Monday, July 31, 2006

My friend has my baby's pic as a background in her handphone!

Can't think of any other title.

Anyway, I had two friends, both of them are sisters coming over a few weeks ago. Anyway, I guess people just love a new home that I keep receiving guests. Which is good as, they normally bring a lot of food!

My two friends have been trying to conceive, and been married for 9 and 8 years respectively.

They went head over heel with my Bea3, non-stop cooing and ooooh cutenya, and ahhh comelnya...been going on especially when I was feeding her, no actually all 3 of us.

I didn't realise it, but one of them gave me these photos later

"Helllllo...." I love this one the most!

In case you are wondering, the hand with the huge gold bracelet is not mine. mama23beas surely can't afford that.

And we never teach her to show middle finger to anyone, well not yet!

About a week after that, I received a call from one of them. She squeelled with excitement telling me that it was confirmed that she was pregnant. It was truly a surprise as for two years she tried any method available at the hospital, then decided that she wanted to slow down a bit, went to further studies and voila...things happened during the semester break. She was actually 4 weeks pregnant when she was busy snapping pics of my baby.

I just thought God works in mysterious ways!

Anyway, now I think that title does not sound right! And, damn....I'm still having problem to arrange the photos.

Friday, July 28, 2006

1st baby, 3nd baby and in between


1st baby:
We bought bibs together with the other baby stuffs months before the baby was born. I said we needed 7, one for each day (as we normally do laundry during the weekends), but hubby said 14, 2 feedings x 7 days = 14.

3rd baby:
What bib? No need la...I feed her just before bathtime, and throw the shirt in the laundry.

2nd baby:
Anything in between that!


1st baby:
Everything must be the best. The peaditrician who did it must be someone with experience. He actually was a former university professor, now a "Datuk". And we followed the schedule closely

3nd baby:
Making the full use of free immunisation given by the government, given by any staff at the hospital. Keep forgetting, that Bea3 was given two shots (of different type) at one go!

2nd baby:
Anything in between that.

*anyway, that "Datuk" is still the girls' pead when they are sick*


1st baby:
Of course, everything must be new. Also bought long before she was born.

3rd baby:
Hand-downs from the 2nd

2nd baby:
Hand-downs from the 1st


1st baby:
We bought a cot, as we were just scared that we might roll over her in the big bed.
I checked over and over if the baby was breathing by observing the tummy moved up and down, or by placing my hand near her nose.

3rd baby:
No worries, I know she is fine

2nd baby:
Anything in between that.

We love them all the same, and I love them so much that sometimes I have tears in my eyes, by just looking at them. And we would love to have more;)

Friday, July 21, 2006

That long over-due Lenggong fieldtrip

What would I do when a professor, no I mean an emeritus professor, a guru to my gurus...(dunno how to describe it but many of my teachers were also his students) said that he was free one weekend and he was happy to guide me to do some sample collection in Lenggong.

Of course, it must be an overnight stay there. I asked "Can I bring the girls?", he just said "Bawak aje!"....Ohhhh I love this man! In encouraging people to pursue a quest for knowledge, he always try to make it the most convenient to everyone. He knows my reluctance to be away from my babies.

Though initially I got "What, are you crazy?", from hubby, words from the old wise man convinced him that it would be all right.

I planned to have the elder girls to play till late, woke them up early so that they would doze off during the rest of the trip.

Playing till late worked well, but it seemed that the baby planned to make me stay awake the whole night. I was still snoring when we were supposed to start the journey.

So, we started very late and all girls were all freshened up. They got excited seeing us loading their carseats and stuffs from our car to the department 4-wheel vehicle.

It was pretty a peaceful trip, Bea2 was only occupied in her carseat with only a water bottle. Bea1 was smart enough to know that by sleeping, she would reach faster.

We planned to meet with the prof at the Musium Arkeologi Lenggong (but damn forgot to take photos). It was a pleasant surprise that a group of archeological students just finished their field studies, and a staff from the musium called the head of the school to meet up with us.

They know Lenggong like the back of their hands, and I would never imagine that work was a lot faster with these guys. They know exactly where to find the samples, and they were all well-equiped.

After lunch at the Lenggong Rumah Rehat (they have improved a lot since my last visit in around 2002), we kicked off with the real thing.

We just followed the guys from behind, I left the kids with hubby in the car at each stop. At around 3.30 pm it rained cats and dogs. They brought us to their dormitaries for nappy change etc.

And this what Bea2 chose to wear on her first geological fieldtrip.

Love looking at their archeological excavation equipments that were just cleaned and gathered, but again forgot to take photos.

We continued after the rain, and finished at about 6 pm. The wise man chose to stay with the students at the dorm, while we decided to find a hotel in Ipoh.

The Syuen does not look as good as 7 years ago, but we were gald to find Secret Recipe just beside it. Everyone was happy with dinner and after a jolly good time in the bathtub, they went into slumber right away.

We moved up to Sungai Siput the next day to look for samples around Lintang. We passed the Lion Hill, but I could take take at a closer view. The photo at the top was taken in 1999, and it is in my PhD thesis. Young with a high adrenaline rush, me and another female friend drove up the hill in a 4-wheel drive, along the terraces of the young palm trees, up high to the foot of the massive limestone hill at the top.

We drove to Lintang, and stopped to ask village folks about Tuan Estate, where the occurence of some sediment was reported. Luck was not on our side, nobody ever heard of it. Anyway, the report was published in 1930s.

Drove back to Sungai Siput, and I managed to take a photo of the hill from far.

Had a quick lunch in Ipoh and made a stop at Gunung Lanno. Just a quich observation and we were done with it.

Driving back was a breeze but everybody was just pooped. A photo taken by Bea2 before she dozed off.

My babies just a few minutes to reach home.

This is the purpose of the trip, kilos of volcanic ash, said to be from that great 74k year-old Toba eruption. They will keep me busy in labs for a few more months
Another trip, Serdang only, was done. Next will be Kuala Pilah, some part of Terengganu and Johore where the occurence of the ash was reported.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Acar Ikan

We decided to have Acar Ikan for dinner last night. A recipe from my mom-in-law that I just loved but never tried myself before.

Asked hubby to call her for the recipe, and while driving home with the girls, I received his call:

Hubby: Where are you, can talk or not?
Me: In the campus, driving home...hurry la.
Hubby: Get a pen and paper.
Me: Hurry la...*prepare to make mental note*
Hubby: Bahan-bahannya...shallots, garlic, onion, ginger, chillies and vinegar. Eh, our house got vinegar or not??
Me: Got leh...just bought!
Hubby: Slice shallots, garlic, ginger....saute till fragrant...and alamak must use fennel, got or not?


Me: *rolled eyes*... bought also. Eh..please la, don't be so loud...I don't want your whole office know you're teaching me to cook
Hubby: Ok, about cucumber?
Me: Gottt...hurry up, no need details I know what to do is just that, vinegar when to put?
Hubby: After you get the wangi-wangi smell, pour some vinegar. Must add water you know?
Me: Ok, done...bye, muah!
Hubby: Don't forget to season a bit la....and the fish, deep fry first.
Me: I know le...bye!

This how it looks


The fish was deep-fried with salt and tumeric, and I added salt and sugar for seasoning.

It was a huge cut of fish and I served it in the wok from the fire directly to the table.

Hubby suggested that Ikan Merah is the most suitable for the dish. A comment from him though, the fish was not fresh enough. For someone who grew up in a fishing village, where fishes and other seafood stuffs go to the pot and pan right from the sea, everything in PJ/KL is always not up to his standard.

That's why many times, I don't have much qualm about balik kampung to his side;).

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Passing some words from a gemologist

Yesterday, we had a seminar from a young gemologist who is based in NY and used to work for Tiffany & Co.

She talked about phenomena in gemstone, in a very simple and understandable for everyboby. This kind of discussion always attracts a lot of attention, especially from lady geologists.

She talked about cat's eye, adularecsence, orient and color change, among others.

Photos taken from here

But the most interesting if of course when we questioned her on how to determine a gem is a real gem, not a fake or imitation or if it has been treated.

She is such a jovial person, and this what the expert said:

"If the gem is perfect, and the price is too good to be true, you should be careful as nothing is 'perfect' in Mother Nature's hands"

Think any gem lover/collector should always learn from the expert. As for myself, I'm not really interested in owning, just love getting to know more to help me with my teaching;).

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Of Zidane, house-warming and water babes

A rojak entry, this is.

I watched the game but what really kept me awake was what Zidane did, that subsequantly sent him off the game. I love it when games dragged to penalties shootout, anyway I didn't really watch the whole thing, (with 3 kids now, I value my sleep more), so no favourite team this time.

This comes a little late.

A friend volunteered to throw a house-warning party. Actually it was just an excuse to get together. It has been awhile since the last time we'd seen each other.

I was a bit freaked out as I was not really prepared for it but the idea to catch up with my girlfriends, and the idea to get a small playgroup for the kids was just awesome.

So, I just did it, the next day after the kitchen was fixed, and with an advice that I should just do minimal washing in the sink.

Mom taught me to always prepare food for guests, despite the idea to have pot-luck. I'm so glad for the slow-cooker, a gift for our wedding. I copied a recipe from 5xmom, but I used coke as it was first suggested by a member in MMB. Too bad I was too busy to take photos of the food.

We stayed in the house just to have quick chat and some bites, and later adjourned to the pool. Kids had fun while adults cathing up.

It was Bea3's first pool experience.

Since not many residents move in the apartments yet, we had the wading pool all for ourselves. Never thought that a house-warming party turned to be so 'cool'

It was really a great time.

From an apartment into a home (part 5)

Just a few days before our wedding, my then-fiance brought me to an apartment to decide if we like it to be our first nest. I was not really into cooking that time, but upon seeing the nice kitchen, I immediately nodded in agreement.

I knew that I'd take kitchen seriously. So, designing (and dreaming) about the new kitchen started even after we signed the S&P for the purchase of the new apartment about 31/2 years ago.

Only a few weeks ago, the design was finalised and it must be from Ikea;). I didn't know how it actually worked, as this is my first time buying kitchen. After getting the quotation, I had to call a company that was appointed by Ikea to do the measurement and assembly. Had to wait for a week to get the appointment only to get the measurement.

Once it was done, I could then do the purchase. I had to make another appointment to do the assembly. I was thinking it would be great and more sentimental for me and hubby sweating ourselves on getting our kitchen fixed. But a friend who had the experience insisted that I just spent some money and let the 'expert' do it.

I had to wait for another week, maybe due to the Ikea kitchen promotion that is going on now but the 'kitchen' had to be delivered within 3 days.
So, this was how my kitchen looked for 5 days.

Finally, we had it done on last Friday. The guys were a bit late. And I had to attend a resigning colleague's (used to be my guru) farewell party, send Bea1 to babysitter's but they said I could just leave them there.

I had earlier decided that I would just the tap as it was, but the guy said since the position was a bit low, he had to cut part of the legs and made my countertop a bit lower. I agreed as I so wanted to save some money for another tap. After making sure a few other things, I left but little worries lingered.

In the car, the Friday noon traffic started to build up and that gave me some time to think or rather to change my mind again. I called them up, asking them not to cut the legs, I was getting new tap.

I came back with Bea1, and found part of our kitchen started to take shape. But it was just dusty as they started to hack the walll to make additional power points.
Left again to send her to babysitter's and do the normal stuffs with the other two girls. Back home again, and the guys mentioned that in addition the the tap, they found that I got a wrong door delivered, some dents on another and an unused cover panel. Plus, they said since I bought solid wood top, I needed some oil treatment before I could fully utilised the kitchen. So, they practically sent me back to Ikea on a Friday afternoon.

One guy advised that I should not get an Ikea tap as it is just more expensive. But being under pressure to get it done that day (and hubby not around), just where I should get it.
That's how it looked when I left at 4 pm. I only came back at 6:30 with the doors, the cheapest tap, and I got the handles exchanged to cheaper ones to recover some cost from the tap, some other accesories BUT without the oil....arghhhh. I realised it in the car, while fuming mad at the traffic.

Anyway, I was a bit calmer when I saw the kichen was getting more realistic. See my huge and deep sink that I just lurveeeee;)

Quickly cleaned the house as much as I could, left again to fetch hubby and the kids, returned at 8:15 and the kitchen was almost complete. Love seeing the girls "Oooh" and "ahhhh" while checking the new 'playground'. Started to play 'masak-masak' right away.

It is not complete yet without the wall accessories, plugs and the curtain. But we had the top coated with the treatment oil last night. I will add some wall cabinets later but we have already more than enough space at the moment. And I had already putting some things in their places.

The girls had placed their cutlery in the drawer, I found it cute;).

It will be another kitchen where a lot of times spent to cook delicious meals (ahem!) for the family, a playground for the kids, a place where my friends are invited to hang out (I will get an occasional table and some stools), a place where I will teach my girls that a way the a man's heart is through his stomach (it does not matter if it is still applicable during their times).

It is small, but it is perfect and I love it, love it, love it!