Wednesday, April 30, 2008

One With Mummy

A most recent shot of mummy and baby. Taken yesterday at Concorde Hotel.

Hubby's colleague, Thomas and family (wife, Fariel + 3 year old son, Jordan) from Dubai was in town. We had fantastic tapas at a La Bodega in Bangsar. It was a pretty good time. Husband (German) and wife (South African) were a friendly and fun couple. They make an interesting mix I must say - their son is a looker. When we got to the resto we planned on having some wine with our tapas. But inside I knew I had to have my beer. And so when Thomas (being the typical German) ordered some beer, I was like, "Yea, one for me too". So we had a round of beer. Somehow I instantly connect with fellow beer lovers. Heh.

If your'e wondering why I look like a waitress, I was there straight from work. Darn it! I look like a waitress! Elil as usual is lookin' as sweet as ever in her floral print dress. Masih juling oh si kawan. Thank goodness its on and off and only when she's focused on something.


Look at my nephew. Here he is at 4.5 months. I call him Mr. Chubby for obvious reasons. He's this little ball of flesh and he's such a boy. Even his cries sound boyish. I just wanna pinch and squeeze him every time I see him. His big sister, Shannon loves him to bits. She's not 4 yet so she doesn't realize her kisses and hugs can sometimes be torturous for her lil' bro. So everytime Shannon comes near, Ronan does this eye batting thing in preparation for the terror ahead. It's so cute. My Elil has the same effect on Ronan too. She loves kissing him over and over again. Her idea of a kiss is actually a bite. Not a hard bite but more of an open mouth bite/lick.

Meet Shannon Lissa. This lil' lady is pretty advanced for a 3.5 year old. She's been talking since she was 1. She tells her self-made jokes better than most adults and alters lyrics to popular nursery rhymes. The woman is talented. She knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. She's an adorable handful. Plays peekaboo and 'chasing' with Elil. Such a good time they have together.

Last but not least, Baby Boo Boo. This little angel truly enjoys the company and friendship of her favorite cuzzins. Time with Shannon and Ronan is fun fun fun. Cartoon watching with the gang is always more interesting on Aunty Otta's bean bag. Always ready to channel surf with the remote in hand. Elil is in her Just Ducky OS. I love how the soaker is on top of the diaper and not underneath. This way I get to change the soaker when its full without having to change the diaper.

20 April 2008: HPC Event

The nervous husband and proud wife

Two Sunday's ago I was at a HPC (High Performance Challenge) event at Sepang International Circuit. I was there to support my husband who was a participant. The event (held every quarter if I am not mistaken) is open to the public for a fee of RM200 on half the track. Those interested get a chance to really feel what its like to drive in an F1 circuit or race without fear of being caught by the cops for illegal racing or just show-off/brush-up their driving talents. I hear the price goes up every year and somehow the open track gets smaller. Apparently the prices started at RM80 per entry on the full track. This event isn't a competition although there is always a little rivalry among the drivers. The event was divided into two sessions, a morning and an afternoon. We took part in the morning session. My husband's initial plan was to take part in the afternoon session which was specifically for the classic as well as the new Mini's. He owns a 1978 Mini Clubman. Unfortunately, his speed demon was not in the right condition to be spinning its wheels on the track at the time. So instead he took part in the morning session with his SP. Both driver and car proved their talents and speed worthiness. They managed to keep up with and sometimes downright beat more canggih-ly modified cars. I won't get all technical here. As if i could. Kudos to my babe and his SP. One cool thing about this event is that each driver gets to bring one person along for the ride. Only rule is, anyone in the car must wear a helmet. I refused to tag along purely out of fear. But next time round, I will pick my courage off the floor and brave the speed.

The oh-so-important briefing

Some last minute engine checks. All in order.

Gentlemen, start your engines.

My hubby in action. Trailing a friend in the Satria.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I was at a training from the 22 - 24 April. Leadership Academy 1 at Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel. This training is targeted at low to medium level managers. It was organized and partially conducted by our Corporate HR. The other part was conducted by an external trainer, SMG Training Systems (S) Pte Ltd. I went in with dread. I was not ready mentally or emotionally to participate or learn anything for that matter. However, I was greatly suprised at how engaging I ended up being. Maybe it was the trainers, maybe the participants/teams and the environment. Maybe it was the scrumptious lunch buffets or the frequent tea times. Or the effects of coffee overdose. I don't know what it was but I truly enjoyed myself and was actually sad when the whole thing ended. And found myself wanting more. I left LA1 a more confident and self-assured person and I'm not sure how this happend. I'm not sure during which stage this transformation occured.

Unsurprisingly, I was teamed up with the quiet, less lively people of the group. Which was fine in the end I guess. They contributed when necessary and supported each other. It was all good in the end. Although there was one particular incident that truly upset me. It happend during a conversation with one of my teammates. It went something like this....

Trailing off from a different conversation:

Offender:, are the Managers (referring to GWS [Global Workplace Solutions] Managers in our company in general and not only participants of the training) qualified? I mean qualified technically.

Me: Yea, I'm sure they're qualified.

Offender: Because I saw the list and they are all ladies. I wonder if they are qualified.

Me: (Totally offended but quiet due to shock/disbelief but smiling still). Hmmm....

Offender: (Repeats the offence) I saw the list and they are all ladies. Are they qualified technically. Makes you wonder....

Me: Well, I am qualified. I have a degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering. So I'm sure they have the right qualifications to do the job. (I eventually walk away too pissed off to look at his face any longer)

Things to Note:

1. There were 20 participants, 2 who were women (myself and a HR manager).

2. Offender's English was actually really crap. I polished it quite a bit for him. Eventhough he doesn't deserve it.

3. He is this small Malaysian guy who looks like he can't even hurt a fly. He manages a team of 4-6 direct reports in Vietnam. (I hope none of them are women).

And then.... he goes on to prove that he is not only a sexist but a racist as well....

In another conversation ( I can't avoid him entirely because he is in my team and there are a lot of team activities) about Sabah and when he was there donkey years ago:

Offender: ...ya, there are so many of them on the streets. They were everywhere, begging. (He does the begging hand gestures). Squatting on the streets.

Me: Oh really. There aren't more beggars in KK than there are in KL. (I actually kept quiet and didn't say this. I wish I did though. Shocked into silence).

Offender: They were everywhere begging. And they were so black. So black.

Me: (Stunned and wanting to punch him on the face)

Offender: They were sooo black.

Me: (I walk off too shocked to say anything)

At first I just needed to vent. And then I stopped myself from bitching to the next person I see. I think about it and end up feeling sorry for the guy. He didn't even realize that he had offended me (and the rest of the female and dark-skinned population). He wasn't born a racist or sexist. He was raised in an environment that made him think this way. So I could have helped him realize this but I didn't. Instead I kept quiet.

During one of the training sessions on company values, one participant shared a personal experience on racism. In his previous company, there was a talented manager who was short tempered. He was in a department discussion and a new talented dark-skinned employee of African American decent (me trying to be politically correct here) contributed with a suggestion. And this manager fired back saying, "Oh keep quiet! What do you black people know?" in front of the whole department. The HR director who was present immediately reprimanded this manager. He told him that his behaviour is unacceptable and goes against all company values. He demanded the manager apologize to the new employee. Which he did do finally but ended up leaving the company not long after.

After listening to this story, I was reminded of the incident that happend earlier. I was tempted to share my experience as well but was unsure whether it was the right thing to do as the offender was a participant. So I kept quiet. Darn, it would have been a great story. And maybe Mr. Offender would have learned something.

Later in the day I spoke to some HR representatives that were present and they told me that I should have rought it up during the discussion. It would have been the right thing to do. Oh menyesal.... Then they advised me to talk to the man and tell him how what he said offended me and that it was inappropriate. I was determined to talk to the little man. But delayed the confrontation until it was too late. Argh. Can you say bo-do?

Monday, April 21, 2008

I could so see myself behind the wheel of this monster!

Toyota Land Cruiser aka The Ninja. I have loved this 4x4 for the longest time now. It's proven its timelessness all this while. I'm pretty sure this is my dream machine. A not impossible dream la. A shiny black one with totally black tint, huge ass rims. Mean machine! With a bad-ass mama behind the wheel! This one is the 8th generation Land Cruiser 100 Series also known as a Lexus LX. It is the 2007 model. There is the 2008 model which is the 200 series but its kind of lost the traditional Ninja look and appeal. So, nah! If I could have mine custom - I would love a white leather interior. Even better if the Penang plate, PUE were out then I'd have PUE 1. *Sigh*

I think its safe to say...


Many thanks to Farrah who first introduced me to CD's through her blog and MiaBambina the online CD store where I purchased my first CD. And not forgetting many thanks to Joyce who shows when it comes to CD, there is no limit to the addiction. Hahaha.

My collection thus far is small. Baby boo boo has 7 cloth diapers now and another 4 more in the mail. I have stuck to one size pockets for now. Just because there is no need to upsize and no worry about leaks and the additional diaper covers. However, the tempation to purchase a few fitteds and those oh-so-cute print covers is getting stronger as I go on a-clicking. My first CD purchase was the Drybees AIO which is real practical and trim but not my favorite solely because they take a longer time to dry. My collection is increasing slowly but surely. Current personal favorites are WAHMIES and BUM GENIUS 3.0. They are trim and easier to put on. Personally I prefer the Hook & Loop to the Snap closure. You get a much better fit. My next purchase will most probably be a BLUEBERRY MINKY. They are so plush and the sapphire/ruby ones are so rich. I got a JUST DUCKY OS for my nephew Ronan. His mummy seems to like it. Let's see if we can get her addicted too...And the addiction continues....

I love CD's simply because they are super adorable. And on lil' boo boo's tush, even cuter! *mummy beaming with pride* They do seem to cost an arm and a leg initially but I look at the mountain of disposables I currently have and it's just one less continous purchase I have to worry about. In the long run, I'm saving some $$ which becomes bigger savings as my family grows. This is a great way to get hubby off my back when he sees more 'pillows' in the mail. It always looks like were getting pillows mailed to us when the CD packages arrive.

As wonderful as CD's are they do have a downside. For me, they're bulkier than the disposables. Which is fine with me for the most part, as one CD online store mentions, "more padding for baby's bottom". However, I feel the disadvantage when I am out with baby. We now need a BIGGER diaper bag for clean diaper changes and to store soiled ones. Our current one is big as it is! Other than that, it does come with a little more effort on our part - the cleaning, washing and drying. Which when you think of it, isn't too bad. Think of CD's as normal laundry and imagine how much you would be contributing to saving the environment! With that being said, the plus's of CDing far outweigh the minus's. Boo boo is on the way to becoming a fully CD baby.

So, you can't have the CD without the accessories, right? Right! CD crazy mama is now looking for a wetbag online. Wahmies seems the most popular and they have some pretty funky designs. But we need to look around just a bit more. Oh so excite.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

You don't really know love until....

You don't really know love until you have a child. You think you know what true love is. And then you have a baby. You watch her grow. Develop a personality. Show signs of attachment and dependency. You love her today and more tomorrow. You find there is nothing, absolutely nothing to not love. You want to share every waking, sleeping, pooping, drinking, eating, learning, growing moment with her. You want to be the one to wash her clothes, clean her diapers, prepare her food, fold those tiny rompers, rub the yu yee oil when she has colic, comb her hair (provided she has hair, ahem), clip her finger and toe nails, watch her sleep, be there when she wakes, tuck her in bed, bathe her. You want to be the one she depends on, the one she runs to for comfort. And when you are away from her, you think of all these things that you are missing. All the moments when it isn't your arms she runs to to kiss her bumped head. When it isn't you feeding her a snack. Not you playing peekaboo with her. Not you she stares at as she blinks hers eyes and falls asleep in the afternoon. And it kills you inside. You resent your 'replacement'. And this is when you realize, THIS is what love is! This is how it feels to love TRULY and UNCONDITIONALLY.

I look at my child - her tiny but 'tagap' body, the light strands of hair, tiny hands and feet, the little angel face, chubby bum, eyes that with one look can melt your heart and a smile full of sunshine and I am overwhelmed. The power of this amazing love and pure admiration washes over me, through me. I cannot explain it. And staring at her, it's like this miracle happening before me over and over again. And I feel it in my soul, through my spirit. Maybe not all of it. But I feel our Father in heavens' love for us. We are His children. Just like how my baby is mine. And I understand somewhat His love for us. His great hurt for us when we are sad or wounded or broken and burdened. His willingness to forgive over and over again no matter what the deed. The great pain when we are away from Him, when we are not in His bosom. This realization, revelation to me has opened me up to a deeper relationship with Him and I will forever praise and thank Him for this opportunity. The opportunity to love as He loves (somewhat).

You know how some people know from a very early age what their purpose in life is. The people who have had life long interests and passions that eventually become their career. Those lucky people who never had a second thought or never had to 'waste' time trying to figure things out. Well, I'm not one of them. I've always known one thing though, I have never been a career woman. I have never seen myself climbing the corporate ladder. However, when the opportunity came along for me to build my career, I took it nervously but happily. I could see myself doing well too. But as fate would have it, this was not to be my path. Suddenly, emotions and priorities and a lot of hormones changed. I had this little mircale growing inside me and demanding such attention from me. And then she became my career, my path. Because of this constant and intense feeling of wanting and needing to love, nurture, protect and raise my child, I now know my purpose and path in life. I need, no I want to be a mother.A mother who is there. More than anything. It makes no sense to me spending 11 out of 24 hours in a day away from MY child. This leaves me with 13 hours where 10 of these hours she spends sleeping. Wow a whole 3 hours a day with my baby! 15 hours a week! Woohoo! Oh but don't forget the weekends. Ok, Saturday's are spent with relatives who also need their special time with my angel and Sunday's go by too quickly. There always seems to be something or another going on. I live this and it hurts me. The person who's purpose in life is to nurture, protect and raise. I long and pray for the day I can live out my purpose. In faith it will be soon.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What Every Baby Needs To Thrive

If you love your child, please read on. This is very valuable and easy to follow advise from Baby Center:

1. Show your love

Children need love. Your emotional caring and support give your child a secure base from which to explore the world. This isn't just touchy-feely advice. Hard scientific evidence shows that love, attention, and affection in the first years of life have a direct and measurable impact on a child's physical, mental, and emotional growth. Love and touch actually cause your child's brain to grow, according to Marian Diamond, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Magic Trees of the Mind: How to Nurture Your Child's Intelligence, Creativity, and Healthy Emotions From Birth Through Adolescence.

How do you show your love? Hug, touch, smile, encourage, listen to, and play with your little one whenever you can. It's also important to answer his cries immediately, especially in the first six months or so, when experts say it's impossible to spoil a child. In fact, responding to your baby when he's upset (as well as when he's happy) helps you build trust and a strong emotional bond, according to Zero to Three, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of infants, toddlers, and families.

2. Care for your child's basic needs

Your baby needs all the good health and energy he can muster for learning and growing, and you can help by covering his basic needs. Take him for regular well-baby checkups and keep his immunizations up to date.

Sleep is anything but wasted time for your baby, so help him get plenty of shut-eye. During REM (rapid eye movement) sleep your baby's brain cells are making important connections. These synapses, as they're called, are the pathways that enable all learning, movement, and thought. They're the keys to your baby's understanding of everything he sees, hears, tastes, touches, and smells as he explores the world.

Breast milk or formula will provide all the nutrients your baby needs for the first six months, and will be an important part of his diet until his first birthday. Breastfeeding is best for your baby — among other benefits, studies show that breastfed babies have lower rates of allergies, diarrhea, respiratory problems, and ear infections. Breast milk may also give your baby's IQ a boost. Although formula can't replicate all of the unique properties of breast milk, formula-fed babies can thrive, too, so don't beat yourself up if you're unable to breastfeed.

(If you're worried about your baby's sleeping or eating patterns, talk to your doctor.)

3. Tend to your baby's physical comfort promptly.

Be sensitive to the fact that he's too warm or that his diaper is wet. You and your baby are a team, and one of your jobs is to take care of the basics so he can get on with his challenging tasks!

4. Talk to your child

Research shows that children whose parents spoke to them extensively as babies have significantly higher IQs and richer vocabularies than kids who didn't receive much verbal stimulation. You can even begin during your pregnancy — it's a great way to start the bonding process.

Once your child is born, talk to him as you diaper, feed, and bathe him. He'll respond better if he knows the words are directed at him, so try to look at him while you're speaking. Don't worry about words of wisdom. Just describe what you're doing: "Mommy is putting warm water in the tub so she can clean you up." Try to avoid baby talk, though. Once in a while it's okay, but your baby can develop good language skills only if you speak to him correctly.

5. Read to your child

Reading out loud is one of the most important things you can do to help build your child's vocabulary, stimulate his imagination, and improve his language skills. It also gives you an opportunity to cuddle and socialize.

Jim Trelease, a reading expert and author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, says even newborns enjoy listening to a story. Make a point of reading to your child from day one.

6. Stimulate all his senses

For your child to learn about people, places, and things, he needs to be exposed to them. Every new interaction gives him information about the world and his place in it. Studies show that children who grow up in an enriched environment — where they are presented with new experiences that engage their senses — have larger, more active brains than those who grow up without adequate sensory stimulation.

Of course, children can become overstimulated; you don't want to bombard your child 24 hours a day or try to engage all his senses at once. When he's interested in playing, though, provide a variety of toys and other objects. Choose things with different shapes, textures, colors, sounds, and weights. Learn about the effect of music on your child's development at different ages, and sing the lyrics to your favorite lullabies. Play interactive games such as peekaboo and patty-cake, go on walks and shopping trips together, and let your baby meet new people. Even the simplest daily activities will stimulate your baby's brain development.

It's also important to give your child room to roam. To develop strong muscles, good balance, and coordination, he needs plenty of space to crawl, cruise, and eventually walk. He'll also benefit from safe spaces where he can explore his surroundings without hearing "No" or "Don't touch." The easiest way to do this is to childproof your home (or at least the common areas). Keep dangerous objects out of your baby's reach and safe ones accessible. For instance, in the kitchen, put childproof locks on all the cabinets except one. Fill that with plastic bowls, measuring cups, wooden spoons, and pots and pans that your baby can play with safely.

7. Encourage new challenges

It's important not to frustrate your child with toys and activities that are way beyond his abilities, but a little struggling goes a long way toward self-improvement. When an activity doesn't come easily to your baby, he has to figure out a new way to accomplish the task. That type of problem-solving is the stuff better brains are made of. If he's attempting to open a box, for example, resist the urge to help him. Let him try first. If he continues to struggle, show him how it's done, but then give him back a closed box so he can try again on his own.

8. Take care of yourself

Parents who are depressed or upset are often unable to respond swiftly and sensitively to their child's needs. One study, published in the journal Child Development and Psychopathology, found that children whose mothers were chronically and clinically depressed had abnormal patterns of brain activity, suggesting that the children also suffered from depression. Seek advice about coping with postpartum depression, and talk with your caregiver any time you think you may be struggling with depression.

If you're feeling drained, find ways to divide the household and parenting responsibilities with your partner. If you're a single parent, surround yourself with people who can offer you help and support. And don't forget to treat yourself to some time alone once in a while. Being a parent — especially an involved and active one — is tiring, and you need time to re-energize.

9. Find good childcare

If you work and aren't able to care for your baby during the day (or need a babysitter regularly), a quality childcare provider is essential to your baby's healthy development. You'll want to find someone who can do all the things mentioned above when you're not around. Whether your childcare provider is a nanny, a relative, or a daycare worker, she should be experienced, caring, and reputable, with a genuine love for children and the energy to help your baby thrive.