Friday, December 31, 2010

A good year...

pic taken from leeseunggiworld (thanks!)

It's been a good year for LSG, he just won a string of awards for music, mc-ing and acting at the end of the 2010. On 30/12/2010 LSG won the Netizens Popularity Award and the Best Excellence Award at the 2010 SBS Entertainment Awards, so... Congratulations!! I think The SBS Best Excellence Award is worth mentioning because he's come a long way as an MC, also being nominated for the Daesang among his seniors (which we Airens thought was totally cool but undoubtedly he isn't ready to win it this year), and winning the Best Excellence award instead proves that he may really deserve to win the Daesang next year or in the year after.

pic taken from leeseunggiworld (thanks!)

Now even though I'm glad that LSG and SMA (Shin Min Ah, his co-star in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho) won awards last night at the 2010 SBS Drama Awards (LSG - Best Actor for Drama Special, Top 10 Star Award, and Best Couple Award; SMA - Best Actress for Drama Special, Top 10 Star Award, Best Couple Award), and thankful that SBS acknowledged their hard work for MGIAG, I can't help but feel that the awards show was a bit of a farce with everyone from the top dramas winning something. I think only the Daesang and the Netizens awards truly count for something, but sadly, MGIAG did not win the Netizens Popularity Award (which went to Secret Garden instead... which they probably deserved, I don't know since I only watched 2 episodes).

pic taken from leeseunggiworld (thanks!)
It was cute to see the hoi-hoi couple sing "From Now On I Love You" together (although a little painful to see how shaky and nervous SMA was). I liked the way Seung Gi gave her looks of encouragement and guided her along. However I really wished they'd pre-record SMA's part for the duet, for her sake, because her voice was so soft. I felt really anxious seeing her anxious, you know, what I mean? But still, it was a great effort, and winning one of the Best Couple Awards right after made up for all her nervous singing.

2010 has officially ended, and I'm looking forward to seeing what projects LSG will undertake in 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Explosive!

I don't normally do this, and I am a little embarrassed to admit that I am a 2PM fan, but I thought their performance at last night's "SBS Gayo Daejun" (29/12/10) was explosive! I love how the song starts with them changing in their car and then they come on stage to perform a rocked-up version of "I'll be back".


2PM will be performing on tonight's (30/12/10) "2010 KBS Song Festival" at 9pm on KBSW on astro.

Good Morning



After resuming posting recently, several people contacted me to congratulate me on being pregnant again and asked me when my due date is. Surprisingly, I don't exactly know when my due date is. Because I got the dates of my last period wrong. I'd given my Obgyn one date, and my due date was estimated at May 11. Then suddenly during my check-up at 15-16 weeks, my doc measures the baby and discovers I am actually at 17 weeks! So that means my due date is earlier. Okay, I'm fine with that. But my doctor never gave me a new EDD. So I don't know when it is, and I just tell people I'm due in early May.

Some people may already know this, and some people may not... that I dream the future sometimes. I have dreamed the future of others, and they have come true. Long before I conceived this second baby, I had already dreamt that I would have 2 girls. And 2 girls it is. I also already know her name, but I won't reveal it here.

Am I excited? Yeah, a little. But anxious, yes. I have a very active toddler now, and it worries me that I will have 2 of these next time. Two little girls that will one day refuse to go to bed on time... two little girls who will request different things to eat for lunch and not want to eat the meal I have prepared... two little girls who will kick and shout when we say it's time to leave the playground... two little girls who will insist on watching Elmo dvds instead of whatever else the parents wanna watch on tv.... Haish...

But I do look forward to having two little girls who are extremely bright... two little girls who can sing in harmony (and they should be able to duet to LSG hehe)... two little girls who will one day help out with the chores... two little girls with perfect comedic timing. :D  haha

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Beginning

Some people may want to know, who or what is Bleach? Bleach is an anime.

And Red Pineapple is Abarai Renji -
To make a long story short, I used to watch Bleach everyday during my confinement months after delivering baby Salma. I was stuck in this one room with my new baby, since new moms aren't allowed to walk much during confinement, and I passed my time by watching all the episodes of Bleach. As a newborn, Salma watched it with me, or so I like to think.

When I was pregnant the first time, during my first trimester, KBSW just started showing on astro. That was a little more than 2 years ago. I had terrible morning sickness that lasted the whole day and couldn't go out much on weekends. On Sunday, I spent my day watching this Korean melodrama, Beautiful Days. But it got too depressing that I stopped when my morning sickness stopped. Haha! This was also the time I first started watching 1 Night 2 Days (1N2D). I think I noticed Kim C more than anyone else in the cast during my first pregnancy. After my morning sickness disappeared, I stopped watching 1N2D regularly, and just tuned in whenever I remembered.

This second pregnancy was no different. I suffered terrible morning sickness that prevented me from working (so I became a housewife). I couldn't eat anything at all and threw up 4 times a day on average. I was miserable and depressed. Earlier on, I had gotten Astro B.yond (HD) for the 2010 World Cup, and because of that we were able to get SBS One, which is a HD channel. I had just watched the 1N2D episode where the guys went to Mt. Jiri, and noticed Seunggi for the first time when he bumped into Wap's grandmother while walking on his course on the Dulle Pass. We tuned into SBS some time later and they had just started showing the first episodes of My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, and I recognised Seunggi acting as the lead role in the drama, so I started watching that, too.

So similar to my first pregnancy, a Korean drama helped eased my morning sickness depression. Thankfully MGIAG is not one of those depressing melodramas, so I got really hooked and watched til the very end. That's how I became a Lee Seung Gi (LSG) fan and 1N2D fan. 1N2D is hilarious. I can safely say that those guys (their comedy, heart and sincerity) saw me through the worst parts of my 2nd pregnancy. The show just cheered me up. You laugh and get to see beautiful parts of Korea. (1N2D is a variety travel show).

(I'm not going to post pictures of LSG or the guys from 1N2D. If you are curious, you can just google, and you'll get a ton of info on them. Especially now right after bagging 4 awards after the 2010 KBS Entertainment Awards).

LSG is first and foremost a singer, and Salma loves his songs. She will sing along when I play the cd in the car. She recognizes his face when he comes on tv. It's adorable. No, this blog will not become a LSG appreciation blog, but from time to time, I will probably make references to LSG so this introduction will help explain things a bit.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Time for a revamp

I haven't updated this blog for several months, and I feel that it's time for a revamp. Although I will probably still remain as the red pineapple (or not..), and although I am still a Bleach fan, a whole new tour de force has taken over my life. So I'm wondering whether to incorporate it into my blog or not.

I took a break from writing anything because I got pregnant again, and was so sick from morning sickness that I really couldn't stand being in front of the PC for very long. Actually I still can't. It makes me dizzy. So now I'm wondering what to do with this blog. Salma is already 2 years old and has become so incredibly crafty and mischievous. Aiyo. Next will come baby no. 2...

Will keep you all posted. If anyone even still reads this blog...

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ramadan Buffet



As far as Ramadan Buffets are concerned, I learned one thing last night: when you have a small kid, it's preferred not to have your table outdoors. But if you really have to sit outdoors, make sure the place has sufficient fans or cooling systems.

We went to maybe one of the worst buffet places yesterday. The food wasn't bad, on the contrary, the food was quite good. It was just the way the restaurant handled it that was pretty bad. The arrangement too, maybe could use improvement. It took place at this restaurant at Ara Damansara, which shall remain nameless. And since there aren't that many ramadan buffets in that area, you could probably guess which restaurant I'm talking about.

I booked a place for us outside because that was closest to the buffet line. But boy oh boy was it hot! When they started grilling the satay and the fish, it became hotter. The smoke gave me a headache. Salma became uncomfortable fast. She wanted to walk around. I had to let her because it was so stuffy at our table. But people were walking everywhere, to and fro from the buffet table, she kept getting in the way. Dangerous. And there were these antique teak chairs that she wanted to sit on, but had people already sitting there... and I was trying to tell her she can't sit there because it's someone else's table, but of course she didn't get it. It was a messy headache trying to eat and control her at the same time!

The patrons were like piranhas, and the food finished quickly. The worse part was the restaurant didn't even replenish some of the dishes! We didn't even get a chance to sample the sambal udang which looked yummy. I knew I should have taken my plate early.

This is a lesson for all of us: when going for buffets 1) make sure the place is air-conditioned, 2) even though you may look stupid and greedy, take your food early (before the azan sounds) and 3) make sure the place has plenty of food.


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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Buka Puasa



Salma does not yet understand the concept of "puasa" (fasting), so during the day she is always offering mummy and daddy bits of her biscuit or chocolate to eat. When it's almost time to break fast, she will ask us to go upstairs because she wants to get ready for bed. And if I think about it, before fasting month, we used to have our dinner early. And by the time the sun has set, she has already bathed and changed into her pajamas, readily waiting for us to read her a book on the bed.

Yesterday, I was super tired, and was not in the mood for one of her tantrums right at break fast time. She wanted to "naik atas" (go upstairs). We explained to her that we hadn't eaten yet, and only she had. She was furious. We appeased her by turning on Dibo the Gift Dragon right after the azan was over. But that whole episode just made me exhausted. It was all I could do to keep my eyes open to perform my maghrib prayers before collapsing on the bed.

So far, in this second year of motherhood, I have not been able to not conk out half an hour after iftar. I really do think that breastfeeding while you're fasting zaps energy out of you. I can literally feel the energy being sucked out of me. I often tell her that I can't nurse her, but she'll throw a tantrum, so weaning her during this time is difficult because since I'm already tired from fasting, I don't have the energy to stave her off. You would think that after eating so many sweet deserts at iftar I would have the energy to keep up with her antics, but I don't.

*sigh... I must be getting old...
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Conversations



After breaking fast last night, I was clearing the dining table and walking back and forth from the dining room to the kitchen, when I suddenly found Salma sitting alone in the living room.

"Where's daddy?" I asked.

"Daddy blow," she replied.

Stunned, I asked her, "Blow?? What do you mean?"

Salma replied with an action as if blowing out cigarette smoke, "Fuuuuuuhhhhh."

"Oh," I said, relieved, "You mean daddy's smoking!"

Her dad had disappeared to have a cigarette outside. Blow... smoke.


Red Pineapple does not in any way advocate smoking, especially around young children. Smoking kills.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stuff I like

Taken from www.kimarie.com.my

Two things that make this mommy happy are: 1) a good tailor (that always makes me look slim in a baju kurung) and 2) a good haircut. I have the best tailor in the world, who shall remain nameless because she specifically asked me not to recommend her to any more customers. And secondly, I have now found another good hairdresser. I have 3 hairdressers that are excellent: Azroy from Gdo Subang Parade (although I don't know if he's still there), Jeremy, formerly of Bianco in Puchong Jaya (he is no longer there, dunno where he is now), and lastly, the latest genius- Mimi Ho of Kimarie at IOI Boulevard.

Mimi is also a working mom with a daughter slightly older than Salma. Yes, I am trying to boost their clientele, because the salon is fairly new, and when I went there, there was just me and this other guy. A professional hair cut will cost you RM54 for long hair. And I love it how she recommends me what type of shampoo to use for my hair without asking me to buy the salon's brand (Kerastase). Sometimes I hate going to the salon just because I know they will pressure me to try or buy their salon products. But Mimi doesn't do that.

I love a hairdresser that understands your needs. I explained to her that I needed to cut my hair shorter but still be able to tie it up because I wear a hijab. And the result is a cut that makes me look younger. Yippee! Usually Jeremy (my previous stylist) used to give me these vavavavoom layered looks which I am supposed to wear with huge dangly earrings, but I'm too tired for that. I hate having to blowdry my own hair. So this minimally-layered shoulder length bob that I have now is good.

A good tailor, a good haircut and a good pair of heels. Those are the 3 things that a woman needs to make her look good. Alas, I have not yet found my great pair of heels yet. Not ones that I can walk in at least.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Conversations


"Krong-krong" is the made-up word we use at home to mean "snoring". Salma was cuddling with me before bed, and I teased my husband and imitated the sound he makes when he snores to Salma.

"This is the way daddy krong-krong. Horrh horrh horhh (nasally-throaty snoring sound)," I said and she giggled. 

"This is the way Salma krong-krong, hmmmt hmmmt hmmmt (air blowing through nose sound)," I said and she scrunched up her nose and slapped her face.

"What sound does mummy make when I krong-krong?" I asked her.

In a small soft voice she said, literally, "Krong krong krong".

Haha!  This is a lesson not to use sounds to make words, cos they'll just lose their meaning.




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Sunday, August 8, 2010

When you are sick too


As a mom, taking care of a sick child when you are sick yourself is pretty much the hardest thing to do. Especially when your husband, your only helper is sick, too. That's what's going on in my household right now. My husband has both laryngitis and tonsilitis, I have laryngitis, and my lil girl probably has laryngitis, too. Our sinuses are swollen, our eyes watery, our noses blocked, our throats sore and itchy, and to top it off, we have a fever that comes and goes.

The hardest thing for me at this moment is staying awake during the day when my meds are trying to knock me out. I am so drowsy, I can't "layan" her well at all. And since she's sick, she gets super whiny, which gets on my nerves, since my body wants to get some sleep. The problem is, she can't describe what her pain is like, so I have no idea if it's chest pain, sore throat or headache. The worst part is, she just refuses to swallow her medicine, so every time it's like a battle. I have to aim the syringe right in the middle of her throat for the thing to actually go down, or else she'll spit it back out, arms flaying, kicking and screaming. If you were passing by outside our house and heard it, you'd think we were child abusing... shoving stuff down her throat. Well, it's not exactly like that of course, nothing gets pushed down her throat, it's just a matter of aiming the liquid medication from above, and making sure we push just enough out for one gulp. Teeny small doses at a time. So if the prescription is 5 ml, I'll be sitting there squirting 1 ml at a time.

It was a relief when she finally puked out all her phlegm. If phlegm gets into the lungs, it'll have to be sucked out. But thank god she puked it all out. Now she's fast asleep. Time for mommy and daddy to get some rest!


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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Potty training



I think it's time I begin potty training Salma in earnest. She's almost two. I already bought her a potty training book: "Lulu's Loo" by Camilla Reid (bought it at Popular bookstore), which she reads to herself every night. I also read it to her, but it's fun to see her read it to herself with her made up words. And I bought her a pink colored portable potty, which so far, she's only sat on once, without producing anything. But sitting on the potty is good practice, too. If she can learn to go do her "business" on her own, then we won't have to spend so much on diapers.

Read the review of "Lulu's Loo" by The Bookbag

"Lulu's Loo" as stated on the cover, is an interactive book. There is a page where your kid can practice taking off the straps of a diaper. This part is important for your kid to learn how to take the diaper off before sitting on the potty. And Salma likes the page where Lulu has the big girl undies. Don't underestimate the lure of big kid's undies to your lil' one! To them, it's a like some sort of special thing. I also can't wait to buy Salma big girl undies... I must go shopping for them soon in order to start potty training her. She's a pretty slim toddler though, so I would need to buy them in extra small size or something like that, or else they'll just fall off right?

I also read this article on babycenter.com that I found really helpful: "Potty Training in Three Days or Less" by Karen Zuercher. In it, the author describes tried and tested methods to potty train your toddler, that she has used herself. The method requires you to make your toddler go diaper-less for 3 days (except at night and at nap-time), and suggests parents carry it out during a 3-day weekend. And since I will be job-less for awhile, I thought I might as well take advantage of my upcoming free time to carry out the 3-day method. I'm not so sure about letting her go diaper-less once she's in school, but she's gotta start some time right...

If you are thinking of potty training your child, do read the article on the 3-day method. It's very informative, and gives useful tips and advice. The portable potty that I bought from Carrefour is very cheap, too, at RM 3.90 for one potty, and I think I may just buy one or two more so that I can have a potty in more than one room in the house. We already have a portable baby toilet seat to place on top of the adult toilet seat, so this can be used for practice in the bathroom, too.

I so want very much for Salma to start realising how cool it is to be a big girl. Being able to wear undies instead of diapers is the definitive big girl thing! Once she has this potty thing down, I hope she'll feel comfortable enough to stop breastfeeding (I feel that 2 years is the limit for me). And then, once there isn't a need to breastfeed her anymore, she can start to sleep in her own bed in her own room! Yay! Lots of big girl milestones ahead...

The reason why it's hard to potty train kids is because they are afraid of the adult toilet bowl. They have a fear of falling in and being sucked into the abyss of what they don't know is under there. My little girl is even afraid of the shower drain. She's afraid that her fingers and toes will get stuck in the drain if she gets too close. Sometimes she will stomp on the drain and yell at it, as if to tell it "I'm gonna put a stop to you sucking down all the water, you evil drain, you!"

When the shower water is running too fast, she'll get scared and ask me to carry her. But if I'm fully clothed and giving her a bath, I can't carry her, I'll get wet. I try to explain this to her each time she gets afraid of the shower head, but she will scream and cry and not understand. So this is the myth that I must disprove to her to make her overcome her fear of the toilet bowl... that she will not fall in and get sucked into nowhere. We've tried putting her on the baby toilet seat on the adult toilet bowl before, and she will scream and cry, even while doing her business. So the next best thing now is to prepare the bathroom, so that there is a little table with a few of her little books to comfort her when she has to go. And of course, to try out the 3-day potty training method!


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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Old Macdonald had a burger


Last Thursday evening, we were watching the CSI Trilogy replay, so we decided to order McDonalds delivery. Salma was annoyed that we were watching CSI on tv instead of her Playhouse Disney, and kept pestering me to go upstairs.

"Mummy, I want naik atas." (Mummy, I want to go upstairs.)

"No, cannot, we have to wait for McDonalds to come."

"Huh..." she gave me a skeptical look, "Old Macdonald?"

"Yes, McDonalds is coming with mamam." (food)

"Old MacDonald ade mamam?"

"Not Old MacDonald, McDonalds. McDonalds nak datang!" (is coming)

"Old Macdonald had a farm datang?"

Just then the McDonalds delivery guy arrives at the gate, and I go out to pay him. Salma stands at the front door to get a better look, and I hear her say, "Oh! Old Macdonald!! Mamam!"

She finally got that it was McDonalds, but still insisted on calling it Old Macdonald...


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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baby eczema

It just breaks my heart that my lil Poppet Cuk has eczema! All my life I have never suffered any skin problems. I didn't even get that many pimples. So when Salma got eczema, I was clueless on what to do. Recently, the eczema around her left elbow has gotten worse! It's all red and inflamed, and she scratches it even in her sleep. The capillaries under the skin have broken, and I can see the blood spots. Sometimes she scratches until it bleeds. This morning as I was applying the aloe vera gel on the affected area, she cried and said it hurts.

So I researched on the net and found this helpful website: http://www.getbest.info/natural-cure-for-eczema/

According to the website, the best natural cures for eczema are: 1) sea-salt bath 2) Aloe Vera juice 3) Calendula Cream 4) Olive Oil. So I was already doing the right thing by applying Aloe Vera gel to the eczema. But it's not enough. So I researched some more and found that California Baby makes an organic Calendula Cream! Surfed some of the online baby stores in Malaysia and found that they don't stock California Baby. So I googled, and found that drugstore.com delivers to Singapore! (Which is the next best thing).

So when you go to drugstore.com, a pop-up appears asking you if you want to view the site in a different country and currency. I selected SGD and SINGAPORE. Ok. The prices all looked pretty affordable, even after multiplying it by 2.37 (the current exchange rate to MYR). I asked my friend if I could have it delivered to her husband's office in Singapore, and she said OK. Alright! I'm all set. I can't wait to try this product. I really want to find a bath and skin regiment that works for Salma.

I've tried Cetaphil and Sebamed, but they have a sort of medicated fragrance, and it's not too nice. So now I'm trying to look for other products that are value for money. So hopefully California Baby will be the one. For those of you who are interested, drugstore.com also stocks Weleda, which also makes baby bath and skin care products using Calendula. However, they use this tube packaging, and in my experience with other lotions stocked in tubes, sometimes you unintentionally squeeze too much lotion out, and end up having to use a lot when you only want to use a little. With California Baby, their lotion comes in a tub (similar to Body Shop's Body Butter range.. see pics below). Which is what I like. I use Nivea face lotion for myself, which also comes in a tub, and I find that it's easy to dip your finger lightly into the lotion this way to pick up just the right amount you want to use. It lets you use how ever much you want when you want it. To me, that's value for money. And only for that reason alone, I chose to buy the California Baby Calendula Cream over the Weleda Calendula cream, even though the Weleda one was cheaper.





So hopefully, my lil girl's eczema will clear up once she uses these products. I just can't bear to hear her cry and complain, "Gagak…" (It's meant to be "Gatal", but she can't pronounce it right… 'gatal' is 'itchy' in Malay).



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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Plans plans plans

As with the last time I had to leave my job, I started making plans in my head as to what I'd do during the free time I will have. Other than cleaning the house, folding and ironing the piles and piles of clean laundry I have left in several laundry baskets, I thought I would start baking cakes and cookies and muffins and cupcakes. And also do some photography/artwork projects on the computer. And maybe, just maybe, send personalised, home made Hari Raya cards out to friends and family. That's a MAYBE. I am not such a big fan of those type of things, but the thought of making online cards is sort of fun.

I sure hope that there is no added pressure from third parties while I am on my so-called vacation in between jobs. I have put pressure on myself, but I don't want to receive pressure from others (to secure a new job). I think self-imposed pressure works twice as hard as pressure from other sources. Or not. But that's the way I feel right now.

I so want to start sewing though. I am itching for it. Maybe I should start saving for my special sewing machine. I would love to sew costumes for Salma. Although I don't think I'm imaginative enough to do that, but it sounds like fun. Salma likes to dress up. I suppose this is the best time to collect different costumes so that she can play dress-up. Yes... this sounds like a plan. :)


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Monday, July 26, 2010

The red pineapple

Many people don't know the true meaning of Red Pineapple. "Red Pineapple" was the nickname given to Abarai Renji for his spiky red hair when he was freeloading at Urahara's shop. While I was in confinement, Salma and I spent most of our time watching dvds of the anime Bleach. We are great fans. Until now (or rather just me, as Salma sometimes zones out when we are watching).



I am kinda bummed out that dattebayo has stopped subbing for Bleach, because their subtitles are the best. Now it's all clean stuff, and no more swear words.


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Friday, July 23, 2010

Shoes


I know that some of you will think I'm a complete idiot when I say this, but I find it pretty stressful when it comes to buying shoes for my 2 year old. Because I can't seem to decide whether or not I should buy shoes that fit her just right, or shoes that are a little bigger (so that her feet can grow into them). And I never seem to make the right decision, either way. I bought her shoes that were just right, and they managed to last only about a month. Then I bought her shoes that were one size bigger, but they keep falling off her feet when she runs...

And these shoes don't come cheap either! So I'm wondering... what should I do? What do you do, when it comes to kids shoes?



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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mommy's plans

I don't think men realise that moms plan just as much as dads do, and probably even more than dads do. I know my husband will hate it when I mention it, but I do a lot of planning for the future. I was told by two people in particular (my husband and my former boss) that I behave somewhat like a man. For example, when I start feeling the financial constraints, I automatically (well almost automatically, let's say decisively) actively seek another job right away. And maybe I am more extreme than others in that I actually quit my job before securing another one. But I quit the job so that I can save money, and try to salvage as much cash as possible for my daughter, and food, and expenses. The biggest money drainer for me is petrol and lunch. Both are starting to get expensive.

The thing that I find funny is that, quite a number of people have questioned me on why did I quit my job before getting another one. Well, I tell them, I need more money. But you will have no security if you're not working. Well, I say, then that just means I'll have to work harder to find a job, don't you think? And yeah, I think this strategy works well for me. If I put myself into a dire situation on purpose, then I will, on purpose, try my hardest to get out of it. So my job search becomes more urgent, and I will actually get off my ass to spread my resumés around. Compare that to the time when I was retrenched, I really took my time to go about it. But this time, it's bzzzz bzzzz bzzzz (like the bee)...

I dunno about other moms (or wives), but I actually feel a certain pressure to provide more for my family. Is that normal? I hear other women talking about how they pressure their husbands to get better salaries, but then I feel like, why not do it yourself? And no, I'm not saying this to put anyone down (and not saying that anyone is wrong for asking their husbands to earn more), but sometimes I feel that people (mostly women) miss out on the logic of this. If you want more money, and you can't get it from your spouse (or your parents or whatever) then go out there and try to make extra yourself. Doesn't that make sense? You won't need to rely on another person, who will probably have their own commitments to think about before even being able to give you extra cash. Right? Or wrong?

I told the people at the office here that I quit because I needed to make more money. And the first question they asked was, "What about your husband?" And I asked back, "What about my husband?" Well, doesn't he.... ? Yeah, he does, but what he makes he already contributes. So now I need to make more for my own contribution.

Doesn't that make sense? If yes, then why do people give me weird looks when I tell them that? Not that I care what they think of me, but why do they think it's weird that I should want that for myself? Isn't it honorable?

I may just be rationalising or stereotyping, but I get the feeling that most men find it weird that a married woman wants to make more money. Almost as if they feel threatened by it. But they themselves want the same thing, so I don't see what the big deal is. Anyway, I'm just rambling about this, and you probably find me extremely annoying now. But of course I want to make more money and be able to spend more time with my family. I am looking for this dream job that will allow me to do this. And if I look hard enough, I think I can find it. :)


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Friday, July 2, 2010

The funny things they say

Salma learned this song for Mother's Day, that goes something like, "Mummy, mummy, I love you, And I know you love me too..."  (that's about all I know because after that, the words Salma sings don't make much sense to me).

And when we are travelling in the car, we'll ask her to swap the words "Mummy" for "Daddy" and "Atuk" and "Wan", etc. Then we tease her by singing to her, "Salma, Salma, you're so cuk, And I know you are so cuk." ("Cuk" pronounced 'chook' is our loving way of saying she's smelly).

Then today while I was typing emails and she was playing her puzzles beside me, she sang the Mummy song - "Mummy, mummy, I love you....." Then when she finished, she sang for herself, but changed the words, "Salma, Salma, is so cuk, Salma is cuk cuk cuk."

Hehehehehehehehehe!! I couldn't stop laughing. She was laughing, too, because she understood the joke.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Salma at the movies part 2


I posted some time ago about how we took Salma to watch Shrek 4 in the cinema for the first time and she was asleep for the entire move. Well, yesterday we brought her to see Toy Story 3 at the cinema, and I am happy to say that she watched at least 30 mins of the show before falling asleep. I give her points for good behaviour. She didn't cry, scream or shout. Good girl!

Now we can see the trend of parents bringing their kids to watch movies at Premier or Gold Class. We, ourselves, opted to bring Salma to the Signature Gardens Midvalley GSC. The entire cinema was filled with parents and their kids. I think there was only one couple there who came without children, but the wife was pregnant. It's so much more comfortable and convenient to bring your toddler to the movies at the Premier or Gold Class cinema. The seats are wider, there's a small table for you to put your bags & snacks, and they deliver your snacks to your seat. There's personal boundaries in Premier/Gold Class, too; two seats each separated by an aisle. So you are not sharing the row with other people, and young kids feel safer and more comfortable this way. They are more content to stay in their seats when they know this section is only for them and mummy and daddy. Oh and the toilets are cleaner, too.

Having enough space to stretch and roam around is important to toddlers in a cinema. They like to watch the movie while also doing something else. She climbed up and down the seat several times before finally settling in. She switched from my lap to her dad's lap a couple of times, before finally deciding to lie down between both of us. The cold temperature in the cinema made her sleepy though, and she asked me to nurse, and then finally falling asleep.

The movie was a little sad at the end. It's kind of sad that now there will be no more Toy Story in the original sense. I don't think Salma understood the storyline too much, but she could relate to all the pre-school/daycare scenes. And I think she understood that the main characters were all toys. And I am glad that she fell asleep, so that mummy and daddy can enjoy the movie. It isn't surprising that other kids in Premier Class cinema were well behaved, too. I think they enjoyed the comfy space more than anything else, and didn't have a need to complain to their parents. :)




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Friday, June 25, 2010

Mumsy

The lady in charge of maintenance for my office building said to me one day, "When you first came, you didn't look like someone that was married and with kids. Then you put the photos of your daughter up on your desk, and I was so surprised!" Hmm, I thought to myself, do I take that as a compliment or not? I asked her. And she said, "Yes, it's meant to be a compliment! You don't look 'mumsy' at all."


Hmm "mumsy". I know what she meant though. Even though I was thinking to myself that my figure is getting to look pretty mumsy, especially with my flabby tummy, I knew that there were other women my age that looked more mumsy than me. They're the types that wear mom jeans. I am so not ready to be as mumsy as that. And the thing is, it's not that they're fat or anything, because some are quite svelte, but they still look mumsy. For example, they always wear beige, or this diluted green color. And they wear those mumsy shoes, those Scholl sandals. Ya, you know mumsy. But they are all around my age so what gives? Have these women just given up?


You're meant to look mumsy when you've reached 50 or something like that. There is one lady who is younger than me, and she is very mumsy! She even tells you to finish your food during lunch and to eat your vegetables! I am not that mumsy. Although I may chide my own family for not eating right, I don't really force my colleagues to finish their food. "Finish up your rice, it's just a bit more," she said, and she wasn't joking, either.


Honestly, it's something you tell your kids to do, not grown adults.


I don't mind that she's mumsy, just that it's a bit disturbing. She probably has a great figure underneath all the over-sized clothes she wears. She's 2 years younger than I am, and so she should be enjoying her youth, and not rushing to be more matronly. She's slim, not overweight. She has one child, same as me. I think she would love a good make-over, with her hair all done up nicely, and shaped eyebrows and nice make-up. She watched me put on my make-up after Asar prayers in the surau one day and commented that she has never put on that much make-up in her life. And I was only putting on powder, eyeliner, and lipbalm.


"Not even powder?" I asked.

"Not even powder."


But she has pretty good skin, no pimples or anything. I suggested that she try some on herself to see if she liked having make-up on, and whether it would please her husband, but she just said it would be too much work.


There's the explanation right there. Too much work.


Is that why most women opt to look mumsy over looking great and contemporary? Because it's less work? (I mean not that I look great all the time, I just don't try to look mumsy). I remember when Kate Gosselin (from Jon &  Kate Plus Eight) first delivered her sextuplets, she hadn't done her tummy tuck procedure yet, so she did look very mumsy. She was always in sweat pants and t-shirts for like the first 6 months or so. And in an interview, she did admit that she didn't even bother to try to look pretty because it was so tiring to chase after 8 young children. Then when the sextuplets got older, and they had more money to hire some household help, she had more time to spend on taking care of her appearance, and started going shopping for clothes other than sweat pants and t-shirts.


I believe in the saying "Look great, feel great." So as long as you try to look good, it'll make you feel good. And it doesn't matter if you have a mumsy figure, you can still opt to vary the outfits you wear than just a pair of floppy pants and an over-sized shirt and sandals. There is a lady here, who is right about to retire, and she's a grandmother, but she never looks mumsy! Sure, she dresses her age, but she never looks mumsy. She wears pumps, beautifully tailored linen shirts, slim-cut pants, and always has her hair done nicely, and is always never without her bright red lipstick. You can't tell that she's a grandmother just by looking at her. But I've seen spinsters who look like they could have had many grandchildren.


This blog entry is not meant to make you feel ugly, but meant to make you be a little more self-conscious, and to make you think twice about being lazy when it comes to your appearance. Because remember "look great, feel great." Accept your body shape, but at the same time, try to find different styles that compliment your body shape so that your body doesn't become something that you are ashamed of. There is a pear-shaped lady who works here, but she always looks good. She has a fancy way of wearing her hijab, too, that sort of balances her whole figure, and doesn't make her look fat. These women inspire me. And they should inspire you, too.

Monday, June 21, 2010


There is a positive correlation between weaning and tantrums: the more you try to wean your toddler from breastfeeding, the more temper tantrums you will get.


I have been breastfeeding for close to 2 years now, and I feel that it's time to stop. Or else I fear it will go on and on forever. I have started to refuse her requests to nurse only just recently, but boy has it had an impact on my body! I have been producing milk on demand for over a year now, and not really producing extra milk when I am away from my daughter. But suddenly, after trying to ignore her crying tantrums, and refusing to give her the teat until the very last minute (right before bedtime), my breasts are starting to get sore. I find that I am producing milk while I am at work, which has not happened in a very long time (though I am not leaking, thank God!). By the end of the day, when I finally pick Salma up from day-care, I find that (and I think she does, too) I am smelling of milk, and right away she will ask me to nurse, while I'm driving!

And of course, I have to say no, because how can I breastfeed her while I'm driving? And we have to wait until we reach home. And it's such a relief to finally be able to feed her, too, when we reach home, because it alleviates the soreness. So now I'm thinking, how do wean my child but at the same time reducing the pain for myself? I have asked quite a number of people, and none of them could provide me any options. It is bound to hurt, and your breasts will get sore. One lady I asked said her breast got engorged when she weaned her kids, and had to resort to expressing milk manually in the loo. Yikes! How am I going to do this?

I have tried pumping with the electric pump, and even though my breasts are as sore as they are, I am unable to express more than 0.5 ounces. I think I will only be able a proper let down if my skin comes into contact with baby's saliva. This going to be really tricky then, because I'm not that good at expressing milk manually.

It's hard for me to concentrate at work when my breasts are this sore. And I don't think I can quite explain how it feels like in words. It's just this really irritating feeling. And if I drink water, I get the odd sensation that the water I drink goes straight to my breast. Haish. It's uncomfortable. I just want to be able to wean her without feeling all this discomfort.



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Monday, June 14, 2010

Fantastic puzzles!

I am a big fan of Melissa & Doug. (http://www.melissaanddoug.com/) They are a US company that make educational toys for children. A couple of months ago, I bought 2 wooden peg puzzles by Melissa & Doug at the Toys R Us at Empire Shopping Gallery. We went to the grand opening of the Toys R Us, and got ourselves a free membership card. Melissa & Doug's wooden puzzles are just gorgeous and safe. No rough edges, no wooden splinters.


Salma loves her peg puzzles! She plays with them almost everyday, and has not gotten tired of them yet.

One of the puzzles that I bought for her is the "See-Inside Numbers Peg Puzzle" (pictured below). For the first few weeks, we just concentrated on getting Salma to place the pieces back into their slots on her own. It took a bit of practice, because I had to teach her what the words "Turn around" and "Pusing" (the words "turn around" in Malay) meant, and how to do it with the puzzle piece. So she would have a puzzle piece in her hand that was upside down, and she'd be trying to force it into the puzzle slot, and I would tell her, "Turn it around… pusing…" At first it was hard for her, but now it's easy.

After she had mastered putting the puzzle pieces back in place, she came up with a whole new game using her "See-Inside Numbers Peg Puzzle." I was pretty amazed because she came up with the idea all by herself, and played it with me one night before bedtime. Each puzzle slot has a picture that gets hidden once the puzzle piece is in place. For example, the puzzle piece for number "4" has a picture of 4 mice in the slot. With all the puzzle pieces already in their places (and thus covering the hidden pictures), she would ask me, "Mummy, where is mouse?" And I would have to remember where the hidden picture of the mice is and point to the number.

Of course, I would pretend not to know, and I would point to number 8 and ask, "Is it here?"

And she would say, "Bukaaaaan… (Nooooo…)"

Then I would point to number 4, and ask, "Is it here?"

And she would remove the puzzle piece to reveal the correct picture, and yell out, "Yes! Yay!!"

And then it would be my turn to ask her.

It actually took her awhile to memorize where all the different pictures are situated, and for awhile she got confused over the ladybird picture and the flower picture. For some reason, they looked the same to her. But now she knows the difference.

We play this "find the hidden picture" game so often that I am bored of it already. But Salma is not. But Mummy is! So I want to go to the Toys R Us and get her the See-Inside Alphabet Peg Puzzle. Then we can learn the ABCs and play the memory game. I can't wait! I haven't gone to the Toys R Us yet, but I think I will do it sometime this week. :D


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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bedtime rituals

Salma has officially entered her terrible twos at 20 months. Yes, she does everything early. I began to notice the change when our usual bedtime routine changed the last two times. Instead of the usual read a book and nightly feed, Salma now has the need to do anything and everything in that short period between after-dinner and bedtime. She will insist on playing her puzzles, insist on reading all her books, and then maybe do some coloring, and then maybe have some milk. She wants to show everyone that she is a big girl, and big girls can do whatever they want.

She used to fall asleep at 7.30pm or 8.00pm. Now she tries to stay awake as late as possible. And if I don't let her, she will scream, hit or bite. Welcome to the terrible twos!

Even though we don't teach her to scream, hit or bite, toddlers entering this stage will try these out just because they can. Salma has only tried to bite me once. When my reaction was to cry out in pain and do some pretend crying, she stopped doing it. She even patted my head and said, "Sorry mummy." But Salma loves to hit and also to scratch. Sometimes she doesn't even hit you, she just brushes you with her hand. And she loves to swipe my nose, because she knows it irritates me. Or poke my nose when she's mad. I don't know what made her poke my nose the very first time, but I hate it when she does it. But she loves it!

Now when she wakes up, she will complain before having to take a shower. She used to be very agreeable and sing songs while getting ready to shower. But now she will kick and scream and twist her body. She will tell me that she wants to continue sleeping or just "I don't want..." But once she's in the shower, she's happy.

Now her new personality is starting to show in school too, and one of the teachers seems as if she is unable to accept it, and will complain to me on a daily basis. I feel like telling her, "Hey, all 2 years old throw tantrums, it's a growing-up stage!" but I just say, "Oh ya?" and move on. The best part was when the same teacher complained to me that Salma hit her face when she was annoyed. I wanted to laugh, because Salma hits my face everyday! It doesn't hurt, but it's just her way of telling me to "Stop it! I don't like it." If only we she could talk properly, then she wouldn't have to hit your face!


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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tantrums

Last night, after Salma had finished her dinner, she asked me if she can watch her favorite DVD. I said, "No, we have to go upstairs and get ready for bed."

She then proceeded to throw a tantrum.

Nonetheless, I carried her upstairs, kicking and screaming. I continued to change her clothes and change her diaper. She still did not stop her tantrum. The type of crying during the tantrum usually begins with fake crying, but then continues to become real crying when she starts to get really frustrated. At the point when I had finished changing her diapers, she was still at her fake crying stage. I then told her that I was going to have a quick shower and say my evening prayers. I told her that instead of watching her DVD, she can play with her puzzles and read her books. I promised her that when I was done, I would read her "Silly Tilly" (her current favorite book). She continued her screaming and just ignored me basically.

While I was in the shower, and out of her view, she was quiet. I could not hear any screaming. Right when I switched off the water, she started her wailing again. But I took my time drying myself off before stepping out of the bathroom. By the time I opened the door, she was so frustrated at having to wait for me, that real tears started coming out, and so the real crying stage began. I felt a little bad, but I had to perform my evening prayers. She cried throughout, asking me to come to the bed. When I was finally able to hug her, she refused (merajuk la tu). Then to distract her, I asked her if she wanted to color in her coloring book? The new idea made her stop crying and she said yes. So I brought her crayons and her Winnie-the-Pooh coloring book to the bed where she sat.

She took her crayon and flipped the pages of her coloring book, but all the pages had some conteng/scribbles already in it. I found a page with the least amount of conteng, and proceeded to color in Pooh's hat. She didn't like that, and began her tantrum again! She wanted a new book. So off I went to search for an untouched coloring book. I had bought 3, and hid the other 2 somewhere, but couldn't remember where I put them. My search took quite awhile, and during this time, her wailing got louder and louder. By the time I reached her with the 2 new coloring books, she was exhausted! All she could do was hold the 2 coloring books in her hands without opening them; she was so tired. (But she was still crying). When I tried to coax her to open one of the books, she would not. And it was just the funniest thing to see! She was too tired to even stop crying.

Of course she got angry when I laughed, hitting me with her two coloring books. But I just couldn't help it. Finally, I coaxed her to nurse (breastfeed). By this time, it was late (for her at least), almost 9 pm. She spent so much energy throwing a tantrum that it was past her bedtime. She didn't even get to color. While she breastfed, she insisted on holding on to her crayons and one of the coloring books. She would not let them go, even when I promised her that she could color right after she woke up in the morning.

She fell asleep holding on to a Tigger coloring book and her box of crayons.

In the morning, after she had showered and got dressed, just as I had promised, I let her color in her new coloring book. Which she did. Before leaving for school, she said to me, "Mummy, simpan color." (Asked me to put away her coloring books and crayons).

"Okay, you can color some more when you get back home."

"Thank you, mummy."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Her first movie!

On Saturday, we brought Salma to watch her first movie in the cinema - Shrek 4! My husband had this brilliant idea to get gold/premiere class tickets so that Salma will be more comfortable with the space and fewer people in one cinema. So I bought the tickets online, and off we went to watch the movie the 3 of us together for the first time! We bought popcorn, drinks and twisties for her. She was really excited when the projector started rolling with the trailers and enjoying eating her twisties. But as the movie started, she asked to for me to breastfeed her, and slowly she dozed off! She ended up sleeping throughout the entire movie and missed it all! Well, at least it didn't end up a disaster, and we did manage to watch the movie in peace. Maybe I'll do this again next time.

I think the dark cinema and the cozy space between mummy and daddy made her want to sleep. Or maybe it was because the movie was playing during her usual naptime (1.00 - 3.00 pm). So we still don't know what her natural reaction would be to watching a movie in the cinema.