Monday, February 23, 2009

Brotherly Love

On Saturday, we lost Jesse's jacket at the supermarket. The boy taking it off and putting on again, just for the fun of it and somewhere along the way, we must have dropped it.

On the way home, when the reality that his favourite jacket was gone hit him, he started wailing. And quite melodramatically, too. (He gets it from his mother, I swear). To further dramatise his loss, he starts imagining things.

"A baby took my jacket," he sobbed. "I don't like the baby anymore!"

We were a little disturbed that perhaps he might be laying some blame on his little unborn sister in Mommy's tummy. I had read that kids tend to feel threatened by a new sibling.

"You don't like our baby anymore?" I asked our son in the saddest tone of voice I could muster.

"No! It was another baby!" he protested, his crying now toned down a couple of notches. "Baby Madeleine is a good baby," he added assuringly and earnestly, "I love our baby very much."

It was heartwarming to hear that our little boy can have so much love for his little unborn sister. It was like the way we had loved him while we waited for his arrival. It might be a little too soon to tell, but I think they're gonna get along fine.

And incidentally, Big Brother has also decided that his baby sister is going to be named Madeleine because he's convinced that the name is wonderful for her. :) More on that soon.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bad Moon Rising

I was reading in the papers today about a sudden appearance of thousands of mudskippers in Gurney Drive. Apparently, some experts think that this is an indication of the cleanliness of the beaches in Gurney.
GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s famed Gurney Drive has a new slippery attraction for locals and tourists – thousands of spotted brown mudskippers can be seen flipping and hopping around the 100m-long mudflat just beyond the embankment wall over the past several months. The presence of the amphibious fish is believed to be a telling sign of the cleanliness-level in the coastline.
So, thousands of these little buggers are here cos it's so clean? Or is there, perhaps, another reason? How about the 400 dead turtles washed up on Bangladesh's beaches just last week?
Dhaka, Feb 10 (APP): Thousands of dead sea turtles are found being washed ashore along the coastal lines from Cox’s Bazar to St Martin’s island in the Bay of Bengal with bruises all over their bodies. The mass circulation Daily Star, quoting locals in Cox’s Bazar reported Tuesday, over 400 female dead turtles have floated ashore over the last two weeks alone. Experts say that these turtles meet their death as they travel the stretch of nearly 120 kilometres from Sonadia Island in Cox’s Bazar to St Martin’s island to lay eggs on the shore.
And it doesn't end there. Hawaii's got some stuff up their beaches too. Although it's a monthly affair, it's a little creepy that suddenly 700 jellyfishes are washed ashore.
HONOLULU - Officials closed Hanauma Bay on Wednesday morning because of the monthly influx of box jellyfish that washed onto Oahu's south shore beaches. About 700 jellyfish were found on Waikiki Beach with another 100 on Ala Moana Beach Park, according to the city's Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division.
I dunno about you, but I'm starting to think that perhaps our seafood is trying to tell us something. Philippines's got a phenomenon too with dolphins.
Manila, Feb 10 (Xinhua) More than 100 dolphins were found stranded at the coast of a northern Philippine town early Tuesday, the local media reported.
It doesn't end there. Dead whale in France! And this was just 2 days ago.
CHERBOURG (AFP) — A French fisherman found the corpse of a humpback whale caught up in his net, excited conservationists said Monday, noting that the species is extremely rare in Channel waters. "It's a historic moment for the region. You could count the number of humpback sightings off France over the past two centuries on your fingers," said Gerard Muger, of the Cotentin Whale Studies Group in Normandy.
And just 2 weeks back, hundreds of live fighting conch shells wash ashore in Florida.
It looked like an amazing phenomenon on Bonita Beach, but it was really just a quirk of nature. Hundreds of live fighting conch shells washed up on the sand this morning. Many were flapping their hard, dark foot as if signaling for help. The shells lined the beach along the dry sand and the wet sand just above the water line while even more rolled in the shallow surf just inches from the beach. “I’ve never seen it like this,” said Paul Salay of Bonita Springs, who said he regularly visits the beach.
I got a bad feeling somethings going down. It's too much of a coincidence for these things to be happening within just two weeks. I remember reading reports of marine life being washed ashore just before the Boxing Day Tsunami of '04, and I'm thinking that perhaps these events over the last couple of weeks may be some kind of warning sign.

I'm staying the hell away from beaches.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Girl Power


27 weeks and all girl

Last Friday, Doc confimed that we were indeed, without a doubt, looking at a little girl in Mae's belly. 100% sure. So it's no longer just a guess or wishful thinking.

That means we'll be buying plenty of dresses, hair clips, pink stuff, barbie dolls, chastity belt, and other girlie things. Which is a good thing. If we had yet another boy, the poor little guy will no doubt be inheriting a lot of Jesse's hand-me-downs. And the poor kid might feel a little slighted that Daddy and Mommy never gets him anything new. And that would eventually lead to resentment, feelings of inadequacies and expensive psychotherapy bills. So yeah, girl is good.

Also, it'll be a totally new experience for Mae and me. How do little baby girls behave? What do they like? How do they manipulate their parents? What do they eat? It's all very exciting.

Anyway, now that we know, it's time to get cracking on the shopping and stuff. We're steadily collecting a whole repertoire of pink things from mitts to booties, to jumpers, to towels and such. We'll also need to get bottles and diapers and a cot and car seat and playpen. All the ones we bought for Jesse have been either given away or are in bad shape.

Imagine that. A little girl of own, to complement our little family. It's wonderfulicious! Quick, quick, congratulate me again. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine & Old Couples

So yeah. Almost everyone online seem to be calling it Sucker's Day and we're inclined to agree that Valentine's Day is just another excuse for businesses to bleed your wallets.

But Valentine on Saturday was just another Saturday to us. We took the kid to The Curve and let him run loose. Meanwhile, young lovers (and suckers) were everywhere, dressed to the nines lugging around bouquets, gifts and other Valentine paraphernalia. As Mae and I watched with amusement, we were also painfully aware that this part of our lives is now over.

Let's face it. Mae and I are no spring chickens. Pushing 40, married for 7 years with a hyperactive 5-year-old in tow and another in the oven, we don't really get much more alone-time to be together anymore. In fact, it's probably never gonna happen until we ship the kids off to college and stuff. Sure, when Jesse was younger, we could always just dump him at my In-Laws and go for a movie or something, but now that he's bigger, we're never gonna get this past him.

Last Saturday, we took him all over and let him stay at the playground to his heart's content. He had a ball, running up and down like a monkey on speed. By 9pm that evening, the boy was out like a light. And so, after leaving the household under the care of our maid, TheaVy, Mae and I snuck out for our Valentine's Day Dinner. And, having the wisdom of our years (*ahem), we did not submit to the crass commercialisation of the day. There was no bouquet (sorry Honey!), no dressing up, no make-up and no pretenses. Instead, we ended up at our favourite Pokkari haunt in the Chow Kit area, in our t-shirts and shorts.

So there we were, right smack of the seediest side of downtown KL, surrounded by a community of traders, prostitutes, drug addicts and transvestites, backdropped by raging traffic and screeching Mat Rempits. And right there in the midst of it all, we were alone at last. And for a fleeting moment, we were like young lovers once again. Until the night air caused our bones to ache, that is. Okay, I was kidding about that last part! We're not quite that far over the hill yet.

So yeah, Valentine's Day may be Suckers Day to you, but hey, we old couples need this. If only as an excuse to drop everything for a couple of hours and pay attention to each other again. Tragic as that may sound. :)


happy valentine's day

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Baby is in her 25th week now and she would be starting to hear right about now. So we talk to her every now and then. And just like we did with Jesse, Mae and I ran some names by our soon-to-be little girl just to elicit a little reaction from her.

"Hey there Baby Madeleine," I called to my baby. "That's Madeleine with the French spelling," I tell Mae, "cos it looks nicer that way." But Baby couldn't care less, or otherwise.

"Then how about Amelie," Mae tried, digging the recesses of her faulty pregnancy-afflicted memory of French movies we had seen. Still nothing. Nothing too for Hayley, Elena, Jasmine and Emily.

"Maybe we oughta try names that have songs written about them," I suggested to the wife. I reasoned that when Baby grew up we could just tell her that there's a song written about her. Heh. But Baby wasn't cooperating with any of it. Not Layla by Eric Clapton, Not Jezamine by the Casuals, Not Amanda by Boston nor Deborah by the Crickets. (Yeah, I'm THAT old!)

Nothing too for the girls of the bible - Rachel, Naomi, Esther and Delilah. Okay, okay, I was kidding about that last one.

"Then I guess we'll just call you Cookie," I proclaimed. And there it was, a kick. Mae repeated the name, and Cookie repeated the kick. So yeah. Cookie, it is.

"You think she'll like cookies?" Mae asked with a chuckle. "I dunno, would she?"

"Well," the wife reminds me, "Noodle likes noodles, remember?" Indeed he does.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Let me first declare right here, right now that I am possibly the worst candidate for politics. So, if anytime in the future I should ever attempt to take office anywhere, you can print out this blog entry to make banners or placards to discredit me and destroy my campaign.

I have never seen 10 million bucks in my life. Heck, I've never even seen a million. But I'm pretty sure that if you offered me 10 million buckaroos, I'll gladly jump ship. In fact, for half the amount, on top of defecting, you can spank my ass and call me Mary if that's what pleases you.

Hmm. Maybe I am cut out for politics after all.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Reunion Menu 09

year of the pig?

What an exhausting Chinese New Year. For the very first time, this year we hosted the Reunion Dinner, and since then, our kitchen had been busy on almost daily basis.

For the reunion, I SMS my siblings the menu:
Today's Reunion Dinner Menu:
1. Salted Vegetable Duck Soup,
2. Crispy Roasted Pork Belly,
3. Buttermilk Prawn,
4. Sweet & Sour Fish,
6. Tan Yoke Lin Famous Fried Chicken,
7. Steamed Free Range Chicken,
5. Roasted Black Pepper Brinjal,
9. Poached Baby Spinach with Oyster Sauce,
8. Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables, and
10. Canned Lychee for Dessert.

It was ambitious, to say the least. Cooking chores were undertaken by Mom, me, Mae and our maid, TheaVy with a little help from my sis, Jo for item no. 8.

Mom's Salted Veggie Duck Soup was a hit, even though she underestimated the amount of salted veggie she would need. She does this a lot, but hates it when I point it out. Hahah.

I got the Siew Yuk recipe from BabeInTheCity which got me started, and got more tips from HappyHomemaker88 who provided a very good step-by-step pictorial approach! It turned out fabulously even though I didn't manage to get a whole slab of pork belly which would have made it so much better. I'd try this again but probably not anytime soon, since my cholesterol levels have probably hit the roof over the New Year season.

The Buttermilk Prawn was disastrous. The prawns we got from the Hypermart weren't fresh and we further destroyed it by not frying it brown enough. And getting the crispy bits of egg yolk right was a feat in itself. Ugh! We'll do better next year, or die trying.

The fish was ok, even though the presentation could have been better. At one point it looked like something you'd feed your cat. But the Sweet & Sour Sauce saves the day by camouflaging it all.

Mom's Famous Fried Chicken is legendary. It's always a hit and it was all gone before the rest of the dinner was done. Everybody loves Mom's fried chicken except for Uncle Eric and Auntie Winnie. We didn't invite them, hahah! However, Mom's steamed kampong chicken didn't get very far. I hate kampong chicken. It's tough and way too skinny to be any good. Imagine chewing on a rubber tyre. Kampong Chicken is worse than that.

The Roasted Brinjal was a little charred, but tasted fantastic all the same. Baby Spinach is a no-brainer as it would take a real doofus to screw that up. Finally, for the Mixed Veggie, our guest chef took over the wok and it was as it should be.

There was so much food we forgot to open the cans of Lychees we had bought. And there was so much work I forgot to take pictures. *sigh* Except for the Roast Pork Belly which I did much earlier in the day. Oh well. Maybe next year.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Que Sera, Sera

Whenever I put the boy to bed (these days, in his own room), we usually have these profound conversations about life, love and... Bruce Lee. Heh. That's his new idol, in case you're wondering. Anyway, yesterday's bedtime was again, occasion for some talking.

"So what do you wanna be when you grow up?" I asked the boy.

"When I grow up," Jesse carefully articulated, "I want to be a man."

Heheh. At his age, it's all very simple. I was half expecting him to say Bruce Lee or Iron Man or something, but instead, my boy just wants to grow up to be a man.

"Why do you want to be a man?" I chuckled, as I probed him further.

"Because I have short hair," my boy said. I was taken aback a little about his answer, but he was under no pretenses about what a man should look like. Not wanting him to have stereotyped ideas about people and the way they look, I decided to set him straight.

"Men can have long hair too," I countered, reminding him of an old photo he had recently seen of me. He couldn't recognise me under all that hair (which was then falling below my shoulders a little), and when Mommy pointed it out to him, he pretty much laughed his ass off about it.

"Daddy had long hair too, remember?" I reminded my son, "You wanna grow up to be a man like Daddy?"

"Nooooo," he said matter-of-factly, "Daddy was an ugly man!"

I dunno... I'm thinking of putting him up for adoption.