Friday, February 29, 2008

Worst Jam In History

Quote of the day: Some dreams, do come true, so do some nightmares. Live with it.

Cars, lorries, busses and motorcycles were held up for hours yesterday. I wasted one and a half hours of my life. Worst ever jam in the history of the Woodlands Checkpoint. The only drama I saw at the customs? All the officers are garbed in bullet-proof vests.

"Suspected JI leader escaped from toilet: Singapore

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A "security lapse" led to the escape of the leader of the city-state's wing of the Islamic militant network, Jemaah Islamiah (JI), Singapore said on Thursday.

Wong Kan Seng, Singapore's minister for home affairs, told members of parliament that Mas Selamat bin Kastari escaped from the toilet of a police detention facility, in the middle of a posh residential area, on Wednesday afternoon.

Acknowledging that the security lapse "should have never happened", Wong said everything was being done to arrest Kastari.

Singapore security systems are generally tight and sophisticated on the island to police its borders.

Local newspapers reported that thousands of policemen were deployed late on Wednesday in a massive hunt for Kastari, who was thought to have escaped unarmed and walks with a limp.

The JI has been blamed for several deadly bombing attacks in Southeast Asia, including the 2002 bombings that killed more than 200 people on Indonesia's resort island of Bali.

Singapore, a strong U.S. ally and a major base for Western businesses, sees itself as a prime terrorist target in the region after it foiled JI plots in 2001 to attack its airport and other targets, including the U.S. embassy, the Americna Club and the Singapore American School.

Kastari left Singapore after the plots seven years ago after nearly 40 other suspected members of JI were rounded up. He was arrested by the Indonesian police on the Indonesian island of Bintan in January 2006 and sent back to Singapore.

He had since been held under Singapore's Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial."

Maybe he didn't get to eat his ayam penyek. So anyway, Happy Leap Year Day. One extra day this year, and how do you want to spend it? Just. One. Precious. Day.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Child's Early Experiences and Its Effects

Quote of the day: Change is the only constant thing in life.

I came across this while surfing for porn. Simplified version for you fast-track minds.

Exploring the Behavioral, Psychological, Physical, Intellectual and Emotional Consequences of Events During Prenatal Development, Birth and Infancy.

Early experiences provide a template for how we experience the rest of our lives.

Research shows that
# prenates are conscious, aware and sensitive
# pre- and perinatal events are remembered ( perinatal means a numder of weeks, immediately before and after birth)
# prenates and infants take on their parents; unowned experiences and feelings
# pre- and perinatal experiences may have dramatic long-term effects ( positive and negative)
# prenatal and birth experiences can impair bonding

Common Early Experiences...
# being unwanted
# fertility assistance/in vitro
# induction/augmentation
# domestic stress or abuse
# separation from mom
# earlier pregnancy losses
# considering, planning or attempting abortion
# lack of empathy ('feeling')
# caesarean
# prenatal loss of twin
# drugs/toxins

Their Possible Effects
# colic
# low self-esteem
# lack of inner awareness
# inability to start/finish
# bossiness
# easily startled
# hypervigilance (overly cautious)
# resistance to cuddling
# eating issues
# inconsolable crying
# fear, nervousness and restlessness
# developmental delays, learning disabilities
# defiance, resistance to following rules
# sleep disturbances
# anger and distrust
# lack of confidence
# hopelessness
# clinginess
# digestive upsets
# hypersensitivity
# neediness
# easily frustrated
# prolonged crying or no crying at all
# attachment/bonding problems
# allergies, asthma and physical ailments
# spatial disorientation, clumsiness

Which Often Manifest In Later Life As...
# having to stay in control
# body image problems
* restrained spirituality
# rage and violence
# chronic health problems
# inability to receive love
# money and career issues
# always being a 'victim' or 'drama queen/king'
# reduced access to inner wisdom and intuition
# lack of empathy
# eating disorders
# drug use/abuse
# anxiety disorders
# cynicism or despair
# never 'belonging'
# lack of presence
# sexual problems
# being out of touch with creativity
# difficulty with intimacy

This is taken from a website that offers services for parents and therapists working with children.

Personally, I find it hard to be convinced. Or is it actually a trait I have due to early experiences? *panic*

This is the best time for you to chat with your mom/dad. See if you're screwed up as an adult. I know I am.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My Day Today

Quote of the day: There's no such thing as a wrong decision. (You wouldn't make a decision, knowing it is wrong isn't it?)

It has been an emotional roller coaster ride for me. This morning was the climax. My angel boss whom I've been under for the past wonderful 6 working years announced his future endeavor in another company. He is the kind of boss who spoils the market, just like the ad exec who spent RM54k proposing to his girl on public billboard on V-day.

I had a nightmarish weekend. So this morning, it almost felt like a shock therapy. Daniel has been throwing tantrum fits since Friday. It's unlike his normal tantrums that ends quickly with some distraction. It felt as if he became this different being, like he's possessed. I thought he just had a tiring and overstimulated day but there seems to be more to it.

We'd start the day fine, him, being his usual happy self. Then something little will trigger his hour-long crying stunt. Any amount of consoling, talking or giving in did not help at all. When that stubborn brat wants something, he wants it! But even after giving him what he wants, he still continue his fit. He becomes this angry toddler who is stubborn and persistant and unreasonable. This I didn't understand at all. It's probably the ultimate demand of attention.

Let's see if you think he deserve a slap with this scenario that happened yesterday evening. I was preparing dinner, by the sink. He comes over and want to wash his cup on the pretext of playing with water. I let him. Then when water starts going into my washer, the water at the sink goes a little slower (piping system liddat wan). HE IS NOT AMUSED AT ALL LOR! He kicks and protests. I turn it to the max already. He kept protesting and crying. I explain a godzillion time to him.

Me: (turning on the tap to it's fullest) SEE, it's on


Me: Open already!


Me: See, this is off (turns off the tap), and this is open (turns on the tap)


Me: Look, it's open to the max! Come and feel it! (gestures him to prove my claim)

D: (pushes my hands away) OPEN OPEN OPEN!

Me: (xian)


Me: (ignores him)

D: MUMMIEEE MUMMIEEE MUMMIEEEE (repeats this chant for the next one hour, ONE HOUR)

He'd resist any comforting but eventually he'd calm down and then he's back to his sweet adorable boy who understands things! Why? Why? Why?!

Tell me, macam kena rasuk right? It has never happened. At one point, in desperate measures, we brought him to a temple to sweep an amulet up and down his body seven times, burn the amulet, mix it with water and make him drink it. Being a Christian, I never believed in doing it, so imagine how desperate I was. Well, it didn't work, that I can tell you.

SO, we've decided to stop school for him. Obviously, he is not ready. At least we tried. He was so interested in going to school before this when I introduced nursery to him for the first time last year. Or so we believed.

After analysis, and still analyzing, I think it's the complete separation from his nanny. Plus, many factors pertaining a new environment, new caregivers, new friends, new life. It could also be a 'transition into toddlerhood' which occurs at around his age, around 3 years old (information courtesy of Angeline, the mama trouper). Tantrums, aggressive behaviour, defiance, you name it, they got it. Terrible twos/threes. I think it has begun.

But something made my day today.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Night terror

Quote of the day: It's what in your heart that makes you who you are.

He had it long ago, once or twice, usually when he has had an overstimulated day. This time, I anticipated it as he has just begun school, so understandably, the reaction to his new environment and new life will partly manifest itself through incidences of night terrors. Everything in the article below fits very well except for the sweating, breathing fast and rapid heart rate. All he does is moan and cry intermittently. It's night terror alright. I call it SHUT-UP-I-FEEL-LIKE-SLAPPING-YOU-RIGHT-THIS-INSTANCE.

Have you had the most weird conversation? It goes like this.

D: (whimpers and looks at me)

Me: What's wrong?

D: (whimpers and looks at me)

Me: Why?

D: (whimpers and looks at me)

Me: Are you in pain?

D: (whimpers and looks at me)

Me: Do you want water?

D: (whimpers and looks at me)


D: (whimpers and looks at me)

Me: OK, mummy go to sleep now.

D: (cries)

It was 2am. I held him lovingly, I carried him and walked for a while, I sang a song, I kissed him, I patted his back, I spoke to him, I distracted him.

It wasn't him. It just wasn't.

He eventually fell back into slumber after half an hour. One mortal minute of that half an hour was distressing and it really tests your patience. I think my threshold is pretty high, from all the years of road traffic I put up with, especially coming across stupid jackass drivers.

He better make me a nice Mother's Day card this May.

"Night terrors are a common sleep problem among children. By some estimates, about 15% of younger children have occasional night terrors. Although most common in children between the ages of 2 and 6 years, they can occur at almost any age.
Although usually considered to be normal or benign, they are often very scary and distressing to parents who often overreact, especially during a child's first night terror.

When you hear how most experts describe night terrors, it is easy to see why parents find them distressing. Children who have night terrors are usually described as 'bolting upright' with their eyes wide open, with a look of fear and panic, and letting out a 'blood curdling scream'. These kids will usually also be sweating, breathing fast and have a rapid heart rate (autonomic signs).

And although it will seem like they are awake, during a night terror, children will appear confused, will not be consolable and won't recognize you.
Typical night terrors last about 5 to 30 minutes and afterwards, children usually return to a regular sleep. If you are able to wake your child up during a night terror, he is likely to become scared and agitated, mostly because of your own reaction to the night terror, especially if you were shaking or yelling at him to wake up. Instead of trying to wake up a child having a night terror, it is usually better to just make sure he is safe, comfort him if you can, and help him return to sleep once it is over.

No treatment is usually necessary for routine night terrors. Since they are often triggered in children who are overtired, sticking to a good bedtime routine and making sure your child is getting enough rest can help to prevent them.
For children who get frequent night terrors, it might help to wake your child up before the time that he usually has a night terror. This is thought to interrupt or alter the sleep cycle and prevent night terrors from occuring (it also works for sleepwalking).

Rarely, sleep medications might be used for a short time if your child gets very frequent night terrors

What You Need To Know:

Night terrors are also called sleep terrors or pavor nocturnus.

Similar to sleepwalking and sleeptalking, night terrors are considered to be a disorder of arousal and are a partial arousal from non-REM sleep.

Unlike a nightmare, children usually don't recall having a night terror.

Also unlike nightmares, night terrors usually occur in the early part of the night, about 1 to 4 hours after going to sleep.

If your child gets night terrors, make sure that baby sitters and other caregivers are aware of them and know what they should do if one occurs.

Most children outgrow night terrors as they get older."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Still Keeping Fingers Crossed...

Quote of the day: Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.

How many of us are keeping our fingers crossed each day? If you are right now for whatever reason, I'm keeping mine crossed for you too.

Daniel's 5th day in nursery. I tried something different. When I dropped him off, instead of manja-ing him, you know the usual, "Aww, Daniel good boy OK, go to school OK, play with friends, mummy working" bla bla bla, in high pitch manja tone, which is returned with increasing decibels of wailing accompanied with a heart-wrenching "DON WAN DON WAAAAAAAAAN", I looked him in the eye and said to him firmly. "NO CRY, MUMMY WORKING OK". Immediately, he stopped his emotional blackmail stunts.

He is also sleeping earlier now. Instead of dozing off at 11.30pm, he now sleeps at 10pm. Hallelujah!

I had also discussed about adjusting my working hours with my angel boss and my angel director. I said I could cut an hour a day and prorate my salary. HR thinks it's cumbersome to calculate. I could take one month of no-pay leave, and cut an hour a day. Director said, "Just do it informally. It's alright with me. I believe you can adjust your time as you deem right. I know, even 15minutes can make a big difference in the traffic." We chatted a while more and I left her office with sunshine in my heart.

I reached the school at 6.15pm yesterday to pick him up. There were still many children around waiting for their parents. I reached home at 6.30pm. I couldn't believe it. Suddenly I have all this extra time which was a luxury for me in the past. And with Daniel sleeping earlier now, I have more time for myself. I believe I'm becoming happier.

Still keeping fingers crossed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Stress stress stress

Quote of the day: Being a mother gives you the best joys and worst stresses in the world.

Daniel's 3rd full day in nursery. I called minutes ago to check on how he is doing. He sobs on the phone, "Mummy come, mummy come". I am typing my resignation letter. Sooooo close.

My angel boss, being a father of two, asked me how my son is doing in school so far.

"He cries and misses me a lot".

"Well, that is usually what happens. But you can't give up now because it'll only teach him to manipulate you by repeating this 'crying' method".

Generally it'll take a week for a child to settle in. Maybe two weeks depending on your child. I ask myself, is he ready? Someone told me, even in kindy for the first time at 6 years old, some kids still cry. Some, settle in with no problem at all.

I'm too anxious, or I'm too hard on him. I can't decide. Will this adversely affect his development in times to come? Can I counter it? Or will everything just work out the way it should be (my hardcore philosophy). Guilt is eating me alive.

The husband came home at 7am after pulling an all-nighter CNY gambling session at his buddy's place. This gambling fever usually lasts for a week or more based on previous years' record. But this would be the first overnight stunt. What I'm mad at is that there were no prior warning, no SMSes, no calls, nothing.

Frankly, I was shocked and mad, because it was already planned, including the intention NOT to inform me. Better to ask for forgiveness than permission. It would've been ok with me, so I feel this is a totally disrespectful thing to do to wives. That scheming snake. It saddens me because I am anything but a control queen. It saddens me because I feel like I've been tricked. It saddens me because he is my husband.

I have to admit. At times, I wish very hard that I'm not a mother and I'm not a wife. In fact I wish I live alone on a beautiful island, that has uninterrupted FAST wireless network and Haagen Dazs. I wish I am a nobody.

Sigh... this too shall pass.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Wished I Had A Clone

The most stressful time of the year for me has come. The hectic Chinese New Year (this applies especially if you are married with kids) and the annual Scientific Advisory Board Meeting. My workload at home and in the lab tripled. I have but one body. This year, the meeting is held in Bintan. Having a kid comes in handy because I have an excuse NOT to stay the night. My smartass unmarried colleague's excuse was "I have to watch my house". I ask her, "You dog ah".

On the 1st of Feb, a major event took over our lives and changed it in a way we never imagined. For a few hours, then everything was back to normal.

His first project in school. 99.9% done by teachers. It's a broom by the way. To sweep away the cookie crumbs I guess.

Did he cry? Oh boy he did. He wailed when I left the school. Same thing this morning. He cries when he sees me leaving, cries for a while more until it's breakfast time. Then he is kept busy with activities for the rest of the day. Another step in the journey of life.

I will be heading to Seremban today, and possibly Ipoh on Thursday, and back in JB on Saturday or Sunday. Any gatherings?