Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ups and Downs

I'm not talking about my mood here, but the challenges at the daycare he he he...These past two weeks even the teacher said that there've been quite challenging kids. I mean, those kids who didn't use to give any trouble have now been acting out. I guess it's just a phase in their development. I'm still having trouble trying to control them, so THANK GOD the teacher is always ready to help out in disciplining them. My brain and mouth coordination is still rather slow, so I have to learn from watching her discipline them and try to remember so that next time something similar happens, I can act more quickly.

I've also had a little talk with the teacher when the kids were outside. She asked me if I had problems and I mentioned to her about how some of them didn't seem to obey my words. She said that it was normal 'coz they were all in the phase where they loved challenging adults to find out their boundaries. I just had to continue trying to discipline them and never give in. She also gave me some tips on how to deal with them. COOL!!!

Other than that, though, today I got a nice surprise 'coz when I first arrived, one boy ran towards me and hug me! What's surprising was that I had always felt that he was the toughest one to get close to. The first few times we were together there, it seemed that he was rather "cold" to me - not really cold, but keeping some distance. So I wasn't really expecting a hug from him, though I wouldn't be surprised getting hugs from some other kids.

I'm looking forward to this week's long weekend 'coz then I have time to complete my small project. I've been browsing for some homemade games that I can bring to the classroom and I haven't had enough time or energy to complete it 'coz it's been snowing a lot and I cleaned up the snow on Sunday and also yesterday.

Funny thing was that time flies SO fast when I'm busy outside. On Sunday I was outside for almost 2 hours!!! I guess in a way it didn't feel like a long time 'coz it was cold, so I didn't feel that I was sweating, though in actuality I did sweat a lot. That's also one reason why I haven't been doing any Taebo or Zumba lately. I've had enough exercise already he he he he...It's good in a way that I can eat more without worrying about any weight gain HO HO HO HO HO...I'm a food lover, so you know how happy I am to be able to eat more! :-D

I'll blog-hop later. Right now I need to eat and then cook and continue reading a Finnish chicklit (my third novel!!!).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cabin Trip March '10

On Friday when I got back to work, I "worked" again in the yard by cleaning up some snow. Just as I was about to finish, R2 came back from work, so we packed our bags and left to the cabin after dropping by at a supermarket to buy some stuff. Silly thing was that we forgot to buy some hamburgers. UUURRRGGGHHHHH...Good thing my MIL had some bread and we did bring some sausages with us. R2 went to the cabin first to warm it up, then came back and the three of us played cards until around 9.30 pm.

By that time, it was already dark outside, but there was full moon, so we brought a flashlight to help us walk to the cabin (it's around 300 metres away from the house). The trouble was that due to my FIL's Alzheimer's, he couldn't clear up the path to the cabin, so we had to walk through thick snow to get there and we had to get past the frozen lake. In some parts, one leg of mine alternately sanked so deep into the snow (about knee-deep), but I managed to yank it out. The result was when we arrived in the cabin, I got snow inside my boots ha ha ha ha ha...

To get the idea of what we had to deal with, let me show you with pictures that I took when we walked back to the house yesterday.

1st pic: The cabin and the snow surrounding it. We had that sledge with us to make it easier to bring our stuff there.

2nd pic: The path we took across the frozen lake.

3rd pic: The hole in the ice R2 made the night before to get some water to use in the cabin's sauna.

4th pic: More tracks we made across the frozen lake.

5th pic: The other side. Notice the ends of the two poles there? It shows how deep the snow is.

6th pic: This photo was taken in July 08. I only wanted to show one of the pole and how tall it should be. I know this pic doesn't give the right proportion, but still you can imagine how thick the snow is in the pic above 'coz you can only see the ends of the poles.

7th pic: Here's another photo from a different angle. Taken in August 08.

8th pic: Ready to go back to the house with our stuff in the sledge.

9th pic: Deep tracks in the snow.

10th pic: Reindeer tracks.

11th pic: R2 dragging the sledge with him. Behind him was a neighbour who went cross-country skiing.

12th pic: The sledge was really helpful! :-D

All in all it was a beautiful cabin trip as usual he he he he...;-D We went to bed at around 1 am 'coz we got to the cabin rather late and then we first ate bread and sausages while listening to some music on the radio (portable radio operated with batteries 'coz there's no electricity in the cabin) and then we went to the sauna.

OK, now I've gotta cook and in the evening snow job is waiting again 'coz it's been snowing since last night or this morning, so there's a pile of snow outside already. I'll blog-hop later this week.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tears of Joy

*cross-posted with my IF blog - modified a little*

A few weeks ago hubby was rearranging some stuff in our living room cabinets. He was moving some stuff when he decided to browse through our wedding album again. He had a joyful, sentimental smile on his face while he leafed through the album and then he said, "Oh look, what a cute girl!"

He leafed through some more pages and said with a cheeky smile, "Lucky bastard!" (referring to himself jokingly)

I smiled, too...after he finished browsing through the album, he came towards me (who was at that time lying down on our soft, comfortable sofa-bed) and hugged me and said "I love you" in such a way that made my heart flutter.

I couldn't help the tears from flowing. It was a LONG journey for us until we could be together as husband-and-wife and we've managed to kick IF in the butt by not letting it go between us and our love. With tears free-flowing on my cheeks, I hugged him, kissed him, and said, "I love you too. Look where are are now! I can't believe it's over 10 years ago when we first got in touch with each other through the internet."

He let me go, looked me in my eyes, wiped my tears, and said, "Don't cry!"

I replied, "But these are tears of joy. I'm just happy!"

We hugged and kissed some more...moments like these are really precious...Looking back at what we've gone through to reach this point has made me realized how ABUNDANT God's blessings have been for us. And my heart is full of gratitude...because I have my beloved, precious hubby with me.

I knew I loved him before I met him...I hope we can keep growing closer to each other as time goes by NO MATTER WHAT comes our way.

Monday, March 22, 2010

3BT: Random Days

1. Had a short conversation with two strangers that I passed by on my way to the daycare. It felt GOOD to chit-chat with strangers - something I had NEVER done before in my entire life! ;-D GO ME!!!

2. Running into this guy that worked in the city hall when I was working at the library. This guy has always had a smile on his face and it's always a PLEASURE to meet him. One time I even started a conversation with him on my way back home from the daycare. :-D

3. Hubby bought chili dip to eat with chips 'coz he knows how much I love chili. Honey, you're THE BEST!

4. Making funny faces with some of the "little people" in the daycare and playing Play Doh with them. It's FUN to play and be playful! :-d

5. This upcoming Friday we're planning on a "passion getaway" (read: a cheap getaway) to the cabin. Can't wait for it!!!

6. My colleagues said that I had done a good job in playing with the kids. --- though I know I can't do some things as well as they do (due to language limitations), but at least I know I've done something right and I'm thankful for their verbal confirmation.

7. Warm milk tea with honey on a cold day.

8. Having a good, reliable second-hand bike (esp. 'coz I can't drive) - it's very handy when I need to buy groceries and I can put them in the bags behind me (esp. 'coz now we live a little bit farther away from the city centre compared to our ex-apartment).

9. Hubby - for putting up with me after all this time, for being SO patient, for never pushing the wrong buttons in me, for making me like myself more when I'm with him.

10. Holding hands with hubby EVERY SINGLE TIME we watch something together - this habit still continues until now. :-D

11. Today when I said goodbye to everybody, a little girl jumped onto me to give me a hug (I knelt down right away when I realized she wanted to do that) and another boy jumped over and another one followed suit. I toppled over backward and managed to make a table shift over at least 10 cm away due to the kids' attack HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...but it made my heart SO warm! :-D

12. Seeing an older boy helping the youngest girl with her zipper. If I were his Mom, I'd have felt SO proud of him - he's so helpful even without being asked! :-D

A Mother's Instinct

While blog-hopping, I came upon a blog idea he he...When I was in High School, we went to Bali on buses and then a ferry. On the way there, our bus had an accident. Apparently the driver was sleepy, so our bus hit a car. I don't remember anymore what had happened, but it was surely rather serious, 'coz the car was small and our bus was HUGE. If I remember correctly, the car driver and passengers had to be taken to a hospital.

At that time most of us were sleeping 'coz it was such a LONG way from Bandung to Surabaya, but the noise woke us up. We didn't really feel the impact of the collision 'coz it was a huge bus, but we heard people talking outside and the bus had stopped moving for a while. In each bus there was at least one teacher, so we didn't have to deal with anything.

The bus driver had to go, so there was a LONG delay while we waited for the bus company to send another bus driver to drive us to Bali. We were supposed to arrive in the hotel in the evening (or late evening), but we finally arrived at around 3 am.

The next day, the students wanted to call their parents, so we all went to phone kiosks and we queued to be able to contact our families. Back then there were no mobiles yet in Indo, so we had to do it. I couldn't talk too long with my Mom 'coz there was a long line of students behind me, but when I told Mom about the accident, she said, "Oh, no wonder I was SO restless and I couldn't sleep well. I could only fall asleep after around 3 am."

Coincidence? Probably a mother's instinct he he he he...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Project Olaf: Olaf's Adventures

Let's continue Olaf's adventure today before I have to let him go tomorrow. For those of you who don't know what it's all about, you can go here:

Here's my first post on Olaf: Olaf's Here!

Yesterday evening I took Olaf to sauna 'coz going to sauna is such an important tradition in Finland. Olaf thinks sauna is a cool invention, especially considering how long the winter is up here.

Then I let him try our new relaxing sofa while watching R2 play Wii World of Goo. It's a puzzle game, so it's safe for Olaf to watch.

Olaf got more and more comfortable and he got rather sleepy, so I let him sleep there. :-D

This morning when Olaf woke up, the sun was shining brightly and he wanted to know the temperature. Only -5'C and it's much warmer under the sun. Hmmm...what shall we do today? Olaf asked me.

He ran upstairs 'coz he wanted a grand tour of the house.

Here's what Olaf saw from upstairs he he he...

After showing him the bedrooms, he was curious to see this small(ish) door, so I had to show him what it was.

Whoops...there's another door there! :-D's a cool storage room. :-D Most of the stuff here belongs to the ex-home owners, which will get them later in summer. :-D This storage room is pretty handy. :-D

Today Olaf also met a Finnish doll and they had quite an interesting chat about different topics. :-D

They became fast friends and they wanted me to take a pic of them. :-D

"I'll never forget you," the doll said to Olaf. Olaf replied, "Me, neither!"

Then I took Olaf out to take him sliding on a snowy "hill". Olaf was a bit scared at first, but he was also excited!!!!

WHOOOPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! That was exciting!!! :-D

After sliding down the snowy hill over and over again, Olaf helped me clean up the snow from the yard. Today there wasn't too much snow, but yesterday it snowed the whole day that there was at least 10-15 cm of snow on the ground by the time I went out to clean it.

What an interesting day! Now Olaf is resting for a while to prepare himself for another adventure when he arrives at Henny's place. So long,'s been nice hosting you and it's hard letting you go 'coz he's such a WONDERFUL bear, but Daniella needs you more than we do! So have a safe trip around the world until you reach Daniella, Olaf!!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Project Olaf: Olaf Is Here!

Went to get Olaf from the PO yesterday. For those of you who don't know what it's all about, you can go here:

The only correction I'd make about the post above is that Olaf will go to Daniella in USA. She's a one-year-old girl suffering from Nuetropenia. Click on the link to read more about that disorder.

For those of you who pray, please also help pray for Daniella. Here are some pics I've taken with Olaf, taking him for a little adventure he he...I'm gonna take more pics with Olaf before I send him on his way on Monday. :-D

First pic: Olaf was a bit shy at first 'coz he was confused where he was. He was peeping out of his box when he first arrived.

2nd pic: I introduced myself and lured him out of his shyness he he he...

3rd pic: He was such a warm bear that he let me hold him right away! HA HA HA...

4th pic: Look what we have here, Olaf! A little souvenir for you from Finland! :-D

5th pic: Olaf perched on top of a CD tower with his new souvenir from Finland. :-D

6th pic: Taken this morning. Olaf was amazed that it was snowing outside and he couldn't believe his eyes to see so much snow still on the ground. Good thing he had his sweater on, so he wasn't cold. I only let him sit there for a little while 'coz I didn't want him to freeze. :-D

7th pic: R2 got his birthday presents today and the wire puzzle was one of them. He was showing Olaf how to untangle it. He managed to solve the puzzle in just a few minutes. UGH!!! It was WAY too easy for him he he...

OK, now I'm going to enjoy R2's birthday by spending time with him...I'll blog-hop perhaps tomorrow or later tonight. Enjoy your weekend, people!!!

P.S. dNeero is live and about again! YAAAYYY!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

25 Degrees of Separation

Monday was quite a day. I woke up and the thermometer showed -30'C. I knew it'd be MUCH warmer during the day when I got back home from work, so I decided to ride my bike to work. It was such a STRUGGLE. My bike and my legs felt so stiff and it was hard to breathe properly. I had to stop A LOT on the way. The trip that usually took around 10-15 minutes stretched to 20-22 minutes. Phew!

When it was time for me to go home, the sun was shining beautifully and the temperature was around -5'C. It's kinda crazy sometimes 'coz I had to dress up really well in the morning, but when I rode my bike home, I felt hot, hot, hot he he...

I've been racking my brain to think of some simple activities for kids to try at the daycare.
I've been racking my brain to think of some simple activities for kids to try at the daycare. I printed out some coloring pages and also some "find the differences" games, though the "find the differences" game is more suitable for the older kids rather than the smaller ones. I tried giving the older ones this type of game and it went pretty well - I only had to help a little bit by giving some clues. :-D

I've also brought some of my origami pieces to class, but I haven't managed to teach the kids how to do it - I've only managed to teach two adults how to do it and I also leave the instructions there. I know some of them are probably too hard for the young kids and even perhaps the older ones, but at least one adult is planning to teach the kids in the other classrooms (6-7 years old) how to make paper cranes. :-D

Working in a daycare makes me realize even more what a HUGE responsibility and honour it is to be near kids - whether you're the parent or teacher or daycare worker. Every day is different 'coz the number of kids each day is different. Every day there are a combination of different moments: sad ones (sometimes it happens when one parent drops a child off and the child wants to cling on him/her), funny ones, enlightening ones, challenging ones, frustrating ones, relaxing ones, chaotic ones.

Anyway, I want to go to the cabin sometime, but not sure when. We'll see. I wrapped up R2's gift a few days ago and showed it off to make him curious (he can only open it on Sat). He said I was cruel HA HA HA HA HA...ahem...on Saturday we'll also buy some flowers for MIL 'coz yesterday was her 66th birthday. :-D

I'll blog-hop later I'm a bit sleepy he he...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

3BT: Random Days

1. Hubby called me to find out where I was. Note: I had a call from a friend who needed my help ASAP, so I went to her place right after work and didn't have time to tell R2 about it. 'Coz I always got back home straight from work, he was confused where I could be and he was worried about me hi hi hi...

2. TEMPEH!!!!!!!!!!! Oh glorious tempeh!!! THANK YOU to my friend's Mom who brought me some frozen tempeh from the UK when she came here for a visit.

3. Having fun chit-chatting with my friend and her Mom who visited me while bringing my tempeh HO HO HO HO...

4. Cooking the said tempeh yesterday and today - I gave yesterday's tempeh for my in-laws. Today's tempeh I cooked with garlic, sweet soy sauce, coriander, lemongrass, tamarind, salt, pepper, and chili seeds.

5. When I let MIL guess what it was just by looking at it, she thought it was something made out of rice HI HI HI HI HI...and she liked it! :-D

6. Having fun trying out different forms of origami - some of which I had learnt years back but forgotten, some others I've only begun trying now. It's really therapeutic!

7. Finally R2 was impressed with one type of origami that I made he he he...

8. Dealing with the kids at the daycare makes me appreciate my parents in a whole new level 'coz they'd had to put up with us (esp. since I was such a naughty child).

9. Eating tempeh with warm rice this morning and enjoying EVERY single bite of it...mmmhhh...

10. Excitement 'coz I want to try making my own tempeh in summer (I have the tempeh starter now WHOOOPPEEE!!!) - hopefully there are hot days he he he...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Piano Lessons

When my Dad was a kid, his family was poor. My Dad was the second child out of six siblings. The fourth sibling, my aunt, has always wanted to learn how to play the piano, but she just couldn't afford buying one for a LONG time. I suppose she also didn't take any piano lessons 'coz it would be hard to practise without having a piano at home.

She became a full-time career woman and took some language courses and got a job in Jakarta. Her diligence, perseverance, and brain enabled her to go on a trip to Europe with her own money and buy a house on credit in Jakarta. In one workplace, her boss sent her to New Zealand to study something (I forgot what it was). I think when she was around 40 years old, finally she found an second-hand piano and at last she could start taking piano lessons that she had been dreaming of since she was a kid.

I remember one time she visited us in Bandung and she showed us her newly acquired skills on my brother's organ. I was very impressed at how fast she learnt to play the piano (she played simple songs, but she made very few mistakes). It was clear that she had been practising a lot on her own daily 'coz no matter how brilliant the person who gave her piano lessons, if she didn't do anything at all at home, her fingers would be stiff and she wouldn't remember how to play the songs.

What happened to the piano? Unfortunately it had to be sold 'coz she had to move to Canada to be with her husband - she found a husband (she had never been married before) at the age of 49 years old. :-)))

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kids and Their Potential

I must say that after helping out at the daycare for almost 2 weeks now, it's been quite an experience. Every day is different and sometimes in the mornings everything can be pretty quiet, but then something happens during the day - there've been wonderful moments, fun times, heartwarming moments as well as exasperating ones. Dealing with little humans is definitely TOUGH, esp. 'coz some kids can't get along well if they're put together in the same room - it's understandable given their different personalities, but they have to learn to behave and control themselves so that they can live in harmony with other people later on.

Today there was a little fight between two boys and one of them cried. The guilty one apologized and the other one accepted the apology in between sobs and watery eyes. I was amazed at how easily the crying boy accepted the apology...and it reminded me of my own childhood where I held grudges so easily due to my sensitive nature - what a difference!

But then again everybody is different and they have different "weaknesses" to handle. Some kids at the daycare are so easy to handle. They never give us any problems and they cooperate very well to the schedule. Some are tougher to handle and that makes me realize even more how VERY HARD it is to raise kids (not just feeding them). You've gotta know each of their personalities and you've gotta know how to handle each of them. I've been a bit tired this week 'coz I have to learn to know when to be "strict" and when to be "less strict" with them (I'm still confused where the line is). It's easier to deal with the kids one-on-one, but once they're playing together, anything can happen!

It's not easy for me to learn to be strict and I'm still lousy at it. I don't know why but when I tried being stern to stop them from playing around too much, even when I gave them my stern stare and I didn't smile along when they kept on playing around, they didn't obey me as well as they obeyed my colleagues. Crazy thing was that I told R2 about this problem and I showed him my stern stare, but it only made him laugh like crazy. GRRRRRRRRRRR...He said I was too sweet to look stern. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR...
in other cases I'd consider that a compliment, but this would be problematic if I can't make them feel that I have some authority there. But anyway, I'm learning the art of being strict bit by bit ha ha ha ha ha...

I remember when I was a private English tutor, one day I got a problematic student who just didn't want to cooperate. When I asked him to read some text or do his tasks, he'd just smile at me playfully and disobey me. After some time, their parents decided to put him into a kind of language course 'coz I just couldn't handle the brat well enough to make him do what I wanted him to do.

One thing I realize even more from this training is that each child has different potential. I met one boy who wowed me yesterday 'coz he could create VERY creative and complex Lego "star ships" (without looking at any guidebook whatsoever - he just did it on his own in the playroom and he shared his creations with other kids). He's either almost 7 y.o. or he's already 7 years old. I went speechless when I saw his creations. I myself, even now, can't imagine making creations like that with Lego pieces. It's just beyond me...

I was talking to my colleague about this and she said that the boy's grandpa loved creating stuff and he'd been showing the grandson how to create stuff when they spent time together. I understand where it all came from...he's probably gifted in that area (3D), but he's also got plenty of exercise with his grandpa. I can actually imagine him in the future, creating real 3D stuff - either buildings or sophisticated planes or whatever. I remembered to give him a compliment on his skills today (yeah, this is also something I'm learning to say to each kid after they do something well). I hope he realized that I really meant what I said. :-D

Anyway, that's the update about my training. I'm gonna blog-hop later this week.

Monday, March 08, 2010

3BT: Random Days

1. Hearing this conversation between a 4-year-old and a 5-year-old while they were flipping over the pages of a toy brochure:

5yo: "I want this kind of toy."
4yo: "Me too! I also want it, too."
5yo: "But I said it first!"
4yo: "But anyone can buy it from the store."
5yo went silent after that...

LOLLLLL!!! GREAT argument, 4-year-old! :-D

2. Having a one-on-one conversation with a 5,5-year-old boy and we had great fun. It was great that he responded to me well and he even gave me elaborated answers and he showed me the kinds of things he could do.

3. R2's birthday present is ready - actually several small, inexpensive gifts and today I found the rest of them while browsing in a store. All I need to do now is wrap them in one package and put it somewhere where R2 can see so that he'll be CURIOUS HA HA...(P.S. His bday is March 20th).

4. We've booked the final plane tickets and a hotel for our 7-day trip to Crete next month and I've also told my boss and the unemployment office about this, so all we need to do is pack and leave next month HO HO HO HO HO...

5. Planning to eat some cappuccino ice-cream later this evening - after I cleaned up some snow from the yard (yes, it snowed again today for a while) and I also did some Taebo, though not too rigorously.

6. Enjoying my training and being with the kids and getting to know them.

7. I've been pretty successful in battling negative, criticizing thoughts and being my own best friend and life couldn't be better! :-D

8. I've finished reading the third Finnish novel and now I have to choose another book to read. WHOOOPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

9. I still have a stack of Finnish novels/books to read 'coz weeks ago I found cheap ones at the library and also at the flea market HO HO HO HO HO...LOVELY!!!

10. Having a hubby whom I can give a massage to after he cleared up plenty of snow from the roof and he was experiencing some back pain.

11. Having wonderful coworkers who guide me gently and who set good examples for me to copy ('coz sometimes I don't know how to handle a situation).

12. Having a smart, thoughtful, and loving MIL. She gave me some baking tips and then she said, "I hope you're not angry that I'm giving you tips. I'm sure you'll be an excellent cook/baker after you do lots of experiments."

13. A bottle of pine tree smell for sauna that I bought. I LOVE its smell while we have sauna. :-D