me. Purely self-indulgent. For the first time since I've become a mom, I am travelling without PT and kids. Getting to the airport alone was weird. I only needed to bring what was needed for myself. No need for hand luggage filled with wet wipes, change of clothes for both kids, water bottles, etc. I checked in my baggage in the airport and was walking around with just a pouch around my waist. I had two hours to kill in the airport and it felt like an eternity 'coz there were no kids around to distract me. Normally, I would have to hold one child's hand, backpack on my back. Patrick will have the stroller with him, hopefully with the other child in it or one of us will be handling the stroller and a kid and a backpack. At the same time, look out for the departure gate and answer a million questions from Miss Know-It-All. Now that Adam is speaking as well and asking "Why?", we have questions from two kids to deal with. Yesterday, it was I, Me and Mine. Felt strange....

Last night, for the first time in 6 years, I slept through the night! Bliss! I missed having my kids sleeping next to me though.

Yes, I do miss my kids but I am certainly having fun too. I'll be going shopping soon. No need to worry if kids need to have lunch at 12.00pm or if they need to use the bathroom. I get to shop till I drop (or when I run out of money lah).


Sunday, October 23, 2005

An interesting day

We have a house guest with us these few days. Sara is visiting from the US. She's been backpacking the last 6 weeks around Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and now she's here in Malaysia. She has had a few interesting days with us. Today, we went together to Masjid India to see the sights in that place before Deepavali and Hari Raya. Man, it was crowded!

We took the LRT up to the Masjid Jamek station to walk over to Masjid India. Immediately, we were greeted by stalls by the side of the river selling costume jewelry, fake branded handbags, clothes and handphone covers. There was even a stall with a laptop set up to sell songs, games and ringtone downloads! Wow!

We walked on to the shops towards Semua House, passing by more stalls. There were so many people around, we had to squeeze through the crowd. Then we came to a lady who was painting with henna. Sara got both her hands painted. They look really nice with the intricate artwork. I bought a small tube to try on my kids. Now both of them have semi-permanent henna tattoos on their right arm. When painting Adam's arm, the henna got stuck and I couldn't squeeze any out. Suddenly, squuuuuirt! Yikes! My sofa! Thank goodness for covers that can be removed.

We went to Chinatown after that. After a while of seeing handbags, fake watches, DVDs and clothes, it got a little boring. I wanted to show Sara the side streets where the dried goods traders were, the crockery shops, the bakeries, etc. It's Sunday, so they were not open. Chinatown was a bit of a waste of time. We had really nice roti canai with curry dhall there though. Sara was impressed. Hahaha!

It's been a while since I've walked around like this. It was great! The last time I did that was with my friend, Cynthia, when we walked around Georgetown. Oh, the sights and sound and taste we experienced. Wow! Wish I brought my camera...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Now that I've figured out how to transfer images...

These are a couple of photos I want to share. My 28-month-old son has discovered roti canai! He loves it!

Not just plain roti canai. Must dip in curry dhall for that extra zing ma.

He was enjoying the roti and curry so much, the waiters were all standing around to watch him eat. Our friend didn't notice lah. He continued tucking in the roti.

Both parents like food so much, it's only natural that our children like food too, don't you think?

Toilet with a difference

I have had these photos in my phone for some time. Finally figured out how to transfer the photos onto my pc! Yes, this is a photo of a toilet. I did take photos of a public toilet at an LRT station in Ampang. There is a reason behind what seems like a ludicrious thing to do. No, not that it was dirty. In fact, it was one of the cleanest public toilet I've ever been in. Let me story...

I was meeting some friends for drinks and since I am a consientious road user, I decided to take public transport. I was desperate to pee, so I dashed to the toilet before catching the train. As soon as I walked into the toilet, I was stumped. How to use the toilet? Just above the toilet seat is a metal structure which didn't look like it can be used to place my bag. It was also waaaaay too low. I was trying to figure out how to use the toilet without knocking myself out. Just then a station employee walked in. I must have had such a look on my face 'coz she felt she had to assure me that it's alright to use the toilet. As I closed the toilet door, I saw a chart explaining how to use the toilet. The metal structure was to prevent users from squatting on the toilet seat. So, I sat down gingerly and found out the metal structure rests on the back of my neck and I had to bend forward a little. Then I took a look to my right and saw this:

Wow, there is always something to learn every day! How to use the hose for washing oneself.

So, don't stay at home to watch TV. There is always something new to learn every day. Yes, even in an LRT station toilet.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Here is, Laura and Adam helping to make a brownie which is part of a cake for their papa. Unfortunately, mama didn't have the time to make other parts of the cake, so we had brownies only. The brownies turned out well and our guests loved it!

Whilst the adults were enjoying the party their way, the kids had their own party. Laura and Caityin played with Barbie dolls in Laura's room.

Shin-Yee and Adam had other plans.

Jumping on the bed!

PT has to work today, rehearsing for Julius Caesar which opens on 2 December in the KL Performing Arts Centre. I don't know how he does it, party all day and work today. I'm tired!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Tak jadi

It's 1.00am. PT's birthday cake tak jadi. Not that it didn't come out alright but I couldn't find the time to make the cake. Tomorrow we're expecting about 15 pax for lunch. I'm making popiah, so there's quite a bit to prepare. Also making a fried noodle (birthday/longevity noodle). Got to make sure PT is around for a long, long time, isn't it? We went out to see a performance at the KLPAC tonight. It was a long performance, so we didn't get home until midnight. No time to make a cake lah. Sorry la, my darling. Have to get you one from the shop tomorrow. I think the one who will be most disappointed will be Laura 'coz she's been looking forward to making a cake for her papa. We made part of the cake. A brownie which was one of the layers. At least there is dessert lah.

OK, goodnight all! Yes, looks like I'll be blogging about food again tomorrow. Will blog about how the popiah and noodle turned out.

Friday, October 14, 2005


It's been a long day today. Started with preparation to make chang as a birthday treat for PT whose birthday is on Sunday. I thought I had everything but as it turned out, we were out of shallots and dried shrimps. So off to market to get those essential ingredients. When I got back, PT had already sent Laura to school. Adam insisted that I sat and read with him for a while. The children are growing so fast, sometimes one does have to drop everything to spend some time with them. All too soon, they won't want to hang out with the "old fogies".

Finally got down to making the chang.

We started a tradition of sorts in the family. It started with one Father's Day when Laura helped me prepare breakfast in bed for her papa. She was very thrilled as she got to lay out the tray and even added a nice touch with a flower in the tray for her papa. We walked into the room with the breakfast tray so PT can have breakfast in bed. Then on Mother's Day, PT and Laura did the same for me. Laura has already planned to prepare a "breakfast surprise" (that's what she calls breakfast in bed) for her papa on his birthday. Shhhh.... Don't tell PT :D

We will also be making a cake for him for his birthday. Now, I need to find time to do that! PT is not a big fan of sweet things and dessert but he is going to like this cake. Laura is wondering how we are going to make the cake without PT seeing it. She thinks that if he sees us baking the cake, it won't be a surprise anymore! Adam will be helping too. Oh boy, baking is going to be fun and messy!

Laura started helping me in the kitchen when she was about 2 years old. Very simple things like cracking an egg or mixing up the batter. Had to watch out for egg shell! Now, she has graduated to measuring the flour and sugar too. Adam helped with baking some Christmas cookies last year.
  • Ai Lian
  • blogged about creating lasting memories with mom when cooking and baking. I hope that is what is happening with my children.

    I crashed when putting the children to bed but woke up about 11pm. Aiya! Now I need to try to get back to bed. Let's see, what do I need to do tomorrow? Bake two cakes, follow up on some stuff with work, prepare the food for PT's birthday lunch on Saturday, go watch
  • Pygmalion
  • at night at the KLPAC at night. Find time to spend with the kids too! Alright, better get to bed then.


    Sunday, October 09, 2005

    To blog or not to blog

    PT is sitting at the dining table with his laptop, I am at our desktop. Both typing away. I think he is chatting with someone on Yahoo IM. I'm just checking my mail and trying to decide whether to write a blog or not. I was pretty gung-ho about writing on women's role in the family after watching Wife Swap on Friday night. I will still write on that but another day lah. Tonight feels like a night for vegetating in front of the TV. I hope there is something interesting on. If not, I'll continue with Season 4 of Queer As Folk.

    Saturday, October 08, 2005

    Adding on to my meme...

    I can't believe I forgot to include my grandaunt's Chinese New Year goodies in my childhood meme. Am I right in guessing that a meme is a mini memoir??

    My "jee ee poh" (grandaunt on my father's side) used to make delicacies that were out of this world! Visiting her family during the Chinese New Year was such a treat. My "jee ee poh" and "jee t'iao kong" lived in a corner house near Canning Garden. They had a huge rambutan tree which seemed to fruit during the CNY. We would sit out in the garden while my uncles plucked some rambutan for us. Inside, my grandaunt would have prepared a spread that made up of traditional cakes and delicacies.

    She made coconut candy (yeh chee tong)from scratch. Each one delicately wrapped in colourful see through paper. Just the right size to pop in the mouth. Pop one in the mouth and you're in heaven! She used to let each of us take a handful home to enjoy later. I love to make my own kaya 'coz the smell of kaya cooking, the combination of santan and sugar, always reminds me of the yeh chee tong.

    My grandaunt also used to make kuih baulu that were spongy, yet melt in the mouth. Just the right sweetness and oh so fragrant. I have never tasted kuih baulu like hers. I remember another type of delicacy which is like the agar-agar but more texture and harder. I remember her saying she prepares the ingredient, sun the ingredient or something before making the agar-agar like delicacy. I have no idea what they're called and I have never seen anything like that since I was a kid.

    Oh, the paper thin kuih kapit that melts in the mouth. Yummm.... And the kuih bangkit, with just the right sweetness and when it has melted in the mouth, the fragrance of the santan comes through. Nope, I've not tasted kuih kapit and kuih bangkit that match up to what my grandaunt used to make.

    I know she used to make these delicacies from scratch, including milling the rice flour. Her sons helped her in the preparation. She has since passed on but her very gentle Nyonya disposition and her delicacies live on in my memory. No one in my dad's generation inherited the cooking skills of my grandmother and grandaunt. My uncle was a good cook, as I've blogged earlier. No one who can cook Nyonya delicacy like my grandaunt though.

    Thursday, October 06, 2005

    Meme: Childhood

    I've been tagged by Eternity. Five childhood memories that relate to food. Only five?? My whole childhood memory revolved around food! Hahahaha!

    1. Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner
    When I think of my childhood and food, I think of my father's side of the family. Chinese New Year's Eve reunion dinner with my father's siblings and my cousins in Ipoh. My father had 6 sisters and 2 brothers. Needless to say I have a lot of cousins. My eldest uncle was the cook for the dinner. My mom and aunts helped him prepare the ingredients while my uncle and father watched over us. Traditional dishes prepared for the dinner are du doh t'ng (pig stomach soup) or lotus root soup to symbolise longevity, jew hoo char (fried shredded jacima with cuttlefish strip) eaten with lettuce to symbolise abundance every year, bak kien (pork roll in bean curd skin), steamed whole chicken and barbeque pork (earlier used for ancestral prayers). On New Year's Day, the family tradition was to have fried vegetarian tang hoon for brunch. My uncle would fry lots! Enough to feed whoever who came to visit the family on New Year's Day.

    2. School holidays in Leong Tian House
    During the school holidays, my family travelled up to Ipoh to see my uncle and aunts. The family home is on Jalan Leong Tian, which is why my cousins and I call the house Leong Tian House. Every morning, some of the grown-ups would go to the market and they always came back with yummy breakfast for everyone. I remember free flow of kopi-o. Yummm! I do not remember when it was my cousins and I started drinking kopi-o at breakfast. Nobody told us children can't drink coffee. To go with the kopi-o was yau char kwai and Ipoh jue cheong fun with mushroom sauce.

    3. Lazy Sundays with my family
    On Sundays, my dad used to buy Kampar style jue cheong fun from a coffee shop in Sect 14. Like my dad, the vendor was from Kampar too. They moved out to KL about the same time. My dad had been his loyal customer for many years. As cliche as it sounds, the vendor saw my parents get married, had kids, kids grew up and now both my parents are gone. The stall is still there, opened from 8.30am and all the jue cheong fun gone by 9.15am. When I still lived in PJ, I used to buy the jue cheong fun from time to time as the vendor still remembers my dad. Eating the jue cheong fun reminds me of the lazy Sundays we had at home.

    4. Kampar Noodles
    It was a long drive to Ipoh when we were little. My dad used to go through Kampar to get to Ipoh. Our treat was eating loe shue fun with fishball at a stall just behind the main road in Kampar town. My brothers and I used to look forward to the noodle stall. The food was good but more like getting to Kampar meant we were not far from seeing our cousins in Ipoh. After Kampar, we will pass Gopeng, then Kampung Kepayang and a little while more we will see the big Mercedes star on top of a hill! IPOH!!

    5. Ting Ting Man and "A EE ai boh"
    More memories of Leong Tian House in Ipoh. The familiar sound of "ding ding ding" used to get all the children in the house into a frenzy. The Ting Ting Man was here! Whose treat will it be this time? There were never any shortage of uncles and aunts who would treat all of us cousins to ice-cream or some candy from the Ting Ting Man. Another vendor who used to ply Jalan Leong Tian was a guy who sold Mee Mamak. Until now, we have not deciphered what he was shouting. We could only make out "A EE ai boh" which sounded like "Aunty, do you want?" in Hokkien. When we heard his cry, sudden clanging of plates in the kitchen and the grown-ups were frantically counting how many plates to bring out. One o f my aunts would shout for one of the kids to call the guy to stop. Next, the plates are brought out and always several raw egs are on one of the plates. If you brought your own eggs, the man charged less.

    The baton has been passed on from:
    1. Oswego Tea
    2. Masak-Masak
    3. Funky Cookies
    4. Eternity
    5. Thinking Aloud

    I'm required to tag others to continue passing this baton.

    1. Patrick Teoh: Tokkok
    2. Afdlin Shauki: Inside My Head
    3. Lim Ai Lian: Mama's Bag of Tricks
    4. Lia Ong: Cuddly Family
    5. Lynda Davies: Dinda's Blog


    Wednesday, October 05, 2005

    Am I turning into my mother??!

    I've blogged previously about the love-hate relationship I had with my mother. Now that I have my own children, my biggest fear is I am turning into my mother. I love both my children so much and I want only the best for the both of them. However, my daughter seems to be able to bring the worst out in me. Time and again my patience is tested. Do not get me wrong. Laura is a beautiful child - very bright, sensitive and oh so chatty. She also likes to whine and can be very stubborn. An example will be what happened today.

    On the way to school, I took Laura to get some passport size photos to get her passport renewed. She was chirpy and chatty from the time we left the house. Then we bumped into a classmate and her mom. Laura's classmate's mom offered to drive Laura to school to save me a trip but Laura's bag was in the car which was parked a distance away from where we were. I explained that it'll be easier for me to drive her since my office is nearby. After a bit of small talk, we left to get the photos taken. As we're leaving the photo studio, Laura asked why she can't go with her classmate. I explained why. She pleaded and again I explained why. Next, she begged and whined which got on my nerves. I kept my cool and explained again, but in a "I do not want to discuss this further" tone. She was alright on the way to school until we were about 20m from the school gate. I yawned and said, "Oh, I'm tired". That was when Laura said, "I'm sleepy. I do not want to go to school". When I turned into the school gate, she started crying and refused to get down! Made my blood boil!

    Laura is known to whine and cry over trivial matters. She screams and cries in the middle of the night if I am not lying next to her. She is especially whiney if she's tired. I am sick of all that. I am sick of being the ogre who scream and shout. I am tired of being the disciplinarian. I have tried walking away when I am angry to deal with the situation when I have calmed down but that is not meant to be with Laura. If I walk away, she cries even louder and clings onto my legs like in the Bollywood movies. Aiyo!

    Sunday, October 02, 2005

    Spoke too soon!

    Adam is not weaned after all. After exactly one week of not nursing, Adam turned to me in the middle of the night saying he wanted nan nan. I expected him to just nuzzle up to my boobs and fall asleep again. That Thursday night, he opened his mouth and nursed! So, my 27-month-old is back to nursing. Just when I thought the nights of Adam sleeping through were getting closer. Fortunately, he is not as enthusiastic about nursing as he used to be. He's been nursing mostly just before sleeping at night and first things in the morning. Occasionally, he wakes up in the middle of the night to nurse. Thank goodness, we opted for co-sleeping since Adam was a baby. I do not cope very well with lack of sleep. I become really grumpy and totally unreasonable.

    When Adam started nursing again, I asked him if nan nan was better than ice cream. He nodded without hesitation. Is nan nan better than Vitagen? He nodded again. I must say I am not overly disappointed he started nursing again.