You are like your articles

Reading newspaper

It was parents’ day for two children’s school last Saturday. Parents’ Day means all parents will go to the school to take the report cards of their children. The parents and teachers have a chance to communicate.

After the session with the teachers, I also had a session with my children. After listening to what mummy had to say, Rachel said, “You are like your articles. You have to describe, elaborate and end with a thought, not straight to the point.”

Ending with a thought today –

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
– Frank Outlaw

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Before I was a mum

BackToBasic tagged me on “Before I became a mummy” earlier. I thought, that’s a big project to do! I admit, it’s difficult to put in words. During my hideaway days, I re-organized my photo albums and spent some very good times seeing those photographs of Rachel and Chris. So, it’s a picture journey of some of the feelings before I was a mum.

Before I was a mom. I watched. I waited. I anticipated.

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The day came. And the journey began. There were many unknowns…

I did not know that children also have blue days.

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There are days when they feel lousy, grumpy, lonely, and utterly exhausted.

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On blue days they can become paranoid that everyone is out to get them. They feel frustrated and anxious. They are about to burst into tears at any moment.

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Right at the next moment, they can be wild and happy.

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They can rejoice over simple things like a delicious, happy sniffs and scrumptious snacks!

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Their worlds are full of amazing discoveries and learnings for them.

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I had never known my feelings of warmth, joy, love, heartache and wonderment swing with the children!

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And I did not know that I was capable of feeling so much before I was a mum!

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Cooking up a storm with eggs

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Photo Credit

I love eggs.

Fried it, scrumptious! Sunny-side up, appealing.

Scrambled it, delightful!

Cooked-in-the shell, yummy!

Soft-boiled it, it’s almost heavenly!

Poached it, mellow!

Baked it, divine!

With sauce and dressing, heavenly!

I have a great fan to come along with me, my little boy, Chris. I have learnt all these words describing the irresistible temptations of eggs from Chris!

But, it’s just that number of cholesterol in it that pulls me down often. I have not been taking eggs for the past two weeks. And I even miss that Easter egg that I collected from the Church. The consoling thing is I collected many easter eggs from fluff-friends’ easter eggs hunt (Facebook).

Today, I read a “RealAge Tip” –

Like your poached egg and whole-wheat toast in the morning? Your brain might enjoy it, too. Easting selenium-rich foods – like eggs – could help keep your memory sharp and your brain speed on high as you age.

It goes on to say that in rural China, researchers found that elderly people who got at least the U.S. recommended daily value of selenium (about 55 micrograms per day) had cognitive test scores that put them in a league with people 10 years younger.

And there is even a test of our mental acuity with this quiz and see how we match up for our age!

For that score of 10 years younger than my actual age, I am going to throw that non-essential number today and let my doctor worry about them and pay him. I am going to take an egg today!

In search of the happiest person

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Picked up this interesting news today –

A SEARCH has been launched for the happiest person in Singapore, where a recent survey found that 90 per cent of its population feel life is stressful.

The aptly named Philip Merry, chief executive of consulting firm Global Leadership Academy, has been tasked with finding the cheery resident.

“Being based in Singapore and having trained thousands of people across the globe, one distinct trend I have noticed is that despite material wealth and economic success, Singaporeans consider themselves less happy than many other people,” Mr Merry said.

“Singaporeans fret about financial security and retirement. Many Singaporeans are concerned they do not have enough money to grow old gracefully and that seems to make them unhappy,” he said.

Despite its affluence, a poll by international advertising firm Grey Group found that 9 in 10 people living in the city-state said they were stressed.

Citizens aged 18 years and above can be nominated for the title and the winner will be given an overseas holiday.

So, this born-in-Singapore happy baby (pix above) can’t be nominated! Sigh. Sigh.

Here is another story of how to be happy reported by Reuters –

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Money can buy happiness, but only if you spend it on someone else, researchers reported on Thursday.

Spending as little as $5 a day on someone else could significantly boost happiness, the team at the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School found.

Read the story here

The hideaway days

During my “hideaway” days, one of the things I have done is re-organizing my photos. The works also include cleaning up the photo files in my computer – choose and develop, delete, keep and write to CDs. As a result, my laptop space increases a whopping 25%!

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I have also spent much time in my garden. You have seen the front part of my garden, join me to the back of my house,this way…

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At the back of my house, there is this pamelo tree. I have been enjoying the fruits, but have not taken a good look at the fruits on the tree.

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It’s really amazing!

From my own garden, I also “invaded” into my neighbour’s garden. Here I am, looking into my neighbour’s garden.

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That’s a nice view, isn’t it not?

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I may not be a cake person, but butter cakes fresh from my own oven when every bite is “butterly” adds excitement to the hideaway days without raised blood pressure!

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Pajamas Party

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I have been reading quite a few insightful articles on family traditions being passed down on Easter. One of the more common one is making “paste eggs” for Easter. Eggs are hard boiled and decorated. In one family tradition, eggs are being rolled down the hill, the first egg that breaks is “out”.

On Sunday I went to the Sunday market and spotted some nice pajamas selling at RM20 each. I think it’s worth the money. That reminds me of my mum’s tradition of pajamas.

Mum would tailor two new sets of pajamas for her nine children for Chinese New Year. It was like a pajamas party for all of us on Chinese New Year Eve after the reunion dinner! The must for the pajamas was two big pockets! Two big pockets for us to keep the goodies!

For me, it’s the warmth of mother’s love and the fun enjoyed with siblings.

I have been keeping this tradition of getting a new set of pajamas for Rachel and Chris every year too.

What family tradition do you keep?

Loving Innocence Vs Touching Purity

There is a loving innocence when a daddy baby talks. There is a touching purity when a child talks like an adult!

Today’s mutton stew (or is it?) is a combination of baby talk and adult talk. Enjoy.

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This is all you need – mutton, potatoes, carrots, onions, Sarawak black pepper, cooking wine, garlic, ginger and ..

Belly Buttons! No, it’s not, it’s button mushrooms.

Many years ago, I was dining in a small restaurant. Seated at the next table was a couple with their 2-year-old son. The man is a church friend. Arthur married late. So, he was quite an “old father” to a 2-year-old. We greeted. Arthur was trying to get his son to eat. Then, it caught my attention when I heard, “Do you want to eat belly buttons (in Foochow)?”

It was the nature in me to clear the doubts. So, I walked over to find out what was served on the table. Was it really belly buttons? It could not be! Arthur said, “I call that belly buttons in my son’s language.”

From that day on, my button mushrooms have to be halved so that I do not think of belly buttons when I take them! But, the loving innocence of an “old dad” remains in my mind.

Now, here is the mutton stew. I have done lamb chop before, this is the first time that I tried mutton stew. I would have called it lamb stew if I have not done a search in the net about “lamb”.

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Lamb is a sheep less than a year. Over a year, it is referred as yearling. And over two years, lamb is called mutton. Lamb or mutton are fairly fatty. I have them well trimmed. Lamb is an universally accepted meat. Hindus are forbidden to eat beef. Muslims and Jews eschew pork. There is no religion or culture that outlaw lamb. Probably, most of us are turned off by the smell of lamb that it’s less consumed.

It was also the first time that Chris (my 12-year-old son) took mutton. He took a large portion of it. I was caught by surprise that he could take the smell. I probed. And he said,

“I don’t quite take the smell of it. It’s because it’s cooked by you that I like it. Just like you make the world best chicken pie and pizza, the lamb is also heavenly.”

That’s the touching purity that touches my soul. And I know it’s going to linger in my mind for a long, long time.