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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Massage

yesterday, we were browsing through some advertisement brochures.

there was a picture of a lady lying on the massage bed and being massaged.

kaira asked what the auntie was doing so i told her that auntie is getting a massage.

she immediately responded that she wants a massage too and proceeded to lie on her front for me to do so. so i did. after a while, she started making a "snoring" sound.... so hilarious. i really don't know where she learnt that from!!!

i asked hubbie in the evening whether in the course of their interaction has he ever pretended to snore while getting massage ?? seems like it's a no. so i am wondering where she picks such things up? ;)

i had to blog this as i found the entire situation very hilarious. and i really want to remember all these !!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Michelin Star Restaurants

who would have thought that this city, that i think rather "lowly" of in terms of food, is home to michelin star restaurants???

unbelievable. here, where most of my eating out experiences were at best OK, is home to at least 2 1-star michelin restaurants!!!!

i wonder if i will have the chance to try it? i have always wanted such an experience but with a kid and no one to help look after, it's hard to imagine us taking the time out for fine dining.

even though i know there are michelin star restaurants all over the world, still, when i think about michelin-star restaurants i think of France, the UK ;p

Was telling hubbie that maybe we should make it a point to visit one (since it's right here where we live) before we permanently leave this place (whenever that will be!)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Growing UP so fast!

She's just growing up so fast -- it's heartwarming and scary at the same time.

she no longer depends on us for everything. and is exhibiting her independence and maturity by attempting to do so many things herself.

sometimes i feel a sense of relieve -- can relax liao! hahaha.. sometimes, abit sad, like she doesn't need me that much now ;p aaah, what a bittersweet feeling.

for example, the other day at the playground, she wanted to go onto the swing and i was following her, fully expecting to help her onto the swing. but she was far ahead of me and just decided that she can do it herself and she did. happily swinging even before i reached her. although she did call out to me to help her go higher (phew!).

just tonight, she had some "pi sai" and she digged it out (sounds disgusting but she's just so competent at it i tell u!! LOLOL ;p) usually she gives it to us for us to throw it away and get the tissue to help clean her up. today, she did give it to us, and then trotted off to get the tissue paper herself and came back to us to get the piece of "pi sai" to throw it away.

she wears her own shoes, takes off her own jacket, pants, panties now. when she's in a good mood she feeds herself and she can finish the entire meal by herself without help (but that is if she's in the mood lah).

sigh, she's just growing up so fast every day and it's nice to take some time to reflect and appreciate how much she's grown.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Enjoying Spring

2nd time @ school

wellz, the morning started off quite well. she was awake bright and early! the class is supposed to start 845am and i kind of woke her up ard 730am ..... sometimes she can really "dilly dally" so i had to have abit of buffer. she was really cooperative until after breakfast!

i was going to change her and she started telling me "mummy i don't want to go school". she kept repeating it and giving me the "poor thing" look. i tried explaining to her again and again that going to school is fun, it's part of her growing up process (did she understand it??? i wonder) etc etc.... she seemed to know that she doesn't have much of a choice -- and kept quiet for a while. then she went "i want to nite nite, don't want to go to school" . gosh, where do the little ones learn such things? so young and already finding excuses?

so she went on and on about wanting to sleep. ok, it's getting a bit difficult to change her and out of the door.

finally she's all changed. and i told her to put on her jacket and shoes.

Oops, starting crying. even before we stepped out of the house! haaaiiizz.

anywayz, we made it to school. she was very clingy and not willing to let her go. i had to be quite firm and leave her with the teacher. can hear and see her crying loudly as i leave. *SiGH*

i decided that i won't call the school today. if there's a problem they will call me.

and so after 3 hours, i went to fetch her.

from afar i can see her jumping and prancing around in the outdoor area with the teachers. again, i am one of the last few to pick her up so she has the attention of ALL the teachers/assistants. when she saw me, she was quite happy. so that's good.

spoke with the teacher in charge today and she feedback that she thought kaira did quite well for a "newbie"! i don't know if she's trying to console me or what ;) but she apparently was involved in the activities etc and even though she cried like for 15 minutes, she was Ok after that.

in fact, i must say that she looked happier today than the first day.

BUT, when i asked her if she would like to go school, her answer was "NO". HAHA.

anywayz, next school day is next tuesday .... hoping for the BEST!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

So, how did the first day @ school go?

when i went to fetch her, she was waiting for me, holding her teacher's hand. most of the other kids have already left (think i was one of the last to arrive ;p).

i have to admit that i was abit disappointed that she wasn't very cheery and smiley when she saw me. she had a rather pensive look. but when i asked her what she did in school, she was quite excited in narrating how she was "cycling" with the teacher's help. (think that was the last activity before school ended). and when i asked her if she liked the teachers, she said yes. that's good.

i did ask her if she would like to go to school again. and i asked her quite a few times throughout the last 2 days. initially, she sometimes says "NO" (oh dear) but usually the answer is YES. i guess she's also processing her own feelings about this change.

but i think a good sign is what she "told" my fren when we visited my fren yesterday. as we have not met my fren for a few weeks, my fren commented in mandarin that kaira has "grown". and kaira's immediate response on hearing that was "上学了"! and she was smiling and prancing around. so i guess that's a positive association for her :)

tomorrow is her 2nd time in school, let's hope she will enjoy herself better.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

First Day @ School

Today marks another milestone.

Kaira officially starts "schooling". For a start, she's going to attend the PeuterSpeelza 2 times a week. A morning session fr 845am to 1215am and a mid-day session from 1245pm-245pm. I signed her up for a 4-day week, 2 mornings and 2 mid-days but they have a place only for 2 days, so we are starting with that first.

probably also good, so kaira has time to adjust to the routine.

for weeks (maybe even months!) i have been preparing her for this day. telling her about what may happen in school. that i cannot be there, that the teachers will love her and take care of her etc. i am not sure how much that helps in preparing her.

having read about the many initial experiences of other toddlers, i am mentally prepared for her crying when i have to leave her. but i guess, it's still a bit hard cos even when i walk away (knowing that this is what i had to do), there's alot of unrest in the heart and wondering how she's coping.

anywayz, she has been telling me that she wants to go to school. and that she won't cry. that the teachers love her and will play with her.

but haha! today, as i leave her in the safe hands of the teachers, she was wailing so badly! aiyo. i can hear her from outside the building. ;(

the teacher, a very nice lady who spoke english quite well, told me if they could not settle her or if she's still crying after a long time, they will call me.

anywayz, i was walking in the vicinity of the school (how to go home rite???) and waited for 15 minutes and called the school.

initially i didn't hear any crying/screaming, then i heard her! oops, still crying. but the teacher was telling me that she was quiet at times and not crying all the time and they are distracting her with toys etc. OK, doesn't sound so bad.

i had wanted to shop around but was just not in the mood. so i went hope.

around 2pm i got a call from the school. oops, is it bad news? my heart skipped a beat.

thank God it was the teacher calling to put my mind @ ease. she told me kaira's now participating in the art and craft session and she's no longer crying. *phew*. doesn't sound too bad.

i am going to pick her up in half an hour's time. let's see what the little one says!

Least Expected

After Kaira had her bath this afternoon, i told her that she has to take a drink. she said OK. and as usual i asked if she wanted to eat something. i suggested "maybe a cracker or a piece of bread?". she said "no".

i was abit surprised cos she's usually keen to eat. so i asked her if she's sure.

and her response brought a smile to my face :

"kaira not hungry. just thirsty only."

my gal's growing up so fast!!!! i really didn't expect such a response from her.

Paris Disneyland - part 2

blogging all these now for memories sake!

which rides did we take ?
- Peter Pan
- Snow White
- it's a small word
- dumbo the elephant
- carousel
- tea cups
- Pirates of the Carribean
- Steam ship
- main street train ride
- aladdin's carpet (@ the Walt Disney Studios)

what else did we see?
- alice's labyrinth
- sleeping beauty's castle
- the parade

what did we want to do but did not :
- buzz lightyear (2 hour wait?? no way !!)
- orbitron
- walt disney studio tram tour (it was closed!!) ;(
- finding nemo (i think that's what it's called) -- kaira didn't meet the minimum height requirement

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Disneyland Paris

Just got back from a 4D3N stay @ disney.

The last time i went to disneyland, was some 20 years ago and it was @ the Tokyo Disneyland. I have vague memories of it. and honestly, i am not that great a disney fan. but it's the "magical kingdom" afterall -- it's good to experience it once in a while, no?? hehehe

decided to make this trip for a couple of reasons : (1) that the little one may experience something new and also since she already recognise some of the disney characters like snow white, dopey and aladdin, i thought she may "enjoy" it and (2) we don't know how long we will live here in europe, so have adopted the "can travel, will travel" philosophy -- that will minimise any "regrets" when it's time for us to leave this place. (i use the term "minimise" because i am very sure we won't be able to "see" all that we want to see in europe before we move back in asia .... assuming that we will be returning in the near future!!!!! my "wishful" assumption?? ;p)

the drive there was really smooth. left home ard 930am and we were @ the resort ard 230pm. after checking in, we had time to enjoy a few rides @ the park :)

kaira enjoyed certain aspects of disney i suppose. but what she doesn't appreciate are the life-size characters....hehehe. she's afraid of them! e.g. when she sees mickey afar, she will point it out to us and call out to Mickey and wave to him.... but when mickey approaches....hohoho.....we have a wailing toddler!! one of our lunch had mickey, goofy & pluto lunching with us. so the characters were going around to every table to "interact" and have photos taken. after the lunch, she will tell us she doesn't want to have lunch with goofy! LOLOL. must have been traumatised. while i quite like having the characters around during lunch -- but it's very difficult to have my picture taken with them when i have a wailing toddler. even if i said that i wanted take the picture, she will tell me not to.

she enjoys the live performances and parades -- cos her favorite character, snow white, will appear!!!

the rides -- no surprise that she loves Dumbo the elephant, tea-cups and aladdin's magic carpet -- the kind that lets her "fly" or "spin"!! her 2 favorite actions.

and her favorite activity -- going to the playground, and jumping on the hotel bed!!! we could have stayed home for her to do that.... ;p

ok, enuff of things from her perspective.

we stayed @ the Disney Sequoia Lodge. Prior to booking, i was undecided whether i should pay more and choose the Disneyland Hotel instead. but cos the price difference was a few hundred euros for our entire stay -- decided to give Disneyland Hotel a miss. Sequoia Lodge was decent. but it's definitely showing its age. and the service staff -- really lacking the "disney magic". ;p or maybe cos i was unwell (came down with sore throat and cough) that i completely missed the their service magic! (cos from my memory, i distinctly remember smiling faces and extremely courteous service staff @ tokyo disneyland. guess the difference lies there.....)

as for the rides, no complaints! even though we were unable to take the more exciting ones (what fun is it to take the run alone?? as the other half has to look after the little one) whatever we could were good enough. i especially like the Pirates of the Carribean ride :) although some rides were a little too short.

pity that we were all abit sick since last weekend(hubbie and me were coughing since sunday. little kaira had a runny nose last sunday and i thought she has recovered cos she was well on thursday. but came down again with a slight fever on our last day). maybe it would be more magical otherwise ;p

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Paris Disneyland ..... Peuterspeelzaal

We are off to disney Thursday and returning on Sunday!

i hope lil' kaira enjoys this trip! after this she's going to start PeuterSpeelzaal (i think that's how it's spelt!) -- sort of pre-school. for a start, she's going 2x a week, once in the morning, and once afternoon. i am hoping she adjust well to school but i am also mentally (i think so!) prepared for a dose of separation anxiety (read : crying) in the early stage.

but i am thankful God has given us our first choice which is the current one which i bring her for her once a week playgroup (speelinloop is the dutch term i believe) now. at least i know for sure that one of the teachers is very nice and can speak english fairly well. so that helps. initially, i received a call from our second choice and i was kind of disappointed .... but thank God He "intervened" and turned things around :) praying that that heralds a good start!

the start of the peuterspeelzaal is gonna be an interesting cos it's a dutch environment and it may be difficult in the beginning since she doesn't speak nor understand a word of dutch now. we have made the deliberate choice of putting her in the dutch system for now, let's hope it's the BEST decision. IF we stay here long enough, we will transfer her to the international school when she's 4. i hope we don't have to do that! ;p

how did a post that started off with paris disneyland ended up with me talking about her schooling options??? :-P

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"These all Kaira's"!

it was time for kaira to have some fruits. so i washed the last of the grapes and put them in a bowl for us to share.

for some reason, i decided to count the number of grapes today and there were 14 big, juicy red globe grapes.

we started eating the grapes together. one for kaira, one for me. when i got to my third grape, my little gal suddenly looked at me and said "mummy finish eating already".

i wasn't sure what she's referring to....or maybe she got it wrong ..... so i replied "no, mummy's not done yet. mummy is still eating the grapes".

she pointed to the rest of the grapes in the bowl and declared "these all kaira's"!!!

O, ok, i get the message now -- i am suppose to stop eating so that she can have ALL OF THE GRAPES!!

what a greedy gal ;p

i decided to "test" her. so i said "kaira share the grapes with mummy ok? one for kaira, one for mummy."

a loud "NO" and i know that's the end of the grapes for me!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Practice Makes perfect

she is getting better using her scissors (specially designed for toddlers kind) now. and seems to enjoy it very much. in fact, while she was cutting the paper today, she told me she's "having fun"! and gave me a very contented smile...... kids, so easily contented!!! ;p



Thursday, March 11, 2010

Just to share.

I find Mr Tan Kin Lian's blog informative and educational. he touches on insurance quite often and explain it in terms the laymen can understand and he seems very helpful. i only started reading his blog last year. wished i had started earlier!!

"dancing" with elephants

i completely forgot about these pictures that we took @ the Singapore Zoo a few days before our return to the netherlands. i think they are very nice!! ;)) hehe.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sorry, No Recent Photos.

it's not just hot weather that makes one lethargic. the cold weather has a similar effect ;( that's y since we have been back, i haven't taken any photos of kaira ... ;)

either we are at home. or when we go out, after taking so long to dress up (layers and layers of clothes), i totally forgot about the camera. and on those ocassions i remember, once we are out there, it's so cold, i don't feel like holding the camera!! hahaha.

she's adjusted back to life here in suppose. but i think emotionally, as she's growing, it's a rather difficult phase for her, and us as well. she's very "difficult" -- very difficult to get her to cooperate to do the things one want her to do. so changing to go out can be a chore. brushing her teeth as well. drinking milk too. u get the picture.

just last weekend she went through a "moody" period -- very grouchy. cries for no reason. gets upset very easily.....o well. it's really difficult being a 2 year old i suppose.

and equally challenging for her caregiver.

i have to find new ways to get her to cooperate. wish me luck.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Spring, Where Art Thou????

i came back hoping to be greeted by an early you. but what i got instead is the lingering winter ........ who doesn't want to go away!!!

Come quickly spring! don't keep me waiting.

(now still experiencing sub-zero temperature sometimes..... )

Monday, March 01, 2010

My Skin & I

have i finally found a "solution" to my skin problems?

in singapore, i bought a dead sea mud mask. after using it, i seemed to see improvements in my skin. there are days when i still have redness, bumps etc, but there are also days when i noticed that my skin is less red, and the bumps are gone.

i am really not sure if the dead sea mud mask is working wonders?? or is this but a passing phase due to the coincidental timing of various events :

1) use of the dead sea mud mask
2) alternate use of 2 types of moisturer
3) me taking the TCM medication to 调理 my body/health. (about 2 weeks after i started using the mask)
4) ocassional use of the mineral make up when i was singapore, just about the time i started the use of the dead sea mud mask
5) retun to cooler temperatures here.

must say though that when i first started using the mask, my face seemed to be worse off. so after 3 days i stopped. (was supposed to use it for 7 consecutive days according to the sales lady) surprisingly, after i stopped using it, face looked better. so after that, i use it once every other day or every 2 days. and after each mask application, i do notice that the skin appears to be "absorb" moisturer better.

psychological effect? or real? i dunno.

what i do know, returning to the cooler climate here, the skin is definitely in better shape than it was in singapore. less redness and less bumps although dry. since i returned it has been so far so good! it's been sooooooooo long since i haven't had a "red faced"-day or "bumpy faced"-day. that when i look into the mirror this period, i hope that it will be like this EVERYDAY from now on. (have not used the mask since i returned a week ago, will start using the it soon..... need to maintain this... hehe)

o, i must rave about mineral make up. i think it's really great and so much more suited for my skin than conventional make up!!! yea! finally found something that doesn't irritate my skin.

well, if u were like me having problems with eczema, rosacea whatever -- i hope u find the solution to your skin problems soon. i hope that i have found mine!! and that the face will not deteriorate again.