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Monday, April 30, 2012

Singapore's "National" Hobby

What do  you think can qualify as singapore's national hobby?!? hehehe.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Bubbly Apple of my Eye

Her middle name should be 'champagne' ! She's so cute sometimes I cannot stand it!! Haha... Sorry for the unabashed praising of my own daughter.... ;p

Kaira Champagne Chow.... Lol....

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Heartwarming Feedback from Kaira's Teacher

It has been a long 4 months and Kaira's teacher was sharing with me today how she can see that Kaira has finally accepted the "difference" in schooling methods and that she has finally warmed up to her classmates and teachers and that her "real" personality is shining through.... versus an unsure and easily agitated kaira in the early days.

The teacher was sharing with me how Kaira displays compassion and lovingkindness towards one of her classmates who is autistic. How she will make the effort to speak with the boy and include him in the general activities when other kids do not.  Considering that she's the "new" kid in the class, some of the other kids were classmates with the autistic child from nursery class...... the teacher was just touched by her sweetness and loving heart.

Me too..... felt so proud of my gal when i heard the feedback from the teacher.  Thank God for a very sensible and loving daughter. Pray that God will continue to fill her with His Love; that she will continue to walk with the Lord and follow His ways.  That she will have the confidence to know that she has a provider and protector whereever she may be.  So she will be free to love and be loved.

Of course there were many times when i am just so irritated by kaira and her stubborn-ness; her throwing of tantrums (screaming and shouting) when she doesn't get her way and her unwillingness to listen to my instructions....... but yet, she displays such loving ways and maturity at times that i have to remind myself that i should not focus on the negatives and must learn to be more patient towards her as well.  for her character is one that 吃软不吃硬.  when i try to "discipline" her, she immediately closes up and becomes very uncooperative.

of course, doesn't mean that if i talk to her nicely, she will respond, sometimes she takes advantage of my "niceness"!!!

so yes, it's a balance and i am learning to "control" the "kite" --- praying for God's wisdom everyday.  Some days i do ok.  some days not so well :(

but i am really grateful that i have had the opportunity to be home with kaira the last 4+ years and that i have the privilege of being the first to know/hear of what's happening to her and sometimes seeing it for myself.  Priceless.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Is the 'crying' phase finally over ????

I m referring to kaira's crying ritual which takes place everyday just before she enters the classroom.

It has been a loooong 4+ months that I've learned to take it one day at a time and not be too hopeful. She will occasionally not cry but those were rare days and after a day or 2 of no crying, she reverts back to her crying.

Why does she cry? Honestly, during the first few weeks and even first 2 mths, I was quite concerned n tried ways and means to 'help' her.... To try to identify the cause of her crying n how I can help. And whether I should change school etc etc.

After some time, I realise her crying became like a habit n at times, they were crocodile tears!

I told myself that one day she will stop I just hv to bear with it :p when we do talk abt her crying kaira tells me that she doesn't know why she is crying ... That she just felt like crying :( and that she likes her school n frens. So I guess, I juz need to be patient....

And so, today marks ths 3rd day that she didn't cry when I drop her off at school.

I hope this really marks an end to her crying phase n that a new beginning is here.

I am also looking forward to a new phase in my life! Let's c how things go :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Supper Time

one of the things that i appreciate about being back with Singapore -- is being able to spend time with hubbie....without little kaira....and sometimes catching up with frens, or simply "exploring" the "supper scene" of singapore ;p heehee, yes, we usually have our couple time when she's fast asleep, which means only one thing => Supper (and an expanding waistline).

when we were in the netherlands, when she's fast asleep, we do have our "couple time" but usually over TV and internet.... sometimes with tea/wine/and whatever is in the house.....haha.... but i much prefer having it over this supper! Yeah! :)

Roti Prata and Teh Tarik -- Best for Supper! ;p

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Please Help!

Heehee, i submitted one of our photos for an online contest recently.

If you could help, by giving me a vote, that will be very much appreciated!

Step 1: You have to "Like" SG Travellers on facebook

Step 2: Click on this link and "Like" my photo

Thank you very much my dear frens!

Tea - part 2

Had the opportunity to have tea with frens on different ocassions -- guess that's the benefit of not working, very flexible timings ;p

I know I should not be surprised but every time I m greeted by packed Cafes on weekdays , I can't help but wonder why r all these people not at work???? Hahaha, pot calling the kettle rite?? Y am I not working???

And unfortunately, some of the places I hv the been, I don't understand y they r doing such gd business ;p heehee

Whatever it is, this hustle n bustle is really testament to singapore's strong economy. And contributing factor to why foreigners r attracted to sg and it's 'success' story.

I hope Singapore economy stays strong for more years to come. When the music stops, it's gonna be very painful for many......

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tea anyone?

Had supper the other nite at a vietnamese place.... Food wasn't great but I loved the teapot.

Teapots n teacups r seriously my weakness ;p

Loved this jade coloured teapot as it reminded me of the many wonderful trips we had to Thailand in the past n I m looking forward to revisiting Thailand again :)

One thing tho, i absolutely disliked the vietnamese lotus tea.... No matter how pieces of candied ginger accompanied it! Not going to try it again.....;)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Need public speaking practice

When I was working, making presentations n speaking in front of a large go is quite common.... Presenting strategy, product training whatever .... I never felt inadequate speaking publicly as long as I m prepared ;p and hv to admit I am not a natural when it comes to that n takes s lot from me ;) especially if impromptu .... Heehee But realise recently how rusty I hv become. When I gave some feedback at a public forum recently, subconsciously I can hear myself 'breaking up' .... *yipes^ overcame it after a while but nevertheless got me 'self conscious' ... Some things do need practice! At least for myself ;p

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Singapore is Beautiful.

for you who wants to know more of singapore;

for you who miss singapore;

some beautiful pictures to share! Enjoy !

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Visit to Hay's goat farm

Last minute decision to bring kaira to a goat farm this morning before heading to in-laws place for lunch.

I didn't really know what to expect as its my first time as well to a goat farm in Singapore.

Very different from the ones we visit in Europe as the goats are all caged and people are not allowed close contact with the goats.

Kaira's first few questions when we reached were 'why can't we go near the goats?' 'why cannot pet the goats?' 'why the fence?'

Think she misses the close-up experience that she gets in Netherlands in the petting zoo.

She then wistfully says that the fur of the goat is very soft n nice to touch.....

Guess we r getting used to a different norm living in SG.

Honestly, there's nothing much to do on the farm besides viewing the milking session n tasting the goat's milk.....add a short walk ard the farm and we took all-in 30 minutes only... Heehee.

Would we be going back anytime soon? Doubt it.... Plus I don't fancy taste of goat milk!! ;p

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Why should I obey u mum?

Yesterday, my dear 4+ year old princess asked me this question.

'why should I follow what u say?' she asked again.

My lil' gal is growing up do fast n experiencing so much emotions I sometimes do not know to deal with.

Methods that worked in the past may not necessarily work now n as parents we must change n keep up with changing times or should I say changing kids ;p

I always hv to remind myself to keep an open mind but it's not that easy cos I often fall into the 'I m the parent, I must be rite' mindset ..... Haizzzz

Just take the last few days for example... It started off rather 'innocently', kaira appeared to be misbehaving n I 'scolded' n nagged at her to 'obey' me. When she didn't, the cane came out. But nothing seed to work. She was in a very bad mood most of the time n every little incident can erupt n become a wAr bête she n me. Very tiring.

I was exasperated n angry n irritated.... Why is she do 'disobedient'??? I tot.

Nothing I can do but pray and pray... N probably feeling a lil better after that, I changed tactic with her n had a heart-to-heart talk with her one nite..,. N tat was when she asked this question .

Seriously, it is a challenge ... Trying my best to bring her up when I myself have so much to learn and unlearn.

Thankful that I hv this opportunity to grow with my daughter n I pray that she will always be able to confide in me n her papa n that we will remain loving 'best frens' always!!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Failed attempt to visit tree-top trail -part 2

Photos of the young and old 'enjoying' the hike ;)

Actually kaira was very excited and enthusiastic at the start of the walk but after 45 mins she was really tired!! the following were taken while we were waiting for hubbie to pick up the car and come pick us up! ;) so only he need to make the return journey on foot ;p heehee

So T.I.R.E.D
Grandma and granddaughter doing exercises....

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Failed attempt to visit the Tree Top Walk

We made a last minute decision to try to visit the tree top walk trail ....  but alas, we didn't make it cos we started fairly late and the path was a little tough for the older and younger one (we went with my mum) .... we started at 4pm, after walking for abt 45 minutes we were still 1km to the tree top walk .... and the entrance to the walk closes @ 445pm  according to the notice ....which means we will not make it in time (-_-)

Guess we need to make another trip.  ;)

Here are some photos taken during our 45-minute walk........

Monday, April 02, 2012

Swimming Unassisted

Yay! kaira can swim unassisted for a short distance! :)

She loves swimming and every week, before and after her lesson, she will be keen to practice with us -- very self motivated indeed!

She has been practising swimming unassisted for a couple of weeks now and breathing on her own and is getting better and better. :)

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Singapore among favourite cities of the super rich


on one hand, i am really happy to witness how much singapore has changed and the progress that we have made......

on the other hand, with this kind of headline news, does it mean that singapore is cementing it's position as a place for the rich..............scary thought....this rich/poor divide thingy.

many implications and one of which is property prices and i believe a topic close to every singaporean's heart. property prices has shot through the roof in the past few years and although in the last year, we read alot of news about prices softening ... it is still sky high.

some ANALyst have predicted as steep a drop as 30% but it seems that the sentiment on the ground is far from it ......... mass market folks are flocking to new launches and snapping up units like prices will go higher forever.

resale market is quieter -- yes, transaction volumes have come down but sellers are not reducing prices.  in fact, the units we have seen in the last 3 months (and trust me, i have seen many units), those that were sold, quite a few were sold at record psf (per square feet) prices. which puzzled me ... cos isn't prices supposed to be on a down trend?  and what is this talk about buyer's market?

i concluded that the "buyer's market" probably applies to specific developments, especially those launched in the last 2-3yearse which are TOP-ing soon and buyers/investors have to make the choice whether to take up the mortgage/tie up their capital (depending on whether they are buying the unit on loan or cash). so this is where we will probably see discounts if the sellers are "desperate" to get rid of their investments......

the problem with these units are, as they were lauched in the last 2 to 3 years, they are RIDICULOUSLY (in my opinion lah) priced in the first place. a discount (say 10% still doesn't make it any more affordable... at least in my view lah). and to be fair, it's not a global crisis, not so many units will be going at a great discount.... things are chugging along fine, even though it's not that rosy.

that's why we have been looking @ older developments around 10+ years old which are more reasonably priced, but still not cheap by any standard.

talking about rosy - i think it's still fairly rosy here -- from the crowded F&B and entertainment outlets that i witness and how foreigners are simply invading singapore ......... i am AWED at the change and how our government has successfully engineered the change in singapore.  today's singapore is really SOOOOO DIFFERENT from the singapore of 10 years ago.

on one hand i want to see singapore property prices soften, on the other, i don't cos i believe when that happens, it bodes a far worse scenario than just prices coming down, it would need a black swan event to trigger that (maybe a global crisis) and that would mean economic decline, jobs lost, deep recession and the whole works.   Why o why would i wish that upon my dear country??

yet it's so difficult to bear the sky high property prices........ and if things are just going along fine, with no major hiccups, does that mean that after a period of consolidation (which is what i think is happening now), prices will continue it's upward trend??

honestly, your guess is as good as mine.

that's why it was a rather difficult decision for us to buy a property today.  what if prices decline ?  how far will it go?

what if prices don't decline significantly but simply dip/consolidate before moving higher. would we be priced out?

and so, when a unit came by in an older development,  in a not so suburban area, which was @ abt 10% discount from last transacted psf and 8-10% lower than current asking in the same development, 999yr leasehold with a new mrt station coming up next to it at less than S$1200 psf when even suburban condo devleopments are calling at higher prices, we decided to just bite the bullet and go for it. It was not an easy decision. I was really undecided...... Hope the discount we got will give us some buffer in the event the price discount is steeper than expected.....and that the new mrt station when it opens in 2014, will provide some price floor.

we went in with our eyes open and have tried to mitigate our risks as much as possible.  but there's only so much we can plan for.... let's see how things pan out in the next few years.  if prices maintain/go higher, at least we have one property; if prices goes down, then we are prepared to stake our claim on a 2nd property :)

so yes, we are property owners once again. or rather, we rather debtors once again, oweing $$ to the banks! HAH!