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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Chinese New Year through the years

When I was a kid, Chinese New Year was an exciting time. We would balik kampung. We met up with long lost relatives. We wore new clothes. (We didn't buy new clothes all year round as the kids these days do, so it was more exciting to get many new clothes all at once for CNY). We got to drink fizzy sodas (Again, we didn't get to drink them all year round at fast food joints).

There were angpows, angpows and more angpows and lots of good food, cookies, oranges and groundnuts to munch on all day and we got to stay up late into the night and gamble! Oh and I almost forgot the beautiful fireworks that light up the night sky. It was really fun. The firecrackers are a bit too loud for me though.

And then when I was a teenager, it was still exciting to compare new clothing and fashions with all our cousins when we got together at the old family house. It was fun to go out together to have our hair done and watch movies together.

And then everyone grew up and got married and the old house got less and less merry as the girls did not come home for the CNY anymore since they were required to be at their in-laws. Some of the younger ones were studying overseas and did not return home for CNY cos it was expensive to do so. We stopped doing things together. The married boys had their own little families to look after now and everything just became quieter overall.

Then I got married and I followed my hubby's traditions which is a much quieter version than mine was. Now we have kids and its starting to get fun again. Its lovely to start our own little family CNY ritual. Even though they're still very young, its nice to create excitement for the kids by buying new clothes and shoes for them and telling them that they must wait till CNY before they can wear it.

I remember as a child, how nice it was to change into new pyjamas after a bath on the eve of CNY so we got them cute little pyjamas for the eve as well. Baby will look so cute in his first "man" pyjamas and my girl will look sweet in her brightly coloured one.

Its nice to involve them in the house cleaning and decorating. I know my girl is looking forward to "washing" the balcony. We do it together like twinsmom. Even baby helps out. He would be in just his diapers and pants and he'd sit there on the floor looking very happy and wet while he plays with the bucket of water in the pail. My girl is happy to help "pour" the water for us from her little red watering can.

Its fun to put up the decorations afterwards, the little dolls, flowers and hanging mobiles and see their excitement being ignited when the red lanterns are lighted up. Its nice to build up their excitement for CNY and in doing so, our own excitement builds up too. CNY is not just about the day, its also about all the rituals leading to the day and it lasts for 15 days! What a celebration. I'm really looking forward to it.

Friday, January 13, 2006

About Being Happy and CNY Resolutions

A friend of mine recently said this during email exchanges with the gang about New Year wishes and greetings of happiness, good fortune, money and health etc.

".......... it's more one's perception of things than what actually is. When I was back home, I saw a family with many kids piled into a car with windows rolled down sweating away singing happily in spite of the uncomfortable conditions and a luxurious car with the family in it looking sour faced. "

How very true isn't it? Happiness is a choice. Its easy to be happy and easy to be unhappy too.

I had not blogged about any new year resolutions but I had something in mind, more or less...
I was thinking of:
  1. Listening more and complaining less
  2. Smiling more and frowning less
  3. Exercising more and eating less
  4. Praising more and criticising less (as suggested by Lian)

Well, January isn't even over and I've failed in 1 & 2 quite miserably! The only thing I've been successful at is No. 3 which probably explains the 10 pound loss I've had since I started on in in October. (I'm now about 125 pounds instead of 135 pounds and I can fit into some old clothes now if I hold my breath and stand up all day. Hahaha.) Yippee! But before I go on to cheer myself further, I should really try harder to practise 1 & 2 in my daily life and see what sort of results I get instead. Yes! Thats what I should do. A change of attitude is even better than a change of clothing size. I've really got to learn to control my temper and emotions better. Now, thats even a lot harder to do than losing weight! Ok, so now I've got my Chinese New Year resolutions since I didn't make it for the calander new year.

Budding Little Con Artist

Scene: Cool, dark bedroom with just the nightlight on.

Baby: Mummy, I sleep 2x then eat ammal bisket? I sleep 10x then eat ammal bisket?

MG: Ok baby. Go to sleep. When you wake up, you can eat your animal biscuits for breakfast.

Baby: Ok mummy.

Baby then puts his head on the pillow and yawns sleepily and then...........

Baby: Mummy, I wake up adi. I wanna eat ammal bisket!

My little boy is growing up fast................. to become a little con artist!

Monday, January 09, 2006

This and That

On My Little Girl

Yesterday I accidentally slammed the car boot door on my little girl's index finger. Luckily accept for blue black bruises it does not look too serious. I was panic stricken when I saw her tender young fingers stuck after I had slammed the door shut and she cried out in pain and I felt really, really bad! My heart broke and the guilt! Oh the guilt! I want to kick myself! Can somebody kick me please?

On My Aged Parent

Saturday night I accompanied dad to a wedding dinner of his old friend's son. To be very honest, if dad hadn't had a stroke, I probably/might not have gone with him because it was "inconvenient" for me to go. We always take our aged parents and others for granted don't we? We take it for granted that they would always be there for us until one day, they no longer are. I sat on a table meant for other elderlies and their sons/daughters who were supposed to take them to the dinner. One chair was empty cos one daughter did not go and another son and daughter-in-law (dil) who went along did not look like they wanted to be there at all, especially the dil. She hardly smiled throughout the dinner accept to her own husband. I think that at a chinese wedding dinner when all are seated at a round table, it would be plain curtesy to at least smile at the other diners even though you don't feel like making conversation, but she didn't. Its none of my business but still its sad to realise how many of us take our aged parents for granted, and that goes for me too!

On My Little Ones

Mummy's babies, You both look so dear to me when you awaken from your sleep. That sleepyhead puzzled look just takes my breath away!

Song lyrics that touch me today.

You say you just don't see it
He says it's perfect sense
You just can't get agreement
In this present tense
We all talk a different language
Talking in defence

So we open up a quarrel
Between the present and the past
We only sacrifice the future
It's the bitterness that lasts

So Don't yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective
On a different day

And here's another .........

that if we don't see eye to eye there's something we can do

I'd start walking your way
You'd start walking mine
We'd meet in the middle
'Neath that old Georgia pine
We'd gain a lot of ground
'Cause we'd both give a little
And their ain't no road to long
When you meet in the middle

Babe I love the way we work it out
That's what love's about

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Sometimes eavesdropping in my house can be a rather fun activity. Here is a conversation between my 3 1/2 year old girl and 1 1/2 year old boy I heard recently:

3 1/2 year old: Baby, why your face like that one?

1 1/2 year old: ------------

3 1/2 year old: Baby, say "Book", say "Book" baby.

1 1/2 year old: Ah Duh!

3 1/2 year old: Whats Ah Duh?

1 1/2 year old: Kiri korek

3 1/2 year old: Whats kiri korek?

1 1/2 year old: kiri korek kada zini

3 1/2 year old: Zini zini zini (Hehehe)

And here's a conversation between My Girl and Mr MG I overheard recently:

My Girl: Daddy, whats this?

Mr MG: Beard

After some time has passed....

My Girl: Whats shay?

Mr MG: Huh? Shape izzit?

My Girl: No! No! Shay. Whats shay?

Mr MG: Huh? What are you talking about? What shay?

My Girl: Daddy, whats shay?!!! (pointing to Mr MG's unshaven face, I presume)

Mr MG: Oh, you mean shave. Its to shave off the beard.

My Girl: Why?

Mr MG: Because the beard will grow.

My Girl: Oh! Grow like flowers. (and she sounded very happy indeed with the relevation after which she came to me and said "Grow like flowers, mummy" with a big smile. lol)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A New Year Present

We have been waiting eagerly for My Boy to say his first word. Oh, sometimes I think he does say "Mama", "Che Che" (sister) and he says "Bah" when we go over a bump on the road but we did not count all of that in because sometimes its in repetition or doesn't quite sound right. We wanted for him to say a word on his own volition without any prompting from us. And on 31st December 2005 he did just that!

I was on the PC errr.... playing with my Civilization game (hehe) and My Boy and My Girl were playing nearby. My Boy was busy moving books off the bookshelf and sat leafing through some of them when all of a sudden he came and pulled my hand. I followed him and he pointed to a picture of a star in the book he was looking at and said "Star!"

Now thats the second best New Year present I ever had.

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