Monday, March 17, 2008

A Lesson For All

I got this from Mel in email, thought i'd post it here....

I Love Rubber Bands
By Bo Sanchez

Let me tell you a crazy story I heard recently.There' s this husband who out of sheer love for his wife decided to prove it to her. So he swam the widest oceans, crossed the deepest rivers, and climbed the highest mountains to show his deep devotion to her. But in the end, she divorced him.

Why? Because he was never home.(Get it?)

Let me tell you an experience I had as a kid. One day, I asked Mom, 'Why do my shoes keep eating my socks?' As a young boy, that was always a mystery for me. All my other classmates never had that problem. Their socks remained tight and high up their legs the entire day.

Mom didn't answer my question but simply gave me two rubber bands which I dutifully placed around the top of my socks. To this day, fifteen years later, I still have permanent circle marks around my legs. But aside from giving me this slight defect, the two bands worked like magic.

It never occurred to me that Dad and Mom didn't have the money to buy a new pair of socks for me. So I wore five-year-old socks, all soggy, grayish, and garter less. And yet amazingly, I never complained. I believe it was because Dad was always home when I needed him. Every night, after coming from work, we'd jog together, sit around, and talk about Tarzan, Farrah Fawcett Majors, God, and what I wanted to be when I grew up (a stockholder) . On Saturdays, we'd walk to Cubao, eat a hotdog-on-a- stick,and buy new rubber bands before going home.

I've learned that in truth, we don't want our loved ones to show their love for us in big ways. Swimming the widest oceans, crossing the deepest rivers, and climbing the highest mountains seem spectacular - but that's not what we really want. Deep in our hearts, we just want them home. With us.

Sometimes, God will operate that way. Suddenly, He decides not to answer our prayers, or fill our need, or heal our sickness, or give us the miracle we're asking for. (He's got reasons why He won't, and believe me - they're pretty good ones.) So He'll just be there beside you, holding you in a hug. Sharing your pain. Weeping as you weep. Oh, He might give you some rubber bands. And that small comfort from Him will be more than enough to sustain you. Because the most essential truth you already know, be home.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Observe Earth Hour

Turn off your lights for 1 hour at 8 pm on the 29th March 2008.

You can make a difference.

For more information please visit the WWF Earth Hour homepage. Oh and don't forget to calculate your carbon footprint. I produce 9.94 tons of CO2/year!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wise words

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind dont matter and those who matter dont mind"

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Are you a GOOD person?

Try the ultimate test here

No I am not a good person. Not in the eyes of God, not by His standards. Time to self-reflect.

I find comfort in You.

"God will let you laugh again. You'll raise the roof with shouts of joy"
- Job 8:21.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not to thine own under standing. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
- Proverbs 3:5-6

"Come to me all you who are burdened and I will give you rest"
- Matt 11:28

If God is for me, who can be against me?

Footprints in the sand....

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,that if I followed you, you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”
- Mary Stevenson, 1936

I can't remember the last time I did one of these....

Your Aura is Blue

Spiritual and calm, you tend to live a quiet but enriching life.

You are very giving of yourself. And it's hard for you to let go of relationships.

The purpose of your life: showing love to other people

Famous blues include: Angelina Jolie, the Dalai Lama, Oprah

Careers for you to try: Psychic, Peace Corps Volunteer, Counselor

How much sleep does your child need?

I got this from Baby Center weekly updates, Your Baby This Week.

....Age......... Nighttime Sleep....... Daytime Sleep...... * Total Sleep
1 month............. 8 1/2........................ 7 (3)...................... 15 1/2
3 months............. 10........................... 5 (3)......................... 15
6 months............. 11......................... 3 1/4 (2)................. 14 1/4
9 months............. 11........................... 3 (2)......................... 14
12 months........... 11 1/4.................. 2 1/2 (2)................ 13 3/4
18 months.......... 11 1/4................... 2 1/4 (1)................ 13 1/2
2 years................. 11.......................... 2 (1)......................... 13
3 years............... 10 1/2 ..................1 1/2 (1).................... 12
* number of naps in parentheses

On average, Elil gets about 10-11 hours of sleep at night. And around 2-3 hours during the day. So this adds up to 12-14 hours. I think she should be getting more sleep. Her afternoon naps vary from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours. I think we need to get her more tired and sleepy before attempting to put her to bed. Then she will have longer and deeper naps. Poor thing, she has the biggest baby eye bags under her eyes. But I doubt this is due to lack of sleep because they are apparent even when she's had enough snooze time. It may be genetic. Daddy and Grandma both have sunken eye bags. Haha.

Family Ties

I read this very interesting article today in The Sun. I think its great advice and a lesson for all parents or parents-to-be out there.

Over-parenting is a CURSE

Middle class baby boomer parents are strangling their children with their apron-strings. The all controlling parents, pushy or uber-parents today have had a starring role in a number of news stories recently.

Huddersfield University in Britain has even had to set up a "family liason officer" to save the Goldman Sachs stall from a horde of angry middle-class mothers and feed information to parents round-the-clock about their kids' progress.

This smother-love is spreading so fast that it is causing a slew of social problems. Some are obvious: a major contributor to the rise in child obesity in the refusal of parents to let their kids outside - even though they are statistically no more likely to be kidnapped by a paedophile today than in 1958 and 1908.

So many people especially the rich, had parents who were still managing their lives into their 20s. University was once the breaking-point when even the most coddled kids could flee. Now mobile phones have become the longest umbilical cord in history.

The Californian child psychologist Dr. Madeline Levine has produced the most detailed studies of the consequences after she stumbled across something that seemed paradoxial in their treatment of teenagers.

"I found that kids from the wealthiest families had the highest rates of anxiety and depression and substance abuse, more than poor children", she says. "It just didn't make sense at first blush". Why would privileged kids be more miserable than poor kids?

She found that instead of being listened to and allowed to develop naturally, the wealthiest children were allowed no space to develop, except as carbuncles on the side of their parents' swollen egos. They were constantly driven from one 'Enriching Activity' to another, micromanaged by manager-parents.

Levine explains, "Paradoxically, the more [the parents] pour in, the less full many of my patients seem to be. Indulged, coddled, pressured and micromanaged from the outside, my young patients appeared to be inadvertently deprived of an opportunity to develop on the inside".

It's an essential part of growing up to learn to take risks, get in trouble and sort it out on your own. But pushy parents are determined to strip any risk from their child's life. In the end, it produces 2 kinds of children: the puffed-up and the paranoid.

The latter is the more worrying. These children have been raised behiind closed doors and taught to see the outside world as unseen menace. The London-based clinical psychologist Dr. Cecilia D'Felice explains," I see young people in my consulting room all the time now who are incredibly anxious about life. It's learning behaviour. They have been fussed over all their lives and they've internalised that parental anxiety. If you try to have a germ-free environment your child will actually get sick because she wont develop any resistance to germs. If you try to havea risk-free environment your child will become psychologically sick

The rise in bulimia, aneroxia and self-harm among teenagers is partly a product of all this over-parenting. As Levine says of a typical teenage sel-harmer she treated, a 15 year-old girl who carved the word "empty" on her arm with an old razor: "She felt little control over what happend to her. Cutting was one of the few things over which she did feel control".

Why is this happening? Why have so many of the baby-boomers turned out to be baby-Fuhrers, strangling their kids with their apron-strings? Their children are the safest who have ever lived. They are more likely to die in their beds of old age than any generation in history, yet their parents fear, constantly. There is no detailed research explaining their paranoia but there are some prosaic explanations.

Parents are having fewer children, later in life, often after gruelling fertility treatments. We live in a paranoid culture where every negligible risk is blown-up by a 24/7 media into a drum-beat of doom. We live in a hyper consumerist culture where we define ourselves by what we own.

Children are inevitably drawn into this vortex, as another glittering status symbol. 'Have you seen my handbag? Have you seen my child?'

Most parents crash-land into their childrens' lives for another burst of command-and-control, it's clear this is not about their child's needs but their own. They need their children to be dependent on them (and Successful with a capital-S) because they see their kids as extensions of their own ego, not as separate individuals with their own lives to live.

This isn't love. It is narcissism. It's time we told these middle-class Boomer parents: you need to grow up or your children never will.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Elil had her first real case of a fever over a week ago and it got me thinking. My first instinct was to bring her to the doctor even though I read that a fever below 39 degree C was not considered high (38-39 degree C is considered a low grade fever). I took her temperature and it was 38.5 degree C. So I did what most doctors would advise mummys of fevered babies to do. I gave Elil baby paracetemol, tried giving her more liquids to keep her hydrated and dabbed her forehead with a cold compress. A fever is our body's way of fighting off an infection and I read that we should allow it to take its course. Most fevers go down within a day or two. In the end, I did not bring Elil immediately to the doctor because nearly all doctor's would prescribe antibiotics which is one thing I am trying my best to avoid giving my infant. Instead, I waited and prayed and hoped the fever would go down. I was advised by an experienced nurse to change pediatrician if my current one prescribes antibiotics for a low grade fever. Antibiotics should be avoided whenever possible. They are used to cure only bacterial infections only. Antibiotics do not cure or help viral infections. Giving an infant antibiotics at an early age just increases a bacterias resistance to the medication.

Elil's fever went up and down for 2.5 days. By the third day her fever was at its highest. I couldn't take it anymore and brought her to the nearest pediatrician. Her temperature was 39 degree C and the doctor prescribed antibiotics. I brought Elil home and gave it to her and finished the course as instructed. I think about it today and I wonder if I made the right choice.

Some interesting comments from other concerned mothers here. To learn more about fever in children, visit this informative site.

Testimony #2: He spoke to me again

It's been dragging for months now. I can't seem to pull myself out of this rut that I am in. And where were You all this time? I felt as if You had abandoned me. I knew it in my heart that all I had to do was SURRENDER to You and You would lift me up. But I couldn't. Wouldn't. I was stubborn. I didn't know why.

I am at one of my lowest points as I drive back from work on Monday. I cannot take it anymore. I scream to You. On the top of my lungs. I beg You to help me. I cry and cry until I shake. And I have all my hope in You. What happens next just about kills my spirit. I miss my exit and find myself in the wrong direction. I find myself on the way to Sungai Buloh. Calm down I tell myself. Otta's phone is unreachable. My instinct is to call my mother, she always finds a way to make me feel better. First things first, get off the road. Thank God for the Sungai Buloh reststop. I wait there and wail. My mother is on the line listening to her beloved daughter go hysterical. I can tell she desperately wants to help me but can only do so much. She is on the verge of tears but holds back for my sake. It kills me to put her through the pain of hurting for me. But that's what mother's are for. Strong. They take away as much pain of ours as they can and make it their own. Selfless. She then passes the phone to my father as she tries to get through to Otta. I am in no condition to drive back on my own she tells me. My father's words are logical and calm and I start to think straight. I tell myself I need to be strong. A mother needs to be strong and dependable.

No need to pick me up I tell Otta through my mother. I can find my way back. After pulling myself together and wiping my eyes dry, I head in the direction of Sungai Buloh. So misleading our Malaysian signboards for they told me I would be able to make a u-turn to KL about 1 km down. But several km's later, still no u-turn. Next signboard reads Rawang. I get a call from Allen who tells me I'm on the Guthrie Highway and that I need not worry because it isn't a long highway (like the KL-JB highway). Ok great. All I can do is go on and on until I see some sort of sign. Finally, I see Klang/Shah Alam exit. Relief sets in. I play my Praise & Worship in my phone. As I drive along this country highway (seriously), You talk to me. You tell me that You have not abandoned me but that You have yet to SAVE me. And it all made sense to me. Everything fell into place. I realized that this suffering is a NECESSARY part of Your plan for me. Also that You have more suffering in store for me before You decide to pick me up in Your glory. I am in fear of what is to come but things are clearer to me now and I find myself more dependent on You. I do not know Your plan and I do not understand Your ways. But I put my trust in You. I must take my cross. As I think of my cross, I hear these words from my phone...."Mighty is the power of the cross...."

As expected, things have taken a turn for the worse, but by Your grace I am calm. By Your grace I am grateful. Thank you. Thank you for the cross. Mighty is the power of the cross.

What can take a dying man and raise him up to life again?
What can heal a wounded soul?
What can make us white as snow?
What can fill the emptiness?
What can mend our brokenness?

Mighty, awesome, wonderful
Is the holy cross
Where the Lamb laid down His life
To lift us from the fall
Mighty is the power of the cross

What restores our faith in God?
What reveals the Father's love?
What can lead the wayward home?
What can melt a heart of stone?
What can free the guilty ones
What can save and overcome?

It's a miracle to me
It's a miracle to me
And It's still a mystery
It's still a mystery
It's a miracle to me
The power of God
For those who believe

Mighty, awesome, wonderful
Is the holy cross
Where the Lamb laid down His life
To lift us from the fall
Mighty is...Mighty is...Mighty is the power of the cross
Thank You for the cross
Love the cross
So Powerful...ohhhhh yeahhh

What can take a dying man?
And raise him up to life again?
Worship You Jesus
By your wounds we are healed
By your wounds we are saved
Mighty is the power of the cross
Thank You Jesus for the Holy cross

Monday, March 03, 2008

I am not me

I am not the same person I used to be.

I was generally a happy person. But now I am generally sad.

I was an animated person who was once described in one word as talkative. I avoid lenghty conversations now.

I used to be a good listener. Now I can't wait for the other person to shut-up.

I was passionate. But now couldn't care less.

I was the pig of the bunch. Now I eat to live.

I once enjoyed coming to work. I hate it now. I dread it.

I used to have things to look forward to. Maybe they're still there but I've lost interest.

Watching TV or a movie used to be fun. I'm looking at the screen now but my mind is lost.

I used to care somewhat about what I look like when I go out the door. This morning I left the house without a glimpse in the mirror. I don't believe I combed my hair.

Rolling over with laughter until either my tummy hurt or I tear. Boy is that a thing of the past. No more hearty laughs.

It's kind of sad. I'm at the prime of my life, I should have so much to look forward to, new family, bright future but I have never been more miserable. Go figure.

However, I should remind myself, "This too shall pass...."