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Top of the food chain

I was sharing a story with my husband last night. I remembered part of it – standing in front of the classroom getting scolding from Mrs. Yeoh.

Mrs. Yeoh asked “What if I drew this and said it was you.” I kept quiet. Stupid Pui Lin, why did she have to go tell the teacher. “I’m going to pin this on your pinafore and let you walk around with it the whole day.” It’s Fido Dido! And I’d like to think my artwork was superb. I sat down. A little embarrassed from the scolding.

Then I recalled how I threw this girl’s schoolbag out of the window in kindergarten. If I remember correctly, her name was Melanie and she didn’t want to let me use her colour pencils. She cried of course. The teachers told my mom. She may have scolded me but I can’t remember.

Auntie Dorothy told me this years back that I used to pinch kids in supermarkets. I was maybe 5 years old when all this happened. My mom had a tough time as parents would walk up to her telling her that I pinched their kid.

I’m really worried now. I wonder what’s in store for me and how should I prepare myself to face other parents.

Uh oh.

So I stepped on his Aliens…so what?!

Growing up, I used to hate my brother. He’s the youngest, the only boy, and he cried all the time. So I stepped on his Aliens. So I hid his Transformers. So I made him cry. So what?

But there came a time when we realised it wasn’t so fun to keep fighting and that’s when we became friends. Dad got him a Micro Genius set, the one where you put in a cartridge with 200 games! We could play for hours (if Mum let us) – he used to let me win once in a while so that I would continue playing with him. Hahaha! There were a few younger neighbourhood boys who used to come over to watch him play computer games. They worshiped him. It was really cute.

I started playing the World of Warcraft because of him. I was miles away in Sydney but that was how we connected. My husband calls us Beavis and Butthead cause when we get together, we just giggle at each other’s silly stories.

It’s my baby brother’s birthday tomorrow. The same baby brother who stuck gum in my hair, the same baby brother who I drove to and from tuition, the same baby brother who annoys me (the same baby brother who I annoy), the same baby brother who sat in the garden with me digging up Mum’s grass to look for earthworms (yuck! worms!), the same baby brother who woke up with me to watch Saturday morning cartoons.

My baby brother turns 27 tomorrow. And yes, we still play computer games together 🙂

Everyone has your name

You’ve got to be lying if you’ve never fought with your sister. My sister is 4-years older than I am. We fought fight like mad. My parents used to point out how different we are. When we were kids, my sister hated vegetables, I hated meat. She liked scrunchies, I liked ribbons and barrettes.

I remember it so clearly, we were having lunch at our dining table and she says ‘You know, I love my name – Allison. It’s unique, it’s uncommon. Not like yours – everyone has your name’. I couldn’t rebut. It was true. I went to school with 3 other Melissa’s. So I pulled her hair. Or hit her. Or told her to shut up. Or all of the above.

We shared a bedroom which housed most of her things. My stuff was usually her hand-me-downs. You might think it’s sad but you wouldn’t believe how happy I was to be the new proud owner of her things! I recall one day before her friends came over, she said to me ‘if my friends ask, that NKOTB poster belongs to you’. I nodded and said ‘Ok. Got it’ hoping she’d let me in the room to hang out with her friends. She locked me out 🙁

We are still different. She’s the one who had been planning her wedding since she was 10. I’m the one who didn’t know weddings had themes. She follows recipes. I read a recipe and extract the idea. People easily annoy her. Oh wait, that bit, we’re the same 🙂

How to keep your 7-month old occupied

Staying at home all day with a baby can be painful when they need to be entertained.

I was discussing this with Praveen today – we can no longer lay the baby on the bouncer or under his play gym for a good 5 minutes of quiet.

Our Little One now wants to roam. Everywhere. He crawls around commando style (I call it Saving-Private-Ryan style) and he’s learning to sit up.

And boy, oh, boy does he get bored easily. How do you keep a baby this age occupied?

  • I’m impressed at how he can spend time with books. He may not be reading them. Instead, he’s looking and talking to the pictures, colours, feeling textures, biting the pages, knocking the board books, etc.
  • His sippy cup has been extremely amusing to him. He pushes it, it moves a distance then he moves a distance 🙂
  • Knocking and scratching surfaces.
  • He enjoys reaching his hand into the box of tissues. I turn it to see how long he takes to find the opening (not long. This trick or game doesn’t last a minute!)
  • Cuddles with him on my lap while I tell him a story or sing.
  • Walks around the house, to the pool, to listen to the birds, watch the squirrels and enjoy the breeze.
  • Finally, when all else fails, I give him this (not for Prav’s eyes!)

When Papa’s not at home, all the remote controls are belong to us! Wahahaha!

International Animal Rescue – Primate Diaries

I never gave it much thought when she told us her ambition. A veterinarian? Neat! I get to send my pets to her in future. My shallow perception of her job is far from what it is today.

Dr. Sharmini Julita is part of the International Animal Rescue focusing on primate rescue in Bogor, Indonesia. Her recent works include the release of six rehabilitated pig-tailed macaques and two slow lorises back to their native island of Sumatra (click here for the  full article). IAR definitely deserves more attention for their extensive efforts and commitment in the struggle against the illegal animal trade.

IAR Indonesia was recently featured on BBC’s Indian Ocean with Simon Reeve. Click here to watch a clip.

Wordless Wednesday – Boys and Toys

I found him in the middle of his play mat chitchatting with Loopy Loops.

Click here to link:

A Day in the life of a SAHM: Day 218

iPhone front camera’s don’t produce the clearest shots

These days, I not only wake up to a hungry little 7-month old baby, I have the task of prepping his daily porridge. Like a zombie, I am up at 6 a.m. to wash, soak and cut the rice, barley, sweet potato, green beans, carrots, you name it! I must say I really enjoy thinking up new meals for my son. He’s been very patronising with my cooking, just like his father.

After fiddling around in the kitchen, I try to have breakfast with my husband. Try. I usually fall back asleep and wake up again at 9:30. Yikes!

I put my son down for two naps (if I’m lucky) throughout the day and while he’s sleeping, I’m usually chatting away with Amelia online, working on something interesting with her (I kinda miss work), surfing for recipes or window shopping.

Play time is really fun these days. My son is amused by my peek-a-boo stunts whether I’m hiding behind my hands or he’s hiding under his blanket. I point out colours and objects whenever it is clear, and in the evenings we take walks around the pool. He is drawn to the voices of children playing in the pool, the swift passing of birds, or the sways of the coconut trees. The past three weeks included 2-3 evening swims a week as there were three older kids who practically lived in our condo pool! Although he was too young to play with them, our son would kick and laugh while watching the older kids from his float. Sadly, his friends have returned to Chennai and our swims have now reduced to once a week.

I hold a list of people that I talk to – my close friends who I need to speak to everyday to ensure I’m sane, some friends who I check in on since their lives are different from mine and it’s nice to break away for a moment (these are usually the ones who are getting married since weddings are fun!), my parents and in laws who I make it a point to forward a photograph of their grandson every now and then, and my sister because I love her even when she annoys me.

In the evenings, we make a call to Praveen to see what time he will be home. You should see my son’s face light up when he hears his dad’s voice on the speaker. He smiles and laughs as if his father could see him. I smile too knowing it won’t be long before he’s home.

Transit of Venus

Venus begins to cross the Sun's face during the transit of Venus as seen from the west side of Manhattan in New York (Taken from The Guardian)

AJ sent me the link: venustransit.nasa.gov. If not for her, I wouldn’t have bothered. It was a good site, took a few minutes to stream but the image and audio was surprisingly clear.

As I watched and understood it more, I couldnt help but wonder- December 11th, 2117 was 105 years away. I wouldn’t be around for the next transit. And neither would Prav. I don’t think there will be a technological advancement or an elixir of youth by then, so likely not even my children would see it. Maybe my grandchildren.

Watching this redefined time for me. The grasp I have on the people I love suddenly became tighter.



That’s the number of photographs I have stored on my phone. This does not include the 198 videos. I hate to have to delete any of them for it’s as if I’m deleting a memory.

But I have them all. If not on my phone, then in a hard disk. If not on a hard disk, in a private album on the internet.

There are so many memories and moments I want to remember forever that I wish my brain was a video camera because I’m afraid I will one day forget.


Starting Solids

Mama I don’t like butternut squash!

I was so nervous to begin introducing solids to our little one. He has already been showing interest in eating. I remember we were on the plane, hubs was holding bubs and the stewardess had just served us our food. I put butter on the bread and fed hubs but bubs opened his mouth too! We smiled – he was only 4 months then. When being carried nowadays and he sees us drinking water, he would want to put his mouth against the glass too. How cute 🙂

Our LO’s first food was rice cereal – organic rice cereal. He didn’t take more than 5 mouth fulls but that increased in time. After 3 days of just rice cereal and a hint of milk, he graduated to having butternut squash puree. The puree alone wasn’t well accepted so I always add some cereal and a little bit of milk to mask the taste. He is now eating pear puree (and loves it because of the sweetness) and will be having carrots later this week.

I tend not to blend all his food but instead mash it with a fork and spoon after it is steamed. I do that because I find the blends to be too smooth although blending gets most of the lumps away.

Feeding time is really messy! My little one chooses to munch on anything other than the food he’s fed – from the straps of his high chair to the bib he’s wearing.

This must sound crazy but I did feel a bit sad when he was showing interest in food. My baby is growing up.


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