Thursday, April 30, 2009

Book week 2009

Book week at Lil D's school culminates with a Book week parade where the children go as their favourite story book character.

One of Lil D's favourite story book is Princess Jeweliana's party.

As some of you may know by now, I had a hard time convincing her on what to go as, as she insisted it had to be a character from one of her favourite story books.

Fortunately, she had a dress fairly similar to that won by her favourite character in this book. So, I managed to dress her up for this with little hassle and no additional cost!!

She does look like Princess Jeweliana, doesnt she?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Sharing is a wonderful thing to do, and it is something that is SOOOOO difficult to teach the kids. But my trick is, I tell them: When you share, you get more!

How does that work: You see, whenever I tell them to share, I will give them more than if they were not sharing. Example: If I am giving out chocolates - each will get a piece. But if they are going to share, they are given more, with the extras going to whoever they are sharing with. In the end, whoever they have shared with will share their own loot back with them (whether immediately or later)- so they end up with more than that one piece I would have given them in the first place.

This seems to be working. So my kids dont find it that hard to share. In fact, they seem quite happy to share.

Sharing has also been working for me. I have recently been sharing recipes with some friends. As these friends are 1st time bakers, I share with them the easier fail-proof recipes. You know what? After they have tried out the recipes, they set aside some for me to try and for comments!! See by sharing recipes, I get free cakes. Not bad, huh? So it's true : When you share, you do get more!! Only problem is: now I have more to fit into those jeans of mine!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

What to wear?

That's a problem most ladies have most of the time. What to wear to work for that important meeting, what to wear on that important date, what to wear when meeting his parents for the 1st time? etc

But can you believe that it starts from a very young age? At least with my daughter, little D. Not sure where she got it from, coz I am usually every easy going with my clothes, and rarely fret over what to wear.(Coz I hardly go anywhere, haha!)

When she knows we are going out to dinner, she will tell me to let her choose what she wears. And even when she goes for her music class on Saturdays!! And sometimes she will stand in front of her cupboard not able to decide on her choice outfit for that day!! Sigh!

Another problem we are currently facing is what she is going to wear for her school's book week parade. This week is book week in her school. And it culminates with a parade where everyone comes dressed as their favourite book character. She has been as Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White previously. I suggested that she goes as Little Red Riding Hood again, but she is not keen. The snow white dress which she borrowed from her cousin last year, is too small already. So I am out of ideas on what she can go as, never mind her favourite character.

I have suggested to her characters whom I can dress her as, without spending too much money or time on the outfit, ~ eg Cinderella, in her rags and with a mop or broom, cat in the hat, Dora the explorer, but she has vetoed them all. She only wants to go as a princess, but I am unwilling to invest in an outfit just for that few hours of school!! Looks like my princess is going to be disappointed ~ unless her Fairy Godmother comes to her rescue!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Korea 101

2 of our good friends will be moving to Korea for a job posting in a month, and they have invited us to visit them whilst they are there.

We have never been to Korea before, but hubby and I love the food. So we decided to introduce Korean food to the children, as a start.

I dont believe they will have any problem with the Korean ginseng soup, as my kids love ginseng soup when it is cooked at home, despite the slighty bitter taste.

We brought them to a Korean restaurant a few weeks ago, at the Esplanade. It was a Korean BBQ shop recommeded by a colleague of my husband, who I believe has a Korean wife.

When we arrived, we were one of the first few at the restuarant. The kids were thrilled when they brought out the Korean appetisers. Even before our mains came, our table was full!! They counted a total of 23 dishes on the table, but that included some of the condiments.

There was a pasta salad, spinach, potato, another salad, an ikan bilis look alike, bamboo shoots and of course, kimchi.

We also ordered the famous beef short ribs, bulgolgi, and some other dishes.

The kids enjoyed the meal. I believe it was a fairly authentic meal as by the time we left, the restaurant was full, mainly with Korean families.

So it looks like, making a trip to Korea in the next 12 months may be on the cards.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Some Surprise finds in our garden

The garden was recently re-landscaped.

One day when we came home, Lil D and I found this"

A chameleon sun-bathing on top of a bonsai plant.

And our belimbing plant which had not borne fruit for quite sometime decided to reward us:

And an orchid plant we thought had died, decided to surprise us:

What a treat!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

What kind of a Mum are you?

There are different roles played by the different members in a family.

In my family, I am the chauffeur (on weekdays), grocery shopper, disciplinarian, time keeper, homework checker, and nutritionist ... in other words the nagger!

Hubby takes on the role of bread winner, and fun guy! Why? He brings home the bread and bacon, and does all the fun stuff with the children .... like playing badminton, soccer and chess with them. He brings them swimming, and when he goes to the supermart with them, they get to buy anything they choose (well, almost!)... like: candies, chips, cheese, and he is usually the one that buys the ice-cream home.

Me, on the other hand, is the one that tells them to study their spelling, do their homework, study for exams, dont waste too much time on the computer,pack their school bags, no rough play, stop fighting, not to eat too much candies, eat their fruits, eat their veggies, drink their milk, take their bath, brush their teeth, no breaking of rules, and GO TO BED!!

So in the eyes of the children, I could jolly well be the wicked step-mother, always telling them to do the things they HATE! I hardly play with them, and even tho' I am the swimmer in the family, I have been very lazy lately, not joining them for their swim many a times.

Does not look good, does it? How will my kids remember me next time? I dont know. However, the other day, I did something which I never thot I would. We were going around a round-a-about when my 2 older kids who were in the car with me said: "Go another round!!" Normally in my normal frame of mind, I wouldnt do it. "It's dangerous", that would have been my usual response to them. But that day, I dont know what got into me, but I went an extra round, at a fairly high speed, and the three of us in the car just went "WHEEEEEEEE!!" All the other drivers were a little puzzled as to why we went round 2 times!

Must say, the kids enjoyed that!! Guess, sometimes, I should just break the rules and have some fun with them, and not be so hung up about everything!!



Friday, April 17, 2009

A long, long wait

We were at a dinner last night and one of the topics discussed was on schools.

There are certain schools which are sooooo difficult to get in. Staying within 1km is no guarantee. Doing voluntary work at the school may improve your chances, but then again, what type of voluntary work done, seems to play a part too.

Someone commented that even for popular kindergartens, some parents go to the extent of making huge donations to get their children up the wait list, as in International schools.

I shared that I registered Little D for one of these kindys even before she turned one, and uptil today, she's four and a half, we havent received a call offering her a place. Everyone agreed that it was probably because I did not make that 5 figure sum donation, hence I was far below on the waiting list!! They came to this conclusion because there are some expatriate children (of high profile parents), whose familys recently moved to Singapore that got into that same kindy. It is impossible that they registered before me, and they definitely do not have siblings in that kindy to grant them priority before me.

But guess what? I received a call from that said kindy this morning offering my child a place in Term 3. Being of sane mind, and not wanting to disrupt my child's schedule, I have decided to turn them down. LOL! Can you imagine, waiting for more than 3 years for a place in kindy?!!Does that mean that if I want her to start there from Nursery one, I would have to register her even before I conceive?

But I guess, at least, they didnt throw away or lose my application!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Teenage Foot?

Now with easter over, its time to exercise, to work off all those chocolates and hot cross buns that we ate one too many. Try doing the following:

1. While sitting where you are at your desk in front of your computer,
lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.

2. Now, while doing this, draw the number '6' in the air with your right

Is your right foot doing what it is supposed to do? Or has it changed directions?

Haha!! Cant do it right?? Looks like that right foot has a mind of its own. Just like most teenagers!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Wishing everyone a Blessed and meaningful easter!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bedtime Stories

I have been reading bedtime stories to my children for the last 12 years!! Yes, I guess have been reading for a long time, but with my children so well spaced out, that's to be expected. But recently, things have changed.

With my older 2 children, I read them bedtime stories uptil they were about 9 (for my oldest) and 7 for my son, ie until little D became more demanding and I decided that they were proficient enough and should be reading on their own. Fortunately, they were quite happy to be reading on their own too! When they were younger, it was usually fairy tales, or any other interesting stories from books by their favourite authors. From about age 7, it used to be bible stories. I guess, it was our way of bonding.

But with Little D, things are a little different. She loves books. And usually when I have read her a bedtime story, she will ask for another, and then another, and another. Until I put my foot down, and tell her she has had one to many and I wasnt reading anymore. I will then proceed to switch off the lights, and tell her to go to bed.

Recently she has just learned to read, and she is so enthusiastic about practising her readng. She wants to do it all the time ... which I should be happy about. About a couple of nights ago, she decided to change the order of things. I no longer read her the bedtime story, she reads me the bedtime story instead. what happens is, I will lie in bed with her, and she will read. If she needs help with a word, I will help her out with it. And I must say she is getting quite good at it.

Last night, as we lay down to have our "unusual" bedtime story (unusual because it was the child reading to the mum), guess what? I fell asleep even before she could finish the story. With a reversal of roles, she must have finished the story, switched off the lights, and went back to bed herself (or at least I think she did that!!). Coz the next thing I knew, it was already morning!!

Now, that's the type of bedtime story I like!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Something to tickle your funny bone again. This being holy week, I hope no one is offended ...

A minister decided to do something a little different one Sunday morning.

He said 'Today, in church, I am going to say a single word and you are going to help me preach.

Whatever single word I say, I want you to sing whatever hymn that comes to your mind'

The pastor shouted out 'CROSS.'

Immediately the congregation started singing in unison, 'THE OLD RUGGED CROSS.'

The pastor hollered out 'GRACE.' The congregation began to sing 'AMAZING GRACE, how sweet the sound.'

The pastor said 'POWER.' The congregation sang 'THERE IS POWER IN THE BLOOD.'

The Pastor said 'SEX' The congregation fell into total silence.

Everyone was in shock. They all nervously began to look around at each other afraid to say anything.

Then all of a sudden, way from in the back of the church,

A little old 87 year old grandmother stood up and began to sing 'MEMORIES.'

Gotta Love Little Old Ladies....

Go ahead and laugh, it burns calories!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Modern Day Cinderella?

She gazed dreamily into the bathroom mirror. Looking at her reflection, she let down her long waist length hair, and swirled around. She then held her hair up in various poses. Reluctantly she tied up her hair into a bun. Then she turned around to look at her back, picking some non-existant fluff from the back of her tee-shirt. She gazed once more into the mirror. Brushing her fringe to the side she smiled to herself, oblivious to the pair of fuming eyes staring at her for the past ten minutes ...

Is that the modern day Cinderella?? No, it was the new maid and that pair of eyes belonged to my mother-in-law. My MIL is no wicked step-mother, but she is at her wits end with this new help. She understands very little english, takes 2 hours to do what would normally be done in less than half an hour, forgets to do basic everyday things (and lies about it), is unusually stubborn, and ... to our surprise, very political!!

She insists on comparing salaries with the other maid, occasionally refuses to do what we tell her to, and even compares the number of grapes we give to each for dessert!! And she has no qualms about confronting us if we even give her one grape less!!

MIL has been way tooooo patient with her this past 3 weeks. But I can feel she her patience is wearing thin. It may be a matter of days before Cinders is told to go forth and dream all she wants!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

I remember .....

.... when having an aircon was a luxury. When we were younger, we were lucky to even have a fan in the room. Mostly we slept with the windows open.

With affluence, came the air-con. Whilst waiting for my daughter at the foot of a HDB apartment block on Saturday, I looked up, and noticed, every single unit had an air-con compressor. This is a sign of the times.

Hubby and I used to sleep with the air-con at 20C. It was freezing for me, but a luxury I wanted to enjoy!! Hence the need to use the quilt. Unthinkable, dont you think, using a down quilt in hot, temperate, sunny Singapore!

Then we had our first child. The air-con temperature went up to 23C, coz if not our precious baby would be too cold. But hubby had gotten so used to sleeping in the cold, he had a hard time adjusting. Sleeping without the air-con was impossible!

When my children started swim classes, the coach advised me to not let the children sleep with the air-con on. He said that it was bad for lung development, and it also made the children more prone to catching colds. However, the children refused. It was something that they had become accustomed to.

Recently, in our effort to do more to save the earth, the whole family has switched to fans. Even hubby is now able to sleep without the air-con. It's a matter of just getting used to it. Borrowing the phrase from my fellow blogger, bp, we are going back to basics.

And we have done that, in our bid to try to slow the process of global warming! Please try to do your part!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Qing Ming

or Tomb sweeping day falls on or around April 4 every year. A practice by the Taoists to remember ancestors at their grave sites. Young and old pray before the ancestors, sweep the tombs and offer food, tea, (joss) paper accessories to their ancestors.

My in-laws are observing it today. Tried to get my children to go with them, but they simply refused. (My kids and I are Christians). Why? They think graveyeards are scary, and they hate the idea of having to wake up so early. (In-laws usually leave at 5am to beat the crowds and traffic Jams)

I thought it would be a good experience for them. To experience what other religions do, and also to see what their great-grandparents graves look like. But I cant seem to convince them to go for the right reasons!

I managed to convince my son to go when I said: "If you go, you can skip Mandarin tuition". He immediately gave us a" "OK! I will go!!". But my older daughter, no matter what we dangled in front of her, she simply refused.

How? Tried all means , but not successful. Guesss we are not insistent enough. Next year must really get tough, and say: Must go, or else!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

End of week humour

Just something to tickle your funny bone at the end of the week ....

... esp if your laundry basket is over-flowing!!

Have a great week-end ahead!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The older the better

A top local hotel came out with this novel promotional idea in these tough economic times:
The discount you get on your birthday, when celebrating it at any of their F&B outlets, is equivalent to your age.

So, that means, the older you are, the greater the discount!

A group of 8 of us went for a lunch celebration recently. As the birthday girl was 64years, that was the discount on the bill. We ate at their Japanese restaurant, and we all had set lunches. The bill came to slightly above $100.

As the markup at most hotel F&B outlets is very high, I am sure even with the discount given, they still made a profit!

I guess, this is about the only time, any lady over 25 is more than happy to reveal her age, and the older she is, the happier she will be!!

I hope this promotion continues!!