Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010... HAPPY NEW YEAR

Life flows
2009 has slipped, another year passed...
life moves on and it waits for no man

Let us all be blessed
in the new year
with the wisdom to think
a heart to reflect
and a voice to give thanks



HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mischievous Kai

I've seen how kids bawled their lungs out to demand things from their parents.
I've seen how they rolled all over on the floor in their protest fits.
I have never had a qualm when I witnessed these behaviours... I've never believed that my children would behave the same way.

BUT recently, I had a taste of how bad real misbehaviour was like.
How testing to one's limit it can be.
And for information, I am least proud to say that 'cane' is the only weapon I sought to discipline Kai now.
How sad it is to resort to using cane in this new age of parenting?
Unfortunately it is the only thing that can instill some fear and deter unwanted consequences from Kai at this stage.

Although he doesn't bawl or roll in his protest or demand, his unique style of mischief is equally hair-pulling and heart-thumping.
He never stop fidgeting when he was out (in shopping malls)
He touched this and pulled that, grabbed this and moved that.
That day, at POPULAR, he swept all the books within his reach onto the floor, without any warning. We were shocked.
He continued to do that after being reprimanded.
We were completely lost.

If I were to sum up the characteristics of Kai at this stage - he is extremely playful, mischievous and destructive.
The least I wanted to know is ADHD.
I hope it will NOT be in him.

...

...

BUT no matter what, I still love him LOTS...
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All ready

We got her a big study table and chair; a big Tom & Jerry schoolbag, which she chose; a brand-new princess pencil case, new pencils, ruler, eraser, crayons...

Thus created a mini-asset and space, which she called her own.
Just because she is going to Primary One.

Aren't children nowadays lucky?
I only got my first study table in my secondary school days.

Anyway, she was elated!
She marvelled at her new work station and sat there 'doing work' (solving puzzles) for almost an entire day.

I hope this novelty doesn't wear off as soon as she starts school...
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Laziness vs sickness

I have been falling sick more often as SAHM than when I was in the workforce. How strange, isn't it?

I thought I should be more prone to those viruses flying all over the place out there, while kept safely sterile at home. But the many sick episodes proved me wrong. Tm accorded it to overtiredness. I'm glad he thinks that way.

As far as I know, laziness has set in for me.

I have been sitting on that pile of home-work for so long, hoping that golden eggs would hatch out of them. The already-miserable target of 50 records per month seems far beyond my reach now. And I have not been mopping the floor and washing the toilets as often as I used to (but trust me, they are still in usable condition).

So I doubt overtiredness is the culprit.
Er, but it's ok. It's good to think it that way.
唉!懒人屎尿多!
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Sleep

I just need some insomnia to get some posts up and running. If you didn't see any updates here, it means sleep has been good :)

A related post from my Chinese blog below:

伟大的母亲
自从孩子们出世后,
我就没有好好彻夜睡过
不时都得醒来摇一摇无法熟睡的孩子
如今孩子大了
(有时都)不需要我摇了
我反而感到浑身不自在
依然漏夜醒来几次查看
探一探一切是否安然 . 平静 。。。
这莫非就是母亲的伟大?。。。
...

我看是"失眠症" 赐给母亲这份荣耀吧!
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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

OCD (cont'd)

After more reading up and research on OCD, as well as observing Xuan for the past few weeks, I am quite relieve to say her symptoms are mild. It was unfair to conclude that she has the "disorder". She may have obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours like many people, but it does not mean that she have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Like what was mentioned in helpguide.org, "Just because you have obsessive thoughts or perform compulsive behaviours does not mean that you have OCD. Many people have mild obsessions or compulsions that are strange or irrational, but they are still able to live their live without much disruption."

Many of her behaviours are actually routines becoming habits, with some become rigid habits, which will take some time to change. Her bedtime rituals started with just a simple "goodnight" when she was young, and later became more complicated when we slept in different rooms. So the repetition of "goodnight" could have some separation anxiety in it. Last week, when she slept in the same room with me, the ritual was back to the simple "goodnight," without any repetition. I was elated!

For her worries about eartthquakes, war and death, I was able to ease her fear with the right reasoning. She does not talk about fear of those disasters any more. It is normal for children to fear of the unknown. I learnt that it is important to ease their fears the moment they creep into the little minds.

Lately, she developed the habit of tidying up the house before she goes to bed. I was put on alert when she insisted on clearing up the mess in the living room before heading for bed. It was supposed to be a good habit I should be proud of. Instead I was worried. Sigh, life is full of contradictions. But I know she is just rigid about her routines. There is nothing bothering her. And by the way, I was the one asking her to tidy up the house from time to time, in the first place!

I have continuously encouraged her to be more "flexible" in her daily routines and actions. Few days back, she told me she does not need to switch on the lights anymore in broad daylight! That was another habit changed! I was happy.
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

死别

她轻声地问我,"Mommy does a dead person hold something in his hand when he dies?" 问题一发,我即刻知道她心在想什么。我想了一会儿,便答,“Yes, some people do (I mean burial) ... but we really don't know what happens after a person dies... that is not something we should worry about! Life is short. Just live happily in this life and don't worry about the unknown..."

萱一向对“死”这课题感到困惑。她曾一度不能接受“人总会死”这个念头。她为“死了就不存在”的事实而感到难过。结果,她父亲就以佛教中的“生死轮回”来开解她。当她知道死后还能重生做回人之后,她才感到一点安慰。可是后来,她又开始问我,她如果再做回人,会不会还记得今生今世的一切,还会不会记得我?当我说“不会”时,她就不禁悲从中来。。。

因此,这次她一发问,我就知道她心在想什么。答了她之后,我就反问,“what do you want to bring when you die?” 我知道我的回答都不是模范答案,我只知道我是以平常心去跟她沟通,希望更了解她。

结果,她回答了一句让我激动万分的话,“I want to bring the journal that you made for me. I want to draw you and po-po inside and write about you... so that I can still remember you next time.”。

说着说着,我仿佛看到那双眸里闪烁着泪光。。。她强忍不让任何眼泪滴下。她低下头,轻轻触摸眼角,装着是眼睫毛掉进眼里,就是不让我知道她在难过。

我当时也跟她一样,强忍着泪水,只在此刻落笔时才释放。仅仅六岁的萱已领悟到生死离别的苦。我知道她不是畏惧死时的痛楚,而是死后要离开身边所有亲爱的人的苦。她想尽方法捉住今生今世的回忆,让我不禁对这女儿感到又怜又惜。心中涌出一种说不出的心酸。。。

(记:就如她华文老师所说的,有萱这个孩子是我们的福报。)
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Parent-teacher Conference

There was a Parent-Teacher Conference (PTC) for all K2's today. We met up with Xuan's English and Chinese teachers to learn about Xuan's social and intellectual growth and development in school. Below is a summary of what the teachers have fedback:

Teacher Christine
  • Xuan is a pleasant and quiet girl.
  • She is neat and independent in her work.
  • Able to socialise with her classmates and have more friends now. (this is what I have been waiting to hear!)
  • Although she is quiet, she is not shy to ask questions when in doubt.

林老师

  • “有萱这样的孩子,是你们的福报”
  • 她的功课都很整齐,字写得很端正
  • 她静,不受外在的干扰,能专注做自己的事/功课
  • 她华文能力大有进步
Overall, I'm happy with the feedback.
She has completed her final lap in kindergarten education.

Congratulation my dear daughter!
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Friday, November 13, 2009

Bulldog??

They were playing, and Xuan started to be loud.
I was in the kitchen.
I came out to check, only to hear Kai saying,
"So fierce!"
"Don't bulldog."

Immediately, I can see invisible smoke fumming from Xuan's head.
Like any siblings, there were time of love and peace together, and also time of squabbles...
That is what makes life interesting, isn't it?

(Kai also watched Tom and Jerry. Apparently, there is a fierce bulldog in the show. Sometimes, half-way through their play, Kai will walk into the kitchen and complained to me, "Jie jie is so fierce. ...Like a bulldog." *faint*)
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Xuan's graduation

I did what a proud parent did.
To attend her graduation ceremony and concert
beaming with pride.

When I saw her stepped onto the stage to receive her graduation certificate
My pride escalated.

It was really something
to see my own child graduating
doning her graduating gown
walking steadily to the presenter
and bowing humbly when she received her certificate

It was really something
to see my own child performing
doning as a flower
in pretty pink
swaying her petal head from side to side
it was indeed something

It was really something
despite a trivial thing
to graduate from a kindergarten and not a university
The feeling is just extraordinary
to see your own child graduating





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Saturday, November 7, 2009

My fairy princess

She was so excited about her pink tutu she brought back from school the other day. It was supposed to be her performance outfit during her graduation concert cum certificate presentation tomorrow. She wanted to dress up and put on make-up, as if it was the actual performance day.

So to fulfill her wish... I dressed her up -- like a fairy instead of a flower (since she didn't bring back the flower head gear)










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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Something is just not very right about her.

Some behaviour, which I once thought was normal for a kid, is not so anymore, when it became too ritualistic and compulsory. I still remember how I once adored her goodnight rituals (story-telling ritual; Daily chants; Goodnight mummy!). The ritual took place every night before her bedtime. It became something she was compelled to perform before she can go to sleep in peace. She cannot afford to miss out any parts of the ritual, such as missing some of the phrases or sentences in her goodnight message. I was roped into her ritual as well, when I needed to give a standard reply or reciprocate her goodnight wishes. I sensed that something must be wrong! Especially when the goodnight message has to be in a certain order and sequence. Especially when she needs to repeat the last phrase "good night, 晚安" several times in a row and repeatedly checked if I waved back and smiled back at her! I was quite disturbed by her ritual. I talked to Tm, and with his prior medical knowledge, he threw me an alien term called "compulsory obsessive behaviour". However, he assured me that there are children like that and there is nothing wrong.

Insecured, I searched the Internet. I found some of Xuan's behaviour that really comply to what was described in "Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder," to be appropriate.

"All kids have worries and doubts. But kids with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often can't stop worrying, no matter how much they want to. And those worries frequently compel them to behave in certain ways over and over again.

OCD is a type of anxiety disorder. Kids with OCD become preoccupied with whether something could be harmful, dangerous, wrong, or dirty — or with thoughts about bad stuff that might happen. With OCD, upsetting or scary thoughts or images, called obsessions, pop into a person's mind and are hard to shake. Kids with OCD may also worry about things being out of "order" or not "just right." They may worry about losing "useless" items, sometimes feeling the need to collect these items.

Someone with OCD feels strong urges to do certain things repeatedly — called rituals or compulsions — in order to banish the scary thoughts, ward off something dreaded, or make extra sure that things are safe or clean or right. Children may have a difficult time explaining a reason for their rituals and say they do them "just because." But in general, by doing a ritual, someone with OCD is trying to feel absolutely certain that something bad won't happen."

Xuan definitely has her fears and worries, I mean which child doesn't? But perhaps hers is an aggravated one. Often, she would bring up the topic on death. She asked about when I would die. She asked me not to die early, otherwise she would have no kin and she'd be so lonely on earth. She worried about everyone who would die before her. The topic on death has been talked about several times that I have became numb to it, and it is no longer a taboo topic which anyone would avoid.

In school, she was taught the solar system. So she got super-worried that the sun would soon "die" and earth would get scorching hot until no one could live in it! She saw a sinking ship on TV and said she wouldn't want to go on any cruise forever, and she would also instruct her future husband not to go.

In broad daylight, she would switch on the lights of whichever room she steps into, even if it is so bright. All these behaviour warrant that she could be suffering from the said disorder.

"Among kids and teens with OCD, the most common obsessions include:

  • fear of dirt or germs

  • fear of contamination

  • a need for symmetry, order, and precision

  • religious obsessions

  • preoccupation with body wastes

  • lucky and unlucky numbers

  • sexual or aggressive thoughts

  • fear of illness or harm coming to oneself or relatives

  • preoccupation with household items

  • intrusive sounds or words

These compulsions are the most common among kids and teens:

  • grooming rituals, including hand washing, showering, and teeth brushing

  • repeating rituals, including going in and out of doorways, needing to move through spaces in a special way, or rereading, erasing, and rewriting

  • checking rituals to make sure that an appliance is off or a door is locked, and repeatedly checking homework

  • rituals to undo contact with a "contaminated" person or object

  • touching rituals

  • rituals to prevent harming self or others

  • ordering or arranging objects

  • counting rituals

  • hoarding and collecting things

  • cleaning rituals related to the house or other items

Experts believe OCD is related to levels of a normal chemical in the brain called serotonin. When the proper flow of serotonin is blocked, the brain's "alarm system" overreacts and misinterprets information. Danger messages are mistakenly triggered like "false alarms." Instead of the brain filtering out these unnecessary thoughts, the mind dwells on them — and the person experiences unrealistic fear and doubt.... It's common for kids to ask a parent to join in the ritualistic behavior: First the child has to do something and then the parent has to do something else. Tantrums, overt signs of worry, and difficult behaviors are common when parents fail to participate in their child's rituals."

The good news is that OCD can be treated. Many kids can do well with behavioral therapy alone while others will need a combination of behavioral therapy and medication. I firmly believe Xuan's behaviour can be corrected. Afterall, she only exhibits one compulsive behaviour (goodnight rituals) and one obsession (disasters) mentioned in OCD literature. Now with knowledge of this particular condition, I will be able to empathize with her and help her cope with her few symptoms.

Come to think of it, I think I also have one of those symptoms mentioned. I have "the fear of dirt or germs" (although what was described in literature was too exaggerated.) Anyway, Xuan could have inherited my genes in this absurdity! Hmm...

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Piano

It has been almost a year since she started learning piano. We didn't have any expectations of her. We just wanted to explore her interest in music. We were prepared to let go of the piano we bought for her anytime when she lost her interest. That is why we bought one with a guaranteed buy-back certificate, which last two years from the date of purchase. However, she surprised us with her motivation and interest in music. Her piano teacher has been praising that she is her "best" student. We thought the teacher was being kind. But not when she was selected to perform in a mini-concert. We are all so proud of her :)
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dhammavadaka

A beautiful Buddhist quote to share...

Remember always that you are just a visitor here, a traveler passing through. Your stay is but short and the moment of your departure unknown.

None can live without toil and a craft that provides your needs is a blessing indeed. But if you toil without rest, fatigue and weariness will overtake you, and you will be denied the joy that comes from labour's end.

Speak quietly and kindly and be not forward with either opinions or advice. If you talk much, this will make you deaf to what others say, and you should know that there are few so wise that they cannot learn from others.

Be near when help is needed, but far when praise and thanks are being offered.

Take small account of might, wealth and fame, for they soon pass and are forgotten. Instead, nurture love within you and and strive to be a friend to all. Truly, compassion is a balm for many wounds.

Treasure silence when you find it, and while being mindful of your duties, set time aside, to be with yourself. Cast off pretence and self-deception and see yourself as you really are.

Despite all appearances, no one is really evil. They are led astray by ignorance. If you ponder this truth always you will offer more light, rather than blame and condemnation.

You, no less than all beings, have Buddha Nature within. Your essential Mind is pure. Therefore, when defilements cause you to stumble and fall, let not remose nor dark foreboding cast you down. Be of good cheer and with this understanding, summon strength and walk on.

Faith is like a lamp, and wisdom makes the flame burn bright. Carry this lamp always, and in good time the darkness will yield and you will abide in the Light.

~ Dhammavadaka
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happiness

Happiness is the most desirable state of being, don't you agree?
It is not something which simply happens.

Happiness is a state of consciousness that does not depend upon the physical appetites and passions.

- unknown
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Companion

Xuan's temper tantrums during her terrible two's had, at one point, put off my thought of having a second one. I even argued why she doesn't need a sibling. I reasoned that if she needs a companion, she has nieces and nephews, and when she grows older, she will have her own circle of friends!

I'm glad that these naive thoughts didn't hold long and I finally decided that she should have a decent childhood companion.

Today, when I see the duo playing and laughing heartily together, I know my decision was right.
video
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Is life what it seems?

It takes courage
sometimes lots of it
to live life and not merely exist
to smile when your heart is aching
and your eyes are close to tears.

It takes courage to pick yourself up after falling
and to try and try again.

Life's journey can be long and weary.

But have faith in yourself
though faith cannot move mountains
it will make the slope less steep
and the path smoother.

Meanwhile, smile and enjoy
all the good things that come your way
for you will never tread the same path again.

Take heart
be for yourself your own light
.

~ Annonymous
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Monday, October 19, 2009

难得疯癫

音乐能陶冶心情
这是不可否认的事实
一度在少女怀春期爱上许多流行歌曲
生儿育女后就不再与音乐和歌曲挂钩

最近又某名奇妙,再度燃起情歌火花
也影响萱对歌曲的兴趣
昨天,与恺在YOUTUBE里被NUMA NUMA的动力感染

歌曲一播
我就情不自禁陷入MTV的幻境中
整个人像个神经婆
顿手顿足
身体跟着音乐的节拍不停的摆动
疯了起来
drats.

PS: 然而,人生难得疯癫一下,给生命增添一点刺激,感觉是很不错的!


萱草是我新的华文博客。有些华文篇章会在那儿出现。
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Monday, October 12, 2009

KARAOKE

Yesterday we went
to the KARAOKE!
With the kids and the in-laws
To destress -- especially for the SAHM

But Xuan was snatching the mic from me all the time
to sing her all time favourites-- Chinese pop
She didn't even look at the screen
Just stood in front of her audience
And sang these with all her might...
童话,明天我要嫁给你,第一次,别说,信鸽

Sigh! Next time I shall not bring her there
So no one will fight with me
for the mic
for the glory
*evil laughter*
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Saturday, October 3, 2009

感触

人老了
现在,不再记年龄
每当被问起,就得动动头脑数一数
2009除1975等于34
三十四庚了!
人到了一个阶段,就会自动忘龄

年纪越大,感触就越多
现在见到路过的老人,总会产生莫名奇妙感
不禁猜测老人的过去
老人曾经拥抱青春、曾经朝气蓬勃
应该也风光过,逍遥过,快活过。。。
如今剩下的只是一个平凡无奇的老骨头
有谁会想到他的过去
人老了,就会被人间淡忘
人走了,就会被世间遗忘

唉!是否我生活太无趣了
起居太机械化了
才会如此感伤?
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Potty training

Potty training Kai has not been successful until recently due mainly to my inconsistent effort to toilet-train him. On lazy days, I simply put on the diaper for him and change him until it is about a kilo heavy. On days when I feel like cleaning up messes for nothing better to do, I will put on his shorts and ask him to pee in the potty whenever he has the need. That is why potty training has not been successful.

However for the past two weeks, I was quite determined to be a more hardworking mum. I put on his shorts every moment for every single day, other than nap and night time. I tried to remind myself to bring him to the potty every 1/2 to an hour. When I forgot, I would face the punishment of having to clean up the messes. Slowly, he got used to going to his potty and would announce to me that he is urgent so that I can bring him to the potty. And for the first time yesterday, he went to the potty himself, pulled down his shorts and shot into the traditional red bin (no fancy potty, sorry Kai).

With that I am happy.

I hope there will be no more day-diapers for Kai very very soon!
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Friday, September 25, 2009

Easy-going

The keyword I found lately to counsel Xuan is "easy-going". I was really upset over her not-so-easy-going temperament and her eager to win attitude. She gets upset over small matters and expects everyone to please her every now and then. (For the benefit of my non-Chinese friend, this is what summarises the previous post on 六岁的萱 )

I found that it was not useful to just talk sense into her after each undesirable behaviour. Beacuse she'd repeat it the very next moment - get upset, sulk and sob over little comments passed on her, or gets real nasty after Kai accidentally hit her or pushed down her numbers. "Not easy-going" is what I found to best describe her character. I hope she can change. I am really worried that she will have no friends in primary school beacuse of her nature.

Tried as I might, all the heartbreaking talks and effort to transform her seemed fruitless. My dead brain cells started to work yesterday and I thought of another way to help her. We both agreed that she is not "easy-going" and she must change for the better, so that she will have lots of friends and everybody will love her. It was our mutual agreement. To help her change, we have a diary to keep track of her progress. The rule of the game is: for each day on the calendar diary, I will draw a sad smiley each time she gets upset over a little thing/comment. On the other hand, if she doesn't get angry or upset, she will get a happy smiley. At the end of each day, we will see whether she has more sad or happy smileys, which will remind her to change and improve. If she gets all happy smileys at the end of the day, she will receive a small surprise from me. I have hinted to her that it is not so easy to change within a day or two and she cannot expect to get all happy smileys so soon.
She nodded.

I hope this method works.
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

六岁的萱

她哭着对我说,她不喜欢班上的A同学因为她比自己聪明。
她选择跟不懂得ABC的男同学玩。
但这一切她都没有告诉我。
在我逼供下,她才哭诉。
她有一股很强烈的优越感。
她好胜。

玩游戏时,她只要赢,不要输。
输了即刻呜咽。
她经不起任何小批评,或跟她开的小玩笑。
她是非常完美主义者,也很情绪化。

她要所有人奉承她。
一碰到家人的指责,她就哽咽呻吟。
经过多次开导,还是一样。

恍惚间,我眼前突然多了一个巨大的挑战。
仅仅六岁的她已失去一般孩童应有的纯真。
萱的思维比一般孩子复杂。
对萱的快速成长,我感到措手不及。
有一点茫然。无奈。
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Friday, September 18, 2009

First haircut at the barber

I can finally relinquish my role as Kai's private hairstylist from now on. Yeah!
He went to the barber for his first haircut yesterday, together with daddy.
I was expecting some barber-anxiety and razor-fear from him.
But to my surprise, he behaved very well throughout the haircut!
There were no fuss to gripe about.
Although his head tilted too low for the barber and his body tilted to much to the sides till he almost lost his balance...
I guessed his fear from the first encountance with razor was there but he just didn't display it.
I couldn't help but felt a little proud of him.
It was like a milestone achieved!

Xuan, on the other hand, was the least pleased.
Due to too much attention showered on her little brother during the haircut.
She sulked like an angry *Tom and said she wanted to have a cut as well! Sigh!

*Her favourite show is now Tom and Jerry.


His long hair before the cut (hee..)




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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Xuan's favourites

Plop! They dropped into the toilet.
She hurried to me with her favourite "numbers" in her hands. Wet.
She looked worried. "Mummy, my numbers dropped into the toilet."
"YYYEEEeeeeeeeee...." (I couldn't help it)
"But I washed them with soap already."
"YYYEEEeee.... you go and wash them again, Go, Go!"
"OK!"
Next moment, I saw her drying up her favourite number blocks with a piece of tissue.
Then she wrapped them up with another tissue and placed them by the window.
She apologised to them profusely.
"Sorry numbers, I dropped you in the toilet just now. I was very careless. I'm so sorry. But don't worry, I wash you with soap already. Now you sit here and let the sun dry you up. I'm very sorry..."
"It's ok, Rui Xuan!" (said the numbers)

I was amused.
By the way, her love for the numbers is likened to Kai's love for cars.
With simple props.
And an innocent heart.
She lives in a world of her own.
She is happy.
















Xuan's heavily battered number blocks.
Number 9 is her closest!
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Monday, August 24, 2009

I hate YOU

I hate to write about you.
But I wanted to let you know, through some 7th sense or ultrapathy whatsoever, how I feel about you.
So that you make a million-mile distance away from me, and don't ever appear in my life again.

For your information, I was not born to hate you.
It was a childhood incident which made me detest you to core.
I hate to recall that incident. You can ask your ancestor buddy about it. I'm sure he's dead.

You have been making several appearances in my house of late.
You sprung out from underneath the rice cooker when I opened the lid to put rice.
You shot up from the biscuit tin when I opened it to get biscuits to eat (and I don't even know when and how you get into it in the first place when it was so tightly closed!)
You scampered to hide behind the cooking utensils when you saw me coming into the kitchen.
The more I'm terrified of you and the more I hated you, the more you wanted to appear in front of me and the more you wanted to ridicule me.

Last night you appeared again.
You tried to scamper away when I went into the bathroom.
You were big, fat and slimy.
I could vaguely see your internal organs through your translucent body.
I yelled and frozed when I saw you.
You frozed too when I yelled.
Our eyes met.
I hopped into a pail of soapy water.
I cried. Cos' you didn't want to hide and I couldn't move.
I was shivering with fear.
I couldn't get out of the bathroom.
I was so scared you'd drop on my head if I moved a inch.

My HELPFUL husband came with a BIG UMBRELLA for me to shelter my head.
I yelled when I saw the umbrella and commanded him to freeze as well.
I don't want any movement to scare you and cause you to lose your balance.
I stood there for a minute with tears streaming down my cheeks.
You also perched there for as long as I stood.
You must be hilariously amused to see me in such spot.

I decided I shouldn't be laughed at for too long.
I plucked up my courage, shut down all senses and dash out of that dreadful place.
Why must you choose the BATHROOM???
A place which I frequent most in the house, day and night!
I hate you! I really do.
Please don't come to me again!!!

PS:
Dear folks,
if you know how to get rid of house lizards, do share with me please. Your kindness will be deeply appreciated. THANK YOU!

各位乡亲父老,
如果你有除掉家中壁虎的妙方,请与我分享。
我将万分感激。谢谢!
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Our society. Our education system.

"My daughter got three A's and one B and she came in the 33rd position in her class. (equates to the rest of her friends in her class are all full marks scorer). Very competitive. (I couldn't agree better). She has tuition for Maths, Science, English and Chinese (isn't that practically all subjects?) She is in P4. (isn't she stressful?)"

That was what a mother told me in a recent conversation. I pity the child.

Another one told me that the best class in the school is a congregate of selfish kids.

What kind of society are we talking of now? A highly competitive one! Which nurture lots of kiasu Singaporeans. Nobody wants to lose out in the rat race. Which give birth to a lot of kiasu parents who want their kids to be the BEST. Nowadays our children do not go to school to learn, they go there to compete. What is there to learn when they have already learnt before the teachers teach? BUT what is there to compete when everybody else gets the same 100 marks? School is no longer a place to learn but a place to compete??? There are lots of question marks in my head right now.

Really. What has our society evolved into? What kind of new citizens is our educational system generating? World class citizens or selfish citizens?
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kai at 37 months

He now sits on the high chair for his meals. No longer run all over the house to be fed. Finishes his meals within 30 minutes. Yeah! Feeding problem solved. He still refuses fruits and other new food. But he eats the vegetables that go into his porridge. He is game for certain medicine and the rosehip syrup (vitamin C supplement). He can finish his meals without the TV too! Sometimes he feeds himself with ready-scooped porridge, otherwise he doesn't feed himself independently.

He is not so terrified of doctors anymore, although still a bit tensed. His stranger anxiety is still as bad. He froze when a saleswoman said hi to him at the door.

He likes to imitate his sister. Whatever she says, whatever she does. He likes to run with her, jump with her. He shouts when he wants attention, thinking he can get his way through it. He likes to sprout nonsensical phrases and expect me to repeat after him.

Cars are still his dearest. He narrowed down to two of late - a blue and a red. He brings them everywhere - to bathe and to sleep. He made them go up a slope and exclaimed "so steep... woah.."! He made them go down a hill and screamed "Wwweeeee" Phrases like "go over the hump", "smoke come out from exhaust pipe", "red light stop", "green light go" are among his favourites.

"Gentle" never exist in his mini-dictionary; "rough" is his buddy. He zooms his cars across the dining table, knocking off all objects in the path. He bangs two cars together and shouts "CRASH"! He climbs over my head and shoulder, rides on me like a horse. Pulls my head to him and pinches my nose. He likes to play wrestle with me, hugs me and says "kiss mummy".

I am more of a buddy than a mummy.
I am very sure, if cars never exist, I'll be his DEAREST.
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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Photos

Thanks to LG KU990 (Viewty) that I am able to do this :)

video

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A drive to Gleneagles

I've successfully driven the kids to Gleneagles to see their pediatrician!!!
An unbelievable task for me!
Long story...

Although I got my driving license in 2002, I didn't start driving until 2004. I was forced to do so when Tm had to go for his reservist and I need to chauffeur Xuan to her mama house. I was most unwilling to take up driving in the first place. Frankly, I was sweet-talked into it by Tm (who was my then-boyfriend).

Well, it's not difficult to understand why the once-hopeless-with-directions person would reject driving. For someone who would get lost in shopping malls, turn to the storeroom instead of exit in toilets or lost her way after going to the loo -- it's just so impossible to imagine her driving a movable object! Somehow, she decided to plunge into it.

Her driving lessons at SSDC was disastrous nonetheless (despite passing all theories and driving at the first attempt, haha!). This was how - She drove up the kerb to kiss the tree (luckily the driving instructor slammed the brake in time!). She drove the car in the directions of on-coming traffic, scaring the driving instructor out of his wits! She slammed the brake suddenly to give way to birds on the road, sending the instructor into cold sweat ! It is no wonder she passed her driving test on first attempt yah? The test instructor must have said "I don't want to see her again!" HAHA!

Anyway, after few years of driving, her skills were more polished! No more brake-slamming to give way to birds (slowing down to give them time to hop aside is a better option); no more tree kissing (only minor backside kissing with other vehicles); no more driving to on-coming traffic (only occasional merry-go-round driving when she lost her way). Her routes were more or less limited to few places on Singapore map, with rare attempts to new destinations.

She was most scared of driving to Orchard Road. That is why she was so proud to boast her successful drive to Gleneagles to the whole world. Going through Orchard Road was a nightmare, with numerous slip roads, junctions, and strict traffic rules of no u-turn, right-turn, whatsoever, everywhere. It's so impossible not to get lost! Well, getting lost is trival; having an excessive bleeding pocket is grave if she were to have merry-go-round in Orchard Road (with so many ERP gantries)! The other deterence is the narrow carpark of Gleneagles Medical Centre. There were so many scratches everywhere along the wall in the carpark. That is why for many years, she refused the idea of driving to Gleneagles herself. "Not familiar!" is the excuse she gave. She was always the passenger when Tm made the countless drives to Gleneagles with the kids.

But lately, she relented. She decided to give it a try when Xuan's stubborn fever refused to subside. She took a deep breath when she entered Orchard Road. She held her breath when she entered the carpark all the way until she found a tiny lot in B3!!! The car emerged safely from the carpark - free from bruises - and finally reached home in one piece!

Oh YES! She did it!
Hip-Hip-HooRAY!
(Hee... I'm so proud of her).
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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Kai sleep problems again

Kai's sleep problem is something that I've been battling with for the longest time.
It keeps coming back, never go away...

Now I don't use the rocker (I call it "basket") for his night sleep. He don't feel comfortable in it anymore since he is growing too big to fit in (but strange enough, he still uses it for his afternoon naps). On one hand I'm happy, on the other, it means there goes my rescue at night when he couldn't get to sleep. The basket was a saviour as Kai would fall into sleep within minutes he was in it! (I know it's time to train him to sleep independently, he's already 3!!!)

Without the basket, he couldn't sleep. He's tired. He's exhausted... just couldn't sleep. I can see him yawn. I can see his tired eyes. But he just tosses in bed. For at least an hour. And I wish it's as simple as that. NO! He rolls over my head from left to right, then from right to left. Next, he'd put his feet on my face, slam his arm on my head, press on my hair as he sits up, fall down again, toss and roll over my head and body again. Of course I dodge with each playful attack. I'd get up and shift to a new position on the bed, away from him. But he'd move closer to me again, repeating all those horrifying acts of tossing and rolling over me. Non-stop. Really. Seriously! AAArrrgghhhh...

I don't think any of you have this kind of painful experiences, have you?
Tell me what I should do... please!

Note: Perhaps he is getting his revenge on me for rocking him violently when he was once helpless... (Post: Putting Kai to sleep). Oh dear, I think it is Karma taking effect!
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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Angel

Once calling her devil, now calling her angel.
Life is as such.

Out of the blue, she said "Mummy, there are five things I have to do everyday."
Then stretched out all five fingers on her right hand, she said "First is eat very fast; Second is read books; Third is do work; Fourth is help your parents; Fifth is don't let your parents scold you."She said she'd check if she complete all tasks at the end of each day.

I'm very happy with her new initiative.

There are just some days when Xuan is simply an angel.
She helps me hang all the laundry.
She helps me fold the clothes and put them into their respective places.
She puts the toys into their respective storage boxes.
She tidies the beds. She eats super fast.
Her record time for finishing her meals is 30 minutes!
She never display that fierce evil witchy look.
She talks gently.
She hugs me and promises to be a good girl.
And she does it!
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Kai's behaviour

If Xuan's behaviour is bad, then Kai's is worse.
Sigh... seems like I have too many negativity to report.

His temper tantrums are really bad!
If he couldn't manage his toys or I reacted too slow to his demands, he'd spin and dash all over the house, threatening to bang the walls! The more I said "NO" to any of his destructive actions, the more he'd do it! (Xuan was never like that at his age)

Parenting is too much a challenge! *sweat*
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Monday, July 20, 2009

Definition of spoilt

Wordnet defines it as "having the character or disposition harmed by pampering or oversolicitous attention.

Xuan has always been a cry-baby. But she changed for the worse recently. She cries over small trival things, and it has become a problem. So I couldn't help but check up various sources on the definition of "spoilt," which I believed is the reason for her behaviour.

Sometimes she can be ultimately rude, pointing fingers at me and gets really fierce. With each bad behaviour, I'd give her a stern lecture, which she'd regret for a while before she repeats it again the next day...

I'm at loss...
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Selective potty training

Just when I was so proud to announce that Kai is finally ready for potty, his selective toilet-training is driving me crazy.

He knows when he is urgent but he still prefers to pee conveniently into his pampers. However when we are out of the house, he'd always clutch his pampers and said he wants to pee in the toilet. It really makes me wonder what is the reason for his selective toilet-peeing. Maybe he wants to explore the toilets outside (just like his sis who is a fan of toilets and has this crazy toilet-visiting spells when we got out of the house).

So I still put on the pampers for him at home. Sometimes when I took them off, I'd warn him that he cannot pee in his pants but must go to the potty. I wanted him to get use to not wearing pampers but I wasn't quite prepared for all the hassle of cleaning up his messes. There was once when he peed onto the floor, stepped aside to pull down his wet pants and jumped back into his pool of urine, slipped over it and still laughed at his silliness. Then he sat naked-bottom in that pool, spread both hands on the urine around him and sweep them all over the place! You should have seen the smoke fuming out from the top of my head when I saw him doing that! I didn't know what better ways to teach him than to give him a few slaps on his thigh, followed by "NAUGHTY..." x 10 to the power of infinity (I was lost for words, what a shame!) - OK, please pardon me, this is to illustrate a case of bad parenting.

I think it will still take some time before he knows the difference between what is "clean" and "dirty". And before he can be more obedient and listen to me.
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Monday, July 6, 2009

Junk collectors

Xuan is a "junk collector", just like her dad.
She likes to keep "things".
You can call her sentimental.

I am the opposite.
I like to throw away "things", especially things I call junks.
But things I call junks, they call them treasures!
So I have to secretly throw them away without their knowledge, kekeke (*evil laughter*)

The other day, I was putting away Xuan's piles of scribbles into the recycling bag while she was away.
She spotted me when she stepped into the house.
Arrhhh... too late!

"What are you doing mummy?"
"What is that? Let me check first... why you always like to throw away things?... wait you don't throw these..."
So in the end, she picked them all up from the recycling bag.
And there goes my effort of clearing the karang guni house!
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Monday, June 29, 2009

My culinary skills

has improved!!!
Let the pictures speak for themselves...

















Simple dishes from an amateur cook.
Many of the seasonings are based on instinct (anyhow hamtam)
You don't believe that these dishes are cooked by me, don't you?
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

三岁的恺

俊恺三岁了!
高兴。因为终于给我盼到了。


我妄想他三岁后就应该董事一点,再也没有 TERRIBLE TWO'S 的情绪化和无理取闹。

我妄想他三岁后会有多一点的成熟和乖巧,好让我喉咙有得休息,脑袋有一点平静。

不过,我知道这只是一个妄想。


经常,他的横冲直撞让我心惊胆战;他飞快的跑腿让我不停的喊“停”!

经常,他的非一般力量,让我惊讶;他的突然消失让我灵魂出了窍!

虽然有很多很多的经常,恺的天真、活泼和可爱给全家人带来了无数的欢乐。

他是家中的小活宝。

一点小玩意儿就会让他笑的快乐无比。

他顿屁股的舞姿,让大家笑的合不拢嘴。

他对人事物的好奇,流露了他的天真可爱。


但,我最怕他狠狠把我头压到低底,让我挣眼只见书本上的小车,接下来就听他不停的问“WHAT'S THAT? WHAT'S THAT?"

我最喜欢对着他呼唤,“COME HERE, I WANT TO HUG YOU!”、“COME HERE, I WANT TO ASK YOU SOMETHING.”

因为这两句话是唯一能使他静下来的绝招!

我最爱看他模仿电视上的动画,因为那无限的天真是在不久的将来就会消失的。

我更爱紧紧抱着他,往他脸颊不停的亲。。。


三岁的恺不是一个特别出色或优秀的孩子,他的成长跟一般三岁的孩子一样平凡。


但,他在我心中却是非一般的可爱,他是我生命中不可缺少的一块。


我不期望他出色或优秀,只期望他健康、快乐的成长,将来做一个有用的好人。





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Friday, June 19, 2009

New maid

If you think I have thrown in the towel, you are wrong.
Hear me out.

This new maid is very efficient.
She is extremely hardworking.
She is absolutely clean. In fact, I think she is a clean freak.
She picks up every single strand of hair on the floor if she spotted one.
She cleans up every corner of the house, without taking any shortcut.
She cleans the kids' bottles and cups diligently.
I am even amazed that she can cook the kids' meals, and they like to eat them!
The kids enjoy helping her with the housework too.

This new maid is no one but ME ME ME!
The salesman came to our door and saw ME working hard.
He asked for "MAM"
I said "MAM not in"
So he left.
I was amused.
But frankly, I am sad... cos' do I really look like a maid???!!!
HAR??!!!
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

He is finally ready...

for potty.
No. In fact for toilet. Haha...
He said " Mummy, shee shee toilet"
And I'd quickly bring him to the toilet.
BUt his readiness came at a time when I am not ready.
With so many things to do, I actually prefer him to just pee in the pampers... (ooops lazy mommy)
Ok, I have to admit, so far I have asked him to just pee in his pampers once, after we have stepped out of the house.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another new phase in life

The maid has gone home for good. Her performance has been deteriorating, so we thought we might as well let her go. My tiring but happier life starts 2 months earlier than the expected date.

So far so good. I'm enjoying it with the kids although my typical day starts as early as 7am in the morning all the way until 10pm at night when I soothe Kai to sleep. I believe I will be more efficient as the days pass, and cut short my working hours by half. So far, I'm clearing up the mess left behind by the maid, which partly explains the long hours. You know, washing those oily pots left in the kitchen cabinets, cleaning up the dirt and mess hidden in corners and undercover, emptying water left in containers and pails, and throwing away unnecessary items in the house. It's like spring cleaning. And a massive one! No doubt the non-stop cleaning is tiring. But I gain a deep sense of satisfaction. At least now I feel a sense of ownership. I can rearrange the items to where I desire and is able to find them in their right place each time I need them. At least now I don't have to fear about uncovering a pot of moldy leftovers in the kitchen cabinets, OR a bowl of cooked food hidden under newspapers in the fridge, OR ants running all over the jar of sugar and milk bottles, OR coffee-stained spoon stuck in the container for salt, OR even dirty socks among the clean laundry...

Everything is in order now, although I'm a little haywire with all the cleaning. I'm glad I have Xuan to help me with the tidying from time to time. Kai is also chipping in a little, although he creates more mess than help. I've always wanted the kids to be more independent. What better time than it is NOW? The only trade off is that I won't have the luxury to visit this space as often as I like...
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I tell story

Kai was lying besides me during our usual bedtime routine. I saw him looking at me in the dark. Then he said something which surprised me, "I tell story." I thought I heard wrongly. Usually he'd say "Mummy tell story"... so I really thought either he mumbled or I heard wrongly. Anyway, I remained silent.

He continued, "Once upon a time... once upon a time... (thinking hard)... once upon a time... old woman... made... gingerbread man... (thinking hard again) sugar... give some eyes... put oven... the end."

Haahaa, I was just so thrilled to listen to his first story, although it stopped at the oven! It was a great attempt and I simply love the way he told the story!
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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Issue of death again

We returned to the topic of death shortly after the last one ended. The dad was quick to twig the issue to focus on life after death (rebirth) this time round. And she clearly was more amiable to his explanations. However after that, the inquisitive girl started asking questions like, "Will I be a boy or girl next time, after I come out as a baby again?" ... "Will I be called Rui Xuan?" At some point, I was even overwhelmed by all her questionings.

There was once when we were talking about road safety in the car. After I have explained the safety issue in great details, she started to ask me worriedly, "Will my parent next time teach me all these things? What if they don't???.... I wish you can be my parent again..."

At that point, I wanted very much to tell her, "I wish for that too, Xuan, I really wish ... "
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hygiene in school

Sometimes I think I've gone overboard in getting the little her to observe the strict hygiene orders in school! In the past, I had to because she always fall sick. Now I have to because of the HFMD, H1N1 influenza and whatever not...

"Never never put your hands in your mouth. Turn your head away when anyone near you coughs or sneezes and quickly cover your mouth and nose with your handkerchief! Don't feel shy (I know she would) about it, because when you fall sick, you are the one who suffer, nobody is going to feel sorry for you!"

My words are harsh to the young heart. But she is used to them and has taken them well in her stride. I know she observed these rules, especially when she replied with "Yes, I DID! Really! SUPER REALLY!!!!" to my interrogation of "DID YOU???"

The only thing I'm worried of now is whether her EQ will be compromised.
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Friday, May 22, 2009

Siblings' love


From jealousy, rivalry and fights, to love, affection and lots of hugs.
Xuan has come a long way in learning to appreciate the birth of a little brother and the gift of a loving playmate.

The siblings are happy to have each other's company now. They are playing and laughing together, jumping and running around madly - often threatening to knock down vases and bang into walls. The quiet moments however, saw the duo sitting closely on the sofa reading books. Xuan will teach and Kai will repeat every words after her. To him, it is play -- IT IS FUN! He likes to imitate everything the big sister does. The most treasured moments are those when the duo hug each other affectionately after each play...

世上最珍贵的情是亲情。
做父母最大的欣慰是看到孩子们和睦共处,永远相亲相爱。
萱,恺:你们要切记,将来要像现在这样敬爱彼此,互相扶持。。。因为世界上没有任何东西比亲情更可贵。。。






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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blueberry cheesecake

My latest attempt in the kitchen was a no-bake blueberry cheesecake.
It was very much inspired by the yummy one made by my sis.
I set out to buy all the necessary ingredients from Phoon Huat.
And I did an unbelievable task!
For I made the cheesecake without an electric mixer
nor a handheld mixer
but my bare hand and the labourious mixer.
You must think that I am insane.

Even experts on expertvillage.com said I need to use at least a handheld with a good motor, otherwise I risk the burnout of the motor.
Even experts from Phoon Huat said I will have to beat with bare hands till the next morning.

I simply did the unbelievable!
The outcome was a cheesecake that was half the thickness made by my sis, even though I use her recipe.
The result was not very satisfactory though the cake was whacked up by the very next day.
The consequence was a tougher and toner muscular arm... sigh!


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What's that, mummy?

Kai shoved me the thing he held in his hand and asked, "What's that, mummy??"

It was a cockroach I saw.
It was fake I knew.
Until a crisp hairy leg dropped onto my leg.
"Yeeeekk!!! It's a cockroach!" I yelled.

Thank goodness it was dead.
Thank goodness it was not a dead lizard.
Please don't ever play this kind of TRICK on me again, Kai!!!

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Improvements in Chinese

Xuan's Chinese have improved, I must say.
Not tremendously, but at least she is now able to converse in simple mandarin.
She is able to string words together to make sentences, which she couldn't in the past.
Her mandarin is now more "understoodable" although her vocabulary still needs lots of improvement.

爸爸昨天没有做工。。。课 when she wants to say daddy didn't go to work yesterday. I was very happy when she spoke that sentence until she uttered "课". Sigh! Sometimes, she still needs me to be the translator when she wants to convey some difficult messages to ma-ma. Otherwise she is able to converse with her ma-ma now.

She is gradually learning to appreciate the language more.
I'm very happy to see an improvement in her Chinese.
I was thrilled, even by simple sentences that she uttered,
我今天吃香蕉蛋糕。
我不饿。
我知道了。我明白了。
我自己冲凉。
She's more ready for the language now.
It is not only achievement for her but for me as well, especially when she told me "Mummy, now I love Chinese!"

She has completed the whole course of hanyu pinyin that I taught her.
I guessed that is the reason why she is beginning to love the language...?
Of course her mandarin-speaking classmates in PCF help!
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Friday, May 15, 2009

Cheeky fellow

Kai is getting more and more cheeky.
Remember the supreme mantra I taught him?
Now he is chanting it this way:
我爱爸爸。
我爱妈妈。*giggles*
我爱potty!!! " followed by tons of laughter and giggles.

He is also asking and repeating questions like:

Who bought this car?
Who bought this shoe?
Who bought this book?
Who bought this, who bought that???

Last night, while he was trying to lug my elbow to sleep, he asked "Who bought this???" (pointing to my elbow)

Now, I really doubt if he comprehends the meaning of his own questions?
Sigh!

Saturday, May 16, 2009
Update: Today, he pointed to his own elbow and said "Who bought this elbow?"
Then, followed by "buy from the shopping centre!" *slap forehead*

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More cards

Xuan is a cards person.
She loves to make cards - greeting cards, birthday cards, and special occasion cards.
I received them on my birthdays, mothers' day, valentines' day... and on each occasion, she didn't just give one or two, she gave more... to a point that I was scared of receiving them. Really. *very bad right?*

So on mothers' day, other than giving me the ones she made in school, she gave me two more... err.. in fact three more -- of the same designs and drawings!

For the third and the last one, she brought it into my room when Kai and I were about to sleep and have switched off all the lights (on mothers' day). So she stood in the dark and wave the card at me, but said, "I made another mothers' day card... but it is not for you!!!
"Then for who?"
"For myself!" *giggle*
"But you are not a mother..." *giggle*
"I keep it first, then next time I will have children and I will be a mother what??!!!"

Funny girl.
She knew I'm phobic of receiving more than one card.
Haha... :P
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Saturday, May 9, 2009

You are the best, Mom!

She couldn't wait to show me her proud art work in school yesterday.
So she showed them to me but asked me to "forget" about them as she is supposed to give them to me officially tomorrow on Mothers' Day!
That IS my funny girl.

































































A special dedication to all mothers out there:
You are the best Mom!
Happy Mothers' Day!

To my own mommy:
可爱的老妈,
祝你母亲节快乐!
永远幸福、永远快乐、永远健康。。。
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Monday, May 4, 2009

Simple joy

Joy is ...

stopping to admire these simple flowers as you walked past...









making time to enjoy these simple food with your loved ones...









strolling in a simple park with your family, enjoying the breeze...




























learning to swim with this kickboard and hearing the little child said "mummy, you ROCK!!!!"

Hahaha...





Simplicity is joy.
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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Otar Otar

I love otar - the more spicy, the more shiok!

"Come and look at these!" I wanted to show Xuan what my favourite food is.

"These are Otar - mummy's favourite food" I explained.

"Next time when I grow old, you must remember to buy these for me ok?"

"Har? You can ask Daddy to buy what?" She said. *roll eyes*

"But when I grow old, Daddy will also grow old, how to buy for me?"

"Ok, next time I will buy things for you." she said.

"No, I don't want other things, I only want you to buy Otar for me." I have to stress.

"OK, Otar.... where they come from...???" ... followed by a whole series of questioning...

I regret telling her my old-age desires.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Random photos: Kai, Xuan, Me






































Any look-alike?



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