Mamapumpkin???

I love green Once upon a time, she designed buildings and interiors of corporate offices and on the rare occasion, homes. Now, she cleans poop and is student of a patience management course. From the drawing board as a London Architect to the realities of Motherhood, she has certainly learned many lessons in humility. And then others.....

To succeed in the corporate world, first succeed with your kid as the happy boss. Seriously.

I love green

This blog is about Mamapumpkin: A crazy, kick-ass Mom who works full time juggling several jobs - the full-time paid job, the raising of her 2 kids (she gets paid in kind for this) and the volunteering job for various charity organisations and parenting websites. Needless to say, she gets very little sleep (3-5 hours per day, Margaret Thatcher who used to sleep 4 hours per day during her conservative career inspires this crazy lifestyle).

Mamapumpkin intends to change the working Mom landscape in Malaysia where working women can bring their children to the corporate office of a client and not be frowned upon.

I love green

She writes anything that comes out of her head, mostly without thinking first (since she already has to think at work!), which almost ALWAYS gets her into trouble (according to her husband, whom she considers the love of her life on a good day).

Her 2 pet monkeys drive her towards challenge after challenge, 24/7.....day after day.....and interestingly, her parents are Muslim, her in-laws Buddhist, she's Catholic and her Hubs, an Atheist. She's thinking her kids should be Hindu, just to complete the rainbow religion cycle.

Gotta love it.

She'd love to hear from you : Mamapumpkin at gmail dot com


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Church Chairs

How many of you actually bring toddlers or young children to Church? I don’t because it’s too much hassle and pain. I reckon God will understand. But when one of our family members got married recently, we had no choice but to bring our little minx. It was her first Church experience and she was hell bored.

She walked up and down the church chairs and started laying out the wedding programmes all in a row……

Then she started folding them to make origami……

After drawing for a bit, the noise and whining started. Yish. No kids at church for us!

 

Kids Manicure

On T2′s birthday this year, she got a kids manicure by non other than Uncle Ben’s girlfriend. Yes, he has a new girlfriend and she is gorgeous both IN and OUT.

I’m always hesitant about toddlers or even kids in general having make up and manicures because really, there are dangerous chemicals within these products and due to kids having lower tolerances, I’m just weary. But it was her birthday, and she hardly ever puts her hands into her mouth (she’s three after all!) so I close an eye.

Do you allow your kids to have a kids manicure???

T2′s dressing up phase

Let me tell you about T2′s dressing up phase. She goes through 4 dresses a day on some days, some days she will insist on wearing a sweater (like below, or one of her other sweaters) with socks despite sweating like a dog, some days she insists on changing her panties 5 times, some days, it’s changing socks, some days she wants to wear jewellery, some days she will wear her pyjamas to go out, some days she insists on sleeping in a dress, some days she wears completely mismatched clothes and refuses to get out of them even when we are going out…………the possibilities are endless.

She is such a fashionista, this one. My T1 couldn’t care less and just wears anything available as long as it’s not too girlie or uncomfortable. T2 on the other hand, even when really uncomfortable, she’d wear it for the sake of vanity! Even with shoes that are too loose or too tight, even when they cause her blisters, she insists on wearing them. Crazy or what???

T2′s dressing up phase hopefully is really just a phase because we are doing a lot of unnecessary laundry right now……..

Simple Pleasures for Kids

T2 relishes in the simple pleasures for kids……like playing with grass. Who needs toys, right? Simple pleasures for kids, it’s as simple as introducing them to the daun semalu, that shy plant that closes upon touch. Unfortunately, for a kid who appreciates the simple pleasures for kids, she happens to have a big shopping appetite!

Her shoes above, for example, cost a freaking BOMB. More than many ladies’ shoes!!! She has her ways, for sure. She has her ways…….in getting her loved ones twisted around her little finger in order to get her her gold sparkly shoes. Just last week, we bought her another white pair of sandals with diamonds!!! It didn’t fit her at all (too big), yet she insisted and insisted that it fitted FINE!!! Walked around in it and said, “Please!!! Please!!! PLEASEEE!!!!! Please, can I please have it??? It’s so pretty!!! Please can I have it? All my other shoes too tight!” (which was absolute bullshit).

*big sigh*

Simple pleasures for kids indeed. Daddy’s wallet is crying……

3 Year Old Haircut

Getting a 3 year old haircut is not easy so we tend to just avoid it but last week, we finally cut the back of T2′s hair. She was not happy.

Where do you go to get a 3 year old haircut? We tend to do it around our area because it’s just convenient never mind the hefty price tag that comes with it. I’m thinking all Moms should go for a basic hair cutting course to save 12 years of hair cuts on each child.

Bedtime Rituals for an almost 3 year old

Bedtime rituals for an almost 3 year old, that would be T2. I’m sure many of you will relate. I’ve always had problems with both girls for their bedtime rituals. With T1, she had to sleep with me holding my hand, smelling it (at one point I wondered what internal bodily smells reeked from my magic hand but it was just soap, plain soap! And if that was the case, why can’t they smell their own hands!?). I’ve even asked them, what do you smell? T1 says, nice soap! *rolls eyeballs*

We spent 5 whole years sleeping with T1, spending up to an hour of our time, sometimes more, very rarely less PUTTING HER TO SLEEP. Once she was out, we’d pray fervently that she. would. NOT. wake. up. as this would almost always foil our plans to get some couple time. T2 is a lot more independent generally but she also needs my hand to sleep! What is it with the hand??? Why is it not the bra strap or the hair or the shirt or the damn bolster or pillow! Do you think it’s inherently genetic? I don’t think my mother would know if I ever needed to smell her hand but I guess I should ask her, huh??? I reckon that back in the day, babies were just dumped in cots in the next room though and left to their own devices, which is what WE should be doing. *snarls*

So. The hand. That magic hand that T2 will stay up for hours for just to wait for that hand. Without it, she cannot sleep. It’s THAT addictive. Yet, if I travelled without her, she’d settle for the Hubs’ hand. One night, we switched. T1 missed me and wanted to sleep with me so after T2 slept, I kicked the Hubs to sleep with T2 but in the middle of the night, she woke up and with her eyes closed started feeling around for my hand! The Hubs quickly passed his hand to her but within seconds, her eyes popped open (although it was dark) and asked irritatedly, “Where is Mama?!!!” Was the smell different or what??? Then she sat up and cried, “I WANT MAMA!!!!”

Bugger that. We had to switch again. Poor T1, only got part of Mama that night.

All you single ladies, just you wait till your turn…..

I have never been strong enough to allow them to cry it out and because of that, I’m counting the days till the Hubs and I can just say to the kids, BEDTIME!!! And both will scurry into their bedrooms and leave us in peace throughout the night. WHEN???

What more, whenever it IS bedtime now, with T1, it’s really easy. We tell her it’s bedtime and she’d obediently (sometimes with delays) go brush her teeth by herself, get dressed into her jammies and come give us goodnight hugs and kisses then off she goes by herself to bed. But first without reminding us, “Please come and hug me again later when you go to bed….” But of course.

With T2, there are several scenarios. The easiest one is, she’s tired and will willingly follow us to bed, lie down, look for the hand and fall asleep within half an hour.

The second scenario is, “NO! I’m not sleepy!” or “WAIT! I’m still cooking!” or “No! I don’t want sleep now. I’m busy.” If we force her in, there would be wails of tears and screams and if we put up with it, it involves serving the Queen with wet wipes and a change of pyjamas because her wails are so dramatic that her entire outfit gets drenched. After an hour of drama, she knocks out from shear exhaustion. The easier way is just to wait it out till she gets tired enough and willingly follows us into the bedroom.

The third scenario is when she willingly follows us into the bedroom and after 15 minutes of darkness and lying down, she decides, “Can I please have milk? I want milk….” or “Can I have water? I’m thirsty.” or “Where is my bear? I need my bear.” or “I need to go outside to tell Daddy something….” (and last night it was, “Daddy, don’t waste time working.”). Sometimes, this will happen several times within the hour, a request of some sort. After getting into bed and snuggling in, everyone has to get up and tend to that request repeatedly. If we don’t, scenario two of drama wails ensues.

Then there are the crazy requests of wearing what she likes to sleep. Sometimes it’s a jumper when she’s drenched in sweat, sometimes it’s socks and a dress, sometimes it’s with a hair band.

“No! I want to sleep with my Hair Band, please!”

Having a little drama queen in her terrible twos, soon threes, is plenty fun I tell ya…..

T2′s Birthday Party

This year, I was planning to host a birthday party for T2 since for her first and second birthday, we only had home birthdays but when I spoke to her about it, she said she didn’t want one! She said that if she had one, she only wants her family to be at her party……

So I asked her who was in her family and she named every single person in our family, including kakak, our helper…….bless.

Your wish is my command. I was so relieved. No party planning. Yay!

We celebrated T2′s birthday together with Uncle Justin, who was sick as a dog (he happens to be a dog too, that makes him how old?) since their birthdays are 3 days apart. Nana cooked up a storm as usual and it was just us, the family.

How fast my little baby has grown. No longer a baby, Uncle Ben says! But my two girls, they’ll always be my babies……..despite how NUTS they drive me. They were screaming for cake after dinner like hooligans!!! They’re like a mini union at home, I kid you not. Them against the Hubs and I.

T2 was so excited when she received her first birthday present in the post. It was a singing birthday card (WHICH WAS SO ANNOYINGLY LOUD!) and a lovely cheque from Ama and Kong-Kong from Kota Bharu. And when she arrived at Nana’s, she had more presents! She was so happy!

She insisted on cutting her own cake…..

Killed it completely albeit……

Happy Birthday, T2 my love…….

I love this photo despite how large I look (and am!) because despite my heavy weight on T2, she is still smiling. And T1, she’s got her arms around us both. She is truly such a special kid, my T1. I really MUST stop eating lots of cake!!!

Happy Birthday, T2!!!

Time has flown by and T2 is 3 today!!!

Wasn’t it just yesterday when we had T1′s 5th birthday bash and T2 was that little tiny monkey at her party? T2 has come a long, long way. From a baby who was diagnosed as Failure to Thrive and then with 3 years of severe eating and poo-ing problems, we are now finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. T2 is a sweets addict (surprise-surprise!) and only likes eating porridge, plain pasta, plain rice, plain soup, and when threatened, some vegetables. She doesn’t do any juice except for Boost Juice Apple/Orange/Celery, and doesn’t eat any fruit apart from apples and watermelons. Is she a fussy eater? Hell, yeah! She wouldn’t even TRY a new food by the mere look of it.

She’s a right bossy-boots and orders every one around in our household except me. Dare she! She bullies her sister and throws her weight in every corner of this home. She is in her Terrible Twos, now Threes and I will cut her some slack but slowly and surely, the cane will come out soon on this little terror. She is VERY cheeky, mischievous, devious, cunning, evil and a horror and people will not believe it for her cute demeanour but believe you me, ask Uncle Ben, ask Nana, ask us who’ve known her for what she is and they will tell you.

Already at this age, when you ask her for a favour, it depends on her mood. But when she wants something from you, suddenly, she is ever soooooooooooooooo sweet, smiling at you, cuddling and saying sweet nothings to you till you find out that she is building up her points so she can watch Barney on TV. Because she will lie her head on me after 10 minutes of cuddling and telling me she loves me SO much and then whisper, “Mama, can I please watch Barney?” with the sweetest smile ever. And when I say no, there will be a deep breath and a huff. She will then leave me and walk angrily away.

The poor girl hasn’t had 5% of what T1 had when T1 was growing up (all the enrichment classes, Mommy’s 500% attention, Mommy’s home cooked dishes all the way, travelling everywhere….) BUT she thrives. She’s still generally a happy kid, grumpy a lot of the times and pouty (I was told I was like that as a toddler!) but what to do? Circumstances dictate and I try to give as much as I can! And if you need to compare, she HAS had the one-to-one personal attention of a Nanny. Two! They were both very smart, educated ladies, strong and savvy in the ways of the world and they both contributed loads to T2. For that, I will forever be grateful. And nannies, if you’re reading this, we bloody miss you!

T2 speaks well, she can write and draw, but more importantly, she’s crazy hilarious just like her sister. She may be a tad reserved when it comes to strangers or even people whom there is no familiarity with but given time (and the right kind of person), she will warm up. Having not been to school and having had no interaction with other kids apart from her crazy sister, she surprised me by talking to a performing Clown last weekend! My girl, who would usually just turn away when strangers spoke to her (and mind you, she still does; we haven’t identified if it is undue shyness or just plain snobby!), actually looked into the Clown’s eyes and told him she wanted a Butterfly Balloon. She even requested for it to be PINK! That’s 2 sentences to someone she’s met for the first time, yo!

Above, T2 struts her stuff at her future school. We’re just waiting to see, which kid will cause the Principal to call us in first……one thing my girls aren’t lacking in, that’s attitude. And I’m not necessarily proud of it.

But T2, she’s come a long way. Despite her devilishness, and believe me, she really makes us palpitate, shout our lungs out, get SOOOOOO close to flushing her down the toilet or flinging her out of the window, we still love her to no end. All three of us. Even T1, who always gets into trouble caused by her sneaky, devious nightmare sister. We just LOVE this little munchkin, for at the end of the day, she’s still a part of us and I know that there is a good heart just waiting to surface one day. One day……..

Hopefully sooner than later, T2!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, OUR PRECIOUS MONKEY DUDU!!!

“Actually Ben, are they both Monkey Dudu’s?”

Foul language from my toddler

We’re not exactly Saints in this household so to hear the Hubs say the F word and Shut Up and Asshole and Stupid and Idiot etc etc etc is not uncommon. I have been warning him to mind his foul mouth but it falls on deaf ears as he has a temper.

T1 is very good because she knows the bad words from the good and refrains from saying any bad words or phrases but T2? I’ve heard her say Dammit and Shut Up, but lately, she has been spewing out the following phrases whenever she gets angry:

Wingardium Leviosa!

How DARE you say that??!!!

You LIAR!!!

O_o

For the longest time, I’d been meaning to tell the Hubs off for causing this upon my child but because I saw so little of him already and old age causes short memories, it had not happened yet. I certainly don’t say those things, so she must’ve learnt it from him!

And then suddenly one day, I heard those exact phrases from the Harry Potter DVD she was watching and BANG! That is exactly where she’s picked it up from and since that day, all the Harry Potter DVD’s went out the window. Damage control.

Watching The Dark Knight 2012 with T2

We’ve had it with watching a movie with T2. Today we watched The Dark Knight 2012. When we brought her to watch The Avengers several months ago, it was her first movie ever and she managed to sit through the entire movie. When we came out of it, the Hubs and I thought we’d struck the lottery now that the kids could both watch movies with us but weeks later, every single movie or play/musical we’d brought her to ended up with her wanting to leave. She’d whine and moan and start crying and whinging and then start screaming till one of us REALLY had to leave with her. We have wasted just under RM500 because of this as we’d bought tickets for her every single time and every single time she bailed out on us. Today was one such day. We made a deal with her that if she could last the whole movie, we’d buy her chocolate!!! She said OK. *rolls eyeballs*

We watched The Dark Night 2012 and within 20 minutes, she’d already got into her “I’m very scared!!!” mode. Le sigh…...

Thus the Hubs angrily brought her out and as soon as T1 and I finished 3 hours of The Dark Knight 2012, he’d already bought another ticket for himself to watch it himself again!!! We have promised ourselves that we will NOT bring T2 to ANY more movies, musicals, plays, shows, ANYTHING!!! Especially when it costs money!!!

 

Young Explorer’s Kids Gym at 1 Mont Kiara

Recently we discovered a great place for toddlers to spend an afternoon running around and burning up lots of energy for a few hours and that was at the Young Explorer’s Kid’s Gym at 1 Mont Kirar Mall in Mont Kiara. I’ve been there a few times for parties but I never knew there was a toddler area, or rather a gym, that was suitable for toddlers. It was the perfect place for a play date.

Entry fee was I think RM12 and you could play for as long as you liked provided there wasn’t a class going on.

On that day, T2 went to play with her best friend, Daania……

They started with the balnacing bar but it wasn’t high enough for T2, the dare devil.

Soon after, she was attempting the high balance bar. My heart was on high alert as she didn’t want anyone to hold her hands!

She then proceeded to the rings….

Then she and Daania had a game of running around in circles for about 50 rounds until Daania’s Mom and I were dizzy. They were also carrying these little coloured bean bags whilst they ran……I really wonder what the joy is in running in circles. o_o

After that, she went on the swinging bar and instinctively knew how to swing on it!

Born to be a monkey.

Balancing Beams……

And finally, rolling the barrel that was much larger than she was. After a few hours, it was time to go home but the little minx did not want to leave.

So I put her inside the barrel…..Ooooo……what has Mama done?

She tries to climb out without success.

Then starts yelling…..

And finally admits defeat.

Did I tell you I was Queen in this household?

Baby in Stockings

Well, one side anyway……OMG, T2……what have you done to my mirrors with those dirty fingers!!!!????? And where have those fingers beennnnnnnnn?????????????? OMG!!!

This girl, she’s such a girly girl. She loves dressing up and posing…….It’s definitely not from me. *turns to look at the Hubs*

And then she stripped her stocking off!

I’m telling you. It ain’t from me.

T2′s Play

When I came home one day, this was what I found. 2 designer seats in front, 3 plastic seats at the back with 3 passengers all cramped up in the middle seat. Supermarket trolley behind and bags on the floor.

Quick everyone. Guess what T2 was playing???

Scaredy Cat Toddler for once!

My fearless toddler finally found her Achille’s Heel.

She is afraid of drills and the sound of drills.

LOUD DRILLS!!!

As Daddy fixed the CCTVs at our home one day, the little one ZOOMED for cover under the lanai table with fear in her eyes. Real fear.

Too cute.

But after I explained to her that it was only a drilling noise, something Daddy was working on with his drill, she let out a smile………but still stayed under the table until Daddy finished his drilling.

One thing I’ll give the Hubs, he’s an absolute genius when it comes to anything household. When he drills, he has an envelope taped in such a way to the surface so that any drill dust that flies from the plaster ceiling (or wherever) goes STRAIGHT into the envelope. Something he designed himself – genius or what?! That’s what you call no mess drilling, yo!

The Hair Band Shop

Sometimes, I leave the girls with the Hubs and go out for a breather. Every Mom needs that!

It’s easy for the Hubs because they are generally well behaved with him around and he doesn’t give a toss about the finer details in raising children.

One day when I came home, I saw this and started yelling because I have stated time and time and again that they needed to CLEAN UP after they finished playing. Nobody was in the room but when I started yelling, T1 stayed away for good measure and T2 came running in to check what the commotion was about……

It was obvious that there were little people jumping on the mattresses too when I have always said NO JUMPING ON THE BED. Why? Because someone has actually jumped and knocked her head on the wall before, that’s why.

Then with her cute, squeaky voice, “That is my hair band shop, Mama…..”

How not to love.

Toddler Writing Alphabets

Thanks to my Nanny, T2 can now write her alphabets, not that it matters because she would have learnt it one fine day anyway. But it’s still a nice thing to WOW her with as she gets ever so excited every time she writes an alphabet or draws something to show us. The small alphabets are not written by her by the way…..only the big ones.

She is still struggling with her phonics though because there is no one now to teach it to her thus I cannot decide if I should bother or not. She will turn three this August. T1 started reading at 3.5 years old and that is considered relatively early. It really doesn’t matter though whether your child starts reading at 3 or 8 because everyone will eventually learn to read! What DOES matter though is if you push your child to read at 3 when she isn’t ready because then you would be wasting a lot of time and your child would be missing out on all the other things that she is supposed to be doing at 3. Some children can readily read at 3, some at 8. Neither means the child is smarter. No way.

So should I bother teaching phonics to T2? T1 learnt her phonics from school but now T2 isn’t schooling……

I honestly don’t care so much whether she can read or not but I really did enjoy T1′s early reading journey because it saved me a lot of time and although I still would read to her, her reading journey had a head start. She’s read the entire Harry Potter series and a few classics but now I’m making her take a step back to re-read all her books more critically. Even the Famous Five series since English at school is now more challenging, and it has helped as through reading, she is now making cross references to her writing work at school.

Today, she was asked to write a play for English. It sounded challenging to me but she said it would be easy because she has read scripts before. Huh? Really?

If Nanny hadn’t taught T2 to write, she wouldn’t know how to write. So that’s one thing taken care of! Who will teach her her phonics then???

We cannot even decide when to send her to school. Oh, I’m just so lazy…..

Fearless Kids

Fearless kids are kids with guts and balls of steel. I have a fearless kid. Her name is T2. She jumps from heights that she isn’t supposed to. She walks on bars that are high and she does foolish stunts that she isn’t supposed to. Needless to say, she has lots of accidents. Lots more than T1 ever did. Lots!

She is a stress bomb, I tell ya! All warnings fall on deaf ears, I kid you not. Even after a fall, she’d go right back up to try again. What do I do with this kid???

Sashimi for Babies

How many of you have babies who love sashimi? Sashimi for babies 101 coming up. If you do not want to spend oodles of money investing in top grade sashimi (several portions at that per time because my baby loves sashimi so much that she can eat all of 10 pieces at a go and if we don’t order several portions, well, nobody else will get to eat any sashimi), then do NOT introduce sashimi to your baby. Ever.

For a good 20 years of my life, I never touched sashimi because the idea of raw fish? EWE. Besides, when we were growing up, eating Japanese food was a luxury that didn’t happen often. We would go to a Japanese restaurant once or twice a year???

It was only when I met the Hubs that I really started eating sashimi. And then grew to like it. Ouch. I remember having big sashimi cravings when I was pregnant yet wasn’t allowed to touch it. I think though after the first trimester I did have some for the wrath of greed.

Then for some reason, my kids liked it too! They will readily vote for Japanese food when asked. They’d order chawan mushi, salmon sashimi and grilled fish or beef. T1 also likes the Japanese fried rice.

Sashimi for babies is really not recommended for digestive risks but I think it’s OK once your child is above 2 years old and has proven to have a strong stomach without allergy problems. My girls eat us to the poor house. They really do. Last month our food bill alone was a shocking RMxxxx (way out of how much we want to spend on food!) but to be fair, we had guests from Australia so paying for a large group sometimes naturally added up.

Above, my cheeky monkey with a piece of her favourite food. Sashimi for babies, anyone?

Playing Mommy

Already at 2.5 years old, I can tell that T2 will be a great Mommy.

Here, she took her baby in a sling all around town visiting places (the train station, the hotel, the school, the supermarket, the temple, the Nana’s house, the shopping mall) and chatted to her baby the whole time.

Doesn’t that make a great Mommy???

Dancing Kids

One of T2′s favourite pastimes is to dance. She’s got good rhythm and can even sing in tune. Apart from playing with her toys, reading her books, watching Harry Potter and playing with her sister, she also makes requests to blast the music so she can dance.

She really loves dancing!

It all began when our dear British Nanny, Hayley, started this dancing trend.

They would play this hip Christmas CD over and over again till one day, I’d had enough and gave them a pop CD instead. Gosh, those tunes are still ringing in my head whenever I look at photos of T2 dancing…..

Of course, T1 would be the brain behind any form of choreography moves and T2 would happily follow blindly…….

You know, maybe we should have a weekly 1 hour dancing session and Mama should join in. Just so I get my 1 hour workout THAT DAY!!!

Good plan???

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