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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Giving Thanks

Am reminded last night of my answered prayer with regards to the eye styes that i frequently suffer from all these years.

I really cannot remember when i started having eye styes. but once i had it, it was a recurring problem. i get them like a few times a year in spite of the care that i take when "handling" my eyes.... i don't wear lenses, i don't wear eye make up, i try to keep my eye area clean and what have u... but the styes just like to visit me ;(

usually it doesn't pose much of a problem and it goes away by itself and sometimes (in fact several times), they are stubborn, gets infected and i have to have a "minor surgery" to clean up the affected eye.

i've done it so many times, i pity my eyes!

anywayz, last year i had a really bad one which became a chalazia (a biger version of the stye i suppose) and i had to have the procedure done early this year when i was back in singapore.

i was kind of fed up with my eyes really.

So i prayed. Sometimes, i think this is a "small thing" and i don't think i really prayed about it before. just accepted that i suffer from them and expect them to heal naturally. Anywayz, i decided to ask God to protect my eyes and help me so that i don't have to "suffer" unnecessary cuts to my eyes and thankfully, i haven't had another stye since we came back to eindhoven in Feb this year.

although its only 4 months, its a "long" time for me, to be stye-free! Praise the Lord. He is so faithful even to a thing as small as this.

Cartoon Kaira

rather, kaira with cartoon characters...hehehe.
(1) my melody hair clips
(2) 小叮噹 (Doraemon) T-shirt. (she loves this t-shirt.)






she does this expression when u ask her to smile....i really dunno how to teach her to smile properly!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

This Summer vs Last Summer

This Summer is definitely a hotter summer than the last one!

I remember having to wear my denim jacket when we first arrived here last june ... but this year.... woohooo...sleeveless is the way to go go go! =P

and i never imagined that i would need more than 1 bath a day here...but hehehe, i have been taking 2 baths a day these few days...

and the temperature is not even over 30 degrees celsius!! HA! cannot imagine being back in HOT HOT Singapore.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Cold Lunch

When i first arrived in eindhoven, and realised that lunch to the dutch usually means bread+cheese+ham/sausage (i think some may drink soup), i am like "yipes" .... maybe i will eat it for one day, but everyday?? *shudder*.

firstly, i don't like bread. next, i don't really fancy cheese. so the bread+cheese combination would just kill me! give me char kway teow, duck rice and what have u anytime!

but i have changed.

i have a bread+cheese+ham lunch at least 2 times a week now! geeez, y am i so "unprincipled" ??? lololol. but its really a hassle-free and "don't have to crack my brains" too much option for lunch!

plus, the organic Jong cheese i tried recently was very mild and nice tasting! HA. yet another change in my life.

Summer Day -- Dip in the Pool, Cycling, Alfresco Tea

Yesterday morning, we decided to bring kaira for a dip in the indoor pool here since it was quite "Warm" ....

She had such a great time with the water slides and wading pool -- she didn't want to go home!! we were glad we brought her there -- have been procrastinating for the longest time!! usually it's because it's so "cold" -- why would we want to go swimming rite? hehehe.

but we should -- kaira loves playing with the water.

it's not cheap though, it's a public pool and adult entry is 4.50 euro per person and for kaira, it was 2.50 euro. [need to check if there's a long term pass or something to make it cheaper for us.]

forgot to bring the camera so no photos.

she was so tired she slept in the car on the way home. and i thought she was going to take a long nap @ home. but she woke up after 45 minutes and refusing to nap again.

so after lunch, we went cycling.

Decided to check out the Philips FruitTuin (i.e Fruit Garden) which is about 30minutes bike ride from our place. We had no idea what to expect as it was a spur of the moment decision and i didn't do any research on it. I actually thought it would be a place where the kids can explore the orchards and learn something about fruits...but hehehe, i was wrong.

there were orchards alright, but i don't think its free for us to roam. there was a shop selling produce from the garden, a restaurant and a small play area for kids.

So, we ended up enjoying tea, alfresco, while kaira had a bit of fun with the new play area.

The garden (i think a better word to describe is an orchard?) was really nice and peaceful. like a mini-wineyard... and while having tea there, reminds me of the vineyards we visited before. very very nice and relaxing. we will certainly go back there again.

here are some pictures, taken with the phone.



finally a chance to wear a sleeveless top!!! woohoo... LOLOL.



as u can see, not many customers! there were less than 10 customers that afternoon! very nice indeed ;)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Random Thoughts

Last year, i tried to make as many mummy friends as i could ...... when i am out and about.....especially at the park. and its not easy ah. striking a friendship with total strangers.

and i made a GRAND TOTAL of 3 friends... who lived around my neighbourhood. And they are all Chinese. Difficult to make friends with the locals.... although most are friendly but there's no further contact.

these 3 mummies that i know are really "important" to me cos playdates with their children keeps kaira occupied and also keeps my sanity ;)

But sadly, 1 has left (husband contract ended), 1 has moved (but thank God, with the bicycle, her place is only a 20-25minute bike ride) and 1 will most probably move soon (and unfortunately will be quite far away.)

seems like i have to start all over again. Can only pray that God sends more friends in my neighbourhood my way.

anyway, recently found a weekly dutch playgroup near my place. will start bringing kaira there next week. let's see how things go.

Of course, i have other friends, mostly from church. but we seldom see each other on week days, for various reasons, most of them work, don't live around the neighbourhood, don't "click" .........whatever.

why am i writing about this? guess this is one area that "pains" me. i so wish that kaira grows up with more peer interaction.... sometimes feel abit letdown.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lovely Summer Days

This week, the weather has been very good so far! warm, sunny, windy. what more can one ask?

Was hoping that this continues....but weather forecast shows a rainy weekend ahead! Why is it that weekends are usually wet??? *bleah*

Vital Statistics

Brought Kaira for her check up today.

@ 19 months, she's 87 cm tall and weighs 11.4kg.

The Nurse seemed very happy with her progress, so that's good!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A farewell lunch

We met for lunch with PeiPei, Lawrence & Trisha who will be heading home to singapore soon! (lucky them!)

Even though we have known them only for a short time, we are blessed with this frenship cos they are really helpful :). wished that our 2 gals could have spent more time together but alas, distance and time, both factors working against us. but still glad that they are always ready to meet us ;)

Anywayz, prior to lunch, in the car ride, Kaira keep calling out their names, auntie pei pei, uncle lawrence and jie jie, but when we met them, she again displayed her "Atas" personality.... running away from friendly Trisha who wanted to hug her and play with her! haizz.

But, she was surprisingly friendly with a Hong Konger auntie sitting @ the next table. No idea how/why she chooses to be friendly to certain people??? guess, that's the privilege of being a toddler -- we cannot totally understand them! hahaha =P


yeah, finally a photo with the Woos! we have met a few times and the first time we took a picture together ;p


a very friendly trisha. too bad, kaira didn't "return" the friendliness!


hope kaira will grow to be as friendly as trisha! :)


best of friends!

19th month

her 19th month has been a "busy" month for her....

(1) several teeth sprouting!!! yeah! finally! @ 18 months she has only like 5 teeth (and not fully formed)...and suddenly in early june, i could feel/see a few teeth sprouting. mummy was very excited... hehehe. the last i counted, 6 of them coming out at the same time. no wonder she was such a terror to feed the last month! but she's better now and her appetite is better these days.

(2) Feeding -- even though her appetite is better these days, she's still difficult to feed when we are outside. she's totally distracted by her surroundings and prefer to "play" than eat. ;( but at home, she's quite OK, usually finishes everything and quite cooperative. even the "carrot" of having "outside food" doesn't tempt her enough to sit down to eat. in fact, she seems quite disinterested in adult food, which is surprising to me, cos she used to be so happy when we feed her our food in the past.

now, she has developed the habit of "grazing" .... eat one or 2 mouthfuls and off she goes to play. sometimes she just eats bread ;(.

she also play "favorites" -- eating what she likes only.

i really don't know if i should be concerned about such bad "eating habits"??

(3) speaking -- the last we counted (about 1 week back), she has a vocab of more than 150 words. we decided to stop counting ... lost track. =P she's really busy being a "parrot" these days... always repeating what we say. and trying to string more words together.

one thing though, think i have to make a conscious effort to speak to her more often in mandarin. i tend to rattle on in english.

(4) she's getting more attentive to craft work like painting, playing with the play dough and so forth.

(5) socially, she's better in small groups. definitely not as shy and reserved. but put her in a big group, her insecurity starts to show and she sticks to us and wants us to carry her. not sure what else we can do to help her here. guess we just go with the flow and sooner/later she will mature and be confident.

here's a photo of her taken a few days before she turned 19 months in a pretty dress bought for her by her 奶奶. Thank you 奶奶!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bye Bye Pacifier

today is the first day she's sleeping without her beloved "paci" (as she calls it). cried a fair bit during her morning nap. this evening, also cried, but considerably less. hopefully she will be fully adjusted soon.

actually, had not intended to wean her off the pacifier. it was a "chance" opportunity cos she woke up ard 5am this morning and called for me to help look for her pacifier. she usually doesn't do that, as she can find it and then go back to sleep on her own. but the pacifier dropped onto the floor this morning and i couldn't find it either (in my sleepy state!)

instead of getting her a new one, i just told her, "cannot find pacifier. no more. kaira night night with bolster, pooh bear and big bird. kaira night night in own bed." and after some carrying and patting, she was OK and drifted back to sleep on her own.

so i thought, OK, maybe this is THE TIME to wean her off. Let's see how things go.

poor gal. sometimes feel so "evil" for depriving her of her "beloved". =P

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Kaina

That is how Kaira pronounces her name.

Kaina Kaina Kaina. =)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Survived. Tired. Glad.

Survived -- one week (ok ok, 5 days) of home alone with Kaira.

Tired -- but of course.

Glad -- that Papa is home today!! Yippee.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Verbal Skills

From a baby who simply cries to express her wants to her being able to somewhat express what she wants now, it just seems like she has grown so much .......awwww, my baby is growing up so fast.

i have lost count of the new words that she has been sprouting but am always amazed by her "new commands" ... commanding me to "throw ball", "help me", "hold hands", "draw draw", "open door", "diaper cream (ie put the cream for her)" and what have you.

her favorite words for the moment is "tractor" and "big truck" cos of the road works just outside our place, there are tractors and trucks passing by every day. as well as "climb" and "slide down" cos these are her favorite activities.

and her favorite phrase is "auntie says" or "uncle says" =P cos some times when i want to get her to do something (and she isn't cooperative), i will tell her "auntie xx (or uncle xx) says kaira is a good gal for doing YY" ... LOLOL. 骗小孩子!

mandarin wise, this week's favorites are 面包, 洗手 and 葡萄. definitely a more limited "repertoire" compared to english. although i think she understands it quite well.

she's trying to say 3-syllables words now like butterfly. still trying.

i guess she's making normal progress as a 18.5 month toddler. :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Home Learning - Update 2

since it was raining today and we couldn't go out, decided to try out another "alphabet session" with kaira today.

It was the letter B and i think this is a better session than the first one. she was a bit more interested in the art and craft work. and could recognise the word "Bus" without the image (don't know is it fluke or what... will test her again later ;p).

and again she surprised me by remembering certain things. one of the words i taught her was "binoculars" and she said "auntie". I was like "which auntie/what auntie"??

then i recalled that we sat next a lady who was using a pair of binoculars during the cruise and we told her that "auntie is using binoculars to see far far". and so i asked her "O, are you talking about the auntie on the ship? auntie can see far far? "

She nodded her head. [i assume she really knows what i am talking about...hehehe)

Anyway, we did a binoculars craft and she was obviously very delighted with her very own and keep telling me "see far far".



(pardon the super duper simple and ugly binoculars.... :p at least she didn't mind! hah!).

Kaira's First Artwork

can't remember when i started to let kaira play with crayons. probably some time in March.

anyway, it's usually me who ends up drawing. cos she's more interested in taking the crayons out of their container/box and rearranging/putting them back. so i am not very motivated to have "drawing time" with her. plus i don't like to draw. ;)

and sometimes i wonder if she has taken after mummy who simply has no "flair" for art & craft. I definitely can't draw and hate doing craftwork. hehehe.

anywayz, today is a rainy day, so i took out the crayons to keep her occupied (even if it's for a short while). and she gave me a pleasant surprise today.

she drew some messy lines and told me it's an apple! hahahaha. so adorable!

here's the picture (i wrote the word "apple" for her).




then, she drew some more messy lines and told me its a bird.



hope she grows up to be a bit more like papa where the "artistic" side is of concern.... and not follow in my footsteps. hehehe.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pretty in Yellow

personally think that Kaira looks good in yellow.

we bought her a pair of crocs-look-alike recently.

with her yello polka-dotted dress, think she looks so cute... hehehe



and this blouse that she's wearing, is my FAVOURITE. and the most value for money buy i bought for her.... she's worn it since she was 3+ months old!!! and today, i tried it on her and she could still wear it. =)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Cartoon watching

Mid last week, i decided to expose little kaira to cartoon on the TV. since the cartoons are in dutch, i thought it'd be a good way to expose her to the language as she would be starting play school next year and it will be a dutch only environment.

anywayz, little kaira doesn't know how to watch cartoons. after 1 minute (or maybe its 30 secs), she comes to me, and ask me to carry her. or she goes to the kitchen to play with the fridge magnets. and what have you. LOL.

Don't know to be happy or what?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Family Shots

We hardly take photos as a family.

On the cruise, it was the perfect opportunity.... BUT .... guess what, we only took 3!

Aiyah! What a waste. Hehehe.

Here are the 3 precious photos of us.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Finally Applied for my ATM Card today

after almost one year (wow, june 09 is here already... and yes, i arrived in Jun08!), we finally applied for an ATM card for me today.

It would have been unimaginable in the past.... no credit card, no debit card, no ATM card... use only cash. so 原始! =P but that was what i did for the last year.

plus when hubbie is around, we will pay using his atm card, so, did not miss my card.

guess there also isn't much to spend on ;p I spend the most on wednesday mornings when i go to the market with kaira. and sometimes i do some shopping for her as well. and that usually doesn't exceed 20 euros. since i can't buy much anyway.

and why did we finally decided to act? cos hubby is going on a business trip... guess its better if i have some form of financial access... hahaha. Plus, it looks like we are going to be here for a couple more years ... so better get all these admin done.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Home Learning

Seeing the example of Trisha's mummy who has been very diligent teaching trisha the alphabets @ home, i thought it's a good idea to do that for Kaira too. Plus, trisha looks like she's enjoying the learning sessions very much! :)

Wasn't sure when is a good time to start, but thought that since she's already 18.5 months now, maybe she's ready for a more "structured learning" time.

So i started with "A" today. Thought i would keep it short since i have no idea how she'll react and if it goes well, can expand on "A" another day with rhymes and what nots. The plan was this :

- teaching her to recognise some words beginning with "A".
- do 2 craft work -- putting together an "apple man" and an "angel".
- getting her to color "A" and "a" and an ambulance.

but err, when she saw the crayons, she wants to do things her way....which is, take the crayons out from the box, and put them back in again. That's what she does everytime with the crayon. so it was no different.

Try to show her how to color the letter "A" and "ambulance" -- end up, its me coloring it.

Next showed her the words -- OK, at least she looked at them. but after a while, she went "down down", "slide slide".

Oops, think she prefers to go to the park, then having a "lesson"!!

Ok, thought i could distract her with the art and craft. Think she's like mummy, doesn't like art and craft. she wants to eat the paper, she wants to throw the paper into the bin and what have u.

Despite all these, she was occupied for 30 minutes. not too bad.

I am wondering if she's ready? Should i continue or wait for a couple more months when she can appreciate this better?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Do I personify "city-living"???

Yesterday, a little chick (errr, is that how i should call the young of a bird?) fell from its nest which is in the tree in our back garden onto the ground. and of course the mummy bird has not means to bring it back up.

Anyway, hubbie asked me "What do you think we should do with it?"

My immediate reply, "O, throw it into the green bin (which is for garden rubbish) when its dead."

Hubbie looked at me incredulously. He was actually thinking whether to build a little bird house and also see how we can look after the little birdie.

Ooops. We are worlds apart where "nature" is of concern. LOLOL

I am SO not into animals, nature (read : bugs, insects and what have u) .... that's why i don't really bother with the garden =P

Really think i am such a "city" gal -- totally not in sync with nature!!