Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sex education

I'm getting tired reading the news about our politicians making claims that certain educational books are morally degrading when things they do are far, far worse (and what they have done over the years and are still doing is too long a list and too sickening to write about here). The latest one yesterday is about a sex education book for children that's been around over 30 years. Read about it here. With such issues, they can take such swift action and immediately today, they have banned the booke "Where Did I Come From" by Peter Mayle, as reported here.

I had just thought of getting my hands on this book because C has become more aware of such matters with her lofty ideas in wanting to breed cats and dogs (she read up on how cats mate and watched videos too....), and last week, in learning about puberty at school.

When she was five or six, we got here a book about the human body, in which among other useful knowledge, described in brief about a sperm having to meet an egg in order to form a baby and how the foetus develops in the mother's womb. How the sperm gets to meet the egg is however not described in the book. I did try to 'describe' it to her once and when I asked her if she understood, all she said was "I think so".... and I didn't know how to go on from there. So I think getting a proper book for her would help. That's how I learned anyway during my early teens. Older generation parents were not so open with communicating such topics, and my science teacher in school even omitted teaching the last chapter in our Form 1 textbook which was about reproduction, and told us to read it ourselves during the year-end school holidays. Till today I wonder why she left it out since I feel there's nothing to be embarrassed about, more so when she was female and we were in an all-girls school.....

The past few days, conversations with C have included bits and bobs about the changes that will happen to one's body during puberty, but it has yet to veer to the explicit details of making babies. I guess her curiosity has yet to peak since her current stand is that she doesn't want to get married (hahaha!), and in her mind, in order to have babies, she has to get married first :)

Oh well, I think it is (adjective) to ban Peter Mayle's book, but there are so many other books out there still, and one can also turn to certain appropriate sites in the Internet.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Round and round

Days and weeks whiz by so quickly I sometimes forget the day or date. Some days I'm behind, some days I'm ahead. Yesterday was Tuesday but I kept thinking it's Wednesday! Staying at home to take care of the home, family, pets (in our case our dog and some 'working' fish that we need to prevent mosquito larvae), plants, and be Jill of all trades sometimes makes your brain go round and round like one of those rides in a carnival, and you feel dizzy after you get off!

I can only imagine how much dizzier some mothers get when they have many children (I have an ex-classmate who has been blessed with seven kids). Juggling their needs and different school and extra-curricular activities amidst the cooking, cleaning, tidying etc requires very good management and organisational skills. And especially if you don't have a maid to assist you. And even when you have a maid or maids, you still need those special skills to manage her/them.  I remember reading a comment somewhere that stay-at-home moms should be paid good salaries equivalent or even more than CEOs of large corporations. However, I doubt that'll ever happen and most of us housewives resign and console ourselves that a properly-kept home, happy and healthy kids are rewards that you can't put a dollar sign to.

Time passes at a constant rate since the very first day man decided to quantify the period between sunrise and sunset. But we always feel that time passes too 'slowly' when we are idle, and too 'fast' when we are busy. I tend to feel the latter. When I look back from Day One when C was born, I wonder how she is now nine going on 10! They grow so fast and it feels like we are growing old faster! And next month will be seven years for me at home. Every day, month, year is like a merry-go-round, rollercoaster and teeter-totter or see-saw combined. What a ride, and how not to get dizzy? Everyday, it's rush here and there, rush to do this and that. We forget to stop and smell the roses. So I'm trying to smell some roses every now and then.

I don't have roses in my garden but I have lilies that bloom every now and then. They smell nice too :-) And yes, I do know the phrase 'stop and smell the roses' goes beyond its literal meaning ;-)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Spoken word poetry

Once in a while, I visit TED.com and watch the inspiring talks. Today, I saw this one by Sarah Kay, a spoken word poet. Before this, it never crossed my mind that poetry could be in the 'spoken word'. As she said in the video, poetry 'remain' on paper. And I definitely found out that it does not have to be written in the 'typical' style we all know of poems, like the ones of William Wordsworth or Robert Frost. Watch and you'll know what I mean.


And here's one by Wordsworth:

Perfect Woman

She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleam'd upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;
Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.

I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.

And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect Woman, nobly plann'd,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Slowly getting into the grind

Phew, finally....the school holiday-Christmas-New Year-Chinese New Year back-to-back madness has come to an end. Yesterday was another public holiday, Federal Territory Day, and there'll be another two public holidays next Monday and Tuesday! So many holidays....After next week, there'll be five full and proper weeks of school before the first term one-week break in mid-March. It's hard to get into the full swing of things when there are so many holidays, so much food to eat, so many gatherings, short travels...and now I'm recovering from the consequences of all these -- sore throat, cold and cough. And we've moved into February already!

Here's a summary of what we did between the last blog post and this:

CNY reunion dinner with E's family - lots of food prepared by my MIL, one of E's cousins and his family visiting from Melbourne joined us at the sumptuos dinner. We spent the night at my in-law's home to herald the new lunar year of the Dragon. The neighbours let off loads of firecrackers but C slept through it all. I hardly slept a wink that night as I'm a light sleeper and do not take to strange beds.

The next morning, we went to a special CNY mass at church and received blessings in the form of mandarin oranges and angpows from the church. Then, we went home to have brunch, another round of the same dishes we had the night before. We then left for home in the afternoon. We spent the rest of the first day by ourselves at home, packing our stuff to visit my parents at their  home the next day.

Upon arrival at my parents on the second day of CNY, we went out for lunch. Luckily, my favourite beef noodle shop was open so we had the town's specialty. Unfortunately, that day's serving didn't taste as nice as it usually does. Maybe their regular cook was off celebrating CNY and the stand-in wasn't as skilful in preparing the dish....


Beef noodles at Yee Kee, Seremban

The next day, we made a day trip to Melaka to visit a few of my aunts and uncles. C even belted out a few Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber songs with my aunt's karaoke set! We got home to my parents' house in the evening and proceeded to have dinner at a restaurant. We were lucky that this restaurant could take our reservation. The night before, we checked out three restaurants and they were fully booked, and we had to go to a nearby mall for dinner at Secret Recipe, a local cake-cum-cafe chain.

Here's some of the yummy stuff we ate for dinner at Silver Dragon Restaurant.

Stir fried mixed vegetables

Fried rice

Pork trotters in red wine sauce

Steamed cod


Tofu with minced meat

We returned to KL on Thursday, rested a bit and attended a few more gatherings with family and friends over the weekend. Needless to say, we ate a lot at every gathering!