Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

To all the wonderful Mummies that have been visiting me here:

Continue the fantastic job that you are doing with your children.
Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Now you see it, now you dont!!

Are my eyes playing tricks on me, or am I imagining things?

Now that rating thingey (which I wrote about in the previous post) has miraculously disappeared on its own.

Is someone playing a prank on me?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Eh, How come?

I know, my previous post was supposed to be my last. But just had to post this.

Was logged out of blogger for a couple of days. There was no way I could get logged onto it, even though I had no problem getting on the net. Then suddenly, hey presto! I had no trouble getting in yesterday. Not sure if someone had hacked into my account. And then this morning, I noticed that after my comments, there is this rating thingey for my posts!! How did it get there? Who put it there? I dont know!!!

I thought maybe blogspot put it there. But when I checked other blogs that are on blogspot, they dont have it. Not even ecl. Checked my settings and layout, and there is nothing there. So where did it come from? I am a real dummy when it comes to even posting on blogger (I still cant do a strike through or change the font colour of my posts, despite other bloggers telling me to go to Edit HTML). So I couldnt have possibly done it, not even in my sleep!! So where did that come from?

Any ideas anyone??

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ending on a High

A very BIG thank you to Jade for this award. I am so honoured to receive this award from you. You sure made my day!!

There are many others whom I have met while blogging that truly deserves this award. They are:

Yan from whom I have learnt a thing or two (or maybe even ten) just by reading her posts. She has shown me how the Lord has touched her life, and also how a true professional writes.

bp for sharing with me the beautiful life she is experiencing with her children in a foreign land. Just by reading her posts, I feel that I can truly connect with her, and as if we have been pals for years.

iml for her patience that seems to flow through to me from her blog. I wish I was more like her, able to handle my kids with no help.

eastcoastlife for her no-holds-barred, sometimes hilariously funny, and "educational" posts. ECL was one of the first to teach me a thing or two about blogging when I first started. She is what I would call my "sifu" of blogging.

tigerfish for sharing with us all her wonderful food posts and innovative recipes. I call her my "Nigella" of Blogspot.

mott for being her true self even when blogging. No pretences, no niceties just for the sake of it, for telling it like it is. Sometimes I wish I had the guts to post like her!!

And of course, the award goes to 2 blogs which have since closed: that of Judy (Grandmother Stories) and Kopi Soh (aka Firehorse), whose posts I really enjoyed reading AND for their care and concern for others through their actions. They have really shown God's Love to others in this blogging world.

Why am I giving so many awards? Because nothing could be better way than sharing the award with those so deserving of it and especialy after receiving it myself. It may come as a surprise to many of you but this is my last post. Why end? Just impulsive? Maybe! Many things have happened, many criticisms, many questions, and I feel that it is best that I stop.

To those who have asked: why the need to blog and make it public? yes, maybe you are right. Maybe all these should be kept private in a diary, just for my own eyes. To those who have read more than what I had written in my posts - my apologies, maybe it was a wrong choice of words. No offence was meant. No hard feelings. And to everyone else: If you were offended in any way by what I wrote, I apologise. Nothing was meant to hurt or poke at anyone - it was just my inability to choose a better word, to write it in a nicer way. Everything written was done "My way" .

And to share with you one of my favourite songs by Frank Sinatra, My Way:

And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I'll say it clear,
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain.

I've lived a life that's full.
I've traveled each and ev'ry highway;
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Regrets, I've had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course;
Each careful step along the byway,
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall;
And did it my way.

I've loved, I've laughed and cried.
I've had my fill; my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that;
And may I say - not in a shy way,
"No, oh no not me,
I did it my way".

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows -
And did it my way!

His song pretty much sums up what I am feeling! After one and a half years here, I am saying good bye. Sad to leave. BUT will not be gone forever. I will still be visiting your blogs.

So dear blogger friends, Adious for now. Take care and God Bless!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Are you impulsive?

impulsive - an adjective - defined by the dictionary as:
a) proceeding from natural feeling or impulse without external stimulus;
b) without forethought
c) determined by chance or impulse or whim rather than by necessity or reason
d) characterized by undue haste and lack of thought or deliberation.

Have always thought that I was quite an impulsive person, that would act at the drop of a hat, or shoot off my mouth, without first considering the reaction that would result. Have gotten into trouble from hubby ocassionally for doing things (all with good intentions, no doubt), without even considering what would happen after that! Deal with it later, just had to get it off my chest, or attend to it at that moment, I guess.

Hubby on the other hand is definitely not an impulsive person. He is one that would think through everything before he says or do anything ... just like a typical civil servant!!

So when I came upon this quiz, I decided to take it to actually find out how impulsive I am. Was quite surprised that I am actually not that impulsive after all! Maybe it was just a few occasions, and a mountain was made of that molehill, so it sticks in my memory. Like the quiz says, maybe its just my spontaneous side reacting. Quite a relief with the results, actually!!

You Are 35% Impulsive

You're a pretty stable and serious person. You don't take things lightly.

This doesn't mean you can't have fun - you just have fun responsibly.

You definitely have a spontaneous side, but you only let loose when it's appropriate.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Smile: The Truth about Hugs

There's no such thing as a bad hug, only good ones and great ones

non-fattening and they don't cause cancer or cavities..

all natural with no preservatives, artificial ingredients or pesticide residue...

cholesterol-free, naturally sweet, 100% wholesome
and they are a completely renewable resource...

Easy to care for, they don't require batteries, tune-ups, or x-rays...

non-taxable, fully returnable and energy efficient...

safe in all kinds of weather...

In fact,

especially good for cold and rainy days and

exceptionally effective in treating problems like bad dreams or Monday blues...

Never wait until tomorrow to hug someone you could hug today, because when you give one, you get one right back your way !

And you know what? When you give a hug, that will definitely bring a smile to both you and the hugee's face. Got this smile tag from bp

There are many things that make me smile - like a good joke, being with friends, receiving a gift for no reason, just being at the jewellers, watching a funny movie - but nothing can beat seeing my childrens' happy faces.

I just want to share with you the most famous smile of all time and one of my favourite songs by the late Nat King Cole:

"Mona lisa, mona lisa, men have named you
'so like the lady with the mystic smile
Is it only cause you're lonely they have blamed you?
For that mona lisa strangeness in your smile?

Do you smile to tempt a lover, mona lisa?
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there and they die there
Are you warm, are you real, mona lisa?
Or just a cold and lonely lovely work of art?"

bp wanted to see my smile, so here it is:

Hope it did not disappoint. Next time when I am less camera shy, I will post a BIG smile for you!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

2nd Hand smoke

Not a smoker, have never been, probably never will.

But do you know that even if you do not smoke you can get lung cancer? Yes, from 2nd hand smoke. And it can prove even more deadly than if you were to smoke.

Just got news that a good friend's mum, a non-smoker has just last week been diagnosed with 4th stage lung cancer. She is not a smoker and has never been. As her daughter and me were pretty good friends - we have gone on family vacations together and even stayed at their home a number of times whilst on vacation - and as such we know her mum fairly well. She used to be healthy and active - jetsetting every other month to spend time with her children and grandchildren who live in Australia, Beijing and a third in Malaysia.

Now she is in a hospital in Perth, awaiting chemo. And that's not even her home. She hails from Ipoh, Malaysia, and was in Perth visiting one of her daughters and granddaughter who are living there, when she was diagnosed.

I guess that's the reality of life. Anything can hit you when you least expect it. So, what should we do? Live life to the fullest, and dont forget to tell our loved ones that we love them, coz we dont know what the maker has in store for us.

Auntie, I really hope and pray that you will get well soon!!

Pink Heart

Received this beautiful Pink Heart from Hazel and Jo-N. Thanks ladies!

I have selected the following for the tag:

However, if you are not in the mood, please do not feel obliged to do the tag.

Here's what you have to do:
Cut and paste starting from here

I have randomly selected 5 of you below to be tagged and I hope that you will similarly publish this post in your blog. You will have to tag 5 other bloggers and just keep adding on to the list. (Do not replace, just keep on adding! Yes we hope it will be a long list!)It’s real easy! Tag others and see your Technorati Authority increase exponentially! The benefits of Viral Linking:- One of the fastest ways to see your technorati authority explode!- Increase your Google PageRank fast- Attract large volume of new traffic to your site- Build your community- Make new friends!

The Strategist Notebook, Link Addiction, Ardour of the Heart, When Life Becomes a Book, The Malaysian Life,, What goes under the sun,Roshidan’s Cyber Station, Sasha says, Arts of Physics, And the legend lives, My View, My Life, A Simple Life, Juliana RW, The Callalily Space, Petra Summer in Blue, Confessions of an Army Wife Bless’ Sanctuary Happy Life,, La Place de Cherie, Chez Francine, Le bric a brac de Cherie, Little Peanut, Pea in a Pod, The Creative In Me, Me and Mine, Pinay Mommy, Expressions from the Heart, TeacherJulie, Sweetbites by Bang, Paul, Toni and Lance - Bridging the Distance, Our Growing Family, The Uncensored life of me, My Untamed World, Something Purple, A Detour, Something Purple, Wifespeaks, Changing Lanes, Bits and Pieces, My Chocolate Coated Glasses, God's Gift, Through the Rain, My Small World,
My Life, My Hope, My Future, Almanac Queen, Caramel Corn, Sunny Side Up Foodie,
It's All About Play, Places To Visit, Food To Taste, Shower Your Children With Love - The Right Way, Musings of a Stay At Home Mum,

Million Blog List

An experiment to see how long it will take a million blogs to list on the site. It started on 10 April 2008.

I got myself listed this morning, and I am number 342.

If you have a blog, why dont you join the list? Just click here

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Clean up, clean up!

Ever had one of those days that you feel like just straightening the place up?

Yesterday, I cleaned out my mail basket, at 5.30am. Sorted thru all the mail. Some there since last year! Shredded those that I didnt need anymore. Junked the junk mail. Paid some "lost in the pile" mails!! Hoping to find some deductible expenses for my tax returns. No such luck! Now the mail basket is no longer overflowing.

Well, this morning at 5.30 am I did it again! Could not stand the sight of my dining table. It seems to have a special magnetism to attract trash and mess. So there and then, I decided to clean it out.

2 piles - one for the bin, the other for keeps. Shred, put aside, shred, put aside. This went on for some half hour. One lot went into the bin, the other kept aside.

Now the table is 1/3 full (vs 3/4 full at the start). At least we can do some work there now, and it looks like an organised mess.

Could do better. Must be braver to trash more things. But why do I get this instinct only at 5 in the morning??

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fickle Mum

I am trying to train my oldest girl, S, now 12.

Everytime we go out, she is quite happy to go out empty handed. Why? No need to worry about leaving anything behind. Anyway, if she needs anything, Mum and Dad are there, and all she has to do is ask.

I want her to learn to bring her own things when she goes out: her wallet, some tissues (in case there is no toilet paper when she needs to visit the loo), her mobile (in case we get separated or my phone runs out of battery).

So everytime before we leave home, you will hear me asking: Did you bring your wallet? How about your mobile? Is it charged? Tissues?

Sometimes she remembers, sometimes she forgets.

My problem now is everytime before we go out, Little D will say: "Mummy can you help me find my mobile? Where is my wallet? I need some tissues!" She even insists on wearing her big fashionista ring when we go out.

Why is that a problem? Because I am not sure where she has left her things, and when she brings all these things, I have to keep a look out for them to make sure she doesnt leave it behind, which is fairly likely!

So, I end up telling her not to bring them or to bring only one thing (so that I have less to keep track of). But she reminds me: "You always remind jie jie to bring them, what!"

Guess she must be thinking: Will this fickle Mum please make up her mind?? Want us to learn to bring our own things or not?!!


Sunday, April 13, 2008

After weeks of anticipation....

... the results are finally out!

The children in my daughters' class were assigned into groups last year to work on different projects. Some were assigned to the IRS group, where they were supposed to do Individualised Research, others into the FPS group, where they were to work on Future problem solving. My daughter, S, was selected to be in the Ivp group. Initially, she wasnt happy, as most of her good friends were assigned to the FPS group, and she felt left out. As they were supposed to work in pairs, and since her good friends were assigned to a different project, she hooked up with another girl from another class to work on the Ivp project.

This Ivp programme aims to provide the children with opportunity to develop their problem solving skills and inventive skills. They were supposed to invent a product not already on the market. The 2 girls thought, and thought. They considered the problems that they were facing and considered how they could come up with something that could solve it. Being very young children, only 11, they had many ideas, but most were beyond their expertise to develop.

The 2 girls finally decided on one problem which they faced when they did their projects. Everytime when they did their project work which required posters, they found that if they were to make a mistake they had to start all over again - especially when they worked with coloured markers on coloured paper. With the correction fluid on the market, any mistake meant white blotches on coloured paper - which looked unsightly. How they wished they had a correction fluid the colour of the paper they were working on, so that they did not have to start from scratch all because of a careless mistake!!

So, this became their project. Dont ask me how they did it. But they sure did. All I remember was handing over money to her time and again. They came up with a set of coloured correction fluids!! Their prototype was then demonstrated to a panel of advisors/mentors from the National University of Singapore, and guess what? They were selected to present their product at the Young Innovators Fair held at the Singapore Polytechnic.

At that fair, theirs was one of the most popular booths, as it addressed the problem many children and teachers faced. Many wanted to buy their product on the spot, but alas, they only made one set for demonstration purposes.

To add another feather to their cap, theirs was one of a few selected by the Ministry of Education to be showcased it at the Global Entrepolis 2007!! What an honour, to be showcased next to Global Innovations. They even received enquiries from trade professionals who wanted to mass produce their product for sale!!

The two girls then decided to enter their prototype for the Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors Award. Their prototype was selected for a first round interview by a panel of judges. The place was crawling with "inventors" from numerous schools, many with teachers accompanying. The girls brought their prototype made some 9 months earlier. They used their same old posters from 2 exhibitions ago ie the Young Innovators Fair. These 2 young girls were on their own, having to answer whatever questions thrown at them, with no prior experience, nor coaching by their teachers on how to prepare for it. They came out feeling a little down, as some really difficult questions were thrown at them. They did not expect to be shortlisted for the 2nd round.

Guess what? From the hundreds selected for the 1st interview, they were shortlisted for a 2nd interview! The girls were ecstatic!! Now, they wanted to win!! They wanted a gold as a gold award meant a 4 figure cheque for the two of them. 7 days later, they met another panel of judges. This time only 3 primary school teams made it this far. And, they still brought the same prototype from 9 months earlier, now with even much less fluid left inside from all that demonstrations!! They were not told when the results would be out.

One week went by. No news. 2 weeks went by, still no news. Here we were, anxiously checking her email everyday, as well as the Tan Kah Kee website for the results. 3 weeks, and we were still in the dark on the results. And hey presto! Yesterday morning, when we checked her email account - they received the news that they had been waiting for. They received a Commendation for their product!! Not the gold - never mind - a commendation is just as good!!

They would be receiving their award at a ceremony to be held in June from the Minister of Defence, Mr Teo Chee Hean, and their product will be exhibited for a week at the Singapore Science Centre from June 21st 2008.

S, we are all so proud of you!! Well Done! Ice-cream for everyone to celebrate this win!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Boys hate to brush teeth!

Is it true or not?

I think it is. A friend shared this story with me. It's a true story.

She was on vacation with another couple and their son in China and they were staying with some friends. Their friends could only take 2, so she and the boy bunked in with them, whilst the couple went to stay in a hotel nearby. Her friend told her to remind her son to brush his teeth every morning and every night. She, at first thought that her friend was the so-kiasu and kiasi mum that would pamper and remind the son to do things. To her horrors, she noted that the boy, though 14 years of age, would not brush his teeth if he wasnt told to do so!! And even when told, would do so reluctantly.

I am facing the same problems. My son, N, hates to brush his teeth! I have to remind him to brush his teeth everynight. If not, it would not be done. And even if I do remind him, he still doesnt do it sometimes. I end up having to check his toothbrush to find out if he had indeed brushed his teeth!! Ewwww!

Sometimes, when I am too lazy, I dont check. Or when I dont want a showdown, I just let it pass even if I know he hasnt brushed. Recently, I discovered that he doesnt brush before school. So (if I wake up early) I will haul him back to the bathroom after breakfast to brush! Coz it means that if I do not haul him back, he doesnt brush in the morning and at night, he may not even brush his teeth for days!! Double Eeewwww!

Why are boys like that? The dentist did tell him that he has very nice teeth, and that he needed to brush well. She also told him that he probably would not need to go thru what his sister did (mass extraction of teeth under sedation/GA) coz his teeth are growing very nicely in his mouth. Yes, his mouth seems to have the space to accomodate all his teeth. It would really be a shame if he has none in there from not brushing!!

Any ideas on how to remedy this problem? Short of me standing by the sink everyday, I really dont know what to do. You would think that at 8, he would be responsible enough to want to brush and smell good. Or do I have to wait until girls feature in his life before I can stop nagging him??

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Trip to the zoo

Little D's class had a field trip to the zoo yesterday, and I went along as a parent volunteer. Though it was only the morning that we were there, we spent most of the time in the fragile forest and saw soooo much.

These ring-tailed lemurs were actually posing for photos.

The children were really awed by the bats as they were so near, and when it flew by, it literally touched the tops of our heads. Actually it did touch the top of my head, and I almost freaked out. But had to pretend to keep my cool so as not to scare the little ones!! LOL!

Also in the fragile forest, the butterflies were so close, they could touch them. I believe they put some nectar or whatever on the stands which attracted the butterflies to it.

And this mousedeer was almost frightened by the children. Many tried to stretch out to touch it.

The children also got to see the Macaws up close.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Moles on your face

This is just for fun. Not sure if it is true, but some people do believe it!!

The Chinese Almanac, also known as the Tung Shu, is commonly known as a book of auspicious and inauspicious dates, but there is so much more to the Tung Shu than that. It is a vast mine of information relating to astrology, codes and symbols, derived by the wise sages and philosophers of ancient China . Today I share with you the secrets from the almanac regarding moles on your face and what they mean depending on which part of your face they appear.

First, check your face for any moles, and then look at the diagram above to identify the number(s) that are a closest match to the moles on your face. Usually, the moles only hold meaning for you if they are prominent and they are the only one. If your face if full of spots, acne or "little" moles, they do not count. When you've ascertained which position corresponds to the mole on your face, look up the meanings listed by numbers below.

Position 1 to 3
As a child, you are somewhat rebellious and a free spirit. You have an innate creativity and work best when you are given a free hand. Generally, your superiors like your avante garde approach to life. If you have a mole here, you are far better off in business and being your own boss rather than working for somebody. What is promising is that you have the luck to be your own boss.

Position 4
You are an impulsive person, often acting with a flamboyance that gives you charisma and a sparkling personality, but you can be difficult when there are too many opinions. You tend to be rather argumentative, but never to the point of holding grudges. This mole tends to give you an explosive temper and should you decide to remove it, you will find yourself becoming calmer and more at peace with the world.

Position 5
A mole above the eyebrow indicates that there is wealth luck in your life, but you will need to earn it and work harder than most people. All the income you make must be carefully kept as there are people who are jealous of you who might attempt to sweet talk you into parting with your wealth. Be wary of those who try to interest you in get-rich-quick schemes. If you have a mole here, it is advisable not to be too trusting of others. Follow your instincts and be cautious. And never allow other people to control your finances.

Position 6
A mole here indicates intelligence, creativity and skill as an artist. Your artistic talent can bring you wealth, fame and success. It also indicates wealth luck, but this can only be fully realized if you follow your heart rather than stick to conventional means of making a living. Success will come if you are brave.

Position 7
Moles under the eyebrows indicate arguments within the extended family that cause you grief and unhappiness. This will affect your work and livelihood. It is advisable to settle any differences you have with your relatives if you want peace of mind to move ahead.

Position 8
This is not a very good position for a mole. Your financial position will constantly be under strain because of a tendency to overspend. You also have a penchant for gambling. The only thing is you must know when to stop. Meanwhile, someone with a mole here has a tendency to flirt with members of the opposite sex as well as with the same sex. Better be a little discerning where you exert your charms, or you might get into trouble.

Position 9
This mole position suggests sexual and other problems. It is an unfortunate mole and you are well advised to get rid of it. It brings a litany of woes and a parade of problems.

Position 10
A mole here just under the nose indicates excellent descendants luck. You are surrounded by family at all times and will have many children and grandchildren. You have the support of those close to you and will be both materially and emotionally fulfilled.

Position 11
Moles here suggest a tendency to succumb to illness. It is a good idea to have this mole removed especially if it is a large, dark-coloured mole. Otherwise use lots of foundation to cover it.

Position 12
A mole here foretells a successful but also a very balanced life. You are likely to be not just rich, but famous as well. But although you have every opportunity to live the high life, you will have a satisfying home and family life as well. Women with moles here are particularly lucky and tend to be beautiful and glamorous as well.

Position 13
Your children will be a big worry in your life. Your relationship with them is not good. There is nothing much you can do about this except to learn some tolerance.

Position 14
A mole here suggests a vulnerability to food which can be a big problem in your life. You may have allergies against certain foods or you may simply be eating too much.

Position 15
You are a person always on the move and constantly renovating and redesigning your house. You like to be introduced to new things and see new places. You are not happy if you remain in one place for long. You enjoy travel and adventure, and have a very observant eye.

Position 16
You need to be careful when it comes to eating, and also when it comes to your sex life. These are your two biggest problems. You tend to have weight issues which can make you depressed. You enjoy romance, sometimes with more than one person, but because you are a person with some morality, you will feel guilty about it and this will cause you much stress.

Position 17
You will be someone of great social prominence. You are active on the social scene and an excellent conversationalist. There is a tendency to become bigheaded about your success, which could lose you your good name. This will affect you deeply because you draw your confidence and self worth from what others think of you.

Position 18
You are a person always on the move. There is a great deal of overseas travel in your life, but you should take extra care each time you cross the great waters, as your mole prefers you to stay at home.

Position 19
You have money luck and many good friends, so this is a good mole to have. Your weakness is that you tend to succumb to the charms of the opposite sex. In your life, it is this that could get you into hot water, so do cool your ardour!

Position 20
A mole here can be very lucky or very unlucky. If you have a mole here, you are destined either for extreme fame or infamy. You have great flair for creativity and are also highly intelligent, but your talents can be used for both good and bad. You are not a person to be trifled with for you are no pushover and do not forgive and forget easily. This mole is a mark of someone who will go down in history either as a great or as a tyrant.

Position 21
This is a good mole, as it suggests plenty to eat and drink throughout your life. This mole also brings fame and recognition.

Position 22
Your life is always happy and things go smoothly for you. You could well become a sports superstar if you have the passion for it. Moles at the end of eyebrows also suggest a person of authority and power, so if you are the CEO of a company, you will do very well.

Position 23
You have a high IQ, and you are both brain smart and street smart. You have a highly-developed survival instinct and will lead a meaningful and long life. You will be active until a very old age and will have friends and family around you till the very end.

Position 24
You will achieve fame and fortune in your young age and you are advised to use this period to safeguard your old age, as people with moles here tend to have a harder life as they get older.

Position 25
You will enjoy good prosperity and recognition luck, but do be careful of excesses. Stay traditional in your attitudes and you will have a long and fruitful life.

So based on the moles on your face, is there any truth to what it says??

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Anyone smarter than Bill?

Apparently, even Bill Gates can't explain this.

Do this:
1) Open a blank Word document(Microsoft word)
2) type the following: =rand(200,99)
3) Press 'Enter' and wait 5seconds....

Surprise.... ....!!!

How did that happen? I dont know. I am not smarter than Bill!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Entrepreneurs in The Making

My daughter's class sure has the entrepreneurial spirit.

At the start of this year, some children noticed that there were quite a number of their classmates who did not go down to the canteen for recess. This was due to a variety of reasons:
1. the teacher releasing them late for recess,
2. their class being located on the sixth floor, and hence it was a long walk down to the canteen, not counting the climb of 6 flights up to class after recess,
3. some children wanting to play in class during recess,
4. some children wanting to finish some of their work during recess.
5. a variety of other reasons eg dieting, the long queues in the canteen.

So, some of them offered to buy food for the others, with a service fee tagged on: an extra 10cents for every item purchased. So if someone wanted a bun and a fruit, he would have to pay extra 20 cents. This service was initially offered only to their fellow classmates. Very soon, children from the other classes heard about it and started using the service as well. They had to extend their team of buyers, and a schedule was drawn up for them to take turns to provide the service. All fees earned went into the class fund.

Some teachers heard of it and stopped it. Some of the more eloquent ones (read: our future top lawyers) then fought for the right to continue the service. You should have seen their arguments, it was so professional! The teachers had no choice but to let them continue providing the service. At the end of term 1, the class had made enough money to pay for a pizza lunch for all in the class (read: they made more than $100!!).

When term 2 started, they children decided to change their strategy. Their workload was getting heavier, and they needed time for themselves too. They decided to purchase storable food in bulk, and sold them to their schoolmates at a profit. They started a mini-canteen in their own class!! Now their profits are even more, as they buy in bulk at close to wholesale prices, and sell at a substantial profit. They have a roster for some to do the purchasing, and they take turns to do the selling. Eg. A packet of "monster noodles" purchased at a cost of 10cents is sold at 50 cents!!

I told my daughter that the pricing was too expensive as I felt that they were making too much money. But her retort was: "If the other children are willing to pay for it, why not! If we are not able to sell then we would consider revising the prices down!"

I can just imagine the size of the class coffers now!!

Who said Singaporeans had no entrepreneurial spirit? The evidence of it is right here!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

When friends meet, hearts warm

That was the saying on a decorative tile which my friends gave to me for my 16th birthday. I distinctively remember the verse, as when I first received it, I thought how true it was.

Last friday evening, a group of us met up for dinner. There were to be 7 of us, but 3 could not make it in the end. One had to fly off with her husband on short notice, another had work commitments which she could not get out off, and the last thought it was to be held the week after!!

Anyway, 4 "convent" girls met. Two have not met for 29 years, and continued like they never lost touch. The reason for the gathering was that one was migrating soon. Though it was only 4, we were a noisy bunch, busy eating, talking and catching up despite all the noise in the restuarant we were in.

Sad isn't it? When friends leave. For whatever reasons, we have one less girl friend to meet up with for a meal. Nowadays, we tend to only meet when someone is visiting (after having migrated), or when someone is migrating. Or, at funerals. (We are at that age where our parents are fairly vunerable to be returning to the maker.) We rarely meet up for no reason. Everyone is busy with their own lives and family demands.

Old Friends should meet more often, as warm hearts give us that nice fuzzy feeling!!


Friday, April 4, 2008


Yes! T.G.I.F.

The two older kids are home - coz its sports day for the upper primary, and since N does not need to go, I told S to stay home too. She was a little concerned as its supposed to be compulsory for the upper primary children. But to save me the hassle of having to pick and send just one kid, I told her to take the time to sleep in late, do her homework, and recharge. With a busy school year, and an equally busy co-curricular activities calendar (because of tournaments) today is one of the few chances that she gets to relax and recharge!

Little D is, of course, in school!

I then accepted an invitation from my ex-colleagues to join them for lunch today. I have not seen them since November last year!!! So I, too, get to relax and recharge.

Have a great weekend!!


Thursday, April 3, 2008


When you are caught in a frenzy it is really difficult to prise yourself out of it. It is much worse when all around you, others are caught in it as well. You just sink deeper and deeper into that black hole. Your pain threshhold gets higher and higher. Logic does not prevail. The only way out is to go cold turkey!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Since the start of this year, when Little D's school moved a little further away from my home, my friend Hw and I started this carpool for our little girls. I would send her daughter home on Mondays and Wednesdays, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, she would send Little D home. On fridays, we would both pick our girls ourselves.

I am not sure what I should do now, coz, MIL, who usually helps me when we go to pick the girls, is not happy with the arrangement, and wants me to stop it. You see Hw's daughter is not very independent, and whoever picks her has to carry her bags for her, help her with her shoes, supervise her coming down the stairs (or she will be running wild or jumping all over the place). And she is prone to forget to take some things of hers, and she would suddenly remember it just as we get into the car and one of us would have to go back to pick it up, or she would be throwing a big tantrum about wanting her things. Little D on the other hand is like the eveready bunny. As soon as she spies us, she would have collected her water bottle, folder, bag, and she would be off to put on her shoes by herself. She will then go down the stairs in a calm manner (no jumping or running).

Also, for quite a number of fridays now, I have been picking her daughter home for her. One day, MIL found out from Hw's helper that there were days she was out shopping, lunching, or whatever, when she told me to pick her girl for her!! I think that triggered it for MIL.

When we first discussed this arrangement, Hw really appealed to me to help her out, as she is studying part-time, and for her to make it home to pick her girl everyday, was not an option. Her husband wasnt keen on putting their little girl on the school bus and suggested that she tried carpooling. I also thought that by having this arrangement, I would also have some days where I am less hassled by all the rushing to and fro to pick all three kids. And with her helping out on my two busy days, it was a win-win situation. What I did not envisage was her daughter's lack of independence, and in MIL's words, Hw taking advantage of me and the arrangement. Mil is also unhappy that when Hw picks the girls home, she is usually late. (Actually she is not really late, just not as early as we are.)

Hubby thinks that if MIL is not happy with it, (since she helps me out), I should discontinue it. He too, prefers me to pick Little D myself, as being the super cautious parent that he is, he is worried that Hw may not be a safe driver. He is also concerned about the liability issues that may arise should anything happens. (Choi! Touch wood!)

The problem now is that when we worked this arrangement out, I did not put in the escape clause of: ".. lets see how it works out and we are free to discontinue this arrangement if it doesnt work out."

I really dont know if I should discontinue this arrangement with her. I actually have no problem with it - its those around me that are against it. And if I do, I really dont know how to tell Hw without jeopadising our friendship - coz I know she would be in a real dilemma if I were to discontinue it. Now I am in a dilemma. To continue or not? What do you think?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My Great Helper

For the past week, this great helper of mine has been doing so much to help me with Little D. You see, Little D is at the age where she is testing boundaries and trying to rebel. Everything that I tell her, most likely she will refuse to do it or she will do the opposite. Can you believe, at this age she still wakes up for night feeds. I know she doesnt need it, coz when she wakes up for the feeds, she ends up with no appetite for breakfast. But I cant seem to discourage her from waking up at night.

In steps my great helper. She tells Little D: If you wake up for milk, mummy will be so tired, she will not be able to bring you to New York for a holiday. (Yes! Little D wants to go to NY). Guess what? Hey presto! Little D has not been waking up for the past 6 nights for night feeds, and she feeds so well at breakfast! Its not that I have not used the same words on her. I did, but it did not work.

Every night, at bedtime, I will face resistance from Little D. She wouldnt want to change into her pyjamas, she doesnt want to go to the loo, she doesnt want to brush her teeth. I know she is stalling for time as she wants a later bedtime. In steps my great helper. She tells Little D to do all of those, and hey presto! Little D has done it. She will then read Little D her bedtime story, give her the last bottle of milk for the day, waits till she finishes her milk, clears the bottle and then this great helper of mine goes to bed.

{Why is it when I tell Little D nicely, entice her, and even threaten her (only sometimes), she still wont do it? But when this great helper of mine just asks her, she does it? I think she is trying to break free from me.}

I am so glad I have this great helper. If not, I can just imagine the struggles I have with Little D each night. And, at the end of a long day, I am just so tired and not the most patient person around. This great helper is none other than my daugther S!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Soccer Mania!

I am not sure when it exactly started or how it started. But about one month ago, he didnt know much. Suddenly he knows everything about it.

I am referring to my son N, and the English Soccer League. I am not sure what fuelled his interest, but suddenly, all the talk is about the Barclays Premier League!!

Now, every morning, as soon as his alarm rings, he jumps right out of bed, washes up and rushes down for breakfast. During breakfast, he will quiz his grandpa on the games that was played the past night, whilst he was asleep. Immediately after breakfast, (but before his sister is even down), he will turn on the TV and watch the highlights of the previous nights game on the Football Channel, before leaving for school. In the evenings, he will be fighting with me or hubby for the newspaper, so that he can read up on it. Even his sister is beginning to show some interest in the game, and now they know more than me about the players, games and score.

I must admit that when I was his age, I was really into soccer. Watching almost every Malaysia Cup game live with my dad at the National Stadium. We would travel occassionally for the away games as well. But I wasnt really into the English Premier League, but I would watch a couple of games, and knew the names of a few of the star players. Last evening, when the name Kevin Keegan was mentioned, I mentioned to N that he was one of the top players during my time. Now Keegan is the manager of one of the teams. Due to work and family demands, I eventually lost touch with soccer.

Seeing how interested he was in the game, I suggested that maybe he should watch some games live at the stadium. I mentioned that nothing could beat the excitement and thrill of watching a live game!! Of course, I was referring to the local S league games. He was really excited, and requested to go for the next game. He thought I was referring to the EPL and suggested the next Man U game!! He wants to go to Old Tratford! So do I!! But of course, that is not possible. When I told him it was the local games I was referring to, he was not interested at all. He called them boring.

Hubby said that local games would not interest him as he doesnt know any of the players. For the EPL, he seems to know all the teams, their players and the stats. He can remember who scored how many goals in which game, the final score for the games, who got sent off, the teams position on the tables, and when games were to be played. Amazing! How I wish, he had as much interest in his multiplication tables and could remember them as well!


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour

Earth Hour is an initiative that aims to encourage people to be more aware of their energy usage which has been contributing to global warming. Started in 2007 by the Australians, it is now a Global event, whereby those participating will turn off all lights for an hour.

Earth Hour this year will be held on Saturday 29 March 2008 from 8 to 9pm. Sydney, Australia will be the first to kick off this global dimming with lights at all their landmarks such as Sydney Opera House, and Harbour Bridge being turned off during that time.

Please help by doing your part to combat climate change. It is just a small step, but if everyone does their bit, it can make a difference. So remember, lights out at 8pm!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sip ....ahhh!

My older kids drink milk only at breakfast. I find it sooooo difficult to get them to drink more milk. There stand is: We are no longer babies, so we dont need to be drinking milk all the time.

They do not seem to understand that milk is one of the most nutritionally complete foods available and that they need milk for their growing bodies. The body goes through extreme physical changes during these growing years, including marked increases in height, bone and muscle growth which result in increased demand for energy and specific nutrients. And, the easiest way to way get more of these nutrients to aid their growth is to supplement their everyday diet with milk.

I was at the petrol kiosk the other day, and I stumbled upon these:

It is the "Sipahh straws" that my kids had read about. Sipahh is a milk flavouring straw that contains "beads" which dissolve when milk is sipped through it, thereby flavouring the milk. It does not contain artificial flavours, nor preservatives and has less than half a teaspoon of sugar in each straw. It also comes in a variety of flavours, like strawberry, choc mint, chocolate, banana, and cookies and cream.

I know drinking with sipahh straws is like offering them flavoured milk. But I feel that flavoured milk contains way too much sugar. With these straws they get the necessary nutrients without all that sugar, and for me less of their "hyper-ness", (tho' it adds considerably to the cost of each glass of milk!)

Now, when they drink their milk, they will, sip and then say: "Ahhh" as instructed on the straw wrapper! I just hope this milk drinking can be sustained, and that the novelty of it does not wear out too soon, coz I like them drinking more milk.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Emotional with age

Do people get more emotional with age?

I find that I have.

Just reading touching stories in the newspapers or magazines can bring tears to my eyes. Dont even talk about sad movies!! It's like it is happening to me. I can feel exactly how the other party feels. I can emphatise and sympathise with them. And I can cry. Even talking about my lost ring to a friend brought a lump to my throat.

A friend shared with me that she too has become more emotional. When she saw the Sept 11 events on the news in 2001, she said:"tears just flowed down my cheeks like the foodgates were open." And when she heard the news of the tsunami in 2004, she couldnt stop herself again.

How come, ah? I never used to be so emotional. In fact, I used to be pretty tough, never showing much emotions. Just like a crab. But now I am soppy. Are my hormones playing tricks on me? and as a result I am more in touch with my feelings. Or is it beause of motherhood? Or what?

Have you become more emotional like me?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Blessing in Disguise?

Since I discovered that I lost my "S" ring last week, we found out so much more.

When we mentioned my lost ring to my current helpers, they decided to tell us the WHOLE story. Things began to fall into place for them and for us, and as a result, we have decided to take some action that will protect the family.

Here's what they told us:

Ex maid has been calling very often to ask if "Mam" has asked about any lost things? (Why would she be asking them that question if she is not guilty).

Current help told us that ex maid mentioned that she was the one responsible for my 3 tyre punctures. (Remember my post entitled Jinxed in Nov 2007?). She wanted us out of the house for longer periods of time, so she could get up to her nonsense!

MIL confessed that she has lost more jewels - a diamond ring, a diamond pendant, etc.

Current help said that she was showing off to them the amount of money she had in her bank account - some $13000!! And all those jewels she has been wearing - she looks like a christmas tree. How on earth did she get so much money? Even if she never spent a single cent while working for us, there was no way she could amass so much money.

They also mentioned that ex maid said that if we had not signed the form for her to ICA (when she was applying to marry a Singaporean) she would have burned our house down! (How vicious can someone get?)

They have also mentioned that she keeps telling them that working in our household was no good, too much work, and that they should go work in Taiwan where more money was paid. But ex maid has been telling MIL that she wants to come back to work for us, once she got married. If it is that Bad, why does she want to come back here? So she can steal more?

We have noticed cases of "sabotage" like childrens new clothes gone missing - (which current help suspects she stole), pots corroded due to some substance put on it (looks like some clorox substance and it has been intentionally put), never used side doors that has suddenly become unlocked. Even told current helpers that when things are lost Mam will only grumble for a few days, and than that will be the end of it. (Is she instigating them to steal, coz it means tolerating a few days of grumbling and they will be better off?)

Current help also mentioned that she took picture of the inside of the house when we were out. Also, she mentioned to current help that if she wants to do "Kong tow" (put a spell/ cast a voodoo) on anyone of us, it was very easy, our photo albums are easily assesible!! Now we even suspect that she could have been involved in the house break-in (my post entitled: crime in the area in July 2007).

What have we done to deserve this? We had treated her and her sister so well. When her sister wanted to come here to work, we went thru all the trouble to make the necessary arrangements, and applied everything personally so that she did not have to pay any agents fee. We were inconvenienced, but we thought that if we could help them, why not? After working for less than a year, both sisters wanted to go home on home leave, and we allowed it. Even paying for their air tickets home. (In most cotnracts for domestic helpers, if you do not finish a two year contract, dont even think of going home!)

They were helpers who ate everything that we ate (pork excepted), even the expensive delicacies. MIL did most of the cooking, even cooked for them to eat. They did not have to look after any of my kids. They did not even have to wash milk bottles or boil water for making milk, all which I did myself. When the kids messed up, we did not even call them to clean or pack up after them, we cleaned up after the kids ourselves. We even clean up the dining table after each meal, they only have to wash the dishes. Many times, they even have their dinner before we do!!

They only did cleaning, washing and ironing (then again, even the better clothes, I hand washed myself or it went to the dry cleaners!!). Who has ever heard of Indonesian helpers who got 2 off days a month? Well, the ex maid had that priviledge! (And the current ones too!)

Now that we have realised how vicious she can get, we have decided to take some precautions. We have changed our padlocks. If she calls, we will tell her not to come anymore - the problem is she always drops by unannounced, at a time when MIL and I are not home - that's part of the problem. She knows our schedule so well, she knows when we are home and when we are out!! Even the current helpers are worried, and asked what can be done to prevent her from coming. They are so afraid they will be framed for her evil doings.

But, I think the loss of my ring may have been a blessing in disguise, coz now we know the real her. We have always trusted her, but unfortunately it looks like we have been betrayed BIG TIME. We are now able to take the necessary action to prevent it from happening again. We are more alert to things that could and may happen. We are more cautious. It has also made us more suspicious, which may not be a good thing. In fact, I hope it has not made me lose the trust in our current helpers, coz what have they done to deserve it?

Short of moving house (which is out of the question) I am not sure what else we can do!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Easter!

2 more days to Easter!

Easter is the most important day in the Christian calendar. It commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For my kids, and many other children, the highlight of Easter is, of course, the chocolate eggs that they will get. Grandpa, who just came back from Perth last night brought with him so many eggs, that I can just feel the cavities forming in my children's teeth ( and the huge dental bill that will come) just by looking at those eggs. (I am such a killjoy, huh?). I think, I will just have help them eat it all up. Better me with the cavities than them, not?

For many children in the US, esp those living around the Washington DC area, and the states surrounding it, the highlight of their Easter is the Easter egg Roll at the White House. Yes! The White House.

Rolling eggs on the Monday after Easter was a tradition observed by many Washington families, including those of the US President. Some historians believe Dolley Madison first suggested the idea of a public egg roll, while others tell stories of informal egg-rolling parties at the White House dating back to President Lincoln's day.

Over the years, the Egg Rolls have evolved and changed, with different games and amusements popular in different years. Near the end of the nineteenth century, children played "Egg Picking," "Egg Ball," "Toss and Catch, " and "Egg Croquet." Soon the event evolved into a more elaborate affair, with bands, entertainers and food.

This year's Easter Egg roll will be held on the South Lawn of the White House on 24 March 2008. Tickets to this event are distributed free on a first-come-first-served basis from the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion (southwest corner of 15th and E Streets) on 22 March and on 24 March from 7.30am. So if you are in the vicinity, that may be something you want to check out.

I was in Washington over the Good Friday long weekend many years ago. The roads leading to Washignton were packed with many families hoping to be able to get tickets to this event, coz how often are you allowed on the grounds of the White House when the first couple is there? And to top that - free food and entertainment? No, I did not manage to get tickets when I was there. But I managed to visit the many museums and memorials. One beautiful sight at this time of the year is the beautiful cheery blossom trees in full bloom that line the potomac river. I believe it was a gift from the Japanese Emperor to one of the past US presidents. It is a sight to behold - the river banks dotted with pretty pink cherry blossom trees!

So, to one and all:
A Happy and Blessed Easter!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Down in the Dumps!

"When I'm feeling blue, all I have to do
Is take a look at you."

An extract from A Groovy Kind of Love by Phil Collins

That's exactly how I am feeling right now, in the dumps! And I dont have anything to look at!

Why? Because I lost something that is so dear and precious to me, that I could kick myself for it. I feel like crying. AND I know hubby will be very upset with me for it. He just mentioned the other day, that if I buy anything new, I have to make sure I keep it properly, because once lost, it will be gone for good, and now it has happened! Why, oh why!

You see, when I had my daughter S, he bought me a ring, which we took a long time to source. I liked it very, very much and wore it almost everyday. That ring has always had a special place in my heart, just like my daughter. I call it the "S" ring.

That ring is set in gold,and has a very unique design. Recently, I have been a little distracted. Also, I have been wearing my new white gold bracelet and earrings, and as such, have not worn that ring. I put it in an unlocked drawer as I wear it quite frequenly and had thought that if I put it in the locked drawer, it would be such a hassle to unlock my drawer everyday, just to take it out to wear it.

Yesterday, I was talking to my friend about that ring, and suddenly realised that I have not noticed the ring box in my unlocked drawer. When I went to my drawer, it was no longer there!! I cleared out everything in all my drawers and cant find it. It was just 2 weeks ago when I last wore it, just after the 15th day of the lunar new year, I remember.

Where has it gone to? I dont know, but I think my ex maid stole it. My mil has lost loads of money and jewelry when the ex maid and her sister were working for us. But mil suspected the sister of stealing, and sent the sister home. I told mil that the ex maid could be guilty too, but she did not believe me. Why? because the ex-maid knows how to sweet talk her. Also, because she thinks that the ex-maid has lots of money, and thus will not steal. Where did she get the money from? She told my mil that her boyfriend gives her $300 every month. I have always told mil how can she be so sure that is true. She could have stolen mil's money, and told her boyfriend to bank $300 every month into the account for her, so that mil would not suspect. Now, Mil also thinks it is her, coz she just revealed to me that after the ex-maids' sister was sent home, she lost another $4000.

This ex-maid left us at the end of December when her contract ended. She has found herself a Singaporean boyfriend and has applied, and got approval to marry him. Hence, she is in Singapore. She has also been dropping by to visit us on a regular basis. MIL feels bad telling her not to visit! Just the other day, I was out. When I got home, some things fell out of my cupboard when I opened it, and my handbag (I changed handbag) which I had kept properly in its carrier bag, had its handles and drawstring hanging out. I mentioned that to hubby, that it was so odd that it happened. Now thinking back, that was the day the ex-maid visited us. That was also probably the day she took my ring. But I have no proof.

This has kept me up all night. I just couldnt sleep thinking about the ring. I even went to the safebox this morning to see if I could have put it there by mistake. But no, it was not there. I really feel like crying. How am I going to replace that ring? I dont even have a photo of it. How to break the news to my hubby and S? I have always told S that the ring will be hers one day. Now it is gone!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Tooth Fairy

My daughter, S extracted 6 of her teeth last week. And uptill today, she's still awaiting the tooth fairy.

The last time she extracted 4 of her teeth, she only put one of them under her pillow, but the tooth fairy left her $10.The tooth fairy usually leaves her $2 a tooth. She had wanted to put another tooth the next night, but her brother brought her other teeth to school for show and tell and lost them. So, she did not get any more money for the rest of those teeth.

This time round, she again put one tooth. But the tooth fairy did not come. She was really disappointed.

She is already 12, and she still believes in the tooth fairy and santa clause(!!). When I asked her: You mean you still believe that there is a tooth fairy?

Her reply was: Yes! If not, how else can I get money for my teeth?

I then told her that maybe she was not being honest with the tooth fairy, and the tooth fairy realised that she had planned to trick him like the last time hence did not visit this time.

So, the 2nd night, she put all 6 teeth under her pillow.

Again, no money. So I decided to tell her the truth.

I said: I guess the tooth fairy has been working very hard, especially with the hols and so many children getting dental operations this few days. So he is probably very tired and is at home snoring the night away. As for his wife, the tooth fairy god mother, she is also fast asleep as she doesnt want to be kept awake by his snoring, so she makes sure she is fast asleep even before he gets into bed.

See! I never lie to my kids!

So, do you think the tooth fairy should be visiting soon?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It's "Please" not "Now!"

In this age of instant everything (eg instant coffee, instant noodles, instant passport photos, etc) the kids too have caught on. They want everything "NOW!"

A common phrase coming out of Little D's mouth is : I want it NOW!

Never mind that we have to cook it, make it, find it, etc, she wants it NOW, and if she doesnt get it, she will throw a tantrum, BIG TIME!

Hubby and I have been trying to teach her that "NOW" all the time is not possible. If we can accede, we will. More often than not, it is not possible. We have told her, ask for it with a "Please" not "Now!"

So now everytime she asks for something, we will say: Is it now?

When she is in a good mood, she will smile and say: No! It's please.
When she is in a not so good mood, she will not answer, and we will ask her: What's the magic word? She knows that if she doesnt use the magic word, she will not get it, tantrum or not.

Just the other day, I told her it was time for her nap. She looked at me, and was about to fuss about having to take a nap (I could see that in her eyes), when I gave her a stern look and said : Now!

She said: Mum, it's not "Now" it's "please"!

What can I say? She is a fast learner!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Playing with food

Have always told the kids not to play with their food. But look! Here are some fun things you can actually do with food and "play" with your kids! Even your next dinner guests will be impressed!