Thursday, 31 December 2009

So long, Farewell, I Need to Say Goodbye... 2009!

25 Awesome Comments!
Today is the last day for the year 2009. How fast time flies! And just like that... 365 days gone!

Now let me see what have I achieved / done in 2009... (Drum rolls please... :P)

#1 - Give birth SUPERNATURALLY!
Most of my circle of friends are still not married yet... and those who does (or older friends / relatives / family members) are still in awe of my supernatural childbirth!
Just to sum it up (in case you are too lazy busy to read my post (I hope you do cos' its kinda hilarious! ;p), I delivered Ben naturally.

How supernatural is that? Well, from the time I got admitted to the hospital at 12 midnight right up until I delivered Ben in 4 pushes (of which the 1st was wasted on my screaming like a slaughtered chicken) the whole process just took 4.5 hours. Maybe you think it's still a long time... but hey, 4.5 hours for someone who is delivering a child for the very first time in her life!!! Not too bad huh?

#2 - Become a mother!
Wow! This cheeky petite girl suddenly becomes a mum! I now have a very heavy responsibility to bring up my own child in the best possible ways I could. Think of that... someone is actually depending on me now! And now that I am a mother, a lot of things have changed. I learnt so many things ever since I became a mother!

Life slows down... you really stop to smell the piss and poop
roses and enjoy and savour every moment... One thing I've always thought of and wanted is for my mum and dad to know that their daughter is now all grown up and is a mummy herself! God bless them and I pray we will see them again one day...

#3 - Quit my high paying job and become a slave robot Stay-At-Home-Mother!
Bye-bye to system analyst + application support + web programmer + project secretary + system admin + database admin + acting IT head (when my supervisor is not around). Wow! What a mouthful!!! And to think I only get 1 pay for doing all of these?!! :P

Now that I have quit my job, there is no longer the need to rush through datelines and projects, no need to stress myself out liaising with users and vendors for meetings and discussions and walk through and project requirements, no need to avoid office politics, no need to put up a happy face when you are being back stab behind your back, no need to take on your colleagues work just because they think its not their line of work...

Of course, there are times when I really feel that being a SAHM is the sh*ttiest job in the world! ;p

#4 - Blog!
Ever since I became a SAHM, I started this blog as a way to keep me sane note down my joy and life with hubby and Ben, my new profession as a full time mummy, my past experiences and memories of working life, pregnant phase etc etc.. whatever that comes to mind.
During the first few months when Ben is not so active, I used to have more free time and sometimes published up to 4-5 posts on daily basis but nowadays, I try to do it whenever I can (like now, I'm blogging at 3am Malaysian time) and I also took a pledge to blog with integrity.

#5 - Breastfeed!
I've never had this great amount of respects toward my breasts before... but now that I am a mother and is still breastfeeding Ben (he's going to be 10mths old on 4th Jan 2010), Wow... salute salute... hang on a sec.. I gotta give myself a pat on my back... :)

Think of the amount of money we saved by breastfeeding! And seeing how strong and healthy Ben is thanks to breastfeeding! Read this post further to know how I make my breastfeeding works!

#6 - Able to continue my hobby for FREE!
Ehem... I love reading books! But this year onwards, I no longer buy books. No wait, let me correct myself... what I'm trying to say is I no longer buy adult books for my reading pleasure. The reading materials I bought once in a blue moon now are either baby books or parenting magazines.
So to be able to continue my hobby now for FREE... wow... it's awefully...awesome!

All thanks to the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger programme. So far I've reviewed about 5 books of which I actually received some of them for free! They actually send the hardcopy all the way to Malaysia so that I could read it and post up my review...

#7 - Starting my own online store
About 10 years ago, right after college, I used to work at this souvenir shop as a sales girl. There's tons of stuff sold in the shop, from batik, pewter, jewelry, etc etc. I've always wanted to have my own little store selling stuff I'm familiar with, and so after researching over the Internet and finding an affordable supplier, I started off this small online store which is called 2 Die 4 Jewelry.

Business so far has been OK although I've been pretty much occupied with taking care of Ben nowadays.

#8 - Finally meet my long distance friend from UK!
I met John in the iSeries expert website about 8-9 years ago when I was working as a trainee programmer (this is after I left the souvenir shop job). John is one those expert who helps answer your questions with regards to Iseries (formerly known as AS/400) and after exchanging a few emails, we became friends. Even after I jumped to few other companies after that, we still kept in touch (had to, he's my sifu! :D)

And so finally, this year, John went to Indonesia for a holiday and he dropped by Kuala Lumpur for a few days to meet up with me. I brought hubby and Ben along and we went out for 2 lunches when he's down in KL. I was really really nervous as I'm very shy when I am face to face with someone and think of it... after almost 10 years of emailing each other and spamming the person's inbox with chain mails and jokes (:P) you finally meet the person! And to think of the trouble he took to arrange to come down to KL to meet up with you!

John, just in case you are reading this, I want to thank you again for the wonderful lunch treat you gave us on your last day in KL and for your trouble to come down to KL to meet up with us. Thanks so much!

#9 - Eat more veggie! (I think this year I eat more vege than all the years before this)
People who know me knows that I am an anti-vegetarian. Yup... you read it right... I'm an anti-vege person.

Again, people who know me knows how I clever I am to avoid eating vege... but sigh... all good things cleverness must come to an end... with a baby in the house, I had to start eating more vege.

Else, I'm going to be nagged on how am I ever going to get our child to eat vege when I don't eat it... yada yada yada... yawn....

#10 - Make new friends online!

Thanks to the wonder of Internet, I am able to meet many new friends from all over the world. Those of you who visits and/or follows my blog and commented my posts on regular basis, thank you so much. I really appreciate your comments to my posts (it's really great knowing that there are people out there who actually reads my crappy stuff!

#11 - Start a
SAHM club (forum)
I started this forum after meeting this mummy via Baby Center MY where she posted about not able to find any SAHM club or forum in Malaysia. After a couple of MSN chats and emails, I created this forum, copied over some of my previous blog posts which are relevant to mummyhood matters and she invited her SAHM friends to join as well. To date, the club has about 10 members including myself... still little but beats having no club at all! :D

#12 - Throw up...
Yes.. you are reading it right again.. I'm proud to announce that for the year 2009, I actually throw up... This actually happened around mid Nov recently which forced me to take MC and pig out rest for the whole day.

As far as I can remember, I have never vomitted at all.. not even during pregnancy.

In fact, I don't have any morning sickness at all throughout my pregnancy (unless you count eating 2 sets of McDonald's meal sets as sickness then err..yeah...)

Oh well... that's about all that I can think of for now... I hope the coming 2010 will be filled with more adventures and experiences for me and family!

To end this post, I'd like to share this new year wish I found on the Internet:

I wish you Health... So you may enjoy each day in comfort.
I wish you the Love of friends and family... And Peace within your heart.
I wish you the Beauty of nature...
That you may enjoy the work of God.
I wish you Wisdom to choose priorities...
For those things that really matter in life.
I wish you Generousity so you may share... All good things that come to you.
I wish you Happiness and Joy... And Blessings for the New Year.
I wish you the best of everything... That you so well deserve.

~ Author Unknown ~

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Wordless Wednesday (Scenery-Mabul, Sabah)

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Sunday, 27 December 2009

Ta-ta Christmas 2009!

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There goes our 1st Christmas celebration!!! This year, we have a new member in the house... who else but our little Santa...
Look at him with the reindeer head gear...
And hubby and I decided next year, no more letting MIL in charge with the Christmas tree... we are going to get a proper (fake of course!) tree at least 3 feet high which we can actually decorate with Christmas-sy stuff instead of the current 1.5 feet miniature tree in a pot (yes... it's in a pot!) which MIL decorates with Chinese New Year stuff as well (noticed the Mandarin orange deco at the top of the tree and the monk at the left?)
I apologize if the tree looks pathetic to you. Before we had Ben, our Christmas celebration is just spent on hubby and I going to hubby's siblings' and my elder brother's house to pass them our presents to their children.

But this year, the miniature tree is out of the storeroom and there are actually presents accumulated and placed around the tree! Such a nice feeling to be able to spend this day as a family now!

Merry Christmas to you all and may the coming new year be a blessed one with bountiful joy and blessings in store for you!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

I am getting scared...

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Yes, indeed... I am getting scared...

Just this morning while playing with Ben that I started to notice a tiny bit of a white spot on his lower gum.

Upon closer inspection, I realised he's teething. That white spot is his tooth... yes, it has yet to pop out from his gum but, I am getting scared already...


Reason is... I am still breastfeeding Ben.

Although Ben has started his solids since he was 6 mths old (on 2 main meals a day and recently started to introduced 3rd meal), the rest of his feedings are still direct from me.

Yes, Ben is going to be 10 month old on 4th Jan 2010 and I am starting to dread the scary thoughts of my nipples being chomped off by his growing teeth....

Gulp.... and it doesn't help when friends on Facebook telling me to watch out when Ben starts to bite hubby or me. A friend has suggested I switch to feeding him via bottle in case he starts biting but, bottles are out of the question... fresh from breast is the best! Although we did at one time relied on bottle (while I was serving my 1 mth notice after I tendered my resignation), but ever since I became a SAHM when Ben was 3mths old, we no longer used the bottle (well maybe like less than 5 times after that when hubby and I went out for movie dates for a 2-3 hours and we asked MIL to take care of Ben)

But, nah... bottle is not the solution. I have trained Ben to use his sippy cup at 6mths old when we started him on solids so I do not want to go for bottle or even expressed my breastmilk out. Yes, I am experienced in expressing manually by hands (I am that lazy to even use the manual pump or my Medela battery operated pump :P) but the thoughts on storing the milk yada yada yada ... lazy lazy lazy...

Sigh... as much as I dread the thoughts of Ben chomping on (and God help me not OFF) my nipples, of course I look forward to this milestones! Ben is growing up! He is teething! Soon he can eat more things (and yeap, and fight for a portion of my food too!!). Anyway, I'm going to find out as much as I can on tips and tricks of nipple biting (just in case).

Wish me luck! :)

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Wordless Wednesday (Ben-Shocked!)

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Monday, 21 December 2009

How Should We React?

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All my life, I've been a timid and shy person - I am not the type of person who will react strongly or display strong reaction whenever I disagree to something or being bullied by other people - be it at work or whatever.

The only time I can remember standing up to myself and fight for what I believe in is when I was in the midst of negotiation with my previous company on my proposal to allow for flexi work after my maternity leave so that I can continue to care for Ben for at least 4-6 mths more. Anyway, to cut that story short, well, that was the only time I can recall fighting back for my beliefs and standing up for myself which ended up with me tendering my resignation.

But as a parent now, how should we react when you see your own child being abused or hit by another child?

We had an unfortunate incident where a toddler just went and smacked Ben's forehead today.

All I can say was it wasn't a light smack at all and the toddler's mother just went 'Sorry' and told her child to say sorry to Ben and to us (err...duh... as if it's going to undo anything....)
I mean, who would've even thought a 1 year plus old toddler could be able to do that?

How should we react towards the toddler and also towards the toddler's parents?

Appreciate your advice so that I can be prepared if this unfortunate event is to occur ever again...

Friday, 18 December 2009

Drinking is like Yoga...

21 Awesome Comments!
OK... first of all, I don't drink. AT ALL. And the last I did some yoga was like ermmm... 2 years ago... Anyway, got this joke forwarded via email from one of my friend who's now working in India. (*Thanks Anvar!) Notice the similarities? :P

Savasana-Position of total relaxation.
Balasana-Position that brings the sensation of peace and calm
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana-This position calms the brain and heals tired legs
Marjayasana-Position stimulates the midriff area and the spinal comumn.
Halasana-Excellent for back pain and insomnia
Dolphin-Excellent for the shoulder area, thorax, legs, and arms
Salambhasana-Great excersize to stimulate the lumbar area, legs, and arms
Ananda Balasana-This position is great for massaging the hip area.
Pigeon-Tones the body, and builds flexibility and helps get rid of 'stress'..

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Wordless Wednesday (Ben-Listening to Music)

10 Awesome Comments!
OK, this is my first time participating in the "Wordless Wednesday". For those who don't know what it means, the definition of "Wordless Wednesday" is:

On Wednesdays all over the internet, bloggers post a photograph with no words to explain it on their blog. Hence the ‘wordless’ title. The idea is that the photo itself says so much that it doesn’t need any description.

So here goes my picture:

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

I Love This Doctor!

9 Awesome Comments!
I got this joke via email some time back and decided to share it with you guys. It's actually a list of health questions and answers (supposedly from a professional ;p) which I find hilarious (in my opinion :P) and hope you guys enjoyed it!

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! ... Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape! Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

And remember:
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming
"WOO HOO, What a Ride!"

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Inspirational Story - The Wooden Bowl

15 Awesome Comments!
Got this inspirational story via an email forward from a friend (*Thanks Wei Yun!) and would like to share it with you guys who happened to pass by and read this post. There is another version of this story which I heard when I was smaller and it involves a wooden basket instead of a wooden bowl, but the lessons learnt are still the same.

I hope this story will inspire you as much as it does to me. Though my parents are no longer around (dad passed away in April 06', mum in January 07') I do miss them so much every day and wish they could see their daughter now becoming a mother herself and have the perfect little child any parents could wish for. I love you mum & dad...

The Wooden Bowl

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. 'We must do something about father,' said the son. 'I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.'

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.

When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, 'What are you making?' Just as sweetly, the boy responded, 'Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up. ' The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things: a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as making a 'life..'

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands.You need to be able to throw something back sometimes.

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.

I've learned that you should pass this on to everyone you care about. I just did.

And some bible phrases for you to ponder on...

Proverbs 17:6 (NIV) - Children's children are a crown to the aged,and parents are the pride of their children.

Colossians 3:20 (NIV) - Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

John 3:18 (NIV) = Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Snowmen Jokes...

14 Awesome Comments!
Got this jokes forwarded via email from one of my close pal, Kelly. Just wanted to share some of the funnier ones with you guys. Here it is...

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Hey Santa! You Better Read This...

13 Awesome Comments!
Yes, you, Santa. I'm telling you to read this post. I'll try to keep it short and simple.What? You don't like the tone of my voice? Which part of my face that looks like I care? Sorry, I don't trust you. I don't hate you but I'm not exactly your fan either.

The last good memories I had of you was being super excited (kinda like seeing a celebrity for the 1st time) seeing you when I was a piggy-tailed 5 year old running among the other children in a shopping mall trying my luck to get you to notice me and to give me some free Christmas sweets which you were busy handing out then.

And what did you do? What? I can't hear you. You don't know? How convenient... You know what you did? Let me tell you. You, Santa, you walked away. YOU.. WALKED.. AWAY.. FROM.. ME... When I chased after you, you turned around and showed me your open hands... EMPTY and you continue walking away. No words of comfort , not even a consolation pat or hug or handshake. How could you do this to a 5 year old? Do you have any idea what trauma that caused to a 5 year old girl?

So fast forward 2 and a half decades on, no more Santas for me. NO MORE. I'm pretty much done with you. But in the spirit of Christmas and since I'm a mummy from this year onwards, I'd like to give you a chance to make things right again. Do you want that? Did I just hear a YES?

So, here's the deal. I'm not a selfish person, I just want you to do the following for my family members:
1. My dear hubby
Since I quit my job in June 2009 to be a SAHM, there is one less income to the family. So, I want you to help us in giving us a continuous flow of clients and projects to his own IT business (I don't mind the admin stuff and paperwork I have to do to keep track of the quotations, invoices, PO, price list updates and etc) and that people will miraculously approach and engaged him to handle their housing loans /refinancing. Can you make our income accumulate steadily so that we are able to get a better Sedan / family car?

2. My 9 month old baby boy, Benjamin

You definitely should know how well behaved my son is! He deserves great stuff from you but hey, at this tender young age, even a card board is a fun toy for him! DO NOT WALK AWAY. You do not want to mess up with me now. I'm not that nerdy scared 5 year old girl who gets bullied easily. So, come on! Card board is cheap stuff. I'm sure you can do better than this.

3. My MIL
You know Santa, my MIL is not a spendthrift person at all. Her version of a Christmas tree is a 10 inch tall mini plastic Christmas tree adorned with stuffs like mini bells and Chinese New Year decorations. Yes, I kid you not. But hey, it's the thoughts that count right? So could you please just take away her knee pains and let her be able to stand up straight and walk without her feeling pain in her knees? She's terrified of surgeries for kneecaps replacements, so the best you can do is to take the pain away. Do you think this can be done?

4. My one and only elder brother
Yes, I'm sure you know my brother just bought a new house. Finally, a landed property instead of the apartment he was staying in. But because of the red tapes and banking procedures, he only managed to receive half of the apartment's money from the bank. Can you please kick those bankers' ar$e and tell them to hurry up and release the other half of his money so that he can use it to do his house renovation? I'm not asking you to give my brother a sack load of money (although I'm sure he doesn't mind if you do that!), all you need to do is to just get the others moving so that his house will be ready in time for us to celebrate Chinese New Year 2 months from now. Can you do that?

Of course, there are many more people that I'd like you to help them with, but I think we start with these 4 people who are dearest to me.
You do not need to drop by with your troop of reindeer. I think it will cause a commotion in Malaysia as we don't see real life reindeer here EVER! Just wave your magic wand or send one of your elves or whatever you use to get things done with.

Take this as a friendship test. If you can do this, perhaps we can be friends again. Till then, stay happy and get working on this!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

♥ Wishing You All A Merry SITSmas! ♥

46 Awesome Comments!
Ever since joining the SITS website, I've been having more people visiting and leaving their lovely comments on my blog posts. I also get to read lots more nice blogs all around the world! I love you all SITSas!! :D

As part of the task for this year's SITSmas, I have personally created a Christmas card using Jib Jab featuring my dearest baby boy, Benjamin. (I think I have an advantage here since Malaysia time is wayyyyyyyyy ahead of the rest of all the lovely people in SITS hehehehe...)

Here goes...

Hi to all of mummy's SITSas and her regular blog readers!

My name is Benjamin. I am 9 months old now. Yes, this is mummy typing in on my behalf cos although I babbles a lot these days, I have yet to master the skill of typing. Maybe by next year Christmas time, we see how I fare by then OK?

Do drop by mummy's blog every now and then as mummy does post a lot of good stuff in her blog. In fact, I helped out by being a good boy and not disturb mummy while she is busy thinking of blog ideas and then putting it down in her blog. I am such a good boy, eh? :D

Anyway, I want to say I love my mummy so much. Thank you mummy for sacrificing your high paying job to take care of me full-time. Thank you for being persistent in breastfeeding me (I love it yum yum!). Thank you for playing with me and taking tons of my cute pictures and sharing it with everyone (that surely increase my fan base ehem ehem..). Thank you for putting in so much effort in making home made food instead of buying those ready made jarred baby foods when I started my solids at 6 mths old.

I also want to say I love daddy very much as well. Thank you daddy for working extra hard now that we have less 1 income to the family. Thank you daddy for taking care of us. Although you constantly run away screaming "NO, NO, NO" when mummy smiled at you while looking at my bottom, you still come back and wash off my smelly poop (I did say thank you by smiling cheekily and laughing while you splash my butt with cold water heheheh...). Thank you for playing with me whenever you can.

Thank you to Mah-Mah (that's daddy's mummy) for helping daddy and mummy to take care of me when they are busy sometimes. Yes, I do like to take and drop things and I especially like to see you pick it up again so that I can continue repeating the process (that's exercise for both of us, you know! ;p). Thank you for the 4 wheel drive ride-on car that you paid for (after mummy and daddy spent tons of shopping trips looking for the best and nicest looking and cheapest one). Thank you for lullabying me to sleep sometimes.

So anyway, I just want to wish everyone "Happy Holidays and Good Tidings!".

Saturday, 5 December 2009

History of Christmas Songs...

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Stumbled upon this website with a list of Christmas songs and its origins/history... Thought of sharing some of it with you guys... Here goes:

Jingle Bells
Some songs are known for their appeal to adults; others for their popularity with children. "Jingle Bells" enchants both audiences, but it might surprise you to know that the original music, composed by Boston Sunday school teacher James Pierpont, was conceived as a Thanksgiving song in 1857.

Originally titled "The One Horse Open Sleigh," the song was taught by Pierpont to his pupils for a performance and was delighted to find that all 40 of them learned its lyrics almost immediately. Declared "a merry jingle" by a close friend, this holiday carol was fine-tuned and performed again at Christmastime, and quickly became a Yuletide classic.

Silent Night
Father Joseph Mohr was in a quandary. Christmas Eve was only hours away, but his seasonal hymn was still incomplete due to a broken organ (some say mice were the cause of the damage). Father Mohr feared that if the tune was left unfinished, Christmas 1818 would forever be remembered as Oberdorf, Germany's, "tuneless Yuletide." Happily, organist Franz Gruber rescued Mohr with a simple arrangement for voice and guitars.

When the clocks struck midnight, the just-written "Silent Night" echoed across the Bavarian village. This simple, haunting carol traveled quickly from town to town, but it took 30 years for news of its popularity to reach its amazed composers.

The Twelve Days of Christmas
During the Middle Ages, Christmas celebrations in Europe were elevated to new heights when people adopted the custom of giving 12 gifts to loved ones, one every day from Christmas to Epiphany. From the grandest of lords to the poorest peasants, the tradition was celebrated with great enthusiasm.

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written sometime during the sixteenth century. Although predominantly about the tradition of giving extravagant gifts, this tune also glorified society's passion for "counting songs." Whether singing of golden rings or fat geese, even those unable to buy such luxuries could hold these lyrics as promises of heartfelt gifts to come during this glittering season of giving.

O Holy Night
The composer of "O Holy Night," Adolphe Charles Adam, found himself in the midst of controversy when his song received a negative reaction from French church authorities. The nineteenth-century composer, known for his ballet Giselle, was accused of having "a lack of musical taste" by a French bishop.

Happily, society disagreed. Poet Cappeau de Roquemaure added lyrics to Adam's music, renaming it "Cantique de Noel." Later, a translation by American composer John Sullivan Dwight brought the English version to our shores. Today, the solemn "O Holy Night" is sung as a popular Christmas Eve solo.

We Wish You a Merry Christmas
The custom of caroling through the streets originated in England when wealthy businessmen hired street singers to accompany their strolls. The tradition quickly extended to all types of choruses.

These singers became known as "waits," because the group would perform and then wait around for any sweet rewards. Finding the perfect group of singers became a lengthy process; everyone vied for the waits who knew the best carols. "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" was definitely on everyone's list.

Joy to the World
The history of the popular "Joy to the World" is truly unusual. Its lyrics originated in the Old Testament as published in Isaac Watt's 1719 translation of the Psalms of David. When American composer Lowell Mason set these words to music in 1839, he added a notation alluding to George Frideric Handel as lyricist (it was common to attribute a song to Handel in those days in order to generate popularity).

Thus, for over a century, the world believed that Handel had composed the song's lyrics. Ultimately, careful sleuthing by musicologists unearthed the truth, and credit was restored to the rightful source: King David.

Hope you find this post informative. Well, what are you waiting for? Start singing your Christmas songs already! :D

Friday, 4 December 2009

Self Appraisal of a full-time Mummy...

12 Awesome Comments!
This year, for the 1st time since I started working at the age of 20, I will not be going through any performance appraisal with any bosses as I've quit my work in the middle of this year to be a SAHM.

So I thought, maybe I should do a self appraisal for my new role as a full time SAHM to see what I've done so far...
I got this Performance Appraisal Form off the Internet, it is 8 pages long so I'll just copy down those questions which I find relevant and fill up my feedback in green. Here goes...

org/division/dept: Err... Home?
name: I'm a full-time mummy
position: Full-time SAH mummy
year or period covered: June - December 2009
length of service: Six months as a SAHM

State your understanding of your main duties and responsibilities.
To raise my child in the best possible ways I know, to breastfeed as long as he wants it, to nurture and train him up to be a responsible person who respects his parents, to be a God fearing child and bring joy to the life of people who meet him.

Discussion points:
1. Has the past year been good/bad/satisfactory or otherwise for you, and why?
I quit my IT job of 9 years only to find myself working for a demanding and attention-seeking boss aka my son, Benjamin :P in terms of whether it has been good/bad/satisfactory, well, of course it has been a good time for me!

2. What do you consider to be your most important achievements of the past year?
The most important achievements? There are so many that I can't just pick a particular one! Let's see..
* I delivered my son naturally
* We did our own DIY confinement, which saves us RM3,300/= since we do not need to hire a confinement lady
* With Ben turning 9 months old today (4th Dec 2009) it means I've been exclusively breastfeeding Ben for 9 months already...
* Which also means... I've not been having menses for 18 months now (think of all the $ I saved for not needing to use any sanitary pads yet...)...
* I quit my job to be a full time mummy for 6 months already!

3. What do you like and dislike about working for this organisation?
* I like that I do not need to wake up at 8am, rush off to work, getting headaches when production issues occurred, attending meetings, rush for deadlines, reached home after 7pm and etc
* I dislike that I am not able to just simply take
MC or go on a leave and just sleep on the bed relaxing... and of course did I mention the sucky part of not getting salary anymore?

4. What elements of your job do you find most difficult?
Most difficult? The part where I had to deal with sh*tty stuff. I'm not kidding. Here's the picture to proof my point (I even blogged about it!). I used to love it (they say breastfed babies' poop doesn't smell. I agree with that... until Ben started solids at 6 mths old... since then...hufff huuffff...can't breathe...I - need - oxygennnnnn!!!!!)

5. What elements of your job interest you the most, and least?
The part where I can be the 1st person to catch the magical moments when my son accomplished his 1st milestones! The least should be the same answer to the previous question.

6. What do you consider to be your most important aims and tasks in the next year?
Next year? I'm only living through each day at a time now... do I need to think so far ahead?

7. What action could be taken to improve your performance in your current position by you, and your boss?
To improve my performance? Hmm... I hope I can have more 'me' time to relax and reward myself a bit. I think my boss (aka Benjamin) should help mummy out by taking longer naps in daytime (now he averages between 30 minutes to 1-2 hours which doesn't give me ample time to nap as well as I sometimes rush to clear off the admin stuff and paperworks for hubby's own IT business)

8. What kind of work or job would you like to be doing in one/two/five years time?
Err... the same kind I guess if number 2, 3 or even 4 comes along... :P

9. What sort of training/experiences would benefit you in the next year? Not just job-skills - also your natural strengths and personal passions you'd like to develop - you and your work can benefit from these.
I hope to have more physical strength to carry and lug my child around. I also hope to develop the passion to cook for the family (now I homemade Ben's solids while MIL take cares of our cooking) And, yes, I hope I'd be able to curb my anti-vege policy and have more courage to eat vegetables.

Score your own capability or knowledge in the following areas in terms of your current role requirements (1-3 = poor, 4-6 = satisfactory, 7-9 = good, 10 = excellent). If appropriate bring evidence with you to the appraisal to support your assessment.

1. commercial judgment eh? what does this means?

2. product/technical knowledge I'd say 7. I try to surf the Net to find out more on the products and stuff we're giving to Ben

3. time management I'd say 4. Like I mention earlier, I wish for more time so that I can rest after clearing off the admin stuff. Did I mention I sleep at 2-3 am everyday?

4. planning, budgeting and forecasting I'd say 8. With 1 less income to the family, we don't spend unnecessarily now. Every purchase is properly researched thoroughly. We do skipped this rules when it comes to buying quality products and food (such as organic stuff or more pricey vegetables and fruits) for Ben.

5. reporting and administration I'd say 8. I report to hubby and MIL on daily basis when Ben did new things. I also took lots of pictures of Ben and compile them into PDF documents to share with family members and close friends.

6. communication skills I'd say 8. Although I no longer need to communicate with colleagues, users or vendors, I do communicate with suppliers (for hubby's own IT biz), family members and friends via emails, Facebook, MSN or occassional gathering.

7. delegation skills I'd say 8. I try to catch hubby whenever he's at home and delegate the tasks of playing and spending time with Ben, especially when it comes to cleaning up the sh*tty mess hehehe (which hubby has nowadays learned the hints and ran away before I managed to tell him what to do... of course hubby always came back and grumbling to himself why is he not out meeting clients and he has to clean up the mess... ;p)

8. IT/equipment/machinery skills I'd say 8, since I was from IT background previously, so no problems with IT stuff for the moment. Look, even Ben knows a thing or two!

9. meeting deadlines/commitments What deadlines??

10. creativity I'd say 8. To be able to turn anything within sight into a distraction for a wriggling baby especially during nappy changing time is a crucial skill that takes tons of creativity and time to master! :D

11. problem-solving and decision-making I'd say 7. I need to improve my skill to solve and fix all the problems and havoc caused by Ben. The torn pages of the bible, story book etc... and with this, decision-making skill is important as well - to glue back or to tear away the whole page? and so on...

12. team-working and developing others I'd say 8. If I really need to do something urgently (like helping hubby in his biz), I'd get MIL to take over Ben for a while.

13. energy, determination and work-rate I'd say 2. Energy level critical! I need more time to rest and sleep!!

14. steadiness under pressure I'd say 7. I don't think there's much pressure at the moment,.. of course there is the out of the blue incidents where all things seem to happen at the same time which puts me under pressure but it gets sorted with delegation & teamwork! :)

15. leadership and integrity What leadership? Of course, now that Ben is watching our every mnoves and starting to imitate us, we have to watch our every actions and words.

16. adaptability, flexibility, and mobility I'd say 7. Everywhere we go, we have t be able to adapt and be flexible enough. No baby room for breastfeeding? No problem, I'd breastfeed at a secluded corner shield with a nappy cloth.

17. personal appearance and image I'd say 2. I don't pretty much care about my appearance and image any longer. I've never been the type to use make-up and accessories before I was pregnant, so no need for it now...

Phew.... so long winded, sorry for taking too much of your time to read this.. Well, there you have it! My self appraisal for 2009. I wonder if I get any bonus fom hubby after this? Hmmmmm,....* hint * hint * ;P


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