Sunday, March 30, 2008

Other (please specify)

I was just thinking the other day, if we were living in Malaysia and Olivia is applying for school, under the race section, she would have to check OTHER.

In US, your race will never be asked in an application form, neither is your gender. When your ethnicity is asked, it is entirely voluntary. You can decline to answer without fearing any discrimination.

Even then, there is no OTHER as a choice. The choices are Asian/Pacific Islander, African American, Mixed race (2 or more ethnic background), White, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian (not sure if this is a choice, but it should be).

OTHER seemed a bit.....what's the word....insensitive and disrespectful.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Daddy's girl or mommy's boy

It is the believe that a daughter will be close to her daddy and have daddy wrap around her little finger; and there will be a bond between mother and son and no one can come between them.

At the moment, Olivia is a mommy's girl. She would always come to me instead of daddy. She'll go to daddy for a while, then she'll come and find me. I love that she is clingy to me but it can sometimes be hard because I could not leave her for a minute. She'll escort me even when I have to pee.

I'm secretly glad she is a mommy's girl now because I'm sure one day, she'll turn around and be a daddy's girl, when she finds out how easy it is to 'manipulate' daddy. LOL.

So, is your child a daddy's girl or mommy's boy?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I always let Olivia play with my handbag when I'm getting her stuff ready for daycare. She loves to take out the contents and I don't have a lot in there anyway.

This morning, I forgot that I have my coupons pouch in there and as usual, she was looking for 'treasures' in the bag. I sensed something was wrong when I heard rustling sounds of papers ( I was in the kitchen and Olivia was in the living room). I peeked and oh my, this is what I found.

When I walked closer, she even tried to hide the mess by spreading the coupons even further apart.

The I have to rearrange all my coupons in the appropriate catergory again.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Purim (pronounced 'poor-um') is the story of Esther, the Jewish queen who saved the Jews in the ancient Persian empire from being massacred in the fifth centry B.C.E.

The festival celebrates the defeat of Haman, an evil Prime Minister, whose plot to kill all the Jews, were foiled by Queen Esther.

Nowadays, it is celebrated carnival style where people dress up in costume (the crazier, the better) and eat hamantaschen, a three cornered pastry said to resemble Haman's hat.

The daycare that Olivia goes to is the Jewish Community Center and they celebrated Purim 2 days ago. The teachers have asked the parents to send their kids in costume. So, I thought that Olivia dressing up as a China doll for a Jewish celebration is a pretty good idea.

So what do you think? Cute or not?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Raising a child to be bilingual

In Malaysia, most of us know more than one language. This is because we were taught different languages in school, namely Bahasa Malaysia, English and Mandarin. I, myself, speak malay, english and mandarin and people here are always amazed that I can speak 3 languages and 2 chinese dialects.

When Olivia was born, we decided that we would raise her to be bilingual, english and mandarin. It is hard for a child in a mixed race family to speak the other language because he/she hears english everywhere else.

I started speaking to Olivia in mandarin when she was about 3 months old. I try to use all mandarin, even though sometimes, I do mixed in one or two english words. Granted, after leaving school and moving here, my mandarin is a bit rusty.

So, now Olivia understands both languages. It is quite amazing to see that when hubby or the grandparents speak to her in english, she understands and when I talk to her in mandarin, she comprehend as well. She can say english words but not mandarin words yet, though at one point, she did say 'kou' (dog).

When she is old enough, my plan is to send her for mandarin lessons. I don't know if she will utilize the language in the future but at least, I'm giving her a chance.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bar Mitzvah

The bar (for boys) or bat (for girls) mitzvah is a milestone in the life of every Jew. This happens when a Jewish child turns 13 years old. It marks the passage from childhood to adulthood. During the service at the synogogue (temple), the bar mitzvah boy or bat mitzvah girl will be called up to read the Torah in Hebrew.

Many bar mitzvah parties rival wedding receptions and they can be luncheons or evening affairs. The magnitude of the event really depends on the child's family and their finances.

For a child, the bar mitzvah is like the ultimate dream birthday party. There are entertainment with a band or DJ, dancing, tatoo painting, photo sessions etc. I read in the papers the other day that Sanjaya Malakar, one of the prior season's Americon Idol finalist will be singing at a girl's bat mitzvah party.

Last Saturday, we attended a bar mitzvah party of Steve's cousin's son. We were not suppose to bring Olivia but since we could not find a babysitter, she tagged along (after getting the ok from his cousin).

This is the entrance to the dining hall.

The dining hall.

The food was good and we get to show off Olivia to the relatives. Wanna see a dressed up Olivia?


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mommy brain

It has been said that once a woman have children, she will lose some of her memory. Before having Olivia, my memory was excellent. I hardly have to take notes and I can remember dates, numbers and directions easily.

After the baby, it's another story. I can't remember or couldn't care less what I ate for lunch. When I returned to work, my co-worker would say, remember last month when I showed you this, you said blah blah blah.....I don't have a clue nor can I remember what I said.

However, I can remember precisely when the baby last ate or when she last pooped.

So, does this mean the more babies you have, the more memory you'd lose? Noooo.....This is actually a biological effect of giving birth and it should regulate by the time your baby is 18 months - 2 years old.

So, when Olivia turned 2 years old, what other excuse can I use for being absentminded? :-)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Play is learn, learn is play

It has been said that play is children's work. Children work hard at their play because they can make it up themselves. The best part about play is that it helps children learn a great deal while they have fun.

You can help your child by providing toys that are good for his/her growth.

1. Empty cardboard box. Big enough to get inside is best, preferably with lids.

2. Blankets. Make a tent, play peek-a-boo. Playing with a baby as young as 6 months teaches them the concept of impermanence. They learn that you're still there, even though you disappear for a while.

3. Blocks. Olivia loves it if I stack up the blocks and she knocks them down.

4. Books. This is not a toy but reading helps children make connections between words and meaning. Read to your baby even though you think he/she is still too young. We start reading to Olivia when she was only 3/4 months old and now her favourite thing to do is bring us books for us to read to her.

5. You. Sometimes the very best play happens with no toys at all! :-)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Fashion Diva

When I bought the polka dot shoes for Olivia, I didn't even realise that she has a pink top with brown polka dots. If you remember, the shoes are brown with pink polka dots.

So, the other day, I sent Olivia to daycare with this outfit. I bet she was the best dressed baby that day, right down to the shoes....hehe.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Blogging Friends Forever Award

The awards keep rolling in. This award is also from Andrew & June. Thank you, thank you. We are friends forever!

I would like to pass along this award to Wuching, Jamy & Puteri.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Artwork IV

Gimel (pronounced Ghee-mel) means C or 3 in Hebrew. Olivia is in Room Gimel at daycare.

Hubby said the color scheme of this art looks like vomit, I said it reminds me of newborn poop!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Mustard chicken with wild rice and Brussels sprouts

Before the baby, I always like to experiment with new recipes on the weekends. After the baby, between work and taking care of Olivia, I haven’t tried any new recipe in a year! During the week, I rotate the variety of food I cook to the quick and easy type.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I tried this new recipe from a food magazine I subscribe to. This food magazine feature easy to cook meals. This dish takes about 35 minutes to cook and it is yummy. Brussels sprouts go well with dishes that use mustard and the wild rice is a very good accompaniment.

If you'd like to try this dish, below is the recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 450. Place 8 chicken drumstick or thighs on a large rimmed baking sheet and coat with 1/4 cup of Dijon mustard. Season with salt & pepper.

2. On another baking sheet, toss Brussels sprouts (trimmed and quartered) with oil; season with salt & pepper. Place chicken and Brussels sprouts in the oven and bake until chicken is cooked through and Brussels sprouts are browned, 25-30 minutes, turning chicken halfway through.

3. Meanwhile, cook 1 box of long grain and wild rice blend (seasoning packet discarded) according to package instruction. Serve chicken with rice and Brussels sprouts.

Happy cooking!