Monday, October 11, 2010

A reminder of Pablo Neruda

When I came back from church at night, Cookie started crying. I took her out from her cot and gave her some fever medicine as she was feverish for the past 2 days. After the medicine, she pointed to her room and told me she want to go to sleep. I told her to wait for me - for Mummy to clean her teeth and wash face and then get ready to bring Cookie to her room. After i did all that, she crawled onto my bed and stared at the ceiling. I asked her gently if she wanted to go to her own room. She said no. So she snuggled up to me, held my hand with our hands on her chest while I read "Bringing up Boys" by Dr James Dobson.... (hahahaha - should it have been Bringing up Girls?).

I thought she may not be able to sleep as this was the first time I had brought her to bed (and with the reading light on too). But she was shielded from the light with a pillow and soon after fell asleep. WHat a pleasure to be able to hold my daughter's hand and feel her heartbeat while she drifted off to sleep! Reminded me of a poem by Pablo Neruda (he was born in Chile and studied in Santiago in his twenties - so fitting for me since my husband is now in Santiago) ....

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

It is so wonderful to be a mother...! I am indeed blessed.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

CFP - easy or hard

I am in the midst of doing my CFP Certification Course (Certified Financial Planner) and I found it rather difficult. I was wondering why everyone I met who has already done it said that it was easy. Why did I find it difficult then? Was I getting stupid?

After a few diggings, I realised that those who did it a long time ago.. did not have to sit thru an exam.. they just took the question home and then the next day went to the exam hall to start writing what they had the whole night to prepare. And in those days to get exemptions was easy too.

For my own exemption so that I neednt do the 7 papers but 2, I had to get 2 letters from both my former employer as well as current employer that detailed that I had the relevant experience dealing with some degree of money management (budgetting, etc) before they let me have the exemption to do the Challenge Status. The MBA that I had was not enough at all.

It seems that the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia is trying to increase the standard of the CFP trademark holders. So there is a rather rigorous testing of our ability to produce a financial plan in a mere 3 hours. A normal financial plan takes ages to complete especially if you do not have software to help you. And there is also 6 other exams other than the financial plan one (thankfully I only need to do 2 papers out of the 7). When I first read the questions of the various modules, I realised that I could not answer any of the questions as they involved a deeper knowledge of insurance, investment, tax, retirement and estate planning.

The fact remains that it is no longer "no one fails" like in the old days. Now, easily 20% or more do fail the papers. That is indeed scarier than doing my MBA... because that thought of failing never crossed my mind then.

My final exams is coming and by June 19th I will either be done or done for~!..... it has been a very interesting process and planning my own financial plan is I suppose the best thing that can come out of this! Here's to financial freedom when we want it!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Potty Training Step 2

I decided to try potty training seriously when I am in Australia in April for my MIL's 70th birthday celebration. 10 days of staying 24 7 with the kids should be helpful in promoting this training.

It was surprisingly easy. Altho many times they just want to go to the toilet to sit on the bowl for fun, it's ok as long as sometimes they get it right. Now the girls can tell me if they are going to do a shi shi potty and will tug at my baju if they want to do so. Somehow they are still now so good in the poo department but since they are not yet 2, it is still alright with me.

They are still in diapers when they go downstairs to the park as I dun want any mishap and during their sleeping time but i think its great progress.

Books for Toddlers

These books are supposed to be suitable for Toddlers from 2-3 years old.

Book to a Goose by Mem Foz and David Miller
Click, Clack 123 by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin
Cuddle Time by Libby Gleeson
Dig, Dig, Digging by Margaret Mayo & Alex Ayliffe
Dog in, Cat out by Gillian Rubinstein
Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Good Night, Me by Andrew Daddo & Emma Quay
Grandpa & Thomas by Pamela Allen
Guess How Much I love you by Sam McBratney
I want my Potty by Tony Ross
My Dad by Anthony Browne
My Grandma by Jeanette Rowe
Piglet & Mama by Margaret Wild & Stephen Michael King
The Grandpa Book by Todd Parr
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Too Many Pears by Jackie French & Bruce Whatley
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury
Wheels on the Bus by Penny Dann
Za-za's Baby Brother by Lucy Cousins

A quick check on mphonline showed that they only had The Very Hungry Caterpillar whilst some of other books may be on their database but listed as not available. This is sad indeed if we want to promote reading for the kids. I suppose they may have other books but sometimes the books that parents deem interesting are tossed out by the kids. I shall have to look elsewhere to procure my books.

Books for Babies

I read a list from about what is suitable for babies from birth till 2 and I must say that my kids did like some of the books that I managed to get for them.

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell - its a very funny book which highlight animals in the zoo.
Eyes, Nose, Fingers & Toes by Judy Hindley
Families by Odette Ross
Hippo Has A Hat by Julia Donaldson - My kids just love seeing the leopard in a skirt and hippo wearing a hat, caterpillar with shoes...
Hug by Jex Alborough
I Went Walking by Sue Machin & Julie Vivas
Kipper's Book of Colours by Mick Inkpen
Let's Go Visiting by Sue Williams & Julie Vivas
Maisy's Bathtime by Lucy Cousins
Miffy Series by Dick Bruna
Moonlight by Jan Ormerod
Nursery Rhymes by Deb Gliori - did not get this but something similar which they love too
Peepo! by Janet an Allan Ahlberg
Round & Round the Garden by Ian Beck & Sarah Williams
Spot (any spot books) by Eric Hill - all spot book are most welcomed
Teddy Bear Hide and Seek by Pamela Edwards - this was their favourite book when they were very very young
Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek - they ate this up literally!

But they are now almost 2 and therefore needs to graduate to another set of books. Shall update another batch soon.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Potty Training

I decided a few days ago from watching my girls respond to requests that its time to potty train them. So today, when they are almost 22 months old, I decided to start the potty training. I have yet to read much about it but when I took Eggy to the potty this evening, I was rewarded with a pee!! Both her papa and I burst out in spontaneous claps and smiles. Eggy was grinning so happily.

Cookie tried to pee too but nothing came out... but I cannot fault her enthusiasm.

Will see how long this will take. I am glad that it was not as hard as i thought it would be since i have heard some stories from frens about how hard that was going to be.