Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year 2012

A new year dawns upon us.

Wishing you hope, joy, peace, love and good health!

And may you write many, many more posts, my blogger friends!

Happy new year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

She just doesn't understand!!

Sorry but I have to get this off my chest.

My MIL just doesnt understand!

She just got back from her vacation, and her complaining has started AGAIN! And the scolding of the maid.

She has 2 maids. She treats them both so differently.

One has every Sunday off, gets to watch TV every nite from 7 to 10pm (bedtime), is allowed to have a mobile phone which she can use ANYTIME she likes, and surf the net using our broadband.

The other has no off days, not allowed to watch TV, not allowed to have a mobile phone, and can only make phone calls with her permission.

AND guess which one is the one that gets all the scolding?

I keep telling her that they are both maids, and should be treated the same. As an employee I would be very upset too if my employer showed favourtism and treated two people doing the same job differently.

No doubt one of them has been with us longer and is more capable. But she is also very good at being a tripod ("sar-kar"), knowing how to say the right things to curry favor!

Every time I try to explain it to her, she will just brush me off, and tell me all the things that the newer helper has done wrong, or how slow she is at her work.

The older helper is no angel either. I have caught her asking her friends to come to our home to collect things. She knows my MIL believes everything she tells her, and will not check her things. Then why the need for the friend to come collect things at night? She had actually opted to leave our employment previously and only came back begging for a job after she was tortured by her new employer!

What can I do? Nothing! And it is really frustrating!! URGH!!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

5 days to Christmas

Sorry I am been neglecting this blog. It's been 20 days since I last posted, but that's because I have been away. Vacationing!! And then there was the jet-lag after the return.

Anyway, have you finished your Christmas shopping? It's just 5 days to Christmas! Remember when shopping for gifts:
Every gift which is given, even though is be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection. Pindar

Why do I ask about Christmas shopping? Because Christmas has always been called the season for giving. Why else would there be a song called the 12 days of Christmas? And in that song everyday your "true love" gives you something.

But another important thing to remember is:
Your children need your presence more than your presents. Jesse Jackson

I envy those whose Christmas tradition does not include shopping. Yes, Yan , I am referring to you. No need to brave the crowds and weather to get to the shops, and no need to crack your brains deciding on what to buy for everyone. Anyway, anytime is as good a time to give and to receive. And gifts at all other times of the year are usually received with even more thanks. And it can be Christmas for us anytime of the year coz:

Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas. Dale Evans Rogers

Well, the main reason for Christmas is Jesus! Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and His birth changed the whole world. Funny that Jesus is also involved in this traditional gift giving thing at Christmas. Just as you give gifts to your loved ones, God is offering you a gift as well: the gift of complete forgiveness, freedom from sin, eternal life with Him in heaven and of course, the gift of LOVE! No shopping required!!

So, as you go about celebrating the season, remember the reason behind it. But most importantly, spare a thought for those unable to really celebrate the season due to health, lack of resources, or any other reasons.

So for those of us who do not look forward to the season for whatever reason, just remember:

At Christmas, play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year.
Thomas Tusser

And for those of us with pesky relatives, I wish they would learn from Santa:
visit only once a year!!

So here's wishing you and yours a Beautiful and Meaningful Christmas filled with lots of Love and Good Cheer!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pee Games

Yes, play a game while you pee. Well, that has recently been introduced. Read all about it here.

And its for the men only, not the ladies. Guess its meant to help them aim better and not mess the place up.

Good idea? I dont think so. Why? It is in public places where they have installed these urinals- eg bars, restaurants. Imagine out on a date. The guy goes to the loo, chances upon the game and tries it out. Scores poorly, and in an attempt to better his score decides to give it another go, and then another , and another. In the meanwhile, what happens to his poor date? Sitting out there all by herself wondering what's happened? Did he pass out? Or is he puking somewhere, or had he left leaving her to pick up the bill? And if it isnt already bad enough, the queues to loos are usually long. And add to that a game, public toilets must have dozens of urinals to cater to the crowds!!

So pee games for you? NO! Give me the wii anytime!!

Monday, November 28, 2011


How are you addressed? By your name? or by your surname?

Well, I have always been addressed by my name. BUT my husband has always been addressed by his surname. It could be because he didnt have a legal Christian name, meaning it was never on his ID, but only called such by his family. But then again you would expect his colleagues to call him by his Chinese name, not? Or another way was to just address him by his surname. BUT, no, they actually address him as Mr XYZ (XYZ being his surname).

Initally I thought they addressed everyone without a Christian name as Mr ABC, XYZ, etc. Then I found out that his previous boss didnt have a Christian name, and everyone addressed him by his initials, without the Mr., and not by the surname either.

Until today, when his (ex)colleagues meet him on the road, they will actually call him Mr XYZ.

Weird, dont you think?

And another weird thing: my son has a Christian name, but his friends call him by his surname!

Friday, November 11, 2011


yes, today is that auspicious day with a date that has all the same numbers.

Heard that there are many weddings held today because of the date. Guess it makes it easy to remember anniversaries, and less husbands will get into trouble for forgetting that special day.

So I thought that I would be appropriate to end the week with this Joke, and pray tell, who is the head of your household?

Have a great weekend!!


When everyone on earth was dead and waiting to enter Paradise, God appeared and said, "I want the men to make two lines."

"One line for the men who were true heads of their household, and the other line for the men who were dominated by their wives."

"I want all the women to report to St. Peter."

Soon, the women were gone and there were two lines of men.

The line of the men who were dominated by their wives was 1,000 miles long and in the line of men who truly were heads of their household, there was only one man.

God said, "You men should be ashamed of yourselves; I created you to be the heads of your households! You have been disobedient and have not fulfilled your purpose. Of all of you, only one obeyed. Learn from him!"

God turned to the one man, "How did you manage to be the only one in this line?"

The man replied, "My wife told me to stand here."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ugly vs Beautiful

I am not talking about people but words.

Yes, our language is able to depict beauty or the lack of it just by the words we use, either by association or contrast. I am not referring to "bad words" but normal words that we use.

Words which I deem "ugly" are:

I shall now list the beautiful words, which we hopefully can encounter on a more regular basis:
Awesome (a word which many of the young use frequently)
Food (!!)
and on the local front - SHIOK!
and of course, LOVE!

Care to share what words are beautiful to you?

Here's wishing you a fantastic week ahead filled with beautiful experiences.

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!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Exam fever

Yes, those dreaded exams are in full swing already.

It's most stressful when you have no control over the out-come. And what have I been doing to de-stress? Baking and pounding the pavements. :D

I am counting down to when it ends ... on 5 Oct. And by 7 Oct, I will be able to breathe better, coz it will be two down and just P1 to go!!

And since tomorrow is friday, and the day of the math paper, I thought that I should share a math riddle with you all.

Q: What do you get if you add two apples, three apples and four oranges?

. scroll down for answer

A: A math problem!

Have a great weekend ahead.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

F1 fever

F1 is in town, and the roads around the circuit are chock-a-block! Road closures, jams, detours, crowds! That basically sums it up.

We were given free tickets to the event and as a treat for the children, we brought them on Friday for the practice sessions. The security was tight. The atmosphere was carnival like. The food they served were quite scrumptious. . The noise from the racing cars was deafening, even with year plugs on. The speed at which they went was truly amazing. It was so fast, I could hardly tell who drove by. Then again, it could have been me, coz when the practice runs were over, my son could tell me which driver wore what coloured helmet. I didn't quite believe him at first, but when we got home and watched the repeat telecasts, I found that he was correct!

Now, having watched the real thing, they are hooked! I guess the ambience and actually seeing it live made the difference. Unfortunately, due to the exams this week, we decided not to bring the children to the actual race :( despite having the tickets.

We have promised them that we will bring them next year instead ... if we are again given free tickets, coz having to fork out that kind of money just to watch them whizz by at those speeds just doesnt make sense!

Will post some of the photos I took later on when I download them, so keep a look out for those pics.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

You can never prepare for EVERYTHING!

As many of you may know by now, the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) are just a week away. And the people on this little red dot are very kiasu (scared to lose) and kiasi (afraid to die).

Last year, my daughter's orthodontist was sharing with me the things he and his wife (both are dentists) did for their son who was doing his PSLE then. They forbade their son from playing with friends, and pumped him with vitamins in order that their son could stay healthy and not fall ill, in the run up to the exams as well as during the exams. My first reaction was: why didnt I think of that when my oldest was doing her PSLE? And of course, I kept that in mind for my son.

Well, this year is my son's turn to do those dreaded exams. So we have been reminding him to eat healthily and drink plenty of fluids so as not to fall ill. Then we heard about how a child in his school broke an arm playing football. So we forbade him to play football too, for fear of accidents that would render him injured.

Recently, a fellow Mum told me about how her daughter's calculator got stolen a week before the prelims, and that the school bookshop was out-of-stock for the approved calculator. Being kiasu parents, we hunted down the calculator and bought him an extra one, just-in-case his runs out of batteries, or gets stolen nearer the exams and we are not able to get the same one due to it being out-of-stock.

Then I sat on my spectacles last week, and it dawned on me that my clumsy son could possibly do the same.His spectacles had been returned to be fixed 3 times already and the optician did remind me that if it happened again, it may not be fixable! So we went and got him a spare pair of spectacles. Of course, we have also bought extra pens, pencils, sharpeners,erasers all in preparation for the big day. I think we have got all corners covered!

And then I heard about how his classmate got his toe stung by a bee in school!! How did that happen? That was my first reaction. Wasn't he wearing his shoes in school? Yes, he was. Then how could his toe get stung? Well, my son said. He was running when his shoe came off. And his foot landed on a bee on the ground and he got stung!!

Talk about luck! So now we are making sure my son wears shoes that will not fall off!!

So at the end of the day it's :
If it's meant to be, it's meant to be. You just cant cover all the bases!! We can only do so much. Lord, thy will be done.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Return on Investment

What Does Return On Investment - (ROI) Mean?
It is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. To calculate ROI, the benefit (return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment; the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio. Source:

Investopedia explains Return On Investment - ROI
Keep in mind that the calculation for return on investment and, therefore the definition, can be modified to suit the situation -it all depends on what you include as returns and costs. The definition of the term in the broadest sense just attempts to measure the profitability of an investment and, as such, there is no one "right" calculation.

Well, I have not had much luck in my investment ventures. Shares which I bought way back in 1999, before the crash, are still below cost. That's how bad I am at investing.

Well, taking a looking at my other investments (not of the equity nature), I was feeling that I didnt do very well too. You see, both my older two children are chess players, and we have "invested" quite a lot in them and their training. A couple of years back when my daughter was in P6, we tried to get her into a top secondary school based on her CCA of chess. At that time, she was in the top 3 for her age group. However, only 1 all girls school was taking in girls for DSA (Direct schools admission) for chess. Naturally we expected her to be able to get into that school under the scheme. Unfortunately she (and the top national player) were both not taken into the school under that scheme. In fact, 2 other girls, who were much lower ranked got in. We were really disillusioned, as it showed that achievements did not play a part in the selection exercise, but rather what connections you had.

This year, as you know, I am again faced with the same situation, of trying to get my son into a secondary school. We were using the same method of applying based on his chess achievements. My son is also ranked amongst the top 3 for his age group. Luckily for us, we thought, there are 3 boys schools taking in boys under the DSA scheme for chess. Naturally we applied for all 3. Within 2 weeks of the close date for applications, we received rejection letters from 2 of the schools. The first thought that came to my mind was: why are they even claiming to take in students under the scheme if they are not even considering the top 3 in the age group for that particular sport?? It just didnt make sense.

As far I know, for sports like swimming and athletics, those that who well in the National schools championships have a relatively easy task of getting into the top schools, especially if you are in the top 3 for your age-group! So, obviously I think, these schools are really not serious about wanting to take in the top players for my children's sport.

Was it another bad investment decision that we made? Secretly I was quite happy, that D has decided not to pursue chess. It is not a cheap sport, as getting good trainers are not easy. We have to rely on foreign grand/international masters training our children, and that doesnt come cheap.

Well, you would be glad to know, that the 3rd school finally came back and offered my son a place. Our investment has taken a huge load off our shoulders for the coming exams. We are finally seeing some returns. Praise and thank God for that!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Of Kambing Soup, Indian rojak, and Indian Mee siam

There have been posts recently by ieat on his FB page calling for suggestions on places to go for good soup kambing and indian mee siam, and his recent article on it.

These brought back memories for me. Please bear with me as I walk down memory lane ...

I remember as a kid, eating kambing soup at a push-cart stall just outside the Chinese Swimming club on Amber Road. It was a weekly affair, after a swim at the club with my dad, we will stop by the stall on our way home. From what I can remember, it was delicious! In fact, any meal in addition to our 3 main meals were always great, coz we werent blessed with abundant good food then, and anything extra was always welcome.

I also remember eating the Indian rojak, mee siam and kambing soup at Waterloo Street, just across from the old SJI field. I remember the indian rojak was really good and there were many stalls that we could choose from. Nowadays good Indian rojak stalls are so difficult to come by over here. I remember eating at the row of road-side stalls, and watching people kicking their footballs whilst we waited for and indulged the food.

There was also the hawker stalls at the then Prince Edward Road, and Orchard Road car park that only came out at nights. From these two places, I distinctively remember the murtabaks that we ate. Murtabaks are like roti pratas (indian breads), except that they are bigger and had eggs, mutton and onions in them. Mine was always a special order ... no onions please.

All these meals were always with my dad coz I guess it's because my mum doesnt eat beef and mutton. I remember an incident once when we were out for one of these meals and my uncle joined us. My uncle was ordering a cup of tea from the Indian stall, and he didnt want it too strong. So, he thought it was best to speak Malay to the indian man. He told the man "teh tak mau keras", thinking that he told the man he wanted his tea not too thick.

Guess what? The man served him his tea in a condense milk can with a string attached, having heard him say "tea tak mau glass"!! And the tea was strong!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Parenting a teen

That's one of the toughest job.

They tend to be quiet and moody, not wanting to share with you coz in their eyes you are old and just do not understand.

And I really do not understand.

When I tell them to do something, they tend to forget.

If I remind, I am nagging.

If I don't, it's my fault coz I didn't remind them to do it.

If I raise my voice to call out to them (coz they are upstairs and I am downstairs), I am shouting at them and they don't like it.

And if you have well developed lungs like yours truly, God help you, coz then you will be accused of shouting at them ALL THE TIME!

If I don't shout they will say they didnt hear me.

When I tell them to suggest a place for lunch, they would rather not.

But if I decide and they do not like my suggestion, they show me their face.

If you think it's tough being a teen, you are so wrong.

It's tougher being a parent ... of a teen.

And if you read this post hoping for some tips on how to parent a teen, I am sorry you came to the wrong place coz I really don't know how to. I just hope I get thru this phase without any scars to show for it. Wish me luck! I will be parenting at least one teen for the next 12 years.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

First Lady?

The talk around here for the past 2 weeks has, of course, been about the Presidential Elections (PE).

There was a point when friends couldnt decide who to vote for between 2 candidates that they decided they had to take a look at the photos of the first-lady-to-be to help make their decision.You see, over here, the photos of the President and the First Lady are hung in all schools, and government offices. And these friends decided, the First Lady had to be pleasant looking or they would be tortured having to see their faces everyday for the next 6 years. Of course, the choice was made based on the husbands capabilities as President, with the wife's face being the factor that tilted their choice.

As you all know, Dr Tony Tan was elected president on 27 August 2011 and his wife, with that doting patient grandmotherly look may have helped him get that 0.34% more vote compared to his nearest rival. Congrats to Dr Tony Tan!!

Just yesterday (the first school day after the elections), the talk amongst the parents and gradnparents was still on the PE. This lady, an acquaintance, came up to me and said: IF Tan Jee Say can be president, so can your husband. He also manages millions of dollars!! And I think your husband will garner more than the 25% of votes coz he is less confrontational, more diplomatic, and seems a much nicer guy than Jee Say!!

WOW! That comment hit me. Never thought of that! Yes, he manages millions of $$, but only as an employee, yes, he is absolutely not confrontational, yes, he is very diplomatic! (must have been learnt from his years of working for the government), and yes, he is a nice guy - if not why would I have married him!! So he qualifies to run!! Double WOW!! Four million smackeroos a year ... I could do A LOT of SHOPPING and TRAVELLING with that money!! TRIPLE WOW!!

BUT unfortunately he doesnt have any political aspirations, so I can totally forget about getting a make-over, coz I will never be judged for my potential as a first lady : P

Must say I am glad he doesnt have any political aspirations, coz dont think we like to be under public scrutiny at all. We rather be private citizens ABC and XYZ.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Now who are you calling shorty?

You know how fast children grow? Many a times we don't realize it coz we see them everyday. It usually takes someone who hasn't seen them for awhile to draw our attention to it.

Well, this morning I woke up and found one of mine almost my height. It took me by surprise coz tho I see her everyday, I didn't realize it. But this morning as I walked to get my bag from the table , she was standing right by it when I thought she looked kind of tall. I then told her to stand right next to me, and all I can say is we are either the same height or I am maybe still half an inch taller!! ( or so I would like to believe!)

I am really not ready to be overtaken. She is not supposed to be this tall so fast. I only got to my height when I was probably 16 or 17, so why is she this height so fast? Mentally I have not prepared myself to be shorter than her .... yet. You see, I am not ready to be "looking up" to her. And you know, it's really difficult to tell someone taller than you what to do, what more to scold that person!!

HELP!! I better go get some high heels and get back to wearing them. Only problem is that I would probably have to be wearing 6 inch heels very very soon!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Waiting, waiting ...

Do you realise that we are waiting all the time.

We have to wait for almost everything.

Waiting for the traffic lights to change,
Waiting for a parking lot,
Waiting for the dough to rise before we can put it into the oven to bake.
Waiting for a table at the food centre at lunch hour,
Waiting at the doctors for your turn.

Recently I have noticed my kids tell , or rather constantly remind me that: Patience is a virtue.
Yes, I know that.

But I may be waiting more than many of you coz I spend quite a lot of time:

Waiting for my kids to get ready to send them to school,
Waiting for them at dismissal
Waiting for their enrichment / tuition / piano classes to end to bring them home,
Waiting for them to finish eating,
And this week, waiting for their exams to end so that I can breathe easier.

Is it any wonder that I have become more impatient considering all that waiting I have been doing?? Altogether now: Ommmmm ... to help me be more patient.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


That's the name of a burger joint at Vivo City in Singapore. It stands for Most Original burgers.

Well, we decided to check it out last Saturday.

And this is what we had:

We tried the cheesy beef fries (a side), the mushroom soup, the bulgolgi beef burger, the MOB full breakfast and the goodfellas (a trio of burgers). We had a choice of burgers for the goodfellas and we chose the classic cheese burger, the chicken teriyaki burger and the salmon burger.

Food was not bad, but not a place I would queue an hour for, nor would I be running back to it too soon. The cheesy beef fries was adequately beefy and cheesy which the children enjoyed a lot. The MOB breakfast came with a steak, a sausage, baked beans, a choice of eggs and 2 thick slices of focaccia bread, and was pretty good.

Service unfortunately could be improved. We were the only ones there at about 12 noon that day. And this was how it went:

Me: Excuse me, what's the soup of the day?

Waiter: Let me check it out for you.

Waiter: (comes back after 5 minutes and says) It's farmur soup. (He says it while trying to put on an ang moh accent)

Me: Sorry, what's that again?

Waiter: Farmur soup. (Still trying very hard to slang!)

M: What's farmur?

Waiter: We call it farmur soup, but it's a vegetable soup. There is carrots, and other types of vegetables in it.

Me: Oh, you mean Farmer soup. How is the soup made? Is it a clear soup or tomato based?

Waiter: Wait ah. I will go find out.

Waiter: (After another 5 minutes comes back and says) It is a cream based soup.

Sigh. Just speak plain english to me, and all waiters should be briefed on the specials before the shop opens!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rip off

Do you use spray starch when ironing.

Well, we do. We use The brand "Easy on". The other day, my helper informed me that we were out of it. I usually buy it when I go for grocery shopping at NTUC supermarket. But because she needed it that very day, and I was at Cold Storage (United Square), I decided to buy it there. When I saw the price of $4.35 for a cannister, I thought it was pretty expensive. But I couldnt remember what I paid for it at NTUC, so I bought one.

MIL had walked to the neighbourhood shop when I was at Cold storage. And when she chanced upon Easy on there, she decided to buy a cannister too as she remembered the helper had said we were out of it. She paid $2.85 for it.

We thought that the neighbourhood shop had priced it wrongly when we compared prices at home that evening.

The next day, being our regular grocery shopping day, we went to our regular NTUC supermarket. We decided to load up on Easy on. Guess how much it was? $2.05

Looks like the neighbourhood shop had not priced it wrong at all. I can understand when they price it a little higher than supermarts as they are more conveniently located and do not get to enjoy economies of scale as compared to the larger supermarket chains. I have always known that prices at Cold Storage supermarkets were higher. BUT to charge more than double for something?!? That is outrageous!!

I guess I will be boycotting Cold Storage for a while.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


In Internet culture, a lurker is a person who reads discussions on a message board, newsgroup, chatroom, file sharing or other interactive system, but rarely or never participates actively. - Source:Wikipedia It has been said that it is due to a lack of trust that results in this lurking behavoir. And according to Wiki,research indicates that "lurkers make up over 90% of online groups".

I am not sure how many lurkers there are over here. But I know there are quite a few lurkers amongst my friends on FB. They know everything we post, but they never post anything ... not even once in a long, long while, and neither do they comment. Their wall is completely blank, and neither do they chat. Which makes me wonder why they even bother to join these social networks. Just to "kaypoh" (busybody) around?

In a social setting, if you dont participate, your friends very soon will not include you in their social activities. So similarly, I have decided to now block my lurker friends from my FB postings :D

Not sure if its the right thing to do, but too bad. Guess I am in one of those moods.

So are YOU a lurker and lurking around here?? Say something!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

There is a time and place for everything

Call me conservative, or anything you want, but I feel that there is a time and place for everything.

And I strongly feel that expletives are not to be used during formal convocation ceremonies, no matter how emotionally charged you may be.

I also feel that the NTU school of Communications obviously chose the wrong person to be class valedictorian. Maybe I am a bit harsh and unforgiving.

The article and her apology.

It really makes me wonder what's become of our young people nowadays. No doubt she apologised, but I feel it should never have even been said in the first place. Why the need to use expletives? Are you so proud of those words? Or are you so vocabulary challenged that you couldnt find another word to express your feelings. It makes me wonder about your upbringing. It reflects on you!!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The longest month

July felt like the longest month in my life ... what with three fridays, three saturdays, and three sundays in it!

And what made it seem extra long was the fact that I had to make three 30km round trips every weekday afternoon (between 1 and 5) for my kids as the teachers were rushing to cram as much as possible for the children before the coming PSLE. So it's no wonder that for the first time in my life, I am glad July is almost officially over.

I sure am looking forward to August. We are expecting 3 holidays in the month. Firstly, the Nation's birthday, Hari Raya Puasa and the coming polling day for the Presidential elections. And without extra classes for my son, it means one less 30km trip for me on weekdays. In addition, there will a few "school holidays" due to the exams and the rest day after National day, I think August is going to fly by real fast!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Holistic assessment

yes, assessments in school are going holistic. And I am so glad, coz that is the only way the teacher should truly assess the child, I feel.

I was actually quite pissed during the 1st semester coz, the school was supposed to have phased out exams for the children, and the children were to be assessed "holistically". But what happened was, every other week, they were given a test for each subject, and the test accounted for 5% to 10% of the final grade. And they told us when these tests were going to be held.

As a result, they expect us to prep (and many parents actually do!) their children for these assessments. So how holistic can that be? The result was:lots of parents being stressed out every week preparing for all these tests! Even "show and tell" was no longer a "show and tell" like we know it, becoz it carried a certain percentage of final assessment. It became a memorise and tell!! And it really took away all the fun for show and tells!!

well, for my child's school it is a a Pick and tell assessment this week. The best part is we do not know what the teachers will bring in their basket, for the children to pick from. And ... it will be impromptu. So, no prepping and no stressing in the home!

And the best part for me, my child is No 1 on the class register and will be the first to do it. I wont worry, and I wont have time to, coz by the time I know it has happened, it will be over! I know of some super kiasu parents already asking around the other classes to try to find out so that they can prep their kids for it!! Chill man! Your child is only in P1, education is a long, long journey.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pass the biscuits

Received this via email, and thought that I should share it.


When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every
now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made
breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago,
my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and extremely burned biscuits in
front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my
dad did was reach for his Biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day
was at school.

I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember hearing
my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never
forget what he said: "Honey, I love burned biscuits."

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he
really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said,
"Your momma put in a long hard day at work today and she 's real tired.
And besides... a burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!"

You know, life is full of imperfect things... and imperfect people. I'm
not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and
anniversaries just like everyone else. What I've learned over the years
is that learning to accept each others faults and choosing to celebrate
each others differences, is one of the most important keys to creating a
healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

Life is too short to wake up with regrets... Love the people who treat
you right

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Age is just a number

... or so we have been told.

However, much as I would like to believe it's just a number, and I feel young at heart, I can feel the effects of my age catching up with me!!

I am quite sure I am not imagining it but:
* I am a little deaf now. Sometimes I find that I really have to concentrate to hear. Must be the result of all that shouting at the kids!

* I can feel my bones aching more often. It isnt exercise induced I am quite sure. I can just pull a muscle for no reason at all or a bad sleeping position.

* I feel tired all the time! Ok maybe not all the time, but a lot more than previously!

* My eyesight has really deteriorated. I even have difficulty reading with my progressive glasses!! OK, new spectacles may be required sooner than I think, but I just changed them in September last year!! Also I find that it is really a strain for me to drive at night. Come to think of it, early in the morning as well.

* Insomnia has crept in. I wake really early, never mind the time I go to bed.

So is age just a number and irrelevant?

No! especially if you are a bottle of wine!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Not a rant

Initially when I was deciding on what to write for this post, I was going to rant about all the things that have not been going my way.

How the kids think I am the dustbin. Whenever they finish eating their snack, they will hand me their wrappers. Even when I am driving!! Why cant they hang on to their own trash until they find a bin? Why must it be me? What do you think I am? A dustbin? They would then laugh sheepishly, and do it reluctantly.

My kids also somehow think I am an octopus. Whenever we get home, they would stroll to the house empty handed. And there I would be carrying the shopping bags, the water bottle I have in the car,the ipad, my handbag, occasionally a book which I was reading in the car, and whatever else that needs to be brought into the car. And there are usually more than 5 things I would be carrying, and at times, even more than that!! An don top of all that, I have to fish the keys out of my handbag to open the house door! I would always comment loudly: Why am I an octopus?? And then one of them would offer to help me with the load. Why cant it come naturally to them to help out without being asked.

And wont you be angry when someone mis-represents to you? Especially when you were negotiating to purchase something (a big ticket item), and the decision was made based on what was represented? Well, I was on the verge of "flipping mad", when the salesman called to apologise. I wanted him to honour it, but decided that he should talk to my husband instead. The salesman wanted to compensate us with a "small item" out of his own pocket, as the mistake was made by him, and his office was not going to be held liable. Well, my husband decided that he would accept the new terms, even without the salesman spending his own money to make up for his mistake. Initally, I thought that was a stupid thing to do, but after looking at it from my husband's point of view, I think he did the right thing. Why make the poor salseman suffer. He doesnt earn much. And for that I thank God for such the thoughtful husband that I have!!

We must always remember to count our blessings. Life is short. Life is unpredictable. Be grateful for any and everything that comes your way. They are many others much worse off than we are.

Last week, one of my walking mates suddenly found out that she has breast cancer. She is only 37. Can you imagine the upheaval in her life and the life of her kids and family now?? With a husband that travels quite frequently for work, I just cant imagine what she is going thru now. It's a good thing she has strong family support, especially her Dad who has now have to take over all the ferrying and care of her young children.

I was also reading this book:

The author is a young man born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta - brittle bones, the exact same thing that my youngest child has. But he did not let that prohibit him from doing certain things, including helping others. Despite his handicap, he has done many things that puts many of us able-bodied people to shame. When he broke his right hand, he learnt to write with his left - he did not even request for a deferment of deadline for his assignments, which I am very sure his teachers would have agreed to! He believes that if life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. And I tell you, this young man must have made lots of lemonade in his life. But is he bitter about it? Not at all. A must read for everyone ... and please support this local talent!! He is a true inspiration!!

Give thanks!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A new half year

Yes it's 1st of July already. A new month, as well as the start of the second half of the year.

Time to take stock of the resolutions we made at the start of the year to see what we have achieved and whether we need to re-look what we want to do with ourselves for the rest of the year, before the year just whizzes by and before we know it, it's gone.

Well, here's the resolutions I made at the start of this year.

How have I fared?

On the exercise front, I think I have done fairly well.

On the stress front, I think I did pretty well, until my son triggered it on the first day of school in Term 3 when I had his teacher calling me telling me that he hadnt done his holiday homework. That resulted in a whole week of stress and headaches! Well, he has now cleared his backlog, and I hope I am back to normal!

On the patience and temper front, I think that hasnt been so bad the past six months, pretty pleased with how I behaved.

On the cooking and baking front, I did manage to do some of it, tried out a few recipes, and was also complimented when I gifted some cookies away... so I think I can pat myself on the back here too!

To maintain my cloth size, well, I can feel the clothes feel a little snug, but hey! still wearing the same size, so can I say I am on track?

And the last : to spend less time on the computer playing games? Well I managed to stay off it for 40 days during lent. BUT I am back to it again ... argh!! Guess must work harder here. I know I can do it if I want, but I turn to my games pretty often out of boredom as well as to de-stress. And if I am not distracting myself on these games, I could pretty much end up picking on the kids? So maybe it shouldnt have been on my resolution list at all!!

Came home this morning to an empty house. Just not used to it. I had the husband all to myself for three whole months in the mornings. It's good to come home to someone and have someone to spend time with. It's good to have someone to do my morning walks with. It's good to have someone do the errands with. It's good to have someone help me nag the kids. It's good to have someone help me with the ferrying of the kids in the afternoons. It's good to see the great family bonding during that three months. The house feels awfully quiet and empty this morning. Guess, this is what the empty nest syndrome is about! I miss my husband!!

So I guess I will be back to blogging more regularly again.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fast working hands

My youngest went for her 6 monthly dental appointment, and I was told she had an extra tooth that was growing upside down, and it was obstructing the growth of her other permanent teeth. The dentist recommended surgery immediately, since it was the school vacation, with school due to reopen next week.

7am on Wednesday morning saw us at the medical centre all ready for her to have her extra tooth extracted, together with the removal of 3 shaky milk teeth, plus 4 others that were causing her mouth to over crowd!

I carried her into the operating theatre. With her on my lap, she was told to breathe into a mask which inflated like a balloon. After 3 puffs, she was "out" and I was promptly told to leave. I was thinking of going for breakfast but was told by the dental surgeon to just hang on for awhile. Before twenty minutes was up, she came out and said the job was done, and they were wheeling my daughter out to me!

8 teeth plus 3 stitches in a tiny mouth in under 20 minutes! Wow!! And it was job well done!

And when she found out that she had 8 teeth extracted she said: I am going to be rich!!

The best part was that, after everything, the little one is still in high spirits, even with only one front tooth.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Burnt toes

Yup, my husband has sun burnt toes. This was the result of too much sun when we were at Bintan.

I mentioned to him that it was very unusual for toes to get sun burnt, coz most of the time, our toes are in the water. And from all these years that I have known him, and the amount of time we had spent in the sun previously, he NEVER had sun burnt toes before. Other body parts yes, but toes - NEVER! So weird!!

Well, he replied: Previously my toes were always shaded by my tummy, now with my tummy gone, my toes get burnt!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Fathers Day!

My kids told my husband this morning: We like you fat!!

Funny isnt it? I thought they would want their Dad to be leaner and healthier.

But no, they prefer him heavier, and not on a diet. Fat and jolly?

Well, what triggered it was when we walked by a chocolate shop, and the kids wanted to buy candy. I always say no to candy coz the dentist advised me to limit their candy intake to "only on party days, and for no more than 10 minutes in the mouth!". But to the kids, everyday is party day, and anytime is party time!! So naturally I said "no".

Just the other day, one of the kids commented - "Mum, we are running low on ice cream". But there were 4 half eaten tubs when I checked the freezer, so I told them that I wasnt buying any until they finished up all that was left. They are just too used to having 6 to 8 flavours to choose from at any one time, and seeing only 4 meant - "we dont have enough"!

Normally, my husband is the one that buys all the junk food in the house. Chocolates, chips, ice cream, juice. BUT since he has started on this weight loss program (he has lost a total of 10kg already in 10 weeks), he has been controlling his intake of unnecessary calories. Hence the drought at home!!

So, sorry kids, time to cut down on your junk food and candies. Papa's staying slim.

Happy Father's day to all Dads!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June Vacation

We just came back from vacation.

We chose a nice resort just 50 minutes away from Singapore by ferry. It was a pleasant boat ride away.

We were considering the land transfers to the hotel, and noted that they only limit 3 to a car. Not wanting to split the family up, we opted for the bus transfer. We ended up waiting for a long time for "non-existent guests" to take the bus with us!!

It was a beautiful resort. We had opted for one that cost a bit more, for a bit of exclusivity and privacy.

On the first two days, we almost had the pool and the beach exclusively to ourselves!! Of course the children had a good time, without having to worry about being a nuisance to other guests.

Food at the hotel was so-so. On the pricey side considering it is in a country where the standard of living is much cheaper. What I found funny was, they had the same kids menu for all their restaurants, but the prices were different! Why? I really dont understand. It cost more to eat at their "coffee house" then at their restaurant! And another peeve of mine was that they didnt offer the kids menu at the pool side!

Hubby and I tried out the spa. The prices we paid were similar to what we would pay at a top spa in Singapore. There goes the advantage of cheap labour in their country which I thought they should pass on to their guests. In addition a 90 minute treatment turned out to be less than 60 minutes as the first 15 minutes was spent explaining the treatment, and the last 15 minutes was spent drinking tea! In addition, there was a lot of time wasted by the therapist in between the treatments walking in and out of the room getting things that she needed - hot towels, oils, pillows, etc. You would have thought that they should have that all ready in the room. In that sense, it turned out to cost more than what we would have paid in Singapore!

Another thing that I wasnt happy about was that everything in the hotel was priced in US dollars! And upon checkout, when we were paying the bill, the bill was in their home currency. That means that everything was converted to their home currency at their "cut-throat" exchange rate, which we settled by credit card coz who carries 30 million of a currency when travelling! That means we have to bear yet another exchange loss when the credit card company bills us in Singapore dollars!!

For our return transfer, we decided to opt for the car transfer this time as we didnt fancy waiting for non-existent guests again. This time they agreed to let all 5 of us into one car, and it turned out to be cheaper than had we decided to take the bus transfer - and no waiting to boot!

Cant help but feel we were kind of ripped off during the vacation!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


When is it a good time for our kids to start a BGR?

I think most parents would say - anytime is a BAD time! And I totally agree. They should only start it when they are young men and women, never when they are mere boys and girls!

We'll, I think when they are mere boys and girls, i.e. under 18 they should just be focussing on their school work. I know this is an old fashioned view, but I guess I am old fashioned, being, as my kids call it : "so old"!! But i feel that when they are that young, studies should come first. No time for the emotional see-saws that result out of these relationships. No time for dates. Any dates should be on their own account, never out of parents pockets! Gosh! Too many things against young BGRs for me.

My husband is also getting all anxious over this BGR

Why? We chanced upon a post on FB where a girl asked my son : "do you like me?"

What kind of respectable girl asks a boy that, we thought! Anyway, he is way too young! Not even 12, and with major exams coming up, he absolutely has no time! But you know what? My son responded with a "I don't know" !!! * slaps forehead *

Now that girl is messaging him every available hour she has free! And he feels compelled to respond to her. Urgh!!!

Now, you know why I am so against it? Can you blame me?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Those drivers!!

I have been driving my oldest to school for 20 weeks this year already. This job was previously done by her Dad.

Recently, he asked her: Do you miss my swearing at those idiotic drivers?

Daughter: No Dad, mum more than makes up for it. On top of that, I have to put up with her singing as well!

Looks like that daughter of mine is in the mood for taking the public bus to school for the next 20 weeks!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What's up?

I know I have been neglecting this blog, but can you blame me? I have been enjoying these past 2 months.

Well, the husband has been home and devoting more time to his kids and wife ;)
If you havent already worked it out, he took the bite and is now on garden leave, and starts his new job in July!! 3 whole months of family time!!

And we have been exercising quite a bit. He runs, whilst I walk. He does about 8km about 4-5 times a week, and has lost (my guess is) about 15 pounds!! Thats 3 inches off his waist and is now much fitter. I, on the other hand, walk about 2-3 times a week for about 5 km and havent lost a single pound nor a single inch :( but I guess I havent put on any weight either, and I should be thankful for that, considering all the eating thats been going on around here.

Just the other day, the husband asked me: Do you think I really lost that much weight?

Me: Of course, you have!

Him: I dont think I have lost THAT much weight that I can fit into N's shorts!

(Well, I had absentmindedly put my sons shorts into the husband's cupboard!)

With the man's weight loss which we are all celebrating, the kids tried to work out the diameter of their father and decided that using his waist as circumference, they would be able to work that out. Unfortunately they couldn't agree on what to use for pi - 22/7 or 3.1415.... How decimal places should they go?

And little D wanted to know if Papa had any blubber!!

Have a great week!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

To all you wonderful mums out there:

Happy mother's day!

Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we go back to sweeping, dusting, cleaning, cooking and ferrying the kids around.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Jesus said : Come to me all you who labour, and are burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matt 11.28)

Happy labour day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Nomination day is here, and polling day is just around the corner.

Who will you vote? Will it be the incumbent or the opposition?

Your vote counts! It will decide the future of our country and how you and your children will live.

Vote with a conscience, not your whim.

You are affecting your future and MINE! Vote wisely.

"Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything."
- Frank Dane.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wishing all A Blessed Easter!!

My Lord he died for a kingdom
To redeem the hearts of men
Now my people don't you weep
He has risen from his sleep
He lives Again

Sing Alleluia
The Lord is Risen
He is Risen indeed Alleluia!!
(The Easter Song)

And here are some Easter Riddles for your enjoyment:

Q: Why did the Easter egg hide?

A: He was a little chicken!

Q: What do you call ten rabbits marching backwards?

A: A receding hareline.

Chocolate causes certain endocrine glands to secrete hormones that affect your feelings and behavior by making you happy. Therefore, it counteracts depression, in turn reducing the stress of depression. Your stress-free life helps you maintain a youthful disposition, both physically and mentally. So, eat lots of chocolate!
Elaine Sherman
Book of Divine Indulgences

Guess we should all indulge in all those yummy Easter Chocolates :D


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hump Day

Do you know that today is a hump day?

Wednesdays are called hump days coz it is the middle of the work week, and as soon as we get over this hump of a day we will be rolling very quickly towards the weekend. And this week, it is a small hump to get over coz we have a long weekend here, due to Good Friday public holiday!

So have a great hump day!!

(And dont get the wrong idea and go humping anyone!!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Advertising gone wrong?

We had caught a movie last saturday evening and had gone for supper after that. As we were driving past KFC, on our way home D decided to read the ad they had put outside their restaurant.

"Now serving breakfast," she said, paused and then added "At this hour??"

And all of us cracked up. It was 9.30pm. Maybe we should have just gone in and demanded for something from their breakfast menu.

Monday, April 11, 2011

No free lunch

15 years ago a friend bought me a book entitled "Dare to Discipline" by James Dobson as a shower gift when I had my eldest.

Why that book? Looking at hubs and me, she reckoned that we were softies, and felt that we had to "dare to discipline" our kids.

I did read the book,and also tried to do some of the things Dr Dobson recommended on how to take control of our kids.

One lesson that I learnt was that there is no such thing as a free lunch ie, never give the kids anything for nothing. They have to work for their rewards.

Well, that was what I have been trying to do ... but I think that's kind of harsh, not? Sometimes we just want to encourage the children, or even pamper them.

Well, my son has always "demanded" for his rewards whenever he does well in school. You see, soccer trading cards are a BIG thing for him, and I try to discourage him from buying them. At $1.80 a pack, you get 5 cards, and what does he do? He just keeps them in his folder and looks at them. As you know, there are hundreds if not thousands of players in the English Premier league. And to have every players' card? I must be printing money in my backroom. And on top of that, new cards come out every season and some of the players change teams. There is no way you can collect them all - a sheer waste of money I feel!!

Anyway to cut a long story short, he doesnt have many of them, and he wants more. Well, last week, my son was feeling very tired from the many weeks of long days in school. To motivate him, the hubs bought him quite a few packs of those cards (Fathers spoil the market!!!). Naturally, he was immediately energized!!

But that is like giving him a free lunch, not?

So like Dr Dobson said: There is no such thing as a free lunch.

What did I do? I told him that now he owes us the good grades!!
*evil grin* Guess, this rabbit is still trying to be a "tiger mum".

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Recently I was told that English was a stupid language, and here's the reason why:

English is a stupid language.
There is no egg in the eggplant
No ham in the hamburger
And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple.
English muffins were not invented in England
French fries were not invented in France.

We sometimes take English for granted
But if we examine its paradoxes we find that
Quicksand takes you down slowly
Boxing rings are square
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

If writers write, how come fingers don’t fing.
If the plural of tooth is teeth
Shouldn’t the plural of phone booth be phone beeth
If the teacher taught,
Why didn’t the preacher praught.

If a vegetarian eats vegetables
What the heck does a humanitarian eat!?
Why do people recite at a play
Yet play at a recital?
Park on driveways and
Drive on parkways

English was invented by people, not computers
And it reflects the creativity of the human race
(Which of course isn’t a race at all)

That is why
When the stars are out they are visible
But when the lights are out they are invisible
And why it is that when I wind up my watch
It starts
But when I wind up this observation,
It ends.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Are our kids getting soft?

After the photo of a maid carrying the backpack of an army boy appeared in the press here, the question on everyone's lips now is: Are our kids getting soft?

I think, the answer is definitely "YES!". In fact, I think , too soft!

Why do I think that?

When our forefathers ventured out, they came with nothing. Hence they had to work really hard to earn a living. The hardship that they faced made them more resilient.

Our parents, were one of many children in the family. Their parents worked really hard to eke out a living, and hence did not have much time for them. They practically grew up on their own, and many even had to look after younger siblings or left school early to help bring home the bread. (Couldnt afford bacon then!)

Then came our time. Families became smaller. People became more affluent. Technological advances made certain work easier.
People learned to enjoy life.

And from personal experience:

Many of us are having kids later and later. With every year delay in child bearing, it gets more and more difficult. Well, I had my first child after 6 years of marriage, when I was well into my 30s. We had almost given up trying, and then God decided to bless us with our eldest. Naturally, she was SOOOOOOOOOO precious to us, and we gave in to her quite a bit ... and still do.

When our second child arrived, he is the only Grandson carrying the family surname - naturally he is doted on and pampered by his grandparents (and parents too - how can we play favourites right?) - hence, another softie in the making.

As for my youngest, she arrived after I turned 40. As some of you may already know, she does have some medical problems, and as such, she is watched over a little more, and as a result, a little pampered too! (OK, a little may be an understatement).

Hence, my conclusion: with every generation, the kids are going to get softer and softer!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Not baking

Yes, I havent been baking for a while. Why?

Various reasons:

My oven tripped the power supply in the whole house just a couple of days before CNY, so I stopped using it, coz the electrician had gone off duty for the whole duration of CNY and I didnt want to risk being without electricity/lights during that period. That would have been really inauspicious!!

Lack of time. With my son staying back in school 4 days a week this term, (the school is really putting the heat on them!!), I am tired out from making so many trips a day just fetching them, that I want to keep my free time in the mornings for myself. No baking, no stressing myself out as to whether I would have a disaster coming out of the oven.

Weight gain. Not sure if the cause is over-eating, coz I have been watching what I eat, and I walk every week now. It is most likely the middle-age bulge!

So I guess unless this happens, I wont be baking for a long while:

Have a great mid-week!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Moving with the times

How do you show someone you love them?

The following are common ways: just being with them, showering them with gifts, buying them flowers, bringing them out to dinner, etc

But in our parents time: Love was hardly "shown". Maybe a grunt or two to acknowledge the others' presence, or maybe just showing up on time for dinner. No gifts, no hand holding, no show of affection whatsoever!

But people move with the times.

They have been married for many, many years. He pretended that he wanted to buy durians for the grandkids, but after buying those durians he said he had to go somewhere else. He drove straight to the mall which housed her jewellers.

He had made an appointment for them to remain open late last nite just for her private viewing and selection!!

Married 49 years today, that's my In-laws. And that's no April fool joke!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Just a half hour earlier ...

Yesterday was an early day for me and the kids ... an early knock-off that is.

The children were dismissed just a half hour earlier from school as the school was hosting some BIG SHOTS from the Ministry and a Minister, and wanted to clear everyone out of school before the VIPs came.

Leaving school just a half hour earlier meant that by 2pm, they were home, had their lunch, showered, and were already halfway thru' their homework.

My eldest, being an exam day, finished early too. I was home by 3.30pm, and I was done for the day (most days I am not done for the day until 5.15pm at the earliest!). And when I came home after picking my eldest, the other 2 had already finished all their homework, practised the piano, their ting xie and spelling for the week, and my son had even done some revision which I had given to him.

So I got the little one to take a nap, whilst the boy went out to kick some soccer balls, and the eldest got some uninterrupted computer time.

And at dinner time, everyone was in a good mood, and finished their dinner without any incident and squabbling and in record time too! As a result, I felt compelled to reward them with an ice-cream treat after they had their fruits. They got to choose the ice-cream flavour of their choice (we have at least 6 different flavours in our fridge!!), topped with chocolate sauce and (gasp!, the dentist is not going to be happy with me!) a sprinkle of hundreds and thousands.

So what am I trying to say in this post? That just a half hour shorter day at school can make things go so much more smoothly at home and everyone so happy!

So why cant the people at the top see this? Why do our children need so long days in school. When they are well-rested, and have time on their hands, they will do the right thing!

yoohoo!! ANYBODY at MOE listening to me?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spoilt beyond words!

This morning was a bright and sunny morning, and as usual I sent my eldest to school.

A string of cars in the school driveway. First one, directly under the porch on the driveway was a taxi dropping a girl off. Obviously, she wasn't prepared with the fare and took quite a long time digging out the money to pay the driver. Next was a car and I was third in line. As soon as the car pulled to a stop, my girl bade me goodbye and jumped out of the car and walked into school. Not that it was a long distance.

After a long wait, the girl in the taxi finally got out and the taxi drove off. The car in front of me, drove about 1.5m to directly under the porch before starting their goodbyes rituals for the day and then the 2 daughters alighted!! I was aghast!! Is this how the children here are being brought up? That they can't even walk a super short distance into school? It was a fine day. If it was raining I can understand. No wonder there are long jams going into school everyday coz all those super precious kids must only be dropped EXACTLY in front of the school and no where else.

In fact today was the first time I dropped my daughter on the porch as we were early and there was relatively less cars. In fact I drop her off at the bus stop everyday, rain or shine and she has to walk to school from there. Why? Because the queue driving into school is just too long and there is usually a jam! Now I know what is causing the jam!! Even for my two youngest, my husband will just drop them wherever is convenient within the school and they have to walk the rest of the way in. Many a times they have to cross a road to get to the assembly point. ( thank God my son is a good brother and will supervise his 6 year old sister when crossing that road).

But the point I want to raise is: do we really want our kids to be so pampered and spoilt that they cannot walk a short distance? Why are they spoiling their kids so much? Is it the result of the small families that we have here? If they cant even walk that short distance I can just imagine the amount of work they do to help out at home! They must be treated like little prince and princesses at home!

Walking a short distance does no harm to any able bodied student. In fact it would make them more alert during classes if they have a small workout before school. Tho there is a small danger involved having my two younger children cross the road by themselves ( with all those inconsiderate parents trying to get their children to school) , it has also taught them road crossing skills and to be more responsible as well. It has also taught my son how to take care of his little sister.

Our children are all precious to us BUT there is absolutely no need to spoil them silly!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Who do you look like?

It has often been said that pet and owners tend to look alike.

I am not sure if it is a case of the owner mimicking their pet or if it is because the owner not wanting any ownership issues, choose pets that look like them, as many a times, pets are treated like offsprings.

It has also been said that if you want to know what you will look like when you grow old, just take a look at your Mum. That's how you are supposed to look like when you reach her age.

Is there any truth to that?

Well looking at my Mum, she doesnt look any bit like my Granny when my granny was her age, and neither does my sis look like my Mum at that same age.

So that got me thinking. With me having looked like my dad since I was young, and people still tell me I look like him, I will probably end up looking like him in old age rather than my Mum.

Well some of it is already there. My Mum has very little white hair whilst my dad's crop is a lovely mop of silvery white. I, too, am having more white hair than I think I should be having at this age. So I think, I will probably end up with hair like his, which I must say is quite nice - all of one shade :P

And you know the nice thing about it is that my dad looks much younger than his two younger brothers. At almost 80, he has been mistaken to be younger than his 73, and 75 year old brothers!! Well that's something I definitely hope to inherit from him - his youthful looks!

So who do you look like? Your parent or your pet?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A case of 2 Tims

I was at the Prize-giving ceremony of the Inter-schools Individual chess championship yesterday.

They were giving out the prizes for the open category - ie school children aged 16 and above and the Chief Arbiter (CA) for the tournament said: In open category, in tenth position is Timothy Chan from Raffles Institution.

Timothy then walked up on stage, from the right towards the extreme left where the CA was standing. Before he could reach the CA, a little boy (barely waist high of Timothy), aged about 4 (in his kindergarten uniform) ran in front of him towards the CA, faced the audience and raised his 2 hands in victory.

Timothy looked a bit puzzled and uncertain as to what he was to do.

Then the arbiter turned to the little boy and said: No, no, not you. I know you are Timothy Chan too.

(I believe the little Timothy Chan was the winner in the 2011 National Kindergarten Individual Chess Championships held a on 6 March 2011). See here

And the little boy had to be carried off-stage by his father.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Actually it should be TGIEOT! No that's not a swear word, it's for: Thank God its end of Term.

I feel so tired from this first term of school that I am really looking forward to the break.

I am not sure if it's because of the new schedule, or the 6 week break in November/December, or if it is because I have aged. Likely it's a combination of all, that this term has seen me totally worn out!

But is it really a break we are having? Not actually coz D has 45 math problems, spelling and ting xie (Chinese spelling) to do/ prepare for during the hols,and all will be due as soon as school re-opens.

As for my son, the teachers have been revving up on the supplementary lessons - which has been 3 days a week for the past few weeks, and lots of homework on top of all that. In addition he has a chess tournament during the school hols!

For my eldest, she will be having her exams after the hols with many projects due as soon as school re-opens! So I guess, she wont have much time to relax too!

What's with the schools nowadays? Heavy workload during the school term, and just as much work to be done during the so-called holidays! Are the children supposed to have no down time at all? Will that not lead to a burn-out? I feel as burnt out as the tires on my car!

The Minister of Education really needs to re-look the school syllabus, coz I feel that the children are expected to know too much, and that leads to too much cramming of the work in school (and out of school) and that about takes the fun out of learning.

With life expectancy much longer now, the children should be given more time to learn at a comfortable pace, no need for this rush, rush, rush. We must also teach our children to relax and to stop and smell the roses.

Anyway, Have a great weekend ahead.

BTW - D is due for another Bone Mineral Density test during the hols. Please pray for her to achieve the necessary numbers so that she doesnt have to go for those dreaded infusions!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Going in blind

That's how my youngest is going in for her mandarin exam tomorrow, and I feel so sorry for her.

You see, we were first told that the P1s were not going to have any exams this year. Yippee! I thought. Then in about week 5, we were given a schedule of assessment for the first term. Being so busy, I hardly took notice of it. Then just last week, we were reminded of the coming tests, the results of which were going to be reported in the child's report book!

What? I thought no exams? But recording the result of a test in the report book is equivalent to giving them an exam not? An exam by any name is still an exam!

Anyway, she was to be having 3 tests back to back. I then realized that she wasn't very good at counting, so the last few days were spent on that, as her math test was the first of the 3 tests. I tried to give her pointers on how to check her answers, trying very hard to not make her too anxious about the test, and at the same time trying very hard to get her to realize that it is important that she does well and not make any silly mistakes and lose unnecessary marks.

This evening, I told my oldest to check the class blog on the format of the Chinese test tomorrow. The teacher had indicated that it would follow the format of the worksheets that they have been doing in class. But my girl hasn't brought a single worksheet home! Why? Because she has kept them under her desk in school!!

So, I can't really revise much with her, not knowing what format the test is going to take. And it is driving me nuts!, imagine going in for an exam blind! Poor girl. Just praying that she will be able to do well despite this handicap. Gulp!

Wish the schools would make up their minds on whether they are really going to be having exams for the kids!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Should I put her to the test?

MIL will be travelling for some urgent matters very soon, and the very weekend that she will be away, hubby and I have a wedding dinner to attend, which we committed to before MIL knew of her urgent travel needs.

So who will watch the kids?

The maids have NEVER watched the kids. So I dont expect them to do it .. coz they wouldnt know what to do!! Actually, if it was only the two older ones, I would have no qualms about leaving them by themselves. But with the youngest, I feel she needs someone older and more responsible to be around. (OK I may be a little over-protective here, but you know my reasons!!)

My oldest has volunteered to watch the other two but I am a bit nervous about it. Why? Because, the other two are quite capable of acting up and testing her when there are no adults around. And I am quite sure they wouldnt go up to bed when she tells them to. And should they get into a fight, I am quite sure she would not be able to handle it!!

I have been told that it would be a good time to let her try, and it would also be great for bonding between the siblings. I know it is only but a few hours and we are only a phone call away, and the maids can intervene if necessary.

So why am I wondering if I should be putting her to the test?

Anyway, since it's Friday, here's my joke for the week:

A young man volunteered to baby-sit one night so his parents could have an evening out. At bedtime he sent the youngsters upstairs to bed and settled down to watch football. One child kept creeping down the stairs but the young man kept sending him back. At 9pm, the doorbell rang, it was the next-door neighbour Mrs. Brown, asking whether her son was there. The young man brusquely replied, "No". Just then a little head appeared over the banister and a voice shouted, "I'm here Mom but he won't let me go home."

And here's another:

When a woman's friend was having her third baby in four years, she volunteered to keep the older two children overnight. One night turned into several, and eventually the woman was running out of supplies. She asked her husband to go over and get some things from the friend's husband.

"Did she give you everything?" she asked.

"Yes," my husband said, grinning. "A box of diapers, two sacks of clothing and the children's birth certificates."

Have a great weekend, and if you have a big night out planned, I hope you have a babysitter!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Books, Books, Books

As a few of you may already know, I am an avid book reader. I enjoy reading novels, autobiographies, magazines, etc.

And I have a few other book worms at home. The two girls simply love reading. The oldest reads very widely whilst the youngest loves her fairy tales. My husband on the other hand reads "technical" books: books related to his job and his hobby.

So I guess you can tell, part of the mess in our home is caused by books.

Anyway, I love visiting book shops, and I never leave without buying, and it is usually more than one book.

Recently I have decided to go to the 2nd hand book store instead of the usual book shop. For about $3 to $6, I get to read the latest novel. The only catch is that I have to finish it within a month, and I do not get to keep the book, which is both a joy and a pain! Joy - because as I read fairly fast, for that amount of money, both eldest and I can actually finish the book within a month and I dont have to hunt down storage space for the books and Pain because I dont get to keep the books which is something I sometimes like to do!!

Why dont I visit the library instead? Whilst it is free to borrow the books from the library, it is fairly difficult (read: almost impossible) to get the latest best sellers there. Also, the library nearest my home doesnt have a convenient public carpark nearby! There is a multi-storey car-park about 200m away from the library, but I would have to park on the 4th or 5th level, the first 3 levels being reserved for season parking. And I find it kind of creepy parking so high up, coz it can be quite quiet and deserted. As for the 2nd hand bookshop, it is right at the mall where I send my kids for enrichment/music class. So whilst waiting for them, it's just so convenient!

But the BIG question on my mind, is: with so many readers and books at home, why hasn't it rubbed off on my other child? Any suggestions on what I can do?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Who did it?

A fart is a pleasant thing,
It gives the belly ease,
It warms the bed in winter,
And suffocates the fleas.

A fart can be quiet,
A fart can be loud,
Some leave a powerful,
Poisonous cloud

A fart can be short,
Or a fart can be long,
Some farts have been known
To sound like a song......

A fart can create
A most curious medley,
A fart can be harmless,
Or silent, and deadly.

A fart might not smell,
While others are vile,
A fart may pass quickly,
Or linger a while......

A fart can occur
In a number of places,
And leave everyone there,
With strange looks on their faces .
From wide-open prairie,
To small elevators,
A fart will find all of
Us sooner or later.

But farts are all bad,
Is simply not true-
We must never forget.......
Sweet old farts like you!
Kinda brings a tear to your eye - right?

Look at the Queen's face!

The expressions are priceless!

Can you guess who farted?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Speed limit

Speed limit refers to the maximum speed that vehicles should be traveling at. I am not sure what drivers don't understand about that.

I was driving along the expressway this morning at a speed of slightly above 80km/hour. The speed limit on that particular expressway is 80. Yet I had this huge truck which had a speed limit of 60km/hour tailgating me and flashing his lights at me!! Darn!! He was committing four offences at that time:
1. Driving above his allowable speed limit.
2. Driving above the speed limit on the expressway.
3. Failing to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of it.
4. Not keeping to the extreme left lane ( which heavy vehicles are supposed to).

How I wish I was moonlighting as a traffic police officer coz I would have given him all 4 summonses and maybe even taking away his license. It is drivers like these that make it dangerous for all other road users.

And since it is Friday, here's my TGIF joke:

A speeding motorist was caught by radar from a police helicopter in the sky. An officer pulled him over and began to issue a traffic ticket. "How did you know I was speeding?" the frustrated driver asked.
The police officer pointed somberly towards the sky.
"You mean," asked the motorist, "that even He is against me?"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A coveted piece of metal

That was what my Mum gave to me.

This amazing little piece of metal makes little top hats or for the locals here we call kueh pie tee shells. This shells can then be filled with a variety of ingredients and makes good appetisers. Traditionally it is filled with shredded vegetables (turnips, carrots, french beans) and the result is "Kueh pie tee"

Why is this piece of metal so coveted? This kueh pie tee shell maker is more than 50years old, and I know that my niece has been trying to wrangle for it. It can be bought in the market, but they dont make them like they use to! And this particular one is of the right size. The ones we see being sold now are so big that the resulting kueh pie tee cant be eaten in one bite. And to top it off, a seasoned one will usually result in more success as it has been "worn in", so the shells made are more evenly brown.

Well, all's left for me to do is to put my skills to practise!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

School woes

We are into week 8 of the school week,and I have been so busy. The school week is so much longer for me, even though I am not the one in school, but from the shuttling of the children due to changes in their schedules this year. So please forgive me if this blog is a little neglected.

Met a few friends and here are some of their Primary One woes:

Friend A - daughter's mandarin teacher gives ad hoc "ting xie" (Chinese spelling) and in addition to the words that they are supposed to learn, gives additional words as and when the teacher feels like it. Friend A feels that this is totally unfair coz her child may not be prepared for those additional words and thus may (and did) get some of them wrong.

My response: No big deal. Everyone in the class will be on an equal footing and will be faced with the same "unknown" words. But unfortunately she is still unhappy.

Friend B - Said to me : "I do not like my daughter anymore, coz she is very cranky when she gets home from school and is very disobedient". Friend B hails from the US, and is not used to the local school system which she feels starts too early and is way too rigid. She thinks that her girl, having been subjected to all that rigidity at school, just wants to break free and rebel when she gets home.

My response: Please cut her some slack, as she is still settling into the new school system, and also may not know how to voice out what is troubling her. I too find that my D is more disobedient since she started school. I guess that is just part of growing up, so please do not hate her. They are just trying to find their own comfort zone and grow up. Sob.

D has also been sharing with me about the Sick bay at school. She is fascinated by it! She thinks its a place to go and rest, ... and you can skip class too, whilst in school! I was aghast when I heard it. And began telling her about why she shouldnt go to the sick bay. She then told me about two of her classmates who are regular visitors there. One is her Best friend (GASP!!), who always complains of having a stomachache. This girl has potato chips for recess as well as after school snack (double gasp!) I then explained to D that the stomachaches are probably caused by not eating well, and went on to tell her about why she needs to eat, and healthily so as not to fall sick.

The other regular visitor apparently eats well at recess (she usually has noodles and macaroni soup, I was told) but is also plagued by stomach pains. And after the oil rubbing session, still has that ache and will then go to the sick bay to "rest".

Having manned the sick bay at the school previously, I am aware that there are children who will go there just to skip class. When I mentioned it to hubby he shared with me this incident.

His friend received a call from his child's school one day when they were having lunch, and apparently this has been a common occurrence recently. His daughter complains of stomach pains every time mandarin lesson approaches. Why? Because the mandarin teacher, on a particular day, was upset with some children in the class slammed down some books on the table and his daughter was startled by it as she was seated near the table. Since then she has had this fear of mandarin classes. My heart goes out to the poor girl. But in such a situation what can they do now to help the poor child overcome this fear? It is fortunate that the school managed to identify the cause of the problem and have now assigned her a school counselor to overcome the problem. But shouldnt something be done to the teacher as well? What is with this intimidation? Much as I know, it may be difficult to control a class but the teacher must be taught how to handle situations and not use intimidation and definitely needs to be counselled as well.

As for my woes, apart from the long days for me, is when the child does not perform according to plan. I have always practised for spelling and ting xie with D. And during these practises, she has been getting them all correct. BUT when she gets to school for the actual spelling test or ting xie, she gets some of them wrong!! How? If she gets them wrong at home, I can drill her, or come up with little tricks on how to remember the correct way to spell - BUT she gets them correct at home!! Could it be anxiety too? I dont know. But, going thru P1 for the 3rd time (4th if I consider my own P1 year), I am now COOL about it. Que sera sera, I did my best to help her learn it. And if she still gets it wrong, there is nothing more I can do. I no longer insist on getting 100% for all ting xies and spelling exercises.

I guess we mellow with age, and I dont want to stress the small stuff. Also, I dont want the white hair to multiply so fast :P