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Monday, September 10, 2018

Blogging for kids

Vesper has been reading my blog recently (yeah, this one). She chanced upon it when she was googling her name or her siblings’. (Horrors! Exposed to the internet at a young age of 7.5 years old) She was amused by my musings and most of all, what I thought of them kids. 

Yesterday, she asked if she could have her own blog. 

What do you want to write about, I asked. 

She wanted to talk about the pesky boys in her class. 

Oh no no, you don’t go complaining about people or write nasty stuff about people. It’s the internet, baby. Anyone can read what you write. 

Unless, I added, you make your blog private. 

She raised her brows, then no one can read except myself?

I gave the affirmative reply. 

Then what’s the point of having the blog if no one can read it? I might as well keep a diary book! She exclaimed in mock frustration. 

She got the point. And understood well both the appeal and the responsibility of posting on the internet. 

I’m more surprised by what a millennial she is- wanting people out there to read her blog! A scary thought too at how she was already wanting to connect with the online community, whatever dangers lurk out there. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

"Spend time with me"

Vesper is vocal about what she wants and is not embarrassed to ask for it. One of the requests she makes mostly of me is to spend time with her. 

I was able to do a lot that when i wasn't working- send her to and fro school (and enjoying the chats during the journey), having lunch together, prac piano/ spelling/ 听写, reading books, going to the playground, swimming etc. 

Now that i started working, the time is divided among her and the other 2. Especially when primary school demanded more time from me, my time with Vesper lessened. 

The best I could do was to lie with her before bedtime, chit chat and tell stories. To me, i fulfilled "spending time" with her.

But to her, it wasn't. 

Her frequent grouse is that i don't soend time with her. But didn't i lie down with you, tell you stories blah blah blah. I retorted. 

Not counted, came the grumble and she would get angry with me and stopped talking to me. 

I was at a loss so i sought my counsel- clem. 

Aha, he said, u must know what spending time to her means. 

Aiyo, why this gal extra demanding. Ok ok for world peace, i will do just that. 

So i must play her fav games with her e.g. Sophia the first monopoly, code breaker etc. 

One night, i specially called out to her n said let't play code breaker together! And we had a wonderful time. 

Two days later, she got angry with me again for the same reason n i jumped to my own defence, i just played with you two nights ago! No you didn't! Yes i did!

Anyway, no guesses on who lost in the end- me. You have such a bad memory! I sulked. 

I turned to my counsel again. 

Aha, when u do spend time with her, u must tell her u r spending time with her. Then it will register. 

So troublesome this gal. 

Today, i had the whole day of being with her. Just the two of us. 

After she was done spelling and stuff, i asked if she'd like to play. And left it totally to her to decide. 

And we played most of the games she likes. 

In between, i kept asking. Is it great that mummy is spending time with you? Yes, she smiled happily. And kept coming to my side to hug me. 

I hope i've redeemed myself. And must be mindful to "spend time" with her, according to her definition. And while i do that, must reinforce that i'm doing what i'm doing. A lot of management communication principles:

First, tell people what you r going to do. 
Next, do it. 
When you r doing it, tell people yiu r doing it. 
After you have done it, tell people u did it.

Practising on my youngest key stakeholder. 

Will she remember tomorrow? 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Recycling ang baos

Every year nearing CNY, it would be a mad rush to get cash for ang bao and we only packed ang baos on εˆδΈ€ itself. 

Now with time on my hands, i decided to go through the stash accumulated over the years for we were too busy (or lazy!) to bank in the kids' ang bao money. 

What we'd do is to just transfer $$ to their bank accounts. Then we will "re-use" the $2 / $10 notes for following year's angbao. No need to queue up! I know, we will lose interest earned but in the name of convenience!

There were unopened ang baos from previous years! Ok, to add these to existing stack and divide among the 3 kids. I dun bother with which is whose. Afterall, they receive from same people so should have same amount right??

Found these ang baos given by hubby which i hadn't opened. Suddenly feeling richer! Woohoo! Cheap thrills of a new SAHM. Now no regular income, sudden discoveries like this is like windfall! πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’°πŸ’°

And found this from my darling son. He has no money to give then but gave this to bless me. Such a sweetheart 😍

Monday, September 14, 2015

General Elections 2015

As Singapore's GE drew a close over the long weekend with PAP achieving stellar results, I couldn't help but reflect on what this GE meant to my kids. Of course the GE was about building Singapore's future for our children but I was surprised by my own children's take on the elections. 

So asked Cavan and Verity, what would make PM Lee Hsien Loong not the PM of Singapore. 

I tried to explain it in the simplest way: there are 2 ways to it. Either the opposition party contesting in Ang Mo Kio GRC (where PM Lee was contesting) wins the vote and PAP team gets ousted out of the Parliament along with PM Lee. Then we need to appoint a new PM. 

Or the opposition parties manage to secure a majority of seats in the Parliament and thus making PAP (which PM Lee is a member) the minority. Then there would be a call to re-appoint a PM.  

As I explained this, I couldn't imagine this happening. I mean, all along we knew the stakes but only when I described the situations, I fully knew for myself this was not the outcome I wanted to see.

The same went for the kids too. They could not imagine a person from another party or in fact another person other than PM LHL. They, at their young age, could see the progress and prosperity of their own country. Brain-washed by national Seducation, detractors may say. But ther's no denying that great work has been done and children feel proud of Singapore and being Singaporeans. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Contingency Plans

As kids grow and become more independent, we had to include them in our contingency plans. When they were young, we had plan A, plan B and we'd just activate when one scenario didn't work. 

Now they are schooling and have to know how to act given different scenarios. In a way, I'm 'training' them to be street-smart. 

I decided to pose to Cavan and Verity a scenario and test their responses. As they no longer took the school bus and relied on me or my dad to pick them up, I asked what they would do if one day they waited but no one picked them up. In case we were caught in some unfortunate circumstances like accidents or what. 

Cavan: I'll be patient and wait.
Me: what if you waited for one hour, two hours and still no one came?
Cavan: I will continue to wait. 

This boy thinks I'm testing him on his virtues...?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

These days, I'd wake up at 5am. Today, as I woke, my mind just planning what to pack and mentally scanning throughout the house to estimate the amount of work. Oh and to prepare for Vesper's birthday party tomorrow too!!

After some fruitful packing in the kids room, dar sent the kids for their classes while I fetched dad to go paint our new home. Excited to try Momento's sparkling series. Nowadays paint also so hi-tech. Computer-coded and mixed.

Paint colour coded. Added to tin. Tin sent for spinning.
Yummy porridge lunch! Super worth! Energy booster for the day!
After settling our paint, dad and I went for yummy porridge lunch near our new place. Instead of ordering for 2, we ordered individual portions and had 6 big portions of dishes at $6. Super worth it!
Really loved how the dining area is turning out
And our MB which currently still looked not too cramped after installing the extra wardrobe and table. Maybe after installing bed, it's another matter...

Dar brought Cavan here, who decided to chip in... His choice of green wasn't too bad after all. Fresh and complements the natural feel of his furniture.
Soon after applying 2 coats of primer, it's time for Momento! Using sparkling pearl Giselle pink for the gals' room. Alas, when I was only half way through, it turned dark and I had to rush! Stopped short of the upper 1/3 of the wall.
Sun! Why u no stay longer!!

Gotta go buy bed for dad, and rush home to pack goodie bags and prepare for Vesper's party tomorrow!

Met the haolian θ€ζΏε¨˜ when we went back to the same store where we got our beds. Her nose was so high up in the air and we had an exchange of words (that's putting it nicely). Her shop was better off without her, at the rate she was driving away her customer- me. Anw we went to another place which offered better mattress, more accessories and cheaper price. Humph!

Next time won't buy from u! Haolian θ€ζΏε¨˜!
After shower, quick quick packed goodie bags with kids and Yang.

Happy colours!

All these while Dar and Nancy continued to pack. Until I barked,"It's bedtime for kids! Why is Vesper still hanging around?"

After preparing the decor, it was 1am. Time to... update blog.

What a therapy this blog thing is.

11 pm. Too tired to update further. This basically summed up the day. (Just missing out the market bit, buying groceries for the week)

Friday, November 15, 2013

The earliest riser of the kids. Usually spending her me-time reading quietly.

Small one taking a pic of her daddy priming his uniform as he got ready to go to work.

Breakfast with ma darling when he sent me to work! A morning joy!
Yummy green bean with sago from Steph!

Took half day leave to do more packing. Went thru the crockery and pots boxes that dad already helped to pack. Really thankful for his help. Then started on Cavan's books and school stuff. But the afternoon showers proved too much... Zzzzz...
One of the last electronic purchases for the new home! Went back to our fav salesman at Harvey Norman!
Shopping break, coffee, Tim sum and ζ΅ζ²™εŒ…。
The kids were all excited with first sighting of Christmas lights
Final packing for the day! Kitchen, this time!

And finally, ending the night of packing, the photo corner...


Tuesday, March 27, 2012


2011 was another busy year, with Vesper added to the family. This was also the reason I stepped down from Children's Church ministry. However, it was also a year of milestones in terms of career achievements, and ironically, the year that I also decided that career would take a backseat.

It was truly a year of career high for me. We had pushed out a couple of org-wide stuff and got a few awards for L&D and leadership development.

At the same time, my organisation nominated me for HRM Awards 2011 under Best HR Manager category. I was shortlisted among other four. Though I didn't win, it was a huge form of recognition for me to be nominated and shortlisted. I was never in HR, but handled L&D and leadership development for a couple of years. This was an affirmation of what I was doing and I am always thankful for the opportunities given to me and the trust and belief my bosses had in me.

Family vs Work

Perhaps it was slight burnout that I really thought about what I wanted at that point in time.

I always think that I'm not the sort who can stay at home full-time. Even if that happens, I already told Clem, "Keep the maid".

I don't mind doing housework. In fact, I can be quite OCD and definitely have higher standards than any maid. I proclaim that my house is cleaner when my maid goes on home leave, cos I can't a single stain, a stray toy and have to set them right immediately. With my maid, I close one eye cos I don't want to be too hard on her.

Why I need the maid, is because I rather spend time with kids than on housework. Also, I don't want to spend my time yelling at them to clean up the mess. I can be a monster mom that strikes terror.

However, I've been having this niggling thought about spending more time with the kids.

Then, during Grace Retreat, the speaker was talking about different forms of idolatory. We were given a pop quiz. I realised that I had career and power idolatory.

That retreat gave me a lot to think about, to reflect on my priorities, on what I want for my life.

I shared with a cell friend. She shared that I should do it for Verity. Verity is a bright girl and she has a mind of her own, even at a young tender age. If I don't catch her now, I may lose her when she grows up.

That is gem to me. As I reflected, I realised that I only gave Verity my leftover time.

Since Cavan started K2, I had been going through his work everyday, paying more attention to him. Verity would hover around, brought out her own worksheets to revise and beckon me to look at her colouring, her crafts and worksheets. I would do that when we're done with Cavan's spelling and Chinese.

Whenever, Verity wanted to do painting/ reading, I would tell her wait till Vesper is asleep as baby needs my full attention. So she would potter around, waiting patiently and grabs any time pockets to do what she wants.

By staying home, I could spend more time with her too.
At that retreat, I made a decision to focus less on building a career and explored the options. With understanding bosses and supportive colleagues, I committed to a 2/3 work arrangement for 2012.

In the News

Another high note was the family appeared in the newspapers! This was for some Green Ambassador movement by the ENV, Southwest CDC and Dairy Farm Group.

Cavan and Verity won some awards for their diligence in helping to save the environment and the media wanted to feature a family. We did English interviews and a Chinese one for the TV news. Eventually, we appeared on Wanbao.

It had been an exciting year. Also one that I looked forward to end, so I could start my part-time arrangements. It has been such joy with the kids. They are growing up simply too fast!

Post-dated Posts

It's been busy, busy, busy. There are so many stuff I meant to post, but hard to find lone spurts of at least 30 min.

Here are the post-dated stuff I've been posting. Will add on till I get current.

Pri 1 Registration
Short Get-Away to Bangkok... Kids-Free!
Tokyo (21 Mar - 1 April 2010)
Roadtrip to Desaru

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

recess time

To Cavan, empowerment comes in a form of a school recess time.

Till primary one, he's never had money in his hands, with the freedom to buy anything he loves, without Mommy hovering over him, saying 'no' to this and that.

For his first week at school, I didn't know what to expect, so I gave him $1.50 on top of packing ham sandwiches for him.

On the first day, I watched him from a distance at the school canteen. He ate his sandwiches and drank from his water bottle. Then he got up from his seat and walked around, in fact two rounds, the school canteen. Then he queued up at the drinks stall.

He returned to his seat with one siew mai.

When he was done, he threw the waste away and disappeared into another part of the canteen, hidden from where I was standing. He didn't appear for quite some time, and I was getting restless.

Then he emerged with a bowl of noodles.

I looked at my watch and panicked. There were 5 more minutes before recess time was over.

I caught his eyes and signalled him to hurry up. By then, the teacher was making announcements and students started streaming into the school hall. I was relieved when he managed to finish his bowl of noodles just as the bell rang.

That evening, I asked whether he was hungry. Why did he buy so much food and kept walking around the canteen?

His reply, "I haven't tried all the food yet!"

I was very amused by his reply. I told him that recess time is not buffet time. It's not for him to try out all the stalls.

* * * * * * * * * *

That week, he kept having noodles for recess. I was getting concerned that he was overeating. Just one week into school he was gaining.

So I told him no more noodles.

One day, he proudly told me after school that he didn't buy noodles. I was pleased until he said,

"I bought rice."


* * * * * * * * * *

He lost his scissors at school. So I decided to punish him to teach him about being responsible for his own belongings. The punishment had to correspond to the nature of the deed, so I told him that he would not get pocket money for 2 days and the money will be used to buy a new pair of scissors.

It was a heavy sentence. To him.

He broke down and cried and said how sorry he was and he would never lose his things again. I felt sorry for him but punishment had to be meted out. He had to learn consequences.

So I consoled him that we would still pack food for him to eat. He would not go hungry.

Later he found his scissors and was very very glad.

Still, I decided to take away his pocket money and discussed with him.

My explanation was that he went to school after lunch and he would have dinner after school. He won't starve. We'd pack him stuff to eat in school.

He agreed. I was relieved.

At least a step to check that weight gain.

Maybe he was not ready for that 'empowerment'. Well, perhaps gradually. He still got pocket money when he had CCA and he could eat whatever he liked.

I was ok with this. Afterall, it was only once a week.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Among the three, Vesper is the stickiest to me. I mean, the other two stuck to their father even as babies. Clem would rock and carry them to sleep and they loved being cradled by daddy.

Not Vesper. As a newborn, she would scream and cry for hours when Clem carried her. The surprising part was he was her main caregiver during confinement. He bathed her, changed her. The only thing I did was to breastfeed her (as I did with the other two). But this gal simply won't let me go.

At night, I would let Clem rock her to sleep and they would struggle for hours and I slept. Clem never gave up. One night, I awoke to still hear her screaming and two hours had passed! I quickly took over and instantly, Vesper became silent and fell asleep.

One night, in between the struggle between babe and dad, Clem joked that it must be my "smell". Un-amused, I threw Clem a piece of unwashed top that I wore. He put it on his shoulder and placed screaming Vesper on it.

Quiet. Instantly.

We were both so amazed at what happened and we broke into laughter. Then, Clem insisted that I keep a piece of unwashed top every night.

Whenever I am around, Vesper only wants me. As Clem said, Vesper can enjoy the whole day with him but once I reach home, everyone else around her is oblivious to her. She only wants me.

I love carrying her. I think among the three, I carried her the most. Her petite size is a plus point so my arms don't ache as much.

She kept me really busy. In the past, whenever we went out, I could eat and shop. This time, I couldn't cos I HAD to carry her. Clem sniggered to me and said it was to pay back for the 1st two.

Not funny.

Vesper at 11 days old


Since young, Verity receives compliments as people gush over her, say how pretty she is and how good she looks in that dress/ blouse/ skirt. As a mom, I take pride and praise God that even I, ordinary looking creature, can pop a beautiful being.

As she grows, Clem and I try to impart to her that outer appearance is not everything. We were concerned that people's praises centred around her looks, not virtues or abilities. Moreover, she often gets chided (by me) for clumsiness, for tripping over herself, for spilling, for dropping whatever is in her hands. It seems she can't get anything right. Everything she holds drops to the ground.

These events, put together, may give her the impression that beauty is her only merit.

"Mommy, if I don't have ear rings, am I still pretty?"

This question jolted me. For a three-year-old then to ask me this shows how much worth she sees in herself.

"Darling, you are pretty even without ear rings, make-up, or nail polish. God has made you beautiful that you don't need all these things. What's important is your heart. If you have a beautiful heart, you are even more beautiful."

I started observing and thinking about the good traits she has.

Like how she is a generous and sharing person. She does not keep good things to herself and shares freely. When she goes out and we get something for her, she always thinks of her brother. Even she is left with the last piece of her favourite snack, she would still offer it to people.

Like how she is independant and cleans up her own mess. She would do her painting and by the time she is done and I enter the room, the brushes and bowls are washed and dried, the newspapers thrown away, the floor cleaned. All these done without an instruction from me.

Like how she has the smarts. She used to give excuses for not doing certain things because she doesn't know how to. So we build up her confidence by leading her. Many times, she surprises us with how much she actually knows and we will tell her that she has good brains. Like how we were surprised that she can converse rather well in Mandarin. So we commended her for her language abilities. Like how she surprised us with her mathematical abilities and we affirmed her analytical mind.

We have become more conscious about praising her for good behaviour and thoughts. Of
course, we will still say she looks nice in a certain outfit but our response towards good behaviour and good looks have to be balanced. Emphasis should be placed on what is important. Sometimes we forget and make a great deal over how pretty she looks. Sometimes I can't help but gaze at her for a long time and admire her.

Really, it's hard to resist all these behavior myself. Just need to keep my mouth shut and focus on her qualities!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pri 1 Registration

This three words. So potent. Mention them to any parent with 4-5 year-olds, and they send hearts palpitating.

Many parents start to scramble and look for "good" schools around their area. Not good schools? Shift to a new place. To increase chances, dig for their primary school report books, do volunteer work... whatever. As long as it guarantees a place in that school.

I am more the bochap parent. My expectations are simple:
1. Must be co-ed. What to do, I have kids of both gender.
2. Must be near home. I think in terms of convience of sending and fetching. And to consider CCA.

Too bad, both Clem's and my primary schools closed down. So we will go the traditional track - go by proximity and cross our fingers that it doesn't require balloting.

The next question put us in a dilemma. So should we consider a school near our CURRENT home or our FUTURE home (which will be ready in 2-3 years' time)? Whichever school Cavan goes to will determine our lives for the next 12 years!

Unfortunately, our property developer decided to be reaaaaally conservative and gave a late TOP. Which means we won't qualify for the school near our future home. We are just one quarter short.

Clem suggested doing parent volunteer. This, I'm dead against. I'm not going to pump in 40 hours or more to get my kids into a school! There are so many schools in Singapore, I don't believe there isn't a school my child can get into? It's just not worth my time. If I want to volunteer, I will, after my child has gotten into the school because I want to give back to the school. Not "volunteering" with an ulterior motive. That isn't "volunteering" anymore, just "buying" a place in the school with our time. What's worse, some schools have bad ethics - take in more volunteers than they have places for. Some parents did volunteer work and ended up being balloted out! Good grief!

As the date drew nearer to the registration, I thought hard and started feeling bad. What if, for all Cavan's potential, he didn't get the opportunity to develop it because he is in a less-than-optimal system? Then Clem, in all his wisdom, said,

"God is more interested in our children's future than us."

I hung on to this revelation. It was very liberating. I let go and let God.

Since we fell short of the TOP date by one quarter, we decided to register for the school near our current home. Afterall, we have received positive comments from friends from the MOE that this school was quite good.

I didn't expect it to be THAT good. When Clem called the school, the adminstrator was confident that we could get in cos we just stayed across the street. It turned out later that there were 125 vying for 87 spots! We had to ballot!

Though I was anxious, I had peace of mind. God was in charge. Besides, I didn't have any expectations so, no pressure. At most, go the other school down the street.

The day came for the balloting. There were many PRs. They got 1 balloting slip, while the Singaporeans got 2. I must commend the principal for conducting the session so well. I felt he was very empathetic and the entire process was very transparent. I liked him very much that I really wished Cavan would get in.

The PRs were lucky. With only 1 slip, many of them still got a place. When they picked the 78th spot, it was Cavan. Thank God!

Not to be xenophobic, but I thought it was unfair to put PRs and Singaporeans together in a balloting process. Though Singaporeans received 2 balloting slips, they were still thrown in together with the PRs for the balloting.

Anyway, Cavan is going to have many multinational friends. What will happen in 1-2 years' time when we shift? I have no idea. Will leave it in God's hands.

Friday, August 12, 2011

stealing time

Once we became parents, couple time becomes non-existent. Not to mention couple time, even personal me-time is zilch. I can't eat my dinner in peace. Even when I shower or use the toilet, one kid will be there asking me to look at their painting, ipad game, writing, goodie bag from school etc. (Err... yes, I have an "open door" policy.)

Basically when we are home or with the kids, they will just clamour up to us and want every second of our time. Of course I relish all these, for when they grow up, hanging around mom and dad is no longer cool. But sometimes after a day's work, we just want to wind down, eat our dinner, talk to our spouse about our day.

We decided that we will just steal time.

When I was pregger, Clem would send me to work and fetch me home. It didn't make sense, if you see it in an economic and practical sense. His office is just 10 min's drive from home. It wastes time, petrol, ERP charges to send and fetch me from CBD area. But he didn't mind it. And because I said this was the only time we can have uninterrupted conversation, he made this a routine.

Then it got better. From car rides, we progressed to breakfast. So we enjoy our mornings together having breakfast at Amoy, Tanjong Pagar Market, Maxwell etc. I treasure these moments alot, as these are times we shared our challenges, our joys, our struggles, our aspirations.

If not for such moments, we would have missed out on each other's lives. We don't want to come to a point where when the kids grow up and have their own lives, suddenly we realise that this person sleeping next to us has become a stranger. That we have no more kids-topic to talk about and we don't know what else to say.

So we constantly look for time to steal. When the kids are in school, and we take leave. When the kids are napping and we do grocery shopping and have tea. When they are asleep and we have supper.
 Having supper holding Vesper in my arms. Not fair? At least she doesn't interrupt our conversation!

It's fun looking for time to steal. Well, of course it helped having a helper or grandparents.

Hmmm... should we catch a performance next Sunday afternoon while they are napping?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


At their young age, we can already see how our kids develop friendship and what matters to them. Cavan and Verity are completely different in their approach to making friends.

Cavan thrives on having many friends. His teachers say that once he reaches school, friends start to call out to him. On the school bus, children will compete to sit next to him.

And he is also a loyal and forgiving friend. When he was in Nursery 2, there was a boy B, who said hurtful things to him. Once I saw B and remarked, "Your friend, B, fat fat one ah." Cavan got indignant and retorted, "You can't say such rude things about other people." "I thought you didn't like him?" I inquired. "Still, you cannot say bad things about him!" Two years later, he told me that B had become better and not so naughty anymore.

He has another friend, who was also abusive towards him. And he gets hurt easily. I was angry with Cavan cos he still wanted to be friends despite being emotionally and physically hurt by this person. Why subject yourself to so much pain? You're asking for it.

But Cavan believes in forgiveness and believes that every person will change for the better. Whenever we arrange for them to play, Cavan would pray that he will not be hurt and that the friend will be good. Whenever he gets hurt again, he'll cry and get very upset. But in the end, he'll always say, "I forgive him." And he does notice if the person has improved. He will report to me and say that so-and-so is now a good boy, so on and so forth.

I have such an angel for a son.

Verity, on the other hand, is highly selective when it comes to friends. She is happy just to have one best friend, K. All other people do not matter.

She was at a ballet class and this girl kept calling out to her. But Verity ignored her. I asked Verity why she ignored this girl. Weren't they from the same ballet class? Verity replied that her friend is K.

When K is around, Verity will not pay much attention to other friends and sticks to K like glue. I am always amused how Verity and K will hug and kiss each other non-stop whenever they are together. To the point of being disruptive. Cos they spend more time hugging and kissing each other.

Once, in the ballet class, I asked Clem to peep into the class. He said that the children were doing their exercises around the classroom and when suddenly Verity and K bumped into each other. Then they started giggling and hugging each other and totally disregard the class activity.

In school, the same thing. Her nursery teacher shared that Verity and K will talk non-stop to each other. And Verity only talked to K. She wanted to help them build healthy relationship with others as well so she separated them in different groups and they were no longer partners. Both gals went home and "complained" to their mommies that they were very sad because of this.

Of course, it's so sweet to see her so pally with her BFF. I really pray that their friendship will blossom till teens, till adulthood. At the same time, I also worry about her social life. I mean, her BFF will make other friends and she simply doesn't care about having other friends. I worry she ends up being alone and lonely.

Sometimes, she gets very sullen for no apparent reason and says that no one plays with her. I told her that she has to learn to play with others and not get angry and sulk when her friend is not around. I pray that when she grows up and mature, she will learn to make good friends.

Here they are, my two bubbies, so different when it comes to making friends. One a popular one, the other a highly selective one.

But both, very loyal.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

(Almost) Solo Trip with Three Kids

The family had signed up for the church retreat and we looked forward to the break, especially when our close family friends were going too. We arranged to drive there, hence did not cater for church transport.

Then Clem had his knee ops scheduled 2 weeks before the retreat. Concerned, I asked if he would still be able to drive up. He was affirmative. So, I left at that.

Revelation dawned upon him after his ops. He was not supposed to go anywhere during MC, let alone go out the country. Six days before the retreat, I got an sms from him.

Him: I can't go to the retreat anymore. We'll have to cancel the trip.
I thought seriously for about 3 seconds and replied:
You cancel your trip. We'll still go. All three kids.

There, the trip was to go on. Since we paid for his share, I might as well bring Nancy along.

Since Clem was no longer going, we did not have transport. Clem checked with the Retreat Committee whether we could squeeze into one of the coaches. Nope. All full. Anyway, I couldn't imagine sitting the kids and the baby through the journey, getting up and down the coach with all of them AND the luggages.

So we decided to fly there then transfer to the hotel. One afternoon, Clem called me and said he booked Tiger Airways. What??!! How could you book through an unreliable airline? Don't you know they are known for delayed and cancelled flights? I'm not about take any chances with three kids! Haven't you noticed I've never booked a single air ticket with Tiger?

There were considerations Clem had e.g. timing. He wanted us to come back in an earlier timing as well - 7+am flight.

All was set for the trip. I guess it was tougher for Clem as he packed the whole family off.

I was really thankful as the olders were seasoned travellers. Once they knew we were on a trip, they were extremely cooperative (on top of the usual) and I could count on them to get their bags, get everything prepared and take care of their belongings. This time without daddy, I had to lay the rules clearly for them e.g. always stay close to me, no running out of sight.

There was a slight delay. We were queueing for some time and the gates were not opened. I overheard others in the queue saying that the flight was delayed indefinitely and people were getting restless. I smsed Clem. He would stay at the airport till he saw the plane take off. Just in case the flight was cancelled/ delayed. At least he would be around.

We reached the hotel through transfer without a hiccup. The flight was very short. After the plane took off, we had our coffee and it was time to land. However, the queue at immigration was very long! Judging from the mass, I figured it could take us 2 hours!

Then one staff came to me, seeing that I had three kids including one infant, brought me to a special counter. That took us less than 30 min. Thank God! Then we waited for our transfer and travelled another 45 min to one hour to our hotel.

The Retreat Committee gave us a big room - with a living room, one bedroom and a kitchenette. It was great!

Cavan and Verity had a great time, as they got to spend time with their friends for 4 consecutive days. One of the days we even managed to bring all out for shopping. With all the kids, it was like a class excursion! Mealtimes were the usual challenge, getting the kids settled (they all had their preference who to sit next to), getting their food, helping them with seconds, making sure Verity ate, feeding Vesper. Thank God for kind sisters who offered to care for Vesper so we could eat.

I had a refreshing time, worshipping God and receiving of His Word. Also had a lot of reflections during this time, about my priorities, my next steps.

It was when we were preparing for the return trip that I realised we had to leave the hotel by 5.30am! That meant we had to wake up at 4.45am and get all ready! I couldn't pack in advance as I also had frozen bags of expressed breastmilk.

That morning, Murphy's Law really. All kids got up, got dressed without a fuss. But our luggage broke. There was no time to unpack. But we couldn't check in the luggage as it could not close! I quickly asked the hotel for masking as we checked out. They replied they didn't have any and offered me scotch tape.

I rolled my eyes! I insisted they gave me something stronger. And hurry, time was running out. Eventually they got me paper masking tape and we taped around the luggage. The luggage looked so bandaged. Quite a funny sight.

The kids and Nancy fell asleep in the car. I couldn't cos I needed to keep watch. Several times, the driver seemed to doze when finally he stopped by the shoulder of the road and washed his face. I knew cos he made several sharp swerves. It was harrowing!

We made it home safely. Clem was so so happy to have us back. He had never had to stay home without the entire family before. Well, we had fun. We missed him. But it was truly an adventure!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

roadtrip to desaru

I took three weeks' leave as Nancy went back home on compassionate leave. After one week of housewifery, I couldn't take it and told Clem, let's get out, go somewhere. Anything is better than staying home and do housework.

So we booked 3 nights at Lotus Desaru (2 bedroom) and drove up with my father.

The kids loved the place. There was a huge playground pool near our hotel room. Even my father couldn't resist dipping into the pool.

Vesper loved the big bed where she rumbled and tumbled about.

What Cavan and my father loved most was the buffet breakfast. Unlimited food.

We also liked the buggy rides that took us around the resort so we don't have to walk. Lazy people.

Basically, Desaru is quiet town. Not much shopping. We went to the fruit farm and that's about it. For dinners, we would drive to Penggerang for cheap and delicous seafood. We liked this place so much we had dinner every night we were there.

For me, it was not a break. I had to carry Vesper wherever we went. I stayed in the room or just sat out there with Vesper when the kids went swimming.

I must bring Nancy here the next time so I can go suntanning while she stays in the room to watch Vesper or put her to bed. Heehee.