Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Coming to an end

The year is coming to an end.
Overall, not exactly a fabulous year...
see, I'm going to whine again.

Looking back at the old entries, I discovered that the not-so-good things always happened around the last few days of the year.
Last year (2009), I encountered a Mischievous Kai.
The year before last (2008), I bashed myself for being a fiasco parent.
In 2007, I suffered a bad injury to my nose!

This year, with no exception, my "blur" nature has gotten me into some detestable "trouble"...
Well, I must not forget to count my blessings.

I wish everyone a peaceful year in 2011.
Again,
Let us all be blessed
with the wisdom to think
a heart to reflect
and a voice to give thanks
(anonymous)






Happy New Year!

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bubble fun

video

This slideshow couldn't load properly.
Sigh, this is the best I can do...

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Friday, December 17, 2010

School holidays means...

The house will be in a constant mess
the sofa is forever occupied by cars and toys
everybody sat on floors only...


The "sua-gu" kids get to fulfill their first excursion on Singapore buses and MRT.




They get to watch Rapanzel in 3D.
It was the first time they stepped into the cinema too!


The kids had fun at the Lego Competition.







We tried the Sentosa Luge and I 'sweated my palms' out on the skyride. Don't laugh!




... some insects-watching at the Butterfly and Insect Park.




There were more gatherings and outings with families...



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Friday, December 10, 2010

Prata hotcakes

Sounds cool?
Self-invented dish.
Nah.
It's failed culinary transformed into something weird - that's why the funny name.

The kids have always loved hotcakes from McDonald.
Before the hoo-ha's about the never-rotting burger, we had treasured our Sunday family breakfast time at McDonald - Hotcakes with hash brown were most well-loved.

So I thought, since we have now bade goodbye to McDonald, and the kids must have missed the hotcakes, why not I made some for them - to make up for the loss.
"They will be jumping for joy," I imagined.

The recipe I saw was easy.
Flour+Sugar+Eggs only
Stir the mixture, fry in wok, that's all.

And as expected, the outcome was disastrous.
But the worst misery was - MY GUINEA PIGS FAILED ME!!!
"EEeeee.." was their first reaction.
They zipped their mouth, refusing to try.

I had no choice but to bite the bullet and ate a few bites.
Then I had to trash them.
What a waste.
But I guessed it was wiser to waste ...
(errm. Actually, I've taken a picture of my prata hotcakes but it was a shame to show)

OK, I promise
From now on,
I'm going to store my wok in the cabinets for good.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Talking to a child can be therapeutic

Seriously.
Especially if you pick those cute, chatty and innocent ones to talk to.
More so, if you choose those who would yank out the juiciest gossip or the most embarrassing secrets of their parents... "Mummy hugs her smelliest pillow to sleep every night" or "Daddy drools in his sleep until my whole bolster is wet" something of that sort.

If you want that, try talking to Kai.
This boy talks incoherently whenever outsiders initiate a chat with him.

To start the humor, the two most popular questions, "What's your name" and "How old are you" - he will answer wrongly.

When asked "How old are you?", his reply was "My name is Jun Kai."
I bet he already assumed that everyone would asked for his name in their first question!

You won't feel bored talking to him.
He'd go on and on, talking and divulging bits and bytes, without you having to ask or said anything!!??!

"I have a new car at home."
"My Ye Ye's birthday is in August."
"Just now, the boy peed in the bushes."
"My father is . . . "

I'm afraid one day, I might have to intervene and said, "Alright, that's too much info..."
Yes, no boredom, no awkward silence.
He'd keep you entertained.
He has done that many times, much to the amusement of those lucky people who has talked to him.

He is simply too friendly and too cute to be true!
To me,
that's the beauty of the innocent mind.
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My kids

I always thought I hated the fighting, the squabbling, the noise
until one day...

I deprived Kai of his afternoon nap,
and made both kids sleep early that night.
Real early. As in 8.30pm.

Then all of a sudden
noises died
laughter ceased
fighting stopped

I thought I would be enjoying the peace and bliss of my lifetime...
Instead
a strange feel of loneliness overcame me...

They have never slept this early
They have always played and fought late into the night.
I missed the noise all of a sudden...

At that moment
I knew my life will never be complete without these two kids...


PS: It reminded me once again that, we take too many things in life for granted until we lost them...
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Friday, November 26, 2010

温暖的窝


那天,我静立在窗前
欣赏着眼前美好的景色
望着那绿油油的草原
享受那柔风轻吹的写意

这时,收音机传出了一首让我感慨万分的。。。
“其实不想走,其实很想留。。。”
两句简简单单的词
说出了我内心无尽的依依不舍

再过几个月
我们就得离开这温暖的窝
搬家了。。。

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Monday, November 22, 2010

It was a special day

19 November 2010. Friday. Last day of school.

I put on my most decent outfit - one that didn't make me look so 'auntie'
slapped on some cheek powder - I've almost forgotten it's called 'blusher'
sprayed my bangs with some expired hair mousse ...

The dad put on his favourite shirt
gelled a few streaks of his hair carefully in front of the mirror...

I helped Kai put on his best shirt and pants...

Next,
we strode into Xuan's school
gleaming with pride and joy.

We were going to witness her Graduation cum Award Presentation Ceremony.
No, she wasn't graduating.
She was just in P1 and would be receiving her award for being the first in class.

In the school hall
we had to sit way behind (first-come-first serve sitting)
despite reaching earlier than the stipulated time.
There were more eager parents who arrived much earlier than us!

In the end, the photos and video taken of Xuan were too small and far too dark.
We didn't want to scramble to the front of the stage like what the others did
('image is more important' - haha!)

So, we only had these to show... (with some brightening and contrast editing)



It was indeed a special day
for all parents who attended the ceremony
who saw their children graduating from primary education
the pride. the joy. the fulfilment...

I am waiting for this day
5 years down the road
to be immensely engulfed,
by this incredible emotion,
called pride.
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Results 2010

It's that time of the year when anxious parents get insomnia awaiting the release of their children's academic results. There are over-ambitious parents who couldn't do anything except to pace up and down the hall, thinking "will my child top the school this time round?"; there are also sotong parents who blurted, "huh? I need to meet the teachers today for your report book, meh?"

I'm neither here nor there. For this whole year, we have just let Xuan progressed at her own pace. No demand. No pressure. She played hard as usual but she was diligent to complete her school work on time. We guided her whenever she needed help. We were happy with her progress and diligence throughout the year.

On Tuesday, we met up with her form teacher.
I think our session was the shortest among all the parents.
There wasn't much feedback from the teacher except, "very good!" .... "good"... errr... again "very good!"
I wished we could drill more constructive feedback out of her, other than "very good"
Maybe we were such boring parents, we didn't know what to ask, and she didn't know what to say...

As for results,
Xuan has TOPped her class, and emerged the 28th position for the entire P1 level.
She has also won herself a "Queen Reader Award" for being a keen reader.
And her neat Chinese handwriting won her the first prize in her school's "低年级硬笔比赛"
We didn't know there were such award and competition in the first place!
They came as surprises to us. We were so overwhelmed... *sniff sniff!*

We were invited to attend the school's Award Presentation Ceremony tomorrow.
You made us proud, Xuan!
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My guinea pigs

Once in a while, I like to torture the kids and the husband with some dishes that are not quite fit for human consumption. Deep fried prawns that are tough to chew, fried rice that is tasteless and undercooked...

I've enough said of how bad a cook I was.

But if you are new (to this blog) and need to know how bad, this is it:

Even if I have the best ready-made Tempura batter bought from the supermarket, and when all I need is to add water according to the instructions specified on the package, and when I just need to dip the prawns in the batter and then drop them into the heated wok, my prawns have never once resembled the ones shown on the package! Far from it, too far. The prawns are all botak (without batter) on one side. And they are tough to chew... OK, enough said.

However, once in a while, I like to put my culinary skills to test
Cos' I have ready guinea pigs ...
but who aren't very truthful (unfortunately) :
- Xuan gave flattering remarks no matter how bad the food tasted
- Kai ate up the food ignorantly
- The husband swallowed the food to the last bit no matter what

Thankfully, that was really ONCE IN A WHILE... haha!

Well, the idea is NEVER GIVE UP!!!
More to come, my dear guinea pigs!
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Friday, November 12, 2010

Simple pleasure: decorate your own cake

It has been a long while since I D.I.Y.
So yesterday, when Kai and I saw people decorating cakes for their loved ones in The Icing Room at Compass Point, we quickly followed suit.
Just nice for celebrating the dad's birthday today!

It was fun to have hands on the cake.
And it made a special treat for the dad!
Kai had as much fun as I did.
When the plain cake first came, Kai was too quick to touch it
Luckily he didn't press his whole hand into the cake!

This was our first D.I.Y. cake (more to come...)
I believe we can do a better job next time!

At the end of the whole session, Kai told me he wanted to eat the "hair" when he reached home
Obviously cos' it was made of chocolate!
We should have decorated the cake with more chocolate!!
Nevermind, there's always next time.

I really love the Decorate-it-Yourself concept.
It's simple!
You can blast the cake with your imagination!
Basic decorating ingredients are provided.



and best of all, there's no mess, no dirty hands...
It's fun. Try it!

Flavours & Sizes of The Icing Room DIY cakes:
2 flavours:
Vanilla
Blackforest

3 sizes:
4 inch ($12.80)
6 inch ($20.80)
8 inch ($28.80)
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

When nieces and nephews get together

They play madly...

such gatherings are few

such happiness is short-lived


Hope the school holidays bring together more of such madness

the more we get together
the happier we'll be...
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Weakness

Many times
we get upset when expectations fail

we were too caught up with the trivial things in life
so much so that
we lost sight of the bigger picture

we fall prey to the biggest weakness of mankind
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Monday, November 8, 2010

The not-so-smart way of defending his actions

One day, Kai brought his half-battered toy-car to me and said,
"Mummy, look at this... I didn't spoil it. It spoil by itself..."

If I were 70 and a little senile, I'd probably dismiss it as some mysterious strong wind has selectively blown that fateful car out of the basket of toys that it smashed so hard on the floor until its tyres came off.

Not a smart move, my little boy.
Need to polish up your skills of defending...

Remember Rule Number 1:
Never "tai-chi" to non-living object!!!

Kai has yet to outgrow the stage of dismantling his cars and toys.
His cars are mostly without tyres or wheels...
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The two kids are constantly fighting

Mr Mischief was fiddling with Miss Fiesty's coin-bank.

Miss Fiesty fired up and stormed towards Mr Mischief, snatched away her coin-bank and shouted "Naughty Kai!" .. then marched towards Mr Mischief prized car collection and messed them up.

Mr Mischief dashed towards her with a "bang" like how Chick Hicks banged other cars.
Fighting started.

Mummy dropped all her tasks, stormed out from the kitchen with a cane.
Fighting stopped.

For little squabblings, mummy dropped her chores, emerged from the kitchen, gave both kids a little yell before returning to her chores again.

Sigh...
School holidays approaching = More fightings + More yellings.
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Monday, October 25, 2010

My two telephone operators

I bet what the kids didn't tell me, was their ambition to become nimble telephone operators when they grow up. Their recent hospitality towards anybody who called, was a robust testament. Whenever the phone rang in the living room, both of them would drop all their tasks and dash to the phone without fail. It was like whoever pick up the phone first will win a prize! Then they'd go "I talk first!"... "No, I talk first!", leaving the other party on the phone baffled. Sigh!

Think I'm gonna miss this when they become teens. That is when I'd have to beg them to help me pick up the ringing phone!

As of now, they are still at the stage of fighting to answer calls.
Each of them get his/her turn to talk to the caller (be it a property agent, a wrong caller, or friends or family members) for a good 5 minutes, before I get my chance to talk.

The other day, my mom (po-po) called and Kai answered it...

Po-po: 你的咳嗽好了没有?
Kai: (nodded his head) 阿,我冲凉了。

Po-po: 不是,我问你咳嗽好了没有?
Kai: (nodded his head again) 阿,有。我有吃饭。。。

Po-po: (surrendered) 你在做什么?
Kai: 妈妈在Kitchen啦!

I was amused at his ability to sustain a conversation like this!
Funny boy.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Best drawing ever!

Kai likes cars.
So the best way to encourage him to draw is "draw cars, draw cars!"
- cars with eyes and mouths though (thanks to his favourite Cars movie)

After a while, I assumed it was about time to start him on drawing some decent human beings - even a stick figure with skeletal arms and legs would be good, I thought.
So I said, "draw mummy, draw mummy!"

And this was what I got.






















[with some guidance - I've asked him to include a nose and more hair for me]

Despite my limbs being replaced by wheels,
I was still happy.
Cos' this was his best drawing ever!
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

SIMPLE Chicken Soup for the soul

Anything that says "SIMPLE" pleases me to no end, especially cooking recipes.
So, that day when I saw the mention of a SIMPLE and yummy chicken soup in Jayne's blog, my eyes sparkled.

It was indeed simple. I mean, it can't be that difficult when you just need to boil a whole chicken in a pot of water with ginger and wolfberries. The difficult part to me, however, is to overcome the psychological barrier of working with a dead poultry.

You know, after reading the post, I was so inspired to try it out. I went to Sheng Siong Supermarket, inspected a few pre-packed packets of whole chicken, and discovered to my horror that the chicken heads were all intact. Well, I know it's not that difficult to comprehend the meaning of "whole chicken" - my brain was just fused that very moment. Anyway, I almost wanted to back out when I saw the heads! The thought of having to meddle with a flimsy neck and a chicken head with eyes staring at me, yikes me out. The idea of chopping up the chicken (if I don't want to work with the whole chicken) was equally horrifying.

Just when I was about to give up, mom's words rang in my ears, "you can always get the poultry man to chop it up for you..."

So I did just that.
As there were no poultry man, I got the fishmonger to chop it instead, with special instruction to the "uncle" (who was obviously younger than me) to discard the chicken head. With that, I thought the most difficult problem was resolved...

Back home, I realised there were still the chicken feet! And I was supposed to cut off its toenails!!! Oh no! It was as appalling as chopping off the chicken head. So I discarded the chicken legs in the end. I had to cross my fingers that without these essential parts, the chicken soup would still taste as yummy.

Haiz... that was a long story.


Finally
here comes the chicken soup!














Cooking in progress (steam + unseived oil )...


Mmmm... it was indeed YUM YUM!
Even without the head and legs :)

Ingredients:
Whole chicken (de-skin)
Pot of water
Ginger (5-6 slices)
Wolfberries (a handful)
Salt to taste

Note: Boil for 3 hours. Quantities of ingredients may vary according to individual's preferences.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

First "earning" at age 7


No, there's no child labour syndicate here.
Hear me out.

Xuan's art submission for the Colgate Global Art Contest "My Bright Smile" won her a S$50 cheque and a Colgate hamper! It was a consolation prize.

We didn't expect her to win anything, cos' it was a nationwide contest, you see.
We bet there were more talented artists out there!

The prize came as a terrific surprise.
Xuan was thrilled!

I've totally forgotten to snap a pic of her masterpiece!!!
ARGGGHHH!
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Writing and colouring milestones

Kai is four. Checked.
In fact, 4 years 3 months.

He knew how to hold the pencil correctly. Checked.
No more flying hands above the writing paper.















He succeeded in tracing numbers 1 to 10 legibly. Checked.
No more alien doodles to decipher. Happy.















He managed to use colours other than RED in his colouring. Checked.
No more blotches of red in colouring books.















Did you see the 2 shades of green in this grasshopper?
Brilliant!














It was a great milestone achieved!
Despite a little late.
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Consequences of sleeping like a PIG

PAAAMMPP!!

WAAHH. WWAAHHH...
He cried out loud.
I scrambled to the floor to pick him up.
A big ba-lu-gu popped out, almost as immediate.
Guilty.

The consequence of sleeping like a PIG!
Not the first, neither the second, nor the third...
I confessed.
Mercy please, don't kill this sleepy pig.


P.S: Xuan said I need to write this down in my 'journal' (so that we know who is accountable in case of brain fuse).
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Realisation...

Last night, I came to a subtle realisation that I have crossed half of my journey in life. If nothing goes wrong - if I don't wake up one day with some innoxious pain that is diagnosed as cancer, that is, and if I don't recklessly drive into a divider or big tree, that is, I may get to live for another 30 years, maybe.

The first half of my journey is all about growing up - from a malnourished skinny girl to a whiney mother-of-two with stubborn baby bulge. It saw me emerging from a protected shell of a little schoolgirl, to slogging in the corporate world earning meagre bucks, before landing on a ship which calls home and giving birth to little Miss Fiery and Mr Mischief. It was very much a typical life of any women born into this earth, this space. A life that was not exciting, ... absolutely dull and pretty much lifeless. In a nutshell, a life void of happening and pampering. I've never been to a disco, not tried the bungee, not yelled to the world on the top of my voice to get crazy... (not that I yearned all those (haha!), it's more to illustrate the boring life I had). I've never treated myself to any spas, massages (other than the Malay postnatal massage), facials, hair colours, manicures, pedicures, and the like. I've just led a simple life.

Now the second half...
I would spend some time watching the kids grow, worrying about their overall well-being until they settle into their own families, spend little time looking after my grandchildren perhaps, and finally...
I will become old and wrinkly, frail and senile. I will be plagued by illnesses, patronising the hospital on a daily basis and finally being chucked into the nursing home until the day I bid "bye, see you next time."

What a realisation...
Is that the meaning of life?

Wait!! Before I go, I've got to see the world and do my bit for the less fortunate!
Still have time, 30 years I hope.

...

oh by the way,
There is a very meaningful event coming up on 31st October 2010 (Sunday) at Hort Park. It's called Happee Day for Children with Cancer, organised by awesome Mom-of-two (and counting...), Daphne and her husband and the Children’s Cancer Foundation, with hope to bring smiles to these brave kids. Find out more by clicking on the banner below!
Give your support!




This is the least I can do to help for now...
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Friday, October 1, 2010

I like RED

I really do!
See...





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Monday, September 27, 2010

Learning phonics through Leapfrog

That's how Kai learns his 26 alphabet sounds and the blending of alphabets to make words. I simply couldn't recall learning English through the phonics way when I was a kid. The term "phonics" was completely alien to me until my university years (no kidding) when I selected the subject as one of the study module in the Chinese department. I wonder how I picked up English without struggling through phonics when I was a kid?!

Kids nowadays learn English the phonics way, which has become part of their everyday life, as early as 3 years old or even earlier. It is like if you don't know phonics, there's no way you are able to read the language! But erhem, didn't I (and perhaps parents of my generation) do English without phonics?

Anyway, every kid is learning phonics today. So I made Kai learn it too! (Xuan missed out on that. Lucky for her!). First I made alphabet cards (more of paper) and made Kai sit through the phonics learning process with me. He wasn't interested. After a few mouth-opening session of "say 'ah'", he'd run away. Obviously, I wasn't train, and didn't know the correct sequence and process of teaching phonics.

It was later that I learned about Leapfrog DVD through some online forums, and decided to purchase them! It was definitely a much easier way out! The DVDs were truly awesome! Both Xuan and Kai were glued to the DVDs. They were a million times more effective in grabbing Kai's attention than torturing him with "open your mouth and say ah!"

These were what I got for him.


The Leapfrog characters are extremely effective in grabbing the kids' attention with their wild adventure at the Letter Factory and the Talking Words Factory. Letter Factory teaches the 26 alphabet sounds while Talking Words Factory teaches the simple blending of alphabets.

Unfortunately, these two DVDs were heavily battered by Kai with scratches and cannot be played anymore. Luckily he mastered his basic phonics from them before they bid goodbye. Sigh!
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Full moon

The kids had some fun (despite a short one) carrying conventional lanterns in the park last evening. That was the first time we celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival in such traditional way...








"Look at my lantern made in school!"
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