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Monday, January 30, 2012

Crowded, Not!?!?

Last week, on one of the nights, met up with BFFs for coffee/tea.  We arranged to meet @ holland village, a place which i hardly visit.  the last time i was there, we had dim sum @ one of the chinese restaurants but it was a touch and go event, we didn't really take time to explore the place.....

anywayz, it was 1030pm on a wednesday nite, third day of chinese new year.  saw a starbucks but we were disappointed that it closes @ 11pm!! hahaha, actually it's very good liao lah that they are opened till 11pm on a weekday nite ;p but u know, we are in singapore, our expectations are higher ;p heeehee.

walked abit and we found a coffee bean tea leaf cafe.  Yipppeee, it's opened 24 hours a day!!! Hoooray! welcome to singapore! :) love it.

went in and boy was it crowded and noisy.  both hubbie and myself agreed that it was very crowded and full of 人气! :) 

when my frens arrived .... one of them commented that "it's not so crowded today" ! she had thought that it would have been difficult to get a seat .... wahahaha, we had a good laugh cos here we are feeling the "crowd" and then the reality check came -- it wasn't so crowded afterall!!

welcome to singapore!! love the hustle and bustle.  just have to bear with the crowd!

Friday, January 27, 2012

夕阳无限好 ....

spent the entire day today at Universal Studios with BFFs (and kids) and tiring!!

love these shots of sunset that i managed to capture as we were preparing to leave Sentosa Island.

will write more about Universal Studios later.....  i need to get some sleep now! heehee.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chinese New Year 2012 - Reunion Dinner

In a flash, the festivities of celebrating the Lunar New Year aka Chinese New Year is over!! although traditionally, there are 15 days of Chinese New Year celebration (for visitation and collecting/giving of ang pows), in reality, we are constrained by the official "public holidays"  and in our case, only 2 days :( my fren reminded me that hong kong has officially 3 days of holidays to celebrate CNY ;)

First off, the reunion dinner 团年饭 -- for the last 14 years we've always had 2 rounds of reunion dinner on the same day!!

reunion dinners take place on the day before Chinese New Year Day 1 and as the name suggest -- it's for the entire family/clan to come together and feast. and if one is living overseas, it is in every sense of the word a reunion :)

both my and hubbie's family have their reunion dinners on the same day and so yup, we eat round 1 @ 530pm with my family and then @ 8pm with his family. i remember when we first started doing this, we were quite conscious of the amt we ate @ both dinners -- afterall there's so much food served, it is possible to overeat!! ;)

sad to say i think over the years, we have gotten used to the idea of eating 2 dinners for reunion and our stomach seems to have found the capacity to accomodate the food ;p  i try very hard to control.... but i think i am still eating alot more than in the past!!

o well.

here's kaira and her cousin samuel getting for "Lo Hei" -- a dish that originate from singapore i believe and a must have during chinese new year meals.  the dish signifies prosperity and every single ingredient has a positive connotation to it :) e.g. the crackers signifies money, he raw fish, signifying abundance, the sweet sauce that is used to mix up the ingredients signifies a sweet and happy year ahead so on and so forth.

my family "Lo Hei"-ing -- mixing up the ingredients :)

Kaira , all changed and ready for round 2 with my in laws.

When we reached home, it was past 11pm. way way past her bedtime!!! really rare that she sleeps so late ;p 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chinese New Year is Coming!!

As a child, i looked forward to cleberating chinese new year because it meant collecting ang pows (red packets with $$), eating lots of chinese new year cookies and goodies and playing with cousins from the extended family and of course, it's holiday from school!

and now it's kaira's turn to enjoy all these!!

eating Bak Kwa - her favorite CNY scnack
p/s bak kwa - is like beef jerky -- but it's pork, sweeter and less chewy! i love it very much too!! ;p 

Yummy kueh bangkit

traditional "prosperity cakes" that signifies good fortune for the rest of the year!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Labrador Nature Park

Heard on the news that the authorities have revamped the Labrador Nature Park area and there's now a connected boardwalk to Vivocity.

Decided to bring Kaira there to take a look last weekend! Nice idyllic place, i believe we will be back again....but maybe during the evening when it's not so hot!!

we were there late morning and the sun was just blazing!!!! there's more to the place that we should explore (like the play area etc) so i think we should be back!

Plus, this place is near to the NUS Guild House which is a good place to hangout for the family :)

talking about the NUS Guild House, it's been like 10 years since we have visited it and boy has it changed!! the the Clubhouse is now so posh, we almost couldn't recognise it!!
will try to remember to take some photos the next time........

that's Reflections in the background.  love the contrast of concrete and greenery.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Celebrating Papa's Birthday!

Was telling hubbie that this seems to be first time that he has really celebrated his birthday with Kaira since her birth!! (@_@)

she's born in Nov 07 and in Jan 08, during his birthday kaira was recovering from surgery and we were in no mood for any celebration. then from 2009 - 2011, he's always back in Netherlands in January while we will stay in Singapore!

Finally, Kaira has the chance to celebrate his birthday this year! Good thing he arrived back in Singapore on his birthday from a business trip, otherwise, it will be another missed year!

i know i know, there are probably many years ahead for Kaira to celebrate his birthday, but every missed celebration will never return! so, good to enjoy every single one! heehee :)

Happy birthday to Papa!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Look Mum!

Kaira was quite excited to see her "work" on the notice board located just outside her class.

close up:

although i think kaira can draw very well .....  一山还有一山高!!!
there was one worksheet that caught my attention and that's because it was obviously a scene from Angry Birds!! waahahaha, so cute, one of her classmates actually drew the angry bird scene !! *amazed*

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

i woke up this morning and suddenly remembered that its our wedding anniversary!!

felt bad.  immediately sent an sms to hubbie who is away for business trip.

his respone "Ha! Oops!"

both of us are really pathetic!! ;p

i think this is the 4th or 5th consecutive year that we are not "together" on our wedding anniversary date, no wonder we forgot!!! :D

what a lousy excuse.

regardless, happy 14th Anniversary to us !! haha.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Her Reward After One Week

After one week @ K1, she's finally better adjusted.  so here's Kaira with her well-deserved reward for overcoming a trying first week @ K1 in Singapore!!

(just a note for my memories' sake, on the second day of school , while she's crying and whining she did tell me that singapore school not fun ;p and asked why there are so many things to learn ;p is it really so different?  or is she just projecting the things that she heard/we said???)

whatever it is, at least she now tells me that she likes to go to school and it is fun.  hope she continues enjoying learning!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

3rd Day @ Kindergarten

kaira was very reluctant to go to school in the morning.  she gave me all sorts of excuses -- she's tired, she doesn't like school, she wants to nap, what have you.

i spent quite a lot of time talking to her and reluctantly we arrived in school.

She was quite ok because Teacher B wasn't in class ! she was out carrying out some other duties and only Teacher A was in class.  so all went well and she gave me her usual flying kiss and started getting involved.

When i went to pick her up in the evening, she was all smiles and told me that she had fun and enjoyed her class. Hallelujah!

i hope every day will be a fun day for her from now on and she warms up to Teacher B just as she did to the other teachers.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Unexpected "Dramatic" 2nd Day .....

after i spoke with Kaira yesterday, i honestly didn't expect any "problem" for her 2nd day in school.

i thought i had found the "root cause" and addressed the issue with her.... and she was actually quite cheery the whole of this morning and had no problem whatsoever as we prepare to make our way to school after lunch.

the drama started after she went into the class.  as she's in the class with one of the teacher(let's called her Teacher B) , i stepped aside to speak to another teacher (Teacher A) to just share with her what i gathered from kaira yesterday.  after a couple of minutes, i could hear kaira crying and screaming for me. she wanted to go home and kept saying that she didn't want to go school.

tried to pacify her at the same time find out exactly what is troubling her.  she gave me lots of reasons.... that this school is different from the netherlands school, that the class is "too long", that the school is not fun etc etc.  after listening to her, and talking to her, she seemed to be ok to go back to class.  but the moment she's at the door, she started crying again.  i had to carry her and guess what, while i carried her, she vomitted onto me!! yucks.

my hair, shirt, handbag was bathed in her vomit. disgusting really. i had to borrow a blouse from one of the teachers.

but after the vomitting and cleaning up, she seemed to be better and she finally told me WHY she doesn't want to go to the class

she's afraid of ONE of the teachers. why is she afraid?? i am not exactly sure but based on what she said, it seemed that the teacher may have corrected her the day before and maybe it was not in a tone that she took kindly to. i don;t know.  then she said it's because the teacher is big-sized and that's why she's afraid.  i am not sure exactly the reason, maybe it's a combination of factors.

i tried to shre with her some ways to cope with this "Fearful" feeling but she was still reluctant to go back to class and wanted me to accompany her.  so yup, i set in for 15 minutes.  the teacher she was afraid of wasn't in class so she was perfectly fine and after 15 minutes, she gave me the OK to leave since she was fine with Teacher A.

on my way home i was thinking through the situation to see how i can help and what i could have done better to help her adjust.

she has been to a few "school environments" and she has never had any problems with teachers and in the netherlands school, the teachers rotate quite regularly so i honestly never thought that teachers could pose as a "fear factor" in her case.  as i had taken for granted that she will adjust to the teachers, i didn't make extra effort to acquaint her with the new teachers in this K1 class. 

As i speak more with Teacher A, i decided that when i pick Kaira up in the evening, i will speak with Teacher B.  not so much to talk about the situation but more to show kaira that I am on friendly terms with ALL the teachers and that they are ALL friendly and nice people and that there's nothing to be AFRAID of.

i was mentally prepared to see a whiny kaira when i was waiting to pick her up.  she surprised me by telling me that she had fun and she enjoyed school ?!?

what a turnaround?!? kids are so interesting..........

i went ahead to speak with Teacher B as planned and kaira was with me during the conversation.  at the end of it , she even hugged Teacher B goodbye.

on the way home,  i tried to process today's "experience and lesson" with kaira and work through her feelings and i think she got the message that we cannot judge a book by its cover ......

let's see how Day 3 goes.  It can only get better! :)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

First Day in Kindergarten

Today marks yet another milestone for Kaira.  Her first day @ Kindergarten

Getting ready and "posing" before we leave home ;p

Roarrrrr ..... r u sure u want to send me to school ? In her "uniform".

Her school day last 3.5 hours and although her first day went generally ok, a small incident confirmed and increased our understanding of her.

apparently towards the end of the day as the kids were finishing up their worksheets, kaira burst into tears.  she told the teachers she misses her mum. and was pacified after a while.

when i spoke with her, she said the same thing to me -- that she missed me and that's why she cried.  but i wasn't convinced.

after some probing, i finally figured out why.  she apparently wrote something wrongly and i think she felt that she's no good and that everybody else got it right except her.  her perfectionistic/competitive character "shining through".  i explained to her that it's ok not to KNOW everything and that that's the reason she's in school -- to learn from the teachers.  and that some children may know more than others and that's OK. what is important is that she learnt something new and she now knows more than in the past.   she seemed to accept what i said ..... let's see how things go.

it's interesting how the lil' ones have their personalities ......regardless of what we do/do not do.

i pray for God's wisdom in guiding her and developing her to be more like Jesus. 

Reasons Why I missed Singapore

Getting supper @ 10pm at our whim and fancy ;)
Sunny days all year round (alrite alrite, there are wet days but at least it's not cold and windy!! ;p)

Yummy local food

Shops like Daiso!!

Monday, January 02, 2012

A New Year, A New Start for Kaira

Kaira said goodbye to her small pillow on the first day of 2012.  the pillow that has been her companion since she was a baby.  the pillow is in honestly in a very bad shape despite sunning and what have u cos she really loves to bite it.... and it can get so's disgusting ;p

she was very reluctant.  in fact, in the past, i have tried to get her to part with her pillow several times but to no avail.  she loves it for whatever reasons.

however, yesterday, when i wasn't looking, she bite and sucked at it so hard it was soaking in her saliva and i saw it only when everything dried up. in fact, she does this very often.   o dear. i told her she simply had to throw the pillow away....

cried buckets. wouldn't let go.  so i told her, she can hug it to bed one last time yesterday nite and we will throw it away in the morning and we will find a replacement for it.but told her she shouldn't suck her replacement anymore else it will suffer the same fate as her pillow. she seemed to think that that was an acceptable arrangement and went to bed quietly.

Next morning, she woke up bright and early and went to hubby to ask him to throw away the pillow.  Bravo.

but some whining and crying ensued.  but she soon got over it....  :) glad that it wasn't so difficult after all.....let's see the fate of the replacement!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Mimosa aka 含羞草

As i child i remember liking this plant alot -- and will not miss any opportunity to touch them whenever i spotted them!! just love to touch the plant and seeing the leaves "fold" together.

honestly, as i aged, i have kind of forgotten about this plant. and i have never seen this in the netherlands.

So this time home, kaira had her first experience with mimosa and it was my mum who pointed it out to her when they take their evening walks together.

the plant before it's "disturbed"

not sure if it's clear -- but the leaves are "folded" up here

Like i always say, i am reliving my childhood through kaira!!