Monday, October 26, 2009

The Consequence of Looking Cute

Let's say, one day, Mommy is posed with this question:

If a baby is cute, which of these consequences is applicable? The baby:

A. gets more smiles from everyone
B. gets more pinches on the cheeks
C. gets more pats on the head
D. gets free food!

Well, for Juan Or's can probably guess by now by looking at the photos below. Yes, that's right, the answer is 'D' - Juan Or gets free food!

It was one of those short night trips to the nearest supermarket - The Store Sri Petaling. When Juan Or and Mommy passed by the kuih bauhulu man, the man signalled to Mommy and handed out a piece of kuih bauhulu to Juan Or. Juan Or took it and Mommy asked Juan Or to say thank you to the man, but Juan Or merely kept silent.

After that, we went on with Juan Or still having the kuih in his hand, Mommy saw a small book fair section. Most of the books are bilingual cookbooks and either bilingual or fully Chinese children books. All cookbooks are subjected to 20% discount. As Mommy was browsing through the cookbooks, this was what Juan Or was up to (with his kuih bauhulu, of course!).......

Instead of concentrating on eating the kuih (well, he only managed a few bites at first), he took the kuih and banged it onto the shopping cart's handle bar!

Next, Juan Or gave Mommy the surprised look for Mommy to photograph as if he hadn't been doing anything funny with the kuih!

In the end, it was Mommy who finished up the kuih for him! Actually Juan Or doesn't really know how to eat this kuih. If Mommy continued to let him hold the kuih, he would evetually throw it onto the floor and end up wasting it! And by the way, in previous trips to The Store Sri Petaling, one sweeper lady (The Store's employee) saw Juan Or, then started calling him. Then she disappeared and later appeared again, this time with a kuih bauhulu in her hand to give to Juan Or. (She must have asked for one from the kuih bauhulu man!). However, for this case, after Juan Or took the kuih from her, and after Mommy pushed the shopping cart till we were gone from the lady's sight, Mommy had no choice but to take the kuih away from Juan Or and throw it away (Mommy hates to throw food away but there's no choice). Reason? Because the lady was also holding the broom and dustpan in her other hand!

Anyway, just a sidetrack, at The Store bookfair just now, Mommy ended up buying something for Juan Or: 4 bilingual picture books for RM4.90 each. Each book (about 30 cm x 30 cm in size) has waterproof, sufficiently stiff but bendable cardboard pages, and the colors of the background and pictures are very vivid and attractive. The pictures are large-sized and pleasing to the eyes. And surprisingly though, the publisher of these books is Novum Organum - the publisher known for publishing bilingual recipe cookbooks. And the kiddy books come in 5 themes: fruits, transportation, shapes, actions and colours. Mommy bought all themes except for the colour theme because the colour one only has pages with the different colours (and the words) but no pictures at all.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Trip to Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) - Part 2

After Mommy bought some plantlets from Unit of Planting Material, Seeds and Farm Breed Production, Mommy drove to this part called "Laman Sayur-sayuran" (Vegetable Front) which is just a short distance away. Juan Or and Mommy were greeted by two banners hung at a shade-like structure of the vegetable park. The banners wrote "Edible Landscape". Mommy thought this is a good idea if you have some land in your own home - planting vegetable plants both for food and decoration for the outside of your home.

(The edible landscape.)

Now Mommy and Juan Or walked under the shade structure. You can see many vegetable fruits hanging down and the creeping veegetable plants providing shade as well. What a beautiful sight! Now Mommy knows - vegetables plants can be just as good for landscaping purpose. The only thing is that if you plant the creeping type, you need to built a substantial structure for it if your other aim is for landscaping purpose, and of course building such structure requires money!

(Many loofahs and snake gourds can be seen hanging down like Christmas ornaments! What a delicious and beautiful sight!)

(The garden pathway with more of these vegetable fruits hanging like Christmas ornaments.)

(Another angle of the garden pathway.)

(A closer look of some of the snake gourds among the foliage.)

(Net structures plus rafia strings at the side parts of the shade structure as means for the creeping plants to do the initial climbing. Seen here are bitter gourds hanging among the foliage.)

(Juan Or, all wet and sweaty, was looking around under the vegetable shade.)

("Yikes, a dead vegetable flower on the floor! That's mine!")

(Juan Or was so happy to walk under the vegetable shade.)

(After passing through the vegetable shade, we arrive at the lakeside landscape. Seen here is Juan Or running towards an orange garden hose on the floor.)

(Juan Or seems to be more intrigued about the orange garden hose than the vegetables.)

("Mama won't let me touch the garden hose because it's dirty, but I touch it already! What can Mama do!?" Look at Juan Or's cheeky laugh!)

(Mommy was attracted to this bottle gourd. Would you believe it if Mommy tells you this gourd is humongous?)

(Taa-dah! Mommy's hand is put see for yourself how humongous it is!)

(This is another big bottle gourd but not as big as the one just now, only thing is that it is nearer to the floor. So Mommy asked Juan Or to go and touch it while Mommy snapped a photo. Too bad, Mommy's handphone camera is not fast enough - shown here is Juan Or already done with touching the gourd!)

After this edible landscape, Mommy and Juan Or headed out of MARDI because the day was becoming too hot already - it was afternoon by then. So Mommy sent Juan Or straight to the babysitter's house because Mommy had other things to do after that.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Trip to Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) - Part 1

One weekday, Mommy found the opportunity to pick Juan Or up from the babysitter's house to take him for a short outing to MARDI Headquarters at Serdang. But why a place like MARDI, you must be wondering? That's because MARDI has nice agricultural landscapes, plus some recreational landscapes as well. Because Papa was working that day, so this was considered Mommy's first solo outing with Juan Or.

To reach MARDI without using the toll way, Mommy used the Sri Kembangan way which passes by South City Plaza and then kept right (the left is Mines Wonderland) to lead to a highway (SILK highway, perhaps? Not sure!) which leads into UPM area and from there headed into MARDI. Upon reaching the main entrance of MARDI, Mommy told the security guards that Mommy wanted to go buy vegetable seeds from Unit Pengeluaran Bahan Tanaman, Biji Benih dan Baka Ternakan (Unit of Planting Material, Seeds and Farm Breed Production), so Mommy got the visitor's pass after giving the guard the driving license.

Upon reaching the unit, Juan Or was already fast asleep, but luckily it wasnt' too difficult for Mommy to wake Juan Or up without making him fretful - Juan Or happily woke up, much to Mommy's surprise!

Mommy went to see what seeds were on sale that day - turned out that only cucumber, chilli padi, round brinjal and long bean seeds were available. So Mommy didn't buy any of those seeds because Mommy has them already. So off Mommy went to see what fruit tree plantlets were on sale this time. The last time Mommy went to MARDI looking for pisang berangan plantlet, there was no stock. However, this time, they had pisang emas and pisang nangka only (pisang berangan was still out of stock but is available at the Jalan Kebun branch of MARDI), each plantlet sold for RM2. During Mommy's tour round the plantlets-for-sale nursery, Juan Or had a good time too with those fruit tree plantlets in polybags that are about as tall as him!

(Juan Or was playing hide-and-seek with Mommy. "Juan Or, you think Mama cannot see where you are hiding meh?")

(Juan Or seems to enjoy stepping on those tiny pebbles covering the floor of the nursery.)

(Mommy managed to capture closer view of Juan Or walking around happily.)

("Juan Or, you are still not done with stepping on those pebbles?")

(Juan Or was so happy to be here.)

("Juan Or, cannot pluck those leaves ah! Mommy is not buying those plantlets.")

(An ever-so-curious Juan Or walking to and fro, in and out of the maze of fruit plantlets in-polybags.)

In the end, after browsing through the nursery, Mommy bought a pisang emas (RM2), 2 round brinjal (RM1 each) and 2 chilli padi (RM1 each) plantlets - all in all RM6. Shown here are the plantlets which Mommy has already transferred from the polybags to the garden soil.

(Left is round brinjal and right is chilli padi.)

(The pisang emas plantlet.)

After Mommy was done with buying plantlets, Mommy took Juan Or (by some short driving distance) to the "Edible Landscape" - so stay tuned for the next blogpost!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Buffalo Power (Part 3)

Remember how Juan Or came up with his buffalo power or 'kuasa kerbau' (i.e., a sudden gush of physical energy) to hammer using his squeky toy hammer and how finally the hammer broke into two because it could no longer withstand his buffalo power? Well, this time, Juan Or took his buffalo power a step further by pushing the clothes-drying frame to and fro. See how Juan Or's little body churns up the buffalo power needed to do the pushing job!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Handphone Crazy!

Juan Or used to be intrigued (even till now!) to see and touch real handphones. Even the babysitter sometimes has to use her handphone as 'bait' to get him into the mood to drink milk from the bottle. Even Mommy's handphone is not spared. Whenever Juan Or notices Mommy using the handphone to capture his photos or videos, Juan Or will want to have a hand in that. For that matter, Mommy will make sure to shift Juan Or to be seated on a mattress while Juan Or is holding Mommy's handphone - just in case Juan Or drops or throws the handphone, then at least the handphone gets to land on soft surface! And yet giving Juan Or to play with spoilt handphones (or rather liveless handphones!) or even toy handphones does not seem to satisfy his craze for the real thing. Now Juan Or has gone one step further as in using Mommy's computer mouse as his handphone instead! See how this toddler acts with his imagination!

By the way, Juan Or also demanded (but was refused) to hold the conventional telephone's receiver to his ears. He even used an oblong-shaped empty stationery kit to put at his ears as if it was the receiver of the telephone!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Crescent News Book Warehouse Sale (13th-22nd October 2009)

Oooohhh yes, it's the book warehouse sale again! This time, Crescent News is doing it for the second time. The first time was a good warehouse sale with nice, colourful, hard-covered and glossy-page children books at bargain prices (RM3/book)! So finally, Mommy found time to go visit this sale yesterday.

(Not much people going to this sale.)

This time round, the warehouse sale is held at the Kompleks Sukan Kelana Jaya. How is the sale like this time? Well, not much people (Mommy went on the 3rd day of the sale) and on the whole, majority of the books are more expensive than that of the previous one, though there are certain books (but limited) still sold at the same price as the previous one. In terms of variety of books (children books especially!), if you talk about books at bargain prices, then there's not as much variety compared to the previous one. Mommy can NO LONGER find those nice, glossy pages, hard covered, and colourfully illustrated children books at RM3 anymore! :-( Even funnier, some children books here are sold at a way more expensive price compared to MPH Bookstore's normal price. Hhmmm.......Mommy wonders whether Crescent News did any market survey first before price tagging their books for the warehouse sale? Some snippets for you to see:

(These are Brown and Watson books in large print sold at RM19 each. Mommy recall seeing MPH Bookstores selling them cheaper at RM14.90 and at normal price some more!)

(Mommy bought these range of books before in the previous sale. In the previous sale, each was priced at RM5, but now it's RM9!)

(These books are sold at RM79 each, but MPH Bookstore is selling them at RM29.90 and RM39.90 at normal price.)

(This time, Crescent News sells all their Ladybird books at RM6.90 each. But in the previous sale, some Ladybird titles went to as low as RM3 each!)

(If Mommy didn't remember wrongly, the board books to the left side are priced at RM15 each, the right side RM10. The publisher is Dreamland, a publishing company from India, but the photos/pictures of objects are of high quality.)

What about Mommy's purchases? This time, Mommy bought only very little because Juan Or already has lots of books at home. But this time, Mommy bought herself a book. All in all, Mommy spent RM39 only. Here are the bargains books that Mommy bought for Juan Or:

(Two colouring books with word-learning aspect and a paper model book where you tear out the animal parts and shapes in cardboard to build animals, each at RM3.)

(Origami book with step-by-step colour illustrations for RM11, and a large print, hard-covered animal story book for RM6.)

(Dr. Spock's baby and childcare bible, still in plastic wrapper, selling for RM5 only! But sorry, this is the only book left among the disorderly pile of books. The other one is a board story book where children can wipe clean whatever they have coloured with the crayon, for RM5.)

There were certain other things too that went up in price, for example, a PhP Publishing dot-to-dot activity book (with good quality paper pages) sold at RM3 previously, but now at RM5. So the lesson here is if you know this is the first time a company does warehouse sale, then better grab the good deals because chances are, when they do it the subsequent time, the price won't be as good as the first anymore.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Demanding Boy

These days, Juan Or has been getting more and more demanding and hard-headed as well. These are such situations:

1. It was at Giant Kinrara that Juan Or sat on a kiddy ride. Finally when Papa decided that it was time to make a move, Juan Or refused to budge. When Papa tried taking him out of the kiddy ride, Juan Or held on tight and made fretful sound that ended up with tears. Finally when Papa managed to make his little hands let go of the kiddy ride, Juan Or cried even louder.

(Juan Or crying in protest when lifted out of the kiddy ride.)

(Juan Or settling himself down after the protest, though with a more sober look, but still with a hint of the crying face expression.)

2. In the car, Juan Or always likes to be playing with something in his hands. So usually, Juan Or, when sitted on Mommy's lap (with Mommy holding him firmly at both armpits), will open the dashboard drawer and ransack the things Mommy put in there. Among the things Mommy put in the dashboard drawer are the mileage notebook, a pencil to write mileage and petrol fillings, an empty business card box, keychain, hands-free kit, office keys, leather business card holder-cum-pouch and a stationery kit consisting of a highlighter, mechanical pencil and ball-point pen held together in a container (courtesy from Nikon). Sometimes, when Juan Or got hold of an object which Mommy deemed to be dangerous (such as the pencil and mechanical pencil), Mommy would take it away from him. That's when Juan Or started crying out loud. Even if Mommy offered other objects in exchange of the ones that Mommy took away, Juan Or cannot accept it.

3. This happened a few days ago. It was already night, but not yet time for Juan Or to go to sleep. On that particular night, Mommy had already put Mommy's laptop into the car ready for next day's work (Juan Or didn't see Mommy doing that!). Then later in the night, Juan Or went to the spot in the house where Mommy usually put the laptop to look for it but couldn't find the laptop anywhere. First, Juan Or looked at Mommy with a kind of fretful look as if to say,"Where is Mama's laptop? I can't find it anywhere!" So Mommy told Juan Or that the laptop was missing already (actually Mommy was lazy to take it out from the car again!) and that if he still wants to see the laptop, he has to wait till the next day. Juan Or just couldn't accept Mommy's answer, so he went deeper into the nook and cranny of the place to look for the laptop but couldn't find it! His fretful face gradually became a crying face!

4. This happened in the wee hours of this morning. Juan Or woke up from sleep at about 2.50 am and insisted on getting out from the spring cot. So after giving a drink on the sippy cup, Mommy helped him out and he started playing with his books and walking around in the dark (only the staircase has some light). Some time then, Mommy sipped some water from Mommy's working water bottle (space bottle type) and on seeing that, Juan Or insisted that he wanted to drink water from Mommy's bottle. Since Mommy was still feeling sick and feared in case Juan Or got infected as a result of drinking from the same bottle, Mommy refused his request. Juan Or cried out conitnuously and loudly so much so his Second Uncle came down to see what's up with him! Later on, Juan Or went over to Mommy's laptop and started opening the laptop bag's zip - indicating to Mommy that he wanted to watch the laptop. What!? Just the night before (that was something like 4 to 5 hours ago), Mommy had switched on the laptop for Juan Or to watch and here he is, wanting to watch again like a computer addict!? So Mommy shook the head while telling him no and Juan Or started crying! Later on, Juan Or's Grandpa also came down to help to handle Juan Or. Grandpa also refused Juan Or's request to watch the laptop and again he cried out loudly! Later, Grandpa tried putting Juan Or into the spring cot again, but without success because Juan Or was crying and struggling vigorously! What a demanding boy!

5. These last situations were narrated by the babysitter and is not so much of demandingness, but more of Juan Or's selfishness! The first was when Juan Or wore the crocs-look-alike sandals to the babysitter's house. Since it was a new thing, another boy of about 3 years old that the babysitter was also babysitting, went to touch and hold Juan Or's new sandals. Guess what? Juan Or shouted some baby words at the boy as if reprimanding him for touching the sandals! The second was when the babysitter shuts off Juan Or's favourite TV programme. Juan Or would shout baby words at her as if asking her why she stopped his favourite programme! And the third was the case of the baby cot at the babysitter's house. Actually, the baby cot was contributed by the 3-year-old boy's mother. The 3-year-old boy is the only child and has been babysat since infancy, so his mother has decided to leave the cot in the babysitter's house as baby facility. Juan Or, who knows (and understands) next to nothing about the origin (and ownership) of the baby cot, can even reprimand the 3-year-old boy for touching the baby cot! It's like as if Juan Or thinks that Mommy bought the baby cot for him just because he slept and played in the cot since his infancy! How-lah...what to do with this boy!?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dancing to Pimp for DiGi's Broadband!

Just recently, Mommy found the idea to look for Barney and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse video clips in YouTube for Juan Or to watch. And Mommy managed to find a quite a handful of such video clips. So Mommy stayed on a little longer after office hours to download them. Of course, downloading these videos at home using the dial-up networking line is obviously not an option at all!

After Juan Or watched those newly downloaded videos, Mommy found that Juan Or is more keen on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse than Barney. Whenever Mommy turned on the Barney video clips, Juan Or would start fretting, telling Mommy to stop it. Surprisingly though, Juan Or enjoyed watching Barney in the babysitter's house (the babysitter has quite a collection of Barney VCDs). The babysitter even told Mommy that whenever she turned on a Barney singing programme, Juan Or would even dance along by lifting one leg up in a rhythmical manner. Back at home, whenever Mommy turned on the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Hotdog Song, Juan Or would start smiling and then shake his little body to dance to the beat. Watch this video of Juan Or dancing:

Please, dear readers, vote for Mommy in DiGi's Pimp My Broadband Contest (Videoblog category)! Mommy hopes to win a free 3-month subscription to DiGi's new broadband (plus a free broadband modem) so that Mommy doesn't have to stay on in office so late just to download things for Juan Or to watch. And just yesterday, while having lunch together with one of Mommy's ex-student, Mommy found out from him that there is a Chinese website that allows people to watch movies for free, but not downloadable of course! See if Mommy gets to win something from this contest, then Mommy will ask Keith Kor Kor (Brother) for that website. Then Juan Or will get to watch children programmes and cartoons live (and for free of course!) from that website in the comfort of the home!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Juan Or and His Thomas & Friends

Last week Thursday, Mommy took out the Thomas & Friends set that Mommy bought for Juan Or some time back (when Juan Or was about 6 months old). What Mommy bought was the starter set - more of the basic and introductory set type - for RM55 from Litt Tak Warehouse Sale. Mommy was not keen to buy the more complex set because Thomas and Friends toys are costly (the more complex ones cost RM150+ to RM300 in the warehouse sale) and what's more, children may find the toy boring after playing it for a short while.

Of course the toy box did mention that the toy is suitable for children ages 3 years and above, but anyway, Mommy merely wanted to try it out with Juan Or just to see how it goes. As Mommy was laying out the train track, Mommy just couldn't do it properly because as soon as a track piece was put on, Juan Or either grabbed it away or dismantled it! So finally, Papa took Juan Or upstairs to occupy him while Mommy fixed the set and put a battery into the Thomas train. After everything was fixed, Mommy brought Juan Or downstairs again. So Mommy instructed Juan Or to sit down and Mommy quickly turned the lever to 'on' position (before Juan Or could even get up and destroy it again!) and the train started moving. Turned out, a moving train seemed to be an amusement for Juan Or - he started laughing as the train moved and continued laughing as the train circled the track many times. Juan Or even used his leg to stop the moving train and burst out laughing to see the train still chunting but not moving anywhere. Here are snapshots to capture Juan Or's reaction to a moving Thomas.
Anything that starts has to come to an end, and so was the moving Thomas train. When Mommy switchd it off, Juan Or went and grab the train and started knocking it on the floor! Fearing the train will crack, Mommy quickly grabbed it away from him and Juan Or protested by crying! Then he got hold of the track and started moving it around till the track got dismantled. So Mommy had to quickly grab everything and put into the box. Mommy's verdict? This Thomas & Friends set has better sit in the cupboard first till Juan Or is past the destructive stage!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Juan Or the Young Gardener

About a month ago, Mommy was 'infected' with gardening sickness, so Mommy bought planter boxes, packets of black soil and vegetable seeds for this new hobby. In one particular planter box, Mommy sowed three ladies finger seeds and all sprouted and grew into young plants of about one feet in height. Unfortunately, due to very hot and sunny weather of certain days, one of the ladies finger plant couldn't stand the heat stress and so withered and died. Later on, when the weekend came, Mommy attended to the plants. Juan Or was around too, walking at the porch. So Mommy asked Juan Or to come and see Mommy's home-grown vegetable plants. Juan Or, as usual, with his itchy hands, touching and grabbing at whatever within his reach, wanted to grab the leave of one of the healthy ladies finger plants. Luckily Mommy managed to stop him in time. Then Mommy had an idea - why not get Juan Or to pull out that dead plant! So Mommy guided Juan Or in pulling out the dead plant. Of course for Juan Or, the dead plant was just another 'toy' for him, so he swang the dead plant around so much so the soil held by the roots flew everywhere! After that, Juan Or got himself busy by holding the dead plant and meddling with the things Grandma kept at an open rack in the porch. Here are some snapshots Mommy got of Juan Or acting like a gardener!
(After pulling out the dead plant, Juan Or went to touch Mommy's car with his soiled hands.)
("Hehehe....let's see what treasure can I find Grandma's pot?")
("Hmmmm.....maybe I can boil this dead plant as soup!")
("Ok...before I drop this dead plant into the pot, let me do some ritual dance first! Oo-la-la!")
("Oops....on second thoughts..... I think I better not make soup out of it.")
("Let's see what I can do with the dead plant.")
("I can be the knight in shining armour! Arm myself with a shield and presenting a flower to my lovely maiden!")
("Ooops.....cut the crap.....I'm no knight in shining armour! to get rid of the dead plant?")
("Simple.....just dump it into Grandma's pot! That will do the trick! Easy-peasy!")