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Monday, January 31, 2005

Chinese New Year Mood!

At the mall with Toddler.
Toddler: "Mummy, where's the Clisdas tree?"
MG : "Christmas is over Sweetie but Chinese New Year is coming soon."
Toddler: "Chinese....New....Year..."
MG : "Yes Sweetie, Chinese New Year, you will see lots of red everywhere. You will have new clothes to wear. You will receive angpows from aunties and uncles. There will be lots of cookies and oranges to eat and you can see lion dances everywhere." (this simple explanation will suffice for the time being for toddler)
Toddler: "Look mummy, more red!" (pointing excitedly at the red decorations at the mall)

Toddler: "Look mummy, got dancing doll!"

Toddler: "Its spiderwoman on the chair!"

Toddler: "Spiderwoman so high up there"

MG: Toddler's new toy complete with flashing eyes and dances like the real thing. Doubles up as a decorative item too!

Hehe. Now toddler's excitement and anticipation for the coming Chinese New Year is building up. Seeing the festivals through toddler's eyes is indeed fun! Its also fun to shop during Chinese New Year. So much to see, eat and do. There's even free entertainment at the mall amidst the mad festive rush to buy food, clothing and decoration for the home. MG in Chinese New Year mood now.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Girl's Guide for Valentine's Day

Last Valentine's, Mr MG told me that his colleague was very stressed out. Dunno how to make his girlfriend happy during Valentine's Day. He was coached by his girlfriend to tell their mutual friends that they had gone for a lovely dinner and followed by a fireworks show or something to that effect. (Wah! Like dat oso got!) They did go out for dinner somewhere but obviously it wasn't good enough for Ms Kiasu.

I think Valentine's Day has become way, way too commercialised (as everything else). Ridiculously priced flowers and food. Choke! Gulp! I guess only the young and naive will fall for this commercial trap. So ladies, here's my two cents on how you should approach Valentine's Day.

If you're single and have no date
Don't pine, whine and groan. Enjoy yourself with your girlfriends or in solitude. Love yourself. Thats the best Valentine gift you can give yourself.

If you have a new man trying to impress you
Enjoy! Let him spend the ridiculous money but don't forget to frame the card and dry the flowers for keepsakes. Thats probably the last time you will receive flowers and cards from him (It happened to me!)

If you're going out with a steady boyfriend
Don't fight about why he doesn't love you anymore because you don't celebrate Valentine's Day the way you did when you first met. Valentine's Day breakup is very common because of the ridiculous pressures both parties put on each other on that one so called day to declare love. (Almost as ridiculous as the flowers and food prices)

If you're married without kids
Don't do any housework or cook for a week prior to V day. Then on V day tidy up a bit and cook a simple meal. Hubby will be a happy man and feel very loved. (Pssst. Men! They don't know how to appreciate something until its not there).

If you're married with kids
Valentine's Day? Whats that???!!!

Warning to all girls: Go read Michael Ooi's Valentines Day 2005 blog. Thats what men really think of Valentine's Day.

(Mike put up a disclaimer on his blog to keep the girls from reading so its a free for all there. Someone said "Thanks to your disclaimer in this entry, no women will be reading this :P. You know how women like to gossip and such and everyone women wants their man to be better than the others hence to me I feel v-day is more like whos man is more romantic (in this case most ripped off). Just to meet society's standard koz nobody wants to be the black sheep, its apparently uncool. We men just pay the price. ")

Haha. But they should have known that girls being kpc, sibuk and gossipy will read even more with a disclaimer like that!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Colours of Chinese New Year

When I was old enough to buy my own Chinese New Year outfits, I always wandered why the elders in the family were so "loh tou" (Cantonese for old fashioned).

"Why did I have to wear red?" "Why can't I wear a refreshing green, a cooling blue or a classic black?" (Eeeeyeea! *grumble-grumble*)

The aunt's explained that black and blue is the colour of mourning. "You don't want to mourn all year round do you? Now Red, on the other hand will bring you you good luck and prosperity throughout the year."

"Gold is very important too. It too is the colour of prosperity. If you want to wear blues or greens, then at least try to ensure you have some gold on you." Advised the aunts. I remember feeling very important indeed as a little girl when my mum put on for me the little gold bangles, necklaces and anklets specially reserved for Chinese New Year.

Thats also the reason why visitors to your home will come bringing mandarin oranges ("kum" or "gold") and you must return some "kum" to your visitors as well. It is considered bad manners to go visiting empty handed and to let your visitors leave empty handed if they came bearing gifts.

Usually I am very confused about this tradition. Mr MG and I will usually stand whispering in the kitchen "Eh, what to give them back? They gave 8 "kum". Should we give back 8 as well? Should we put in some chocolates, some tidbits, some barbequed meat, some liquor, an angpow? Should the angpow be an empty one or must put in a dollar or two as a token? Is it bad manners to give less in return to your visitors? Will they be insulted if we gave more? etc etc.

Now I've come full circle. My little ones will be decked in red this CNY, not in the name of superstitions or pantang but rather to uphold tradition. Whats CNY without red? I've only come to realise how important tradition and culture is after becoming a parent, having taken these things for granted all this while. Its funny that only after I become a parent that I only start to understand the things my parents did for me. Thats the wheel of life, I guess. It goes on and on.

For now, baby and toddler don't argue back when they're dressed in red (poor things have got no choice. Hehe) but I will have my day when my children will look at me one kind and say "Mum! You're so "loh tou"!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Make a Wish

I feel like having some Yee Sang, after seeing Narrowband's "ta pau" (takeaway) Yee Sang photo.

Tossing Yee Sang is equivalent to closing one's eyes and making a wish before blowing the candles on your birthday cake. Only you have to toss the Yee Sang higher and higher for a better chance for your wish to materialise.

I remember one year after the Asian Crisis, our family was having Yee Sang during CNY and we all got carried away with our wishes as we tossed the Yee Sang higher and higher.

"Sales up!" (says businessman brother-in-law)
"Business pick up!" (said another businessman brother-in-law)
"Economy up!" (said those who were employed)
"Stock-market up!" (said MG, then in the stockbroking industry)
"Results and marks up!" (said the students nephews and nieces)
"Everything go up but my blood pressure don't go up!" (said dad and everyone burst into laughter).

Ooh la la! Such fun. I can't wait for Chinese New Year!


They say its better to do it after the babies fall asleep.
They say its better to do it right after a bath.
I prefer to do it wide awake, preferable with lots of lighting.
Still, I get cold sweats and my hands start trembling.
Its really nerve racking.
But I never used to feel this way........
I was really confident when I did it.
I always got it right the first time every time.
I had a firm grip and I did it decisively.
But all that has changed.... since that day I drew blood.

Yup, I've lost all confidence to trim babies nails now.

I've had no problems holding on to babies cute, chubby little fingers firmly and clipping the nails decisively until one day....... "Waaaahhhhhhhh" (Ouch!) I had accidentally trimmed some skin and flesh. And I had trimmed down very hard too thinking it was the nails. (My poor baby!) Baby cried and I cried harder. (Bad mummy! Bad mummy!) I ran around frantically trying to decide whether to put antiseptic, a plaster, put the little finger under running water or what??? Should I take baby to the paeditrician? I checked to see if the nail clipper was rusty, a thousand things running through my mind. What if baby developed an infection from the wound? What if this....? What if that? Yikes. Anyway, here's what to do in case of a cut.

We parents worry about every little thing, worse when we are the ones whose carelessness inflicted the pain in the first place. The self-blame that takes place is HUGE!!! Now, I can't trim the nails anymore without fear. I've developed a phobia. Gosh. And they grow so fast, those little fingernails. They have to be trimmed weekly or more often or else "scratch. scratch" (themselves and anybody else nearby). Hmmm... babies nails look long now. I've been in avoidance again, I think.

Monday, January 24, 2005

My New Boss

Hmm... Haven't written to my old friend for some time. Think I'll draft a letter to her here.

Dear Old Friend,

How have you been? Sorry I haven't written for so long but I've been rather busy. Have I told you that I have left ABC Corporation? I am now working with XYZ Home Enterprises. My new bosses are a bit of a slave driver. Thats why I haven't had time to write.

I don't have any annual leave but I work flexi-hours (this means that I have to be flexible enough to be on call 24/7). Heck! Most days I don't even have a lunch break, not to mention coffee break but not to worry, when I get too hungry, sometimes I sneak into the pantry to cook some Mee Maggi Curry. (But if the bosses finds out, I usually have to eat it cold).

Sometimes during office hours, I "curi-curi" blog (like now, "shhh...." better not tell my bosses or else....) My bosses won't fire me but they may yell at me and pull my hair. (Sometimes my bosses can be physically abusive.)

Did I tell you that I'm working for two bosses? Yes, thats right. Its probably because I'm good at multi-tasking and time management, thats why.

I would really love to write to you some more but I've got to go now because my bosses require a diaper change and a nap RIGHT NOW! Got to run! Take care and keep in touch ok?


P.S. I may complain sometimes but I love my new job and thats why I don't mind working so hard. My bosses are really fun people who make my days worthwhile. Sometimes they make me smile for no reason at all and they add a lot of fun and laughter to my world. I'm also learning a lot of new things and virtues from them, ......... patience, unconditional love..... (Oops Sorry, I really got to run now. Boss calling!)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Toddler's Favorites Folder

On our home PC we have the links bar for the common links to websites that Mr & Mrs MG visits. Then we have our own Favorites Folder. Mr MG's folder is very neat with a few selected websites organised into subfolders. MG has subfolders too but her Favorites list is a mile long. Anything that grabs my attention at that particular moment gets sent there. And sometimes I forget to delete long after they cease to become favorites but I will do a once in a blue moon housekeeping.

And then theres toddler. Now toddler has her own Favorites Folder too. I'm going to put all toddler's favorite links here for my easy reference and I would recommend parents of toddlers to check out this sites with their toddlers. They will love them. Afterall, they are tried and tested by a toddler.

Learning ABCs

Elmo's Keyboard-O-Rama - An animated Elmo (of Sesame Street) will tell toddler what alphabet it is when she presses the letters on the keyboard. At first I sat next to toddler and pressed them for her but after a few runs I left her to play on her own and was surprised that she could recognise most of the alphabets. I think its the visuals that helped.

Learn to read at Starfall - This one has great animated alphabets too but requires adult help because need to use the mouse.


There are many lovely online interactive stories for children of various ages (the links are found on my sidebar) but these few stories are toddler's personal favorites:

Jack & the Beanstalk - This one is MG's favourite too because it can tell the whole story without having to click the mouse at every page.

The Shop of Colours - Toddler likes this one because its really colourful and MG likes it because it teaches toddler about colours in such a fun way.

The Three Bears, The Lion and The Mouse, Jingle Jungle Monkey - Wonderful animated stories but needs adult to help toddler to turn the page with a click of the mouse unless you have an older child who can do it on their own.

Stories with themes - There are many themed stories and games here and toddler hasn't finished testing them out.

Songs and Nursery Rhymes:

Children's Songs - This site has a very comprehensive list of children's songs together with the lyrics too for those who cannot remember the lyrics.

Nursery Rhymes - Wonderful animated nursery ryhmes can be found here (almost all the nursery rhymes that one can think of and more). You will need to click on the words "nursery rhymes" (not "Old English Nursery Rhymes") somewhere in the passage/paragraph to access the rhymes.

The Wheels of the Bus - This one has a little bit of a twist to this common kids song but toddler likes it. Its supposed to be sung my Mad Donna. (See the twist?)

All About the Orchestra - Great stuff here for kids to learn about musical instruments. MG learned quite a few things too!


Tub Time - Toddler can pop the bubble by pressing the spacebar and various animals will appear. Press the little yellow ducky after you go to the link to enter this game for toddler.

Snuffy's Magic Garden - Toddler gets to move the mouse around to water the garden and plant some flowers. Initially she could not do it but now she can manipulate the mouse around the screen very well. It teaches hand/eye coordination plus it has beautiful animated flowers growing.

Clifford Peek-A-Boo puppy and Pet Clifford - Toddler likes these because the characters from her book has come to life.

Lets Take Care of Baby - Toddler gets to play mummy here to feed, dress and take baby out to play.

I've put all this links here for my own convenience but parents with toddlers and pre-schoolers are encouraged to visit the websites to try them out (Your kids will love them and you but you must sit and play with them alright?)

Disclaimer from MG:
Please don't come after me if your keyboard, mouse or computer hangs ok???!! (This is likely to happen if you get lazy and leave your child to bang on the keyboard and mouse on their own)
And if you can't blog because your toddler is fighting with you over the PC, don't look for me, look for your toddler.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Hidden Talent

Parenthood brings out many hidden skills and talents we never knew we had.

Take Mr MG for example. I have never heard the man sing. He can't. He's tone deaf. That means he sings off key. The music goes this way and he goes another. His rhythm and tempo, ok, not that bad but thats the extend of his talent..... until toddler came along of course.

Wow! Suddenly Mr MG the boyfriend and husband who could not sing, became a singer, songwriter and composer ... but only to his daughter and now his son lah. His lullaby to get babies to sleep is the song "Both Sides Now" by by Joni Mitchell (terrible lyrics for a lullaby but the only song he vaguely remembers the lyrics to.) At least now he has learned some new songs, including Ernie's (of Sesame Streets fame) "Imagine That" During playtime, he would sing stuff like these:

  • "Oh, ho, ho, ho. Oh, ho, ho, ho. Everybody was kungu fighting. Hooh. Haah." and dance with them around the room. (Song by Wang Chung)
  • "You should be dancing. Yeah! Dancing. Yeah!" and pull up babies hands in the air. (Song by the Bee Gees).
  • "You ain't nothing but a hound dog, crying all the time...... you ain't nothing but a hound dog, crying all the time..." while holding baby under the armpits and shaking baby's body all over. (Song by Elvis Presley)

He would also sing songs that he made up like these:

The Sun is Out
And I'm Going Out
Buy Chee Cheong Fun
Have lots of fun

Go to the mall
And have a ball
Go to the park
And see bark bark
(Second part of the song made up by MG)


One little hand, 5 little fingers (pulls up one hand and counts)
Another little hand, 5 little fingers (counts fingers of the other hand)
Left Hand, Right Hand, 10 little fingers

One Little Foot, 5 little tossies,
Another Little Foot, 5 little tossies
Left Foot, Right Foot, 10 little tossies (counting the toes as he goes along)
(He usually sings this when we are bathing the baby together)

Baby and toddler doesn't mind his off-key singing but seem to rather enjoy his silly made-up songs. I guess thats what fathers are for. Fun, laughter and games.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Ubat Batuk Cap Ibu dan Anak

Having a cough reminds me of all those times I had a cough and took the Ubat Batuk Cap Ibu dan Anak (Nin Jiom Pek Pah Koa) as a kid. I still took it as an adult occassionaly maybe out of habit, until I chanced upon this one day and discovered that I had been taking the fake/counterfeit drug!

Now this brings back memories of other stuff I consumed as a kid including:

Cod Liver Oil either in capsule or liquid form. I remember the cod liver capsules looked like gel and I liked to squish them to feel the liquid inside. They were more palatable than the liquid ones which was white and thick. Apparently now, they have them in different flavours, like these. Funny. Back then there weren't as many advertisements but still most people I know has had their parents stuff cod liver oil down their throats.

Pil 'Chi-Kit' Teck Aun for diarrhea. I adored the tiny looking little pills. They looked so cute. Didn't take much persuasion to consume those. TV Smith has something funny to say about them on his National Page. Go take a look.

Cough and Cold

MG just went to see doctor after a week of being sick and not getting any better. Breastfeeding mums or at least this one is a bit fussy when seeing doctor.

MG: Doctor. I'm breastfeeding, please prescribe safe meds for breastfeeding.
Doc: Ok, I won't give you any antibiotics (busy writing prescriptions).
MG: Doctor, please don't give me anything that will make me feel drowsy. I'm looking after a baby and toddler myself with no help. I don't want to accidentally fall asleep. Its dangerous to leave a baby and a toddler unsupervised.
Doc: Ok but the cough medicine will make you sleepy. You just take less of it.

All in all, got prescribed 6 types of medicine ie for flu, cough, gargle, something for the throat, a painkiller and a nosedrop. Costs RM48.00. "Aiyoyo, pokkai lah like dat. Cannot buy that red Chinese New Year blouse.........."

At night MG felt very relaxed, like on cloud 9. Mr MG spoke to MG but he sounds very far away and a bit dreamy "Hon........hoooow...caaaan.....I.....heeeellllp......yoooouuuu." MG looks at him with a blank stare trying to focus on what he is saying. Baby is crying and toddler whining right next to MG but MG is still calm and smiling. MG feeling better already after seeing doctor? Nyah! MG just high on cough medicine that is all. I hate this drowsy, groggy, blurred and heavy head feeling. Hmm.... better take the cough medicine in the evenings only, when Mr MG is around.

Mumbo Jumbo

"Annow........uno.......kudos......cut fingernails.........anyway"
"Annow.......uno.......kudos.....sleep all night.........anyway"

MG trying to cast a magic spell? or perhaps trying to make a magic potion to get better from her cough and cold? Nyah!

That was just toddler reading her bedtime storybooks by herself because MG lost her voice so cannot read to her. Told her to read herself. So she sat there turning the pages and pointing to the words and read her mumbo jumbo mixed with words she knows. The "cut fingernails' was because we trimmed her nails in the afternoon and the "sleep all night", (I don't where that came from) but "sleep" because she was reading Sleeping Beauty.

I never bother to correct toddler's mispronounciations because they sound so cute. She will eventually learn the right words. Previously she used to call her teddy bears "dare-dare". Now they're just plain "bear". She still calls her favourite "Hello Kitty" toys "pupucat" and I love the sound of it. Toddlers are so cute. Who says they are the terrible twos? Ok, they do have their tantrums but if one foccusses too much on that and forget to enjoy this wonderful stage of their development then you will miss out this wonderful time.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Blogging Terms & Tools - An Ah Soh's View

I am a self-confessed Ah Soh Blogaholic. New at Blogospere or Blogland, I am always excited to learn anything new about blogging. Here is my view about blogging but before I go on to give my "Ah Soh's" view on Blogging and Blogging Tools I must give a little history about how I started blogging.

It all started with breastfeeding. Haha. Thats true. I had a very difficult time breastfeeding my two babies. It was the hardest thing I had to do in my life but I am very glad that I perservered to give my babies the best milk. Having gone through such a hard time, I was motivated to write down my story to help support other moms who may have or are going through similar difficulties. I did not know where to start because I had no idea how to build a website, so I signed up with a blogger account, not knowing what it was all about. I just wanted to share my breastfeeding story.

I immediately started writing my story on blogger but soon after that I found Yahoo Geocities. I discovered that I could create a pretty website (*ahem* click here to visit Ah Soh's pretty website) from scratch without any knowledge of any html (using Yahoo's Pagebuilder which is very userfriendly) so I moved everything there and my blog died a natural death. After my website was up, I found out about MMB (MyMomsBest - Malaysia's breastfeeding and Parenting website with a heart) and wrote to them to see if they could put my link there. Twinsmom, one of MMB's site administrators wrote back and suggested that I joined the MMB forum. I did not know they had one. I am very glad I did. My only regret (if you can call it that) is that I did not know about MMB when I was struggling to breastfeed my babies.

Anyway MMB is the most wonderful parenting forum for local mummies. Its like a Malaysian open house. The mums there are very wonderful and supportive and apart from breastfeeding, we talk about every other childcare issue you can think of, we share recipes and grumble about our men sometimes. He he. There are some wonderful dads there too.

After one or two months at MMB, 5XMom (owner of the MMB website) and twinsmom started talking about blogging. I read their blogs and saw the fun they were having and my blog was born again. :-)

Wow, long history. MG is long winded as usual. Anyway, here is my understanding of some blogging terms and tools:

Blog, the word.
Merriam-Webster Online says: "Based on your online lookups, the #1 Word of the Year for 2004 was Blog."

Ah Soh says: Wah, this Ah Soh not bad. Very in, hip and happening!

Blog Survey
According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project survey: "By the end of 2004 blogs had established themselves as a key part of online culture: 7% of U.S. internet users say they have created blogs and 27% say they are blog readers." Read more here.

Ah Soh says: Wah! So few. That means not bad man this Ah Soh. I wonder what the numbers are like in Malaysia.

Petaling Steet Project (PPS) "is a "blogtal": a blog portal. In itself, it isn't a blog, but it acts as a portal that aggregates (i.e. mengumpulkan or brings together) the freshest and latest content from a cross-section of Malaysian made, Malaysian maintained blogs."

Ah Soh says: Malaysia boleh!

Google's Blogger says "The blogging experience is about not only putting your thoughts on the web, but hearing back from and connecting with other like-minded folks."

Ah Soh: Hmm.. So many bloggers using Haloscan commenting service. Must be something about it. Lets try it out. Oh I see, at least now I can see who my commentors are instead of the numerous Anons (Anonymous). Wah can personalise the look as well. Must make it green green to match my blog template. After signing up for Haloscan. Boo Hoo Hoo, my old comments all disappeared! And what on earth is this trackback? Nevermind, one day I will learn.

Papi gave a very good step by step instruction on how to make use of trackback. Thanks Papi for sharing. Now Ah Soh can have more fun.

Ah Soh says: So cute wan. Like going to a friend's house to invite them over to your house. If very kiasu dat time, when own house got no guest, can go to someone with full house to invite some of their guests over! (Can't believe I just said that. Now everyone will think I am trying to fish for comments everytime I use trackback. Hehe. But aren't we all. Comments is part of the fun in having a blog. The funnies put humour to my day and the others make me think)

Google's Blogger Help says "Tagboards are like little messages attached to your blog, where your readers can leave you notes. They differ from comments, which are attached to individual posts, in that you just have one tagboard for your whole site, and visitors can read the messages right on your homepage. It can be a good way to encourage interaction among your readers and create a sense of community on your blog." Read more here.

Ah Soh says: Wah Shiok man. Like having my own personal forum. Rather like a cross between an answering machine and an Instant Message. "Hello.... I'm not online right now but if you leave a message, I will get right back to you." Coooooolll!! Must have one. (On a more serious note its a useful tool to have for others to leave comments when they don't feel like commenting on any posts in particular).

Blogrolling "is a one-stop linklist manager for your blog or journal, helping you manage your ever-evolving linklist with ease. There are a lot of tools out there to help you blog without getting your hands dirty - but managing your linklist still means having to crawl through the HTML in your template every time you want to add or remove a link. No more! Now it's as simple as clicking a link or making a pit stop at BlogRolling. "

Ah Soh says: What the heck is this but gives it a whirl anyway (as they suggested). Its only later after Hazel of Apa-Apa-Je mentioned somewhere that you can put your bloglinks alphabetically that this Ah Soh discovered that its an easy way to add links to your sidebar alphabetically without messing up your template again and again.

Hit Counter and Statistics
Goggles Blogger Help says "Do you ever wonder how many people visit your blog, or where they come from? Well there are services you can install that can tell you all about the traffic on your site. They range from simple hit counters that just display a total number of visitors, to more advanced statistics services that can give you information about referrers, browsers, visiting times, and more." Blogger provides some links to a few free site trackers here.

Ah Soh says: Walaueh. The Statistics so cooolll. Can see which countries the visitors come from, which website, how often they visit etc. Must have. Must have. Hit Counter I think no need lah. Shylah if few hits.

Other tools Ah Soh uses:
Clocklink to remind herself not to blog for too long.
Moodsmilies - Love them.. those cute little emoticons.
HTML Basix Code Generators. (Ah Soh knows how to spell, thats just the name of the website) This is a fantastic page for those who do not know any html like Ah Soh here but wants to have some fun making their webpages look more *ahem* professional. Ah Soh put up the annoying moving scrollbar using the code generator as well as a drop down menu for her website because too many people complained difficult to enter her website to view the pages.

Note: Ah Soh is "Aunty" or Middle aged lady

P.S. Ah Soh is still learning. If you have any new tricks and tools, please share with Ah Soh ok? Thanks!!

The Grabber and The Independant

Baby, 9 months has turned into "The Grabber". Nothing is spared. Anything that appears within his line of vision and within his reach is grabbed. Favourite targets are food, nose, hair, keyboard, toys, specs (sorry, mixed up. Specs is toddlers favourite target. She has broken her daddy's specs twice already) Anything that he grabs is studied with such intensity of gaze as he turns it around and around in his little fingers, he is sooooo funny to watch, my little grabber.

Toddler, 2 1/2 years is now Ms Independant. "I want to eat". "I want to wear." are her current favourite terms. This should make me jump with joy right, now that I am freed of the task of feeding and dressing her. Wrong! Ms Independant takes more than an hour to finish a meal and oh my gawd... the mess, the mess she leaves behind!! Food on hair, face, clothes, table, floor, everywhere! "Stay calm, MG. Stay calm, MG. Look the other way. Let her be. Its just a stage she has to go through, a development milestone." The consolation is at least now that Ms Independant wants to feed herself, she has become a little, just a little bit more adventurous with food. Before this she was Ms Picky who lived on yoghurt and scrambled eggs. My toddler is growing up, away from me to be her own little person now. Boo Hoo Hoo.

MG must enjoy every stage of her little darlings' development. They grow up so fast!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Power Failure

Had a little power failure earlier on. Bleargh...! (Luckily not in the middle of a post or else @#$#!#@!)

SMS Mr MG and made a few phone calls. Found out that the power failure was not localised in my area but in various parts of KL and PJ too. Hmm....this one might last a while. (thinks to herself). It was almost lunchtime, poor baby sweats till whatever little hair he has is plastered to his head. (They have such a high metabolistic rate and gets heated up very quickly) Toddler is having fun because mummy is going around opening all the windows and doors as she tags happily along.

Went to the kitchen to heat lunch on the microwave. *slaps forhead* No electricity, nevermind can use the gas stove. Set everything up for steaming but then remembered that the stove has to be ignited by an electrical spark and there wasn't a single match in the house..... Aaargh!

Reminds me of those good ole days studying and eating by candlelight in Kuantan when we had frequent power faillures then. These days, feel totally lost when there's not electricity. No aircond, fan, tv, pc. Want to spend more time with your family? Just switch off the mains.

Read more about the power failure from The Star here and here.

Precious Moments II

About a week ago, I wrote about the precious moments my children give me that I want to record down here on my online diary for keepsakes. Well.... since then, I've been..
  • shit on
  • pissed on
  • spit on
  • kicked in the stomach (accidentally - bagi chance lah)
  • scratched by little finger nails that I've not trimmed for only a couple of days
  • woken up from sleep countless of times each time I doze off. (kinda like a sleep deprivation torture)
  • punched in the jaw (or feels that way) by a little colliding head
  • shouted at by toddler "mum.....mmy want orange joooocee, want vibeena (ribena)"
  • screamed at by baby "waaa.........hh...... waaa...hhhhh" with his pleading and 'you just can't resist but have to pick me up look.'
  • bitten while breastfeeding (Ouch!!!!)

Oh Gosh! I just love being a mum!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Chinese New Year is only a few weekends away. Must plan how much new notes to change for angpow. Must think of the different denominations too. Lets see.... must give to:
  • Dad
  • Baby and toddler
  • Nephews and nieces
  • Other single relatives
  • Office co-workers
  • Single friends
  • Guards and regular workers at the condo (not as a bribe, mind you but merely because its nice to spread the New Year cheer around. We cannot stand those who give "kopi" money for a license to park at unusual places)
  • The neighbour's kids
  • Any other kids of friends we happen to bump into
  • The good people behind the lion dance masks *

* Now this one reminds me of last year. We took toddler to watch a lion dance at a temple and when we saw all the kids rushing to shake hands with the lion, we being kiasu parents also rushed toddler to shake hands with the "lion". Toddler got rewarded with a mandarin orange or "kum" (meaning gold) from the " lion's" mouth. It was only after the event that we noticed that all the other kiasu parents gave angpows to their kids to pass to the lion. Oops! What a blunder. Must give angpow one ah. So malu. Did not know. This year will allocate some for that. What do to? We are still new to this giving out angpow thing. Have been receiving them for years, now must give handouts, not used to it yet.

Top Ten Couple Wars

In MG's opinion here are the top ten wars couples have:

  1. Word War - this can take two forms. Verbal exchanges or written word war. Verbal word wars can lead to all out shouting matches because there is no editting or taking back what you have said. Written word wars are a little bit more friendly. There are many forms too. Email, IM, SMS. Take your pick.
  2. Food War - I have written about this in more detail here.
  3. Cold War - Here, very little or no words are exchanged, only cold facial expressions and body language. Cold Wars can last for days, sometimes weeks. After the initial fight is over and one has even forgotten the original reason for the argument, a cold war can go on due to pride. "Hmm... lets see who backs down or apologises first...."
  4. Renovation War - This one takes place when you are building your love nest together and it will take place everytime you are trying to renovate your home. I have yet to meet a couple who does not fight over the colour and texture of tiles, walls, carpeting, furnishing etc. Oh theres lots to fight about as its difficult to get two personalities to design their dream home together. Mr & Mrs MG solved this problem by designating zones for our home. Ok you take care of this zone, I take care of this zone. Mr MG's zone was the balcony and everytime we have visitors, wah.. bukan main lagi he would sing praises about his zone and his smoking chamber to all our visitors. (he has quit smoking but theres something about the smoking chamber.... hmmm).
  5. Movie/TV War - This one usually starts like this "Aiyah, how come we're always watching your show one.... '
  6. Housekeeping War - This war is especially high up the scale of couples where one party is a neat freak and the other has not heard of the word neat. Division of housework is a neverending war. One must work very hard to find a perfect balance but usually there is no 'perfect balance'.
  7. Children War - This one happens when your child rearing views, ways and values clash. Try to avoid having this type of war as children should be the glue that brings you together not something to fight about.
  8. Money War - "My money is my money, your money is my money" Need I say more? Hehe. Just kidding but on a more serious note this war is almost as bad as the Children War. "Why are you so stingy?" "How come you spend money like water, never think of the future." stuff like that. Luckily Mr & Mrs MG don't fight very much about this. We're both kedekut (a scrooge), you see.
  9. Computer War - With new technology, enters new ways of fighting. Many things to fight about here, PC Games, Blogging, Porn, Chatrooms flirting etc. etc. Luckily Mr & Mrs MG both have some "harmless addictions" like PC Games and Blogging so we are both more tolerant towards each other. "Have you finished using the computer dear? Its my turn now on the PC." The other person feeling guilty for having spent so much time will say "Oh sure thing dear, just give me 5 more minutes..." MG's view on men and PC games is if you can't beat them, join them. Mr & Mrs MG have lots of good times learning games and discussing gaming strategies together. "Hon, should I attack my neighbour?" "Why don't you have a mutual protection pact with the other civilization first?" "But they all gang up to declare war on me!" (Great game this one, recommended by MG). And MG's view on porn? Nowadays the boys don't have to hide, hide and look at girly magazines anymore, its all only a click away. Men are visual by nature so if they want to look, look lah. Nothing to it. Nothing to feel insecure about but men... just don't ogle or drool in front of your wife or girlfriend or you will become chopped liver (but don't be secretive about it either, be open) and don't allow it to become an addiction and replace your spouse. Now that is not acceptable. (Sorry if this view is offensive to some religions). Like it or not, porn is here to stay. If it was a problem before, its worse now that it is so easily available. My worry is how to protect my children from them not how to protect my man from them. He's old enough to know better.
  10. Family Wars - Family here refers to extended families. Family gatherings and in-laws are explosive topics for a fight especially if you're all staying under one roof. Compromise is the key word here.
  11. Libido Wars - Ok ok MG can count. I know my title says Top Ten (because it sounds nicer) but I just remembered there's one more. Read this. Now, this one is more common than anyone would care to admit. The classic "Not tonight dear, I have a headache" works both ways. It could be a "Not tonight dear, I'm so stressed out by work" then this will be followed by "You don't find me attractive anymore, blah, blah, blah." As different individuals, just like food, renovation and other diferences, libido differences is something to be worked on as well.

My last word on this is Happy Couples Fight. It is unnatural to have a relationship without conflicts. My relative who told me she NEVER fights with her husband is now going through a divorce. Its how you handle conflict that matters. Humour is a great way to defuse anger and lucky for MG, Mr MG is great at this.

Another thing is to try not to go to sleep angry with your spouse. This builds up bad feelings between you both not to mention giving you sleepness nights and we can all do with more sleep. Sometimes you come out of an argument stronger as a couple sometimes not but that only means you have to work harder. Nothing comes easy and a happy marriage requires hard work too. It does not just happen. Ok enough philosophy from MG for today. End of War Post.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Self Control

Toddler usually wakes up from a nap happy as a lark. However if her nap is not long or satisfying enough, then everything is not right with this world for her and she starts to cry at every little thing. No amount of distraction, persuasion or scolding will get her to stop.

Recently, after I tried to get toddler to stop whining for the past half hour by various means ending with a raised voice, Mr MG suddenly said: "I can stand her crying. Its just your shouting back at her that I can't stand. Like you're losing control as well" (said very nicely with a smile) as he scooped her up to comfort her.

Wah! MG's defence mechanism shot out liao! Like a porcupine (got nice pics here if you want to see how MG looked like at that moment) ready to shoot out its spikes (Oh I just discovered they're called quills. Quote: "When a predator approaches, the porcupine will turn its back, raise the quills and lash out at the threat with its tail.") MG was thinking: "Yah, sure! You don't have to listen to this whining 24/7. So of course you can stand lah."

MG knows Mr MG well and realise that when Mr MG takes toddler it was to help MG so that MG can get other things done instead of dealing with the whining but when the quills (ahem, learned new word today) are raised....... MG sometimes will say something stupid like "I'm trying to discipline her and here you are spoiling her." This would have raised Mr MG's quills and he would think "Here I am trying to help you out and this is what I get." and then there will be either Words War or Cold War at MG's home.

Luckily MG didn't say much. Afterall toddler's whining was so loud Mr MG could hardly hear so no point but MG did get in a "I was only trying to teach her to behave herself." (or some defensive statement like that. Cannot remember what I said now.

Mr MG is right though. However I'm too close to the problem to realise it. Sometimes its easy to lose control. Shouting back at toddler to stop shouting will hardly yield any results. But I do it sometimes with the so called intention to "discipline her". In actual fact I have gone into tantrum mode as well because in my mind I know her whining will make baby cry (then I've got another new problem to deal with) and then there is this load of stuff waiting...., just waiting for me to do........ and so I shout at her in desperation to stop.

"Just ignore her" says Mr MG but how to ignore this little loud whining thing that follows me around the house pulling at my dress?" Sometimes ignoring her just makes her go on and on for even longer because it is attention she seeks. I would pay a little attention to her but not too much because I don't want her to to think that whining will get her what she wants but at the same time I don't want her to think that she is being ignored just because she is small and helpless and have difficulty trying to express what she wants in words. Boy oh boy, being a parent sure is confusing....

Usually if I sense her mood early when she wakes up unhappy (I have antennas at the back of my head that senses my children's moods and feelings), I can often avoid this whining situation by distracting her immediately with activities but sometimes I'm just too busy or too tired.

Toddler is discovering a whole new world of emotions. It is overwhelming to her and sometimes she does not know how to control herself. So it is up to me, the adult (ahem) to teach her self control but as usual the teacher must learn self control first.

"I must learn self control. I must learn self control." Cannot blog anymore, must go and chant my mantra now. "I must learn self control. I must learn self control......."

Monday, January 10, 2005

Birthday Gift

Mr MG's birthday is coming soon. It usually falls just before Chinese New Year. This puts me in a small dilemma. "What" to buy? (According to Mr MG, my favourite words start with "B" eg "buy", "blog"....). Sorry I tend to digress. My thoughts are always fleeting here and there. Come to think of it "When" to buy is also another problem.

Back to my dilemma. Now, one of the more challenging parts of becoming a SAHM and SAHW is after 20 years of independance, having own car, own apartment and own money suddenly I am back to being a little girl again receiving pocket money. It takes a little bit of getting used to. And what on earth do you get as a gift for your errr.... financier?

Imagine if you will these scenarios:

Scene 1

MG: Darling, I think I need some extra cash.
Mr MG: Sure hon, what for?
MG: Errr... to buy your birthday present?
Mr MG: Oh! Err... he he. No need lah.... (grins sheepishly)

Scene 2

MG goes ahead and buys the gift and charge to her personal credit card (which Mr MG, the financier helps to pay). When the bill arrives...

Mr MG: Hon, whats this item for? Not questioning you, just wandering.
MG : Its for your birthday present.
Mr MG: Huh? So cheap one ah! (teasing MG)

Hmmm... since neither one of these scenarios is very appealing, I think I will settle for the standard store bought (no time to bake) chocolate cake (Mr MG's favourite), cook a dinner of chicken chop, give foot massage and maybe buy a marvel comic book or two (cheap, cheap, can afford!)

Luckily, Mr MG's love language is not "Receiving Gifts" but rather "Acts of Service" so that should be just right.

Friday, January 07, 2005

The Reunion Dinner

Continued from "We've arrived!"

Celebrating Chinese New Year (CNY) as a single girl is very different from celebrating CNY as a married woman. That is because once you are married you adopt your husband's surname. You have now become a new member of your husband's family and from then on you start celebrating CNY with your in-laws. In this respect, it is probably better to have sons rather than daughters to keep your house merry! Haha.

On the eve of CNY everyone would gather for a reunion dinner, a sumptious meal, more like a family feast or banquet. The leftovers would be eaten for days afterwards and sometimes cooked altogether in a pot simply called "chai bui" (leftovers). It was delicious! The girls would help with the shopping and preparing of the meal in the morning. Married ladies would have their reunion dinners with their husband's family (now considered their own as well) and only visit their own families on the 1st or 2nd day of CNY.

Back to my childhood memories. My 5 cousins together with my 5 siblings (me included) made 10. Our table could not accomodate all of us together with the adults so we often ate in 2 rounds. First the adults, followed by the kids. Before eating the kids would call out (in respect) to the elders "ah kong chiak" (literally translated "grandpa eat") , "ah ma chiak" ("grandma eat") and so on and so forth in order of seniority. Because there were so many to call out to, we came out with our own "ta ta lang chiak" (meaning "everybody eat"). Its really a nice custom but I don't think any of the kids these days do that anymore. These days families also tend to dine out for their reunion dinner instead of eating in. Thats sad because part of the fun is in preparing the 'big meal' however hard one has to work to make it happen. When going back to hometown for the festivals some would stay in hotels instead of bunking in at the old family home, maybe out of necessity from lack of space but its still a little sad. Sometimes some families even choose to go abroad for a holiday during CNY instead. Now, thats really silly! (at least to me.)

After dinner, we would have a bath and change into our brand new pyjamas and switch on every light in the house to usher in the New Year. Then we would eat groundnuts, play cards (gamble), eat mandarin oranges, drink shandy (beer and lemonade; it made us feel so grown up to be allowed to drink a little) and play firecrackers, fireworks etc. Sometimes we would stay up all night and the 10 of us would lie down in a row on the wooden planked upstairs floor with fresh pillows and blankets to watch tv. We would fight to "jom" (book) the softest cotton pillows covered with patchwork pillow cases (all homemade) and quickly grab one of the only 2 bolsters available.

On New Year's day we would have a lion dance in our house (because one uncle belonged to a lion dance troupe) and all the neighbourhood kids would crowd round to watch. When father gave us our angpow we would say "thank you pa, hor lu chiak lau lau" (long life to you).

Gee, I'm having such a fun time relieving my CNY memories. Sadly though, our grandparents are no longer here and soon everyone grew up, went overseas to study, got married and the ladies stopped coming home for the reunion dinner and CNY became quieter and quieter. These days my reunion dinner with dad and siblings take place on "Chap Goh Meh" (the 15th and last day of CNY) instead.

Now that I am married, I have to adopt my husband's traditions. Since my in-laws are no longer around, this means that we have to start our own tradition. This is so important to make it memorable for our children. We will cook up our own big meal, make the children wear new pyjamas the night before, switch on all the lights, give them angpows (red packets), allow them to wear new clothes on the 1st and 2nd day of CNY, take them to see lion dances etc etc. We won't underestimate the impact that these family traditions and celebrations have on our kids. Even till today toddler will say "gongxi gongxi" when she sees her CNY pyjamas from last year though she has outgrown the pyjama pants now :-)

We've arrived!

This post is continued from my journey back to hometown (or fondly called 'balik kampung') for the Chinese New Year.

Our old family home in Penang is in Tanjong Tokong. I always enjoyed the car ride from the ferry terminal to the house. It meant that it was the end of our long tiring journey. Can soon get to stretch our legs and eat Penang food. I also enjoyed the drive. Somehow, back then (I'm not sure about now) Penang roads always had these nice old trees planted on both sides of the road. They were old, lush, and cool.

The 5 of us kids always enjoyed meeting up with our 5 cousins in Penang. Immediately upon arriving we would have an array of activities. Among them were:

  • going to the beach just across the road (only we didn't have a proper road then, just a mud trail) from our house with our pails and shovels to catch "siput" (small clams)
  • walking to botanical gardens to watch the monkeys. We would take the shortcut through Mount Erskine and scare each other telling frightening tales along the way because we had to walk past the cemetary.
  • walking to the Pasar Malam (open air night market) in Gurney Drive in the evening. Pasar Malam in KL is nothing as enjoyable as that. No rojak to sit and enjoy by the seafront while giggling at the lovers who 'phak tor' (out on a date) there.
  • lying down flat at the back of our uncle's company pick-up truck (to evade the police; living dangerously. hehe) as he drove us to swim at the pool next to the Chinese Swimming club (I can't remember the name) but we used to go in the evening to swim at the seawater pool there.
  • accompanying our aunties to the Fettes Park morning market to shop for the reunion dinner

More to come.....

The Year of the Green Rooster

Reading and looking at other people's blogs about the coming Chinese New Year puts me in the mood. This year Chinese New Year falls on 9th February. It shall be the start of the Year of the Green Rooster. This will be baby's first Chinese New Year(CNY) and toddler's third. I will probably succumb to buying those cute little red outfits for them and retailers will laugh all the way to the bank fleecing stupid parents like me who will pay for tiny little pieces of clothing that will be worn only for a few weeks. After CNY, its too impractical to let the little ones adorn those uncomfortable little cheongsams etc and by the next year they would have outgrown them and there we go again getting new ones. Oh well, this shall be only for a few years after which they will tell me "Puh..puh..puh..please Mum, don't make me wear that!!!"

I love taking a walk down memory lane. CNY as a young girl is the best. I don't remember many CNYs with mum because she passed away when I was 10 although I recall helping her bake cookies. Later on, we would travel all the way from Kuantan back to Penang to spend our CNY. This journey took 10 sometimes 12 hours on the trunk roads before we had the highways. And we, all 5 kids would fight all the way back. Hey! Put 5 kids in close confinement for several hours and thats what you get. We would count car number plates for entertainment and tease second sis that she is bullying her relatives when we pass by skinny cows by the roadside because she was born in the year of the Ox. Second sis always threw up from car sickness. Somehow she was more prone to motion sickness than the rest of us.

We would take the ferry to Penang as we didn't have the bridge then. It was always fun to get down from the car to feel the breeze and watch the water splashing the sides of the ferry after our long ride. And even more exciting to watch the buildings getting nearer and nearer before hopping back into the car. The car always made a satisfactory "toom toom" sound when we drove out of the ferry onto the mainland and we knew we had arrived. So exciting! I miss the ferry rides.

To be continued....

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Busy as a bee

I've been rushing around trying to complete my "to do list". Hubby is happy to see that and keep on telling the kiddos. "Your mummy is back. She has been released by the vicious grip of the internet monster called blog the horrible!" Hrrmph... He has been reading too many marvel comics again.

Not sure if will get the chance to blog a little later on. This is why.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Stalker

I recently found out that I am a stalker, a parking lot stalker that is. According to this article on parking lot personalities or behaviour, I am a mall parking lot stalker, "the most predatory, slowly following shoppers leaving the store back to their parking spot." According to the write-up, this is one of the methods that can lead to potential stresses and conflicts. Oops! Annoying yes, this MG. The other methods that can cause a lot of stress are quoting from the article: "Search and destroyers who roam the aisles, cruising endlessly for the perfect spot" and the "Lay and wait parkers who position themselves at the end of an aisle and wait for a space to open up in what they start to believe is their territory."

Lucky for us, Mr MG is a "see it and take it" parking personality whereby quoting from the article its "the favored method is to see it and take it, where shoppers don't care how far they have to walk. .... it's less stressful and helps drivers save the most time." I must add that it also helps to burn calories since if you are not getting enough exercise like Mr & Mrs MG you are advised to park as far as you can and walk. Usually we can find a car park more easily that way too.

Recently when we were getting out of a shopping mall carpark, another 'stalker' made a hand and head gesture to us to find out where our car was parked as we were heading towards it. We waved our hands to the general direction of our car park and the driver quickly stalked us. When we arrived at the carpark there was a 'search and destroyer' there ready and waiting for us to load our pram and groceries into the boot and for Mr MG to push the shopping cart to where it was supposed to belong. (Hey we're civic conscious folks. Shopping carts are not supposed to be abandoned by the side.) Don't know what happened between the two drivers after that because we left them there to fight it out. They must have been fuming, having a hard time looking for a car park and having to wait for us to be do our civic duty. He he. (*sadistic grin*)

With the Deepavali, Hari Raya, Christmas, New Year and "back to school" rush behind us, we are now headed for the Hari Raya Haji and Chinese New Year rush. Oh how I hate rushing around especially the traffic jams not to mention the parking and people jam. I shall try to remember the tips from the article and adopt the "see it and take it" method. The last thing I want is to meet up with a road bully! MG is "kiasi" (afraid of dying).

Happy parking everyone!

Precious Moments

Last night toddler was playfully throwing her head back and forth on the pillows (after being banned from hopping and jumping on the bed) and she threw her head right back onto baby's face and cheeks. Of course baby let out a loud yell and started to cry. Toddler was promptly chided and started to cry as well. Toddler went to daddy for comfort and was told off again so there was more crying. Sometimes my house can be rather noisy.

I was thinking to myself. Hmm.... hope that won't cause some jealousies as in toddler's eyes she must surely see daddy and mummy as being more protective over baby than her but cannot be helped, when it comes to safety, she must be taught well.

After that it was lights off and time for bed and toddler bent over to kiss baby on his head. I asked her "Why did you kiss baby?" and she said "Not so painful." This morning when she woke up she straightaway told herself "No jumping, hopping" then she went to kiss baby on his cheeks. Precious moments are made of these.

I love to lie in bed next to toddler at night and we chat about her day just before she falls asleep. Previously I would sing songs and tell her stories but now that she is older and can talk a little bit more I would tell her a story about herself in addition to the her other stories. She would tell me all sorts of things and show off her new vocab which never fails to surprise me. Its a wonder what goes on in that little head. Sometimes, just before she falls asleep she would sit up and tell me something totally unexpected that she has been thinking about. These to me are precious moments, so special I must record it for retelling to my babies when they are adults.

Other precious moments:

Toddler comes and rubs and pats my chest when I burb. (She must have observed me burping baby)

Toddler strokes my hair and mumbles absentmindedly to herself (So funny and heartwarming)

Baby smiles, laughs and wriggles his hands and legs excitedly when he sees me approaching.

Gosh, I love being a mum!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Its The Little Things........

Its only the 3rd day of the year and already my "To Do List" is a mile long. I have several official letters requiring me to collect/return/submit this and that by xxx date. To settle some of this stuff, I have to drive to unfamiliar office buildings, take a number, stand in queue, drive round and round in search of parking etc. Its bad enough having to do all these but to do them dragging a baby and a toddler along is *roll eyes, shakes head* (MG is a a loss for words).

We've also got bills to pay, shopping and other things to settle to prepare for Chinese New Year as well as a need to schedule doctor's appointment for baby's immunization. I've also got to make an appointment for my own chronic hives and nose problems but that will have to wait.

Its the little things in life that gets to us. Hubby and I have a system of paying bills, filing up our paperwork and settling everything else that comes our way as soon as it is practical before it snowballs and overwhelms us. We try to do this in order to live a low stress life. Besides, we hate having that nagging 'unfinished business' feeling.

If we let those little things accumulate, if we do not have a proper system to settle them or if we slack in our system or worse still misplace or forget, very soon we would find that the little things have become a new and different problem requiring our attention. Fines may need to be paid, stuff reactivated, phone calls to make and official letters to write. So we try not to let them get to that stage.

As parents of a baby and a toddler life is hectic and it can be stressful if we allow it to be. So MG must remind herself to:
  • pay bills online as soon as they arrive
  • file up bills immediately after paying
  • handle any new matters that crop up as soon as possible ie in other words "do not procrastinate"
  • be happy about how much we've accomplished instead of worrying about how much more needs to be done

Actually, I am the one who is very poor at doing this. In our relationship, hubby is the one with the system for everything. I'm the sloppy, forgetful one, the kind who would let all the paperwork accumulate by stuffing them somewhere and then lose them because I've forgotten where I stuffed them, the kind who once could not get out of a building carpark because she totally ran out of money in her wallet! I'm usually distracted, dreamy and find it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. Yikes!

Ok, enough blogging. Time for me to get my butt of this chair and work on those "to do list". (Actually, I've settled some important stuff this morning and is feeling proud and happy and ready to tackle more!)

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