Monday, August 28, 2006

Merdeka Baby

i have to say that i'm viewing the upcoming independance day celebrations with more enthusiasm than i did last year.

probably its b'cos gitanjali keeps shouting "merdeka, medeka" in the most cheerful voice, at the drop of a hat, and she gets all joyful and stuff as soon as she sees a malaysian flag. "Merdeka, Merdeka!!!" "Mummy look, 5 flags. Merdeka". Unbridled Exuberant Joy (all begining with capitals, please note) would be an understatement for her state of mind at the sight of the flag. They are teaching them to wave the flag and march up and down at her school.

i guess this is what they mean by brainwashing the young... Das Kapital and all that. Anyway, so I too, am joyfully exuberant about the fact that we Malaysians are celebrating "Merdeka" and shouting it from the rooftops (or at least from the balcony of my 9th floor apartment, with a joyfully exuberant 3 year old waving a malaysian flag). My mother has also joined in the festivities, and has presented me with a flag to hoist in my 1st floor office. it is some 4 feet tall, and needs a pole, she tells me...

So, while i stand here and ponder on the inexplicable absence of any flag pole in my office, which if i didn't mention it before, is on the 1st floor, Happy Merdeka Baby. Have a fantabulous time, and make sure you get some flags to wave joyfully.

Friday, August 25, 2006

our favourite books

Gitanjali is only 3, but between us, we've read such wonderful picture books in the last couple of years that i thought i would do a list of our favourite books...

1. my all time favourite is "owl babies" (by martin waddel and patrick benson), which i got for her when she was 18 months old. she loves it, but i have to confess, i love it more. the artwork is spectacular, and the story so very real... this book is a comfort to me and to my baby.

2. second place is tied. my vote goes for "the pig in the pond", which is by martin waddell and jill barton. This book is laugh out loud funny. a number of people have read this out to my daughter, and they are always laughing by the time they get to the end, so i love this book.

However, gitanjali adores "i love you stinky face", which is by
lisa mccourt and cyd moore.this book was something alysha read first and loved. sham recommended it to me, but i had doubts buying it, b'cos gitanjali was only 2 years or so when i got it. i didn't really think she would understand the meaning of "cyclops" or "green alien from mars", but boy was i surprised! Gitanjali loved this book from the moment i first read it to her. i like it too, but gitanjali can tell you the entire story by heart - if you didn't know better, you'd think she was reading it...

3. would have to be "Snuggle puppy" by sandra boynton. it's a classic boynton boardbook, and i got it for her when she was less than a year old, but both of us love this book, and know it by heart. it is also a song ( a love song), which you can listen to on boynton's site, so we sing it as well... we love this book very much...

4. this is a new book for us, but already we've fallen in love with it. In "Guess how much i love you" (Sam McBratney, Anita Jeram), Little Nutbrown Hare describes to Big Nutbrown Hare how much he loves him. Gitanjali now asks me daily "guess how much i love you", and proceeds to demonstrate to me exactly how much she does - its lovely.

5. "One fish, two fish, Red fish, blue fish" is also a new book for us. i don't know if it counts as a picture book but it's a Dr. Seuss book, and the longest one we've read so far. my husband was reading it to her for the first time the other day, and somewhere midway, he stopped, looked at me, and said, when does it end? LOL... it's a really funny book, and gtitanjali already knows enough of it to fake "reading" it... in my house, we have to read this book at least 3 times a day currently (sometimes under duress), so it is hot...

6. "Sheep in a Jeep" by Nancy E. Shaw is fun fun funny. six sheep jump on a jeep, push it into mud, rescue it from the mud with the help of some tattoed pigs then drive off in happiness and crash into a tree. the sheep are so comical, and their looks of dismay priceless...
Go buy this book.

7."The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear" by Don & Audrey Wood is beautifully illustrated, and has great comic value.

The expression on the mouse's face when he thinks the bear is after his strawberry, and his attempts to hide the strawberry are precious. i love this book.

8. "Time for Bed" by Mem Fox and Jane Dyer is endearing, and just right for bedtime. This is another great favourite in our bedroom, and the little girl in the book is Gitanjali, or so she would have you belive it. Of course the pretty mama, is me...

9. "Harriet you'll drive me Wild" is also by mem fox, but is totally different from time for bed. its illustrated by Marla Frazee. Harriet is a pesky child, and her mom an almost saint who tries not to yell, but fails miserably by the last few pages. This book came to me at just the right time, when i was about to sell gitanjali to the best bidder, for no peskier child could i have found. nowadays i just tell gitanjali "You're not a pesky child isn't it?" or better "you know mama doesn't want to yell right?" (which is of course a terrible lie, b'cos this mama is not only already yelling, but on the verge of rendering bodily violence...). Anyway. we love this book, b'cos its about a pesky child and an oppressed mama, which we can both of us identify with... also its very funny... so go get it, even if you have pesky sons and not daughters...

10. "Click Clack Moo" (Doreen Cronin, Betsy Lewin) is about cows that go on strike because they are cold and are demanding electric blankets... so funny. Buy it for yourself, and your kids will fall in love with it too...

PS: i did this list from memory in my office on a sleepy friday. i am away from my bookshelf, and have only put down what i can remember. the books here are all lovely, but since i have a full row on my bookshelf all crammed with picture books, and all of which, we love at home, i probably have missed many out... so what i am trying to say is this is obviously not a full and comprehensive list. also there are books that i have not read to her yet or haven't bought for her yet. "Where the wild things are" by Maurice Sendak is one of them. Another is "Goodnight Moon", and also "Goodnight Zoo". Also i have only included one dr. Seuss book, and one Sandra Boynton book, b'cos we find all their books lovely.

Have a good weekend you all...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

everyday i open up this page, and think "What? still no posts?" "why why why"... i don't know what i think is going to happen - that someone is going to tap into my brain and type out my thoughts i guess..

the fact that no one has, is a bit disconcerting, and this terrible method of me actually having to log on and actually having to rack my brain and actually having to type the actual thoughts out seems a tad inefficient, not to say outmoded... but what to do? i miss all my lovely comments, and you lot don't seem to want to comment if i've not posted, so it looks like i've got no choice but to do it the old fashioned way... so here i am...

how have you been? i've been well. a little busy, a little zoned out.. a little fatter... what is it about fat? why does it creep up on you like that? and the terrible thing is that your brain somehow adjusts itself so that when you look in the mirror, you look the same as you did 5 years ago, and then suddenly, WHAM!!! can't fit into any of your clothes...

this week has been a rollercoaster one for me... some ups, some downs... hardly got to watch any telly, except for nigella cooking something yesterday... only got to watch this as gitanjali loves her as much as i do...

moo bought me a surprise ring with a nice big stone on it, so that was definitely an up. the down was that i only get to pick it up tommorrow after they've set it... i've also had people unloading their problems on me this week - 5 different people by the way with 5 major problems, and i have to say that it is tiring and tedious - somehow i sort of carry their problems with me, even though they've gone off feeling a little better for talking to me... but then i guess i'm blessed that i only have to listen - it's not as if i'm carrying that burden for them, am i... and they all said that they felt better for having me listen to them, so i shall not complain...

its school holidays after tomorrow, and god help me, what will i do? sham has promised to go on a picnic with me, so that will be nice, but what about the rest of the days? have been racking my brain, but no thoughts yet... and the thing is she's 3. so many many more years of school holidays looming ahead... a bit scary the whole thought of it...

i have to say, having gitanjali in my life - it's like i was always wandering around in black and white, and suddenly there's colour... and noise... it's wonderful. but the whole mom thing is so tiring. i think that this is the thing.... it's like having the best time of your life, but being tired at the same time, and not having enough sleep, and this, with only one toddler... what happens when i have the other 3 (oh didn't i tell you? i plan to have 4 kids, if i can)

gitanjali was fully breastfed until she was 21 months old, and she spent the first 18 months of her life entirely in my care. i was lucky and still am lucky that i could keep her with me for that long, and that even now, i get to spend more time with her than most working moms - but i have to say that now that i don't have her with me all the time - i make sure that the hours that i spend with her are solely centered around her, and we have a lot more fun these days... (this of course means that i suffer terrible pangs of guilt whenever i go out and do something that does not include her, like a facial or a manicure or shopping... ) which was not the case when i had her with me all the time in the office - see those days, i used to have her in the office all day long... i had to work and keep an eye on her as well, which meant i was there, but i wasn't really there mentally with her - then when we went home, i would be so tired, that i would just turn on the tv or grab a book and zone out... nowadays b'cos i don't get to see her all day, i don't zone out at all... she's number one all the time, and that is just the way i like it, i have to say...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Why God made Mums

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mum just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you Your mother & not some other mum?

1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's mums like me.

What kind of little girl was your mum?

1. My mum has always been my mum and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mum need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mum marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mum eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mum didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mum doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mum. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mum is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between mums & dads?
1. Mums work at work and work at home & dads just go to work at work.
2. Mums know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but mums have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Mums have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mum do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mum perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your Mum, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my Mum smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.