Life's mostly about what's in the pot and who's having it for dinner.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Craig Antweiler

I promised I was going to write about my german son. Now where do I begin.
Craig came across as the leader from the very beginning. I looked at him and he had this really quiet control, confident, very respectful... but very tired.

So, we took him home and ordered him to get as much rest as he could because I could foresee a very packed and hectic two weeks ahead.

Craig was not demanding. He has Type 1 Diabetes, which, unlike my mom's, requires a consistent intake of carbohydrates. I'm sure my mom wishes hers was Type 1 and not the other. But for a 17-yr-old, he is so disciplined. Once I was having something really yummy..(as usual) and I offered him some. He declined and so I thought.."oh, not time for carbs yet'. But no. He further explained.. "I want to watch my weight". Needless to say, I felt like a greedy pig. He excersises, plays games, goes for jogs... While I make up for him by eating.

He is always so grateful and shows it. Always a thank you there and a thank you here. Very cheerful young man with a certain dry humour.

I had not seen a boy his age be so friendly with kids. I always thought that boys his age thought it uncool to hang out with little kids. But Craig was different. He plays with David and I think he has helped bring out a different side of david. He somehow makes david melt. Everytime he goes out, there's always something for his little brother.

The two weeks he spent with us has left us feeling very much fulfilled as parents and hosts. He has allowed us to share a little bit of his life with us and also helped us see our potential and our capability as parents. It was really fun having him around and I must say that the house seems pretty emptys since he left last monday.

Craig, you make sure you keep in touch.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

it's been how long?

The last two months have been so crazy...

Can't believe my last entry was nearly two months ago. So many things happened since. I have a new son.. well actually a "host" son. From Germany. But before that happened, lets see... I've just been very busy. I haven't had the time to sit and organise my thoughts to wirte them all down. Well, that, and procrastination. You know how you keep telling yourself "if I write tomorrow, I will have more to write and it'll be more interesting. " But we fail to see that when too many tomorrows are involved, we actually tend to forget what it is we wanted to write in the first place.

Anyway, sorry for that show-cause letter. I always feel like I have to explain myself when I procrastinate.

Okay... lets start with merdeka celebrations!!!

Early August (see? i can't even remember the date!) There was the Kuching City Day Parade. Boy were we excited. David's first parade. Well all he ever wanted.. to see a marching band!!! He got his wish a few times that night. So many marching bands. It was great. All that excitement in his face. I've never seen him so captivated by something for so long a period. More of that in Andee's blog. Even got pictures.

After that it was Merdeka Day. Country celebrated its 50th independence day. I must say that I really respect the sarawakians for their display of loyalty to their state. It was a political thing... the whole Malaysiabeing formed and how Sarawak only joind Malaya to for Malaysia in 1963 or something like that. Forgive me. I'm bad with dates and I'm bad with names. That's why I teach English so I can change the names whenever I like because it's only the grammar that counts. But the Sarawakian teachers' fury boiled over that day whenever they heard the Happy 50th Birthday Malaysia cheer (or even saw it in the papers)"Like as if we are pendatang haram and had nothing to do with the formation of Malaysia", Says Magdalan who almost sounds like mighty mouse..(and maybe even resembles him a little...the size I mean..)But really, Hats off to the whole lot of you.

Then there was Nurin. The girl who got lost when she went to the night market running a little errand her mother sent her on.. at night!! She was found, weeks later, brutally harmed and murdered, in a sportsbag. Now while the rest of th nation is asking the murderer "What were you thinking?!" I would like to ask the PARENTS "What were you thinking?!" You have a daughter, she's yours. She's pretty, she's innocent, she's small, she's defenceless, she's weak and she's 8 years old. How stupid can you be sending her out alone!!!????? Woe to you, parents. Woe to you!
I really personally hope that parents will learn from this. Please.Maybe Nurin's parents did not heed sounding alarms set by previous reports... Maybe they were just dumb and ignorant. Or maybe just stupidly optimistic by thinking "it'll never happen to us" . Maybe. But Maybe, not all parents have to be that stupid. No parent should be allowed to be that stupid. If they are stupid, don't have kids. Maybe just like our driving table test, we should have IQ tests for couples thinking of getting married. And just in case marriage altered their brain, another test just before they decide to have kids will be a good idea. What's the world coming to?

Now let me tell you about my new German son. But I don't think I will be doing this fine young man any justice by putting him in the same entry together with all my other frustrations. So, I will save a nice entry for him.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

An early night...not...

Yesterday i seriously thought i was going to have an early night. Come home after class in unimas, have dinner ( pineapple in sambal belachan) at my in-law's and then go home to a peaceful home and get ready for bed and get in bed, pull the comforter up to my neck and fall into the deppest slumber... Boy, I was sooo wrong.

Up to having dinner was fine but dinner didn't last long. I got a call from one of the younger girls in church. You see, her dad survived a stroke just earlier in the day, he underwent surgery but his condition didn't stabilize. At about 7.30pm (when I got the call) I found out through sobs about her father having suddernly taken a bad turn and had to be revived. Dinner came and dinner stayed ... I left with Andee.

I don't usually like going to hospitals, but I was needed, and I believe that when you really need strength, God gives it to you.
All the way, I was wondering what I should say to someone who is clarly losing her father. I can't tell her he'll be fine. I'll be telling a lie. I can't tell her the truth, it will absolutely rip her to pieces.

Sadly, when we arrived, he had just gone.

All I could do was to provide her with a shoulder. And her sister. I didn't have to say anything or do anything. I just had hold her and tell her that things won't be bad. And just let her cry. It was not a good experience for me. But at the same time, when I think about it, I am quite happy that I went through the whole thing. Besides being educated on the procedures on taking the deceased home from the hopital and the amount of paper work involved, I also discovered my inner strength when it come to matters such as these. I now know how to discern who needs what more than I. In this case, Guin and her family needed much more emotional support from me than the amount of emotional support I needed from Andee ( my husband) because I was doing something I was not used to.

Life is so unpredictable. I met her dad for the first time in my life on Sunday after church. And on Tuesday, I wasn't going to meet him ever again. Strange, isn't it?

Oh well, dinner resumed at 11pm.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

teachers... or bullies?

Very troubling news in the papers nowadays... teachers slapping students for not bringing their books to school. Teacher soaked 200 students in a fishpond in the rain for abusing facilities, teacher this, teacher that. What is the teaching profession coming to?

The people whom children are entrusted to by hopeful parents, abuse authority and make silly decisions. I am a teacher, and I say these teachers are wrong.

Schools ensure discipline so that the system runs smoothly. Disciplining is carried according to guidelines stipulted by the national education system and schools. I don't think slapping and soaking in fishponds are anywhere stated in these guidelines. The teachers who committed these crimes against humanity and society have just taken matters into their own hands and should take all responsibility for their choice of actions and not expect the the teachers' union or the ministry of education to back them up. If they do get back-up it simply means that their actions are acceptable and what we are indirectly saying here is that we really don't mind our daughters soaking in a fish pond for a whole hour in the rain for an offence they may not have committed.

We are talking about children here, who no doubt need education and discipline. But what good are they going to get out of being slapped or soaked in a fish pond? What have the students or the teachers achieved? This is my question. The answer: wasted time and energy, and pain. Nothing more.

Well, maybe they leart something. But why choose this method? Where is the logic? What is the objective? Were they met in the end?

What I'm saying is that there are ways of punishing/discipling/educating children. If teachers put a little thought into their actions, and consult guidelines, children will will learn. They may even learn more that what you expected to teach them in the first place.

So teachers, please, think before you act. Because most of the time, these actions cannot be reversed.

Now that I've got that off my chest.... hmm.. What shall I cook today?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Weekend is here again..

Short-lived joy... I have a whole list of things to do just for today and it's only Friday. Still in school waiting for the jam to clear. It's only 12.15pm and I am dreaming of going to bed tonight.

This is the first Saturday that i actually have no plans whatsoever. I am going to wake up late, I am going to have steaming hot coffee in my very own mug, (not in some coffee shop or the school canteen), And I am going to spend the morning outside on the back balcony taking in the cold morning air straight from the jungle behing my house and slowly feel the sun's heat come in. I'm going to be lazy, and I'm going to do whatever I want... David-willing.

For All I know....

I will be up at 6.30am, I will run to the kitchen to make mi-wo (milo) for a very hungry 2 yr-old, and be forced to take him out to the lounge and turn on the music or tv so he can have his morning workout dancing and singing.....and followed by the whole routine of oats, soft boiled eggs, and fruit, and a walk (or run, in my case) ouside, and a shower and then peace and quiet at about 10.30am when he takes a nap.... THE TIME WHEN I WAS ACTUALLY PLANNING TO ROLL OUT OF BED!!! Oh well, motherhood... ACTUALLY, thinking of it, I can't wait to do all that for him tomorrow... because I actually don't get a chance to do all this for him during the week..

Can't wait!!!! But I will deal with today first. Thanks for sitting through my nothing-ness.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A good weekend

weekend came early. Thursday was my last day for the week. I was driving back from work and 'BANG!!!" . You guesses it. My car skidded and hit a telephone post damaging the left side. I was alone (thank God). I was going round a bend when it happened (it was rainy) car skidded off the road and hit a telephone pole which was actually a good thing because that was what saved me. if not for that telephone pole, my car would have turned turtle and landed in a ditch. But God is good and He did not let that happen. Instead, my car bounced off the pole and onto the road again but that sent me to the opposite lane and again, Thank God, there were no oncoming cars. Or else....
I was showered with glass and cut as well. But through all that I came out safe and not badly hurt. I have learnt a few things:
- God is thinking of us even when we're not thinking of Him.
- Life is so unpredictable. Live each day like it's your last.
- Stop and smell the roses 'coz you'll never know when you will smell your last one.
- Grab any opportunity to spend time with your dearest ones, 'coz you'll never know...

Anyway, on a lighter note, You're probably thinking that's a strange title for today's entry. Well, actually the weekend was particularly a good one because I went home to Klang. It was my darling nephew Theo's birthday. He just turned one. He has the cutest, sweetest face in the whole world. I got to spend time with my parents as well.

The party was so much fun for the kids. There was the A&W Bear as well. Poor Theo had no idea what was going on but he knew it was fun anyway.

The bear scared the kids though. But as predicted, not David. David had the most fun just being part of everything and changing all the rules.. well, can't blame him actually... he didn't KNOW the rules to begin with. He had fun dancing and playin with the bear. And I was so hoping he won't discover the bear's tail because i could only imagine what he will do to it. But eventually, he found it and yes, he pulled it. And he also played drum on the belly and the feet. And he got so upset when it was time for the bear to go ... Aww... bless.

He woke up Sunday morning, still lying in bed, and the first question..."Mama, where's the bear?"The poor bear...

Anyway, I'm home in Kuching and back to work. I am soooooooooooo tired.... Need sleep

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Where's the discipline?!

I am talking about myself here. I always claim to continue blogging.. but Where is the discipline? The year has half gone by. So many things happened. Well, actually only one thing happened but it took up half the year.
'There comes a time..." That's what happened!
It's a play which I had to so stupidly agree to direct. The play was supposed to help rais funds for our new school building.
It was a Play written by Patrick Yeoh. It was interesting.
I've directed plays before but his time it was different. I worked with school kids. Most of them were my students actually.
The job... that was tiring. Practices and rehearsals almost everyday and the closer we got to the actual day it was rehearsals every night. it really took a lot of me. I'm sure it took a lot of everyone involved. But it so beautiful to see the joy and committment in the kids that came for every practice. Mind you, there were also some very old people in the play as well. Since it was a fund raising project for St. Thomas' Secondary school, I decided I should include old boys as well.

There was James Brodie (class of 1967) who played the leading role and his (stage) brother, Andee Yeo (class of 1993) who got dragged into this because he's my husband and it was convenient. The play also included teachers in the school, ie Magdalan Bong who played the loyal sister. It was fantastic. Young and old working together.

In the students, I can now see a sudden burst of confidence as they suddenly walk tall and speak louder. It's amazing. Ordinary kids who once sat in the back corner of the class and could hardly be heard, are now speaking up. The other day, In Lit Class, Walter (who hardly speaks) actually had an opinion!!!

It was a really hard time. My son was close to neglected. I tried to spend as much time with his as possible, But I wish I could have more. Home was neglected. My paper work piled up. And my son's 2nd birthday was the day before the major performance. So much pressure. (But I made sure I celebrated his birthday!)

It was a totally kids party. With egg boats with toast for sails, and very typical cartoon like cupcakes (Colourful frosting with a big red cherry on the top) -my son likes the cake that appeared on the mickey mouse show. Pink and blue ginger-bread boys and girls, Sandwich rolls and candy. And I baked my first birthday cake, complete with icing and decoration. I am so proud of myself. The day was crazy! I went to work, got home earlier than usual, started preparing for the party including frosting the cake. And what happened in the middle?!! My little nephew (turned 1 today) fell and cut his eyelid. So, I was suddenly short of three pairs of hands. Thanks to Aunty Elsie who happened to visit as well. But we managed to get things done on time. And the party was fabulous with all the kids in the neighbourhood plus my son's cousins. And after the party, I rushed again for our final rehearsal. Two days later, my son ran into the car door as it was opening and got a cut on the forehead to match his cousin's. And they lived happily ever after.

That was a tiring 6 months. especially the last week. But through it all, I have learned a few things.

And through all this, I discovered a few things:

1. I discovered who my true friends are - the ones who stuck by me, encouragingly and tried to make life easier when things were geting so pressing. Not the ones who sat on the sidelines and commented how I did what I did and not those who suddenly were nice to me just becuase I was in the lime light..although it was quite helpful because they would do anything a i asked. So I had extra help albeit insincere.

2. I discovered that I am a strong person. I can take whatever comes my way and bite it and deal with it. I have a special new-found respect for myself.

3. I discovered that I have a husband who believes in me and thinks I am capable of conquering the world.

4. I discovered that I have a beautiful child who is so sweet-natured that he doesn't demand especially when he knows he can't have it - my time and 100% of my attention.

6. I discovered that Parents are the best people on earth. Although they live so far away from me, they are actually right next to me, supporting me in whatever I do and always ready to help when they are needed. Parents-in-law, the same.

7. And what was I thinking when I decided to do all that for my son's birthday when I could have just bought a cake and catered food? Well, "carpe diem". Seize the day! Live each day like it's your last! If I die before my son's 3rd birthday, He would have at least had 1 home-baked birthday cake.. And I would have fulfilled my wish of baking a birthday cake for him.

Well, that's that.

Anymore chutney, anyone?