Category Archives: Random Thoughts

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Summary of 2015

2015 – A year of bringing the li’l tot on adventures, trying new recipes, learning new things, and easing myself back into the workforce …. a good year! Thanks hubby for doing life with me. It’s all so much more meaningful because of you and our precious li’l one.

January
Butterfly Farm

February
Celebrating CNY with Family
March
Joshayne’s First Movie @ GSC

April
Tunku Abdul Rahman Aquarium, Penang
Celebrating Joshayne’s 2nd Birthday in Kuching

May
KL Trip – Joshayne’s first TRAIN ride
Joanna’s Wedding
Reunion with IPBA 304A girls + (hubs and tots)
Mother’s Day and Birthday celebrations
Kidland, Penang

June
Taiping Zoo, Perak

Countryside Stable, Penang
Saanen Dairy Goat Farm, Penang
Father’s Day and Wedding Anniversary Celebrations
*Rendang Tok
*Red Velvet Cake

July
Youth Park, Penang
Botanical Garden, Penang
*Satay chicken with Peanut Sauce and Nasi Impit
*Tomyum Soup and Tomyum Spaghetti
*Mild Javanese Chicken in Coconut Milk

August
Langkawi Family Trip
Girls’ Day Out with 304A gals/Farewell for Azrin
September
Logos Hope
*Butter Prawns
October
Joshayne @ Rowena’s
Officially back to work (part-time@Cytron)
November
New car .. Honda Jazz! Yeah~
Penang International Science Fair

December
Balik Kampung (Kuching) – Family time and Izora’s wedding
rero workshops @ public libraries
rero Events @ AEON Jusco and PSC
KL work trip + ToT for rero Jr Facilitators
Klang – Uncle Michael and family and Ps Alan & A.Lai Forng
Joshayne’s first FERRY ride

Books Read

85 - Better Sentence Writing in 30 Minutes a Day by Dianna Campbell 86 - Mind Your Child's Language Development by Haja Mohideen 87 - The Phonology Factor by Nadine Pedron and Susan Brown 88 - Run by Ann Patchett 89 - How to Teach Your Baby to Read, The Gentle Revolution by Glenn and Janet Doman 90 - Room to Read by John Wood 91 - Maze Runner The Scorch Trials by James Dashner 92 - Southeast Asia's Best Recipes by Wendy Hutton 93 - Loghat Hokkien Pulau Pinang by Tan Choon Hoe 94 - Love in Penang - Compilation of Short Stories 95 - Maze Runner The Death Cure by James Dashner 96 -Legendary Service by Ken Blanchard, Kathy Cuff and Vicki Halsey 97 - The Mesh by Lisa Gansky 98 - The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom 99 - The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson 100 - Life's Like That by Lydia Teh …..

Online Courses

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He-li-cop-ter

Diary of a SAHM – Day 571

After referring to helicopters as “help-ter” for months, Joshayne can FINALLY say “he-li-cop-ter”. Yes! Hip-hip-hurray~

Lest I Forget…

Diary of a SAHM – Day 541

Now that I’m not teaching in school, I’ve lost track of time. My days and weeks have blended together and I have to resort to blogging to record Joshayne’s milestones (lest I forget). This blog has, in a way, become my personal online journal+recipebook+notebook. So please do excuse the randomness of my blog posts.

Joshayne @ 2 years and 4 months old

His current favourite song is “Wheels on the Bus.” He has always loved listening to songs, and lately, he has begun to hum and sing along when we sing to/with him. Some of the songs that he can ‘sing’ are Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Happy Birthday song, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Jesus Loves Me This I Know, Walking with Jesus,  小蜜蜂,ABC song, etc.

His favourite YouTube videos are those by Little Baby Bum, Bob the Builder and Tayo the Little Bus (or because those are the few that I let him watch. Ops.)
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He LOVES his toy vehicles; he plays with them EVERY DAY! He has a blue motorbike, a jet, an ambulance, two helicopters, three trains, three buses, a crane, a truck, a taxi, a bulldozer, a digger, a steamroller, and MANY cars (I’ve lost count). He can name all of them. He also has a Daddy mouse, a Mummy mouse and a Baby mouse. And he loves to play with his dad’s RERO robots too.

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Joshayne enjoys reading books too. We go to the library together as often as we can – usually once a week or every other week. After checking out library books, he likes to help me to put them in my bag. Joshayne is also a member of i-Play and his favourite educational toys there are the wooden vehicles.

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 He can roll and throw a ball but he prefers to KICK. He gets excited when we let him play on the SLIDE. He can walk, and run, and JUMP (with both feet off the ground, finally).

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Sometimes he pretends to play the guitar using his badminton racquet, and he will insist that I play along with him (as he has two racquets). Sometimes he plays the keyboard/piano (an imaginary one, as we do not have the budget to buy a piano yet) or the drum (banging on any free surface), and asks me to play the violin.

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He helps me with household chores – holding the dustpan when I sweep the floor, snapping beans, putting his dirty clothes into the laundry basket, putting away his toys after he is done playing with them, helping me to make the bed after he wakes up, picking up bits and pieces off the floor and throwing them into his dustbin, rinsing his own cup, etc.

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He knows how to say PLEASE, SORRY, EXCUSE ME, THANK YOU and WELCOME and uses them in context. He will say “QUEUE UP” when we wait at the counter to pay and he will tell himself or his playmates to “WAIT FOR YOUR TURN” when they have to share a toy or take turns to play on the slide.

He will remind us to say grace before meals if we forget. He will hold his hands together in prayer and he can end the prayer saying “in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.”

He can recognise all the letters of the alphabet, both uppercase and lowercase, and he can say their letter names. He can also recite the alphabet from A to Z, though he sometimes misses M and N. He knows all the numerals and can count from one to ten in English (fluently, on his own) and also in mandarin, hokkien, teochew  and malay language (with guidance). Recently, he is in the habit of counting everything around him.

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He knows the following body parts, i.e. can touch and say: head, hair, eye, eyebrow, nose, ear, mouth, tongue, teeth, cheek, chin, neck, shoulder, arm, armpit, elbow, hand, finger, tummy, leg, knee, and toe.

He knows the following COLOURS – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, brown, gray, white, and black, but he sometimes gets mixed up between purple and pink. He also knows basic SHAPES, namely circle, oval, square, rectangle, rhombus, star, cross and heart. 

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Joshayne is able to solve simple puzzles like the following:
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Joshayne’s favourite animals are guinea pigs, cats and ducks. From our many trips to various zoos and farms, animal picture books and songs on YouTube, Joshayne has become familiar with the following insects/animals and the sounds they make: dog (woof), cat (meow), bird (tweet), lion (roar), bear (growl), frog (ribbit), elephant (pawoo), horse (neigh), duck (quack), sheep (baa), goat (mek), pig (oink), cow (moo), rabbit, orang utan, crocodile, hippo, flamingo, deer, zebra, monkey, tiger, snake, fish, chicken,  butterfly, shark, buffalo, penguin, mouse, giraffe, etc.

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That’s quite an achievement for a li’l tot, I think (of course, my opinion is biased!). Hehe. Anyway, it has been an exciting journey of discovery for us as a family and it is such a joy to explore the world with Joshayne. He has given us the opportunity to see the world from another perspective – that of a little child!

Don’t grow up too fast my little baby boy.

Personal Observations and also Reminders to Self:
* Little toddlers are like sponge, eagerly absorbing new knowledge and picking up new skills. We need to provide them with learning opportunities. Learning is FUN and we should keep it that way for our children, who naturally ENJOY learning new things.

* I’ve been amazed over and over again every time I witness Joshayne picking up a new skill and progressing in his language development etc. I guess it’s natural for me to be filled with a motherly-pride over his accomplishments. At the same time, I also realise (or rather constantly have to remind myself) that he’s just like any other kids – he is not above others. There is no need to compare. There is no need to push him to perform, but to let him develop at his own pace.

A for Apple, B for Bus, C for Car

Diary of a SAHM – Day 497

At 2 years and 2 months old, Joshayne can recognise all the letters of the alphabet and say their letter names; he can say some of their sounds but not all. For each letter, he is able to give at least one word that begins with the letter. Here are some of his favourite responses…

A for…? apple, aeroplane
B for…? bus, baby, bubble, bear
C for…? cat, car, cow
D for…? daddy, dog
E for…? elephant, egg
F for…? fish, fan
G for…? goat, go
H for…? horse, helpter (helicopter)
I for…? ice-cream, igloo
J for…? Joshayne, jungle, jam
K for…? kiss, keys
L for…? lion
M for…? mah-nee (mummy), monkey
N for…? nose, no-no
O for…? orange, octopus
P for…? penguin, potty
Q for…? quiet, queen
R for…? robot, rero
S for…? snake, star
T for…? tongue, train
U for…? UTC, umbrella, uncle
V for…? vacuum
W for…? water, watch
X for…? x-ray
Y for…? yoyo, yoghurt
Z for…? zebra

Rendang Tok (Perak)

Diary of a SAHM – Day 478

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Rendang Tok (Perak) – Have you tried this before? I first tasted this dish at Faisal’s kenduri some time in Dec last year. Both Kiate and I fell in love with it! It had made such a great impression upon Kiate that he requested for this dish.

Faisal kindly shared the recipe with me and I also did some research online – browsing recipe blogs and watching YouTube videos etc. After 6 months, I finally mustered the courage to attempt cooking this Malay delicacy. For the record, this was the first time I cooked beef – a milestone in my cooking journey.

It took me over 3 hours in the kitchen but it was well worth the effort. The hubby gave two thumbs up!

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I referred to the recipe by “Baby Sumo” but halved the amount of each ingredient. I list the ingredients here for my future reference. If you need the full recipe (measurement and step-by-step guide), you can refer to Baby Sumo’s blog here or watch this YouTube video.

Rendang Tok Perak

Ingredients:

beef, cut into 3cm chunks

Beef marinade
coriander seeds (ketumbar)
cumin seeds (jintan putih)
fennel seeds (jintan manis)
black peppercorns (lada hitam)
salt (garam)

Spice paste (blended)
shallots (bawang kecil)
garlic (bawang putih)
lemongrass (batang serai)
galangal or “blue ginger” (lengkuas)
ginger (halia)
turmeric ( kunyit hidup)

Other ingredients

red chili powder or paste
kaffir lime leaves (daun limau purut)
turmeric leaves
palm sugar (gula Melaka)
cardamom (buah pelaga)
cloves ( bunga cengkih)
cinnamon stick (kulit kayu manis)

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coconut milk
toasted coconut (kerisik)

Especially for Daddy…

Diary of a SAHM – Day 475

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When I was little,
you carried me in your arms.
You held my hands and cheered me on
when I began to toddle around.
Now I can walk on my own,
and even run and jump;
but sometimes, I still stumble
and fall to the ground.
You tell me to pick myself up;
there’s no need to cry.
Then you hug me tight,
and I know I will be all right.

Happy Father’s Day. Amen. Love Daddy.

DIY Foot Prints (II)

Diary of a SAHM – Day 475

In my previous post (in May ‘14), I shared about my experience making DIY hand and foot prints with Joshayne when he was around 1 year old. It was a memorable project; unfortunately, though, I had to throw them away after a few months because I noticed mold growing on them. Yucks! It was a pity indeed.

I tried again recently. This time I used the recommended ratio of 2:1:1, i.e. 2 parts flour to 1 part salt and 1 part water. I also added a few drops of yellow food colouring, a pinch of cinnamon powder and some mixed herb to add artistic texture to the final product. I was really happy with the outcome. Ta-daa….

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This time around, I made sure that I dried the ‘dough’ properly in order to prevent mold infestation. I ‘baked’ it in the oven for over 3 hours at 100 degree Celsius and then dry them under the sun for a few afternoons. And instead of leaving it lying around, exposed, I kept the foot print in a gift box with silica gel nicely ‘hidden’ underneath it.

And finally,… *drumroll*

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… this was our special Father’s Day gift for Kiate. A memorable baby keepsake!

All in all, I spent less than RM3 on this project (just two pieces of wrapping paper, some flour and salt). The box and cotton were from newborn gift sets I received two years back. The socks, shoes and sandals, which were worn and outgrown by Joshayne, were also gifts from friends. *wink*

P/S Hubby, I hope you like this “priceless” gift. Hehe.

Blessed Birthday to Me

Diary of a SAHM – Day 451

Happy Birthday from Google

Today is my Birthday – a good time to do some reflecting and goal setting. Looking back over the past 30 years (ops.. did I just reveal my age?!), I have been to various places, met countless wonderful people and experienced many ups and downs in life – and for all that, I am thankful~

So now, at 31, I am a stay-at-home mother with a two-year-old son. Is that where I have envisioned myself to be? Hmm… not really. I’d love to have a successful and fulfilling career but things didn’t work out for me in the school. For years I struggled, but in the end, I caved in and chose the easy way out – I quit my job! Till today, I get emotional from time to time about the fact that I do not have a career, especially when I see my peers and juniors soaring in theirs. So yeah, that’s my greatest regret and failure.

On a brighter note, I’m beginning to enjoy being a full-time SAHM and see it as a PRIVILEGE instead. As a SAHM, I am spared from work-related stress. I get to spend more quality time with Joshayne, playing with him and teaching him about the world. It is such a joy to share his a-ha moments when he discovers something new or masters a new skill. It feels great to be the one who understands him the most – knowing his likes and dislikes, being able to interpret his utterances and anticipate or predict his very next move. Secondly, it is a joy to be able to cook for my family and to keep the house in order. Weird as it may sound, I actually enjoy doing household chores. I find great satisfaction in that. All things considered, I think I would still take this path if I were to choose again. I am blessed to have a supportive husband who allows me this privilege and for that I am thankful.

I remember a conversation I once had with Jo, a close friend of mine, when we were only seventeen or eighteen.  I told him then that my ambition was to be a housewife with a PhD. So I guess, I’m halfway to achieving my dream.

So where am I now and where am I headed to?

In my first 30 years, I fell in love with Kiate, got married and gave birth to Joshayne. In my next 30 years, I hope to walk hand in hand with Kiate as we grow old together and to create many more beautiful memories as a family. In my next 3o years, I want to see Joshayne growing up in the knowledge and grace of Christ.

In my first 30 years, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in TESL and a master’s degree in Measurement and Evaluation. In my next 30 years, I want to pursue and earn a PhD!

In my first 30 years, I was a student, then a teacher and then a wife and mother. In my next 30 years, I want to be a better wife and mother. And one day, if I can have my own career, I want to be a professional consultant and to have my own education centre.

In my first 30 years, I found my faith in Christ; I’ve had mountain-top experiences and also stumbled through the valley of darkness. In my next 30 years, I pray that I can grow stronger and be more mature in my Christian faith. I pray that I can have a more personal relationship with God so that I can serve Him more effectively and be a testimony of His goodness and faithfulness.

In my first 30 years, I have been to Singapore, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, New Zealand and Australia. In my next 30 years, I wish to tour Europe and visit Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Maldives, Greece, …. in fact it would be awesome if I can travel to ALL the countries in the world.

As for short-term goals (in no particular order)…

  • I want to take good care of my family  – provide decent meals, keep the house clean and presentable, etc.
  • Study and document Joshayne’s development, especially his language development.
  • Take up relevant online courses.
  • Improve my Chinese language proficiency, especially in reading and Chinese vocabulary (so that I can teach Joshayne).
  • Read and write@blog for personal and professional development.
  • Try my best to contribute financially by giving tuition, taking up editing jobs etc.
  • Design at least one photobook per year for Joshayne.
  • To invest into the lives of others as much as possible.

Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” May God’s grace and mercy be upon me. I surrender my next 30 years unto the Lord; may He direct my steps~

IPBA 304A Reunion – the Girls + their Hubbies & Li’l Tots

Diary of a SAHM – Day 428

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