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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Baby Xin Says Something

My Baby Xin at 1 year 11 months has quite a vocabulary.  She is now able to say words with 2 syllables like Papa, Mummy, bolster, water (btw bolster and water sounds the same so I have to decipher that).  Blanket, pillow, bear, dog, cold, habis!  And the ultimate 2-syllable word: ipad.
To encourage her to say more words, I will ask her, "Baby, say yes, say duck, say porridge etc." And she would always say the word.
Today, Yuan was playing a telephone game with her. Yuan said to her, "Baby, say something" while putting the pretend telephone near her mouth.  So Baby Xin said: "Something."

Sunday, December 25, 2011

My One Big Goal for 2012

Steve Aichitson, a very inspiring personal development blogger and life coach, asked this question for Christmas.  What is the one big goal that I hope to achieve for 2012?
Well, it would have to be a health & fitness goal.  I wish to exercise at least an hour every week, either swimming or yoga.  This year I have not been going regularly at all, mostly due to being busy with work, at other times, well, just being plain lazy.....
I hope to lead a more active lifestyle together with J next year, that's my one big goal for 2012!

Photo from http://www.whatsonxiamen.com/ent1945.html

Saturday, December 24, 2011


My Baby Xin's nanny is an Indian, so naturally Baby Xin is learning a lot about Indian language and culture.  One of the things that she likes is a pottu on her forehead, which her nanny sometimes put for her as a symbol of protection.
One day while I was working on my laptop, Baby Xin wanted to take off the red tracker ball right in the middle of my keyboard.  The tracker ball cover, had gone missing before, but was always found afterwards and I put it back, so I now realized it was Baby Xin who pulled it off.  I asked her why she wanted it for, and she pointed to her forehead at the space between her eyebrows.  I finally realized that she thought it was a stick-on pottu, and that she wanted to put it on!  This is so funny!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Visit to Pavillion KL

It's been a long time since we visited Pavilion,as it's perceived as such an expensive place.
However today, we decided to see the Xmas deco there, and Yuan got a free ride on the Xmas carousel (worth RM5), courtesy of a credit card promotion.  There was a long queue of paying patrons for the small carousel. This reminds me of my childhood days in Ampang Park, but I believe the carousel there was much bigger.
We were also fortunate to witness a Scottish band playing at 4pm in the center court, which was very entertaining.  After that, we spent most of our time in Daiso at the top floor, splurging on RM5 items. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pandora bracelet fixed

After our morning seminar session, I went to Pandora 1MK outlet to get my bracelet fixed.  I've been meaning to go for a few days but never had the chance due to long hours at work recently.  Finally today I went and succumbed to buying a safety chain for the bracelet, and also a Murano glass charm because the charms were moving around too freely.

As a result, I got my bracelet changed to the right size, got the safety chain that I wanted, and used the Murano glass to commemorate a meaningful day in which my fellow bloggers and I conducted a charity session. On top of that, I received another plain bracelet as a gift, which I intend to give Yuan to start her childhood collection when she's much older.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Yuan's 8th Birthday

Due to our extended holiday trip, J and I were not able to take leave for Yuan's birthday.  So we have preempted her and told her that we would celebrate it the next day, which is a Saturday.
Yuan's 8th Birthday Cake
Our little Yuan, she looks small for her age.  Of course she is a year-end baby so she was smaller than her classmates, but she is also smaller than some Std 1 kids.
We had a simple celebration.  Yuan got an unusual present which she liked very much.
Ikea Mala Easel
Ikea doesn't carry this easel anymore.  I bought this online from a 2nd hand shop.  It still looks clean and decent.  And I also bought the Ikea Mala coloured white-board markers.  So Yuan liked this present very much, although I did say it is supposed to be shared with Wei, and the Baby.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

First Day Cover Collection from 1.12.1997

I am showing off my stamp collection again.

14 years ago, today, I bought this first day cover for - what? RM25?
It is a special issue with a Royal Selangor pewter stamp.  Today it is worth millions of ringgit (haha, I wish!)

Moments in my Life

What a great idea to commemorate each important moment in my life with a charm.  That is the appeal of a jewelery line named Pandora.  Well, I have a weakness for pretty little things and when J offered to buy me a starter set, I couldn't resist.
J bought a bracelet to commemorate our Japan holiday, and he bought it on board the Cathay Pacific flight.  Since it came with 3 charms, I would like to think that it commemorates more than that, which includes our 11th wedding anniversary, and our Baby Xin who is 1 year old this year.
11th Anniversary

Japan trip 2011

Baby Xin - 1  year old
The chain is too long for me, and I really had no idea how to attach the charms, so I would take it to Pandora in Malaysia to do that.  Thank you, dear hubby.  I like the bracelet a lot, and the fact that I could add to it later so that it becomes really unique.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Raya Haji Long Weekend

Long weekends - always fun and so much to accomplish.
5 Nov
Took Wei and Yuan to their dental appointment.  Wei had to have a retainer for his teeth, and today the dentist took a mould. Yuan had a regular checkup, only that it was her first time, she was so scared.  Luckily she didn't have to get anything done to her teeth.
When we got home, J, Baby Xin and I went out, house hunting, again.
This time it's a beautiful end-lot which was more expensive, but it was facing the T junction, so no go.
After viewing, we went home, and I sneaked out without the kids to take care of some tenant issue.
At 4pm we went to view the intermediate lot again, almost ready to make an offer but not quite.
At night, I had to attend a wedding dinner, and all the while I was thinking about the 2 houses, intermediate or endlot, cheaper or more expensive.  I told a friend about my unrest, and she reassured me, "If it's meant to be yours, it will be."

6 Nov
Sunday dawned bright, and J wanted to go to One Utama early to take care of some much needed shopping.
We had McDonalds for lunch, and Baby learnt to dip french fries in tomato sauce.

After shopping, we went to view another house,  this time it is even more beautiful than those that we have seen. We went home and I spent time poring over my Real Estate Negotiations book, hoping to negotiate a good deal out of it.

7 Nov
The kids and I went to a friend's house who was preparing a lunch dana.  Then we went to Mom's house to spend some time with her.
J then took the children shopping to get a pair of shoes for Wei.  When they came home, it was already evening.
In the evening, Baby Xin hurt her left hand fingers from pulling down a futsal goalpost.  We rushed her to the clinic, where the doctor said it was nothing serious.  Thank goodness, poor Baby was being very brave about it.
All ended well, except for the little scare at the end.  A great weekend, nonethless.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wei's 10th Birthday

On Wei's birthday this year, both JL and I were working.  In fact I was in Port Dickson for a team event for half day and 2nd half was travelling back to the office.  Luckily I was able to leave a little early and I bought the cake on the way home. We had a simple celebration. Wei's present had been bought earlier and it was a story book set that he wanted.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

World Vision - Gifts of Hope

The year end festive season is fast approaching.  If you are thinking of giving a gift to your loved ones, or simply making a difference for the year, consider the World Vision Malaysia year end gifts of hope.  You can give something to impact the lives of poor children in South East Asia ( including Malaysia) and Africa, in honour of your friend or loved one.  World Vision will then send you a gift card and you can send that to your friend, telling him that you have made a gift in his name for truly making a difference.
No matter how big or small, the children will appreciate the gift. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Welcome Home Card 2011

Card front

Inside: Congratulations for your flight safely back!

Yuan, almost 8 years old, made me this Welcome Back card on my return from a work trip in Manila.
She is good at drawing (even if the plane looks like it is falling off!)  And I especially like the 2 figures inside the card.
This card reminds me to be thankful for the little things in life.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Manila Work Trip

I am here in Manila for 6 days for a company training, and this is my first time.  The only day that I get some free time is on Sunday before my training course starts, and I spent it wandering at the Intramuros.
Makati CBD area

View of a colourful Jeepney from our taxi

Horse cart at Intramuros


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Singapore Trip Day 2

Day 2 is spent fully at Universal Studios, although it certainly is difficult with Baby Xin in tow.  The highlight of the park is the Human vs Cylon roller coaster.  I wanted Wei to ride it to get a taste of roller coaster, and he gamely complied.  So, J stayed behind with Yuan and the baby.

When we got on the Cylon roller coaster, shoes off, all buckled up, he asked me, "Mom is it really alright?"
I said, "Sure, it will be over before you even know it. If you are afraid, just close your eyes."

Before I knew it, the Cylon roller coaster shot up at full speed.  No going up the slope at an agonizingly slow pace like the traditional roller coasters.  When it was over, I cheered and said to Wei:: "Wow, that was awesome!" to lift his spirits in case he was scared.  He said, "I closed my eyes the whole time."
My brave, brave boy.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Singapore Family Trip - 1st Day

The Sands at Marina Bay, Singapore
Friday morning,  we all got ready to go to LCCT, boarded Tiger Airways to Singapore. We were all excited, this was the first family get-away trip organized by J's company.  At LCCT we caught up with all the other families at McDonald's and waited patiently for our flight.
It was Baby Xin's first flight experience.  I got an infant seat belt and buckled her up on my lap belt. Luckily she was accustomed to being buckled up.
We arrived Singapore and checked in Marina Bay Sands.  It's really beyond my dreams that I would ever get to stay there.  Wei said the top of The Sands looked like an aeroplane crashed on top of the 3 towers.
The kids couldn't wait to go to the swimming pool, it was a very long infinity pool.  It was like "swimming in the sky", with the view of Singapore skyscrapers.
Already in swimming suits, the kids rushed to the swimming pool.

Infinity Pool of The Sands, it was crowded!
At night, we went for the Singapore River Cruise, which took us to our seafood dinner at Jumbo.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Raya and Merdeka Week-long Holiday

The past week has really been good, so many things accomplished and done, and things left undone.  Undone because I focused on the more important things and chose to ignore the less important ones.

Sunday 28/8: 
Joined a full day meditation course and focused on training the mind to being in the present.  Very grateful to have heard from and understood a little more about peace, contentment and practice.
J's sister and her kids arrive at our house for a little holiday reunion.

Monday 29/8:
Took time to visit my old aunt with my mom and sister, spending time with the people who matter in my life.
Watched "Horrible Bosses" movie at Wangsa Walk with J, just the 2 of us, at night.  

Tuesday 30/8: 
House cleaning with J, while the kids enjoy a day of swimming.  Screened potential tenants for an apartment.

Wednesday 31/8:
Kids and cousins visited Batu Caves as a local excursion trip, while I spent time with Baby.
Completed apartment rental transaction safely.

Thursday 1/9:
J's sister's family went back to Penang after our dim sum lunch.  
Kids spent the afternoon at revision and reading.
After dinner, took kids to Ikea for their favourite session at Smaland.
At Ikea, bought a kitchen sink unit at the irresistable price of RM15.90 (normally RM90).
Bought for what?  We do not know, but since we like doing up houses, it's bound to be used one day.
Wei sprained his toes at Ikea Smaland.

Friday 2/9:
Car refused to start early in the morning, when Wei and I both had our dental appointment.
Called for a taxi to take us to the the dentist, and called for the breakdown service to send a replacement car battery. Completed dental sessions just in time, despite being late.  T
Returned home by taxi, where the mechanic has arrived and waited with the new battery.
Battery replaced.  Mom arrived to take Wei to see a Chinese tabib for his sprained foot.
Went to office, completed some work.
Went to the bank, and to the apartment management office to complete resident registration for my new tenants.
Went to Gas Malaysia office in Desa Pandan for gas connection.
Came home to find Wei playing with Grandpa's unused wheelchair, called him young Professor X, which he enjoyed despite having his foot wrapped up in a bandage.

Saturday 3/9:
Took Wei to his tuition session in the wheelchair, he was both thrilled and embarrassed.
My pampering facial session and grocery shopping.
Watched Harry Potter movie with the kids at home.

Sunday 4/9:
Relaxed at home in the morning. then went for an education session on multi-currency loans to increase my knowledge about investments.
Dinner with family by the riverside restaurant.
Wei's foot improved a lot.
Kids read books at quiet time just before bed.

All in all, a great week, with much accomplished and a lot of rejuvenation. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Holiday House Cleaning

While everyone else was enjoying the long Raya cum Merdeka holidays, I've been busy at house cleaning.  (No part time maids available during Raya holidays, that's why...)
I scrubbed the glass windows and toilets, cleaned the fridge,all the shelves and desktops, and wiped the walls clear of markings, as well as mopped the floors.  J cleaned the fan, the aircond filters, wiped the doors, fixed the lights and scrubbed the bathroom walls and floor.  And little Baby Xin was helping!
  She used the 3M Quick Sweeper to mop the floor and even got the spots under the sofa.  She must have been watching her babysitter do it.
We were so tired by the time we finished but at least it was a job well done.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

iPad Camera Connection Kit for SD card

This is a technology post, because I would like to share my experience on what I happened when I tried to transfer photos from my laptop to  iPad via the camera connection kit (CCK).
Firstly, I transferred photos from my laptop to the SD card (in a named folder).  When I plugged in the CCK with the SD card into the iPad, nothing happened.  I checked the web and found that I must name the folder DCIM.  I did that, but my photos were all named according to the place and number.  Having plugged in again, I found that all the photos were not detected, except one.  Wondering what was so special about the lone photo, I discovered that that photo was named Picture7.
So 2 basic rules.  The folder must be named DCIM (which stands for digital camera images, I think) and the photos must be named Picture1, Picture2 , Picture3 and so on.  After changing all the picture names, finally they could be detected and imported on the 3rd attempt.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wei in Swensen's Age Group Rapid Open

At the recommendation of Wei's chess teacher, we enrolled Wei in a national chess tournament, at Cititel Midvalley.  As Wei is a year-end child, he could still participate in the Under 10 category.  J took Wei to Cititel at 9am and left him there with the chess teacher and picked him up at 5pm.
There were 136 participants including kids from Singapore and Iran. Wei was seeded somewhere above the halfway mark.  Even though it was nothing to shout about, I am still a very proud mom.
For lunch we gave Wei RM20, hoping that the chess teacher would take the kids to lunch.  It turned out that he was too busy helping out at the tournament, and 4 boys went to lunch together at McDonald's, with one of the boys leading the way.  That boy was CH; his mom and aunt went to Gardens for shopping and they didn't show up in time for lunch. So CH had no money.  So he led the way to McDonald's, ordered 2 lunch sets for Wei and himself, and Wei paid for lunch ;-)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Forgiving Yourself

Sometimes we are so drowned in guilt that we cannot let go, forgive ourselves and move on.  Here is a story that I heard from Ajahn Brahm which I found very touching.
As a young, poor student, he found a part-time job selling children's encyclopedia from door-to-door.  He described that job as the worst job in the world, because it entails "cheating" on the customers.  The training he got was about psychologically making the parents feel guilty that they didn't care about their children if they didn't buy his encyclopedias.  Then one day, he actually sold one to a young couple who had a baby of about 1 year old.  He felt so guilty about it, the poor young couple who probably didn't have enough money to get by, and they spent their money on a worthless encyclopedia.  He quit the job the next day, and felt guilty about it, until he became a monk when he learnt to let go.
Then one day, while giving a talk about forgiveness in Perth, he told this story.  After the talk, a young woman walked up to him and said that she was from England, and as a young child she had this encyclopedia that her parents bought for her from a student who was a door-to-door salesman.  And she wondered if it was Ajahn Brahm who actually sold that book to her parents, but it really might have been him, because the world is a strange place where what goes around, comes around.
She said: "I loved that book. It was my constant companion as I was growing up, and I had so many fun hours reading it!"

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Matta Fair for Inexpensive Flights & a Henna Tattoo

Finally,  a Saturday that is free from either work or property-session related seminars, and where do we end up? At Matta Fair PWTC.  J wanted to check out the cheap flights and plan for our year end holiday.
Reliance occupied a very big area of the fair.  We ended up visiting this booth and didn't get far.  The cheapest air tickets were offered by Cathay Pacific (cheaper than AirAsia at this time).  Also there were a lot of fun activities like Turkish ice-cream treat (which Baby Xin kept licking and got chocolate stains all over her mouth), and a  free henna tattoo at the Dubai booth. Cool!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ben 10 Slippers

Last Sunday night we went to Tesco Village.  The main purpose was to get to Popular bookstore, but after we finished we decided to pick up a few things quickly from Tesco as well.
One of the things we wanted to buy was a pair of new slippers for Wei.  While Wei refused the plain asadi slippers, he doesn't mind Ben 10 slippers.

I was thinking in my heart: I always thought that Wei, my eldest son is so big, but he is actually still small.
He still wants Ben 10 slippers.  So I will gladly buy for him as long as he still wants them, and cherish his childhood.  Time would pass by and one day he won't want Ben 10 slippers anymore....
However, finally we got stuck at the Tesco queue for so long, we gave up.  I would have to go another day.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Baby Xin took her passport photo

In September, J's company organizes a family trip to Singapore for 3 days.  We have decided to take all the kids along, including Baby Xin. So she's got to have her passport made before the 15th of this month.
Here's the passport photo, with Baby Xin staring at the photographer wondering what he was doing.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Farewell to the Headmaster

I came home today to 2 very sad kids.  Wei and Yuan were crying because today was the last working day for their school headmaster who is retiring at 58 years old.
Yuan said that she was sad because the Headmaster always told stories at the weekly assembly.  I asked her what sort of stories, and she said sometimes funny stories, sometimes moral stories.
I guess you can make a difference in whatever you do, even if you were a Headmaster who only ever interacted with your schoolchildren at arm's length.  I don't think my kids know him personally, but somehow, he has touched their hearts in the way that only a good Headmaster could.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Baby Xin - first "Mummy" & "Baby" words

This is Baby Xin today after a haircut and bath.
At 18 months old, she has been greeting me with "Mummy".  She learnt to greet "Papa" a few months earlier and  sometimes still calls me that too.
Today I asked her "Where's Baby?"
She put her palms on her heart and said: "Baby."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Baby Xin is Afraid of the Vacuum Cleaner

Baby Xin, for all her courage at swinging on monkey bars and climbing on chairs and stools, is afraid of the vacuum cleaner.  Today I vacuumed the sofa and Baby Xin started crying because of the noise.  First she ran away, then she found the dining table chair, climbed onto it and stood up, and while looking at the vacuum cleaner from her safe post, continued crying.
She stopped when I stopped the power, and when I resumed she resumed crying.  Her brother and sister were so amused.

Wei said that Baby Xin thought the vacuum cleaner was evil.
Yuan told the crying baby: " The vacuum cleaner is a non-living thing, so it cannot be evil. When you get to Standard 1, Baby Xin, you will learn about living things and non-living things."

Friday, July 8, 2011

Monkey Bar

Baby Xin can now hold on to a monkey bar, lift her little legs up and swing a little bit, and all the while sings a song that goes: "Nya nya nya nya nya..."    I'm wondering who taught her that?  Or she could have copied her brother or sister as she watched them swinging about.  But the song???

To Do List

Between my babies and work, there is hardly any time left to do anything else.  So I decided to take advantage of this early Friday to make the most of the balance of the day.
I know one of my blogger friends, Eun-yong complained that I have hardly updated my blog.  Ok, ok I admit it is my fault.  I have so many things to write about.  But the computer has been hogged by J most of the nights and it is very difficult to blog from the iPad.  Also, I have been so busy that home organization has gone down the drain, so many items have got misplaced.
So in order to accomplish most of the tasks this evening, here is my to do list:
I hope to accomplish most of it while the kids are playing around me ;-)  Though I seriously doubt it, because the Baby Xin, has now become a terror with the chairs and stools.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Right, but Not Correct

I really have to share this inspiring story which I heard through one of Ajahn Brahm's CDs.  This is a story he always tells when he is invited to conduct wedding blessings.  This particular story was told when he was in Malaysia.  This story explains very well what it means when "you are right, but not correct."


A husband and wife had a wonderful dinner at a restaurant in KL.  After the dinner, it was a cool night, so they decided to take a stroll through a park and enjoy the evening together.   As they were walking, hand in hand, in harmony, suddenly they heard a sound.
Quack, quack!
The wife said:  Did you hear that, dear?  That was the sound of a chicken.
The husband said:  No, dear, that was not a chicken.  It was a duck.
The wife insisted:  It's a chicken, dear. There! I heard it again.
Husband:  It's a duck!  Chicken don't go "quack quack".
And they went on arguing: Chicken! Duck! Chicken! Duck! Chicken....
until the wife started to get tears in her eyes.
Then the husband, looked at his wife with the tears in her eyes, and remembered why he loved her in the first place.  So, quietly he said: I'm sorry, dear, I was mistaken, it was a chicken after all.
The wife smiled through her tears and said:  Thank you, dear.
And they went on, hand in hand, strolling at the park in peace and harmony and had a wonderful evening.  And the chicken went on calling Quack, quack!

In this instance, the husband was wise, because he remembered there are more important things in life than being right.  He understood priorities.  How many times have you got into an argument with your loved one or family because of some really trivial matter, just like in the story?  When the husband insisted on "Duck!", he was right, but not correct.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Baby Xin's visit to Domain apartment

These past 4 days, J had taken the whole family back to his hometown to visit his sister.  Only Baby Xin and I did not go due to some work commitment that I had.  So during the weekend, I was left alone with Baby.  
Today  I had some more repairs to complete at the Domain, as well as a short-term tenant moving in, so I had no choice but to bring Baby Xin along.  
The good thing is that being a toddler now, she easily adapts to new environment, discovering ordinary objects that fascinates her.  Here are pictures of her at the Domain lobby, where she had fun playing on the mozaic stone seats.  So it was a great pleasure to combine my "work" as a landlady, and spending time with her.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Handling a Team

I realized I have blogged less and less about "Work" here, even though that is part of my theme.  Increasingly, it is difficult to keep a blog about work when there are so many challenges and I only want to blog about success and happiness and keep the negativity at bay.
Still I would like to be thankful for the learnings that I get, so that I keep improving myself.
Photo from: http://munei.co.za/team.html

One of the lessons is what do you do when you lead a team who may be less enthusiastic than yourself?
By "enthusiastic", I mean having the passion, the drive to go out there and execute the plans even though all the odds are against you. Doing whatever it takes doggedly, even though immediate results may not show.  And this is critical especially when you need urgency and action amongst your team to turn the situation around.
I spoke to several people regarding this, and the feedback was always the same.  When this happens, you talk to the team first, to ensure that they all understand the situation and what needs to be done.  If they know and they are still not doing it, it means that their hearts are not there with you anymore.
Worse, if there are negative people in your team, not taking ownership of their portion of work and even infecting the others with their defeatist attitude.
For most of these people, the solution is only to change the job environment.  This is where management skills will come in to handle the situation properly and objectively, not emotionally and judgmentally.  It is better this way for the person and for the manager.  The person in the team will have a chance for a new lease of life in a different work environment, and the manager gets to hire a fresh start who would not have all the burden of negativity of a long-ailing business environment.

For me, the most important is your immediate boss knows that you are doing all you can.  That way he or she can support you and vouch that you have tried your best.  In my capacity, if I am still needed here, I would do what I can, which includes weeding out the weak chain-links that do not work, and bringing in new links that will make the team stronger.  Sure, the results would be devastating for a while where the technical know-how and business relationships disappear with the old team.  But a fresh start works better than the same old doldrums of non-performance.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bicycle Seat for Baby

While I was away on company trip, J bought a new bicycle for Yuan.  This bicycle has a metal holder behind the seat, so in one stroke of ingenuity, J thought about installing a seat on that metal holder.
This is how he did it.

He removed the legs from the Ikea high chair that we have at home, and fastened the seatbelt onto the metal holder.  So the seat is now secure.  It is so much fun watching the kids take turns to ride the bicycle with the baby in the seat.

Friday, June 3, 2011

My World Vision Stamp Collection

One of the charities I support is World Vision.  I have sponsored a child since 2006 (I think).  Each year World Vision will send an annual progress report with a picture of the sponsored child and some of his writings. I think my sponsored child was 5 when I started, and he is now 11 years old.
I think it is a great charity to help underprivileged children in remote areas, for only RM50 a month.  Sometimes we don't know how much RM50 a month can do, especially in areas less fortunate than ours.

I am especially thrilled because World Vision takes the effort to select beautiful stamps to send the annual progress report of my sponsored child.   As an avid stamp collector, I show off my World Vision collection here ;-)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Successful Eye Surgery for Correcting Squints

These past 2 days I was on leave, because yesterday was Yuan's eye surgery.  She had a squint problem in both eyes.  While most are squinting inwards, her squint is outwards.  If we leave the condition for too long, she will have poor eyesight.  After I took her for the eye checkup, the paeds ophthalmologist recommended for surgery, so we chose this May school holidays to do it.
Before surgery
I didn't tell Yuan about this until the day of the surgery because I didn't want her to be afraid.  After Yuan changed into the ward clothes, the anaesthetist came along and explained to her, and she seemed to understand and was very brave about it. Yuan underwent general anesthesia, and the surgery procedure took only half an hour. We went to the eye centre at 9am and checked out at 1.30pm, so it was a hassle free, daycare procedure.
When Yuan came out she was asleep, and upon waking she was fretting because she couldn't open her eyes. But this was already told to her before the surgery, so she calmed down.  As a post-surgery gift, Yuan got a stamp album, something which she has been requesting for a while.  She couldn't see it, but she could touch it and count the pages in it.
Today we went for the post-operative checkup and I was delighted and thankful to hear the doctor said that Yuan is doing very well.  Perfectly straight eyesight, no more squinting upon testing.
For this week, Yuan has to refrain from swimming and avoid getting bath water in her eyes.  Besides that she needs to apply eye shields when she goes to sleep to prevent accidental rubbing of eyes.  We can see that the corners of her eyes are still red from the surgery scars, Yuan calls them vampire eyes.
Now I learnt that all kids before entering primary school, should have a routine eye check up with an ophthalmologist.  Another thing I am thankful about is, when Wei had his eye check up yesterday, he has perfect eyesight!  No problems, despite all the computer games, iPad games, tv etc......

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Centrifugal force

Comic from: http://xkcd.com/123/
Wei did something extraordinary and unbelievable today.  Before starting our Sunday Buddhist class this morning, and Wei helped to get a small pail of water to clean up the bookshelves in his class.   Halfway walking through the corridor, he asked me to hold the rag, and said: "Mom, I will show you magic."
There and then he started to swing his pail of water round, wanting to show me some physics law of centripetal and centrifugal force, where the water was supposed to stay in the pail.
And you know what happened, half the water spilled into the corridor hallway, and I was staring at Wei in disbelief.  Wah, I was so mad, how could he do this? I started to scold him, and quickly got a mop to mop off the mess, while he returned to the class.
Thinking back now, and telling J about it, we both laughed and laughed.  I should have taken a picture of Wei in action, swinging the pail.  Obviously he didn't swing it fast enough and didn't have the sense to try the swinging in the bathroom instead of the corridor.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Golden Rules for Career Success

I had the opportunity to come across this article which was being circulated in our office, and I can't help but think, it is so true.  So I would like to share it here, for those of you who work in a corporate environment as I am now.
Image from www.autoprofessionals.com.au

Golden Rules for Career Success

Richard Moran : Working as a business consultant all over the world, I have discovered some basic career-related rules that everyone should know – but many don’t.

* Business is made up of ambiguous victories and nebulous defects. Claim them all as victories.

* Keep track of what you do; someone is sure to ask.

* Be comfortable around senior managers, or learn to fake it.

* Never bring your boss a problem without some solution. You are getting paid to think, not to whine.

* Long hours don’t mean anything; results count, not effort.

* Write down ideas; they get lost, like good pens.

* Always arrive at work 30 minutes before your boss.

* Help other people network for jobs. You never know when your turn will come.

* Don’t take days off sick – unless you are.

* Assume no one can/will keep a secret.

* Know when you do your best – morning, night, under pressure, relaxed; schedule and prioritize your work accordingly.

* Treat everyone who works in the organization with respect and dignity, whether it be the cleaner or the managing director. Don’t ever be patronizing.

* Never appear stressed in front of a client, a customer or your boss. Take a deep breath and ask yourself: In the course of human events, how important is this?

* If you get the entrepreneurial urge, visit someone who has his own business. It may cure you.

* Acknowledging someone else’s contribution will repay you doubly.

* Career planning is an oxymoron. The most exciting opportunities tend to be unplanned.

* Always choose to do what you’ll remember ten years from now.

* The size of your office is not as important as the size of your pay cheque.

* Understand what finished work looks like and deliver your work only when it is finished.

* The person who spends all of his or her time working is not hard-working; he or she is boring.

* Know how to write business letters – including thank-you notes as well as proposals.

* Never confuse a memo with reality. Most memos from the top are political fantasy.

* Eliminate guilt. Don’t fiddle expenses, taxes or benefits, and don’t cheat colleagues.

* Reorganizations mean that someone will lose his or her job. Get on the committee that will make the recommendations.

* Job security does not exist.

* Always have an answer to the question, “What would I do if I lost my job tomorrow?”

* Go to the company Christmas party.

* Don’t get drunk at the company Christmas party.

* Avoid working at weekends. Work longer during the week if you have to.

* The most successful people in business are interesting.

* Sometimes you’ll be on a winning streak and everything will click; take maximum advantage. When the opposite is true, hold steady and wait it out.

* Never in your life say, “It’s not my job.”

* Be loyal to your career, your interests and yourself.

* Understand the skills and abilities that set your apart. Use them whenever you have an opportunity.

* People remember the end of the project. As they say in boxing, “Always finish stronger than you start”.