Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Mini 3D handmade Christmas craft by Xuan to all of us! Merry Christmas & a very very happy New Year!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Taiwan

Just came back from our 2nd family trip to Taiwan few days ago. Quite happening. .. first 3 days were all rain which got us all wet and dirty and clumsy... and shoes were smelly! Then we encountered two quakes while we were in our dreams in Cingjing! And we escaped a landslide which occurred just hours after we came down from the mountains!

We were all thankful to be home!

Oh... forgot to add - and I had a big fright when a big lizard shot out from our luggage when I was opening it!!!

It was definitely an unforgettable trip which I'd remember for life!

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Updates@ Taiwan, kids

We'd be flying to Taiwan in a week's time. After much deliberation, the hb has finally mustered the courage to fly again. Since that Tokyo trip, I've figured out that travelling with two kids and two elders on  F&E was too much of a hassle... so this time we're going on a tour. But I know it has its own problem. See... I'm this pessimistic.

Anyway, some updates on the kids:

Xuan has done extremely well in her exams again. She has never disappoint us. I'm especially proud of her Chinese results. From someone who has never conversed in Mandarin at home since young, her achievement in Chinese is pretty shocking. Her Chinese overall for the year was 97% - the highest for her level. And she scored a distinction for higher Chinese. I still remember she told me that 二月 was' two moons' - that was in her K2! But it seemed that my worries for her Chinese was unfounded. Phew! All is well for her Chinese.

As for Kai, he is still as playful as ever. His new trick now is to flick off the light switches so as to leave the poor fellow in the bathroom in total darkness. He laughed so hard at all his mischief and I was pretty sure that he was not capable of doing anything serious. However, he proved me wrong in his K2 Graduation performance. He was really a no-nonsense on stage - 100% focused and engaged. Every move and action was carefully and seriously maneuvered. I was touched. He made me proud!

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Will you let me write a different story Kai?

Whenever it comes to teaching Kai, my energy depletes fast, patience drains, and all loving kind words gone with the wind... okay, to be fair, this happens mainly in his writing tasks.

He couldn't concentrate. Asking him to copy out a few sentences is akin to ... I don't know... a snail climbing a mountain... er okay at least the snail keeps moving and will reach its destination, not a good analogy... but for Kai, he would write a few letters (not even a word yet) then stopped - talked- meddled with his pencil - disturbed his eraser- went away - lay on floor- rocked his chair - wrote again ... only to realize that he wrote wrongly, so - erased - talked - meddled with every other things - demonstrated Oppa Gangnam Style... until...

'Do you want to turn me into a mad woman again?' I snapped, with fire in my eyes.

He knew the mad woman is terrifying... so he continued to write. But not long.

Sigh... this was such a tragic story to tell... But I had to... because I want to know whether tomorrow Kai will allow me to tell a different story altogether.

Yes? Jun Kai, please...
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Spiderman or Mummy-man?

Okay, I like this drawing that is full of details... especially the Spiderman at the top right... hee... he looks more like a mummy to me! A cute mummy!

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

One week break

They are crazily happy over the holidays! "YEAH!!!" so said Kai.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Old hobby

Back to my old hobby and much addicted..

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Singapore!

Everywhere I go, I see red. Everybody is rejoicing in the celebration.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SINGAPORE!

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Drawing

No more stick-man but fleshy woman :-D

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Homecooked fried rice

"I can't believe how nice it is!" words from Kai when he tasted my fried rice.

This little guy sure has a way to win my heart.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Updates

I'm no longer using the antique Nokia 6300. Thanks to the husband who bought me a Samsung Galaxy S3! And that is why I have been posting short notes on the day-in, day-out using the phone ... I think blogging for now shall remain this way :-)

Sometimes, there is just no inspiration to write. Especially now when I'm also crippled without a pc or laptop... haha

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P3 Chinese

This is Xuan's 听写 and 默写 .
Can't believe the standard of Chinese for P3 is getting this tough nowadays...

Is something very wrong with the system or is it just me?

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Wacky Wednesday

The book that made Kai laughed the whole day today. The big green book of beginner books. By Dr Seuss

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Crazy mom

Life gets crazy sometimes...
And this is what you'd get ..

Kid: Mummy, I spilled water on the sofa!

Mum (deaf): WHAT????

Kid repeated his statement louder.

Mum (walked out from bedroom): WHAT????

Kid repeated his statement again.

Mum saw the puddle on the sofa, walked towards it, without a second thought, sat on the puddle, wiggled her bum a little and said "DONE!"
Kid laughed so hard at the comedy.

That's the crazy mom at work.
This mom is usually serious. But when the going gets tough, she goes cranky.
She communicates by croaking and the kids couldn't stop laughing.
She likes her crazy self.

Life is too short,
so laugh insanely,
love truly and forgive quickly.


By Author Unknown
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Kai!

He is officially 6 today.
He weighs only 17kg.
I wonder how he is going to manage a 10kg schoolbag in 6 months' time...
Well, somehow or another, he has to manage.

He is still as cheeky, fun-loving and playful.
He likes to tell nonsensical jokes to everyone in the house.
We laugh..., not at his jokes, but at his cheeky and funny expressions.

He is easy-going.
When we changed plan and said "another day", he said "OK".
When we decided that he has too many toys, he agreed and said "Don't need to buy."

He is a perfectionist.
He has to make sure every letters/characters he writes is straight and nice - cannot be too big, too small, too high or too low.. and this often makes him too sloooow in his work and he gets easily frustrated. He has to erase and erase until the he got the letter/character/drawing finished to his standard of perfection!

He talks a lot, almost non-stop... (unfortunately) while doing work.
He needs EITHER - (1) praises - lots of praises OR (2) a taste of the rod and some crying - to get his work done. Either way - both work.

He likes to chant various lines from CARS:
"Oh those two are perfect for each other..."
"Hey I know you, you were the girl from the party last night, do you want to do our date right now?"
"Morning sleeping beauty!!"
He can "play" the entire CARS (both 1 and 2) movie from start to end - complete with sound effects and accent. Not kidding.

He appears to be tough and rough while playing his cars. But deep inside, I know he has a (what I called) "marshmallow heart." He is sweet and kind. He offers his favourite food to us all. He lets us have the last piece on the plate. He gives jiejie a larger share of the goodies he got back from school. He goes to the library not to read, but to help straighten the messy books on the shelves.

On and off, he'd flash us that "handsome" look - "like that handsome right???" he grinned, wiggling his brows up and down.

He is one funny little fellow.
He's forever our sweet little darling.
Happy Sixth Birthday, HANDSOME!
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

This June holidays

This holiday we didn't do much.
Most activities were in-house.


Lots of stories and reading - The Minpins, The Magic Finger, Danny the Champion of the World, Esio Trot, The BFG, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, The Twits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda - all by Roald Dahl. Xuan has developed keen interest for all Roald Dahl's books. "His stories are very interesting and creative. He is a good author." Kai commented after I read The Minpins to him. I'm glad he enjoyed his books too.

Lots of writing for Kai.
Teachers in school have labelled him as "slow coach"
There is no better time to train him to write faster than THIS time.
When the momentum is there, he can DO IT without a problem.
But finding that momentum is a big problem.


And ... lots and lots of cars-playing deep into the nights
for them all

We did manage a few outdoors'
- swimming, fun@playground
and that's all.
Oh yes, we also played a not-so-bouncy red durian ball at the basketball court.
We don't have a real basketball
Nevermind about the stares and all
There was so much fun
throwing, catching, and running after the red durian ball!
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Friday, June 22, 2012

Mindfulness meditation

I am a Buddhist. I joined the NUS Buddhist Society when I was an undergraduate. Although I have taken refuge in the Triple Gem, I was never a hardcore devotee. I adore Buddhism for its philosophy. I remembered going for meditation classes in the campus, but would without fail, fall into deep deep meditative state sleep, almost instantly upon shutting my eyes. At the end of it, while my comrades woke up to the bliss and peace of the divine, I woke up to blurriness and to that indisputable i-need-more-sleep state of awakening. But as I grew older to be more mature, I've learnt to appreciate meditation more. Oh, and the knowledge that meditation can be practised while lying down, certainly helps.

Ok, jokes aside. I've always believe in the importance of mindfulness. So I'm pretty sure that mindfulness meditation is useful in our everyday life. The husband, who has more depth and is more profound than I am, recently shared with me an article about meditation. He doesn't really meditates, he hasn't taken refuge, but he seems to have attained a certain level of perfection... or perhaps I'm just too shallow.

Anyway, if you'd like to try out some meditation, here's the "Eight steps to having peace of mind," which I'm sure is useful to me and everyone. Below are the steps for quick reference:

1. Sit comfortably in an upright position with both feet positioned firmly on the ground and hands resting lightly on your lap. Adjust yourself to find the most comfortable and suitable position. (Can also be practised lying down.)

2. Spend several moments noticing the different sounds around you. These may include the sound of the traffic outside, of leaves rustling in the wind, of the clock ticking, or the air-conditioning or even of your own breathing.

3. Take 10 slow, deep breaths. Try to breathe gently and slowly in a natural rhythm.

4. Focus your attention to the sensations of your lungs filling up with air and then emptying as you breathe. Notice your ribcage rising and falling with each breath. Notice the gentle rise and fall of your shoulders.

5. Focus on the thoughts entering and leaving your mind. Be gentle, non-critical and non-judgmental towards yourself as you examine them. 

Identify and catalogue your thoughts. For example:"This is a thought about what I did earlier today," or "This is a thought about when I got upset over a certain incident." 

Once you have identified the thought, gently let it go. You may do this by imagining the thought as a balloon floating up into the sky or as a leaf drifting away in a stream. 

You can do the same for feelings and physical sensations. 

6. Take 10 slow, deep breaths again. As you breathe in, tell yourself: "Breathing in, I feel relaxed." As you breathe out, tell yourself, "Breathing out, I am at peace." 

7. Spend a few moments to experience the state of calm and relaxation that you have achieved. 

8. Slowly and gently, allow yourself to be aware of your surroundings again as you open your eyes. 

Source: Dr Chan Keen Loong, a senior consultant psychiatrist at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, who attended two meditation workshops in Singapore - a five-day workshop conducted in 2009 by Professor Mark Williams from Oxford Mindfulness Centre at the University of Oxford; and a five-day retreat in March conducted by practitioners from Plum Village, a well-known meditation centre in Europe. (Mind Your Body, The Straits Times, 21 Jun 2012)
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The SKII story

Being the cheapo that I am, I would stinge on every dollar spent and never splurge on anything for myself. I am happy with This Fashion clothing and satisfied with Kao's facial foam, or whatever facial wash that seldom goes beyond $6.90. I am still using the most conventional Nokia 6300 when even the most conservative auntie in town has switched to iphone 4s. But sometimes, I would use that Nokia phone discreetly in public, just in case someone pops his head over to inquire about that tiny latest gadget I have in hand.

Basically, I am a very simple person. My mum always feel sorry that I have mistreated myself. She said I should pamper myself - go for facial, massage, and the like. But I am happy with what I am and how I am. Well, sometimes though, I do feel sorry when I look into the mirror and see lines appearing all around my eyes. I was never a skincare person. I never use a toner nor a moisturiser. The most expensive moisturiser I used around my eyes was OLAY and that was a gift from my sis. I have no time for such luxury I said. And the lines were the price I had to pay for saying that.

 So, one day, when the husband came home with a box of SK II skincare set for me, without my approval, I was like screaming my lungs out. The screaming was a display of dilemma - comprised both happiness and shock. I would never never have splurged on this kind of luxury in my entire life if I had a choice. "WHAT???!!!" my eyeballs almost popped out when I knew the price. I was thinking if he could return the set and ask for a refund. I told him it was daylight robbery. I didn't know the market for this kind of skincare product. Later that day, I deduced that I could use the $$ for 50 sets of feel good outfits from THIS and a few dozens of $6.90 facial foam. Or else, I could even buy myself an iphone or a Samsung Galaxy Note and get a good change to buy many many tubs of ice cream!

 Anyway, the husband had the good intention at heart. He felt sorry when I complained how various MRT tracks have commenced work on my face and how the Circle Lines went round and round without a final completion date. It was sweet of him to go all the way to the beauty counter in Orchard to buy a complete skincare set for me and made the beauty consultant write down all the steps involved in a proper skincare regime.

This had to be the only thing that made MAY worth living for.
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Friday, June 1, 2012

Tomorrow will be better

May was a scary month - too eventful to be true.

The kids were plagued by pneumonia. First it was Kai, his fever went up and down (up to 40.1 deg) and didn't subside over 5 days. He was coughing non-stop. So he did a chest X-ray and the PD confirmed pneumonia. Then Xuan and I got it. Right now they are still coughing... but I would say they are on the road to recovery.
Then my mum was affected by thyroid nodules and is still contemplating on operation. My grandpa passed away, while two family members were on the verge of family breakdown. All of these took place in MAY.

The only way out of this was to constantly remind myself of the Buddhist concept of impermanence.
I'm so tired.
I hope tomorrow will be a better day.
明天会更好!
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Monday, April 23, 2012

April updates

April has come and (almost) gone. I'm starting to hate Mondays. Who says SAHM doesn't have Monday blues? Getting up early to prepare Xuan for school is a chore. I had to pry my eyelid open every Monday, after the weekend of indulging over-sleep till 8.00 a.m. That is why I hate Mondays.

I am now out of my "home-based job" and I can officially declare myself as a full-time SAHM. By that, it actually means real cooking involving the pans and wok. I am now starting to dish out some decent stir-fry pork and potato stew, tomato steam fish, fried fish, toufu fish soup, peanut soup, herbal soup, deep fried prawn balls, fried bee hoon and fried rice.

As for the kids, Xuan is having her SA1 soon. I am most worried for her Chinese oral. She utters two words at a time when presented with a picture conversation. She can pause for as long as 2 minutes in between each sentence and I doubt she is able to bluff her way through with that. Anyway, it is our fault that we never converse with her in Mandarin at home.

As for Kai, he is still playing a lot at home. What's new right? But he is only allowed to play with his cars after he has completed 10 little tasks that he is required to accomplish each day - simple tasks like counting to 100, copy writing, spelling simple words, practice writing alphabets, etc. One of the tasks he enjoyed most is writing and drawing the CARS story -- "The Spooky Sound"

Let me proudly present the full set of his finished work..
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Homework

Progressing to Primary 3 is easy, but surviving through it is another issue altogether.
There are tons of homework everyday. On Friday, it's worse. The school thinks that you should slog through the weekends with more homework. I can't imagine what life is like for those kids who have tuition or enrichment everyday. I wonder how they cope. Xuan, who is tuition-free is already struggling. Poor kid.

Something is very wrong with the entire academic system.
The teachers expect the students to know the answers to questions on topics which haven't been taught. Perhaps they think everybody goes for tuition and have progressed beyond the current level. Perhaps they think parents at home should do some homework. What is the whole point of going to school when parents can do their job?

The difficulty of P3 subjects is akin to that of Sec 3 in my era.
You are expected to know what is a lease agreement and the lease tenure of 5+2+1
You are supposed to know what are invertebrates, molluscs, annelids, and the like.
You are to debate whether an unfertilised egg is a living thing.
You have to know which plants float and which submerge in water, which birds can't fly and which fish can't swim.. (oops.. I'm getting a bit nonsensical here)
tsk, tsk...
Sigh...
Poor children.
Poor child.
Poor me.
The school has given me lots of homework.
And I'm struggling to find the correct answers..
Arrggghhhh!!
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Photofunia






The best thing about photofunia is that your wrinkles are almost invisible after the super-imposition and you can use it to deceive yourself that you still look youthful.
..
...
with fond memories..

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cars drawings and colourings



He is very much into drawing and colouring..
erhem.. but all related to cars..
His colouring and drawing skills have matured a lot

from amateur ones like these


to these...


I am happy.
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Friday, March 16, 2012

Wedding anniversary

Today marked our tenth wedding anniversary.
In the morning, I gave him a good handshake.
"Happy Anniversary! Good job!" I said with a broad smile.
"Happy 10th Anniversary! GOOD JOB!" He returned.

Ha! We are silly like that.

But seriously,
Happy Anniversary dear,
you have been a great husband for the past 10 years..
May there be more 10 years to come.

Great job! Keep it up.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Feng shui

Bad things didn't seem to stop happening.
So frequent that I couldn't help but think it must have to do with the
fengshui..
So now...
we are..
contemplating on
selling this house..
and
moving back to where we once belonged..
and
perhaps some time down the road..
we will move again..

perhaps.

if only roads were this smooth



and days were this blissful
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Skin and bone


She is now reduced to skin and bone.
The other day, she asked me about her BMI.
I taught her how to calculate and wanted to show where she was on the BMI graph chart...
To our horror, we realised she wasn't anywhere on the graph.
Not even in the underweight or severely underweight spectrum.

And now that she is down with extremely bad phlegmy cough, severe vomiting and fever lasting for 7 days (again)... you can expect nothing but a skeleton.
It was one of those bad coughs again, which started on Friday (2 Mar).
She was put on two bottles of Augmentin and two bottles of Zithromax, and was hooked on to the usual steriodal nebuliser. She vomited so many times and I was ready to hospitalise her any time. She even had a chest X-ray taken in case of lung infection.
That was tough.
She was absent from school for the entire week.
Sigh..

Oh well, back to BMI..
I am pretty determined to put her back on the BMI graph again.
Now, I really need to get serious into monitoring her weight.
I'm going to get a digital weighing scale
so that every 0.1kg can be closely monitored.
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

February update



It's so easy to skive through the whole of February without writing a single post.
Yah, I know... this blog is half-dead.
I'm just too busy with the day-in-day-out affairs that I hardly had the inspirations to write.
I have no intention of killing it, in fact, far from it.
Even if I stop writing for a year or two, this blog will still be here,
be here for as long as I shall live.
cos' all the priceless memories of the kids are documented HERE and no.where.else.
not even in my hopeless brain, which has limited capacity :(

Life with two grown-up-yet-not-so-grown-up kids is nothing but noise
Noise everywhere..
The best happens when they talk at the same time and yet expect you to listen and respond!
As a matter of fact, I've learnt to listen with both ears - one for each child.

Left ear heard Kai's "Francesco Bernoulli is an Italian"
and I'd go "OK, Italian"

Right ear detected Xuan's "I have a lot of homework today"
and I'd quickly repeat "Hmm... homework"

Left ear hurriedly returned to pick up the last phrase from Kai "actually, I like all the cars in CARS 2 but I don't like Axelrod"
and I'd respond with a "umm..Axelrod"

This can be quite nerve-racking.
By that, I really mean hair-pulling - literally.
It needs an awful lot of patience and some witty tricks to maintain sanity
- that is,
devoting 25% for left ear conversation
another 25% for right ear conversation
and the last 50% for my own thoughts ...
"what am I going to cook tomorrow?... fried rice again? or fried bee hoon.. er.. maybe not, ABC macaroni might be wiser..., easier, ok set."
This helps in maintaining the sanity of a deprived SAHM in one way or another..
...

On a side note, I've finally succumbed to Kiasuism
and put Kai on a reading programme by "I CAN READ"
He refused to learn with me at home
and I was left with no choice.

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