Sunday, December 31, 2006

Goodbye 2006...

2006 has been an interesting year for me. On this last day of 2006, whilst busy preparing for a party at home with close friends and family, I'm feeling out of sorts and a little out of control. PMS doesn't help either. Very timely too as it gives me a time to reflect on 2006, my family and about myself. 2006 has overall been fabulous for me. I'm now able to exercise my creative self through cake making. I have two beautiful children and a husband who loves me. Yet, something seems to be lacking. What? I've been asking myself the past few weeks. I am angry about something. Feeling out of sorts about something. But what? Am I getting "all whined out"? Children whining 'coz they're bored. "Mama, ChiChi doesn't want to share with me!" "Mama, I got it first!" Well, kids, deal with it yourself! People around me whining about the state of the country and pointing out what should have happened or should be done. I'm whining to myself 'coz I've had to deal with bills, arranging for this and that, grocery shopping, etc? I'm tired of being the "bad guy" who says "Enough sweets", "Time for bed", "Eat more vegetable". Yes, I think I'm all whined out.

So, in 2007, I'm going to get "whiners" to stop telling me the problems but give me solutions instead. Show me more stuff that are going well and not always point out the negative. What can we do together? Inundate MPAJ with calls and letters to get them to do something about dying trees which are threatening to fall on a car? Highlight to the press? What? Give me solutions! If no solution, let's work something out together.

In 2007, I will like more "me" time alone at home. So I can enjoy my own home in peace and quiet. I love my children and really do appreciate having a helper at home but to bump into someone ALL the time *sigh*

I am looking forward to 2007 as I know it is going to be a year full of success and good tidings. It is going to be a fantabulous year for my family and me. Just less whining please, even from myself!

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Introducing.... My Big Family!

Photo of Big Family members, Dec 2006

From the 9 siblings featured in my previous post, the family has grown to what you can see in the above photo. It is almost the entire family, except for my cousin brother and family in California and a cousin sister in Cincinnati who couldn't come back for the family reunion. The youngest was my nephew who is 8 months old and the oldest was my Jee Kor (2nd aunt) who is 74 years old.

We had a blast at the reunion. I love watching twenty children playing together, albeit in different groups. We listened to my Jee Kor tell stories about her childhood, which of course involved my father. My father and his siblings grew up with some of their cousins (23 of them!) in Kampar. Jee Kor told about their experience during the Japanese Occupation, when they had to hide away from the Japanese.

I shall definitely write a more detailed post when I'm not such a scatterbrain, trying to get myself organised for Christmas!

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Big Family Gathering

My maternal grandmother, my father (back row, third from the left), his siblings and bros-in-law.
Photo taken in front of the family home in Jalan Leong Tian, Ipoh.

In 2 days, the Big Family will be getting together in Penang! There will be 5 of my father's surviving siblings, the next generation and their offsprings. Yes, it's going to be BIG, BUSY and LOUD! As one can see from the photo above, my father came from a big family of 9 children. In total, there will be 57 of us in Penang, ranging in age from 8 months to 74 years old! The total is excluding some cousins who are living overseas and are not able to come back to join the reunion. Three generations under one roof. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a place to house the entire family under one roof. Some of my cousins' children are adults now, so in a few years we can expect to have a 4th generation joining in the reunion. I've mentioned the Leong Tian House in a Childhood Meme tag.

Penang is the place for lots of fabulous childhood memories for my cousins and I. We used to visit Penang every year end school holidays, stayed for one glorious week each time soaking in the sun and playing from early morning. We used to go to bed close to midnight as there was so much to do! We bugged the grown-ups to take us to the beach after breakfast; swimming in the sea, digging in the sand until way past lunch time. First one of our mothers would come to the seaside to call us in for lunch. Then another mother would try. Finally, one of the fathers would come call, which meant we were in serious trouble if we didn't get in RIGHT NOW!

Straight after lunch, we bugged the grown ups to take us to the beach again. The request usually followed with a reply, "Not so soon after a meal. You'll throw up". Five minutes later, "Can we go to the beach now?" We were on the beach again until almost sun down. Then, one mother come out to call, and another try...

We used to get fried in the sun! Did we use sunblock? Didn't hear of those until I was an adult! I remember using Nivea cream in a blue circular tin. That's why the smell of Nivea cream reminds me of my childhood. Sunburnt? No problem, use Hazeline Snow! Supposed to cool the burnt skin. Err... Given by adults, sapu saja lah.

We were out on the beach again after sunset! This time to watch the baby crabs crawl about on the sand. Sometimes, we equipped ourselves with a little pail to catch some. As kids, we didn't think what we were going to do with the baby crabs we caught. I remember one night, a couple of my cousins who were scouts started a fire on the beach with some twigs they found. We also picked up an empty sardine can which was flat. My cousin brother collected some sea water with the empty can, put a few baby crabs in the can with the sea water and proceeded to cook the baby crabs. The smell of the baby crabs cooking was heavenly!

During one of our night walks on the beach, one of my cousin brothers bent down to pick up a stick. The stick moved! It was a snake!!! I have never seen a group of people run so fast before. We were screaming on top of our lungs!

We also saw a turtle lay eggs on the beach behind our granduncle's house on Batu Ferringhi. The next day, one of cousin sisters who was about 4 years old then imitated the turtle on the beach.

This Big Family Gathering is extra special for my family, especially my cousins, brothers and I who spent many happy days in Penang. Our last year end holidays in Penang in was in 1980. It'll be 26 years since we've been there together. To say we're looking forward to the trip is an understatement.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Self esteem

Recently I met someone I've not seen in quite a few years. We used to go clubbing together in a group when in our early 20's. This person has an uncanny ability to make me feel unsure of myself then and I was surprised to find out she still does. I'm finding it hard to describe. The way she doesn't really look at me when she talks and how what should be a compliment comes out as mocking. We never became buddies, merely acquaintance. Now I understand why.

I remember leaving her after some brief idle chat wondering why I feel the way I do whenever I meet her. Why do I feel so unsure of myself? Is it because she's superior to me? Why do I allow it? Maybe when I was in my early 20's and was less confident of myself, that would have been understandable. I'm in my late 30's, doing what I love and is good at it, I have a beautiful family and having the time of my life. So, nobody has the right to make me feel bad about myself. No reason to unless I allow it. Nope, not allowing that for sure!