Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Lesson learnt the hard way!

Papa22beas always reminds me not to be too obsessed with money. For example, don't be stingy, don't worry about if we even got food to eat tomorrow, or don't worry about how small the house is etc. That's simply because, tomorrow is not for us to decide and trust that Allah will provide. It sounds simple and that's the only way it should be but I admit that a lot of times, I had just totally forgotten!

Yesterday, I went to get the insurance policy for our car. They sent it earlier but got the address wrong, so I was advised to go and fetch it from the office myself. I was delighted to know that the NCB from the previous car had not been deducted yet. I called the car dealer and he said I would get the refund today! It is not much but since it was really unexpected, I was just excited!

I had a naughty thought to spend the money on something and not let papa22beas knew about it. But being me, I just could not refrain myself and told him last night. But I admitted that I was tempted not to tell him;).

Yesterday evening went well, but when he pulled over to park the car when we reached his office this morning, I just could not believed it when I saw the image of the car in the glass wall. A DENT! Yes a dent on my brand new car that is not even 2 months on the road, and i have not even had a chance to write a review about it! We did not see it yesterday, the babysitter also did not notice it and nothing happened the whole evening and during the drive to work.

It was really disturbing, and after some investigation (ahem!) later, I'm pretty sure that somebody (most probably in a 4WD) knocked it while reversing, and it happened in the parking lot at my office! It could be someone from the other department but nobody cames forward (fat chance!) so far!

Anyway, now I know where the money should go! I'm still feeling a bit dissapointed, as I had an insticnt that that particular parking spot might not be good! Well, just got to get it fixed fast, hopefully when it is no longer there, I will stop dwelling on it! It is just money, and with Allah's will, my 'rezeki' will continue to come!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Superwoman wannabe is also an astronaut wannabe

If you have read this and this and a lot of other articles in the daily newspaper, you should be aware of the progress on the search for the first Malaysian to go to space.

And at this instance, I'm one of those shortlisted from the 894 contenders. Some of my online friends are also my supportes *ahem, ahem*. What I'm going to write may be a spoiler to some of them especially to 5xmom, lrong and some of my friends in MMB. But at this instance, it is still too early for me to quit!

About 2 weeks ago, I received another notification that the first fitness test would be a 3.5km run in 20 minutes (earlier story can be found here). My first thought was "piece of cake, kacang only..." and then suddenly, I got to my sense and started counting "Oh o...I will be 33 weeks pregnant on the 3rd Sept. 2005".

Off course, I though of letting it go but after having a discussion with my (equally crazy) husband, we think we should just go ahead. Reasons:

1. At 32 weeks pregnant now and baby developing well, I just gained some kilos to get my ideal weight. Just did a check-up on Monday, baby now 1.8 kilo and all the other tests showed I'm just fine!

2. They did remind us that we should be fit enough to run, but they NEVER mention that preganant woman is not allowed;)

3. 5-10 applicants that will be shortlisted from the fitness and medical test on that 2 saturdays will be only be in Russia for further evaluation in January. I will be done with my confinement and most probably be a lot 'fitter';).

That's the decision for the moment. We will run with a stopwatch this weekend. I will come back with some updates on Monday. Yes, we are two crazy people but we will make sure that no harm will be done to the baby;).

And if we make a decision to turn up on Saturday, Sept 3, the worst case scenario that I can think of are as follow:

1. I will be a laughing stock, and immediately without much words be asked to 'bungkus'. Surely, I will leave but with pride!

2. Most probably, there will be a bunch of journalists. I may get their attention. "A pregnant woman is among the astronout wannabe" ...that's what I can thik of. I will try to run as fast as I can from the paparazzi *ahem, ahem*. And if they manage to get me, I will just get my chin up and say "no comment" (ok, mama22beas...stop, that!).

By the way, I just talked to 1 of 2 friends who also applied. He is out already. Still trying to get the other one!

More updates on Monday morning!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Random thoughts:Education system, breastfeeding and Brad Pitt

One day, two weeks ago I conducted a class to prepare my 58 students for their exams. I had done my part of the course and the class was basically for questions and answers session before the exams.

I was approached by a student, and she said that the course was too difficult. Actually, she WHINED that the course was too difficult. Since I'd been talking in 8 classes (and each last for 3 hours) for the past few weeks, I expected that the students at least went through all the hand-outs and notes that had been given. When I asked her on which part that she was having a problem with, she just said almost all. A few words exchanged later, and I just knew that she just either did not read the notes, or trying to get it the easy way! For a moment, I just stood there, speechless and in my mind "Where does she come from?, and why is she here?". I realised that I should never question that and went ahead with my lecture. Later that day I found a few other students of the same species;).

But, before I could even think of being too critical on them, I just gave a thought about myself. I was once, like them!

A lot of them asked me over and over, what would come out in the exams. I just thought "Been there, done that!" and I just explained to them it was not about the questions but rather if they really get the whole principle or concept of the course. It was not only about passing exams. I told them I did my part, and then it was up to them.

I never liked exams, as they did not do much to me. I succumbed to the pressure of being at the top in all my schooling years. I just hated it, and studying became a dreaded chore. In my U days, I forced myself to finish and graduate. In my final year, we were required to write a thesis. That's when I found studying was fun. While doing a thesis, I read (and understand) in my own time, wrote my own ideas, finally got accepted and graded! I immediately pursued my PhD, and now I'm happily doing pretty much the same thing, research and writing, besides teaching.

A few times I thought, there is something wrong with our school (or even the university) system but do I have the solution to make it better?. Nope I don't have, so I thought I just shut my mouth.

Yesterday, I spent a good part of the day reading Bakri Musa's writings. (Thanks to
lrong, got it from his blog). Excerp from what he wrote:

The Malaysian obsession with examination results is certainly misplaced. Such valuable attributes as creativity, innovativeness and entrepreneurialism cannot be readily tested.

and it made me feel good a bit.

Now what follows next is not related to the above issue but I want to blog it anyway;)

Another enlightening point that I found is that Bakri musa is also a breastfeeding supporter. Another excerp from his writing:

When we were in Malaysia and my wife was breastfeeding our baby, I made sure that she did so whenever we visited the villages. We usually got a general look of disbelief from the women. They thought that “white people” are modern and thus did not breastfeed their babies. I told them the observation of a famous American nutritionist that cows milk was best only for calves! Read
here for more. That made me feel good a bit more;)

Another thing is what I heard on the radio on the way to work, and the newspaper later, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston officially filed for a divorce. Heard a while ago, they said Pitt wanted a baby but Aniston was not ready for it. I'm no die hard fan of Pitt, but it got me thinking "What was wrong with that woman? There are thousands of other women who just love to have babies with him" I don't mind having 20 of them for him;) *kidding, kidding*

Mama22beas is in cheeky mood

Monday, August 22, 2005

Why another apartment?

Since we signed up for the purchase of the new apartment almost 3 years ago, I've been really looking forward to moving days. Sometimes I think, I'm a bit obsessive about it. Whenever I do some shopping around that area, I must drive there to just look on the progress. I've been dreaming (with an Ikea catalogue in my hand, off course) on how it will look like for the past 3 years. And reading the excitement that Adam is having furnishing his new apartment (and he loves Ikea, too!) triggered me to blog this.

When my mom got to know about the new buy, she was shocked and asked "rumah tinggi (apartment) lagi????". I have friends who are happily staying in landed homes having doubts on our decision.
Lrong is happy to have some space soon, and
Ninuk was contemplating to upgrade to a bigger space.

With the third baby is arriving soon, and a plan to have at least another 2;), why on earth we chose a not-even-1000sq-feet (but almost) apartment. That's because, it is all that we can afford, 5 km radius from my office! And yes, I hate the traffic and if it is possible, I want to move in today!

We had our doubt, too as we never planned to make such a commitment. We thought, as the family grows bigger we would get a landed property. Thought we just took a look at the launch, but we kind of got a bit frenzy there as units were selling fast and before we knew it, papa22beas was signing a check for the booking for the cheapest unit we could get.

For weeks after that, I was really worried and was contemplating to cancel the purchase, but after the loan was approved, we just went ahead. Soon after that, another new apartment was launched at around the same area. We took a look, off course it is more exclusive and for the same space, the price is doubled. So, we felt kind of relieved.

And I'd just love to continue having a babysitter and schools near my office, so that I can see them at least during my lunchbreak. So that means, the kids have to travel with me. Now, with this short distance, hopefully less time travelling! What I love more about it is the walking-distance-with-covered-walkway LRT station!

As for the small space, think we have to go more for Ikea space-saving idea;).

And I must add this, I just can't stop ranting about our new apartment and my boss found out about it and she was just interested. I brought her to the developer's office, and after a few more trips there, she was lucky to get a unit from only 3 left. Also like me, she spent sleepless nights over it, but she said she also had enough of the traffic! And last week we were there again for her to sign up the purchase. Hers is about 300sq feet bigger but 100k more expensive! Now, got my boss as neighbour! Dunno if it is good or not but so far, so good!

From the highway while dring to work this morning, I could see they have removed almost all the scaffolding...that means it really is going to be soon! It will be about the same time as the new baby! Simply can't wait!

Friday, August 19, 2005

We missed him too...

Belacan blogged about how he misses his family due to the long hours at work. I love the way his little girl greets him when he comes home.

For a few nights last week, papa22beas also had to work very late in the office. He sent us home first, and off he went out again and only came back at midnight. On the first day, worried that the girls would ask to follow him, he just left quietly. Bea1 kept asking where papa was and just refused to sleep until way past midnight. Think she just forced herself up and waited for papa to come home.

We had a quiet weekend as papa22beas just needed a lot of rest and on Monday, I took a day leave just to be with the girls. Papa22beas only came back at about 10 pm. Bea1 was fast asleep as she skipped the afternoon nap. Upon hearing him at the door, I ran to him, gave him a hug and a quick kiss on his neck, while Bea2 was delighted, waiting for her turn, spread her arms wide and hugged papa's legs. He scooped her high up, after a few minutes of giggling put her down. But she did not seem to get enough. She followed her papa around, and again hugged his legs and would not let go. He had put away his working clothes and had only towel around his waist and tried hard not to let Bea2 stripped him naked;).

Love seeing the look on his face when he asked Bea2, "You will never get anough of papa, right?"

That's one of the reasons I think why married men love to come home to. This morning, in the Mix, Shaz and Richard talked about "Are you healthier, slimmer and happier after you got married?" I'm not very sure about if he is healthier, but he is definitely not slimmer (take it as he just enjoy my cooking;)), but the way he described it to me once, think he is happy, maybe a different kind of happiness! And in my case, though I did enjoy my single life, being married is definitely more fulfilling!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

My Bea2 and bougie(?)

I tried to find another name for suppository (too long!) and here's a definition that I got from www.dictionary.com.

"A small plug of medication designed to melt at body temperature within a body cavity other than the mouth, especially the rectum or vagina. Also called bougie"

So, from now on, I shall call it bougie (don't you like it, funny isn't?).

Like her big sister (and the mother;)), Bea2 hates medicine. Think like a lot of other moms, besides having to worry, sleepless nights, long waits at the clinics I also have to face the challenges to keep medicine in my kids' system. Bea1 now masters the art of throwing up the medicine, especially the cough syrup, phenergen. And out it always be together with lunch or dinner.

So, I'm so grateful when I found out about bougie. I don't know about any other bougie, but the ones that I normally use is for the fever or paracetamol. To me is one of the best things humankind ever invented. Just a little bit of struggle, a little aim, and push and all is done! No towels, no mopping, no puke-smelling hubby and all smiles!

Last week, Bea2 had a fever and off course bougie was all I needed. I brought her the the clinic on Wednesday and asked for a bloodtest (paranoid, as always) but since it was not even 24 hours yet, the doctor just asked to continue with the medicine and if it did not go away on Friday, I had to bring her back. She only had high temperature at nights, so it could be just some viral fever.

Thursday night just before bed, I inserted one bougie. barely 20 minutes later, she let out a huge poo. I was a bit worried as I did not know, once it was in, how long would it take to get fully dissolved and absorbed. Asked papa22beas, he just asked me to look for any traces in the poo. He said that without lifting his eyes from the idiot box, so I knew it was going to be my job. Among the dragonfruit seeds, corns, carrots I just could not find it, and I can tell you it was a tough job!. I thought some might go in and I dare not giving her more, scared of overdose.

The temperature just ceased a bit and the whole night, I had to sponge her body. After 6 hours and following the schedule, I inserted one more bougie. It was about 4 am. When we woke up, I realised there was another small poo again. Had no idea as when she did it, it could be shortly after the bougie. This time also, no traces, maybe all got melted already.

It was Friday, and like the doctor had suggested the bloodtest had to be done. Her temperature was still high at the clinic. The first thing I asked the doctor was how long a bougie would take effect. She said at least half an hour. I mentioned about what had happened the night before, and she just laughed. She said no wonder her temperature did not go down. After taking the blood, one more bougie in. I was asked to wait for the result. I was nursing Bea2 while wiping her back when I smelled some 'aroma'...I was like "Oh no...not again", but yes she did it again and it was only after 15 minutes after the bougie. Third time in a row! But this time, yes I found a tiny pieces of what I believed were the remnants of bougies that did not dissolved!

The result came out and everything was normal. The doctor joked on how my little girl just knew how to get rid of the medicine. She just asked me to continue sponging her till the next time she would receive the medication. And I finally resorted to the liquid! A struggle but luckily it stayed in her body and except for little coughs, she was ok on Saturday!

So, even bougie does not nessecerily work for my girl *sigh*. And in all of my life, I had never imagined that I would have some poo just a few inches away from my face, just to make sure that my kid would get back to good health...but it is all in the name of love, and it is worth it!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I'm officially in preschool

It will take forever if I wait for mama to blog this, she is more interested to talk about Bea2's poo, so I've decided to do it myself.

I was on 'trial' for a week before mama decided to officially registered me in. It did not make much difference to me except for after that I got to wear the same shirt (mama calls it uniform) as my friends. The other school charged RM40 for one uniform, but this shirt is only RM7. That really makes mama happy as to her, whatever I wear I always look good to her. Look down a bit and see, my new shoes!


Remember mama mentioned that she was so excited to get me one of those cute bags for girls. We went to two places, but she was not happy with the choices: Barbie is too girly, and she does not like the purple dinosaur...but wait a minute, I though she said she would let me choose. Actually with a lot of other interesting toys in the mall, I just could not stand still to choose a bag. Mama could not make up her mind, and finally took papa's suggestion. So, this is the bag that I bring to school everyday:


Yup, that is the bag given free by the insurance company that comes with the new car. Well it does not matter to me!

School is fun and I just love it. But I don't like it if mama is late to fetch me as I also love having lunch with her!

Friday, August 05, 2005

No longer a stranger!

People say when you travel, what would be meaningful about the journey is the people that you meet.

I just received an email from my friend Ian, a Scotsman and a globe-trotting freelance-journalist that I met in London on 29th Sept. 2000. We have been keeping in touch via emails, updating about each other's life and this is what he wrote:

Wow - who would have believed it when I met you on that coach ride from Heathrow to Brisol so long ago!!?? A 7-seater Chevy, a new apartment, a husband and THREE babies.....

I was alone in a foreign land but was so excited, first time 'pijak' UK, mah! I just boarded the 10 pm bus to Bristol from Heathrow. And this man offered to have a conversation with me. He was from his business trip to Spain. We talked for the whole 2-hour trip, I learnt that he would be staying in a guesthouse very near the hotel that I'd be satying in.

The next day, he introduced me to the owner of the guesthouse, a lady from Singapore but married to a British. She rented out a room to me at her flat. Me and Ian became friends instantly and the friendship continues.

He was here in KL twice, had the oppurtunity to taste my "tenggiri masak lemak" while having a conversation with papa22beas about the purchase of the apartment, played with Bea1, bought her books as Christmas gifts and had dinner with me at the Burger King at Sri Hartamas. I was heavily pregnant with Bea2 during his second visit. For the next visit, he will probably meet Bea2 and the new baby for the first time, also see our new apartment! Hopefully it will be at the end of the year.

To me it is amazing how a stranger in a strange land (now that reminds me of Iron Maiden) that I met in a bus stays as a friend for this long!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A long day at work

My days at work normally go fast. I always have things to do, and if I have classes it is even faster. I had lunch and have fun with Bea1 during lunchtime, and see Bea2 for awhile. Even if I'm bored or no mood to work, there are plenty of interesting blogs to read!

But today, papa22beas have to 'balik kampung' to settle some matters. It is 2 hours drive and he would spent the whole day there. No car for me, and he decided to bring Bea1 with him. So, no lunch with her and also I could not meet my Bea2.

That is still ok, but looking at Bea1 being cleaned and changed to "jalan-jalan" dressing, Bea2 already sensed something was on. Then papa was not in his work clothing. She normally sleeps during the trip to babysitter but today was fully awake. She wailed when we sent her to the babysitter. Everyone was up to something and I was not included, that's what was in her mind.

I wished I could take leave to follow papa22beas and bring both girls but I have classes. I could still cancel them all but next week a group will have their exam. Still I could just leave them to the tutors but I don't think it is fair to them as some are still struggling!

Maybe for some stay-at-home-moms, they can't imagine having to separate from the kids the whole day like the full-time working mom does. I arranged things so that I can see them during lunchtime, but when things happen like today, I also feel the same way, too.

Anyway, papa22beas just called. He will be here in 10 minutes. Soon, very soon I will have my girls in my arms. Must be interesting to know how Bea1's day was!