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.