Friday, 31 October 2008

Do not be fooled by this little boy.. He is whining not because he is afraid.. He is whining because he DOES NOT want to be HELD!!! He seriously thinks that he can float by himself!!!

I really hope he can swim well very soon, otherwise he will feel frustated! Haha..

Rainy Season..

Waking up to the fog in the morning..
Sleeping with the sound of the rain at night..
Shutting down all electrical appliances when thunders and lightnings strike..
Placing umbrellas in the car, on the porch, in the bag..
Wearing rubber sandals or sneakers where ever we go..
Flooded roads, muddy pathways..
Undried washings..
At the same time.. harvest time!
Longans.. Rambutans.. Mangoes.. Durians..
Well.. Welcome Rainy Season..

-31 October 2008-

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Aza wants to do a DIVE!

Get Along Times..

I know that kids need to learn to work out their differences and manage their emotions, but I always love it best when they get along well together...

Aza's first creation..

These do not look much yet.. but he did these completely on his own.. So, I think he deserves the credit to be put in this blog..

Very soon, I will create a blog for each Ariq and Aza, before they can manage their own-made (which I am sure will look much better than this one!)

Way to go, Boys!

Ariq's poodle

We Looooovvveeeee Sunnies..



We may be small.. but we sure are good looking!!

Ariq and His Space Station

Not sure why he is holding the postcard from his Aunt Sinta as he is showing off his new space station.. maybe just because he loves both items the same way?? Hmm..

A Tower???

Ariq is still not sure of what this is, but I think this can be a 'lookout' tower, or a outer-space docking station??? What do you think?

Ariq's Fighter

High Hopes and Many Limitations

Hour by hour
Minute by minute
Second by second
They go by as I am staring at the screen..
Fingers on the keyboard..
Screensaver keeps coming and going as I move the mouse..

A sentence is typed.. then erased..
A phrase is typed.. then erased..
A word is typed.. then erased..
Idea by idea go pass my mind without any collaboration..
Story by story come and go without any continuation..
Poem by poem dance around my head without any rhyming line..

So many things going around in this world
Only a few that my senses can observe, let alone digest
I often wish I could capture all in my little mind
And understand the essence of events and incidents
And spread the wisdom I learn in meaningful forms
But I realise, I am just me.. with high hopes and many limitations..

-25 October 2008-

Friday, 24 October 2008

Ups and Downs of Motherhood..

I was waiting for the day when you stop breaking things around the house..

paintings on the walls..

missing laptop keyboard buttons..

broken speakers and stereo..

I was also waiting for the day when you start cleaning up your own things..

toys you spread around the TV room..

books you leave on the bed..

food and drink you spill on the floor..

But I am not ready for the day when you actually grow up..

i still want to cuddle you in the morning when you wake up..

i still want to listen to your child talk..

i still want to.. aahh so many cute things..

But I know, when the time comes, I have to let go..

-24 October 2008-

Show of Real Life

And he is running to the door saying, "Bye, Mum!"

And I speak loudly, "Have you finished your milk?"

As he shouts back with a cheeky smile, "I can't fit it in my tummy..",

I put a strict face with both arms on my waist

And he walks back, grunting, takes the mug and drink the milk in less than 10 seconds

Once he is gone, I let the big grin inside surface to my face..

And he is playing computer games after school

And I reminded him to take his nap, "Come on! Head on the pillow, please!"

As he crawles into bed and protests, "I'm not tired, I'm not sleepy.. I still want to play!"

I point at the pillow with a determined face, "If you are not asleep in 15 minutes, you will not be playing games for 2 days!"

And as soon as his head hits the pillow, his eyes are closed

Once he is fast asleep I exhale and smile..

And he is screaming loud, "I WANT MILK! I WANT MILK! I WANT MILK!"

And I look at him without a word.

As he stops screaming, he gives me a cheeky smile, "Can I have some milk please, Mum? I thought you didn't hear me."

I exhale, "Next time, try to speak nicely first!"

And as soon as he finishes the milk he looks at me with a big smile, "Can I play again now?"

Once he is out of my sight, I let out the laugh I've been holding..

Fuuuhhhhh... There must be an actress inside every mother

And every day is an episode of a TV series..

-24 October 2008

Thursday, 23 October 2008

The Colour BLUE..

People say BLUE.. when they are feeling sad
Because BLUE can seem unopened
Because BLUE can seem held back

People also say BLUE.. when they describe the sea
Because BLUE can seem wide
Because BLUE is calming

People use BLUE.. when they send present to newborn baby boy
Because BLUE is for boys
Because BLUE is considered the opposite of PINK

People also use BLUE.. when they want to show positivity
Because BLUE represents hope
Because BLUE is supposed to be motivating

So many interpretation of one colour.. interesting BLUE..

-14 October 2008-


As if they are from out of this world..

Strangers to us..

Sometimes even enemies of our lives..

We growl when we look at rising up grocery prices..

We shouted when we read our credit card statement..

We cry when our salary increase doesn't match price increase..

As if they could speak to some people.. called accountants..

They explain their logic..

And they set up their language..

They feel the bond..

They share the strange understanding of the world..

They live together in the state of perpetuality..

-21 October 2008-

P.S. Please don't shoot me.. I'm an accountant too..

The Lost Heritage ( III ) - Life Goes On

"Thank you, Sir! Please come again.."
Nyoman smiles as he pockets the US$20.00 from tourist he just did a silhouette art for, as he is walking back to his little seat in front of his tent on Kuta beach. This kind of money is not much, but at least he does not have problem with any patent holder in this kind of art.

He smiles again as he sees someone approaching, "Hey, Wayan! How are doing today?"

Wayan raises a thumb, "Great! There was a couple who were looking for an original sketch for their notepad wedding souvenir. They liked one of mine and bought the sketch for printing. The girl is a journalist, working for a magazine in Jakarta and she agrees to write about my sketches."

Nyoman claps his hands, "Congratulations!"

Wayan nods in respect, "Thanks. How about yourself?"

Nyoman smiles, "Quiet day for me, but, in the morning, I managed to start a sketch for a painting of the sunrise. I hope I can finish it in a few days, then I can sell it in Putu's gallery."

Wayan raises a thumb again, "Good for you! It's always a good break for you, everytime you sell a painting in Putu's gallery."

Nyoman nods, "Yes.. It still feels different from if we are running our workshops like our parents, but if this is what life requires from us for now, then we have to do it! Even if we are working our whole life, we might never achieve the amount we need to patent any of our designs, but at least we are still here.."

Wayan looks at the beautiful Kuta beach and then takes his eyes to the wide ocean in front of him. Nyoman follows Wayan's eyesight. They know that non-Balineses and non-Indonesians have been building hotels and restaurants on the island. They also know that non-Balineses and non-Indonesians have been bringing a part of their culture to stay in Bali, and sometimes they clash with or even eliminate local cultures. Now they also know that their arts have slowly changed 'ownerships' to people external to their island too. In the future, the beach, the sea and even the island itself, may change 'ownership' to other people..

This beautiful beach, this beautiful island are the very things that make each man born here have artistic mind and heart. Some business people out of the island have done things to change the lives of people who were innocent and pure in creating arts.

Balinese people are artists, they can and will always be artists as long as they live, and their arts will always be loved by other people. However, how we choose to respect them and their arts is what we need to reconsider, if we want them to exist longer..

-23 October 2008-

Dedicated to all Balinese people who are struggling with 'Patent' issues..

The Lost Heritage ( II ) - The World Is Upside Down

Five years has passed since Nyoman sat with his father on the workshop's porch..

Nyoman reads his mother's letter for the third time with wrinkles on his forehead, "Son, please do not tell your father that I sent you this letter. He has specifically told me not to burden you with this problem, but I believe that your final exams are over and soon you will come home and find out about everything. We haven't been able to sell anything overseas recently. They say it is because someone else has the right to sell it and we don't! I don't understand it, Nyoman! I saw when your grandfather created some of the designs and I saw your father when he created some too. How come they cannot sell their own designs? Their own paintings? Who would have the right to sell these paintings if not the artist themselves? What is happening, Nyoman? Please come home, Son, as soon as you can!"

Nyoman looks at the sky outside his dormroom window. He tries to focus his mind. Then he hears the knock on the door. Quickly he replies, "Come in!"

He saw Wayan, a Law student, one year younger than him, who still has one more year of study to go. Wayan stands at the door with uneasy look on his face, "I have to go home. I won't be coming back next year."

Nyoman shakes his head. This is the second surprise for the day, "What happened? Is your family alright?"

Wayan nods, "Their health is fine, but my father will not be able to support my study any longer. We never saw this coming and we are not prepared for this at all!"

Nyoman looks puzzled, "What's wrong?"

Wayan lets out a long sigh, "Somebody patented our designs, and now we cannot approach any buyers ourselves, while we don't even know who's holding the patent!"

Nyoman looks at Wayan in disbelief, "Is that what has been happening on this island? To all of us?"

Wayan nods, "Yes, and we cannot do anything about it! They have the money to patent our family designs and own the right to buy and sell our products, while we don't even have money to keep our kitchen smoking!"

Nyoman shakes his head, try to resist reality, "You are a Law student. You should have some idea how to overcome this problem.."

Wayan nods again, "Yes, go to court to fight for the patent with the help of a good lawyer to show proofs that the designs are rightfully ours, which will be costly! Or, just keep creating new ideas to sell and hope that somewhere in the process, we generate enough income and profit to save up to patent our designs, otherwise, be prepared to have our designs patented by other people over the time."

Nyoman lets out a heavy sigh, "That's too harsh! Especially for our elders.."

Wayan exhales and puts a sad smile, "If I could continue studying until I can open a practice, I would do something about this.. But, I need to go home and start working right away. I hope creativity can surface out of desperation.."

Nyoman nods as he smiles back sincerely, "I have to go home too. My family is in the same situation. I hope there are people who have good money and good heart at the same time, to help us bring the change to this situation, while we are struggling to keep our kitchen smoking!"

The Lost Heritage ( I ) - The Proud Past

Bali.. an island of arts.. where every body is an artist by birth..

'SANGGAR UNIK' (Unique Workshop) the sign board says on the workshop's front wall, next to the front door. The workshop is quiet at lunch break. The fresh sea breeze feels warm as Nyoman and his father sit on the workshop's porch facing each other, Nyoman on the floor and his father on his carved-root seat. From a distance, the sounds of traditional musical instruments are heard being played, must be from a music workshop.

Nyoman looked up at his father with bright-starry eyes, as his father was talking proudly, "You will be a better artist than myself, Son! As long as you are not lazy. Always try to improve your current skills and try to find new styles and methods. People always like something unique!"
Nyoman politely nods, "Yes, Father. I understand."

Father continues, "As you are my only son, soon you will inherit all these painting designs from me, which I inherited from your grandfather. These designs were created by my great-great-grandfather. These are our family treasures. If you treat them well, they will bring good life to you, as they have brought good life to me."

Nyoman nods again, "I will treat these designs as you have, Father."

Nyoman perfectly understand that generation-by-generation, his family has been living well on the sales of paintings. The designs of the paintings are unique and everyone in the village, or even in Bali would recognise them as his family's. He is as proud of the designs as his father is.

Father took a long-deep breath before concluding their conversation, "I am happy and proud of what you have achieved so far. You finished your high school well, and you have successfully learnt all the designs too. You may continue to University now, and when you finish, you will replace me to continue this workshop."

Nyoman exhales in relieve, "Thank you, Father. I am leaving for Denpasar next week to register at the University."

As his father nods in approval, Nyoman raised himself slightly from the floor where he is sitting facing his father. He took a step back politely, before excusing himself from the porch of the workshop where he always spends his time in whenever he is not busy with school work. He will leave this workshop and his house for a few years now, to his Fine Arts degree in University.

When he comes back, he will make this workshop even more successful than it is now. He will create more designs in the same style that his family always have, and he will invite more importers from overseas to introduce and purchase his work. He will make his father, the Balinese, and even Indonesians proud of him!

That was his dream and promise before he leaves his home..

Monday, 20 October 2008

The Sky Before Night Falls

Orange.. Red.. Brown..

That is how the sky changes colour before night falls

That is the sight that can make me forget the rush of the day

And slowly calms me down to the nightfall pace

Orange.. Red.. Brown..

If you happen to be sitting on the beach

You would be stilled by the movement of the sun surrounded by the colours

As if it was slowly descending beneath the ocean

Orange.. Red.. Brown..

If you happen to be standing on the top of the mountain

You would feel embraced by the colours as you hear the night creatures wake up

As if the world is transforming into a completely different realm

Orange.. Red.. Brown..

That is how the sky changes colour before night falls

It tells me that one more day of my life journey is gone

And it is time to look inside myself to reflect what I have done with it

-20 October 2008-

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

A Different Kind of Birthday

These are a few places where you can have a birthday with other kids who might appreciate the food more that our kids' classmates:

1. Disabled kids home:

Yayasan Sayap Ibu Bintaro

Jl. Cut Nyak Dien II FF no. 13, Sektor 6, Bintaro Jaya

Contact Person: Ibu Trusti 021-7450329 (care home) or 0812 960 9522 (mobile phone)

2. Orphan Activity Centre:

Jl. Haji Nawi, gang Haji Ahmad, Jakarta Selatan (near Pondok Indah Mall)

Contact Person: Ibu Bahidjah 021-7248446 (home) or 0816 139 7519 (mobile phone)

I will keep this list updated in the future.. so, for anyone who has a good place in mind, please let me know.. it does NOT have to be in Jakarta or Indonesia..

Thank you..

Chain of Care and Love..

Birthday celebration..

It is something that is very familiar for all kids around the world, and all parents always want to give something special for their kids on their kids birthday.. parties.. presents.. everything that comes to mind and wanted by the kids...

The way my parents brought me up (especially when I was little), made me think of something a little different to apply to my kids.. and I was touched.. very touched.. to see the result.

When my eldest son was turning 1, my mother suggested to take him to an orphanage and bring take away food to share with the kids there. I agreed right away.. we chose a close by 'home' which was owned and managed by a friend of my mother's. It was not a typical orphan home, but more like a afternoon activity centre (especially for Qur'an reading and basic religion teaching) for the kids. The orphans mostly were still living with their families/relatives, but their living and education costs were supported by sponsors.

Anyway.. we tried to explain to my son about the plan and he was excited.. and he was very very happy having his birthday with a lot of other kids and he enjoyed the feeling of sharing his favourite food with his new friends, although he received no present at all..

For his 2nd birthday, we were in Sultanate of Oman, during my husband's business contract, so we did not have the same chance of having a birthday party at the orphan home, but for his 3rd birthday, we were back in Indonesia, so we asked him if he wanted to do the same thing for his birthday, and he excitedly agreed!

Well.. that was not the end of it yet.. for his 4th birthday, it was his first year at school (pre-school), and all of his friends in the class were having birthday celebration at school, so I prepared his too (besides still planning to take him to the orphan's home again)..

After both the events took place (with success).. he showed that he was happier with the orphan home birthday.. By this time, he had the simple understanding that the kids at the orphan home were kids who no longer had parent/parents, and they lived with part of families/relatives and had to be supported by sponsors for living and education costs.

My son also understood that take away food (fast food) might be a simple thing for him, but for the kids he brought the food to, it was not something they could have anytime they wanted it..

The touching part was.. my son was actually shedding tears while he was giving the take away food boxes to the kids who kept smiling to him and patting his head.. I never thought that a 4-year-old could actually feel touched by an event like this! How very wrong I was!

Finally, for his 5th birthday.. (this happened to my surprise).. one month before his birthday, I asked him if he wanted me to prepare his birthday celebration at school.. he confidently refused! Then, I asked him if I should prepare his birthday at the orphan home, and he quickly agreed.. I asked him again two weeks before his birthday and his answer was still the same.. I asked him again a couple of days before his birthday and.. his answer was again.. the same.. (my parents actually offered to throw him a birthday party with his school friends at a fast food outlet that has a birthday area, and he also refused!)

So, this time, I explained to my son's teacher that he did not want to have a birthday at school and we were only going to go to a orphan home for his birthday.

It is amazing how things actually affect us when we are very young.. presents and birthday parties are something that we get our kids used to.. but it might not really be in our genes to start with.. When we can be touched when we are giving something to others (not only when we are being given something by others), that's when we have started creating a chain of care and love among human beings, and hopefully, we have provided a good beginning for our kids..

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The Colour BLUE

People say BLUE.. when they are feeling sad

Because BLUE can seem unopened

Because BLUE can seem held back

People also say BLUE.. when they describe the sea

Because BLUE can seem wide

Because BLUE is calming

People use BLUE.. when they send present to newborn baby boy

Because BLUE is for boys

Because BLUE is considered the opposite of PINK

People also use BLUE.. when they want to show positivity

Because BLUE represents hope

Because BLUE is supposed to be motivating

So many interpretation of one colour.. interesting BLUE..

-14 October 2008-

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Glenn Doman Method for Teaching Children to Read

About a year ago, I was approached by a friend to join her in a Family Community Centre which was supported by an Indonesian education book publishing company. This community centre is trying to achieve its goal which is to help families grow in a better way, and the way to do it is to promote the love for learning in all families.

One of the program offered by the community centre is to help parents teach their children to read without the stress for the parents or the kids, which is using the Glenn Doman method. This is a method of teaching kids to read without pushing them to read letter-by-letter, ie. kids are familiarised with the words associated with things most familiar to them to start with.

For people in English-speaking countries, this method might not be a new thing, as English has been taught in a similar way, however in countries like Indonesia, where the words are pronounced as they are spelled, this is a very new method and not every parent ready to accept this method.

We used to learn to read by the letter written .. we start with the vowel.. A (ah) I (ee) U (oo) E (a) O (oh) .. and then we would follow the learning step with putting vowel with each consonant. Once we (kids) were considered ready, we would then start forming words, eg. I (pronounced 'ee') BU (prounounced 'boo') will make IBU (mother)..

With Glenn Doman method, from the start, kids are only shown the word in full 'IBU' .. and the teacher/parent will tell the kids that the word is meant to be read 'ee-boo' (mother), and kids are shown a set of 5 or more related words for a few days, then one-by-one, the words were replaced by other words in the same groups (family members, fruits, furniture, etc.). Once the kids have been familiarised with enough numbers of words and phrases, their brains click and they start to understand the logic of reading.

Amazingly.. this method is not only faster in showing result, it is also easier to apply (not much burden/stress for parents) and more interesting for kids (kids find it more exciting to be able to match the words to the actual things the encounter every day in their lives).

The key of Glenn Doman is only.. never attempt to TEST the kids! Once they are ready to read well, they will show it to everyone without hesitation! Parents just need to keep showing new and repeating familiar words to the kids every day, just as if the parents are letting the kids know what the words are (no intention to make them read the words).

For younger kids (up to 2 years old), starting with family members might be a good idea. However, my five years old, when he started KG-B, the first words that he loved were brands of electrical appliances (siemens, samsung, sony, nokia, altec lansing, etc.).. He started using the method in school mid-July 2008 and by the school break (end of September) he was reading parts of short stories in children magazines himself!

Another good thing about the Glenn Doman method is that parents can use it for multiple language at the same time and kids respond to each language's grammar differently/separately, without the parents need to firmly separate the teaching times. This happens because Glenn Doman method is based on familiarisation with words and the way they are read (not the way they are spelled).

Well.. I can say that I'm happy with the Glenn Doman method and my 5-year-old is also happy with it. Reading is not a burden/stressful thing for neither of us!

If you have any comments please leave them here.. or if you would like to know more about the method, you can visit my friend's blog at

Hope this can help for any worried parents..

Back to 'QUICKEN'

After I'm not sure how long.. finally, two days ago, I was back using Quicken (the accounting software I used during university study), as it was getting a bit too much to try to record and analyse my personal and family finance manually (with the help of MS-Excel). My husband has also been having difficulties in understanding what I intend to show in my spreadsheets and calculations! Not to mention remembering the due dates for payments (Haha..)

As I am determined to 'successfully work' from home, I really need the help of a good accounting software that can record my transactions well and provide a good analysis on how things are going on the financial side of my life.. So, my husband gave me a latest version of 'Quicken'! (yess!!)

After trying it for a few days.. I found that this latest version of Quicken is a lot different from the version I used back then (it was around 1997 when I used it the first time), and I am still trying to figure out how to show the 'non-cash' transaction in the journals I post.. hmm..

Along the time I was working (about 5 years), I was using SAP Financial, and although the program was not perfect (as nothing in life is perfect), but the way SAP presents the journals of transactions is very 'real' just like we are doing accounts manually.. the only difference is that the ledger and statements are done by the time our journals are done! (that is what I love about accounting software).

While SAP is more 'common accounting' .. Quicken, on the other hand is more concerned about analysing the financial position that we are in for any given time span. This is a good thing for someone who would like to know how they have been doing financially and what should they do to set and achieve their financial goals in the future.

However, the chart of accounts (categories) have been pre-set for us in Quicken, and in some ways that helps, but in others, it does create some confusion.. I guess, (a blind guess, anyway), the categories were set for people who would like to handle their personal finance without much external help and without any basic accounting knowledge..

Maybe what I really need is another software that is more concerned about journals and reports/statements.. but, (blind guess again).. my husband will be more assisted with Quicken, as the details of each asset/liabilities and accounts (bank accounts, insurance, etc.) are recorded and presented in detail and very clearly..

Hmm.. let me think about this a bit more as I go through this program a little further. I will write again soon, and let you know of how I'm going.. Oh, almost forgot.. please leave a comment if you have any suggestions for me.

Thanks and see you again!

Orcalion's Bookshop List