Sunday, July 26, 2009

My bed is crowded

It's 6:50 am and I've been up since 5:30 a.m. after giving Ryan his milk. My wife in US for her business meeting for a week now. She is currently on her way back, expected to reached Tokyo by 3 pm Malaysian time. We have successfully for many months now `kick' Ryan out from our master bed. He has also `graduated' from his playpen cum baby cot to his own super single mattress on the floor for one month. Our plans are to slowly get him accustomed to his mattress and then proceed to further `kick' him out from our room to his own room.

However, he has been sleeping on the master bed with me for the past one week since my wife left for US. I had to put him on the bed with me as he was ill with a fever, the day my wife left. I literally had no sleep for the first three nights, checking his fever every hour, feeding him his milk and his medicine. The poor guy's nose is so blocked that he has difficulties sleeping soundly.

Having a king size, one baby does not take up that much space. Unfortunately, when it starts to rain with thunder and lightning, my `daughter' Zoewe, the toy poodle would also insist that she too has to share the bed. She is absolutely terrified of thunder and lightning and will always without fail look for us to `protect' her when there is a thunderstorm. Needless to say, that is probably the only time that she will lay perfectly still by our side without moving a muscle.

Well, it is raining now with a few flashes of lightning and thunder. And guess what, Zoewe is also now on the bed, tucked neatly and comfortably (for her of course) just next to my pillow while Ryan is doing his `helicopter' stun . I have resorted to occupy just a small space, almost falling off bed, trying to balance my laptop on a pillow and trying very hard not to kick either one of them.

I am not complaining. Looking at the two of them, I can not help but to count my blessings, having a complete and happy family. But blessings or no blessings, Ryan will be out of the room in a couple of weeks and Zoewe, back to her own bed on the floor once the thunderstorm ceases. I need my bed back and I could do with some sleep.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Feng Shui anyone??

Although we are not staunch believers in Feng shui, but we do not discount the fact that certain feng shui recommendation of furniture arrangement are good basic sound advice for comfort and provide a better ambiance or serenity at home. So, when a feng shui master recently came to our home and pointed out that it would be advisable to rearrange the living room furniture to further enhance our wealth and health, we went ahead.

Honestly, it was quite fun too because it gave us a chance to re look into our furniture arrangement that we have not changed since we moved in 2 years ago. Our main door (which was originally by the side) was `moved' to the center of our home when we renovated our house, with the believe that a centralised main door would welcome good `chi' (health and wealth). A little step was created between the porch level and the living room area to `elevate' the living room and hence the home. However, in moving the main entrance to the center of the house, we have aligned the main gate, main door right through the kitchen which was the back of the house. (What to do? Small house!). So, something has to be put up at the hallway to block the `alignment'.

So, instead of spending thousands of our hard earned money in building a cabinet, we rearranged our L-shape sofa and reposition our wall cabinet. To get some height for the cabinet, we went to SSF during the weekend to get a plant arrangement to be placed on top of the cabinet. The plant also added some additional colour to our overall arrangement.

So, did it bring us additional wealth and health? I think it's a little too early to tell. But, we like the recent arrangement better, felt more privacy and comfort with the repositioning of our L-shape sofa and definitely a breath of freshness to the overall home. Wait till we are bored and then we will bring in another feng shui master for another reason to redecorate! Or until we struck lottery and move to a much larger bungalow!! HAHAHA!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Our `Eldest Daughter's Birthday!'

Yupe. We seemed to be celebrating lots of birthdays lately. This round was for our `eldest daughter' in the house, our maid. She has been with us for slightly over a year now, and we have come to refer to her as our `eldest daughter'. While news of maid abuse and rights seemed to dominate the local headlines recently, we are only too glad that we are lucky enough to have minimal problems with her so far.

She has her limitations but then who doesn't. While we continue to remind her of our expectations of her performance (we made it a point to lay down our expectations and work schedule the moment she arrived), we are also constantly reminding ourselves that she is also taking care of Ryan now. With Ryan being quite a handful, we have also lowered our expectations on her towards her house chores (although we didn't specifically told her that). The biggest relief is that she has demonstrated time and again her affection towards Ryan and Ryan fondness of her as well. However, we are quick to ensure that we do not allow her to replace our love and our position as parents to him.

She was quite surprised when we took out the birthday cake and told her to change so that she could take some pictures. She loves having her pictures taken and sent home. We also make it a point to allow her to call home to speak to her family and daughters, so that they too could wish her happy birthday.

At the end of it all, I can see that she was happy and grateful. To us, we are only happy that she is happy and hoping that she will continue to treat our family as hers as well while she is here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Zoewe's 2nd Birthday!

Zoewe finally turned 2. It was as if we only brought her home yesterday while she was just 3 months old. How time flies. I can still remember clearly how little she was and how active she was, jumping all over the house, not forgetting peeing and pooing all over the house ....sigh. It was initially a nightmare trying to house train her. And the Sunday mornings that we have to take her for her puppy obedience training classes and the stress I had to go through to ensure that she listen and obey me with simple instructions to pass the final test. (Incidentally, if she fails, it is not her fault but the owner who have not done enough!! stress!)

I can still remember seeing her in her cage at a pet shop and how cute she was. I actually called my wife who was then in Hong Kong and lied to her that I actually place RM500 deposit for a puppy! (Just to get a kick out of it. haha). She was shocked and repeatedly questioned me whether am I sure of the responsibilities that come with it. When my wife finally came home, I took her to have a look at Zoewe at the pet shop and we told ourselves to have a cooling period and will proceed to get her if she is still there one month later. One month later, when we went back to the pet shop, there she was. Much larger now but ever so cute. She kept on `hard selling' herself that my wife could not but to agree to `adopt' her (with the condition that she will only play with her, while I would have to shoulder all other responsibilities...that's what husband is for...sigh)

I can still remembered how she jumped over the bean bag on the 3rd day at home, knocked her head and went into fits. I thought I have lost her there and then. Thank God, she was fine after a check with the vet.

And then, a month after she came home, we found out that Ryan was on his way. We were struggling to decide whether we should keep her or give her away (with mounting pressures from friends and families that baby and dog does not mix well). But by that time, Zoewe is more than just a pet. She is family. We could not just give her up and decided to ensure that she gets the equal amount of love and attention that we would give to Ryan.

Since her arrival, she has brought nothing but sheer joy and adventure into our lives. She is without temper, without mood swings, ever so ready to give, ever so ready to share her bubbly cheerfulness, ever so ready to love.

Happy Birthday Zoewe.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

`Chef at Home' Sunday

We decided to turn last Sunday into a `Kitchen day'. Instead of `lepaking' (loitering) around shopping malls, we thought it would be good idea to whip up some new appetizer's and deserts recipe. So off we went to Subang Carrefour early in the morning to do our marketing for the necessary ingredients. By the time we finished and had our very late breakfast, we were ready to start at 1p.m.

For this session, I have two lovely assistants, namely, my wife and my younger sister. They were fooling around with the food and were pretty demanding as assistants. They must have music before they could cook and were only selecting in the tasks they like to do...aiyoh!

Anyway, by 4p.m. we have finally managed to present the dishes below. Rather successful I would said (with a few minor fine tuning if we were to cook them again in the future).

This is a modified recipe from Jamie Oliver. Proved to be an excellent hit recently when we served this during Ryan's birthday.

I had to soak the glutinous rice the night before for this recipe. Best to serve while still hot and while the spring roll is still crunchy. It's more of a sweet desert than a appetizers.

This is one of the easiest appertizers to make. Simply stuff a mixture of minced shrimp, onion and mint leaves, olive oil and lemon juice into cherry tomatoes. Best when served chilled. The only thing is that sizable cherry tomatoes can be pricey.

This fish cutlet recipe is a mixture of minced fish, onions, chili, mint and mash potatoes coated with bread crumbs and fried. The mint and coriander dip is an excellent compliment. Again, ideal to serve while still hot.

This is again another simple appetizer to prepare. Shrimp coated with coconut shreds served with mayonnaise, sprinkled with lemon zest. Yummy.

By the time, we finished sampling all the above, we were already full and hence skipped dinner, which we originally intended to have angel hair cooked aglio oglio style with shrimps and mussels. That, we will do for our Tuesday's night dinner, where we still have our Watermelon Granita prepared on Sunday. Food! Food! Glorious Food!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

His Presents!

Children nowadays are so fortunate! I don't quite remember the birthdays that my parent celebrated for me. The only one that I remembered well and with pictures taken was my 21st! But here we have Ryan celebrating his 1st birthday 3 times! And the amount of presents that he received from our friends and relatives were more than what I got in 3 years!

Of all the presents, I must said, I love the remote control love buggy the most! Honestly, I have always looked at kids with this little gadget with envy and thinking how lucky they must be. The closest I've got was a battery operated toy tank (which incidentally, was already a big thing to me back then!). Secretly, I was hoping that his toy car could fit that I could give it a spin. Oh well, never mind. Maybe, my son would fancy one of those remote control helicoptors soon...hahaha..

But seriously, the amount of presents do not represent the love our parents have for us. It's rather unfair to compare my childhood with Ryan's because we live in two different era. Education, exposure, standard of living, financial capabilities and a host of other factors have changed the way parents demonstrate their love for their child. Not receiving the amount of presents like Ryan or getting the birthday celebrations like he did, did not mean that I receive any less love from my parents. The amount of education and life they have given me has been a good proof of that. It's just that today's parents will go a long way to ensure that their children would have their needs and `want's taken care of.

However, I believe that being a responsible parent, we got to constantly remind ourselves that we do not spoilt our child or uses material possession as a replacement of the quality time or love for our child. I have friends who have bought luxurious condominiums and cars for their children once they are old enough to drive, all fully paid for. And some even had the guts to specifically asked for the type of car and NOT just any car!!! I think it's an excellent idea to invest in good properties for the future of our child but to hand everything to them in a silver platter could sometimes do them more harm than good.
More Pictures on Jeju Island Coming up NEXT!