Friday, December 31, 2010

There goes my clean record

15 years of driving and I met with my first accident today.

THANK GOD no one was hurt.

I was very angry with the other driver initially as the light was in my favour and she had turned into my path, coming from the other direction. By the time I saw her appear in my path, I just couldnt brake in time. She just stopped and looked at me as I crashed into her car. She then just sat there not knowing what to do. I was furious as I had 3 children in the car with me, and one was not mine, and I was concerned as to whether they were hurt. Fortunately I had reminded them to put on their seatbelts just as I started my engine. My friend's child doesnt usually wear his seatbelt, but because I requested, he put it on to oblige me, and I Thank God for that. My own son, N complained of stomach pains initially as his full weight was held abck by the seatbelt. Fortunately, the pain has since gone away, and it is not whiplash. Apart from my son, the other 2 children seemed fairly ignorant of the fact that an accident had occured and continued playing on the iPad, oblivious to what had happened.

But, now I am no longer angry with the other driver. She too didnt want an accident to happen. She told me that she didn't see my car at all and assumed it was alright to turn, as there was a car waiting to turn in the opposite direction. She apologised for causing the accident.

Anyway, I hope that will be my first and last traffic accident. I lost half a day because of it, waiting with her for the tow truck, going to the police station to make a report, sending her home in my hubby's car, and then sending my car to the other end of the island just to submit my insurance claim and for the car to be repaired.

I know it wont be ready in time for the new school year, and it would be very inconvenient for me without a car. But as long as no one is hurt, my family and I will just have to try to juggle all our schedules and make do with one car.

To a better new year. I just crashed the old one out!

The New Year is just around the Corner

Since Christmas, time has been rather short on my hands, especially with MIL away on holiday and my older two at a Chess tournament, hence my lack of posts. OK, I am just making excuses. But honestly, that was how I felt.

The new year is just around the corner, and I feel hardly ready for it. I have yet to pack Little D's school bag, nor gotten ready her snack box for school, a wallet for her pocket money, pencil case, etc. And I have not psychologically readied her for school like I did the older two - walking her through all that she needs to know!! AND I just realised I forgot to buy her school socks!!

And my son still has national service to perform over the these two days, which leaves me with hardly anytime to do the things I have to do :P

So, I just want to wish you all A Happy 2011, and may God's Bountiful Blessings be upon you and your family!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Lunch



Well, another Christmas, and another cap in the hat. The very first time I cooked Christmas lunch for the family. And this was the menu, a simple one:

Starters:
Foie Gras with apple on toast
Stuffed Calamari with seaweed served with a sweet chilli sauce

Mains:
Roasted Chicken
Pan Fried Salmon with lemon slices
Fish fingers (as requested for by my children)
Pasta in tomato sauce

Salads:
Ranch salad
Cucumber salad with a spicy sauce

Dessert:
Longans on ice
Christmas Log cake

Drinks:
Bubbly! Champagne for the adults and Sparkling apple juice for the kids!

As you can see, most of the dishes were really simple - just pop-it-in-the-oven or straight-out-of-a-can simple! I didnt attempt anything monstrous nor beasty like Jomel did. Why? Because I lack the skills, because the decision to cook that lunch was pretty last minute and I wouldn't dare to cook it for guests without first having tried it out beforehand!

And did everyone enjoy the meal? Honestly I dont know. My parents have never been the sort who praised, never had, and never still, and I guess my siblings are the same. I will only know if they reject my offer the next time I offer to do it.

All I can say was: I was pretty pleased with myself.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Andy Rooney once said:

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly.


And I must say, I took his advise. I have let that mess stay through the year in my home.

OK, I guess now it is time for me to clear that mess, and prepare for Christmas so that we can re-create it again this Christmas!



May Peace be your gift this Christmas and your blessing all year through!
Have a Blessed Christmas!
Love, SAHM and all in her glorious home!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Yoohoo! I won!!

I don't believe it but I won! I won a leather pouch by Missy Mao Mao!

I was visiting Danielle's web page when I saw the double zipper bag and I thought "it's just beautiful". I thought to myself I could do with one like that. The fabric used is by Thea and Sami, which I thought was beautiful. But when I saw the price, I decided that it was above what I could pay to indulge myself, especially with the recent huge cash outflow due to Christmas shopping, the year-end school books and uniform buying, and our recent vacation. But when the contest on Danielle's blog came out to celebrate her 100th post, I decided to take part. Mine was comment number 8, and you what? The chinese believe that the number 8 is a lucky number, as it sounds like the word "luck" in Cantonese. Guess it was indeed a lucky one for me! So my prise is the leather pouch, not the zipper bag that I wanted, better than nothing.

What a wonderful Christmas pressy for me. Thanks Danielle! The pouch would be put to good use. I LOVE IT!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What did I get myself into?

Every Christmas we have lunch at my Mum's. This year she suggested going out.

But I vetoed it! why? The buffet she suggested costs twice as much as it normally would ($80+++), and the food is not all that fantastic for that price. Also, it would be crowded, and they do not take reservations, and that would mean we would have to go early to queue for a table!

And you know what? I offered to cook Christmas lunch instead!! I really dont know what I have gotten myself into!! And this decision was only made YESTERDAY!!


Now I really have to get my act today. The house looks anything but Christmassy at the moment. I wasnt planning to put up the Christmas tree this year, so I guess I will just have to whip out that small table top one.

I havent even decided on the menu yet, and I will have to do the marketing, prepare and cook ... and lunch is never easy coz we will be out for a Chrismas party the night before which means we would be home late! And we dont have much time between waking up, going to Church in the morning for service, and coming back to cook in time for everyone to eat! HELPPPPPPPPPPP!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

6 Shopping days to Christmas

And I am almost done with my shopping.

I was at the mall last night to collect my new spectacles (the lao hua yan (presbyopia) has gotten worse, so a new pair was absolutely necessary!!), and managed to do some shopping!!

Well, when I was at the optician, N said he wanted to go to the bookshop, and his MeiMei (little Sister), D went with him. But en-route to the bookshop, they stopped at the jewellery store (without my knowledge at all). I only found this out from the little one later.

They wanted to get me a diamond pendant, a cross with a little diamond in the middle!! (Just the thought of my two little ones wanting to buy me something just brings tears to my eyes!) It cost $139, on sale. N wanted little D to contribute $39 and he would pay $100. But little D said she had no money. All her money was with me. So they couldnt buy it :(

As we were going back to the car after shopping, we went by THAT shop again, and little D mentioned that they wanted to get me a pendant, which I immediately told them not to. I told them to save their money for themselves! And when I was brushing my teeth before bed, Little D came to me again with a brochure from the jewellery store showing me the two pendants which were going at $139 . It really brought tears to my eyes!!

Am I doing the right thing by not allowing them to buy me a gift? I dont want them to spend SO much money on a gift for me. Any small gift would make me happy (it's the thought that counts, not?) even if its homemade.

But if I dont let them buy it, would it mean that they would take it literally and never ever buy me anything for the rest of my life?? Ah well, guess I will take it as it comes. The fact that they even wanted to buy me something (this is the first time in all these years!!) already makes me very, very happy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Milestone

There is a man who snores in my bedroom every night. Not always in bed with me, cause he knows that when he has a busy night with calls from the office, my sleep will be disturbed by those calls. He will then sleep on a mattress on the floor so as not to disturb my beauty sleep. I thank God for such a thoughtful man!

A patient father to our children. A loving dad that sometimes pampers his children too much.

Thats the man I married, 20 years ago on this day.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

They put me to shame :(

She works.

She runs her household with no help: doing the laundry, housekeeping, cooking, washing, etc

She awakes at 5.30am everyday to do her morning walk /jog.

Leaves the house at 7am to commute to work by bus.

She attends church service every morning at 8am, then walks to work, and is in the office before 9am.

Her sister does the same, except that instead of walk /jog, she swims as she has an arthritis problem. Attends church service daily too.

I have help at home, I do not do the cleaning, laundry, washing, yet I dont exercise on a regular basis, tho I awake as early as them, if not earlier.

I only attend church service during the weekends.

Shame on me! Why cant I be as disciplined as them and put my time to better use.

Time to consider my resolutions NOW! How about you?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Living in the wrong time zone

Many of you already know about how I awake at by the unearthly hour of 4.30 every morning. Well, when I was on holiday, I didnt! I woke up at about 7am each day.

But now, back from vacation, I am back to waking at that hour again!!

I am now totally convinced that I am living in the wrong time zone. I would be normal and awake at the usual 7am most people do if I werent living here!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

My precious one

Yes, it's my precious little one's birthday today!!

Yes, the child who I most worry about has achieved another milestone ... she turns 6 today, with no fractures for the last 5 years 11 months. And I THANK GOD for that.

Praying always for her good health and God's bountiful blessings on her.

During our recent vacation, this little one has been looking out for jewellery all the time. At our first stop, she asked to buy a necklace with 3 hearts on it from the gift shop. So I got it for her, and she wore it on most days.

Mid-way during the trip, when we were buying a gift for a friend, the man at the shop asked her if she wanted anything. He was going to give it to her for free. She again chose a necklace. This time the pendant was in the shape of Australia with little pink colored stones all around it.

And I know when I ask her what she wants for her birthday, she may tell me: "Diamonds"! So, I am getting a pack of cards to stand-by ... just-in-case!

Yes, it's friday already. Have a great weekend ahead!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Almost had free spending money ....

We almost had $1250 of free spending money for our hols ... but we were too late. We hesitated and then it was gone! DANG!

As you know many airlines have stopped flying the A380 because of some problems a Qantas flight encountered recently. Well, when I booked my air tickets some 3 months ago, the flight that we were meant to be on was a A380. But due to the problems with the Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines, many airlines have now grounded their A380 planes. As a result, some passengers are bumped off their flights, as replacement airplanes do not carry as many passengers as the A380.

We had earlier done an internet check-in for our flight. When we went to the airport to drop off our luggage, we had a very chatty girl doing the check-in.

We talked about how our seats got changed to due to the different seat configuration. She then told asked that the airline was asking for 16 passengers to change flight to a later one, some 3 hours later. She then asked us if we were interested.

We considered what we would do for that extra 3 hours, whether we should make our way home. We considered whether our car rental booking would be affected, we thought of all the things the extra money could buy us ... think shopping!! And then we decided we would take it! But alas, that 3 minutes spent considering was 3 minutes too long because by then, they had found their 16 people already!

Well, que sera sera ... we didnt get that extra spending money. But it would have been good if we did.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Beginners luck

I have always been a spectator during mahjong games.

Mahjong is a game that originated in China, commonly played by four players (with some three-player variations found in Korea and Japan). Mahjong is a game of skill, strategy and calculation and involves a certain degree of chance. In Asia, mahjong is also popularly played as a gambling game (though it may just as easily be played recreationally). Source: Wikipedia

But during this last vacation, I was "forced" to play coz if not there would be no game for the rest being one player short.

Two of the players were professionals as they confessed to having played in the "pro league". The third was my husband who enjoys the game but has not played for more than 10 years, and he only plays in "friendly" games.

We played for two evenings after dinner last week.

And the big winner was the rookie, me!!! Yippee!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

That's really personal service!

We just got back from vacation. Yay! Had a great time with the family and chilling out with some friends.

On our flight out of the red dot, the flight stewardess asked me: how should I address your children?

So I gave her their names: S, N and D. I never expected her to address them personally every time she served them, but she did! That's what I call good service!

My oldest was surprised too. She asked me how the stewardess knew their names and I told her. Oldest then said to me: you should have told her to address us as: Your majesty, your royal highness and prince charming!!

On the return flight she reminded me again that if I were to be asked how they were to be addressed, I was to do as she told me. But alas! The service on the return flight was not as personal. The flight stewardess took the easy way out and called all the children "Sweetie"!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The changing shape of children

Have you noticed that the shape of kids have changed recently?

Obesity is on the rise, and there are now many obese children around.

My children are not fat , but their shape is apparently not right.

We only realised it when we tried to buy school uniforms for them.

When my oldest first started school, the smallest sized uniform was way too big. We had to practically re-sew the WHOLE uniform for it to fit her. When she went to secondary school, again the smallest sized uniform was way too big, and again major alterations had to be made. My son had no problems when we bought his as he was a little on the chubby side then, but has since lost all his "baby fat".

Just last week when we tried to buy school uniforms for the youngest, we encountered problems again. The blouse couldnt get past her head. If we were to go for a size bigger the bodice would be too big. Does that mean that my daughter has a big head, or was there a defect in the manufacturing. I would like to think the latter as another parent also complained that his daughter's head couldnt get thru the blouse and he alerted us to try it on.

Then when we bought the skirt, when the length was right, the waist was too tight ... and I tell you my child is NOT fat! In fact, she is below the average scale for children her age. And if we took one where the waist fits, the skirt reaches her ankles!! And mind you she is not short - she is of average height!

But the PE shorts - the smallest size was way too big - I have to stuff in a cushion for it to not fall off her hips! And the worst part is, there is very little we can do to alter the shorts to her size - not with the pocket and school logo on it. Well, at least I know my child is not pear shaped!

But what shape is she? If the uniforms are anything to go by: she has a Big head, small body, big waist, small hips, undertall? Does that make her a big circle on top of a diamond?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I am supposed to be so stressed ...

You see, I havent been for a foot reflexology for a long, long time. So having some time on my hands whilst waiting for the little one who was at piano class last week, I decided to venture into the mall next door to her music school, and walked into the foot reflex shop.

Reflexology is the practice of applying pressure to the feet and hands utilizing specific thumb, finger and hand techniques without the use of oil, cream or lotion based on a system of zones and reflex areas that reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands with a premise that such work effects a physical change in the body.

It is believed that reflexology can reduce stress. Because the feet and hands help set the tension level for the rest of the body, they are an easy way to interrupt the stress signal and reset homeostasis, the body's equilibrium. Reflexology works as the pressure techniques applied to the feet or hands interact as a part of the body's nervous system creating: relaxation, improved circulation, exercise of the nervous system and the benefits of touch.

Reflexology assessment takes place as stress cues are evaluated. Stress cues show adaptation to stress in a part of the foot or hand or a reflex area that reflects stress in the body. Adaptation is shown by visual signs such as callousing, knobby toes or a bunion. Indications of stress are also seen as sensitivity to technique application or touch signs perceived by the reflexologist as technique is applied. The assessment of such stress cues allows the reflexologist to target areas of stress and to design a session of pressure technique application appropriate to provide relaxation specific to the individual.


(Source: www.reflexology-research.com)

As I used to get a foot massage on a fairly frequent basis previously, and had a package with the shop, the guy at the shop pulled out my card and said - : "Wow! You havent had a session for more than a year! "

Anyway, he then started on the foot massage. Before he was two minutes into it, I felt intense pain. Honestly, I dont remember it being so painful before so I mentioned it to the guy. He replied - that's your eyes. Your eyes are probably strained. Hmmm .. I thought to myself ... he is probably right. Been playing a bit too much computer games, and what with the ipad. I notice that it seems terribly bright, and I do feel the strain each time after I use it.

The next thing I knew, I felt intense pain again: this time he said it was my ears ... I guess from having to put up with the noise level at home, now that the kids are home more with the exams over.

Barely two minutes later, I again alerted him to the intense pain, and this time he said: it's your head, too many things on your mind and you are stressed! I felt like saying: What do you expect? With 3 kids at home and their different schedules to contend with, sometimes I dont even know if I am coming or going!!

The next time I felt pain he said: It's your back. You must suffer from backache right? Boy! was he right! After sitting for too long in front of the television or computer terminal or long periods of driving, I sometimes experience backache. And I blame it on my poor posture, it seems more comfortable slouching than sitting upright!

Next it was my liver, he attributed it to having had to much rich food. My, Oh my, my unhealthy diet is now catching up with me. He advised me to cut down on seafood especially shellfish/crustaceans ... my favourite. Which reminds me, I shouldn't have had the 2 giant chilli prawns (with all that roe in the head) for dinner just last night!

And he concluded that my blood circulation is weak.

You want to know the funny thing: I actually dont feel all that stressed. Especially with the exams over and the schools closed, I actually have a relatively more relaxed schedule. My stress level is probably brought about by all that he told me ...which has me now worrying about how come I am so stressed and not know it! Now that's REAL stress!!

I guess what I need is more full body massages to get the blood going in the whole body, not just a foot reflex, and that would sure soothe all those aches away!

Which reminds me I have to get off the computer right now, before I strain my eyes even more.

Friday, November 19, 2010

As different as Chalk and cheese

Thats my kids.

One is so well co-ordinated and is a sportsman, the other is a Klutz.

One can master the break dance moves taught by the teacher, the other has two left feet.

One is the Ice Queen, the other is Mr Sociable.

The Ice Queen selects friends very carefully, Mr Sociable is friends with everyone, even says hello/waves to the construction workers in the truck as my car drives pass.

One I never have to bug to do homework, the other will not do until I scream and lose my temper.

One loves to read, the other loves to play.

One only takes hot baths, the other only cold showers, rain or shine.

One jumps out of bed immediately when called in the morning, the other has to be called at least three times before you see any movement!

As babies, my MIL had to rock one for a whole hour to put to nap for 15 minutes, the other slept for 3 hours straight without any rocking.

One loves the dirt and has no problem rolling on the floor anywhere, the other is allergic to dust!

One would eat most things, the other is sooooo fussy.

And to think that both of the came from the same "mould", of same parentage!

I guess God is fair. He gives us a bit of everything, and some in between too - coz my lil one is the hybrid. She is quite "middle of the road", a bit of the two older siblings.

And since it's friday, here's a joke for you:

Daddy, where did I come from?" the seven-year-old asked. It was a moment for which her parents had carefully prepared. They took her into the living room, got out the encyclopedia and several other books, and explained all they thought she should know about sexual attraction, affection, love, and reproductions. Then they both sat back and smiled contentedly. "Does that answer your question?" her father asked. "Not really," the little girl said. "Marcia said she came from Detroit. I want to know where I came from."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

4x4

I was tagged by Nessaknit, so here it goes.

4 things that..... are usually in my handbag

1. My mobile phone. I can't live without it. In it I have all my schedules and children's as well. It tells me the days and time, who this taxi driver has to pick or meet or what appointments she has. Also, I dont remember many people's phone numbers anymore.

2. My wallet. My big, fat overflowing wallet. Not always with money. You know how it is over here, where practically every shop has their own ins-store discount or credit card? I carry many of them, many of which I dont even use.

3. Children's photos. You know how when we take passsport photos it always comes in 8s. Well, you only need one for a new passport. The other 7 are in my bag. I never know when I will need them. Maybe, when my child gets lost at the shopping mall I will be able to whip out their latest photo so that they can be identified immediately! But that will never happen as I ALWAYS make sure that the youngest is holding my hands, (or handbag strap, or the loop in my jeans) if my hands are not free when we are out shopping, and the older ones can now whip out their mobiles and call me.

4. Tissue Paper. To clean away all traces of what I have consumed, or in case I need to blow my nose, and most importantly, for those of us living in this little red dot, to reserve a table at the hawker centre / food court!!

4 things that..... are in my bedroom

1. My lil one. Yes, she's almost 6 but she refuses to move out of my bedroom to ehr own. She still sleeps in the bed next to mine.

2. A cot. And yes again, she's almost 6 but I have yet to disassemble her cot, so its sitting in a corner of my bedroom with loads of stuff in it. Now, you know why It hasnt been disassembled!!

3. My books. I read every night before going to bed, so there are always books in my bedroom!

4. My wedding photos! After close to 20 years of marriage, my wedding photos are still hanging in my room :D


4 things that ..... I would like to do but never did

1. Sky-diving. I used to be an adrenalin junkie, always queuing for the first row of any roller coaster ride. Now I dont think my heart can take it!

2. Kept my fitness level. I used to swim everyday, yes everyday! Now I hardly exercise. I would really like to take this lazy butt off the couch and get fit again!

3. Continued my career. I stopped working to be a SAHM when I had my second child. I have been home full time for more than 10 years already. I really miss the financial independence and the luxury of having 2 incomes in the family. Having been out of the profession for soooooo long and not keeping abreast, if I decide to go back to work, it would have to be in a totally different field.

4. Move out, and set up my own home, and have EVERYTHING my way!

4 things that .... you don't know about me

1. I have 50 cousins or maybe more. You know how you stop counting once they get to a number like that!
2. I used to be an Australian PR, but not anymore :(
3. I am still living with the in-laws!
4. I have bad hair! These natural curls make it a bad hair day almost everyday!

Well I am supposed to tag four blogger friends, but I am not tagging them. But I hope my friends like Stardust, BP, Jomel and iml would do it if they like to.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Always Late

Do you know of people who are ALWAYS late. And I mean ALWAYS!! Well, I do know a few.

When I was in school, there was one in our group who was always late , no matter what. And there were always excuses. She would be at least 30 minutes late every time we met. Sometimes as late as an hour. And boy! we hated waiting for her. But we still included her in all our activities coz she was a good friend. After many years of waiting, our group decided to tell her an earlier timing for one of our gatherings. We told her a time which was a half hour earlier than the appointed time for the rest of us. Guess what? She was on time that ONE day, and she was fuming mad that she had to wait a half hour for us!

What makes a person consistently late?

Poor planning? Well, when you dont plan ahead of time what you need and how long you will take, naturally you will be late. You cant be blaming the bus all the time. You have to wait for it. You cant expect it to be there waiting for you as you arrive at the bus-stop! (Unless you live in a country with very accurate bus schedules!)

A superior-than-thou attitude? Why should I waste MY time waiting for the rest? They can wait for me. I know a few who are like that. They know they are supposed to meet you at 6.30. But they leave their home at 6.00 to go to the shops to pick up something before meeting you, knowing that there is travelling time involved between the places, and queues and parking woes to contend with, etc, but they dont care. You can wait. And they dont even apologise when they arrive late! This type I really cant stand!! It simply shows their lack of consideration for others!

I am the hardly late sort. I will always factor into my travelling time traffic jams, which may not even be existent and an extra few minutes for any other contingencies. As a result, I am the sort that is usually at least 10 minutes early for appointments. And I can be quite anal about punctuality with my children.

My son and youngest is a bit like me. Always likes to be early. My oldest, on the other hand, doesnt. And it irks me! Everyone is always waiting for her. Whether its to school, from school, or going out anywhere. You tell her we have to leave at 10, and she is just changing at 10. I am the sort that when I say 10, I expect you to be all dressed and ready to jump into the car at that time, or at least be waiting for me at that time. But nothing I do seem to be able to make her change her attitude about being punctual!

Are you the punctual sort? I am sure you will be after reading this story. Enjoy.

A Priest was being honored at his retirement dinner after 35 years in the parish. A leading local politician and member of the congregation was chosen to make the presentation and to give a little speech at the dinner.

However, he was delayed, so the Priest decided to say his own few words while they waited:

"I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way out of it. He had stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his employer, had an affair with his boss's wife, and taken illegal drugs. I was appalled. But, as the days went on, I learned that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people."

Just as the Priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and gave his talk:

"I'll never forget the first day our parish Priest arrived," said the politician. "In fact, I had the honor of being the first person to go to him for confession."


So are you going to be late from now on?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Rule is not working anymore!

I used to have a rule that the kids were only allowed to open one present a day.

Be it Christmas or Birthdays, I had that one present rule. Why? Because with so many presents opened at one go, the kids do not appreciate the time, effort and money that was spent on that gift which was so thoughtfully given to them. You see, if they open 10 gifts, they will only zero in on their most favourite one, and all the rest would be just be left aside. Hence that rule came about.

But my kids were of course, unhappy with the rule. They think I am a killjoy!

But nowadays, that rule seems unimplementable anymore. Why? Coz they open a gift and its a dress. They try it on, dance around in it for 2 seconds, and I say: "Take it off now so that you dont dirty it, we can keep it for a special occasion." And then they say: "Can I open another present then?" And this softy will say "OK" and when they open the next present, its some gift vouchers which go straight into my handbag. And then they say, "can I open one more?" and the softy goes "OK" again!

And if that didnt happen, when I am out of sight, taking my shower, or doing something that I had not done, they rush and open ALL the presents!!

I dont make too much fuss after that coz what's done is done, what can I do? Wrap them all back? Also, not wanting to spoil too much of the excitement, I just say: "Did you forget about the one present rule?" And all I would get is a sheepish grin, and sometimes a "sorry!" which I am sure they dont mean!

Well, that rule was surely easier to implement when the kids were younger.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Party Woes

Can you host a party that will make EVERYONE happy?

I think its close to impossible, especially if you have children of different age groups and sex to cater to.

Well, you know about lil D's dance party. She had a blast! We had party organisers that taught them to do the Camp Rock dance, which she and her friends enjoyed. Ok, some of her friends enjoyed: the girls and a few boys, that is.

Some of the boys thought that dancing was Lame! (Dont they all use that word all the time nowadays?) Some of the girls were too shy to join in. Some of the siblings were to young to join is - coz they were mere toddlers. Other siblings (the boys) only wanted to play football and were not interested in this girlie stuff! My son refused to join in. My oldest felt she was too old to join the lil ones. Did I mention that it was hard to cater to everyone?

And since it was lil D's party, is it ok for me to say as long as she had a good time, all else doesnt matter? Does that make me a bad host?

Well, I know the parents had a good time with the gossip, food and drinks, hic! The males had a great time coz after the dancing, all of them from age 3 to 48 had a football game of 3 men vs 9 boys. Not sure who won, tho.

Anyway, its over, and que sera sera! We cant please everyone all the time!

Do I worry too much about inconsequentials?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Only 7 more days

... to the end of the school year, and my baby will be moving on to Primary school!!

How time flies.

It seemed like only recently when she started pre-school, but now it is only a few more play days left before she goes into the proper school system.

She is not looking forward to it. It must be because she has seen how I stress her brother up to study and do his work! Ok, I am partly to blame.

She dreads the thought of having to go to a school that doesnt have a play ground. Having to wake up super early and not having mum to herself in the mornings is just not something she looks forward to. Coupled with tests and exams on the cards, and long school days, tell me which kid would enjoy school!!

So I am now trying my best to change my little one's impression of "BIG" school. I told her that her brother and sister loves the first day of school. They get to meet their old friends, and make new ones. And it is true, my son told me:

"I love the first day of school. But it would be better if it weren't followed by the second day of school, and the third day of school, and then the fourth day of school . . ." @_@

Have a great weekend ahead! and to all Hindu readers: "Happy Deepavali!"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Brave Heart

Yes, today is the day the little Brave heart goes in for her 2nd heart operation.

Please join me in praying for a successful operation and her speedy recovery.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Getting Cold feet

As we make our final arrangements for our year end vacation, I am getting cold feet. Why?

Because, we will be staying with a friend!!

She was a school mate of mine in secondary school, that's some 30 years ago. We were very good chums, all part of a group of 7 girls that did many things together. We watched movies together, did vacation jobs together, went to each others home, stayed at the chalets together, basically hung out together.

But after school, we went our separate ways. I didnt quite get to know her husband, as she got married whilst I was living abroad. After we came back, we re-connected, but our jobs and family commitments hardly gave us much time to spend together.

She migrated 2 years ago, and every time she is back in Singapore, we do meet up for a meal and some gossips. BUT this time I will be staying with her for a whole week, AND with my family on top of that!!

Well, when she heard that we were travelling to where she was, she sort of insisted that we stay with her, and I agreed, coz ... I thought it would be good to be able to catch up with her, and ... think of all those savings in hotel accommodation!! Also, I thought I might offend her if I said no. In addition, her twin sister and our group of friends thought that it would be wonderful if I did stay with her. She had said that since her son was doing his National service over here, and there's only she and her husband in the home, their home was getting very quiet, and they could do with some company. And when she said that she had two spare bedrooms, which was just right for my family, I succumbed.

But now I worry:
What if we find that after all these years of not being so close, we now have nothing to talk about?? Especially we would have to chat EVERY night, right??
What if my kids misbehave whilst in her home?
What if we have nothing to say to her husband?
What if she only asked us out of courtesy?
What if ....

... there are so many more what ifs!!!

Now you know why I am getting cold feet???!!??

Friday, October 29, 2010

What makes a successful marriage?

This was a topic on a radio show a few mornings ago.

There were suggestions such as the ability to forgive, compatibility, and not going to bed angry by some radio listeners.

Experts seem to think that successful married couples should keep their individuality, should get their deal straight (ie lay out their terms before marriage), keeping each other "centre stage", learn to dissolve conflict, must keep the lust alive, etc.

Whilst it is true, sometimes you never know what life is going to hand you. You may get a "screwball" when you least expect it, and then what happens? It wasnt in your pre-nup?

I am no expert, still learning along the way.

Which brings me to this story I once heard:

An elderly widowed woman was invited to dinner at her old friend's home. She noticed that every time her friend addressed her husband, she would start with a term of endearment: honey, darling, sweetheart, sugar bear, etc.

When the husband when into the kitchen to get the desserts, she said to her friend: "A, I am amazed at how loving you are with your husband. Even after 50 years of marriage you are addressing him so lovingly. He must love it. Is that the secret to your successful marriage?"

A replied: "To tell you the truth, I actually forgot that grumpy old man's name some 10 years ago!!"

So I think for a successful marriage, you definitely need: a good sense of humour and a poor memory.

Care to share what you think?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's not spring

.... but the flowers are blooming. Yes! We do not have the 4 seasons on this sunny island. It's summer all year round. Recently we have had nothing but hot, hot weather coupled with some haze courtesy of our tree burning neighbors. So I was really surprised when I saw some pretty blooms in my garden. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.





Sorry, but I dont know what flowers are called except for the last one which is an orchid.

Two days ago, when I was showering lil D she drew my attention to something in the bathroom, and I immediately thought of Stardust. So Stardust, this specially for you:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Busy, busy days ahead

The exams are over for one child. In fact the grades have already been back. Did very well for those subjects she loves, and pretty average grades for all the rest. What can I say? Practise, practise, practise! For math that is!! I cant understand why the kids dont understand that Math is a subject where you can score full marks for! All you have to do is practise. it is NOT one where you study for it. I guess, you can tell I aced my math papers when I was in school. And all of that was thru practise. It is a waste if you dont score close to a perfect score for math. So, if you are a school going child, and reading my blog - go practise your math.

Ok, now that I have gotten that out of my system, it is exam week for my second child. Cant wait for the middle of next week to be here, coz thats when it will all be over, and we can all go celebrate, play, party, have fun. It has been a grueling 4 terms this year!

It is also graduation concert week for the youngest, and we are all looking forward to the concert!

You may be pleased to know that its all systems go for her "birthday" party too! It will be one month early, but so what!! Its going to be a dance party! Everybody can then let down their hair and boogie!!

So, this control freak is now trying to get things all ready for that P-A-R-T-Y!! Party favours, games, food, decor, prizes and ermm ... did I miss out anything? Oh yes! Prayer ... for fine weather on that day!

So, have a great week ahead! I know I will be busy, busy, busy till then!

Friday, October 22, 2010

God works in his own time

Yes, we cant rush things, God works in his own time, and he has his plan all mapped out. Any praying, pleading, etc, wont change his timing of things.

But, I am the impatient sort. I want things done according to my schedule. I am at times a control freak. But God still doesnt work that way. He's probably testing me.

People have told me that sometimes we just have to "Seize the day", and "Just do it".

Should I? or should I not?

Is God waiting to see how I handle the situation? How far I will go?

Take things into my own hands and do it?

I dont know. Just praying for a sign to tell me the course of action I should be taking. I am now taking the "wait and see" decision.

Well, it's friday, and I know someone is expecting some joke from me. But how to marry it with what I have just written? I dont know. Anyway, I do know I saw a diamond necklace that I so want. So, I prayed and asked God for it. But I know God doesn't work that way. So should I be stealing one and ask for forgiveness?

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hunting for ideas

I am hunting for ideas for my lil girl's coming birthday party.

You see, since she was born, she never really had a big birthday celebration with her friends. Last year's was a rather impromtu gathering, and she didnt even get to choose her cake. We just bought what there was on the shelves. As for party entertainment, the kids just played on the wii!!

Whilst both her elder brother and sister celebrated every birthday with a party until age 7 this youngest has had close to nothing. So, I thought that since this is her last year in Kindergarten, I will make it up to her with a big celebration before she starts primary school with a new group of friends. BUT I am short of ideas on what to do for entertainment.

You see, her classmates have all been having parties this year, and also the last few years. We have been invited to parties with magicians, magic bubble makers, baking parties, pool parties, parties with bouncy castles and jungle gyms, a star wars party, a MacDonald's party, etc. And I was thinking that I wanted to do something different.

I did a treasure hunt party some years back and the kids had a good time, but I am not quite in the mood for 15 kids to be running all over the house this time round. The last time we hosted a mini-sports carnival for my son, it was a huge success, coz the boys simply loved it.

Initially I thought we would do this sports theme party again where I will get my oldest and her friends to run the games for me. That would save me some money too. But, that is not the kind of party my "unatheletic" lil one would like.

So now I am back to the drawing board again. I thought of doing a "kooky art" party for her, but when I look at what they charge, I think it is a little exorbitant, especially since I know the cost of baking those cookies and cakes are actually quite cheap. I probably could do it myself, but I think I should out-source the party running to the professionals, as that would leave me free to entertain and socialise with the parents.

So, if you have any great party ideas, please share with me!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wake up Sleepy head!

There are 2 types of kids, those that jump right out of bed when you wake them and those that don't. I have both types in my house. My son is of the first, and my eldest is of the second.

Every morning I have difficulty waking my daughter S, up for school. I don't know if it's because she was up until late studying, messaging her friends, reading or what? But I do know it's a chore waking her up everyday!! I have to wake her 3 times (i.e. go to her room 3 times) and shout: "You are already late if you don't get up NOW!" before she will even stir. I pity her brother and Dad who has to wait for her EVERY morning. I have told my hubby a couple of times to just leave without her, then maybe she will wake up (pardon the pun) and realise why she should make the effort to get up the 1st time any one wakes her up for school.

I can imagine this transpiring in school if she has to get to school on her own:

TEACHER: Young lady, you've been late for school five days this week. Does that make you happy?
My daughter: Sure does. That means it's Friday, and I can sleep in late tomorrow.

Well, on the subject of school, my daughter is in Secondary 2 this year, which means she has to "elect" the subjects that she wants to major in next year. An all time favourite subject of hers is Geography. I have 3 cousins who majored in Geography in the University. All became academics - one a Head of Humanities in a Secondary school, another a Principal, and the 3rd, the Provost at the local University. I was telling my daughter that if she were to major in Geography, it is likely that she will become an academic too ... but we dont need that in the family. I need a doctor - especially with the rising healthcare costs.

And this is what would probably happen in 20 years time:


ME: "Come on, S, you have to get out of bed or you'll be late for school."

S: "Mum, do I have to? All the teachers hate me, and all the students hate me, too."

Me: "Yes, you do."

S: "Give me one good reason."

Me: "Because you're 34 years old, and you're the principal of the school."

Friday, October 8, 2010

iPod Hazard

There have been couple of hazards reported with using the ipod, MP3 or the walkman. This includes not paying attention to the traffic on the road coz the listener was too engrossed with the music playing, exploding ipods from over charging, etc.

So if you are an ipod user, beware!


Here's a story of something that happened to someone ... NOT ME!!

I was in the restaurant yesterday when I suddenly realized I desperately
needed to pass gas. The music was really, really loud, so I timed my
gas with the beat of the music.

After a couple of songs, I started to feel better. I finished my coffee,
and noticed that everybody was staring at me....

Then I suddenly remembered that I was listening to my iPod.

Guess that's the BIG hazard with listening to an iPod.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Praying


Praying for that response that I so desperately want to get today!


"Lord, I know everything is in your good hands, and in your time."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

R.I.P. Mrs Lee


Supportive spouse,
Caring mother,
Successful career woman,
Doting grandmother,
Brilliant scholar.
There is no other quite like you.
Rest in peace Mrs Lee.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Free Smells?

Have you seen those "free smells" signs at cookie shops? I know they have it at most Famous Amos outlets, and I hate them!

Why? Because they cheat people into thinking those smells are free when they are not!!

My children, after getting all those free smells, will insist that I buy the expensive cookies that emit those smells. And mind you they are not cheap. A 3 inch diameter soft bake cookie costs S$2.30!!

With 3 kids, it would cost me more than $6!!

With a cost of $6, I can bake more than a dozen of those cookies!

So if you think those smells are free, think again. They actually cost more than you think.

I wish they sold nose plugs like these: so that I can make my kids wear them every time we go by one of those cookies shops, then we would save a ton!! So does anyone know where I can get them?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's not yet friday!

It's not yet Friday but I am celebrating already. Yoohoo! The weekend is just around the corner. It's a short school week for my two older children as the schools are celebrating children's day with a day off tomorrow, 1st October, and that in effect makes today seem like a friday!

So as reminded by bp this time, here's my joke for the week, even though it's not yet friday!

A business man got on an elevator in a building. When he entered the elevator, there was a blonde already inside and she greeted him by saying, "T-G-I-F" (letters only).

He smiled at her and replied, "S-H-I-T" (letters only)."

She looked at him, puzzled, and said, "T-G-I-F" again.

He acknowledged her remark again by answering, "S-H-I-T."

The blond was trying to be friendly, so she smiled her biggest smile and said as sweetly as possibly "T-G-I-F" another time.

The man smiled back to her and once again replied with a quizzical expression, "S-H-I-T."

The blond finally decided to explain things, and this time she said, "T-G-I-F, Thank Goodness It's Friday, get it?"

The man answered, "Sorry, Honey, It's Thursday."

Have a great weekend ahead!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Higher the Expectation the harder you fall

How you interpret what is said to you tends to affect your understanding, and as a result, your expectations.

Words mean different things to different people.

I have been told at every medical appointment that they have been very pleased with lil D's development. So what does did mean?

To me, it meant that she is growing normally, as normal as normal can be. She has not had fractures since those super early days, even with falls (*touch wood*!.) So silently, I was praying and hoping that their early diagnosis of OI was wrong. I guess a Mum is forever hopeful.

So when the results of her Bone Mineral Density Scan showed her to be below the base line, it left me stumped, disappointed, and totally shattered. In fact it is so near to a level which would trigger monthly pamidronate transfusions, and that has left me totally worried. And you know what is the worst part? He gave me a letter for lil D's school for next year, stating her condition and what she is not allowed to do! That was just made it too final and too conclusive for me!

So what were they pleased about all along? That she has OI? Sigh!

Ok, I am not being rational here. They were probably pleased that despite her OI, she has not had fractures, her growth is not stunted, her eyesight is still good, her teeth are not all rotted or decaying. I guess I should be thankful. But unfortunately, that was not what I heard or understood their meaning to be at that time.

As I was expecting good news from the scan, I went totally unprepared for bad news. As a result I did not ask all those questions that are now cropping up in my mind. What do I do? Make an appointment and go back with all those questions? No way. That place gives me a dreadful feeling. Seeing all those other children with different disabilities, and illnesses makes me want to cry. I count my blessings that Lil D is no where near their condition.

Like the Persian proverb that says:
I scowled because I had no shoes on my feet, until further down the street I saw a man with no feet at all.

Well I know of someone with bigger problems on their hands than I do. This lil girl has already gone for one cardiac operation with another due this November, and she isnt even 2 yet! Have a read of this lil Brave Heart but please be prepared with a pack of tissues. It was for me at the very least a 3 tissue read!

Be Grateful for all your blessings!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

An interesting idea to prevent spam and junk mail

Got this in an email, and I think the ideas on junk mail are worth a try.


The man that sent this information is a computer tech. He spends a lot of time clearing the junk off computers for people and listens to complaints about speed. All forwards are not bad, just some. Be sure you read the very last paragraph.

He wrote:
By now, I suspect everyone is familiar with snopes.com and/or truthorfiction.com for determining whether information received via email is just that: true/false or fact/fiction. Both are excellent sites.

Advice from snopes.com VERY IMPORTANT!!
1) Any time you see an email that says "forward this on to '10' (or however many) of your friends", "sign this petition", or "you'll get bad luck" or "you'll get good luck" or "you'll see something funny on your screen after you send it" or whatever --- it almost always has an email tracker program attached that tracks the cookies and emails of those folks you forward to. The host sender is getting a copy each time it gets forwarded and then is able to get lists of 'active' email addresses to use in SPAM emails or sell to other spammers. Even when you get emails that demand you send the email on if you're not ashamed of God/Jesus --- that is email tracking, and they are playing on our conscience. These people don't care how they get your email addresses - just as long as they get them. Also, emails that talk about a missing child or a child with an incurable disease "how would you feel if that was your child" --- email tracking. Ignore them and don't participate!

2) Almost all emails that ask you to add your name and forward on to others are similar to that mass letter years ago that asked people to send business cards to the little kid in Florida who wanted to break the Guinness Book of Records for the most cards. All it was, and all any of this type of email is, is a way to get names and 'cookie' tracking information for telemarketers and spammers -- to validate active email accounts for their own profitable purposes.

You can do your Friends and Family members a GREAT favor by sending this information to them. You will be providing a service to your friends. And you will be rewarded by not getting thousands of spam emails in the future!

Do yourself a favor and STOP adding your name(s) to those types of listing regardless how inviting they might sound! Or make you feel guilty if you don't! It's all about getting email addresses and nothing more.

You may think you are supporting a GREAT cause, but you are NOT!

Instead, you will be getting tons of junk mail later and very possibly a virus attached! Plus, we are helping the spammers get rich! Let's not make it easy for them!
ALSO: Email petitions are NOT acceptable to Congress of any other organization - i.e. social security, etc. To be acceptable, petitions must have a "signed signature" and full address of the person signing the petition, so this is a waste of time and you are just helping the email trackers.



Tips for Handling Telemarketers

Three Little Words That Work!!

(1)The three little words are: 'Hold On, Please...'

Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt.

Then when you eventually hear the phone company's 'beep-beep-beep' tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task.

These three little words will help eliminate telephone soliciting..

(2) Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end?

This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone.

This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a 'real' sales person to call back and get someone at home.

What you can do after answering, if you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialed the call, and it kicks your number out of their system. Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any longer!!!

(3) Junk Mail Help:
When you get 'ads' enclosed with your phone or utility bill, return these 'ads' with your payment. Let the sending companies throw their own junk mail away.

When you get those 'pre-approved' letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope.

Most of these come with postage-paid return envelopes, right? It costs them more than the regular 44 cents postage, 'IF' and when they receive them back.

It costs them nothing if you throw them away! The postage was around 50 cents before the last increase and it is according to the weight. In that case, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage-paid return envelopes.

One of Andy Rooney 's (60 minutes) ideas.

Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza coupon to Citibank. If you didn't get anything else that day, then just send them their blank application back!
If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn't on anything you send them.

You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing! It still costs them 44 cents.

The banks and credit card companies are currently getting a lot of their own junk back in the mail, but folks, we need to OVERWHELM them. Let's let them know what it's like to get lots of junk mail, and best of all they're paying for it...Twice!

Let's help keep our postal service busy since they are saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, and that's why they need to increase postage costs again. You get the idea!

If enough people follow these tips, it will work ---- I have been doing this for years, and I get very little junk mail anymore

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's Friday again!!

My dear fellow blogger Stardust requested for my friday joke as I havent posted one for quite a while, so here is one just for her, which I hope you enjoy as well:

An old woman is riding in an elevator in a very lavish New York City building when a young, beautiful woman gets into the elevator, reaking of expensive perfume. She turns to the old woman and says arrogantly, "Romance" by Ralph Lauren, $150 an ounce!"

Then another young and beautiful woman gets on the elevator, and also very arrogantly turns to the old woman saying, "Chanel No. 5, $200 an ounce!"

About three floors later, the old woman has reached her destination and is about to get off the elevator. Before she leaves, she looks both beautiful women in the eye, then bends over and farts and says, ... "Beans - 39 cents a pound."

So Stardust, dont forget to eat your edamames, and they are ... what? 500yen a pound?

Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cant take it anymore!!

Yes, I cant take all the nagging and scolding anymore. And mind you, its not me dishing it out, nor the one receiving it. And she's been home for less than 15 hours including some 8 hours of sleep time!

I am referring to MIL and the help. MIL was away for close to 10 days to help my Sil out in Perth, and now she's back. And since she stepped into the house (literally) she's been at it with the help.

I know the help is at fault - almost 17 months with us and she cant even cook rice !! She doesnt know how to steam food, she will leave pots and pans unwashed on the stove, if no one tells her to wash it, she takes things which she is not supposed to, and will slack whenever no one is watching.

That is quite a nightmare isnt it? Well that's my Cinderella for you!

Well I told MIL long, long ago to just change her, but she refused. She gave me a flat "no" to my suggestion every time I bring it up. And since she supervises the helpers, I have just left it.

The past 10 days, she has been the only helper around as the other had gone home on home leave, and I have been holding the fort .. with almost no help. I did all the cooking myself, including the preparation. I even cook for her to eat!! However, last evening, I could not cook dinner as I had to pick my eldest from school, for music class (exams are next week - Yikes!),and had to pick MIL from the airport - all that between 4 and 6.30 pm. My instructions to her were to cook rice and to fry the fish. I even double checked with her that she knew how to do it, and she said yes. When I got home at 6.30 from the airport - the rice wasnt cooked. She told me that she had put it in at 4.30. Guess what? she didnt press the "cook" button on the rice cooker, she pressed the "keep warm" button instead. And then she put in twice the amount of water that she should have - so what came out after more than 2 hours was something akin to gruel!

I just bare with it, and grit my teeth, making a note for myself not to tell her to cook again. BUT MIL just keeps blasting, and blasting her. Nag, scold, nag, scold, .... urgh! Help! I cant take it anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Buka Puasa Experience

Some overseas friends were in town last week and a few of us decided to meet up for dinner.

A muslim friend amongst us suggested a Halal Restaurant in Kampong Glam, so that was where we headed to. Hubs had gone by a different route from that suggested by my friend, and that gave us an insight into the "buka puasa" (break fast) experience, as it brought us through the congested streets and half-closed roads.

I have had Muslim neighbours previously, but was never invited to "buka puasa" with them - only to celebrate hari raya!! So this was a 1st for me.

As we drove through the streets of Kampong Glam, we noticed that it was filled with street stalls selling food, and with throngs of people buying them, as this was near the Sultan's mosque. At coffee shops and restaurants there were many people with drinks and plates of food in front of them, BUT no one was eating.

At the restaurant, I noticed big family groups all in a fairly joyous mood. As it was a buffet restaurant, many people were helping themselves to the food and thereafter, just sitting and talking. No one was eating .... YET!

At the designated "buka puasa" hour a representative from the restaurant came and announced that it was time, and everyone, with a "whoop", then joyously started tucking into their food. I just sat and watched as I didnt want to rush with them for the food as they had fasted the whole day. Let them go first.

Many started off the "buka puasa" with a sweet drink. Some did it with dates. My friend just wolfed down her plate of rice in front of her, before she had a sip of her drink.

I must say witnessing this was an interesting experience for me!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Test

Ye, lil D is going in for "the" test again!! This Monday.

This test will probably determine her future ... as to whether she will be treated like a person with OI or she can pretty much live a fairly normal life. The same test she did earlier showed promising results, but the doctors were not willing to conclude as there was insufficient data for her age group.

Please pray for her: that she will be able to keep ABSOLUTELY still for that half hour, so that she need not be sedated for it, and God willing, the results will be what we are hoping for.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Teachers Day Presents

This year I had a relatively easy time for teachers day. No more cracking of the head for gift ideas. Why?

1. My oldest organised her own gifts for her teachers together with her classmates. Yippee!!

2. My son said he wasnt going to bring any ... and I didnt force him. Tell you why later.

3. Youngest - I arranged it, but many people had given me suggestions on what to do/get. So it was a piece of cake ...literally. Best of all, all given was really appreciated!

As for why I allowed my son not to bring gifts for his teachers. It is not that I dont want him to show a little appreciation. But you know, boys are just awkward about doing some things ... and like the saying goes: you can bring a horse to water, but you cant force it to drink!

At the end of the school year last year, my son came home with many gifts all wrapped up with the words "Happy Teachers Day". To my horror it was his classmates gifts (that were meant) for the teachers but the boys just didnt want to give to their teachers at all. So what did they do? They swapped gifts amongst themselves. Now it all made sense to me. My son was all for me baking my cashews for his teachers (last year). But actually it was his friends who enjoyed the treats! All this fell into place for me, when my sons friends wrote on their FB page that they have NOT been giving gifts to teachers for the past few years!! And my son confirmed that NONE of the boys brought gifts for the teachers - only the girls. POOR TEACHERS!!

I hope they understand that it is not because the children nor the parents dont appreciate their efforts, but boys just feel it is not them to give gifts to teachers.

So what I will do instead is contribute food instead for the teachers' appreciation lunch when it comes up after school re-opens in mid-september!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How did she do it?

I asked Lil D whether her Grandma had finished breakfast, as we were going to send her to school before we went to the supermarket.

She told me: Grandma is having a GIANT croissant for breakfast.

She then peeped into the kitchen,a nd said: Yes, she has finished. I dont know how she finished that BIG croissant so fast. I guess she has a BIG mouth!! But dont tell her I said that.



I know its not friday, but I thot we should all still have a laugh!

Monday, August 30, 2010

No more the bad one

Yes , I don't want to be the bad one any more!!

You know how there is always a good guy and a bad one at home? Usually the mum is the bad one, and I am definitely the one in my home. The disciplinarian! As a result the kids HATE me.

So, from now on I will be the good guy. Everything will be "ok". I won't discipline. I won't break bad news. I won't withdraw privileges. I won't call for lights out at bedtime. I won't force them to eat their vegetables.I won't remind them to do their homework nor study nor practise their piano. I won't nag them to drink their water. I won't scold them even if they leave trash in the fridge.

I won't , I won't, I won't.

Don't know how long I can tahan tho'. Wish me luck!

Friday, August 27, 2010

What?!? You didnt win?

That was how my daughter greeted her Dad when he came home from a golf tournament last evening.

But I got some free golf balls, and a cap - he went.

Well, I didnt expect him to win anything, since he is no Tiger Woods (and Boy! am I glad he is no Tiger Woods) nor a Jack Nicklaus or a Nick Faldo. Also, since he only plays golf like once or twice a year, and only at Invitational Tournaments, I wasnt expecting anything.

But just before he left in the morning, I had teased him about scoring that hole-in-one for a new car I needed. And the kids were like - Yes! win that new car, PLEASEEEEE!!

And I guess, they were just giving him some of what he gives them when they go for chess tournaments ... expecting them to come back with a prize.

I guess what goes around comes around!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

And there was no room

...at the hospital!

My SIL's lung collapsed and she had an ambulance (sent by her doctor) waiting for her at her apartment block to pick her to the hospital.

However, not long after she got there, they sent her home, because there was no room available!! Terrible isnt it? How can they do such a thing?? What if something adverse happens when she is alone at home?

What's she to do? My BIL was in Singapore at that time on business, and she was in Perth with her teenage daughter, with no other family to help out. But still she had to go home.

Fortunately BIL managed to beg for a seat on the next available flight back there to see to matters!

I sure hope we never have to face that kind of situation again!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Banks cause ulcers

Why do I always have to get an ulcer from doing a banking transaction?

Or do they not train them in English anymore?

You may have read in one of my previous posts about the problems I had when doing a simple transaction - remitting money via tt - and that has happened, again, and again, and again.

When a new relationship manager took over my account, I highlighted to her the problems I had been facing, and she told me to let her know every time I did such a transaction, and she would follow up on her end. So I thought that would have been the end of my problems. Everything went smoothly for a while.

Just this morning, I did another transaction - two in fact.

I messaged her to let her know, followed by copies of my original fax so that she knew exactly what the other department was supposed to do.

Her reply to me was: U did an FX deal? Can you email a copy across?

D'uh - my message to her said: One of the TTs was from the proceeds of my forex deal done this morning. So why the need to ask that question. AND I had already faxed a copy across, so she had one which had my authorised signature on it ... so what email did she want now? Emails dont have signatures on it, and the banks wont accept it!!

Looks like I have to load up on my Vitamin Cs everytime before I do a banking transaction, or an ulcer is bound to result!!
(or have I become less patient? - what do you think?)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Men and coins

My husband comes home with a pocket of coins everyday. Yes, everyday. And he will leave it on the dresser, and it stays there FOREVER .... until I clear them (or someone pinches them).

He always gets coins as change when he goes out ... whether from the hawker when be buys his lunch, or when he buys some mint, or for his cup of coffee at the coffee joint ... BUT he never spends them. He just brings them home and leaves them on the dresser.

This has been happening for years. I remember when we were living in NY, and he used to do it. I started off with a little empty "flower pot" on my countertop in which he would put his coins at the end of each day. At the end of each week, when I counted my loot, I would have collected as much as $10!! At the end of our stay in NY, I had 3, yes 3, flowerpots of coins on my kitchen counter!

I dont clear his coins on a daily basis. Usually just before I leave for swim class with Lil D, I would take enough coins for our admission fees. If the children need some additional money, I would get them some from the top of the dresser. Also, when I find that my purse is running low on coins, I will top it up with some of his :) I seem to need coins all the time. I like to pay hawkers the exact amount if I have enough, or sometimes I need it for the supermarket trolley. BUT my husband doesnt seem to need to use coins at all.

However, every time before we go on vacation, I would take a plastic bag and clear away all the coins. Now I have quite a few number of little bags of coins in my locked drawer, and I can assure you it adds up to more than $50! Guess that is my only source of income!

I am not sure if this only happens in my family or is it universal. (MIL tells me that FIL does the same thing, and so does my BIL). So tell me: Why do men not use their coins??


Footnote:
Not sure if it happens in my home but the man from the neighbourhood shop tells us that every week, some maids would come by to his shop with plastic bags full of coins (in all denominations) for him to exchange to notes. No guessing where they amassed the coins from, coz they go by with such regularity and huge amounts!! So if you have the habit of leaving coins around the house, BEWARE!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Spelling and the English Language

There was a contest on the radio channel we were listening to. It highlighted commonly misspelt words, and the person who could spell the word "manoeuvre" would win a prize. After attempts by various listeners, the correct answer was given, as there were no winners.

I was discussing it with my daughter,and commented that I would have spelt it wrong too, as I would have left out the middle "e". She commented that she thought it ended with a "ver".

I then went on to explain to her the differences between the American and British way of spelling - in many cases, the Americans left out the letter "u" like in "labour" and "harbour". As Singapore was once under the British rule, our spelling followed the British way of spelling. I then highlighted to her the spelling of "centre" and how the American spelt it "center".

Her response to me was: All along I thought it was spelt "S-A-N-T-A".
@_@!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

.. or is it "Out of sight, out of mind"?

Well, the two older children had a busy weekend, it was the weekend of a major tournament on the local chess calendar .... so naturally they had to play in it.

Lil D was of course disappointed that it meant "no family time together". She looks forwards to spending weekends with her siblings as she doesnt get to spend much time with them during the week due to their long school days.

I was wondering what to do with her, as I didnt have to report for duty (read: Hubby was going to be with the older ones at the tournament). On Saturday, we caught a movie: Toy Story 3. It was an enjoyable movie, as it also taught values : what real friends are. I totally enjoyed the show, and so did Lil D. On the Sunday, after church, we had a lazy morning at home, with me on the PC, and she on the ipad. She seemed to have enjoyed playing her games with no interruptions. Maybe it was great for her coz there was no one fighting with her for the "toy". Later that afternoon, we went shopping!! We were looking for a gift for her classmate who will be celebrating her birthday in 2 weeks time. She liked that I consulted her on what to get and she got to choose. Throughout the weekend, she never asked for nor about her siblings at all (which is quite unusual). Was it a case of "out of sight, out of mind"?

Finally on Sunday evening, we made our way to the chess tournament venue for the prize-giving. Whilst waiting for it to commence, she was so busy hugging her sister (and vice versa) that it really made my day! Usually towards the end of most weekends, they would be at each others throats - arguing, or just irritating each other. BUT yesterday was different. I was really happy. So maybe it really is:

Absence makes the heart grow fonder!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

To delete or not to delete


I shared something on my FB account, and others commented on it.

Some tried to give reasons for the situation. Of course, some of this is quite sensitive as it relates to the situation some others are in. But they made the comment not knowing it, in good faith, and it could jolly well be the cause of the "situation".

As it is sensitive to "others", it was suggested that I should delete some of the comments, since the original post was mine.

The question is: Should I?

I think I shouldnt, coz there is some truth to it. It is unfortunate that "you" are part of the group that caused the situation. Also, wouldnt deleting it amount to censorship ... then where is the freedom of speech? Also, the person who made the comment may be offended that I deleted his post and not the rest (tho the rest was not sensitive).

But then, would not deleting it be insensitive on my part? Honestly, I dont know if I should. My original post was neutral , but the comments tried to analyse the situation and attribute a cause for the situation.

So how? What would you do if you were in such a situation? Maybe the professionals (Yan?) can give their professional advice on a situation like this. Thanks!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Man's Toy of the Year is finally here!

Yes, the man's toy of the year has finally arrived on our shores. And all those testosterone driven beings were all out in full force on friday morning waiting patiently to get their hands on their new toy. Yes, I am talking about the ipad.



After a 4 month wait, the ipad was finally launched in Singapore yesterday, and scores queued from the early hours of the morning to get their hands on this coveted piece of technology. Some had already gotten theirs when it was launched in the US. But many other hundreds had to wait, and wait until yesterday, for they were not willing to pay the premium to buy from some enterprising resellers that had brought them in.

Even this morning (Saturday), there was a long queue at the Epicentre (Apple Store) at the ION, mostly men, hoping to get their hands on an ipads, as many of the shops had already sold out their consignment.

My husband was no different, except that he didnt have to queue as he managed to pre-order and had it delivered to his office for him. Needless to say, he came home with a BIG smile on his face and spent most of the night (and maybe even into the early hours of the morning) playing with his new toy.

I dont know why, but each time I saw him press the button on his toy, I heard a distant "ker-ching" sound. I am not sure if it was just my imagination or maybe it was actually Steve Job's cash register ringing.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Over Generous

Can a person be over-generous? I think so.

My son's classmate X is one such person ... or rather X's parents.

At the end of term 2 when the class had a end-of term party, everyone was to contribute party food. Naturally, I did my share and sent in some snacks as requested by my son. But when my son came home from school, he told me what X's mum had sent to school for the party: 11 giant pizzas, MacDonald happy meals (chicken nuggets, hamburgers and fries), a few carton of drinks, a few cartons of potato chips as well as some home-made noodle dish for the teachers!! And in addition, she sent the maid along to cook the noodles for the teachers in the school!! I thought that was a little over-board. Naturally everything which anyone else brought paled in comparison, in the eyes of the children, especially if it was "healthy" snacks.

2 weeks ago, X invited the whole class and all teachers to a movie for X's birthday. My son was not able to attend that movie screening as he was playing in a soccer tournament. The very next week, an invitation was again extended to those who were unable to attend the birthday movie to watch another movie with X, with dinner thrown in. That was the one I mentioned in my previous post, which my son attended. However he chose not to stay for dinner which was supposed to have been at a Tonkatsu restaurant.

Yesterday, my son came home from school and said that X has now invited the WHOLE class to go to Universal studios on 8 August. Naturally the children in the class are all excited and want to go. My son was equally excited and was begging me to let him go. Initially I said "yes", but after thinking about it, I discussed the situation with my husband, and we are considering NOT letting him go.

Why? You see, I think X's parents are just too generous .... and we do not want to take advantage of it. We really cant let someone else pay for a $52 ticket for our son. And imagine how much that is going to cost the family if the whole class decides to go!! Some $2000!!

We are considering alternatives for him to have that same fun with his classmates - letting him go, but insisting that we pay for the ticket ourselves. But then, our family has not been to USS yet, and I am sure my other two children would want to go as well .... and it would be nice if we went as a family.

Also, we do not believe in over-indulging our children. Treats, parties, etc have to be earned .... not served on a silver platter every other week.

Sometimes I wish people werent THIS generous, then I wouldnt have this dilemma!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Can you un-invite someone?

After inviting someone can you "un-invite" him?

Well, my son was invited to watch a movie last weekend by one of his classmates X. Thereafter, he got a call from another classmate, B, to say that he had taken over X's movie invitation, and now he was the host of the movie date and they were going to watch the movie at an earlier hour at XYZ cinema instead.

My son did not believe B, as he had just left school barely half an hour before B called, and had been with X who had confirmed the movie details. So he just ignored what he had told him.

Well, the next day morning, apparently, B's mum called X's mum to say that they have decided not to host the movie date anymore! (Mind you, this was barely 12 hours from their decision to "take-over" someone else's movie party.) However, they were not able to get in touch with my family to notify us of the cancellation of the movie date!!

Well, anyway, we proceeded to cinema ABC to wait for X at the original appointed time. They were late arriving coz they had gone to Cinema XYZ at the earlier time to see if we had gone there instead. And due to the rain and traffic, they arrived a little later than the agreed hour to meet.

I felt so bad to have put X's parents to so much trouble ... but honestly, we didnt know about all these "change in plans". All I can say is X's parents are super responsible, whilst B's are .... I dont know what to say!!

Can you un-invite after you have invited? And can you just let it go and behave as if nothing happened, if you are not able to notify those whom you have already previously invited?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Rainbow Friends

We are all made different. I would like to think of us all like the different colours of the rainbow - some are red, and yellow, green and blue , etc.

We have our different values, beliefs, likes and dislikes.

But when we all come together ... we are like the rainbow lapis - a local cake that has the colours of the rainbow in it, hence its name ... and it tastes soooo yummy.




So when I met up with some blogging friends ... it was like the rainbow lapis coming together ... a group of ladies, all so different - from different parts of the world, of different age groups, of different beliefs and family backgrounds, but blending so well together ... which was why I chose that as my meeting gift for them. Trust they enjoyed it.

Thanks Ladies for the meet-up. It was my pleasure and blessing to have met and gotten to know ALL of you.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Parenting angsty teens

Teens are angsty, and I know that! I have one at home and a tween that is just as angsty!!

So how do you deal with them?

I for one, dont have the answers. Every child is different and different parenting methods work for different children.

I had breakfast with some former school mates last week, and we were discussing this problem. They, of course, have more experience with this issue coz most of my friends have kids older than mine (I started late).

Me, being a type A character, will always want things MY way, and sometimes I try to prove my point to them. Doesnt always work ... in fact hardly works with teens!! But it is very hard for type A to change their behavior, thats why so much tension in the house between me and my tween.

My friend swears by her method. I call it the Little Bo Peep method. Huh? What's that, you say? Well, it's the "...leave them alone and they will come home.." method. She believes that if they are not doing anything that will threaten their lives or hurt anyone else, then you let them be and let them do what they want. Never mind if it means more work for her, never mind if it means less family time together, never mind if it means house rules are broken, never mind if it means that the child will be up way past his bedtime and will not be able to wake for school the next day, you know what I mean. She says that once the phase passes, they will just come home to you, doing what you want, the way you want it ... and there is ABSOLUTELY no tension in the house.

I salute her for that. I dont think I could do it, BUT ... I am going to give it a try. I may not succeed everytime, I may not be happy with it when trying it out, I know I will end up with more work on my end ... BUT I will try to clench my teeth and try it ... and hopefully something positive will come out of it.

Pray for me, and wish me luck. But if you know of a less painful method (for me) please share! Thanks.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Another year older, and hopefully wiser.

Guess what? You were all not too early in sending me birthday wishes!

Heh, heh, celebrated my birthday over the weekend - 47 years young!

When I was young, I couldnt imagine the year 2000 when I would be 37, but that has come and gone with the blink of an eye.

The celebrations started off with dinner with the in-laws on friday nite at a Steak restaurant - Bedrock. One of the better steak restaurants in Singapore. We havent been there for awhile (last time was in Aug last year - coz they are quite pricey!), and I think there has been a change of chefs. Food was not quite as good as previously, but still good nonetheless.

It being my birthday, I did not bake myself a cake, so the cake from the restaurant was my birthday cake for this year, which if you ask me, was big enough (we each had a small bite of it)... I dont want to be putting on too much weight.



The next day, we celebrated it with my parents at a Japanese restaurant, the usual one which we frequent. Later that night, we had Thai food at one of the top thai restaurants in Singapore - Thanying. The red duck curry was excellent, as was the mango salad, and tom yang goong ... all my favourite dishes. The other dishes were pretty forgettable.

I guess, being a typical Singaporean, that's the way we celebrate .. with food, food food, and more food! Burp! (please excuse me!)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Can a person forget his/her birthday?

I didnt think that was possible.

Well, I wrote to my ex-colleague this morning wishing her a Happy Birthday and this is what she told me:

She woke up yesterday, and said a birthday prayer for herself, thinking that it was her birthday. Then she got up, got dressed and went to work. She was wondering why no one said anything to her nor wished her happy birthday. Then she realised it WASNT her birthday ... yet!

So, in her reply to me, she wished me a happy birthday. If she couldnt remember her own birthday, what were her chances of remembering mine when the day actually came along. So better be early!!

I thought that was so funny!!

So all of you out there - HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!

Nice but not nice.

That's what has been said about the cakes I bake.

They taste divine: rich, luscious, decadent.

But they look horrible!!

How did I get them tasting so good? Well a friend told me that if you put in "good things" how can it come out horrible. So I use the best ingredients - for my choc cakes only the best dark chocs go in: Read: Valrhona, even for the cocoa powder! I use the expensive eggs - the no cholesterol, dark yolk kind, high in Omega 3 kind.

So far my cakes have got the 2 thumbs up from many friends.

But in the looks department, it sure doesnt look great. My cakes crack, erupt occasionally, and are uneven (when I am not careful when putting it into the oven as my oven is at a low level - I have to squat to use my oven!). And I am really bad in the decorating department too!

Hubby asked me how I can improve the "looks" of my cake?

Cake decorating classes, I suggested, or maybe even baking school!! Hmmm ... Le Cordon Blue in Paris? The American Culinary Institute? L'Ecole Culinaire? I had to stop myself from dreaming - there is no way I can go to any of these baking schools - at least not until my little one is maybe .... say in secondary school, and that is a long time from now!! She hasnt even started primary school yet! Even local cake baking classes I cant attend, coz the timing just doesnt allow it. None of these schools run early morning classes for when my kids are at school. So I guess I will have to depend on feedback from you gals out there. So what do you say?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kyoto 2010

If you dont already know by now, hubby and I are real foodies. A friend was once amazed at the lengths we would go to get good food. Of course, we traveled more widely before the kids came for our food, from Changi to Balestier to Bedok to Serangoon, just to satisfy our local food cravings. This friend said that we were the sort that "Have mouth will travel!"

When we were planning for our trip, we asked our friends for recommendations on the good eats in Kyoto and Osaka.

A name that frequently came up was for this place:

Kikunoi Honten

When we searched it on the net, it go hubby really excited. We found out that it was one of the top Michelin star restaurants in Kyoto!! So hubby got inspired and went out to buy the book in my last post. And thus the itinerary for our travel was based quite a bit on that book.

Hubby called from Singapore to make reservations for a table at this wonderful restaurant for lunch for the day we arrived. I was worried that we wouldnt make it in time for our reservation, coz it meant that as soon as we arrived, we had to start finding our way to the restaurant. And if there was a flight delay ..... it could have meant that we would have to miss our meal at the restaurant.

Anyway, our flight arrived early, and as such, we made our way to the restaurant early as well. We got there before 12 noon, even though our reservation was for 12.30pm. The restaurant wasnt even opened yet. But as our taxi pulled up (we thought we would walk around the area as there were some museums, shrines and park around the area) the staff who was just getting the front door opened, looked at us and asked hubby if he were Mr ...! He then warmly ushered us into the restaurant and served us drinks. He then explained that the restaurant was not open yet, and they would serve us our pre-ordered meal once they were ready to start! What hospitality!! (You would NEVER get that in Singapore! They would probably glare at you and tell you to come back at the opening time!)

Well, we ordered the bento box for the children and this is what they got:



Hubby and I had the kaiseki lunch, a multi-course meal, that is the specialty in Kyoto. And this is how our first course arrived:



I shall not make you hungry by posting more pics of our lunch, but it was one of the most amazing lunches I have had in my life, and for the amount that we paid for it, it was totally worth every cent of it!

Well in Kyoto, this is what we saw:


An overview of Kyoto:



We visited the Imperial Palace:



Golden Pavilion



Kiyomizu temple (clear water temple)

We went to the Gion district for dinner one night, and we managed to see this:


Art on the streets



And a geisha and a maiko reporting for work!

Must say, it was an interesting trip!