Monday, March 30, 2009

Earth Day

A week before, I have already heard of the Earth day, the day is aimed to promote awareness of the low energy sources that we are tapping on, threatening the existing of future generation.

On Saturday night, I have planned to switch off the lights and teach the kids about the reason of such act.

We went out for dinner and were back by 8.35pm. I told the kids we are not going to on the lights... I received mixed reaction. Isabel was excited about the change, but Ally kept shouting "I DON'T LIKE EARTH DAY! I WANT ON THE LIGHTS!!" she was afraid of the dark...

I insisted to carry on with the exercise, lighting up few candles in the house. The first 10 mins was very difficult as my eyes was adjusted to the dark, I began to appreciate the benefit of having light in our home. Without TV or computer and Internet, I almost couldn't make it through the hour.

As we sat around the dancing flame, I began to explain the rational behind this, but they are more interested in the flame than what I had to say.

Do more for the earth by ::
1 ) Switching off all lights before vacating your office each day

2 ) Shut down your computer at the end of the day

3 ) Switching off electrical devices at source (power sockets), instead of leaving it on standby

4 ) Use energy-efficient appliances (look for the energy efficiency labels)

5 ) Recycling

6 ) Reuse (the plastic bags that you have)

7 ) Reduce the resources that you utilise (bring your own bag or container)6 ) Travelling by public transport instead of by car/taxis

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bye-Bye Fitril

2 years ago, when our previous maid went back to her hometown, the succeeding maid took over the duty of helping us with the domestic chores.

She started with minimum vocab of English, we hardly understood each other, sometimes I had to act out the instruction. But now she speaks fluent English with her favorite phrase: "I don't know..." used no less than 500 times in the last 2 years.

Actually, she is one of the most trustworthy maid we have ever hired. Humble and good help, good-natured with a good servant-hood mindset.

We have been persuading her for months to convince her family to let her stay and work for another 2 years. She wanted so much to stay, but apparently they have other plans for her.

And so... on 19th March 2009, 6am in the morning, she started her voyage home. Ally woke up early to send her off.

My wife gave her instructions of how to get to the departure gate.

Group Hug.

Ally has always been her favorite, she gets all teary eyes saying good-bye to her. But Ally wasn't crying at all, she just smiled and waved and said good-bye.

"Ma'am, Sir... I want to thank you for letting me work here for the 2 years... (sob...sob) I very happy here...(sob...)"

God bless her, I pray that she'll have a good life ahead, maybe one day she'll be back to work for us again.

I certainly wouldn't mind... not at all.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Botanical Garden


We and a few of the parents gathered and brought our kids to the botanical garden, a time of getting closer to the nature, and also for the kids to work out those extra energy.

Its been a while since we've been here... The evening was warm and very humid with almost no wind. The kids were already perspiring even before reaching the spot.

Near our picnic area is an old tree, it didn't state how old it is but I've seen many local TV series were filmed with this tree as a backdrop.

The kids climbed up the huge branch with ease, but getting down is always a problem.

Kids... everyone is so full of potential...

Parents pot-lucked and compared cooking skills while the kids and Daddies gorged on the goodies.

Bubbles have always been able to draw a crowd of kids. Something about it that seems magical to them.

There is a Swan Lake in the garden, kids wanted to go feed the swan and fishes. But most of the time I'm worried about them falling off the unprotected edge.

Its game time... Ally and Isabel did their best and everyone had fun.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Morning Fights

I guess the excitement has finally worn out...
Nowadays, Ally don't like waking up and be all excited for school.
She'll be screaming and crying when my maid tries to wake her at near 7am. She'll start with saying that she's tired... if anyone persistently tries to wake her, she'll start to scream... If she's being forcefully picked up, she'll kick... If anyone switches on the light... earthquake will occur.
It gets urgent as time draws near to the school bus pick-up time. My maid will have no choice but to pick Ally up and carry her to the bathroom. That's when she'll really kick and scream... That's usually when I step in.

After a few days of such dramatic mornings, I decided to wake her up myself. Its not that the maid is not efficient, but rather, I don't want her to develop the habit of bullying the maid.
I can't say that I have better luck than the maid, but I know Ally will give me less trouble.
During the last few days, I have tried many ways to wake her with less hassle. I tried singing the "Good Morning" song but I got the pillow-over-the-head respond, I tried tickling her but I got a flying-sick-kick-in-my-rib respond. I've tried doing silly things to make her laugh, this works quite well but the initial struggle is still unavoidable.
Finally, I developed a massage-till-awake method which gives the best result. The theory came to me as I realized that after sleeping in a position for so many hours, its hard to move the muscle. So by massaging, it helps the blood circulation and reduces irritation for waking up. Also it a more gentle way of gaining consciousness.
The beautiful thing about her is that there is a point where she'll suddenly be awake and all the nonsense will stop... almost all. I guess its when she is fully conscious and is ready to go to school.