Saturday, September 23, 2006

Our Very Own Flower Pixie

Nightly Routine

After dinner every evening, Zerlynde asks to be brought "atas" (upstairs). Her cousin Jonathan more often than not toddles along with us to our room. There, the two of them monkeys around engaging in all sorts of activities, playing tea-time and dress-up, reading, watching Maisy or Strawberry Shortcake, bouncing on the bed, etc. Sharp at 10pm, Minah the "spoilsport" maid comes in to bring Jonathan back to his bedroom for the night. Tears and scream inevitably follow as he is forcibly carried out. I then give Zerlynde her milk and if am lucky, she drifts to sleep. Some nights, she jumps out of bed when she finishes her bottle, then I am in trouble.

Last night, we upacked a new box of blocks for Zerlynde. A huge mistake. She refused to go to bed after that and I had to sit on the floor accompanying her play till 1.30 in the morning. She was so fascinated and proud with these 2 "trees" we constructed that she made me hold one as she held the other for more than half an hour. I wasn't allow to put the tree down, nor read my book or send messages through my handphone. Then for no reason whatsoever, she threw a huge tantrum and started to cry and kicked a fuss. She's probably over exhausted! Granny and grandpa had to come over to pacify her. We eventually had to take her out for a spin in the car until she fell asleep. What an ordeal.......

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Before I was a Mum

A good friend sent me this poem 2 years ago just before Zerlynde was born which I recently found in one of my boxes. So true.....

1 Day Old Zerlynde

Before I was a Mum,
I made and ate hot meals.
I had unstained clothing.
I had quiet conversations on the phone.

Before I was a Mum,
I slept as late as I wanted
And never worried about how late I got into bed.
I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.

Before I was a Mum,
I cleaned my house each day.
I never tripped over toys or forgot words of lullabies.

Before I was a Mum,
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mum,
I had never been puked on
Pooped on
Spit on
Chewed on
Peed on
Or pinched by tiny fingers.

Before I was a Mum, I had complete control of:
My thoughts
My body
And my mind.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mum,
I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mum,
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put it down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.

Books Recently Read

Tony Parsons' Stories We Could Tell - Funny, Honest
Anita Brookner's Providence - Elegant, Sad
F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Pat Hobby Stories - Entertaining

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Of Scents and Memory

I love it whenever a whiff of scent floats by and I am carried back to a particular period of my life. Kao Biore shampoo reminds me of the time when I first went out with Kenzu. White Musk and Dewberry bring me back to my days in London. Eternity for Men brings me images of Selfridges. Vidal Sassoon shampoo reminds me of when I first came back to Malaysia after my studies. Lancome's Miracles brings back memories of my wedding day. Johnson and Johnson Baby Milk Bath belongs to the memory of Zerlynde's first few months.

Whilst browsing at The Bodyshop today, I was pleasantly surprised by the absolutely divine scent of the Sensual Ylang Ylang Bodywash. So, I bought a bottle to commemorate a very special occasion :)

Monday, September 18, 2006

I Love My Drums

Daddy bought Zerlynde a drum set for her birthday 3 weeks ago. Since then, I've had very little peace as our little musician has been very diligent at practising. Her all-time favourite is none other than “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Stars”. She even sings along whilst drumming. And I must say, a good sense of rhythm she does possess.

Of Remembering Names

Mum always reminisces about my being my paternal grandfather’s favourite grandchild. At 3 years old, I used to sit on his laps and told him what everyone’s names was, starting from his name right down to my granny’s, my parents’, my uncles’ and aunts’, and all my cousins’. In those days, it was a taboo to mention our elder’s names, so none of the kids were taught to do that. That made my antics a novelty, which so very amused my grandpa at that time.

History repeats. Mum is teaching Zerlynde exactly the same stuffs now. When asked “What is papa’s name?”, Zerlynde promptly replies “Kenzu”. She also knows mummy’s, grandpapa’s and grandma’s names and it’s so funny to hear her pronounce them in mandarin. Hearing her utters our names has never failed to bring us laughter. That’s one of the simple joys of parenthood.

Our Ice-Cream Monster

It’s the weekend again. We brought Zerlynde and my parents out to Gurney Plaza for some grocery shopping at Cold Storage. I discovered two nice items lately; Vegood Strawberry Beat (a mixed fruit juice of mainly strawberry and beet) and Go Natural Yogurt Apricot Pieces (a truly healthy and delicious snack), so they formed part of our shopping list.

We didn’t know that there’s a kiddies section at the far end of the basement at Gurney Plaza until Zerlynde “brought” us there today. Somehow, her toddler radar’s very receptive to stuffs like that. There were all sorts of rides and according to my parents who babysat her while Kenzu and I went visiting a friend at the hospital, she went on all the rides in our absence. We went back to fetch them at around 7.30 pm after 1 ½ hours to find them still there; her second round of rides for the day apparently. I went onto this huge round car with her which swirls right and left gently. She was absolutely thrilled.

Completely and Utterly Satisfied

We went for dinner at Salad Bowl in Prai later, for its superb sizzling steak. We ordered fried beehoon for Zerlynde but the highlight of the evening was when the Banana Split arrived. It’s the first time Zerlynde encountered such beautifully adorned ice-cream. She was absolutely fascinated! It was so funny to watch her. She was oblivious to the rest of the world while digging into her treasure and when her granny took a spoonful of the ice-cream from her bowl, she was so upset. Later when she realized daddy and the rest of us “attacking” her bowl of precious ice-cream, she tried to gobble them down at twice the speed!

Our baby has definitely earned the nick-name Ice-Cream Monster.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Ennio Morricone and Secret Garden

In my opinion, one of the soundtracks that is truly captivating is “Cinema Paradiso” (which also hits my my top-ten list of Best Movies) by Ennio Morricone. His later theme from “Malena” is also worth a mention but what is more haunting is his theme from “Legend of 1900” which I encountered about a year ago. I found a CD containing both these “Paradiso” and “1900” themes last week and immediately bought a copy. This CD is a Japanese production from the “Image” series. I’ve so far collected No. I, IV and the Amour numbers. Not all the pieces compiled are nice but the good ones are absolutely beautiful.

Unlike my sister, I am not a new-age music fan. They are a bit monotonous for my taste. Secret Garden, however, is one of the exceptions. The duo produced beautiful music which touches the soul. Here's a review on them:-

Picture a square with Clannad, pianist David Lanz, Mannheim Steamroller, and the musicians of Riverdance at its corners. Somewhere within those stylistic borders you will encounter the European duo Secret Garden. The popular twosome--Irish violinist Fionnuala (fi-NOO-la) Sherry and Norwegian pianist/keyboardist Rolf Lovland--have attracted a sizable following with their heart-touching specialty: a wistful, violin-rooted, pop-folk-classical melange that often strikes the ear as a film score in search of some delicate romantic tale. Songs from a Secret Garden is the duo's debut recording from 1995, and it principally offers a series of pensive dialogues between Sherry's stately violin and Lovland's subdued piano, yielding equal measures of sweetness and melancholy. Whistles, pipes, percussion, strings, and ethereal voices serve as embellishments. At times you may sense you're being serenaded by strolling musicians with a heavy sentimental streak; at other times you may feel genuinely moved--perhaps by something as lovely as the reverential "Sigma" and its sublime, Gregorian-like choral passages. Only one uptempo tune, "The Rap," surfaces here; a few others would have been welcomed. And yes, this is the disc where you will find "Heartstrings," the composition that once smote Barbra Streisand's heart. She eventually acquired the rights to the piece, inserted lyrics, renamed it "I've Dreamed of You" (found on A Love Like Ours), and sang it to James Brolin during the couple's 1998 wedding. --Terry Wood

To sample some of Secret Garden’s song, visit this site

A Disturbing Piece of News

A good friend has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer. He is only 37. Such a shocking and disturbing piece of news indeed but the important issue now facing me is how to be a valuable support during this difficult and trying period of his. Good news is today’s medical science is far more advanced compared to that of a decade ago and we are at the brink of the discovery of a cure for cancer. Further, colorectal cancer remains one of the more easily treated forms of cancer with a high cure rate. The journey ahead is tough and the treatment painful. A lot of strength will be required but positive results can be obtained with the right treatment and the adoption of proper nutrition and life-style.

I’ve been reading up on nutrition extensively. Briefly, for the prevention and cure of cancer and for general good health, we are to cut down on those fatty food, starch, processed and preserved food and increase our intake of those soy products, teas, fibres, fruits and vegetables and lots of water. To enhance our immunity, stuffs like avocados, apricots and bean sprouts are good. Also, those colourful fruits and veggies are full of anti-oxidant properties; so go for the blueberries, strawberries, red peppers, etc. Green teas supposedly contained very high anti-oxidants properties too, so do include that as a frequent beverage.

And lastly, exercise, exercise, exercise!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Joy-Ride

A new BMW convertible! And so Nazu took Jo and I for a joy-ride along Gurney Drive. Unfortunately, we forgot our hats and scarves! Later, we 3 Grace Kelly wannabes adjourned for scones and tea at E&O Sarkies Corner. How I wished my everyday life is comprised of such extravagances. Or do I really…….?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Movies Recently Watched (by Audrey Hepburn)

Inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s biography, I watched her "How to Steal a Million" and "Two for the road". I like both.

In Celebration of Dad' Birthday

Dad fancied a meal at Salad Bowl. So, we brought the three babies there to celebrate his birthday there with him. Salad Bowl as far as I can remember has been operating since time immemorial. As a little girl, dining there was a real treat. It was at Salad Bowl that I had my first “Pork Chop” which I ignorantly called “Pig Chop”. It was also there that I had my first Banana Split. And it was definitely there when I first encountered and fell in love with Tiffany stained-glass lamps. So, going there has brought back many sweet memories of my childhood, thanks to my great parents that I had a wonderful childhood!

Salad Bowl is renowned for its fried beehoon and chicken chop. So, we ordered a few dishes of beehoon to share. I tried its sizzling steak which turned out to be one of the best I’ve tasted so far. And at RM32++, it’s good value for money too.

It was a very simple celeb with no birthday cakes and frills. But I think dad is happiest when he is surrounded by his grandchildren, and that evening, he certainly was surrounded by 3 of his favourites. Before we left the restaurant, dad proudly told the proprietor that he used to bring his children there. Now, he has brought his grandchildren. I guess that statement says it all.

Marc Chagall (7 July 1887 - 25 March 1985)

"In our life there is a single color, as on an artist's palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love." [Chagall]

Whenever Zerlynde sees this painting in her Classical Baby Music DVD, she says "Mummy, Daddy"

Papa, Pu Yao Go

The weekend is often way too short.

Our baby usually knows when daddy is leaving for KL on Sunday evenings. This afternoon, just as daddy is leaving, Zerlynde hangs on to him tightly and says "Papa, Pu Yao (Don't) Go".........

What Did Mummy Say?

Zerlynde saw a piece of chocolate on the dressing table. Brought it over to mummy...

Zerlynde: Mummy, please open
Mummy: No, it's too late. Tomorrow, okay?
[Zerlynde then moved over to papa]
Zerlynde: Papa, papa, please open
Papa: What did mummy say?
Zerlynde: Mummy say open
[Mummy and Papa couldn't believe their ears!!]

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Of Grandchildren

Mum once mentioned, "One can limit the number of children one wishes to have, but one can't control the number of grandchildren one is going to have".

How so true. Lucky mum and dad are bestowed with 5 grandchildren within a span of 26 months, and there are definitely more on the way...

Birthday Celebration at Lone Pine (2)

Received some really beautiful pictures from a friend who was at Zerlynde's birthday celebration at Lone Pine Hotel. I'll allow the pictures to tell their own stories...

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Thanks Audrey for the great job.