Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This hour 4 years ago .....

Four years at this time (2:50am), I was with my wife at the Damansara Specialist labour room. The doctor has stopped giving my wife steroids and the medication to delay labour (her water bag burst prematurely and medication has to be given to delay labour in order that the lung is more fully developed).

Four years ago, wife was screaming in pain and we were waiting for the doctor to come to administer her epidural injection and we were told that he was coming all the way from Ampang. She was in so much pain that they gave her laughing gas. Anything, anything to stop the pain.

I was so tensed and worried seeing her in such pain.

The doctor finally came and asked us to read the pamphlet about the risks associated with epidural. Honestly, we didn't bother. We just bloody signed the form and asked him to get on with it. He gave the first dose but the pain refused to go away. He frowned and GOD, that is the worst thing a doctor could do in front of his patient ... that frown.. So, what does it mean? Is there a problem? What? What? What is that frown supposed to mean? Damn it! Don't just frown....Talk to me!

"Emmmm....still painful?" he asked.
"Yes! Yes!" my wife almost screamed.
"Ok..I increase dosage and see ...." he calmly answered....

30 minutes on, he came back and asked "still pain?"
"Yes! Still very painful!" wife answered impatiently....

And he frowned AGAIN! And this time with a rather worried looking face! I just cannot described the stress level I was going through then. But nevertheless, have to put up a brave front for my wifey...

"I have already given you a large dosage...eeemmmm.....ok....I increased a bit more and see ..." he said matter of factly....

Thank God that final dosage helped and the pain finally subsided 30 minutes later. Wife finally got to catch some sleep and seeing her sleeping, I slipped back to our room in the hospital for some shut eye...

I woke up at 6:45 am and stumbled over to the labour room ...and what did I see? Dr Guna was already there and getting my wife ready to deliver...

"Get ready." he said..."he is coming"

I ran back to the room, grabbed my camera and video camera (because wife insisted that the incident be recorded, else she would rip my head off)

The moments spent in the labour room the next 15 minutes were intense and nerve wrecking. She huff and puff, screamed and pushed....

At 7:03am, baby Ryan arrived safely into our family .....

Thinking back, all these seemed like just yesterday but so much have happened within these four years. We have all come a long way. Ryan has came a long way. From a 2.2 kg pre-matured baby, he is now a 14.5kg super hyper active boy that seemed to have an endless supply of energy that super charged his legs and turbo charged his stamina, not to mention his brain and mouth that just would not stop talking, asking questions or getting him into trouble ....

Happy Birthday my dear son, for completing our lives with such happiness and joy, filling our hearts with your cheeky laughter, breaking our silence and tranquility with your constant screams and excitement. We love you and never stop being you..because we love you for who you are ...

Thank you mommy for bringing him into the world, the bravery and the courage that you have to muster (knowing how much you fear pain and blood), the long suffering you endured and the patience you shown in guiding and teaching him to be what he is today...a son that we are truly proud of ....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

You must be kidding me...every TWO HOURS?

I am like a zombie while updating this post this morning. I hardly had a good night rest last night. I have been waking up every 2 hours to prepare milk since 2:30pm.

Being an old man like myself, I need time to get back to sleep once I am awaken in the middle of the night. And last night, every time, when I was just about to doze back to my la la land to continue my pursue of some beautiful bikini clad babes on some gorgeous white fine sandy beaches, I had to wake up again to prepare `nen nen'...(milk)....

I am having a headache and I could hardly keep my eyes opened.

And before you go ...." Chenya still wake up so many times for her night feed meh?" ....

No!...It is not baby Chenya. She slept like a log from 10:30pm all the way till 5pm before she had her one and only feed and that sometimes, she sleeps through.

Yes. You are right. It is my dear prince, RYAN! He used to able to sleep through the night with an occasional one additional feed when Chenya wanted her milk.

Picture of my prince having an early celebration of his 4th birthday at KL Hilton over the weekend.......

But for reason unknown, for the past couple of nights, he has asked for more frequent night feed. And the worst for last night. I literally ran out of clean bottles. He has four bottles, three of which we keep in the bedroom and one in the kitchen.

We gave him 4oz at around 11pm to get him to sleep. He can not sleep without his milk and his bolster. At 2:30am, he got up and wanted another round. I got up (I just managed to doze off at 2am actually) and made him 6oz. He finished it in 10 minutes and passed me back the empty bottle.

I thought that was it and turned over to catch up with my slumber. Just as I was enjoying my dream, he woke up and asked for his second feed. I thought it was close to 6:00am. One look at the alarm clock showed only 4:15am! I got up and made him another 6oz and passed it to him. Just as I pulled my blanket over, Chenya woke up hungry. I thought to myself, this is going to be a long night.

Wifey got up to pick her up from her baby cot while I prepare her bottle of breast milk. Because the breast milk is cold, I had to warm it up and that took 15 minutes, which seemed like forever, when you were sleep deprived. Finally, got that done and as wifey was feeding Chenya, I dozed off. I thought I would have a good 3 hours sleep till morning.

Did I get that? No! Ryan got up AGAIN at 6am and wanted his third round ..and I have used up all the bottles in the room. I had to staggered  downstairs, look for the bottle, prepare the milk and stumbled back upstairs and gave it to him. This time, I made him 7.5oz and he finished it again in 10 minutes. He passed me back the bottle and asked me to pat him to sleep. Arrrrggghhhhh......

I really do not remember what time I went back to sleep. All I remembered is Ryan calling me to wake up at 8am because he has a Science Camp this morning at his day care center....

This is going to be a long day .........I have just finished my first shot of double espresso and I think I need another shot to jump start my engine ....

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sooner or Later ....

Well, this is going to happen sooner or later anyway ....

When I got home from work last week, the moment I opened the door, my MIL (mother in law) who has been staying with us for the last 2 weeks to help watch over our new pinay maid, complained to me that Ryan has whacked his sister with a toy on the head!

I went over to Chenya and discovered a red line on her forehead! Heartache! She was fine but gave me one of her `manja' look. (but then again, she always give me her manja look because she knows she can get away from almost anything with that far that is)

I went over to Ryan, whom by this time was sitting quietly in one corner of our L-shape sofa, with his very guilty 'I am sorry' look.

"Did you hit mei mei?" I roared ....
"Yes ..." barely a whisper..
"I did not hear you. Did you hit mei mei?" I repeated.
"Yes ..." he replied ..and immediately followed with his standard `getting out of trouble' phrase ..."I am sorry ...I am sorry daddy."
"Why? Why did you hit mei mei?" I asked..
He kept quiet .....
"Why? Why did you hit her?" 

Another moment of silence. He looked at me with his guilty and apologetic eyes. But then, what answer was I expecting anyway. "Because I hated her.." or "Because I was naughty.." It then dawned to me that in my anger, I have not been constructive in correcting his mistake. I am asking him questions that I would obviously not get any satisfactory answers....

Without getting an answer to the `Why?" .... I rephrased my questions ....

"Do you know it is painful to hit mei mei ...?"

"Yes....." he replied ...

"Do you want to hit mei mei again?" I asked

"No daddy ...I'm sorry daddy...I am really sorry ..." he answered ...

"Is it right or wrong to hit mei mei then? " I asked ...

"Wrong ...I am sorry." he continued...

With that I gave him a hug and told him that he should be protecting his sister and not hitting her. He is his BIG brother and BIG brother don't hit their sister.

I knew that this is going to happen sooner or later anyway when they played together as they grow up and as long as it accidental and he is constantly reminded that he is the elder brother who has to watch out for his little sister and as long as he continues to demonstrate his love (like he always did), I would take this as part of the excitement, pain and experience of growing up together.

I wonder whether my sisters remembered me whacking them when we were growing up together ....emmmm....

A Sunday Japanese Theme Dinner at home

I still have a slap of tuna and a couple of scallops left over in the fridge that I must cooked soon. Since we were a little lazy to eat out again after eating out rather often recently, we have decided to have another home cooked meal tonight.

I went out and got myself some additional ingredients for tonight's dinner. I was thinking of a Japanese seafood dinner. Hence, I got myself a whole mackerel, 4 large prawns, some mangoes, red capsicum, mint leaves, lemon and some Japanese cucumber.

First dish would be Pan fried buttered prawn served with Japanese Mayo and Mango salsa.

To prepare the mango salsa, simply diced a ripe mango and red capsicum. Add some finely chopped mint leaves, lemon zest and half a lemon juice. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Mix well and leave in the fridge to be served later.

Add some butter to the pan and put in the prawns when it is hot. Do not overcooked.

Next dish is the Pan seared scallops served with Japanese Mayo.

Again, another rather simple dish to prepare. Simply season scallops with salt and black pepper and pan seared lightly in high heat. Do not overcooked as scallops will shrink and the meat will dry. 

For the main dish, I have the Oven Grilled Whole Mackerel.

Seasoned mackerel with salt, lemon juice and black pepper. Pre-heat oven at 250 degrees. Place mackerel into aluminium wrapped tray. Add olive oil and grill for 5 to 10 minutes depending on size of the fish.

And finally, the last dish for the night is Pan seared Tuna steak ...

This is another all time favorite at home. Simply season the tuna steak with black pepper on the for sides. Heat up the pan with olive oil. 

Using a tong, place the tuna steak first on one side onto the pan and seared till brown. Seared the side next to it and continue on all four sides. It is important to just seared lightly to ensure that the center of the tuna is still red and juicy. Using a sharp (and I mean really sharp knife), slice the tuna steak into thin slices and served with wasabi and japanese soy sauce.

And that is our dinner for our Sunday night at home .....

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lara Croft in the making ....

Chenya is one super hyper active girl. She is crawling faster than his brother at his age. She is more agile than her brother at this age. We don't remember Ryan climbing sofas, chairs and TV cabinets when he was 10 months old. We did not have to keep any of the decorative items we so proudly display on our low TV cabinet. But with Chenya, we have to watch over her all the time. You never know where she will be the moment she is put on the floor.

She is inheriting all the toys from her kor kor and obviously there are either cars, aeroplanes, Ultramans, dinosours and guns ! Yupe, plenty of guns!

This is our young Lara Croft this morning. I would not mind if she grows to be kick ass sexy, beautiful, talented, resourceful, intelligent, super rich and equally deadly with her hands and feet, brandishing two guns with ease just like Angelina Jolie is ...Hahahahaha

We were shopping the other day and it suddenly dawned on mommy that Chenya does not really have a set of feminine toy of her own. So, we went ahead and bought a full set of what else ...`masak masak' ....(but I think she still prefers the guns ....slap head !). I think I better child proof Zoewe, our toy poodle before Chenya uses her as target practice or her punching bag.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Blisters in the mouth ....

I sent Ryan to school as usual yesterday. He was in his jovial self especially if you can get him to sleep early the night before and got him to wake up early without having to rush.

It is routine that the school will sanitize their hands and check their temperature before allowing them to go in. However, for whatever reasons, they asked him to show them his tongue and they saw some small red blisters at the tip of his tongue. Fearing that it could foot and mouth disease which apparently is very rampant among children nowadays and fearing the worst, they have advised that Ryan be quarantined at home.

Well, Ryan was the happiest of the entire episode because he gets to stay at home and play and watch TV the entire day. I made a quick call to his paed and was advised to keep him at home for at least two days and watch out for blisters outbreak in his mouth, hands and feet for the next couple of days.

This is the second day that Ryan is at home. He seemed fine and I have not seen any outbreak yet. Hopefully, it is just normal blisters and not the foot and mouth disease. We are worried that Chenya could be infected as well.

As usual, Ryan was the happiest this morning when he woke up and was told that today also no school for him.

Now, I am quite certain that this little guy will probably tell me sometime later that he is having blisters and not fit to go school when he does not fancy going to school, just like the time that he told me that he has a stomach ache and cannot go school when he was only 2 years old....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Moshi Moshi ....ohayo (gozaimasu)

Nope...I am not in Japan right now (though I would definitely wish that I am and I am pretty sure that I will make my way there soon, especially during the sakura season).

My house turned Japanese last night when I decided to cook something Japanese for my wifey.

I was having a drink with my buddy and on the way back, I saw this beautiful whole salmon head at the fish section. Curious, I asked them to weigh it and I was pleasantly surprised that it was only RM14.95....I thought to myself...I could do something with this....

So, without hesitation, I told them to wrap it up and I headed home for my food adventure. I remembered that I still have a piece of salmon in my fridge that I bought the other day. I was inspired from a dish I saw on the menu recently while having a japanese lunch with my colleagues the other day. So, I bought a mango as well .....

And, this is what I served last night for dinner .....

Starter : Mango wrapped in Salmon sashimi, topped with Japanese mayo ..
(I saw a specialty sushi from a Japanese restaurant where they served salmon with mango and I thought I could do the same but with a twist. I would say that the texture of the salmon and the mango blended well, not to mention the taste of all three major ingredients which is the freshness of the salmon, the sweetness of the mango and the Japanese mayo)

Oven Grill Salmon Head with salt
(This dish is our all time favorite at home. It is actually extremely easy to prepare. Simply marinate the salmon head with salt and black pepper and place in the oven to grill at 250 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the head. Served with lemon and wasabi and Japanese soya sauce)

Last night was meant to be a fast and simple meal as wifey said that she was on the way back and was extremely hungry.

The following are some other Japanese dishes that we cooked some time back. I love doing Japanese because they are much simpler to manage as far as I am concerned.

Pan seared Salmon steak served with wasabi. 
(Another fast dish to prepare and serve. Sprinkle some salt and pepper onto the salmon steak. Heat up your pan to high heat and place the salmon with the skin side down on the pan. Depending on the thickness and the heat of the pan, seared for anything between 2 to 3 minutes. You might to sear it longer if you prefer your salmon more cooked. We love them lightly cooked.)

Oven baked scallops with Japanese Mayo
(Another all time favorite at home. Simply place scallop on scallop shell, if you have one. If not place on small dish which can be placed in the oven. Add finely cut Japanese mushrooms and topped with generous helping of Japanese Mayo. Placed the scallop in the oven and baked. Once the mayo brown, remove from oven, sprinkle with finely cut chilly and chives and served hot)

Prawns with Teriyaki sauce
(Simply marinate prawns with Teriyaki sauce. Served with Japanese mushrooms cooked with teriyaki sauce as well)

Now....where did I put my bottle of sake ......hehehehe 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Behind Bars!

Chenya is one active baby. She is just like her brother Ryan and we think that she is probably worst. Her butt is constantly on fire and the only time, she is still is when she is having her milk or when she is in la la land. Otherwise, she is constantly on the move.

Unlike Ryan, she goes for anything that she sees as reachable ...and she is like an F1 on all fours when she crawls once she homes in on an object that she fancies....

My previous maid and not to mention both her grandmothers have been very very lenient with her and have been carrying her or watching over her (not to mention crawling with her all over the house). My biggest concern is the short couple of seconds when you turned away and off she goes looking for her next `toy' in the house.

Hence, I have set up the cage to make sure and to train her to stay put. My new maid has just arrived and my mother in law is currently helping to watch over both Chenya and the maid. I dread to think how the maid is going to handle Chenya once my mother in law is not around, if Chenya is not accustomed to staying behind bars!

And this little girl knows exactly who she can bullied! I have no problem leaving her behind bars but not mommy or her grandmothers! Smart girl ....

And Ryan of course, is enjoying himself playing behind bars as well.....

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oven Baked Honey Lemon Chicken with Honey Lemon White Wine Sauce

We have been eating out for quite a number of weeks now and wifey was sought of hinting for some home cooked food. Honestly, I am also tired of eating outside as we have grown tired of the choices that we have around our place.

With the new maid around to help to clean up my cooking mess, I have decided to whip out something for tonight's dinner. Since my mother in law is around to help look after Chenya and watch over the new maid, I have decided to cook her favourite 'Creamy Broccoli Soup'.

For our main course, I have decided to cook an Oven baked Honey Lemon Chicken Drumstick served with Honey Lemon White Wine Sauce." My biggest weakness has always been making the sauce for the dishes. I was game to give it another try this round and hopefully to get it right this time ...

The final outcome .....

I am an adventurer when it comes to cooking. I don't have any particular technique and neither am I professionally trained. I goes with my feel of how I think the meal will look and taste like ...

This is not exactly a recipe that you could probably reproduce the above (God, I can't even guarantee I could reproduce that the next time I try ...hahahahaha)
  • Marinate the chicken drumstick with black pepper, thyme, rosemary, honey, lemon juice, brown sugar, lemon zest and salt. I left the chicken drumstick marinated for more than 2 hours today.
  • Preheat your oven at 250 degrees for 10 minutes.
  • Lay marinated chicken drumstick in a baking tray with the skin facing up. Melt some butter and pour the melted butter over the chicken drumstick.
  • Cover the chicken drumstick with an sheet of aluminium foil and backed for 15 minutes. (I have learnt the hard way that if I don't cover the chicken drumstick with the foil and baked, I  will without fail overcook my chicken leaving them burnt and dry when I managed to brown the chicken skin) By covering them with the aluminium foil, I will be able to cook the chicken well and yet retain all the juices and moisture.
  • Once 15 minutes is up, remove the covering foil and baked the chicken drumstick for another 5 minutes. (This will help to brown the chicken skin for that brown juicy look)
  • For the sauce, melt a fair amount of butter on a sauce pan.
  • Pour the remaining juice used to marinate the chicken into the sauce pan and shimmer over low heat.
  • Add more pepper, salt and rosemary to taste.
  • Add whip cream for the added creamy taste.
  • Add white wine to taste.
  • Reduce over low heat. Add a touch of corn starch to thicken the sauce.
  • For the side dishes, I have used white button mushrooms, baby carrots, corn and asparagus. Heat up the pan with some olive oil. 
  • Add the mushrooms, baby carrots and corn and sauteed with some oyster sauce till cooked.
  • Remove the above and then add in asparagus and lighted tossed with some olive oil. Take heed not to overcook the asparagus.
  • Serve hot.
There you have it, my home cooked version of Oven Baked Honey Lemon Chicken Drumstick served with Honey Lemon White Wine Sauce. Please don't ask me why it might not turn out nice because I probably won't be able to help you....Hahahaha...And bear in mind that I am a pretty good photographer what you see might not be what you get on your plate .....;)

Till the next dish, here is Chef Rod signing off from Temptations @ Ara ....:)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Old leaves and the New begins .....

Every two years, for those with helpers or maids at home helping out with house chores and taking care of the little ones, we have to face the inevitable of our maid completing her full 2 year term and will be leaving. Not only do we suddenly lose a helper, our life routine that has pretty much settled in will get disrupted to a certain extend. To those, who have not manage to get a replacement maid immediately, I would say that the changes can be rather shocking and drastic to say the least.

Our pinay maid is coming home today, one month earlier than her contract date. She has not exactly been an angel and comparing to our previous maid, an Indonesian, this helper is definitely not only smarter but also more daring and lazier.  However, after having said that, she was still manageable. We do still appreciate her for taking care of Ryan and especially Chenya, whom she has taken a special liking. Maybe, it is because she has a daughter of her own back home and she misses her a lot. She is constantly worried of how she is doing and how well she is growing. Then again, which mother would not.

The biggest mistake we made with this maid was our liberty with her in having her handphone. We have been warned by the agency that we should not allow the maid to carry her handphone during the day. We were specifically instructed to take the handphone from her in the morning and only give it back to her at night. But, we were too soft hearted, We thought that by treating her well like our family member, she would put her work and task first before playing with her handphone.

Our problem started when she bought her new handphone. She was constantly on it, at first secretly and later on more blatantly. It gets better if we reprimand her but only for awhile.

So, lesson learnt and learned the hard way. Never never again allow the next maid to carry her own handphone as all pinays apparently have the same issue. They just have too many friends to chat with .....

We are going to welcome our new maid today after dropping the previous one off at the agency. The whole cycle of getting to know her, getting accustom to her, getting her trained, getting her familiarized with us and her tasks, learning to trust her, getting her into her routine starts all over again, not to mention our apprehension of how Ryan and Chenya will take to her. But at least, we have a replacement almost immediately and my mother in law has been very gracious to come stay with us for two weeks to watch over her while we are at work.

As with all our previous maids, we wish her all the best in her life back home and the future. And with all our new maids, we are looking forward to a wonderful and pleasant two years ahead.....

Celebrating our maid's recent birthday in March this year....We made it a point to celebrate all our maid's birthday. We made it a point to make sure that they get their ang pow during Chinese New Year. We made sure that they get a Christmas present when we do our Christmas present exchange under the Christmas tree each year. And the presents are not only coming from us but from my sister, my mother in law and sister in law.....

The cake that we purposely purchased for our helper this year to make sure that her birthday spent with us are memorable ones. She claimed that no one had purchased a birthday cake for her before ....

We are uncertain how much she appreciated all this but deep in our hearts, we just want to be the best employers we could possibly can (despite being human) to her, to be fair to her and to do our utmost to make sure that her stay with us during the years as pleasant as it can be ....

Bon voyage Ranelyn and Welcome Emily ..(another saga unfolds) ....

Saturday, May 12, 2012

We salute you ....

Taking this opportunity to wish my mommy "Happy Mothers Day". I don't spent a lot of my childhood with my daddy and mommy. I spent most of my childhood with my grandparents. I only remembered my mommy as a rather strict disciplinarian and I was a naughty kid. 

The best years I remembered my mommy was those years when we were rather poor and when dad lost his job in Port Klang and they have to shift back to stay in Kampar with my grandparents. My dad used all his savings to buy a piece of land to plant mangoes (which failed) and converted that to oil palm instead. Those were the years when, mommy has to sew clothes to earn extra income to support the family and when money was so scarce that having a decent breakfast was a challenge.

Later, my dad has to take a oversea posting to Libya (where he passed away in an accident) to support the family, my mum has to take over the running of the 10 acres of oil palm estate left behind. Considering an uneducated woman who has absolutely no experience, she did a fine job until we sold that years later after my dad passed away.

All this while, they kept the three of us (my sisters and I) well fed and we were never in want. We had what we need and I even had the chance to further my studies, doing my Form 4 till 6 in ACS Ipoh and then proceeded to TARC. They suffered and make sure that we didn't.

Also to the other woman in my life, my better half ...Happy Mothers Day to you too my dearest....
This is another woman (like all mothers) who will do anything and everything for her other half and also for her children. Taking the stress (and I mean stress to the max often at times) in the corporate world, fending off office politics and constantly striving to achieve her goals in her role in the corporate rat race, she still manages to diligently expresses her breast milk and systematically stored them for our super energized and active monsters to ensure that they have the best nutrition and food for their growth.

My Three Angles at Home

And finally, Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there. Your sacrifices, your tears behind closed doors for your loved ones and the pain you go through WILL NOT GO UNREMEMBERED. As sons, daughters and husbands, we salute you and we love you all ....:)

Friday, May 11, 2012

My legs are for ....

"Daddy ....hold" Ryan asked as I got him ready for school and he wants to be carried into the car .....
"Why? Cannot walk meh?" I responded
"No ...." he answered.
"Why not? You got legs ma ...." I reminded him
"My legs not for walking daddy ...." he replied
"Huh? Then your legs for what?" I said
"My legs are for running and....swimming ...and jumping!" he replied matter of factly
"Why are your legs not for walking?" I queried further
"Because I get tired ...." he replied without hestitation
"....running and jumping not tired meh? " I continued
"No. I got energy to run and jump. Walking staircase also tired ma." he responded
"Your school got stairs also ma " I said
"So, in school, you walk or teacher carry you? " I asked further
"In school, I walk myself." Ryan replied
"Why? Why in school can walk?" was my next question
"In school, walk stairs not tired ma...." he replied convincingly...

(Slap head)

Then he asked me "Daddy, can you jump?"
"Yes ..." I replied
"Can you run?" he asked further
"Yes, of course!" I replied
"Can you walk?" he probed
"Yes, of course!" I replied again

Then wanting to catch him of guard ....I asked ...

"Can you walk?"
"Yesss....errrrrrr....NO! My legs only for running!"

OK. I rest my case.

Taken in Club Med Cherating in February 2012 this year when we had a holiday there. This little guy can certainly jump and run. Walk ....errrrrr.....oh no...his legs were not meant for that ...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I shouted and I feel bad

We don't believe in laying our hands on Ryan or any of our children now to discipline them. We believe reasoning with them would be a better option. However, how do you reason with a growing super energized child can sometimes be a real challenge and a great test of our patience, mine in particular. Ryan can be a real angel on his good days but he can be the most irritating 'torture from hell' if he chooses to throw his tantrums and be real nasty. So far, we thank God that he is still fearful of the 'naughty corner' punishment and that has helped to keep him at check every once in awhile. Getting him to school early in the morning has always been a challenge and unpredictive. He can be one super angel, eagerly waking up and getting ready to school with hie best smile or he can turned into one of those nasty little demon that you would have to literary drag into the car. Yesterday morning was one such morning. We managed to wake him up early and got him dressed. He was cheerful for awhile and then out of the blue, his nasty side took over. He wanted to watch tv and not want to go school. We tried reasoning with him and got him into the car but he was still whining and crying away, repeating and repeating that he wanted his tv. I tried hard to explain that it is school time and he promised him that he can have his tv when he comes back and does that work? Oh no. He whined and cried even louder. My patience was running thin. I normally don't do this but I can stand him no more! I raised the top of my voice (and I can be very very loud)and I shouted at him to stop and to behave. I think he was shock. I was. He stopped immediately. Not a sound from him till he was drop at his school. As I drove off, I felt very bad. I don't know why? I felt guilty for not having more patience. I felt bad that he is just barely 4 years old and he did what every child would do. I felt uneasy and have that greatest fear that somehow that shout would leave a lasting damaging effect on him.. Did I do the right thing? What could I do differently? I really don't know. I am just trying to be the daddy that I could be within my human weakness and limitations ....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I hope ....I pray ....I wish ....

I finally caught Chenya stood all by herself on the sofa while she was playing there for a full 10 seconds unaided !

This girl is one brave and active gal. She cannot possibly sit still, constantly on the move, crawling everywhere in the house. We have noticed that the moment she catch hold of something, she would immediately attempt to stand up. The other day, I actually caught her trying to climb up the sofa to get to the TV remote control which incidentally is her favorite toy! And, she was so MAD when she could not climb up to get what she wants. This girl really has a temper.

We can't remember Ryan being this active at this age. Ryan is one super charged up boy now and with boundless energy that will tire us out way before his battery runs out. I dread to think how much more active Chenya would be and I dread to think having two super charged up `monsters' at home going at each other.

Already, Chenya is going after his kor kor's toys and pulling his hair and shirt if she can't get what she wants. Fortunately, right now, Ryan is one good brother who have not once hit back. All he does is shouting at the top of his voice "Mommy! Mei Mei is pulling my hair AGAIN! Mei Mei! STOP IT! STOP IT! Ouuucccchhhhhh! MEI MEI!"

Sometimes, it is simply hilarious seeing these two siblings playing and having good fun. It is my deepest hope and prayer that the bond and their love for each other will remain as close, as fun and as innocent as they are now for decades to come.

I have seen so many siblings rivalry in some families. I have seen so many brothers and sisters not talking to each other once they have grown up. I have seen so many siblings not in talking terms due to some form of misunderstanding. My mom's family is one example. (If you have read my post on the demise of my grandmother, you would know).

As we all grow older, our EGO grows even larger. As we all matured and as we got `wiser' ...we tend to over analyse issues, over emphasize our own personal needs and over read situation. We get more sensitive. Our feelings tend to be more vulnerable to being hurt. We tend to make life and relationship more complicated (not that it is not) ....

If only we adopt the childlike innocence that we all possessed once to look at various issues and relationships of which we are in now, and I guess life could be less complicated and very probably much happier ....I am trying ....

Looking at Ryan and Chenya now, I HOPE, yes...I PRAY and I WISH that the bond between them will grow stronger and closer by the day ...and I know as parents, we PLAY a HUGE, HUGE part and responsibility in building that strong foundation for them to start with and to build upon when we are no longer around .....

Here are some cute pictures of our princess captured several days ago while we were having lunch at the Little Wok at Sunway Pyramid...She is one cheeky gal who will never cease to bring a smile after a tiring day in our ever complicated life ....

Saturday, May 5, 2012

My Favorite Shots from Club Med Bintan Island

We just came back from a holiday from Club Med Bintan Island. In fact, we did three Club Meds in 10 months. Kinda of crazy but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and glad that we did. We did Club Med Bali in September 2011 last year to celebrate wifey's birthday there together with Ryan.

Then when my eldest son, Reuben came back from Christchurch for his holiday in the beginning of the year, we brought him and Ryan to Club Med Cherating in Kuantan.

Club Med ran another `buy one free one' promotion recently, and we could help ourselves but to get ourselves another holiday in Club Med Bintan Island. Of the three, I enjoyed Bintan Island the best although it is the smallest of the three. You can read about my comparison of the three Club Meds in my travel and photography blog (

I took tonnes of pictures during our stay at Bintan Island and the beach was absolutely fantastic and the sunrise breathtaking. But, these few pictures were my favorite, because they are of my soul mate and my prince .....(unfortunately, Chenya was left at home this round, as she was a little too young to join us).

Balancing a already unsteady world of turmoil, injustice and uncertainties

As I took this shot, I was imagining them doing it in slow motion against the awesome soundtrack of "Chariots of Fire"

Mother and son having quality time together and daddy was just too happy to be snapping away with his Nikon D90 - Previous moment - Priceless !

Friday, May 4, 2012

Natural Performer

Ryan has always been an outgoing child and has very little trouble interacting with others. Even when he was a baby, he can be carried by almost anyone and often times, he will be `missing’ the moment we arrived at any gathering or parties because he will be carried off by one of his nannies, uncles, aunties, kor kor or cheh cheh.

When he started talking, he was such a talker that he amazes most who talked to him. Recently when we were at Club Med Bintan Island, we were pleasantly surprised that he could hold a proper single conversation with the resort in house doctor who happened to sit with us for dinner.

Because of his outgoing personality, he is also a natural performer. For the last two school concerts, he has done very well and was one of the few in his class who could follow almost every step and movement the teacher taught.

(Ryan going through his baking class in the Petite Club)

And when we heard that he was going to perform at night when we were in Club Med Bintan recently, we were a bundle of nerves. We weren’t sure how he would perform. Unlike when he was with us in Club Med Bali last year and Club Med Cherating earlier this year where we did not enrol him to join the Petite Club, we made it a point to enrol him to the Petite Club for 2 full days this year for two reasons. Firstly, is to allow him to have fun with other children and the activities that they are organising and secondly, so that mommy and daddy could have some quality time together.

On the night of the performance, we had a hurried dinner and rush him an hour earlier to the Petite Club organizers to get him ready. Joanne, one of the GO who came from Cheras Malaysia and who have taken a special liking to Ryan was gracious enough to take him there on our behalf.

When the hour came, and when the MC announced the special dance performance from the Petite Club, we were overwhelmed when we see Ryan all dressed up and ready to perform and performed HE DID! He was simply amazing and the crowd went totally frenzy.

When his dance performance ended, we had a bigger surprise when the pretty MC (GO from Japan) called Ryan up to the stage again and this round, he sang a solo. His rendering of “This old man, he play one …” was simply flawless (errrrr….parents are always bias ok)

From that night onwards, for the next three days that we were there, the entire Club Med including the Village Head knows Ryan by name and he was treated like a star whenever he goes. They gave him the title `Assistant’ because he was being so helpful and that is also the other way to get him to keep quiet instead of asking so many questions !!!!

More Pictures on Jeju Island Coming up NEXT!