Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Me time?

Today is the start of a four-day BICEP camp for Xuan. It is held at SHHK from 8am to 5.15pm. In short, effectively, I will have a good 4.5 hrs of do-anything-as-I-please ME time when both kids are away at the same time, for the first time in many years.
 
I was keeping my fingers tightly crossed that Kai does not fall sick these few days, or else I'd be bounded at home and my ME-time dream will not be realised.
 
Phew! All was well. After a busy morning routine of fetching Xuan to school at 7am, fetching hb to work at 9am, followed by housework, cooking and teaching Kai in the late morning and getting him ready for school... my day effectively started at 12.45pm after dropping Kai at the school gate!
 
I met up with my lover (otherwise known as the husband) at his workplace for lunch. At 2pm, I returned home to the library to borrow some magazines for the kids, buy some bread for the family, and quickly hurried home to work on the name cards for the husband. Then I typed out a Chinese composition which I had written as a model essay for Xuan. Next, I rushed through a full load of ironing in a short span of 1 hour before TIME'S UP!
 
ME TIME'S UP!!! What?! My ME time was spent just like that??!!
 
Oh, I'm dead tired as I am writing this now.
 
Sigh... my life revolves too much around the family... even my ME time couldn't escape the clutches of home affairs...
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Monday, May 27, 2013

Shopaholic

Oh oh oh what shall I do... I've become a shopaholic overnight. And my sister was the culprit. She introduced me to taobao.com and then I started ordering goods from China in the name of CHEAP !
I started ordering through her 65daigou account and after getting familarised and hooked, I created my own account and shopped to my heart's content.
 
Oh oh oh... Now whenever I saw something out there in the brick and mortar shops, I'd whipped out my mobile, get into taobao to see if I can get a cheaper one in China. Not only that, even in taobao, I'd compare till I get the cheapest deal!!! It's very addictive... I mean the thrill of paying much less for the same things you get in local stores.
 
See, I got this bag at S$3.50 from taobao! Unbelievable! My sis said push carts are selling it for S$29.90!
At first I was quite hesitant about the goods from China. But then I rationalised that most things sold in Singapore are made in China anyway. So, why not?
 
Anyway I'm not here to defend myself. In fact, I 'tsk' myself for being the ultimate calculative shopper.
 
Sigh... what has become of me?
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Their results for first semester

I'm such a pain when it comes to the kids' academic achievement. See... I'm here again talking about their results. We'll... I just have to bear with myself for a while.. cos' I've some good news to spread.
No, I don't go around the estate flaunting their results. That's not my style. I'm still very much humble. And I teach the kids to be humble. I just need to document all parts of their growing up here.
Kai is doing exceedingly well beyond my expectations for him! I'm so proud of his achievements and tremendous improvement. .. from ZERO to
 
P1 Term 2 assessment
English listening 5/5
English reading 2 ticks for excellent, 1 tick for very good
English main paper 14/15
Chinese listening 8/10
Chinese speaking 2 ticks for excellent, 1 tick for very good
Math 23/30 and 24/30
 
 
Xuan has fared extremely well too. She has always been the least worry.  Her results have always been among the top in class and in the level. I've left her to revise independently all by herself this time as I needed more time to coach Kai. She has, without fail, done us proud again.
 
Primary 4 SA1
English overall - 86/100 (Band 1)
Chinese composition - A
Chinese main paper - 48/50
Chinese oral - A
Chinese overall - 93/100 (Band 1)
Math - 97/100 (Band 1)
Science - 87/100 (Band 1 - highest in her level)
Higher Chinese main paper - 26/30
Higher Chinese composition - A
Higher Chinese overall - Distinction
 
A peek at Xuan's past years' achievement (to remind myself)
P1 - 1st in class, 29th in level
P2 - 1st in class, 3rd in level
P3 - 5th in class and level
P4 SA 1 - 1st in class and level
 
 
Well done kids!
I know I am too results-oriented
too exam-centric
too anal
I am beyond incorrigible.
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Learning to appreciate my kids

I must admit that I am too hard on the kids when it comes to academic excellence.
 
"Do your work. Don't waste time. " was my favourite line.
 
Sometimes I think I should blame it on the stupid educational system and mindset that has been ingrained deeply in my veins. The chase for paper qualifications, the incessant struggle for Aces and full marks... how can I not push my kids when everyone is getting ahead of them. I don't want them to be left behind...
 
This kind of mentality is unhealthy and I realised that I no longer like myself anymore. I am telling myself to let it be. I am pleading myself to let go. Cos' I know if the kids couldn't meet my expectations, I will be very upset. Just like the other day when Kai told me he got 24/30 for his Math Mastery Test, I didn't give him a pat on the shoulder. I didn't praise him for doing well. I simply said emotionlessly, "not bad"... and so he cried. I became remorseful. I just couldn't bring myself to clap and shout Hooray, you've done a great job!
 
Kids, being kids, they need constant encouragement and praises... to do better and to excel. I am glad I constantly follow Jayne's blog and chanced upon her post that mentioned the book "赏识你的孩子". I have the same book, which sat in my cupboard with pages turning yellow, unread. It was given by somebody... and I've forgotten who. Anyway, I picked up the book and read... and found that it was indeed a gem - an awakening call.
 
It reminded me to appreciate my children. As the kids grow older, I find myself using a grown-up's yardstick to judge them. And I often forgot that they are just kids.
 
"This is so simple, you still cannot get it right."
"Why are you so careless?"
"You get this wrong again?!!"
 
I often hear these negative remarks from my mouth. Instead of seeing the positive improvement and appreciating Kai, I've zoomed in only to his mistakes and errors. The book has taught me to say:
 
太好了,除了不对的地方;
太好了,只少数了两个;
太好了,只错了九道题;
太好了,只不过把水念成了堆。
 
 The book explained that,
" 不管孩子表面上多么骄傲,内心都是脆弱的,弱小的生命常常担心自己不行。一个“太好了”,仿佛是春雷一声响,孩子吃了个定心丸,情感闸门一下全部打开。你接着乘虚而入--“除了不对的地方”,孩子就听得进去,容易接受。”
 
Think back on all those times when we lost our patience on our children when we try to coach them on stuff, be it piano or Math, etc. When they don't get it after many times, we think they are not paying close attention. When we remind them not to do something and they keep forgetting, we blame them for not trying hard enough. But if only we had the patience the way we were patient with them when they were babies and were learning to walk, to talk, to eat.
 
This book is indeed a gem to be read and digested.
I have to start appreciating the kids before too late...

现在有些家长,就怕孩子翘尾巴。。。教育孩子时第一句话往往是:妈妈不得不承认,你的优点还是有一点点,但是... ...  一个“但是”,后面全是缺点,滔滔不绝。。。孩子一听这种话,情感闸门全关。。。孩子此时的生命处于封闭状态。。。家长的千言万语只能化做耳边风。

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers' Day

A mother's job is the greatest of all professions.

It nurtures young hearts and minds and shapes the future of tomorrow.

It is 24/7.

It is done without pay and accomplishes with unconditional love.

Happy Mothers' Day to me and all...

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Again...

Pictures speak more than a thousand words...

He is back to his bad concentration. Five pages left blank! And the problem is that when I asked him whether he needed to complete those pages before going to school, he gave me a confident NO. But he came back with 5 BIG QUESTION MARKS on those pages... so apparently this boy had been dreaming in class!

Sigh... no cars again.

Ps: Should I attribute it to the lack of fish oil or the reintroduction of Cheezels, Milo ice cream, sweets and chocolates???

At loss...

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Xuan and me

I was never an affectionate person. So logically I am not that loving mother who is capable of breathing affectionate words in the kids' ears. In another words, I am that tough and no-nonsense mother whom most kids hate to deal with. My love for kids is not shown outwardly and because of that, my love to them is not in existence. I am not sure if part of it is because they are growing up too fast to a stage whereby cuddling has become quite alien. They have also entered a stage which called for more independence and whereby sweet talking is no longer relevant. They have also become the not-so-cute boy and girl who are capable of arguing and rebuking every single claims you have made. This is especially so for Xuan.

Xuan is a big girl now. Physically she is growing into puberty and emotionally, her thoughts and thinking are getting more sophisticated by the day.

There were times when I thought we couldn't communicate. I terminated the conversation and told her straight in her face that 'we can't communicate'. There were times when I thought our eight characters clashed.

She is one who hate criticism and I am one who is too quick to give criticism. So both sides fired whenever I criticised, or rather, commented...

Me: Exams coming and you still want to shop at Smiggle?? You are not so hardworking anymore...

Xuan: I just say only, I didn't really want to go, why did you say that I'm not hardworking? ?!!

Me: ok lah, you are hardworking lah...

Xuan: MUMMY!! Do you ever tell lies? Am I really hardworking or not???

Me: Ok! Enough!  I'm not going to talk anymore!

Casual remark like this could balloon into a full blown fight. I really have to slap my cheek for commenting too quick.

Well, having said that, Xuan is still the sensible one. The same old girl who is determined to do well, albeit a little burn out, a little too sensitive and a little ego too strong...

And I am still the same old antagonistic mother, unloving and incapable of lavishing kind words and praises...

And I think I've pushed the kids a little too hard.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Housework

Xuan was commenting on how dirty the lamp at the dinning table was. Yes, it was full of dead flies inside... and I think I haven't vacuum it for months.
It reminded me of this sad truth:

"Housework is what a woman does, that doesn't get noticed unless she didn't do it."
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Flu bug

The flu bug seems to have nested comfortably into the family since the start of the year and has not shown any signs of retreating... Every one in the family except me, is taking turns to catch it. First, it was Kai, then Xuan then Tim, then Kai again, Xuan again, Tim again.. yes something along this pattern and rhythm, without any decent break in between. I'm keeping my fingers tightly crossed that I don't catch it. The wife cum mother cum maid cum chauffeur cum tutor cum counsellor cum cook cum disciplinary mistress simply cannot afford to be down. She is still standing strong, albeit a bit wavering.
 
Yup, I'm not free to be sick next week... my schedule is full.
I am hoping to see light at the end of the tunnel soon...
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