Friday, December 31, 2004

Exit 2004

What a year it has been. Here are the highlights, in no particular order.

Baby Jesse came into our lives. We found out about the little guy early in the year and in August, he was born. What an amazing thrill-ride that was. Mae and I grew up a lot this year. Just a year back we were still, pretty much two crazy kids trying to make sense of everything - the world, the economy, the marriage... and suddenly, we're parents. Yup, we grew up alright. In fact we're still growing up, so much so we're beginning to feel it in our aching bones. Hahahhah! Still, parenthood is amazing and rewarding, provided all those night-feeds and diaper-changes don't kill you first!

I blogged for the first time. Thanks to an ex-colleague who showed me the ropes. It's been a fun ride - made even more so by all of your visits and comments. Thanks peeps! Hopefully, this blog will go on till Mae and I become grandparents. :)

I moved office to a nicer place. It's always fun to work in a nice office. Our old office was a dump. Our new office is soon becoming a dump. Heh! I better enjoy it while it lasts.

We got a digital camera. Somehow, this is a highlight. My previous camera was a LOMO - first introduced to me aeons ago by Hiney, who incidentally (I'm assuming) doesn't own one. Ahaks! Hmm, perhaps I'll post some of my old pics. Those were pretty groovy.

We went to Hanoi. That was a great time. The next time we go anywhere will be when Jesse's old enough to walk. Oh man.

Yeah, 2004 was a pretty good year except for that last bit when the Tsunami struck. Still, God had been pretty good to us and we know He will continue to be so. So, as much as I hate to see 2004 go, I'm also excited to dive right into 2005. Ahhh...

So, do have a good 2005, folks. May your live be richly blessed and may God watch over you and yours.

PS: Heh! Does this post look like one of those cheap shots they take with sitcoms? Y'know the ones where they show you snippets of past episodes? *sigh* It's confirmed. My life is like a cheap sitcom.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Making Right

Even though we were hundred of miles away from danger, we were all shaken by Sunday's earthquake in Sumatra all the same. Suddenly, our little comfort zone doesn't quite feel so comfortable anymore.

"We better make right with God," Mae said, grimly. She always had a way with such things. But I knew she was right.

A couple of years back, we visited Mae's old church. A certain Dr. Samuel Doctorian spoke that Sunday. He had had a vivid dream. In it he was visited by five angels who told him that they were the Five Angels of the Continents. "The Angel of Asia said that earthquake will wreak Asia and the ocean will cover up the land!" he cried out in melodramatic fashion. I was fairly new to Christianity then - much like how Scully was new to the X-Files. "What drama," I said to myself and dismissed it as the man's overactive imagination. And left it at that.

Sunday night, I was reminded of his words once again. Perhaps its curtain time for us all. Perhaps not. Either way, it was a wake up call. Whether or not you believe in the End Times as prescribed by Christian Scholars (or any other religious people, for that matter), the underlying message of the End Of Days isn't all that mysterious:


For some strange reason, putting the word "God" in that sentence tends to piss some people off. But you don't have to be a person of faith to appreciate the gravity of that message. It's just a call to live life to the fullest (not a life of selfish excesses, mind you)! Live each day as if it were your last. Carpe diem. Or whatever cliche comes to mind.

"You Christians suck," my cousin once said. "You sin every day of the week and on Sunday you go to church, ask for forgiveness and get your ticket back to Heaven!" His statement floored me and left me quite speechless. But I realise now that it isn't quite as simple as this. What if I died on a Saturday?

"We better make right with God." Mae was always the smarter one in such matters. "We need to do right in whatever we're doing now," she added. And I realised that a life worthy of God isn't ONLY going to church or praying harder. It's also to be a better person, a better worker, a better boss, a better friend, a better son and at this point in my life, a better father.

I realise that I can never promise my son that Tsunamis will never strike. But I can promise to hold him tight when it does. Last night, Jesse woke up startled. I cradled him in my arms and reassured him, "Daddy's gonna do the best he can."

I'd like to think that's all God really expects from us; to do the best we can. It's reassuring to know that we can always afford to do a little better.

NOTICE: By the way, if you feel that you'd like to make right with God by giving, details can be found at Mack's and Papi's.

Friday, December 24, 2004

First Christmas


It's Jesse's first Christmas ever. Woo!

For us, it's yet another year of a last-minute shopping frenzy, frustration and pressure. I hate how Christmas is so commercialised. I mean, why can't we all just shake hands, hug, eat turkey and say "Merry Christmas"? That way, everyone will save a bundle. The same should apply for Chinese New Year and Valentine. And maybe even birthdays. Hehheh! Okay, I admit. I'm a damn cheapskate!

But like everybody else, we succumb the commercialisation anyway. And so, we got Jesse a gift. It's a small toy radio that plays baby hits. He'll probably not understand what it's all about but we'll wrap up his little present anyway, just for the fun of it. And on Christmas morning, we'll help him rip it up. And knowing the little tyke, he'll probably like the wrapper more than the gift. Heh! He's kinda dopey that way.

Oh, by the way, I think Christmas is kinda sucky this year since it falls on a Saturday when most of us are on holiday anyway. And as if that didn't suck enough, New Year's Day is on Saturday too. Bah, humbug! What a ripoff.

Oh well, at least there'll be turkey to eat. Merry Christmas y'all! :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Blinding Flash

Mae's been flashing Baby. But with flashcards, mind you. And Jesse's loving it, laughing and gurgling all the way. Anyway, at dinner yesterday I was having my daily conversation with Jesse when Mommy decided to get educational.

"You should inject some of the new words he learnt today into your conversation," Mae advised. "But all he learnt today were names of fruits and vegetables," I protested. Mae, being Mae was adamant that her son gets the most of her efforts. "Just do it lah!"

Jesse had just learnt the words Tomato, Papaya, Radish and Cherry.

And so Daddy makes the most of the words. "Son, when you grow up don't you go round popping anyone's cherry otherwise Mommy will crush your tomatoes and banish you from her papayas!"

"You idiot!" Mae screamed. Hehhehhh!!!

"Well, he also learnt Bitter Gourd and Cauliflower," Mae tried to stump me. "Look Jesse, Mommy's all bitter like a bitter gourd now," I told the boy. "She might give you a cauliflower ear!"

"Radish!" Mae was not giving up without a fight. "Don't radish in popping anyone's cherry, son." Okay, so that should have been "relish" instead. Hehhehh.

Guess I'm just not cut out to be an educator. :)

Monday, December 20, 2004


Mae and I have been thinking about getting a new place. Our little family is beginning to outgrow our little home.

Currently, we live in a small 900-something sqft Condo with 2 rooms and a storeroom. I moved in 4 years ago and it was perfect. Then Mae moved in with me and it got cosier. But ever since Baby showed up, it's started to get a little claustrophobic!! Now here's a boy with excess baggage.

You never, ever expect this. But when a baby shows up in your life, he isn't just contented sharing your space. He's conquering the land and driving out the natives.

You think, "Feh, he's just a kid. What does he need all that room for?." Wrongo, bubbo! He's got plenty of stuff - diapers, clothes, beddings, toiletries, crib, stroller, car seat, bottles, flasks, formula, toys, steamer, bath tub, etc. The list is endless. And his stuff is all over the place now - in his room, in our room, in our store, in the kitchen, in the living room, everywhere!

He's taken over half the house. And just think, this is just one kid. *sigh* No wonder the Ibans live in longhouses!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Short Shots #1

I have a theory about guys and girls, and their relationship with each other: Men like to be teased; Women like to be pleased.

To get a guy to want you, all you gotta do is let him know he can't have you. Of course you'll also need to remember that guys are visual creatures. Don't be looking like some frumpy auntie and still hope to make it in his wishlist. Ehhheh! We're shallow, what can I say?

Women are more... erm... sophisticated. To please a woman, you gotta appreciate her. Anticipate her. And understand her. And to understand her, you need to know the one universal truth about her.

Repeat after me: Women love McDonalds. (*universal truth applicable to Malaysian women only)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I Knee-ded You

TV Smith's latest must surely strike a chord in our hearts. Or in our crotch when the little buggers lose control of their roller shoes.

In my youth (which was before the time of such a dastardly invention), I had a surefire way to deal with unruly children at a shopping mall. Back then, the kids merely ran about on their regular shoes. But they were annoying all the same. During the times when such a wild child ran towards me unknowingly, I would rise to the occasion.

Actually I would raise a knee to the occasion. Just high enough to meet the child in his chest. Thereon, inertia would do the rest. "Hey, Mr. Solar Plexus, meet Mr. Knee!"

The science behind it is simple enough. Upon contact of the child's celiac plexus with my age-hardened patella, said child's abdominal cavity momentarily collapses under the force of the impact. This action is countered with said child's diaphragm compressing his lungs whereupon its gaseous contents are expelled into the atmosphere. In short, it knocks the wind out of him.

And here, the strangest thing happens. They don't ever cry.

Perhaps it's the excruciating, numbing pain. Or perhaps it's the shock. Or maybe it's even because they know they had it coming. Either way, they never cry. They just limp sheepishly back to their parents' side where they should have been in the first place. Hehh!

Okay, okay, so I was an angst-ridden psycho in my turbulent youth! But now that I am a parent, I realise that just like I once prowled the malls for naughty kids, someone out there is doing the very same even as I write this. Therefore, as a responsible parent, I will refrain from giving my child roller shoes. I will also endeavour to educate my son in the ways becoming of a respectable and well-mannered child so that he will not be subjected to the same fate as my victims of yesteryear.

And if all else fails, a knee in the gut will be just as effective. Okay, okay, I'm kidding. I promise.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Night Fright

Parenthood is tough. You're on call round-the-clock cos your baby isn't on any kind of fixed routine during the first few months. If you think feeding the kid or changing him is big task, wait till you do it in the middle of the night, half awake. It gets even worse when baby refuses to go back to sleep.

Couple of weeks, Mae decided she would wean Jesse off his night feeds. "It'll be over in three days," Mae proclaimed with confidence. I inquired where she had obtained such a definite timeline. "My mother said so." I had been married long enough to know exactly when to shut up, so I did. Heh! My mother-in-law, bless her, has a knack for... erm... precision timing. Trust Baby to throw a spanner in the works.

As you can imagine it was torture, for all of us. Jesse woke up every night around 2am - 3am expecting his regular fix of milk. Instead, Mae gave him only water. Poor little guy cried bloody murder. Mae had to cajole him back to sleep for about 2 hours before he finally relented. And me, I cried myself to sleep hearing my firstborn's suffering.

Hhhahaaha... okay, so it wasn't quite like that. But Mae knew I couldn't do what she did. "You're too soft!" she said. "We'll be feeding him nights till he's three!" And so I let Mae do the dirty work. I'm happy being the good guy in our "Good-Cop-Bad-Cop" routine.

It's been over a week. After much tears, sweat and a whole load of prayers, Baby's finally gotten the hang of it. Much to our relief. So, it's on to the next challenge whatever that may be.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Skin Deep


Mae and I have no illusions about our baby. I mean, we like the little guy and all. On top of that, he's our own flesh and blood. But do we consider Jesse a beautiful baby?

I work in advertising. Occasionally, I get people come up to me with their babies and ask, "Hey, you want a baby model for your ads?" Never mind that most of the time their kids are hardly model material. Never mind if some of them are even bordering on hideous. The people who ask this question usually mean it.

I'm usually tempted to ask, "A model for what product?" The answers come easily. Pet food. Wrinkle cream. Hair loss treatment. Scouring pads. Hehhehh! And those ads that need a "BEFORE" shot.

Parents tend to think the world of their kids. I know this for a fact now. Hehheh! So, is Baby Jesse a beautiful baby? Sometimes, Mae and I cannot stop gushing about how cute our baby looks. But we also tell ourselves, "We're probably just biased!" We probably are. No one's ever told us we have a beautiful baby. Sometimes people come up to us and tell us how cute Jesse is. Cute. Non-offensive. Also non-committal. Brad Pitt is cute. So is Gollum. And apparently, so is Jesse.

Poor kid. He doesn't quite stand a chance against my raging gene pool. But even if he never makes in in the Casting Directors shortlist, to Mae and I, he's the most beautiful thing in the world. And hopefully, that'll be good enough for him.

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Utter Math-ness!

Baby is 3 months old now. In weeks, we'll be teaching him maths. Okay, I know how this makes us sound like those insufferable, over-the-top, young yuppie parents we all love to hate. But if the shoe fits... Ugh!

Anyway, according to this book by Glenn & Janet Dorman, kids love to learn maths. Hahhahah! Funny, that's not the way I remembered it! I supposed it had to do with the fact that by the time we went to school, we were already too old to like learning. Now babies, on the other hand, are a natural at learning. And it's not just maths. There's also language. And probably nuclear physics. And which boy doesn't like Biology. Hahhah!

Right now, we're in the midst of preparing flash cards for Baby. He'll have a hundred of them. On it, we'll paste red dots, numbering from 1 to 100. We're supposed to flash him a few cards a day and no longer than 1 second at a time otherwise he'll get bored. Aww man! Apparently, kids see maths as facts as opposed to how we see them - as numerals. Blerh!

I have to admit, I did not learn all this info from the book. Just like the book says, I'm too old to learn anything new. So I leave all that learning and educating to my lovely wife. I, on the other hand, will take care of the fun stuff. Like how to eat a hot dog in under 30 seconds. Or how to built a gas chamber for insects and other little vermin. Or how to check out babes without being noticed. Ehhehhh!

By the way, the book also says that "mother and child make the best learning team". Daddies are just chopped liver. We're also educators of the fun stuff!

Friday, December 3, 2004

Forgiven Tonight

Jesse's doing his bit for Christmas. Here, he's crying his heart out in a rousing portrayal of boy born to a family in turmoil. Heh!

That's actually the ticket to my church's Christmas offering this year. Forgiven is a stage drama produced by DUMC's creative ministry team, Punctuation Production. This time around, we've got another tear-jerker in the vein of those mind-numbing yet strangely-entertaining Hongkie dramas we get on TV! It's a stage and video presentation.

This is happening 3 nights only, at 8:00 - 10:00pm beginning tonight and ending on Sunday. It's open to all and it's free. For details, click here. Ariel's appearing in it as a tortured wife and Chris is directing.

And no, Jesse's won't actually be in the play because we haven't figured out yet how to toggle his volume switch. Hehheh! So this time he's just helping daddy with the design of the stuff - by appearing in the tickets, playbill and promo items. :)

Okay, so I didn't quite get his permission to use his face. So I fully expect him to... erm... return the favour someday. Maybe when I'm all old and craggy, Jesse can use my mugshots to advertise adult diapers or something like that.

Thursday, December 2, 2004

The Itch of Prejudice

Since it was World AIDS Day yesterday, I thought I'd share my little AIDS story. Oh, and in case you're wondering, I am not HIV positive or anything like that. My story is a personal encounter with a HIV positive person. Or something like that.

The year was 1994. It was the time when the world still didn't know much about AIDS. Then again, that could have been just me. Still, despite being fairly ignorant of the disease I knew the basics - you could get AIDS from sexual intercourse or blood transfusion but you won't get from touching. So there!

One day, a scruffy scrawny 30-something guy came up to the office. Being the only male in the office at the time, I attended to him. He spoke good English, "Sir, I'm dying." Whoa! I was flummoxed. It's not everyday that you encounter such a greeting. And so I stood there, my mouth gaping wide as he stood there... erm... dying. "I'm HIV positive," he went on.

I invited him in to listen to his story. And boy, this boy was prepared. He took out letters and documents certifying his condition. He had medical reports, and letters from his doctors and a sad, tragic story. The poor guy had caught the disease in an unfortunate event of donating blood! What could be more sad than that? At the end of his sorry story, I was so overwhelmed that I gave him 50-bucks to help ease his sorrow. Then, as he stood at the door to leave he reached out his hand to shake mine. "Oh shit!" I thought to myself, "What do I do now?"

I reminded myself that I couldn't catch AIDS just by touch and so I took his hand. Part of it was manners, I suppose. But mostly, I did it so that he would feel a little less like an outcast. He's had a shitty day already - he sure as heck didn't need me rubbing it in by avoiding him like the... erm... plague! So I shook his hand. Held it tight and good. And then he left.

As soon as he did, I opened the palm of my right hand and stared at it. And as I did, I felt a tingling sensation at the center of my hand. Shit! And then it started to itch like crazy. I panicked! "Wash the damn hand, fool!" a voice in my head shouted. I ran for the toilet. The itch got worse. It started to spread to my forearm. Then my elbow. I ran into the toilet and I put my whole arm underneath the running tap. I took up a piece of scouring pad, dabbed it with floor cleaner and started scrubbing like a man possessed.

That, my friends, was the itch of prejudice. And prejudice, as we know, is usually a product of fear. It's funny how the mind can play tricks on you when you're afraid. And that's what AIDS victims face everyday - a fearful bunch of people who'd like to scrub them off with floor cleaner. Okay, maybe not quite but you know what I mean.

These days, I tell myself that if I ever come across another HIV positive person I'd react differently. Perhaps with less of my chickenshit reactions. But honestly, like most things, this one's easier said than done. Oh well... I guess those AIDS awareness campaigners have quite a gigantic task ahead of them.

Ten years on, I still see that scrawny fella walking the streets. These days, he's based himself in Kepong. Now, either he's one resilient bugger or one resourceful trickster beggar. Folks tell me it's the latter. *sigh*

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Rockin' & Rollin'

we're on a roll

Last Friday, little Jesse turned 3 months old.

The three-month marker is an important milestone in a baby's life. During this time, he is expected to roll over unassisted. Even the Chinese have a little saying for this: "Saam Phook Lok Chor" which is literally, Three Roll Six Sit. That means, in three months a baby rolls over and in six, he sits up. The Chinese have a saying for everything!

So there he is, 3-months old and right on the dot like a good little boy, Jesse rolled over on his own for the first time. All this while, he's been trying but he'd gotten stuck halfway. We usually just give him a nudge to help him on his way. But on Friday, he did it on his own

Mae and I had just come home from work and we laid him down in the middle of the bed. He was wailing his head off since he doesn't quite like lying on his back. He was kicking and screaming and threshing about when suddenly, *plop* - he landed on his belly. Then he stopped crying. And like the silly people that we were, we began cheering and clapping.

Poor kid was dumbfounded. Hahhah! Like Dr. Evil says, "Why must I be surrounded by i-di-ots?"

Just a little roll and what a big deal that turned out to be. It's such a refreshing experience being parents. Everything is a big deal. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2004

A Day in Hell

Yesterday, I was practically in hell. Actually, I was in Singapore. Heh! But that's not what I meant. I promise.

I had set my alarm clock to ring at 5am so that I could catch my 8 o'clock flight. But my little Jesse alarm went off at 4am. I got up to help Mae feed him and decided that it was best I didn't go back to sleep.

My return flight was at 5.25pm. By 3pm, my colleague Pinky and I waltzed out of the client's office. We got to the airport and decided to try and catch an earlier flight. As fate would have it, there was a 5.00pm flight on SQ. Great! Or so we thought.

By 5:30pm, we were still in the plane and the damn thing hadn't budged. "Ladies and gentlemen, we regret to inform you that we are experiencing some technical difficulty." They ushered out of the plane and told us to proceed to Gate 51 which, incidentally, was like a thousand miles away.

At Gate 51, we had to go through the metal detectors yet again. This time I didn't make it through. "Beeep!" the machine went. "Stretch out your arms, sir," the sullen security instructed as he ran a handheld detector all over me. The damn thing was beeping like a roadrunner on heat. "Remove your shoes." I did.

So there I was, arms outstretched and barefooted and looking every bit the terrorist. My long unkempt hair, dirty-coloured skin and my obsession with black clothing didn't help me one bit."That must be the bastard who planted a bomb in our plane earlier!" There was whispering all around. "Burn him! Burn him!" Heh! And all this while the bloody metal detector kept beeping! *sigh*

"I need to check your belt!"
Geez! Was there no end to my misery? What next? Cavity search? Calibrate your instruments for goodness sake!

By the time we took off, it was already 7pm. Hell.

Monday, November 22, 2004

100 Days

One fine night... erm... out of the blue (heh!), Mae tells me, "You know what your mom said before I gave birth?" She had that evil gleam in her eyes. I knew at once that nothing good would come out of this conversation. But as a loving and wonderful husband, I humour my wife. "Okay, what did mom say?"

"She dragged me to a corner and told me that we can't have sex for a hundred days after birth. Hehheheh!"

It was her "Hehheheh!" that grated at my bones. Mae was never all that tactful.

"What? WHY??!?!?" I protested. "Confinement is supposed to be for 100 days," Mae explained how our stupid ancestors had decreed it so.

"I can't believe mom said that to you!" Mae was enjoying this. "She said men cannot control themselves." Then she added her annoying "Hehhehheh!" again!

What's a man to do? Take matters in his own... erm... hand? Hehheh! Sure, I laugh now but in truth, I'm crying inside.

Friday, November 19, 2004

One Flu Over The Cuckoos' Nest

Poor Jesse is having the sniffles. He started coughing a little over the last couple of days and yesterday, his nose was all runny.

Mae goes into a frenzy, "You gotta send him to a doctor!" It wasn't that I refused to. Just that it was 2am and I thought it best to see how Baby was doing in the morning before we made our decision. But there's no talking to Mae when she gets this way. "Okay, okay, I'll take him when the clinic opens," I relented.

We finally manage to see Doc only at noon. Her appointment was all filled in the morning. "He's coming down with a flu," Doc said. "It's probably a virus." Doc prescribed a syrup medication for cough and cold and another one, in case he got a fever. And she gave us a little syringe to administer the medicine.

Last night, we decided to give Baby his medication. However, we caught him at a bad time and he was kicking up quite the fuss. He was crying so much that Mae's heart was breaking right there and then. And I wasn't helping. I had that dead serious face that sort of told Mae, "You asked for this." It's fun toying with guilt.

Anyway, I slowly drew the medicine into the syringe. For effect, just before I pumped its content into Jesse mouth I held the syringe up to my eyes, furrowed my brows, took a deep breath as I examined the drug. I was looking every bit like those CIA torture specialists that we've been watching in our DVD collection of 24. Heh! Nothing like a little TV to fuel the imagination.

Then Mae broke. "NO, NO!!! I don't want this!" She held Baby close to her and pulled him away from me. She must have been close to tears. I went a little too far. I can be a real asswipe. "It's okay, it's okay," I comforted her. "It's not so bad," I assured Mae. By then, I was back to my 'good spouse' mode. "Here, have a taste," I said as dripped a little droplet on the tip of my forefinger. She tasted it and at once determined that it wasn't gonna hurt Baby or make him uncomfortable.

Curious, I took a lick too. Maple syrup!!! Man, they should've had this when I was a kid. Back then, Grandma use to ground up a Panadol, mixed it with a little water and forced it down our throats. Getting sick was hell. Not anymore, apparently. Now we've got maple-syrup-flavoured drugs.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Finger Lickin' Good

Okay, this is one of the weirdest discoveries yet on my journey into parenthood.

Occasionally, Baby sleeps on our bed between Mae and I. While I have always assured Mae that I will never roll over and turn little Jesse into a pancake or catch him in the eye with my stray elbow, at the back of my mind the worry is always there. And so I take all necessary precautions. I sleep lower down the bed. Baby is all the way up there and my eye is at the level of his thigh. I figured in the event that I actually turn over, at the very most my head will just nick his legs. No harm done! :)

One night, the kid somehow managed to make his way towards me. And as you can imagine, he ends up sticking his crotch into my face. And thereupon came an amazing revelation.

His pee-soaked diapers smelt like Kentucky Fried Chicken. I kid you not.

"Honey, Baby's crotch smells like KFC," I tell Mae. "Oh my God, it actually smells good enough to eat!" Serious. Really.

Mae thinks I'm on to my nonsense. "No way! You're just hungry," she dismisses me. And so I pulled her over, for her to see things my way, if you will.

"Damn, you're right. He does smell like KFC!"

And there you have it. Confirmation that baby pee smell like fried chicken. And no, don't anybody try to egg me on to a taste test. Won't happen.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The Ring


There. It is done. I couple of weeks back, Mae dragged my ass down to KLCC to get her long awaited Tiffany.

RM 500-ish. I forget the actual price. Some things you just don't want to remember. Five hundred bucks and it isn't even gold. *sheesh* But it was the nicest ring there. The others were just normal. Didn't matter that Paloma Picasso designed them, they still looked like the el-cheapo knock-offs you get in Chinatown. But still, 500 bucks?! *sigh* I don't think I'll ever understand a woman.

It rained that day. From the very moment we got into our car to leave, it poured cats and dogs. It was like an omen. Or maybe that just God saying, "James, you're a lousy pushover pussy-whipped pumpernickel!" Whatever that means.

By the way, if you want a nicer shot of the same ring, head on over to Najah's. With a better camera, perhaps I could have taken a better shot. But who can afford a better camera now? Heh!

Monday, November 8, 2004

Cockroach Flavoured

the backstroke was Siu Keong's favourite event

This here is Baby's water bottle. And right there on the surface of Baby's water is a baby cockroach.

If any of you out there are wondering, yes we're Chinese and we feed our baby water. Apparently, only the Chinese do this. Hehheh. We're hung up about our water. Our grandmothers force-fed our mothers water, and our mothers did the same to us. "Water is good for baby - it'll help him poop!" And so, here we are today continuing this silliness tradition.

Anyway, Baby Jesse hates water. It taste like crap - at least that's what's written on his face whenever we feed him water. In fact, we can hardly get him to take more than 3 ounces on a good day. But not when we spice it up with a little cockroach. Add one tiny little cockroach in your baby's drink and he'll lap it up like a good puppy. Yumm-yumm! Dee-licious!

Okay, I'm kidding. I don't know how the damn insect got in. By the time I found him, Baby had downed a whopping 5 ounces of water. He probably went, "Hmm, water tastes good today. I think I'll have some more."

That was a month ago. I didn't dare blog it in case Mae found out I accidentally fed Baby cockroach. She tends to freak out at these things. Mae is as sanitised as they get. As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing like bugs in our food to help us grow better. Back when I was a kid, I ate ants, flies, worms and probably even a gecko or two. And look at me today - tall, dark and handsome. Hah! Okay, I'm just dark but like my dad says, one out of three ain't bad!

Anyway, Jesse's growing up well. Two months old and tough as nails. Just like daddy. So what about cockroaches? Feh! We eat cockroaches for breakfast!

As long as they're not the flying kind. :)

Friday, November 5, 2004

Smile Therapy

no teeth, just personality

Baby Jesse is 2 months and 9 days old. And this is what has to say:
"All the diapering, feeding, kissing, and cuddling you've been doing for the last two months will be rewarded now with a real beaming baby smile — and when you see it, you'll know the meaning of pure joy! Her past smiles were probably involuntary or the result of passing gas. These are the true "I'm happy" signs."
Even on my shittiest day (like this long, loooong day), I always have something to look forward to when I get home. Beats any therapy.

A baby is a great thing to have. Everyone should have one at home. :)

Next up: How to Make a Baby in 12 Easy Steps!

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Working Class Baby

Just a few months before Baby Jesse came along, we contemplated on how we would manage this new little addition to the family. Would we send him to a babysitter when we went to work? Or would we hire a live-in maid?

It was a pretty tough decision. Would we leave our firstborn to evil babysitter-slavedrivers who operated sweatshops producing cheap Nike knock-offs on child labour? Or would we fare better with psychotic serial killer live-in maid who would murder the family in their sleep and take off with the baby? Ah... decisions, decision!

Finally, Mae decided that she would want to be there at every stage of Baby's development. And since she worked for herself at a job that didn't require her to leave the office, we came to our solution.

So, for two weeks now, Jesse's been going to work with Mommy as her new assistant. We've got a crib (now christened crib-icle) set up at Mae's office along with a small cabinet of his stuff. And everyday he'd put in his daily 8 hours. And although he sleeps on the job a lot, Mommy will never fire him.

On one hand, it's kinda tragic that he's gotta go to work at such an early age. Yet on the other, Mae gets to be with him 24/7! As for me, I get to walk across the street to Mae office and have lunch with my family. And that's as ideal as we can make it. :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Tiffany & the Little Traitor

Baby's been crying quite a bit lately. He's somehow grown accustomed to the idea of being picked up and cradled. We can always tell from his fake-ish cries. :)

Usually, we pick him up. But in the mornings when we're busy getting ready for work, we just include him into our conversations - just to give him the assurance that we're around. Today was one such day.

"Honey, you know what?" Mae giggled like a schoolgirl. Somehow, I knew I was in trouble. She continued, "Since you still owe me my Birthday present, I thought you could get me something for my Birthday and Christmas."

Uh-oh. I waited for the axe to fall. And fall it did. "Something from Tiffany's!" she laughed. Awww maaaan!!!!

I could have married some old-fashioned girl from the village who would have loved me even if I gave her a wooden-beaded necklace. But no. I had to have me one of those modern women. Yes, the ones on their steady diet of Cosmo and Sex & The City. The ones who knew Tiffany. What is it with women and Tiffany's anyway?

In desperation, I turned to our little crying boy. "Jesse, should daddy buy mommy a Tiffany?" I asked. "If you think so, stop crying now."

And would you believe it, just like that the little traitor stopped crying. He just gurgled and cooed and smiled one of his sweetest little smiles. Immediately Mae stopped everything she was doing, picked him up and cradled him close to her. "Mommy loves you the most!" And he just cooed away as he basked in his mother's affection.

Turncoat! And to think I bathed him this morning. *sigh*

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Father's Milk

It started off innocently enough. "Jesse tends to waste milk quite a bit," I told them. "He sleeps in the middle of a feed," I told them.

Bad mistake.

The audience was my Cell Group (church, not terrorism) members. Unfortunately for me, I was the lone thorn amongst this bunch of roses. And women, as we know, are an authority on the subject of motherhood.

"You shouldn't let it go to waste, James," Jo advised. She would know, being a mother of a spritely 2-year-old. "You could try waking him," said Bee, whose had 9 years experience as a mommy. "Mother's milk too precious to waste," Shamini added.

And that's when things got out of hand. Never mind that I was referring to formula milk. I had created a monster.

"You can drink it, you know." There. Someone said it. I think it was Elsie.

"Waitaminit," I protested. "Me?" Oh boy.

"It's good for you too," someone said. Oh boy! "You should," someone else added. I was cornered like a frightened animal. Across the room, I saw Mae out of the corner of my eye. Beavis was taking the heat and Butthead was grinning from ear to ear. Hahhahha!

The boy had better finish his milk. He better.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Air Balls

Mae says the weirdest things in the early mornings. Really.

Yesterday at 5:00am, Baby Jesse decides that it was a good time to take a big dump. He was wailing away and then suddenly, he went all quiet. So I quickly took off his diaper and laid him at the edge of the bed - his legs hanging off. Then I put the potty right under him, held his legs up and waited for Baby to bomb Nagasaki.

Right about then, the boy started smiling from ear to ear in what might rightfully be termed as a shit-eating grin. It was weird. "What's so funny, son?" I asked.

He didn't answer of course. And then mommy came in and set my mind at ease.

"He likes it," Mae said. And then she added, "Airing his balls and all."

Hahhahahha! Now I'm not sure if Mae is just weirdly funny or incredibly perceptive about the ways of the boys. *ahem*

Monday, October 18, 2004

Movie Date

Last weekend, we dumped Jesse off at my mother-in-law's. Then we went for a movie, just the two of us, Mae and me, like peas in a pod old times!

Ever since Baby came into our lives, things have changed. All of a sudden, we were sleeping earlier at nights. We stayed in a lot. We did housework religiously. Hehheh! There were times when we lived like pigs because we could handle it, but Jesse's still to young to live like a pig. All that bacteria and dust cannot be good for a baby.

And so we adapted.

For awhile, Baby threw us off balance and it took some time to find our footing. Now, we've pretty much got our act together. Now, for the first time ever, we can finally consider ourselves mature, responsible adults. *ahem* So as a reward, we went out for a movie.

That day, as the projectors rolled, a sense of familiarity crept back into our hearts. And for a fleeting moment, we fell in love all over again. Hahahahhahahaha!!! It was Dodgeball, for goodness sake! Nobody should feel romantic at a silly Ben Stiller movie. Still, it was nice to be able to go out on a date again. Just the two of us.

But by the time we got back to my in-law's, we had missed Baby so much. So much that we woke to little guy up in the middle of his sleep just to hear him gurgle and coo at us.

Sometimes I look at Jesse and wonder how we ever did without him. He just seems so right in his place at the center of our world.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Henpecked and Homemakin'

I never have time to blog these days. Usually, I do it after work but these days I go home immediately after work. I also used to blog late at nights but these days my nights are reserved for night feedings and midnight poops.

Mae has still not gone back to work yet so she takes care of Jesse throughout the day. And since we don't have a maid, its quite a task. So, I do my part.

Everyday at 7:30am, I bathe the kid before I go to work. I massage him with baby oil and also give him a change of clothes. Then I give him his breakfast feed and put him to bed. After that I wash his bottles and put them in the steamer. And then it's off to work! By the time Mae gets up, I would have eased her workload quite a bit.

I'm feeling like the henpecked hubby these days - minus the naggy wife, of course. Hahhah! Reminds me of a song by Sean Morey. (Click it if you have Shockwave, it's good!) But hey, it's all good. In one fell swoop, I get to tell two of my favourite people that I love them to bits. Some people say it with flowers. The stingy ones work their fingers to the bone. :) When the funds are low, homemakin' is the way to go.

For Mae: See honey, now you know why I never buy you anything nice. Hahhah! Talk is cheap but action is cheaper.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

A Handful

a hands-on baby

Little Jesse's in his sixth week now. He's become quite aware of his hands and fingers.

Occassionally when I'm feeding him, I prop his tiny little hands up, uncurl his fingers and he can pretty much hold the bottle on his own. This is especially useful during night feeds. If he can hold up the bottle, I can get a few more minutes of sleep. Look ma, no hands! Hehhehheh!

We remove his mittens so that he can experiment with his extremities. Who knows, he might even start picking his nose soon. And before you know it, he'll be rolling the boogers into tiny little balls just like daddy's shown him.

The downside of not wearing mittens is that he tends to scratch himself. Despite the fact that his nails are pretty soft and that I keep them trim every week, it still manages to put a few scars on his face. Also, he tends to pull his own hair and poke his own eyes whenever he gets frustrated. This in turn, gets him frustrated AND agitated.

*sigh* Babies are dumb. I guess God didn't invent DHA for nothing.

Friday, October 8, 2004


Tonight Jesse's a little fussy. Mae had started feeding him at about 10:30pm and after awhile, he got frustrated. We usually just continue the feed with a little formula and he'll be all fine and dandy. But not tonight.

He was agitated and nothing was working. Not the bottle. Not a change of diapers. Not the backrubs which he loves so much. Not even daddy's finest Elvis impersonations. So, I tell Mae to get the secret weapon - Woodward's Gripe Water!

I had gotten less than half a teaspoon in when he stopped crying and started making gurgling sounds. Then suddenly, the kid pukes out a whole milk-storm! *Blueekkkkkk* And a whole ounce of all-natural Baby Jesse Yoghurt spilt out of his mouth all over the palm of my hand. Vile.

Mae and I got into a frenzy. We were frantically scrambling for towels, tissues and composure. "Thar she blows!" He unloads another explosive puke. Strangely, through it all, the kid was all calm. So calm, it's almost creepy.

After that little episode, he seemed okay once again. In fact, after that little episode, Jesse ate a little bit more and then fell asleep peacefully. Must have found relief after unleashing the fury in his tummy. We were a little concerned but according to what we read at, it doesn't look like its anything serious.

But damn, the drama of it all! *sigh*

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Blogs, And The Bleeding Bloggers Who Blog Them

Ever since Mae stumbled upon this site, she had developed a taste for blogs. In fact, every time she gets to a PC with an internet connection, she'll head straight for her favourite blog.

"Honey, did you read my blog today?" I'd ask. She would usually, casually reply, "Er... not just yet, but you won't believe what's on Jeff Ooi today!" Yes, I have been upstaged by Jeff Ooi's Screenshots. Damn you Jeff Ooi, Damn you! Hehhehh!

"But, his site is like a newspaper," she'd explain, sounding every bit like a bad woman weaseling her way out of being caught with her pants down. And suddenly, it's my fault that she reads Screenshots. "You never buy papers anymore."

Fact is, blogs like Jeff Ooi's Screenshots grow on you. Like a fungus. Hehheh! But seriously, guys like him get a high readership simply because he represents the every man - the little guy against the injustice of the world. He's like Batman without the tights. Besides, he's good reading, dishing out the juiciest stories that would otherwise go unheard. So yes, Mae is right. Screenshots is better than any newspaper in town. And he didn't even need a compact version. *ahem*

Unfortunately, like any fungus infection, someone's bound to scratch.

The media is really playing this up. I don't know about you, but phrases like "trumped-up charges", "sexed-up dossier" and "witchhunt" come to mind. As a blogger, I'm concerned. While my blog contains only the trivial happenings in my life, who's to say what kind of psycho (or saboteur) might leave an offending comment on this site? One moment, I'm out there at the forefront of technology with my cool, online journal and next thing you know, I'm at the back end of my holding cell fending off... erm... amorous cellmates. *sigh*

So much for Majulah IT Untuk Negara*, or whatever they're shouting over at MSC these days!

On the other hand, if Jeff Ooi gets shut down, perhaps Mae will start reading this blog again. Hmm... perhaps I ought to leave a seditious comment on his blog and give the poor guy a little more heat. As preposterous and stupid as it sounds, apparently it works.

* develop IT for the nation - or something like that!

Monday, October 4, 2004

Brain Food

That's what the ads say. You want a smarter baby, give him a milk powder formula with DHA.

On top of mother's milk, we had been feeding Jesse with formula. According to the midwives at the hospital, breastfed kids don't actually need any supplementary feeding. But our son is one greedy little guy. When he eats, he eats with a vengeance!

"Enfalac A+ is the way to go," a relative advised. "It's got DHA and its as close to mother's milk as a formula can get." But it was twice the price on any normal milk.

Last week, during a particularly difficult breastfeeding session, instead of latching on to Mae, Jesse latched on to his own hand. The kid goes crazy whenever he's hungry, I tell you! And so he started sucking vigorously on his own fingers while his evil mother watched with amusement. The poor kid got so frustrated he was bawling his eyes out.

That's when Mae and I decided that Baby would eat Enfalac A+. We have a dopey kid on our hands and he'll be needing all the DHA he can get. So we bought him a small can just to try out. Unfortunately, he didn't take to it too well. For one, he seemed to hate it. And secondly, he's regurgitated a lot. And his stools were a little too weird for our liking. In the end, we switched formula again.

He's taking Snow Brand now. All the DHA he's gonna get will have to come out of Mae. Fortunately, mother's milk is the best source for DHA, and everything else a kid needs. Hopefully he can make the most of it. :)

FOR JESSE: Son, we tried our best. Hopefully by the time you read this, you can actually read without any help. And by the way, this post was mommy's idea. If you ever see a shrink, don't forget to mention that.Hehheh!

Friday, October 1, 2004

Cheerleaders of Shit

Yes, it has finally come down to this. These days, Mae and I are officially Cheerleaders of Shit.

We've gotten quite adept at being parents. Considering Jesse is only 5-weeks old, we've pretty much got his major signals down to pat. That fake-ish sounding cry means he wants to eat. The real cry complete with tears means he wants to eat NOW! But when he does that hysterical-kick-and-scream-complete-with-tears-and-quivering-lips cry, that means he's gonna poop.

We'll rush him to his changing pad, remove his diapers and wait. And that's when we'll do our grunts and groans to egg him on. "Nngggggghh! Come on boy. Do it! Do it!" Both of us, in unison. Like cheerleaders. Hahhahha!

Here's the thing: Just when he's about to go, he's all quite and cooperative. That, my friends, is the calm before the storm. If you ever underestimate that, you'll get baby poo all over the place. We have learnt this the hard way.

I used to think that I could never do this icky thing - changing diapers and wiping shit. But it comes so naturally now. I guess this is what love is all about. Yup, that right. True love is wiping shit. :)

We tell Jesse, "Son, one day when your parents are old and incontinent, and wearing Depends, you better return the favour." He had better.

Oh, by the way, for all of you who ever wondered why some confinement ladies prefer formula to mother's milk here it is: Formula babies shit only once a day while kids on mother's milk poop a lot. And more poop means more work. So there. Do the math.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Solitary Confinement

the hand that rocks the cradle

Raising a kid is no walk in the park, I tell you. Aside from the feeding, cleaning, pooping, peeing we also have to contend with the Baby Jesse's crying. And oh boy, the boy can cry - sometimes for no particular reason at all! Usually when Jesse gets that way, we'd just talk to him and strangely enough, sometimes it works.

"If you keep crying, I'll sell you to the pig farmers," Mae told Jesse one day, keeping her part in an age-old Chinese tradition of threatening the young. (Every Chinese mother I know has spoken this line at least once in their lives! Hahahha!)

And then, Aunty Mooi joined in the conversation, "Oh no, don't sell him to the pig farmers, send him home with me back to Kampar." And all of them had a hearty laugh over Aunty Mooi's quip. Suddenly, the air turned dense and thick, almost bearing down on Mae's fragile, weather-beaten and weary post-natal body. "I'm serious," Aunty Mooi said. Somewhere, a child's cry shattered the silence and serenity of the land.

When I came home that night, Mae confided in me. "Do you think she might just snap and make off with our baby?" Mae's always had a flair for the dramatic. It also didn't help that she had a fertile imagination.

"She's always discouraging me from breastfeeding Baby," Mae went on, "Maybe she doesn't want me to bond with Jesse." Like I said, Mae's mind is filled with the fantastical. And so I answered her in the only way I know how.

"You better check on her at nights," I told Mae, "Maybe SHE's breastfeeding Jesse!" Mae was mortified. As my words seeped into the dark recesses of her brain, snippets of The Hand That Rocks The Cradle played over in her mind. The evil Rebecca De Mornay had done just that to exact revenge on a woman who destroyed her life!

I sat back and enjoyed the show as Mae went into a mini panic attack. Hahahha! That's when she bopped me on the head and called me an idiot. Bwahahahhah!!

Aunty Mooi had indeed grown fond of Jesse. He seems to have that effect on people. Anyway, over the course of the last two weeks Aunty Mooi had brought up the subject. She was genuinely offering to take him off our hands for a month. We declined, of course. We would simply miss Baby too much. We did, however, promise that we'd take Jesse to Kampar for visits.

Still, in the back of her mind, Mae was still wondering. Was Aunty Mooi a crazed lonely woman?

Last Friday, the night before Aunty Mooi was due to go home, I decided to play with Mae again. "Honey, I think we better hide the house keys," I told Mae with dead-panned seriousness. "What if Aunty Mooi decides to sneak off with Jesse in the middle of the night?" Mae jumped out of bed to grab all our house keys. Hahhahhahhahha!!!

How can anyone not love Mae? :) She's entertainment all-year round.

Friday, September 24, 2004

A Fine Confinement Lady

Does everyone have a Confinement Lady? Sometimes I wonder if other races or civilizations have confinement ladies to help with the post-partum affairs. In fact, I'm not even sure if anyone else has confinements at all. But to the Chinese, that time after birth is all-important.

Every Chinese will tell you that Confinement Ladies are a must. Basically, her role is to take care of the mother and her new baby in adherence to the tips and taboos outlined by our forefathers. And boy, we Chinese have a heckuva lot of taboos!

Anyway, last month, we engaged the services of Aunty Mooi. She's a superwoman. She takes care of Mae's needs - her food, her herbal supplements, her medicinal baths, etc. On top of that, she also takes care of Baby Jesse. To make sure Mae gets a good night's rest, Jesse sleeps with her for the entire month. This ensures that all his late night activities of feeding and poo-ing are well taken care of.

As a Confinement Lady, Auntie Mooi is pretty progressive - given that she's attended quite a few... erm... training sessions with some Pediatricians. (Actually, she's always gone along for all doctor visits so that she could keep up with the latest in child care) That's helped a lot. Believe me. At least we didn't have to contend with a whole bunch of superstitions! Still, in many instances, she can be pretty old-school.

But what makes Aunty Mooi a really good Confinement Lady is the fact that the old girl can cook. Boy, can she ever! Every meal is a treat in our household these days. She rotates the menu well, and her cooking is more contemporary - which simply means she holds back on the ginger and the herbs! Aside from the customary Drunken Chicken Soup and Pork Trotter Vinegar Stew, we've had quite a good spread.

When Pip and Estella were doing their confinement, poor Pip was subjected to a daily torture of "heavily-gingered" dishes. So much so the poor chap plotted an amazing jailbreak to enjoy a nice plate on Wantan Noodles. And that was only after one week. Hehheh!

Meanwhile, in the Tan household, tonight will be yet another night of fine dining. Ahhhh... who said confinement had to be bad?

UPDATED 23 AUG 06: I have received quite a few email and comments asking for Auntie Mooi's contact number. I'm sorry to inform that Auntie Mooi is no longer in the confinement business. She has officially retired since a year or so back and it doesn't look like she'll be back. Sorry, folks.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The Kissing Game

I love my son to bits. It's funny, I never thought I'd ever feel this way about another guy. He's so cuddly and small and cute and all! I like to carry him every opportunity I get - much to the dismay of our Confinement Lady. Most traditionalists think that babies could really get used to all that handling. "He's gonna want to be carried all the time," she'll advise, "Then you won't be able to get anything done."

Here's another thing. I kiss him goodbye every morning before I leave for work. Sometimes, I wonder how long I'd be able to kiss him goodbye. I mean, at what point in a kid's life does a kiss between a father and his son turn from affectionate to disgusting? Hehhehheh!

Daddies can kiss their little girls goodbye even when their little girls turns 30. But do little boys think it's creepy that their dads are still kissing them on their 20th birthday? Is it still okay to have your dad kiss you when you're a full grown man?

The mafia make it look so cool. "Come on Jesse-boy, kissa your fadda... muah... muah!" No mafia kid ever showed his dad an icky face. "Whatsamatter boy, youse too good for your fadda now? Youse wanna get whacked?" Is that cool or what?

I shoulda been the mafia.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Bath Training


not the face, mommy!

Yesterday, Mae bathed Baby Jesse for the first time. It's a milestone of sorts. In fact, these days, just about everything that Jesse does is historic.

So there we were at 7:45am, all four of us crammed inside our tiny little bathroom (we live in a cheesy little apartment). There was the star of the show, Baby Jesse; the mother-in-training, Mae; leading the way was our coach, Mdm Confinement Lady and finally, there was Daddy and his trusty Canon A80 poised to capture the moment. Boy, oh boy!

If you think carrying a baby is tough, wait till you have to bathe him. Once in the water, Jesse is one slippery little customer. To make matters worse, the boy is as agile as a monkey on a hot tin roof. More than once, Mae has had to dunk his head into the water to flush some sense into him. I'm kidding. I promise. :)

Fortunately, Baby Jesse takes to water, like a duck... erm... to water. :) When Mae immersed him into his little bathtub, he was lovin' it. But when she needed to wipe his face, the boy screamed his lungs off. "Not the face, mommy!!"

In another week, the Confinement Lady leaves and we'll be pretty much on our own. So this week, we're gearing ourselves up for the big task ahead - bringing up Baby all by ourselves. This week is training week.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Two Milestones

Last week, Baby Jesse achieved 2 important milestones in his life so far. First, his umbilical cord dropped off! Yay! And secondly, perhaps more importantly, his jaundice has finally cleared.

I've always been squeamish about the navel. I have this very vivid imagination that if anyone were to touch my navel and accidentally unravel the... erm... knot, all my entrails will explode out of my body rendering me quite dead. It'd be a bloody mess too. So, you can imagine that I'm not too thrill that there's this dying piece of skin dangling out of Baby's navel, weighed down by a large, heavy, plastic clip. *Euuwww* Anyway, it's gone now. Good riddance. :)

Baby's jaundice is also all gone. That first night when we rushed him back to hospital, our Pediatrician advised us to keep him there another night.

"His jaundice is not high, but we should keep him for observation." Man. Warning sirens were going crazy in my head. "Money-making scheme," I thought to myself. It would have easily set us back RM 1,000! But money aside, I didn't want Baby to have to stay in the hospital a day longer than he needed. It's such a depressing place. Finally, we decided to leave Baby's jaundice to the wisdom of our forefathers - traditional chinese remedies!

We bought these little seeds at the local Chinese Medical Hall. The Wong Kor Chai (Little Yellow Fruits. No idea what they're called in English) seeds are crushed and sold in little packets - one packet per bath. And they're cheap too. Every morning for about one week, we boil this in Baby's bath water and soak him in. For good measure, we also put Baby out in the morning sun for a 5-minute dose of UV. Four bucks and a few short sunbathing sessions later, Baby is a nice pink once again. Voila!

Praise God. Two milestones equal one great feeling of accomplishment. I feel elated. Relieved. And bloody well pleased that the icky umbilical cord is gone for good! Hehheh.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Time's Up


barney who?

My deadline is up! Today I remove Bob and Barney off of this blog. And as you can plainly see, I have done just that. I had fully expected to have procrasinated the matter, but I am a changed man. *ahaks*

I have even written an email to GAF Counsel to inform them of my actions. In case you're from GAF Counsel and have not received my mail, I am reproducing it here for your convenience:
To Mr. Matthew W. Carlin,

Your email has put the fear of God my heart. I was wrong to have used your client's intellectual property in my NON-PROFIT web site. I realise that I do not stand a chance against your organization and have therefore removed all Bob the Builder and Barney images from my web site.

I know that I might have pushed my luck a little on the deadline. I hope you will overlook my little transgression. Take me out if you must, but spare my infant son. Even though my web site is created in dedication to him, it is really not his fault. He is innocent of all my unlawful activities. Please.


After my last encounter with thugs (read previous entry), I'm not taking any chances. Who knows how GAF Counsel is connected.

Hahahahahhahahahahahha!!! *ahem* Sorry.

I fully intend to redesign this blog. But since I just haven't had the time, I'm leaving things as they are for now.

BTW, anyone out there can help me with my script? I have this gaping white space above my top banner and I don't know how to get rid of it. It wasn't there before but ever since Blogger created the Blogger Bar, I haven't been able to remove it.

If you help me, I will name my firstborn after you. Oh wait. Too late. You'll just have to settle for PaanMein or a Kaya Toast! :)

Thursday, September 9, 2004

Of Procrastinators & Repossessors

I'm a dumb-ass. I am. Why else would I keep forgetting to pay my car loan? Yes, I've been meaning to pay, but somehow, something always gets in the way. This time, I missed 3 payments.

On Tuesday, I was really rushing out work. I had to finish up and leave for the day at 2pm. It was time for Baby Jesse's routine check-up at the hospital. Suddenly the phone rings. "Mr. James Tan?" a voice at the end enquired, to which I acknowledged. "We're repossessing your car," he said, and continued, "Can you come down now?"

This couldn't have come at a worse time. But I had no choice.I got to my car shortly after and suddenly, two burly Indian guys jumped me and kicked the living crap out of me. After having the daylights knocked out of my system, they drive off with my car!

Hehheh! Okay, it was't quite that dramatic. Instead, Ravi and Chandran laid down the cards, while their silent, stone-cold assassin-faced colleague stood a comfortable distance away. I owed 3 payments and they were gonna tow my car. I'd have to settle the 3 payments in cash and on top of that, pay RM 660 for the towing, the rent-a-thugs, and whatever processing fees there were.

Being the nice gentlemen they were, they offered me a more economical solution.

"How much?" I asked. "You make offer," Ravi grunted. And so I did, "RM 100, can?"

"Okay, forget it," man, he was pissed off. "You settle with the bank."

"C'mon!!" I protested, "How do I know how much you want if you won't say?" It's not like I deal with repossesors every day. Sheesh! Finally, after much negotiation with the guys fixed the price at RM 450. Things got a little less tense and we even managed a few laughs. I even played the fool with Ravi, faking a runaway debtor which got him quite jumpy. Hehheh!

Anyway, under normal circumstances I would have dealt with the bank instead. But thanks to Ravi and Chandran, and of course their assasin friend (whom I hate to admit were actually nice guys), I had learnt the error of my procrastinating ways. My son was going for his first check up and I'd be damned if I were gonna procrastinate on that too! So I gritted my teeth and did the neccessary.

And just like that I learnt another valuable lesson. All RM 450's worth! And oh yeah, I also paid the bank in full what I owed. *sigh* Do I lead the most eventful life or what?

And no, I don't get to deduct this out of Baby's allowance. :)

Attack Of The 3 Bloggers!!

a hit with the ladies

Heh! Since all three of them, namely Ariel, Jotay & IreneQ have blogged on the same subject, I thought I'd outdo them a little on the title! :)

On Sunday, three of Blogdom's more prominent denizens graced our humble abode. While Mae and I had ample... erm... warning, poor Baby Jesse was completely taken by surprised. So much so, he poo-pooed himself at their arrival. Hahhaha!

I'm kidding of course! Oh, he did take a big dump, but it wasn't their fault at all. It just so happens, our boy had decided to go to the toilet at that very moment. Can you imagine having arrive and being greeted by a great big pile of turd? Oh boy. Hehhehh!!! I guess Baby hasn't quite gotten the hang of hospitality just yet.

Anyway, they all took turn to carry him and he was loving it. Imagine, all that attention from so many women at such a tender age. Aaaahhh... that's my boy. :)

To Ariel, Jotay and Irene, thanks for dropping by. We enjoyed having you. And so did Baby Jesse.

Monday, September 6, 2004

Bob No More!

Over the weekend, I received an email from GAF Counsel. These guys represent the guys who own the exclusive rights of the Bob the Builder and Barney intellectual property. Ouch!

According to the nice gentlemen (an possibly some nice ladies too) at GAF:
The materials you are using are the intellectual property of Lyons Partnership and HIT. It is unlawful (pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 501(a) and other laws) to use this property without the permission of our clients. These materials must be immediately removed.
I have up to 13th September 2004 to remove the images of Bob and Barney. Otherwise, the nice people at GAF will be forced to shut me down and take me out. I could face a multimillion dollar lawsuit, or worse I could go to jail. I think they might even try and push for the death penalty. Aww man...!

I had it coming. In all my innocence to dress up my non-profit website with the images of my favourite children's character of Bob the Builder, I have fallen into a life of crime. In all my enthusiasm to impart upon my newborn son the wholesomeness of Bob, I have unwittingly fallen into the dark side. Oh, woe is me!

They must hate me. And I suppose they were probably not terribly amused by my opinions on Barney too. *ahaks*

Gee willickers! I need to set things straight! And soon, too. So brace yourselves friends, for Bob and Barney will be no more from this site. It will be painful. And by painful, I mean seeing Bob go. Barney, on the other hand, is just a pain. Hehheh! But yes, it shall be done. I shall need to be strong, and by golly, I shall prevail.

Bye-bye, Bob. *sniff*

Saturday, September 4, 2004

Sweet Dreams are Made of These


...Mr. Sandman...Bring me a dream...

Sometimes when he sleeps, Baby Jesse will curl his lips into a sweet little smile. Other times, he will furrow his brows and twist his features into a heartbreaking frown. Is it just merely a reflex or is he dreaming?

When we dream, our dreams or nightmares are usually a playback of our memories. Memories of events collected through the course of our lives. In Baby's case, his whole life is all of the 9 days he's been out into the world. We often wonder what he dreams about.

Could he be reminiscing that delicious meal of mother's milk he's just had - along with a generous side of mommy's TLC? Perhaps he's savouring it all over again in his reverie. Or could he be fighting off that dragon of a Confinement Lady who keeps forcefeeding him bland, tasteless water? Or maybe he's remembering the wonderful experience of Daddy cradling him in his strong muscular arms against his herculean-proportionate chest. *ahem* Or it could be he's having a horrifying dream of that nasty pile of poo he just expelled. Hehh!

Sometimes it looks like he's having a frightening nightmare, when he convulses and shakes. That must be the dream of his traumatic exit from the comfort of Mae's womb. One minute he's curled up inside the warm confines of mommy, and the next, he's rudely awakened and yanked out into the cold air! And with a vacuum, no less.

The memory of that one event must have been horribly frightful. And yet, someday this dream will eventually be erased from his memory to make way for fresh, new ones. Just like all of us, he will one day forget the harrowing event of his birth. And that day will come when we have created enough new memories and new dreams for him.

Hopefully, all his dreams will be sweet ones from here on.

Thursday, September 2, 2004

Amateur Parents

Baby Jesse came into our lives on Thursday. On Friday, the hospital saw it fit to send us on our way to our new lives. We checked out of the place by 3pm. I was bursting with excitement. Baby's going home! Or so I thought...

We were supposed to have some help at home. However, due to a miscommunication, the calvary would only arrive on Saturday. Friday, we were pretty much on our own.

"What's the big deal?" I assured Mae, "We can do this!" It can't be all that difficult. After all, I had already learnt to bathe and change Baby from my one-night stay with Mae at the hospital. We could do this. It didn't matter that we couldn't even keep a cactus alive. We could do this. Or so I thought.

After a feeding at 7pm we wrapped Baby up like the nurses had shown me and tucked him in. And he slept like a... erm... baby! At 10pm we were supposed to wake him up for a feeding but looking at his angelic little face, I just didn't have the heart to disturb him. And so he slept.

By 12 midnight, we decided to wake him. But something was wrong. He didn't want to eat. He was lethargic. His limbs were frail and limp. He didn't even have the energy to cry. He opened his mouth to cry but there was no sound. Something was wrong.

"He's feverish!!" Mae exclaimed. He looked flushed. And the thermometer read 37.7 degrees Celcius. We panicked.

By then it was almost 1am. We called the hospital but they would offer no comfort. We had to do something. So right there in the middle of the night, we rushed Baby Jesse back to hospital. They admitted him into the Special Care Nursery for observation. Mae stayed behind to facilitate breastfeeding. I stayed up.

One night and RM500 later, the doctor discharged Baby with a clean bill of health. "There's nothing wrong with him," the doctor assured us.

Turns out, Baby Jesse' amateur parents got a little over-enthusiastic with his wrapping. The poor little guy was practically baking under all that flannel. Also, since we did not wake him for his feed, his blood sugar level dipped causing his lethargy. Heh!

We laugh at it now. But damn, we we're scared shitless that day! Heh, the 500 bucks is coming out of his allowance someday!

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Baby's Day Out

On 26th August 2004, Mae brought Baby Jesse out into the world. And there I was watching it all! What a trip! If you're an expectant daddy, heck even if you're not, make sure you never miss the opportunity to witness this miracle! Here's a sneak preview - approved by the Censorship... erm... Broad (*ahem*)!

Mae went into labour at 2:00am. She would eventually deliver 12 hours later. That means 12 hours of pain! By the time we checked-in at the hospital at 6:00am, Mae's contractions were at 10-minute intervals.

By 11:00am, the pain was so unbearable that Mae requested for an Epidural. I was fearful, yet on the other hand, it broke my heart seeing her suffer. The procedure was pretty scary. A long tube was inserted into Mae's spine to administer the anaesthetic that would numb her pain. The drug is pumped into her body with this device. Meanwhile, I prayed for the best.

The Epidural took effect 15 minutes later despite some scary moments. Mae is at ease and no longer feeling much pain. I was free to make a nuisance of myself with the camera. Meanwhile, the midwives continued to monitor Baby's heartbeat.

By noon, things had really started to cook. Doc's equipment had been laid out for her. Somehow, I knew it was gonna be a messy affair. Meanwhile, the midwifes had gotten Mae to start pushing.

After almost 2 hours of pushing, Doc arrives and got dressed for the occasion. Mae had gotten very weak by then and Baby was still nowhere near appearing. Baby would have to be vacuumed out. A vacuum suction cup in inserted into Mae and attached to Baby's head. Then Doc began pulling. It was chaotic. Everyone was shouting. And amidst the confusion, Doc snipped a little incision. Sneaky!!

"He's coming!" Doc yelled after 10 minutes. I stood firmly as I readied my camera to catch that decisive moment. Suddenly, Baby just popped out of there like a squished pimple. I felt the little hair stand on my back as tears welled up in my eyes! Nothing had prepared me for that. I stood there gaping like a dumb-ass as the moment passed me by. So no shots there. I was just happy I didn't drop my camera or pass out! Heheh!

Baby is plopped unceremoniously on Mae's belly. She's as shocked as I was. "Daddy," Doc's voice shook me out of my stupor, "You wanna cut?" You bet your ass I did! And so I cut my son's umbilical cord. At that point, I felt like a Superhero or something. Hehheheh!!! Baby was then wrapped up and placed onto a table under a heatlamp.

Soon, Baby Jesse is whisked away. I follow. They weighed and measured him. And they gave him his jabs. Then he was brought back to the Delivery Room and put under the heatlamp again. I give him my hand and he grabs on to my finger. I bend over and whispered into his ear, "Jesse, you are God's gift to mommy and daddy. We will always love you."

And just like that, I went from a Superhero to a softie. It's a amazing how someone so little can make me feel so much. *sigh*

NOTE (as at 1 Sept 2004)
Forgive me for the grammatical mistakes. I know I have my tenses all over the place. Heck, I even cringe re-reading this! It was late and I was half asleep. And now I'm too lazy to correct anything. And oh, btw, when Baby first arrived he was purple and he looked like my dad. Hahahah!!! Thank God he's looking a whole lot nicer now. :)

Friday, August 27, 2004

Introducing Jesse

hello world!

There's a new kid in town. Our spanking new little boy Baby Jesse, all 3kgs worth, landed on earth on 26th August 2004 at 2:16pm.

Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes. Both Mae and Baby Jesse are doing well. Me, I need lots of fluids and plenty of sleep.

To all of you who have cared to leave a comment throughout this rollercoaster ride, please know that Mae and I appreciate you. You have been great encouragement, for this blog, and also for the last few months of our live. We'd really like to buy you all a dinner, but that would be too costly. Instead, do take yourself out for a nice juicy steak and imagine us picking up the bill. Heheheh!!

I will get around to responding to your comments. I will also give you all the gory details in vivid, livid colours. I promise. :) Meantime, there's this strange little boy in our home who needs a whole lot of TLC. That, of course, and a diaper change.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

It's Now!

It's 4:30am. Mae has been having contractions since 2:00pm. This is it.

Funny. I always imagine a lot of kicking and screaming. But no. We're calm. We're cool. OHMYGODWEREHAVINGABABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wooohoooooooo!!!!!!!!! Breathe! Breathe!!!

HEhheh!! But seriously, we're ok now. Mae's gonna wash her hair (go figure) and we're gonna make sure we got everything. Then we're gonna drive to the hospital and hopefully Baby Jesse will be out by lunch. :)

I'm nervous as hell. Blogging calms me.

Pray for us. We need peace of mind. In your prayers, pls remember two words. Painless & Safe. Oh yeah, Natural Birth. And Healthy.

Ladies & Gentlemen, standby for lift off.

Oh, I even have time to ping this in PPS. :) Hallellujah!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Work has been crazy for the last couple of weeks. I can't seem to remember when we've ever been this busy. I'm pooped!

This morning I had to present some retail designs we did for a prominent client. While below-the-line works are never exactly rocket science, this particular project is anything but a walk in the park.

We had been at it for the last 3 weeks. We had presented proposal upon proposal. We had submitted visual upon visual. Yet, we failed to nail this sucker on the head. But no, not this morning. Today, we have it.

I do my song and dance. As I take the client through her designs, I am oozing confidence out of my pores. Today, we have it.

"I believe we have it," I said as I took it to a close. And suddenly, all hell broke loose.

"What the hell is the matter with you," Ms. Meanix screamed as she slammed her fists on the table. Her face flushed. Her nose flared. "Do you not understand the brief or are you just stupid?!?"

And that's when I woke up screaming. At 5am. It was a dream. I've been working too hard. I need a break. The paternity leave will be much needed. *sigh*

The presentation's tomorrow. Not today. Tomorrow. And this time, I believe we have it. *ahem*

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

This Comfort Zone

Yesterday, we saw our Gynae. This should be our last visit. In fact, Doc had expected Baby Jesse to arrive sometime last week. But it just didn't happen. "He's getting too comfortable in there," Doc said half-jokingly. But something in her tone made me feel uneasy.

We have heard many opinions about this. A lot of people tell us that most firstborns arrive early. Yet, just as many tell us that the first baby should be late. Statistics don't say much except that only 5% of babies arrive on the dot.

"I'll give him up to the 30th," Doc advised, "If he doesn't show, we'll have to induce labour". That's just a nice way of saying, "We'll force him out!"

Doc doesn't like the idea of a post-date baby. Apparently, they tend to poop when they're late. This first-time shit is called Meconium, usually expelled when babies come out. Post-date babies tend to inhale or swallow the stuff. And while it's not a serious problem, it's never a good thing to eat your own shit!

But we're not really hot on inducing labour. We'd really like things to take their natural course. The way biology intended. The way God had made it just so. Yet at the same time, we don't ever want to put Baby at risk. At times like this, I feel weak and my faith in God tends to shake a little. I hate that I waver at the slightest sign of trouble but this human form always feels threatened outside its comfort zone. *sigh* I need strength.

So, in the event that you bump into this God, or if you happen to speak to Him, do put in a good word for Mae. She'll be needing a safe delivery. And of course, a strong husband.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Stone Age

It's back to the stone age at the Tan household. My notebook is on the fritz. That's what you get for going cheap and buying a second-hand notebook.

Mine's a PowerBook G4. It wasn't all that cheap to begin with. But now, it's really gotten expensive. My favourite Apple dealer tells me it would take about RM 3,000 to repair. After a good few years of continuous use, the monitor has finally retired. Now it's blacker than Samuel L. Jackson! And not even half as cool.*sigh*

But RM 3,000!??! That's almost the price of a brand new iBook! No honest hard-working man can afford this. Looks like I'll just have to get me an el-cheapo monitor and hook it up to the PowerBook and voila - Desktop! But that too will have to wait until I can spare the cash for a monitor.

I hate not having a computer to use at home. Now, the most advance piece of equipment in our home is Mae's pocket calculator. And that can only sustain my interest for so long.

Baby had better come out soon. I need stimulus.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Breathe In, Breathe Out

I forgotten how to breathe. While I am personally breathing fine, I have forgotten how to coach Mae in her breathing during labour. It's all a blur now. Was it breathe-breathe-blow or breathe-blow-blow? But I'm not terribly worried cos I'm sure the midwives will be at hand to help.

But I am, however, worried about what to expect from Mae. I've heard the stories. Stories about wives who scream curses at their hubbies. Wives who shout profanity. Wives who blame their husbands. And then there are those wives who cause their poor unsuspecting husbands grievious bodily harm. Oh boy!

There was this wonderful husband who had the amazing idea of singing a hymn to calm his wife. As our man broke into song, his wife almost broke his head. "Shadddup!!!!" she screamed, "You're irritating me!!" Damn. Talk about a tough audience. I think this girl puts Simon Cowell to shame.

I was thinking of recording the whole event on camera. All of it. That also means shots of Mae in pain. Hehheh! But I worry that I might never make it out of that delivery room alive. And if I did, I might have a Canon permanently embedded in the middle of my face. *sigh*

On the other hand, photojournalists risk their lives all the time, shooting in warzones and in the thick of the action. After all, isn't it true that we have to suffer for our art? Heh!

Besides, I laugh in the face of danger.

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I've never been so busy in my life. A colleague had gone off on a vacation from Monday through Wednesday and I had to hold the fort. Which would have been fine except that we had a sudden influx of projects last week.

On Friday last week, just before Brownie left for her vacation, I assured her that all would be well. At the back of my mind, I was worried no end! What if Baby decides to show up early. Mae felt he was coming quick, "I don't think Baby can wait till Brownie gets back to work on Thursday!"

I decided to take affirmative action.

"Son, be a good boy," I spoke into Mae's womb. "Daddy's gonna be busy so don't come out yet, okay?" Mae patted her belly to reaffirm Daddy's words. Then Baby kicked! It was as though he understood.

Then she did the math. "Wait, Brownie's coming back on Thursday isn't she?"

"Yes, Baby," I patted Baby Jesse in the general direction of butt, "But Daddy's going on with the boys Thursday!" That's about the time that Mae bopped me - in the general direction of my brain! I love living dangerously. Heheheh!!

Well, it's Friday now. Let's wait and see.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

In Search of the Tan Clan

Look, 9 days to go! We're almost there, save for a few last-minute details. One of them is Baby Jesse's Chinese name. Mae's dad has been great help. Being the only one in the family to know the language in its written form, he's compiled a short list of possible last names for Baby. However, the problem is Baby's middle name. We don't have it.

Most Chinese boys take on middle names determined by the forefathers of their clan. It determines their geneology and pinpoints them to their exact level on the family tree. My middle name, for example, is Ngee (it ain't elegant, I know). This means that all guys with the middle name Ngee and the surname Tan, are in fact my cousins!

Problem is, the list of middle names in my clan disappeared when Grandpa passed on. Grandma, who probably has the list stashed away somewhere, is no help since her mind isn't what it used to be.

Pops is trying his best. He's called up all our kin. He's visited the Tan Clan House in town. He's gone to the Hainanese Association. He's even gone to the extent of speaking to total strangers but unfortunately we're nowhere near finding the name! Pops has even offered to take a trip back to Hainan, China if that's what it takes to name his first grandson on the Tan side. Unfortunately, that too is a bit of a problem - he doesn't know exactly where his dad came from!! *sigh*

If anyone of you out there is a Hainanese from the Tan clan, or knows someone who is, please write to me at thatjames[at]gmail[dot]com. My middle name is Ngee, Pops is Lee, Gramps is Ooi and his dad before him is Kia. That's Kia, Ooi, Lee and Ngee. We're looking for the name after Ngee.

If all else fails, we'll simple cook up any old name for Baby. It's not really a matter of life and death. But it would be such a shame to deprive him of his heritage.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Maternity Leave

Mae is on maternity leave as of today. She's actually perfectly fine despite being quite rotund, but we agreed that she should take some time off for a bit of R&R before Baby Jesse shows up.

Pops was just telling me about Mom a couple of days back. She was preggers with my eldest brother Jeff when the rascal decided to come out while she was at work. This was sooo typical of Jeff - a pain in the butt right from the very beginning. Hehhehh! 38 years on and nothing much has changed. Bwahahhahha!

Anyway, both my parents were teachers in the same school. One day Pops returns from an outing and the principal tells him the news. "I sent your wife to the hospital," he says. "Her water broke."

Pops was confused. So her water broke. What was the big deal anyway? "I could always buy her another," he tells the principal.

"Not her water bottle. Her water!!!" The principal was amazed at such a display of ignorance. "She's having the baby!"

And there in a time when ante-natal classes were unheard of; there in a time when fathers didn't witness their children's birth; there in a time before it was fashionable to read pregnancy books; my mother gave birth to her firstborn. It was a time of ignorance and a general lack of intelligence.

Says a lot about Jeff, doesn't it? Hehhehehehheh!!!

Nesting Instinct

Over the weekend, Mae and I did our final preparations for Baby Jesse's arrival. We decided to organise Baby's wardrobe and get the house in order. But what started out as a little housekeeping soon turned into a full-blown cleaning frenzy!

Mae was like a woman possessed. By the ghost of Martha Stewart, no less! By the end of the day, she had gotten quite insufferable. I steered clear of her path and just went about with my chores like an obedient half-starved little slave-boy.

"I think Baby's gonna get here in the next few days," she said finally, coming out of her drone-like trance. "My nesting instincts are really coming out."pix from

Nesting instinct!? I was freaking out. That sounded like something out of National Geographic. Or Animal Planet. Narrated by Alec Baldwin.
"Ko-Mae, the she-wolf had gotten quite large now. It would only be a matter of days before the arrival of her cub. As her nesting instinct sets, she makes final preparations to their cave, clearing the area to welcome her little one. When her mate Bo-Jame returns with the kill of the day, she growls fiercely at him, warning him to keep his filthy body away from their nest. Bo-Jame retreats, his tail between his legs."
"I need to clean, clean, clean," Mae tells me. That means I need to shut up, shut up, shut up.

I also need to clean. Our little cub is coming soon! *ulp*

Friday, August 13, 2004

Cord Blood Revisited

Mae and I have decided that we might go for cord blood banking after all. Initially, we had pretty much decided that we would not be spending the extra money. But then, things have a strange way of working out.

A lot of your comments (thanks!) on previous post about the subject made us think. And boy, did we ever. Spending vs. Saving. Science vs. Faith. Insurance vs. Investment. So finally, we told each other that we would just leave it to faith. If God meant for us to do this, He would somehow give us a hint, if not a sign.

A couple of weeks back we met up with some of my college buddies at a friend's baby's Full Moon party. An ex-classmate who came, was recovering from a relapse of Leukemia. Seeing Mae in with one in the oven, he said to me, "James, whatever you do, please consider Cord Blood Banking." Just like that. Totally unprovoked.

So yesterday, Mae and I visited StemLife's lab and containment facility in Cyberjaya. A wonderful Dr. Wong gave us a run down of what goes on at StemLife. We were given the grand tour.

In the containment vessels, cord blood was stored in individual sachets and frozen with liquid nitrogen at a temperature of 190 below. "Hey Doc, I hear you got Alex Yoong's baby's stem cells in here," I enquired. Hehhehheh!

"You betcha!" Doc exclaimed. Then he whispered, "You wanna see?" My eyes narrowed into little slits and I cackled like a witch over her unholy brew. "Give! Give!"

Doc handed me the freezing sachet. I clasped it in the palm of my right hand and raised my fist to heaven. "Alex Yoong, I have you in the palm of my hand! MuahahaHhahaHahaHAh!!!!" Thunder clapped and lightning crashed. "YOU'RE MINE NOW!!!"

Okay, so it quite happen like that. But yeah, we did have a tour of the place and it looks like we'll be banking with StemLife after all. And by the grace of God, we will never need to use it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

A Cut Below

Having made the Birth Plan, Mae and I felt a little uncomfortable about the tone and manner of it all. It sounded a little too "I want this, I want that," for our liking. So we decided to talk to Doc first.

"I tell most patients that I can't possibly stick to everything in their Birth Plan," Doc told us. But she reassured Mae and I that she has our best interest at all times. She also told us that a lot of the stuff in a Birth Plan is best decided during labour, upon assessment. We agree.

Still one little thing needed some explanation.

Mae has been contemplating on whether or not to have an Episiotomy. Basically, the procedure is just make a little snip at the vagina to facilitate Baby's exit. A lot of our pre-natal books tell us that some women actually don't need an Episiotomy. On the other hand, if the baby is too large there's always the risk of a tear.

"It'll rip right up to your ass, you damn fools," Doc was pissed at our insolence. Somewhere, a storm was raging.

Hahhaha! Okay, that's not what happened. But she did point out the possibility of a very, very bad tear. "Caucasians are quite flexible, but for some reason Asians always tear," Doc pointed out. "Must be the squat toilets we use."

We're Asians. And we're having the Episiotomy.

Monday, August 9, 2004

Space Travelling

the perils of space travel

Yesterday, Mae and I decided to go to one of those baby specialty shops. We had gotten most of the stuff we need, but we decided to go anyway to see if we might have missed out anything.

I don't quite know why, but i was excited like crazy. Woohoo! We're going shopping! And my mind was swirling with images of car seats, bassinets, strollers...

The next thing I knew, I was checking Mae and Baby Jesse out of hospital. We had dressed the little guy in cute little blue jumpsuit. And he was wearing his new blue hat with his matching mittens and booties. I carried him out on his brand new bassinet car seat amidst a chorus of ooh's and ah's. When we got to the car, I fastened the bassinet onto the back seat of the car. I then got into the driver's seat.

As I reversed the car out of the parking lot, Baby Jesse cooed at me. I looked upon his angelic little face and he smiled at me. And then suddenly... WHAMMMM!!!!!!

I was shocked out of my daydream. I was reversing the car out of our apartment parking lot when I scraped the side of my car against a pillar! Oh man, what a crackerhead!!! *sigh* What's worse, it's not the first time my daydreaming led me to damage my car. My mind drifted away to space and it cost me.

Space travel is fine. It's the re-entry that burns you up. This time, it's gonna burn yet another hole in my pocket. Hmph!