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.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Temporary fixation

Is it totally weird that I am still looking for a middle name to go with "Sophie" even though I am not planning at all to have a second child yet? But I am totally fixated on it. I can't figure out what name goes well after "Sophie". Because I so do want to name my second kid "Sophie" if it's a girl. I have a pretty strong feeling that it will be a girl.

And I am neither ready or not ready to have a second child. I'm just in a "whatever happens, happens" kinda mode. If I get one, I get one, if I don't, I don't. But I am still hooked on finding a longer name for Sophie. I have thought of just naming her Sophie. Just like for a very long time, I just wanted to name Salma "Salma". But then my husband said it would be better to have a middle name, so I searched and searched until I found Yelena. Her full name is Salma Yelena. Hardly anybody calls her "Yelena" but I'm sure in the future she'll find some use for that name. For all her school documents and all her school property, I label them as "Salma Yelena". A part of me insists she be known by her full name (sort of like "Mary Ann"). Sometimes at home I will call her by her full name, but most of the time, it's just "Salma" or "Poppet".

Actually most of the time it's "Poppet". That's her nickname. Even her nickname has a middle name. Her full nickname is "Poppet Cuk". hehehe

But what goes well with Sophie? I haven't been able to figure that one out yet. One will be Arabic Russian, and the other will be French Arabic. I'm open to suggestions...

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Messy Rooms

The one thing I absolutely dread and try to avoid looking at (by closing the door) is a messy room. I am a terrible mom when it comes to cleaning up my daughter's room. And I feel so guilty for ignoring the messy room. To the point that it remains messy for over a week! My husband and I agreed early on, that when we decided to make space for Salma to have her own room (toy room for now as opposed to bedroom -- she still sleeps with us), Salma would have to clean it up herself. And yes, I have managed twice to get her to clean up the room with me before. But for some reason, the last time she played in that room, it just never got cleaned up. And it has stayed that way ever since! And now, instead of me going in there with her to clean it up, we just avoid going into that room.

That is a horrible, horrible thing for me to do. And I feel awful about it. I feel like a criminal.

And the only reason why this topic suddenly resurfaced, after being successfully undisclosed for weeks is because the air-con in the master bedroom broke down last night! Yes, we had no air-con last night, and Subang is very hot. The only other functioning air-con in the house was in you guessed it, Salma's room. But the room was so messy, and I just didn't have the energy to clean it up, so we couldn't possibly have slept in there comfortably. Plus with dad working late, it was all up to me. So, being too tired to face that kind of mess, I just opted to bring in one of the standing fans, and along with the ceiling fan, had both of them blowing directly at the bed. And Salma did manage to fall asleep in the end (minus pajama pants laa..).

So now, the first thing I am going to do when I have some time is clean up that messy room. And I am going to get some storage boxes (I know I have them somewhere), and store those toys in bins. And her books are going to sit on shelves. They only cost like MYR 26 at Carrefour. And then it will be neat! And then I will make sure next time, she cleans up the room after playing. Whew!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Baby clothes

I think I can get pretty obsessed when it comes to buying baby clothes. Even to the point of planning what clothes to get Salma once she's a little older. But I hide all this from my husband, and do it secretly in my head (or hide bigger sized clothes in the bottom drawer). I enjoy shopping for clothes for my daughter even more than I enjoy shopping for my own clothes. Mostly because she doesn't have to spend hours in the fitting room, and guaranteed she will wear the clothes I bought her, no matter what. So the satisfaction is immediate.

When she was about 3-6 months old, my parents and even my husband bought her "baju basahan" (roughly translated to mean clothes that you can get dirty in, that are not necessarily attractive) whenever they saw cheap baby clothes, and as a result, she had 2 sets of clothes - clothes that she can get messy in, and clothes that she wore out or for parties, or just nice clothes. Then shortly after she reached 7 months old, 2 things happened to make me stop buying her "baju basahan". The first incident took place at her school. There was one boy, (I don't even remember his name, and I don't think he goes to her school anymore) that was always hiding in the toy cupboard. It's not a real cupboard. It's the cupboard of the toy kitchen set that the school has in their main room. This boy would love to hide himself in there, and the teachers would have a hard time trying to coax him to come out. He preferred to sit in there. His parents always dressed him in really old pajamas, even during the daytime. I had been seeing this boy's strange behaviour every single time I visited Salma at lunch to breastfeed her. At home, I would feel sad about that boy and wonder if the other kids were alienating him. It seemed like he had self-esteem issues. Then one day it dawned on me. Perhaps his clothes (ratty looking things) were what made the other kids alienate him. And I think this to be true, because subconsciously, we are all attracted to pretty things. If you were lost and had to ask for directions and came to a group of 5 strangers, you would naturally ask the cleanest, neatest, most attractive person for directions as opposed to a dirty, unkempt, ratty-looking person.

Then I watched this documentary on Discovery, the one with the Professor with the curly hair and beard, and they did a study on children in the classroom, and they found out that it is more likely for a child who dressed presentably to have more friends than a child that didn't. There was a child (a girl) whose parents rarely tied her hair up for school, and because of this, she always looked messy. (She was very young, maybe 5 years old). And because of that, she only had 1 friend, as opposed to this other girl in her class, who may not be as pretty, but because she always had her hair in braids and she dressed nicely, she had more friends. Kids can be really shallow. But they are shallow because they haven't developed those people skills yet, or the mental capacity to judge personality over appearance.

So because of these 2 events, I made it a point to stop buying Salma "baju basahan" and to make sure that she wears nice clothes (clothes that we used to only make her wear when she goes out on trips with us) everyday. Even at home. Plus, I got tired of separating her cupboard into 2 sections. However, having said that, I can see the positive effect this had on her confidence and personality. As she grew older, she became bolder and more vocal in school. She even became more popular. I judge her popularity on the number of kids that actually go to the door to say bye to her when she leaves. She suffered from separation anxiety less in school. She liked to receive compliments on how she looked, and makes an effort to brush her own hair. She asks to wear a hairband now to compliment an outfit, because she knows the hairband makes her look more feminine. And now, she is starting to choose her own clothes.

I think teaching kids about the importance of looking presentable should be done early, and I'm glad I started early with Salma.

But back to my original topic - I am obsessed with baby clothes shopping. Each time I go out to a shopping mall, I scope out the baby stores to see if there is anything new or if their stuff is on sale. I scope the stores out for specific pieces of clothing, such as a denim skirt, or a floral top (to go with bottoms she already has at home). I am so not one of those parents that buy the same outfit but in different colors for their kids. Each piece of clothing should be unique, and have its own identity. I think I'll do this even when I have a second child. This even extends to her pajamas. Although, I don't make it a point to have them to be so pretty, but as long as they are not ugly, or not boys pajamas, that's okay.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Play tent

I redeemed with my credit card points a play tent or play house made by the brand K's Kids. It's called "Pop Up Imagic Tent".

It is foldable and portable and comes with a handy carrying case. The tent folds out into quite a large house! I was surprised, and very happy with it. It has drawings of a "tuck shop" on the inside and outside to assist imaginary games, and also another section that allows the kids to have a ball throwing contest (kinda like basketball). The tent comes with 20 soft plastic balls.

At first I thought I would limit her playing in the tent to only her playroom or the living room. But then I brought it into the bedroom last night to distract her while I did my evening prayers. And to distract her while I take a shower. Cos or else she will want to wait in the bathroom while I shower!

Salma loved peeping out the windows of the tent, and playing the ball throwing game. And she brought her snack into the tent to have inside. Of course, when I was done with my chores, I went into the tent and played, too! It is very big though, and takes up a lot of space, so I can't leave it in my bedroom forever. When she fell asleep, I quickly removed it to the other room, so that she won't insist on playing in it the next morning instead of taking a shower before school. I find that it is hardest to get her to take a shower before going to school. She will squirm and protest and goleng2 on the bed. But during weekends, not so much protest. Why is that?

Anyway, tonight I have planned a play activity in the tent. Maybe bring in her small pillow and her stuffed toys, so that we can pretend we live there. I want to start encouraging Salma to play imaginary games by herself. Because most of the time, she will want to play with Mummy. And mummy is either busy, too tired, or just can't keep up with her pace. So far, she has not started playing imaginary games (like how I used to imagine the bed was a boat floating at sea when I was a kid). I guess she hasn't reached that stage yet. But I hope that with this play tent, she'll be able to start. Imaginary games are fun, and encourage creativity. Plus it keeps the kid occupied in a nontoxic way. (As opposed to playing video games or watching TV). While playing in her tent, she didn't even mind when I stepped out of the room. Usually she will make noise and want to follow me. So I'm really pleased that I got this tent for her.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I really like this neighborhood!

photo taken from

I must say, I really like living in Subang Jaya. No, the photo isn't taken from my street, but frome one very much like it. I tried taking some sunrise photos of Subang, but they didn't turn out right. But I'll keep trying and post them here when I get some really good ones.

As I was saying, I really like living in Subang. Now, I have moved around a lot, all of my life. And usually, it takes about 6 months - 1 year to really, really love a place. To really feel comfortable there and feel like you belong. And for those who have moved around a lot, you'll know what I mean. Some places you feel like you're just living there temporarily. But some places you really have an affinity for. And I don't know what it is, but I started liking my new house and neighborhood right away! I really love waking up everyday to the sounds of the neighborhood. It's really soothing, in a way. Even though I live in front of a main road, it still feels like a fresh morning. The neighbor at the back has a rooster, and it crows in the mornings, too. Which is odd for a town, but it's cool.

I don't even mind the heat. It's really hot in Subang. But when you see everyone so energized, and so at ease, it doesn't really matter. It was different in Puchong. Puchong was really convenient, but I didn't really like living there. At first I thought I had found a nice neighborhood, but no. About 6 months before I moved to Subang, the neighbors from hell moved in next door to me. They had like 10 kids or something, that was always causing a ruckus. And they were rude as hell! They would throw their candy wrappers into my yard and deny ever doing it. They would hang their laundry over my fence and my gate. (Yes, my gate!) They parked their car slightly in front of my gate, so it was hard for me to get my car inside. They were always screaming and shouting, even when they were inside the house having a meal. And the worse part is, the second day after I had moved most of my stuff out of the house into our new house, one of the kids spray painted their initials on our garage wall! They climbed over the fence and spray painted on the wall. The spray paints were stored in the garden cupboard; my husband used to spray his bike with them. It's not even their paint or their property! What on earth possessed them to do such vandalism? Their parents must be stupid as hell as to allow their kids to do something as idiotic as that. Without punishment. And when I asked the mother the next day (I came to collect more stuff) what had happened and who had done it, she denied being at home at the time and rushed back inside. I tell you, the number of idiots that live in this world. The least she could have done was to offer to repaint the wall. Or make her son do it, because I'm sure it was one of the boys. One of our other neighbors dropped by to pick up the computer table that we promised to give him, and he told us that he heard the spray painting, and could tell it was being done by the neighborhood kids, but didn't get a good look at who it was. He said it was during the day.

The neighbors from hell. Thank God I moved away from there! One day, they are going to find themselves living next to worse neighbors than they are, because what goes around comes around. And then they'll know what it feels like to have their stuff vandalised. Hehe.

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