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Monday, December 13, 2010

Avoid Butterfish

Yikes! So I did not keep to my dateline (or is that deadline?) It's school holidays at the moment and I'm wracking my brain thinking of things to keep the kids occupied. I've only got three weeks to go so that's not too bad.

Yesterday little H had a bad reaction to some Butterfish he had on Sunday. Personally I thought it sounded yummy, but unfortunately it's full of wax esters (An ester, found in some fish such as orange roughy, oilfish, escolar, black oreo, smooth oreo and other fish, primarily deep water. Wax esters are also found in some plants, notably jojoba - Wikipedia). Long story short, my son started pooing oil yesterday morning. And it came out even when he farted. I know it's gross, but just to let you guys know - STAY AWAY FROM THIS FISH!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Busy Bee!

Yup, that's me. It's been too long since I last updated my blog. Since my last post I've been to London & Germany, made road trips to Taiping and Penang, and trying (yup) to start off my fitness regime and qi gong again. In between there's sending/fetching the kids to and from school & art class, doing the groceries and I also had a translation job after not working for quite a while. I'm also car-less since my sis-in-law hasn't got her new car yet so me and my mom have been sharing my mom's car for the past month or so.

I'm also reading about three or four books at the moment (must be some kind of ADHD). But I have also made time for more naps and veg out time.

OK, so next is to update my blog regularly (heard that before!). But really, I love writing but I just have this little problem, it's called procrastination. So I will (positive thinking here) have an update same time, same place next week, alright?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Singapore July 2010

It was our 10th Anniversary on the 8th of July 2010. So to celebrate we decided to go to Singapore. I thought of making it a twosome, but we just can't leave our little munchkin yet. So the three of us took Firefly, which was so convenient as Subang Airport is only 15 minutes away from our house. Stayed at the Grand Park City Hall again. It really is one of the best hotels I've stayed in, it's near the MRT, loads of restaurants around and service is fantastic.

This time we went to Universal Studios Singapore (USS) to see what the hype was about. Unfortunately when we arrived at USS, it was raining buckets. That didn't stop us because a) I've paid for the tickets and no way in hell I'm wasting it and b) a lot of places were covered so we still managed to get in a few shows and a meal before the rain stopped.

Some of the rides were still not ready yet, but there were plenty to keep little H happy. We couldn't get on the more terrifying roller coaster rides because of height restrictions for children, but I'm not complaining. We spent roughly 4 to 5 hours there and were exhausted by the end of the day so we didn't stay till night time for the fireworks. H just dropped off in Papa's arms on the way back.

The night before USS we met up with some friends for dinner at Cafe Fika near Arab Street. We had good Swedish food, think IKEA but more gourmet. The day after USS was spent window shopping and meeting up with hubby's aunt and uncle for lunch. All in all it was a relaxing trip. We discovered some new restaurants, some were good, and some were just so-so. Each time we come to Singapore, we try and do something new, so next time it'll be the Night Safari. H will be big enough to appreciate it then.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Seeking Some Style

How do some ladies look so polished so effortlessly? When I don't put in much effort, it shows. Oily skin, bad hair, bags under my eyes, grubby clothes... Urghh.

The thing is, I hate spending so much time primping and I don't want to waste so much money on it too. I only buy premium skincare because the pharmacy brands just don't work for me anymore. I need loads of help in that department - I'm touching 35 and still breaking out, when will it end? But I digress, I need some style. It's just that I love being comfortable as well. So how do I find cheap, stylish clothes that doesn't look like rags? The clothes I've looked at are made of materials so thin and sheer it's a crime to pay the prices they charge. If you have any idea where I can find good clothes that don't cost the earth, please do tell. As for now the search goes on...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bieber Fever!

Oh God! My son and niece are playing Justin Bieber's CD for the thousanth time. Secretly I'm kinda pleased that I don't have to sing Baa Baa Black Sheep or Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star anymore. But they want to take over my radio time in the car too! I cringe every time a Justin Bieber song comes on the car radio, it means I can't change the station. And seeing that Bieber's getting a lot of airplay, it seems that every third song is a Justin Bieber song.

The saving grace is that H also loves Lady Gaga. So we'll sing together when Telephone or Bad Romance comes on. Other favourite of his is Rihanna's Rude Boy. I'm just glad he doesn't understand the lyrics yet :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Busy, busy, busy!

Ever since school started I've been busier than ever. With handling the kids, trying to clean up my house to be rented out, yoga, healing and other errands, I almost came down with a cold and cough. So, slowed down, did some self-healing, prioritised and managed to head off the illness. Also realised that I haven't updated my blog in ages. Oh yeah, my house was also broken into so have to look into security measures and fix up the house a little since the bastards broke our window and sawed off our grille. It's just getting bad, luckily our house has alarms everywhere and is connected to a central monitoring system. Nowadays it's just not safe, so everyone especially ladies, please be more aware and take care.

Now to the good news - I finished my cases and received my certificate so I'm now a certified Wellness Medical Qi Gong Practitioner. It's been a wonderful journey, and I'm continuing this journey so that I can do this professionally. Yes, I may make money, not much, but the benefits are worth it. To see that you can bring some relief or even heal completely a person in pain, is very fulfilling. I've still so many more things to learn but I'm ready and willing. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pusat Sains Negara

The Pusat Sains Negara or National Science Centre (NSC) is located in Damansara Heights, just opposite the Securities Commission. Since neither me or the kids have been there, thought we'd go check it out.

We arrived around 11am, it's a Thursday (they close on Fridays) and it's the school holidays. Parking was fairly easy and free. We also didn't need to pay the entrance fees, I'm guessing it's because if the school holidays. Usually it's RM6 for adults and RM3 for children. Groups of children and senior citizens get discounts.

I expected a lot of kids, what I didn't expect was the pandemonium inside. There were a lot of groups from schools and kindergartens. Unfortunately, the teachers did not really have much control over the smaller children. The children were literally going wild. It would have been better if the children were guided through the exhibits with some sort of explanation by the teachers. Children with parents were not much better. Some parents also left their children unsupervised, and these children tend to hog the more interesting exhibits, not giving a chance to other kids who were waiting their turn.

The older kids were not much better off, they were left to their own devices with no guidance whatsoever, so they were just going around tinkering with the exhibits. I liked that you could be very hands-on with the exhibits, but if it's a school trip, there should be some sort of educating going on, and not for the teachers to just let the kids loose.

Some of the exhibits were interesting, but I kind of think that a lot of the exhibits were old and a bit outdated. Some were from the temporary Science Centre that I went to many-many years ago. I also had the sense that the exhibits were somehow placed haphazardly. In fact, even the galleries themselves weren't really very organised.

H loved everything though, he got to touch things, press buttons, pull levers, stamp and jump on coloured lights, all the things that he's not allowed to do in the house. They even have a small play area for children 4 years and below, but it was overrun by the bigger kids, so I made H come back out, much to his disappointment.

It's such a wonderful place for children of all ages to play and learn, but with technology moving at such an incredible pace, the NSC must keep up. They've got a lovely building with so much space. Unfortunately, that is not efficiently utilised and by the looks of it, not maintained very well. I'm not sure if it's funding or just a lackadaisical attitude. If we want children to love science, we have to show that we love it too. And that means making an effort to build interest and passion. All these study trips that these people go on, they don't seem to learn anything do they?

I really hate to say this, but please look at the Singapore Science Centre, it's light years ahead of us. Between a new Parliament building and upgrading the NSC, I say the NSC.

One more week!

Yup, one more week then school starts. Woo hoo!

I love my son and my niece dearly, but too much of a good thing ain't good. I know kindy is just 3 hours a day, but believe me, it makes a whole lot of difference. Now, during the holidays, they've probably gotten into a fight already over God knows what by 9am. Not forgetting the constant bugging and fight for attention. At least when they're in school all of us get a blissful three hours to catch our breath, finish up some work and maybe do our own thing for a bit.

I'm also running out of things for them to do. Today I got them some sand art and this afternoon their cousins are coming over for a swim. Tomorrow I plan to go to the National Science Centre at Damansara Heights. Even I'm looking forward to that.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

I'm not really a fan of non-fiction. I tried reading The World Is Flat two years ago and still have not finished it. It's fascinating, but dry. Malcolm Gladwell however, writes in a way that grabs you from the start, much like when I read a thriller. Perhaps the subject matter was of more interest to me, to be fair to Friedman.

Outliers is the story of success. Yes, I want to be successful, and yes, I think successful people all worked their asses off. Well, what I didn't know was that a whole load of other factors had come into play for them to actually be successful. Basically, they wouldn't be where they are today without being in the right place at the right time, born in the right year, worked in the right industry etc.

Outliers is entertaining, fascinating, stimulating and inspiring. It actually makes you think! As an individual, I'm looking at the opportunities with new eyes. As a mother, it's made me re-think the way I'm going to raise and educate my son.

Pick it up, read it, you won't regret it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

For Their Entertainment...

It's the school holidays and I'm wracking my brain to think of stuff for them to do at home. I'm quite fortunate that my mom's house has a pool. So when all else fails, dump them in.

The holidays are only for two weeks, but I enrolled H and his cousin for a 4-day critical thinking program in school. I don't know what they can teach four and five year olds about logical thinking but hey, it gets them out of the house. Plus they actually enjoy it, coming back home smiling and proudly showing off their clay handiwork (how clay relates to logical thinking I have no idea). In four days they've made two turtles, a couple of mangoes with eyes and a bug/alien.

Oh yeah, I've also booked swimming lessons for them twice a week for these two weeks. So they should be quite occupied. Other stuff I've done/planned:
1) Painting/drawing/writing
2) Play doh
3) Petrosains
4) Feeding the fish at an Aunts house.
5) Going to Ikano to look at the birds from the KL Bird Park. They've set up a temporary aviary there. I can get my groceries as well!
6) Just plain ol' TV.

So far they haven't driven me crazy, yet!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Peeing in His Pants

I started potty training H last November, so he was already three-years-old. In February this year he started wearing proper underwear to school. As of today, he has gone to bed sans diaper for three nights without any accidents. However, he still has 'accidents' during the day. I'm a little wary in calling it an accident as he is fully aware that he is NOT supposed to pee in his underwear. He is also fully aware that he HAS peed in his underwear and tries to hide it by not going to the toilet and further exacerbating the situation.

I've tried the carrot i.e stars, presents, compliments etc. - didn't work. So I tried the stick i.e spanking, pinching his thigh, taking away his toys etc. - he is still indifferent.

Going to the toilet is like torture to him, he screams and has to be literally dragged or carried to the toilet. It's like he's missing out on something if he takes that five minutes to go and pee.

Currently I'm taking away one Ultraman every time he pees in his underwear. He'll be four in August and I'm running out of ideas, any suggestions?

Monday, May 31, 2010

God Allows Animal Cruelty?

If you haven't heard, the Chief Minister of Malacca, Ali Rustam, believes that God allows animal testing, if there are proper guidelines. This unbelievably stupid statement came about with regard to the proposal by the Malacca state government to set up a diabetes and cancer laboratory that involves animal testing. You can read about it here.

I think his understanding of how animals were created to help man is more than a little skewed. Perhaps he doesn't understand what is involved in animal testing. God does not allow man to torture defenseless animals. And that is what happens in these laboratories. Many cosmetic and drug companies are bowing to pressure and finding other ways to test their products without using animals. Malaysia should not take a backward step and encourage such cruel practices.

But then I'm not really surprised, our politicians don't even give a damn about their own people, what more animals.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Unused Stuff? Give It Away!

So when do you know if you're a hoarder or just a collector? Some hoarders are in denial, like my hubby. We recently did a purge of our things and he had magazines from 1996. I understand if it's National Geographic, but men magazines? I just think it's a waste of space. I've been looking at the space in my house, and realise that I've been wasting so much space with junk I'll never ever use. Every time I want to get rid of something, I start telling myself "Hmmm... maybe I'll need this someday". In reality, I haven't used it in more than three years, and it's very unlikely I'll use it in the next three.

So now, if I've managed these past few years without it, I'm getting rid of it. I'm even getting rid of my son's beautiful baby clothes. Since H outgrew many of his clothes extremely fast, some of them look brand new. I kept them, thinking I might have another baby, but he's turning four and the clothes are wasting away in the cupboard. I got a bit emotional when I started putting them in bags to give away. He had such beautiful baby clothes and it brought back memories of all his milestones.

I have to keep reminding myself that I have been very fortunate to be able to afford these clothes that have brought him and myself so much pleasure. It would be selfish of me to deprive another baby, who may not be as fortunate, the same pleasure.

I've been on the receiving end when I got my own house around nine years ago. I still have beautiful pieces of furniture and crockery that were given to me by my parents and relatives. Pieces that they no longer needed but perfect for a young couple, with a limited budget, just starting their own home.

If you have things that you haven't used in a while, consider giving them to someone else who might find it useful. They'll definitely appreciate your generosity. I know I did.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sleeping Apart

Period, cramps and my son waking up at some ungodly hour asking "Mama, I want to talk to you!", I mumble something about going back to sleep, which he does, then wakes up again at 6am. *Sigh* When is it exactly that kids sleep through the night?

H still sleeps in the master bedroom, albeit in his own bed. My husband and I take turns to sleep with H so each of us can get some uninterrupted sleep. Yup, we sleep apart. Being a light sleeper I just can't take hubby's snoring and H's nighttime shenanigans all at once. So the separate bedrooms. I read somewhere that a third of couples sleep separately because of certain problems such as snoring.

To be honest, it's the best thing we've done. At first it was a little strange as it's supposed to be the norm for husbands and wives to sleep together. But after a while the second bedroom sort of became my refuge. Somehow I feel more peaceful in that room. Perhaps it's not having to worry about waking H up when I make a noise or being able to switch on the light to read a little. I relish it when it's my turn to sleep in the other room. I bring my magazines, books, body lotion and just spend a good hour, well, spending time with myself. It's very therapeutic.

It's true when they say your bedroom needs to be your sanctuary. I'm currently living with my parents and my bedroom is a mess with toys, books, magazines and papers everywhere. I'm planning a purge, no more unnecessary items in the bedroom. Unfortunately, the bedroom is also my office/workplace and my son and niece tend to barge in anytime they want. I've got to make it more conducive to sleeping rather than being a free-for-all room. That means no toys in the bedroom and everything must have it's place. It's going to take a little time but it's doable. I've gotten rid of clothes, books, magazines and toys that we don't use anymore. I'm developing a better filing system to reduce the amount of paper we have and bought a book shelf so magazines don't pile up everywhere. So far, so good.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Pink Sage

Have you ever had the problem of trying to figure out where to eat? Even though we're practically surrounded by hundreds of restaurants, hubby and I have that problem all the time. I suppose because we are quite fussy i.e the food has to be good, has to be nearby, kid-friendly, service must be good... etc.

Yesterday we tried The Pink Sage for lunch. It's located in Solaris Dutamas, I like the nice trendy deco and comfy furniture. Since I was more than a little hungry, I tried the Signature Cheeseburger with Passionfruit Iced Tea while hubby had Crunchy Chicken Salad with an Iced Cappucino. Overall the food is very good. The burger is well-made and tastes scrumptious, I also like the portions, filling but not too big, with french fries and coleslaw completing the meal. The salad was also good, drizzled with honey mustard dressing instead of the oh-so-common thousand island and topped with tortilla strips (guess that's where the crunchy bit comes from).

They also have a good breakfast menu which we haven't tried but the dinner menu looks a little limited but the offerings are a tad more sophisticated than the lunch options. You can check out the menu on their site. 

Overall, a great lunch and we'll definitely be trying out their breakfast and dinner menus soon!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Moisturiser + Sunscreen

I never realised how difficult it is to find a good moisturiser and sunscreen. My skin is oily and I still break out at 34. I hate complicated beauty regimes, so now I have two good cleansers (Burts Bees Acne Solutions purifying gel cleanser & Neutrogena Foaming Fresh Cleanser) and a great serum (Clinique Repairwear deep wrinkle concentrate for face & eye) that I use for night time. Currently I'm using Neutrogena's fine fairness brightening uv waterlight lotion. It's got SPF 50 but and supposed to be light and doesn't clog pores, but I still feel it's a little too oily for my skin.

I don't want to spend a bomb on something that I will use very liberally every day, the Clinique Repairwear is already RM290 and I use that very, very carefully. I would love to try Olay's ProX range, it seem it's supposed to be suitable for oily skin, unfortunately our chemists' don't carry that range. I'm planning a trip to Singapore in July, maybe I'll try looking at some options there. For now, my search goes on...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Yoga: Week 7

Good news is I don't ache (much) anymore. I've also noticed my arms are a little more toned thanks to all the downward dog I've been doing, and I don't feel like going down for a nap every time I finish class. I've increased my classes to twice a week, that's RM120 a month. I do an Ashtanga class and one other. One class a week is just not enough, ideally it should be three time a week, but with belly dancing, it's just a bit tight.

People have always told me I'm quite flexible. When I started yoga, I discovered that's not really true. All these people are just a lot stiffer that's all. That was one of the main reasons I took up yoga. I don't want to wake up one day and discover I creak all over and take 20 minutes just to get out of bed. God willing, yoga will keep me supple, toned and flexible well into old age.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

10-10-10

How do you make your decisions? Go with your gut? Think about it a little? Or spend ages making up your mind? Well, Suzy Welch (yup, she's Jack Welch's wife) came up with the idea of making a decision by looking at the consequences of your decision in the short, medium and long-term, i.e 10 days, 10 months, 10 years, hence the title of her book 10-10-10. The catch? You have to be brutally honest with yourself and be clear about your values and priorities in life.

It's a simple concept yet many people, myself included, never really thought about how our decisions will affect us later in life. I can't help thinking if I'd spend a bit more time thinking through some of the decisions I've made, my life would have turned out differently. I've no regrets though, I've been extremely blessed all these years. However, 10-10-10 is a great tool and unconsciously, I think I have been using it, sort of. After reading the book, I intend to make decisions with more awareness. Especially now that my decisions involve/affect my husband and son, because they are definitely my priorities.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mothers Day!

It's Mothers Day tomorrow, and there are people who say that they treat their mother like it's Mothers Day every day. Really? Then why is it that most mothers are sleep-deprived, time-constraint, rushed, stressed-out and sometimes unhealthy women? Those people who think that Mothers Day is too commercialised should realise that it is probably the one day that some mothers are treated like a queen or have the opportunity to take a break. Being a mother is a tough job. So husbands and children, come on, don't be so oblivious. If you see your wife/mother look like she's dead on her feet, give her a break, OK?

And to all mothers out there, if your child/children is/are loved, happy, safe, clean and fed, you're already doing a fantastic job. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Down with a cold...

I've managed to fend off H's viruses but the recent lack of sleep from taking care of his latest bug got to me. It started with a slightly itchy throat then escalated to a stuffed nose and sore throat, resulting in bouts of coughing in the middle of the night.

It's a vicious cycle, you need sleep, but you can't sleep because of all the coughing from the irritatingly itchy, dry and sore throat. After two sleepless nights, I went to see my GP and asked for something to help me sleep. So I was sent home with really drowsy cough syrup, throat lozenges, anti-inflammatory tablets for the throat and a fizzy tablet that supposedly melts away the phlegm (just what I needed!).

The drugs worked wonderfully, I could sleep through the night (only one bout of coughing) and the next day my throat was so much better.

All we really need to heal is to sleep/rest so that our body can do it's job. It's amazing how our bodies can heal itself so well if given the chance. Next time you're ill, listen to your body, it's trying to tell you to slow down.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Do you know where your child is?

This Aminulrasyid Amzah case is getting a lot of publicity and sympathy, but seriously, why the hell is a 15-year-old driving without a licence at 2am in the morning?

I'm not going to speculate the reasoning/excuse/explanation of why the police shot at him and his friend. I'm wondering why was he allowed to drive a car and go out so late at night? What exactly were the parents thinking?

First of all, it's against the law to drive without a licence. We, as parents are examples to our impressionable children. It's our responsibility to teach them right and wrong. That includes telling teenagers they can't drive without a licence, even though "it's only nearby!"

Secondly, in this day and age, it's just not safe. Hubby asked me the other day, at what age would I let H go out on his own, I replied 16 and definitely not at 2am. Maybe some people would think I'm too protective, but the environment is different nowadays. When we were 15, my friends and I could cycle and walk (no driving) anywhere we wanted in our  neighbourhood without our parents worrying about us getting hit by a car/kidnapped/snatched/mugged etc. Now, I don't think I'd let my child go ten feet out of the house without me knowing where he is.

Unfortunately as parents, we have the unenviable task of setting boundaries for our children.This doesn't make us the most popular people in the family I'm sure, but hey, that's our job.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Iron Man 2

Just went to watch Iron Man 2 with hubby this morning and it is an awesome movie! The first time I noticed Robert Downey Jr. was in the movie Heart and Souls many years back, and after that in Only You, and I've loved his acting ever since, so I was extremely happy that he ditched the drug addiction and made a fantastic comeback.

As for Iron Man 2, watch it if you're an Iron Man fan OR if you want lots of action, things that go boom!, humour, a handsome, wise, cracking, sexy Robert Downey Jr., a sexy, ass-kicking Scarlett Johansson, a funny, sexy Gwyneth Paltrow (yup, lots of sexy people in this movie) and great special effects that'll make you wanna get your own exo-suit.

Watching Ms. Johansson will also make some ladies think of taking up Mixed Martial Arts or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. How to look as sexy as her doing it? Well, if you can fit into a tight black leather suit, you're halfway there.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love is a New York Times Bestseller and there are over five million copies of this book in print. I don't usually read non-fiction, preferring to lose myself in make-believe, but I am a sucker for travel stories.

Elizabeth Gilbert, the author, goes through a horrible divorce, decides she needs to find herself and reconcile her need to become closer to God yet also enjoy worldly pleasures. This journey begins in Italy to learn the language and savour the food, then it's on to meditation and yoga in India, her year long sojourn ending in Bali, Indonesia to meet up with a traditional Balinese healer. 

Gilbert writes with a lot of intelligence, honesty and self-deprecating humour. She has a knack for bringing to life her experiences which makes me salivate imagining how the pizzas in Naples taste, making me want to go meditate in a cave in India (without the floor scrubbing of course), and live in a tiny cottage in Ubud, Bali for a few months. I loved reading about the characters she met and how they impacted her life. I'm glad that she discovered what it was that she wanted to find. What this book also does is make you think about your own journey. I'm the same age she was when she began this 'pilgrimage' of hers. I'm thinking of my own journey, perhaps not as exciting as hers, but also a journey towards a more meaningful life. Definitely a more spiritual life, to be more present, grateful and joyful.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sprained Ankle

Went to Sunway Giza in Sunway Damansara to check it out yesterday. Looked around at the shops, didn't see the step, fell down, sprained my ankle, scraped and bruised my knee. Oh, the pain, and embarrassment. A security guard came to see if I was ok, then the management officer came, went off, then came back again with a first aid box. Another security guard came to bring me a chair, then another guard brought a camera to take a photo of my ankle (to make a report he said). I really appreciate the concern, but all the fuss was a tad embarrassing.

I really should take the advice that I always give three-year-old H - Look where you're going!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

16 Cats

Yesterday was the cats' annual vaccination, all 16 of them. Yup, we have 16 at my mother's house, all spayed. It actually started out with one which she bought from the pet store. After that we were picking up stray kittens which were abandoned or lost their mother. At one point, I think we had 20, not counting the ones we fed outside.

People still keep offering us unwanted cats/kittens but we've stopped accepting. There are only so many cats we can keep and it costs quite a bit to care for them. For instance the vaccinations cost us roughly RM1600 in total, and weekly the cats need food, litter and vitamins to keep them healthy and free from disease. Sometimes they do get ill and that adds on to the cost as well.

Another reason for not taking in more cats is the issue of cleanliness. We love cats, but we don't love the smell. So the litter needs to be cleaned twice daily and their 'cattery' that my mother built behind the house, needs to be washed daily with disinfectant. We've tried to make it easier and more efficient to keep clean, but it's still a lot of work.

Because of this I have a deep respect for people who volunteer/work for animal shelters. I'm sure it is fulfilling, but also heartbreaking. I'm not just talking about seeing the animals hurt, dying, being put to sleep, suffering from injuries etc. but also the lack of funds, space and volunteers. I know of people who volunteer their weekends helping out at PAWS or the SPCA. Those who can't volunteer their time can just donate things they need or even a bit of money. You can check their websites to see what they need, I've provided the link above. Any contribution will be much appreciated I'm sure.

So people, it doesn't take much to help. One of the easiest way to reduce the stray population is to spay your pets. But most of all, be kind to animals.

"I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other ... And it's very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals ..."~Barack Obama President Elect USA

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated" ~Gandhi (1869-1948)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

To Vaccinate or Not?

Me and hubby recently got our flu vaccination. We received one called Influvac which is a combination flu and H1N1 vaccination. I've read the pros and cons, the arguments against and for, and decided to go for it. My main concern was vaccinating little H. I was told children above 3 years of age can be vaccinated with the current flu vaccination. Generally, Dr. Sears, for instance, recommends flu jabs every year until the child is 19 years of age. Does he really need it? I seriously do not know. There are those that are against vaccinations claiming it does more harm than good, there are studies that show vaccinations aren't really that effective and of course those who fully support vaccination.

Honestly, the sheer amount of information on the Net confuses me. At the moment I just feel that protection for my son is of the utmost importance, and for me, it outweighs the risks i.e side-effects, allergies etc.

As for H, when we brought him to get the jab, he happily laid down with a stuffed dragon in the paediatrician's office while Doc was preparing the shot. I wasn't prepared for the scream that came after the shot. It was more of shock rather than pain. Suffice to say, it took a while to calm down my tired, grumpy and irate little munchkin. So far he's feeling alright, but he does have another shot in a months time. Next time it won't be so easy to get him to sit still.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

High on Sugar = Sleepless Night

This is what happens when I take too much sugar/sweet food at night. I toss and turn and I get a little agitated as well. My theory is that my body gets hyped up on all the sugary energy (not good!). On Saturday night we had dinner at Unique Seafood and for dessert, ordered a Mango with Sago dessert which is  pureed mango with mango pieces and sago in it. It's like a sweet porridge. Since some people were too full, and not wanting to waste any, I had two bowlfuls. Oh my, it was GOOD! Unfortunately, come 1am, I was still wide awake. I was tired but I couldn't sleep. The last time this happened to me, if I remember correctly, was when I stuffed myself with ice-cream after dinner.

I keep telling myself 'No desserts at night!', but good food and good company, plus a hubby who loves desserts with his meals, are my downfall. I try to avoid desserts at night, but as everyone can attest, a scrumptiously divine dessert after an excellent dinner is the perfect ending to a meal. So my solution? Only have dessert after dinner if it's really, really good. Anyway, why waste calories on crappy food?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Redang Island only for the rich?

Whatever happened to Cuti-cuti Malaysia? Hotel rates in Malaysia are expensive enough as it is. Now some Menteri Besar thinks he's being very clever by stating that having only rich people on the island is going to help the environment. I'm no genius or even an environmental expert but I am flabbergasted that a person can be so dense as to not see the extremely obvious flaw in his logic, if we can call it logic. I've read more intelligent suggestions and comments from the divers and NGOs.  

The Tourism Ministry supports this hair-brained idea as it's in line with their plan to attract more high-end tourists. Ok, so how many high-end tourists come to Malaysia anyway? We already have luxurious resorts such as the YTL Luxury resorts which give special rates to locals to fill up the resorts during the low seasons. The typical tourist loves good bargains and that's what they see in Asian destinations. Specifically, they come to Malaysia again and again for good deals on shopping, cheap and delicious food, great hospitality and most of all to savour all that our beautiful country has to offer. If we're going to turn our noses up at these tourists and only cater for high-end tourists, we might end up with a lot less tourist arrivals. Malaysians themselves are already flocking to neighbouring countries for their holidays as it's much, much cheaper.

I'm quite disappointed that the Minister of Tourism has no objection to all this. I was under the impression that she was one of the more intelligent of the lot. Perhaps I was wrong.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Aching here, there and everywhere...

Yesterday was my first, ever, yoga class. Luckily there were only three ladies including me so I had some personal attention since the other two were more experienced than me. We started out with slow sun salutations then did a few fast ones which really got my heart rate going, and my arms aching. After that it was pose after pose after pose. The poses were simple ones which I've seen in magazines and on TV and looked fairly easy, but done properly with an instructor, they left me more than a little wobbly.  I thought I was quite flexible. Hah! During each pose I was mentally begging him to say stop. But I felt really good after, my body felt challenged. Now I'm seriously thinking whether I should take two classes a week instead of just once.

This morning I woke up to aches and pains in places I never thought I could have aches and pains. I had plans to go to the gym this morning, so did a few sun salutations to ease the pain, then popped off to the gym with my cousin after sending H to kindy.

I couldn't really work out much at the gym since I couldn't even walk properly so I worked out the muscles that weren't aching. I thought that was a pretty good idea until after the workout, now my whole body is aching, ouch!

Oh well, they say recovery is the most important part of working out so my excuse for doing nothing this weekend? My muscles are trying to recover!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Weekend 2010

Easter weekend was fantastic, and most of it involved food, as it is with all Malaysian families. It began on Friday night at Las Vacas. We had friends visiting from the UK so the whole family decided to have a steak dinner. And boy, it was good! I'm still thinking of the Angus rib-eye, medium well, that I had and the chocolate mousse dessert after.

The next day, we had an Easter Brunch. Again lots of food i.e scrambled eggs, toast, smoked salmon, beef bacon, hash brown, nasi lemak, rendang, fruits, cheesecake etc. But the kids had the most fun. H along with all his cousins had a blast in the pool. The weather was nice and hot, perfect day for jumping into the pool. Then one of their Grand Aunt's decided to have a modified Easter egg hunt and threw ping pong balls into the pool. The kids had plastic containers to collect the balls and unfortunately the bigger kids managed to get most of the balls. But the little ones didn't really complain except my niece little D. She started crying and we decided they'd had enough and pulled everyone out. The kids got an Easter party pack each with chocolate eggs and were fed lunch. After that the kids were sprawled out on the floor watching cartoons. The parents had to cajole/carry/drag them back home. It was nice to see the children enjoying themselves.

That night it was the parents' turn to relax. We had dinner out, again. This time at Sri Ayutthaya at Medan Damansara. I had a bit too much soft shell crab, and the spicy tom yam burned my lips, but it was too good to refuse. Luckily no heart burn.

Sunday morning we had breakfast at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club. After that we said goodbye to our friends from the UK, they'll be in Tioman this whole week (lucky them!) before stopping by in KL for one night, then off on their flight back home.

My friend had a birthday party for her baby that afternoon as well, so after a Japanese lunch at Sakae Sushi we brought H for the birthday party. Surprisingly H didn't want to leave because he's always a little shy with kids he's not familiar with. The kids had to make bunny ears and decorated Easter eggs made out of cardboard, then they were asked to stick the eggs on a drawing of a basket while blindfolded. The party ended with an Easter (chocolate) egg hunt.

Suffice to say, me and hubby were knackered by the time we all showered and got H into bed. After a quick dinner, hubby wanted to watch a DVD but my bed was looking like the more attractive option. So after a kiss and a hug I was off to dreamland.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Yoga: The beginning!

I'm 34 years old, I'm fairly active, not terribly fit but still quite flexible. However, my body doesn't seem so sprightly when getting up in the mornings nowadays. So, I've decided to take up yoga. Actually I've wanted to take up yoga ages ago but didn't find the right class. I'm a little fussy you see, I want my yoga class to be near home, be at the appropriate time and cheap. Believe it or not, I've found it! Inner Glow Yoga in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail is just 10 minutes walk from my house, the fees are RM80 for 4 classes per month, and the class starts after I send H off to kindy. Perfect!

I'm quite excited at starting something new, however, the thought of headstands and contorting my body in angles I've never even dreamt off does make me a tad nervous. I've never been very well co-ordinated, in fact, I'm a little clumsy (luckily for me, hubby finds this trait amusing). So, I'm praying that my first ever yoga class will go smoothly.

I've always known that yoga has many benefits but for those of you wondering if you should take up yoga, here's a great, short article on Oprah's website.

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's that time of year again...

I'm talking about taxes. I left it a little late this year (it's the procrastinator in me). But today I managed to collect and organise all mine and hubby's receipts, tax vouchers, documents, income statements etc. All that's left is to photocopy some documents and send it over to the tax agent. I know I really should do it myself with e-filing making it easy peasy to file your taxes, but I've decided to 'outsource'.

Don't get me wrong, I do check all my documents diligently and keep track of all the details, and I go through the annual budget every year, but I'll leave the calculating and filing to the experts. They fill up the form, give it to me to check and sign and write out a cheque if need to, then they'll file it for me.

If there's something out there that makes life easier and is affordable, why not use it, right?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Flu, cough fever etc...

In the past two weeks H had some viral fever, hubby had cough and I had a bit of a cold and flu. So suffice to say all of us didn't get much sleep, throw in one whiny baby, and you have a very grumpy mommy.

H's fever kept coming on and off, so I was worried that it might be dengue. Dengue seems to be a big problem nowadays so we're keeping vigilant. Thank God, it was just viral and after five days the fever broke. H was still a little tired so I just kept him in the house to rest and recover. I needed my rest as well, too many sleepless nights were taking a toll on my health and skin.

I've started going on the treadmill again after a whole week off. My legs feel a bit like jelly after my workout two days ago, but I'm feeling much stronger. I'm trying to get H to exercise outdoors but he seems to prefer watching Ultraman on DVD. Can't blame him though, every time he goes out we have to spray loads of mosquito repellent, if he wants to swim we have to slather on the sunblock, so leaving the house is getting to be quite a big production.

Looking forward to better (cooler!) days ahead.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bali 2010

We just came back from Bali two days ago and it was HOT! Literally I mean. We were slathering on sunscreen like it was water. Since it was our fourth trip we didn't take that many photos and didn't even shop much. We took an AirAsia package and stayed at a really nice boutique hotel called The Vira Bali. It was about 10 minutes walk to the Discovery Mall and if you're up to it (and without baby) you can even walk till Kuta Centre.

We even discovered some good restaurants this time around. The first night we ate at Pawon Pasundan (Jln Kediri), a nice restaurant with really good Sunda food, of course we had to have the famous ikan goreng gurame aka the flying fish. The second night we also had Sunda food at another restaurant called Tempoe Doloe (Sunset Rd). Also good food but this time we tried the soto which was delicious!

The second day we had lunch in Ubud, but before going back to the hotel we decided to take a drive around the Seminyak area. We stumbled upon Ku De Ta and decided to check it out. Ku De Ta is so terribly trendy but a nice place to hang out. Warning - the food and drinks are a little on the high side, but they do taste good. Also a good place to people watch.

The third night we watched the sunset at Jimbaran Bay and had dinner at one of the many seafood restaurants along the beach. Needless to say I overate and overdrank, we had coconut water, juices, soup, crabs, prawns, fish, calamari, veggies, rice, and we even bought roasted sweet corn and steamed peanuts from a beach vendor, and it was all good!

Other than that we walked around Kuta and Legian and just window shopped. The last night there we had dinner at Papa's Cafe at Alam Kul Kul. It serves good Italian food and the taste is consistent so we have to go there at least once when we're in Bali.

The trip was a little tiring due to the heat, but we had a good time nonetheless. My son was slightly ill so he didn't enjoy it as much as the other trips we've been on. Maybe next time it'll just be a trip for me & hubby to have some couple time.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Year of the Tiger

I am absolutely looking forward to the long Chinese New Year weekend. Hubby has a four day break and my son, H, is off for the whole of next week. H is having a bit of a cough but I hope he recovers so we can have some fun this weekend. Hubby's cough still hasn't quite gone away. To compound it all our humidifier decided to short out just when we needed it most. So had to drive over to 1Utama to get two more. Also did extra healing sessions with H just to boost his system.

It's been pretty hectic this past few days with my 3 month old niece's aqiqah held last Saturday. Basically we slaughter a goat (in our case four) and invite family and friends over to makan-makan and celebrate/bless the birth of the child. My beautiful niece was an absolute angel and did not cry at all. It was a little tiring organising it all but it was fun to meet up with family and friends.

So this weekend it's time to rest, relax, eat good food and enjoy my wonderful family.

To all those celebrating, Happy Chinese New Year!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wonderful Morning

Didn't realise I haven't blogged for so long. Things have been hectic to say the least. My maid has been off for the whole month and I just hope she comes back next week.

It's such a lovely sunny Saturday morning that I just felt I had to write something down. I woke up looking at my son's face, had a little cuddle with my hubby then we all went to have an excellent breakfast at a new place that just opened up nearby. We had chicken porridge, wholemeal scones with butter and lemon curd, half-boiled eggs and toast. Everything was well cooked and very tasty. The restaurant? It's called The Coffee Bar and it's about 2 weeks old, it's located at 35, Lorong Rahim Kajai 13, TTDI, KL. If you're interested they've even got a website @ www.ilovecakesnpastries.com.

Looking forward to more gorgeous mornings like this :D