Monday, October 24, 2011

Post exam

You just wont be able to believe the number of "parties" the kids nowadays have, just because it's post exams.

Well, my son was invited to practically one every day after the exams and that went on for more than a week. It seemed like everyone wanted to host one, be it a soccer party, a karaoke party, a wii party, a swim party or whatever!!

Well, this cruel mum restricted his attendance to just a couple, (much to his chagrin). Well, this Mum needed a break from all that shuttling after the exams and deserves her break too!

Anyway, he did host one at our home, and I had allowed it as it was his first party for his birthday in 5 years!! And as his friends were all coming here for soccer on the field as well as on the wii, I baked them this:

A sports themed cake. Actually, it was his favourite cake, the flourless choc cake, just that I topped it with a ganache and those sugar cake toppers.

And you know, my son invited girls as well. A first! Gosh! my son is growing up!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Am I a scrooge?

This post is in reaction to what my son's friends have been saying.

They tell him he leads a sad life. Why? Because the exams are over and I still havent let him have his mobile back.

Why have I taken away his mobile from him? Well, he has been busy messaging his friends over nothing. It's like "Hi!", and the other responds with a "Hi!" and then ":)" and a ditto reply will come back. And this can go on for eternity, until when he needs to use the phone to call or message me, there is no money left in it.

You see, I got him a mobile phone with a pre-paid card. I didnt get him one with a plan because initially, I was afraid he would lose his mobile phone, and the phone was meant for use only when necessary, to make it more convenient for me to contact him re-pick ups after school, or when he has to stay back or whatever and he needs to let me know. Not for this useless chatter with his friends for which the phone was being used for until I confiscated it!

My oldest was also given a phone with a pre-paid card initially, and I never had that problem. Her phone card balance was always there, until the previous helper helped herself to my daughter's phone. When she went to secondary school, and needed to message and use the phone more, I got her a contract that was tied to mine, coz I too hardly used my phone, unless really necessary, hardly for idle chatter. But when her messages got "out-of-hand" due to the need to message her friends for school purposes (like for CCA where she was co-ordinator and had to message everyone in that CCA), I moved her to her own plan with unlimited SMSes. As it is, her number of messages are astronomical, but her phone usage (talk-time) is minimal or even non-existent.

I was brought up in an environment where not all wants and needs were met. As a result, I am careful with my spending money. AND I strongly feel that children must learn to be thrifty. Money doesnt fall from the sky nor grow on trees. And I do not believe in instant gratification. I subscribe instead to: "Good things come to those that wait".

I dont see the need to move my son to a phone plan like my daughter's ... yet. When the need really arises I probably would. So am I such a scrooge that make my kids life "a sad life"?

I dont think so. In fact, I think his friends are the one with the sad life. With parents that dont know what they do, dont monitor them, allowing them to use language that would make most parents cringe, allowing them on the computer and social networking sites until LATE (and I mean very late) even on school nights! I get the feeling that their parents are parents with other priorities who substitute their lack of time with their kids with material wants!

So am I really such a scrooge?? What do you think?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


"A friend is one who walks in when others walk out"
-Walter Winchell

Friends play an important part in our life. They can lead us down the right path, inspire us, support us in time of need, celebrate with us or they may simply lead us astray.

So as a mum, one of my greatest worry is whether my children will choose the correct friends.

My eldest is a fairly reserved kid and doesnt make friends easily. When she started school some 9 years ago, we were worried that she wouldnt have any friends. She is the sort that is very selective of her friends. Even if someone wanted to befriend her, she had to want the girl to be her friend first. She doesnt loud, extroverted and "havoc" girls. They may be friends, but not a REAL friend, not someone she would hang out with, just a "hi!" "Bye" relationship. So when she first started school we were pleased that she managed to make a couple of new friends within a few days, and to help her nurture that friendship, we arranged playdates for her. At P4 when she had to change schools, due to a different school programme that she was taking, we were again concerned for her. At the end of P6, we were really glad she had a couple of really good friends, and we were very pleased with her choice of friends - girls who were polite, humble, hard-working, and generally good girls from humble backgrounds. These same girls continue to be her best friends though they are no longer in the same school.

My son, on the other hand, is Mr Sociable. He has no trouble at all making friends. From young, he was very friendly with everyone. He has friends in school that are not even from his class nor his level. We found out about how "popular" he was when he was in P2 when he played in his school chess tournament. When he went up to collect his prize, the boys, and even some girls, from the upper primary levels were all chanting his name!! (usually you wouldnt expect older kids to bother with a small fry like him!!) And this boy also has lots of friends from other schools!!

This boy would even make friends with the trash collector, and the construction workers in the truck next to us when we stopped at traffic junctions, and we would have truck loads of people waving to us when the light turned green! EVERYONE is his friend, and he can almost convince anyone to do anything, and vice versa.

As such, we are a little concerned about him and the friends he makes, coz he is one that can be easily led astray.

As for the youngest, she is pretty much like her sister, so I think, we should be fairly safe with her choice of friends.

But how do you help your children find friends that are of the right mix?

Of course, we always talk to them about choosing friends carefully. We emphasize to them the good qualities that we they should look for in friends as well as what they should do as friends, how they should behave towards their pals, and acceptable/unacceptable traits and behavior.

By sending our children to "good" schools, we thought should eliminate some of the problems. But people come is all shapes, sizes, and character, so that is no guarantee. As such, we encourage our children to bring their friends home on a regular basis, and then we engage their friends, and we also make it a point to meet their pals parents.

We also expose them to the children of our friends, and hope they nurture strong friendship with their children, and hope that the children will look out for each other.

So what do you to help your children to make the right friends?

"Friends are the roses of life: pick them carefully and avoid the thorns."

And I am glad for the good friends that I have made here. Ladies, I think you know who you are!! *HUGS* This is for you!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Another item ticked off

Do you have a list of to do things that you wish to accomplish in life?

Well, this past weekend, another item was ticked off on mine. It was never on my "to do" list until recently. As some of you know, the hubs has been running quite a bit. Well, he decided he needed company for a 10km run, and who else best to buudy him but his wifey. Well, I have never been a runner. Never could run in school, never did. BUT, because he needed company, I signed up with him, and going for a 10km race became an item on my "to do" list.

I have been walking long, long distances recently, first 3km, then 5 km, 6.5 km, 8km and then 9km - but no running. You see, everytime I tried to run, my knees just wouldnt co-operate. So I didnt want to push it. So I decided that I would walk the 10km while he ran. We would then meet at the finish point.

Well, I dreaded the thought of the 'run'. Imagine, my poor lonesome self walking 10km all by myself. How sad, lonely and boring that would be. BUT a wife has to do what a wife has to do , and go with the hubs!!

So yesterday at 6am, saw hubby and I making our way to the starting point of the Nike 10km Singapore run. As the start time approached, hubs inched nearer and nearer to the starting line. There were 12000 runners that morning, and he wanted to start near the front as he wanted to achieve a time of under 1 hour. As he inched nearer to the front of the crowds, his wife followed him. For me, my objective was to finish the race, and if possible to do it in under 100 minutes (averaging 10 minutes a km).

Well, when the starting horn sounded, hubs said goodbye and he was on his way. Poor ol' me found myself all alone in a huge crowd of people all running, and being near the front, I had no choice but to run along, or I am sure I would have been scolded (or even cursed) by those behind me, for being near the front and yet not running for a running event!!

Well, my legs, the adrenalin, and the crowd "carried" me for about 1.5km, before I decided I could run no more, and started walking. MY brisk walking was actually as good as some people's running. I used people as pacers. As I neared the 5km mark,I heard the announcement that the winner for the event had already completed the run! Still I pushed on when I found that my walking was in pace with the lady in the green shorts who was running near me all along since the start. But as we approached the 7km mark, I saw Ms green shorts pull away from me. It was the water break that slowed me down. I then decided to use another lady as a marker as I had noticed her going at my pace all along the run. AS we approached the 8km mark, it was really tough as we had to go down a "tunnel" and then up again. Having trained on a flat walk path, having to go up the incline was a torture. Fortunately, there was a DJ blasting music there, and that spurred me on to run out of that "tunnel", as I couldnt take the loud head pounding music that was played.

About 20m from the finish line, I saw a young girl collapse! GASP! Fortunately there was medical personnel around to help her. I then whipped out my camera to capture my time as I approached the finish line.

I finished in under 1 hour 33 minutes. Well ahead of my personal target, and in front of a quite a few hundreds of people!! Well, I think I am going to hang up my running shoes for a while. My thighs are now aching and the knees are complaining. The next big event we are going for is the New Paper Big Walk in November. But that is only 4km, and I think with a 10km under my belt, it should be a piece of cake!!