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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Organic Farm Visit 2012

A family outing to Genting Sempah today where we all get to be in touch with nature.
Fun, sun, rain, soil and river sums up our day.  Vegetables meals, making our own fruit/vege salad, and trying our hands at farming (harvesting, rolling the soil and planting).
Yours truly is puteri lilin, definitely not going to be exposed to the sun. See the big umbrella?
Overall a very enjoyable outing where we run barefooted in the farm, although my kids being city boy and city girls,kept asking to go wash their feet.  And when it rained while playing in the river, we all got soaked.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Stories from Zen Master Dae Bong

Here's the closing story from Zen Master that I would like to pen down for my inspiration.
Once, a Zen master has 2 disciples, one who would sit through his meditation with his back up straight, never moving and never falling asleep.  Another disciple would always be falling asleep and therefore his body rolls about during meditation.  Both of them do not like each other.  One day the Zen Master called each of them to his room, separately.
Venerable Zen Master Dae Bong (left) with a venerable nun as his translator.

To the sleepy disciple, he said, "you are always falling asleep, you should be more like your Dhamma brother, always sitting up straight and watching clearly."
To which, the disciple humbly bowed and agreed, and went back to the meditation hall to practice.
Then came the "straight" disciple.
The Zen Master said: "You, always sitting upright and checking your thoughts, you think you are doing very well?  You should be more like your Dhamma brother out there, he is always in samadhi (deep concentration) because he lets go."  To which, the disciple also humbly bowed and agreed.
The moral of the story is, it doesn't matter what kind of kamma you have, good kamma or bad kamma.  What is more important is that you use the kamma to the best of the practice.  So you may be good or you may be bad, but a wise teacher can always use the conditions to help you.  So we continue to practice in whatever conditions we have and if we have wisdom, we can turn the conditions to help us.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

1-Day of Zen

Today I completed a 1-day retreat focusing on Zen meditation.  Whatever effort I put in today, is not worth as much as practicing everyday, according to Zen Master Dae Bong.
He has likened today's practice to throwing a bucket of water over a rock, good however no long term effect.  What we should do is to practice everyday, like water dripping onto a rock everyday, and then over the years a hole on the rock will form.   Just as we lift weights everyday to build our muscles, when we need to lift something heavy one day, it would be easy for us.  Just as we practice meditating everyday, one day when we encounter something which needs attention and concentration, we can do it effortlessly.
I am thankful to have the opportunity to listen to Zen Master today.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Children's Camp 2012

The kids were enrolled into a 3-day Dhamma camp as the first thing in the school holidays.  This is the 2nd time they are attending this as a source of enrichment so that they do not just idle the days away.
As we were supposed to arrive by 9am today, at 7am the kids woke up and frantically started to pack their stuff that they would need over the 3 days.  Clothes, sweater, water bottle, towels, soap, toothbrush, comb, and a pencil box are all that are needed.
And Baby Xin, who is too young to go to camp, noticed that something was going on and started packing her bag too.  She took a pen, a comb, her sweater, and a colouring book was packed into her bag.  When the older kids were ready to go, she took all her belongings and came along.
It will be a few more years before she is qualified to go to camp.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Yuan's Chinese Fan Dance

Yuan was chosen to present at group dance at the "A Thousand People's Dinner" at her school tonight.  J and I were proud to be invited to dinner to raise funds for the school.
Due to the charity nature of the dinner, many of the supplies were either home-made or borrowed.  Here is Yuan in an over-sized cheongsam blouse, and black tights, both borrowed. Even the hair ornaments were borrowed and needed to be returned.  Makeup and hair by the Mommy.

My little dear in her Chinese dance costume

Yuan put in a lot of effort in her dance.  At the end she had to do an upward bow, which is a yoga move that I could never achieve.  I am proud of her.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Baby at 2 years, 9 months

Baby Xin has really grown into an active toddler with lots of words and songs.  She watches Disney Junior and can say many sentences:
"I feel much better now..." from Doc McStuffins.
"We did it!" from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
"I jatuh!" from her Nanny.
"What should we do now?" from I don't know where.
She can even sing the Doc McStuffins songs, with the words mixed up of course but to some sort of tune that you can make out.
When she sings any of the nursery rhyme songs whether it is Twinkle, twinkle or Baa, baa, black sheep, they all end with "Like a like a  in the sky!"
Baby pretending to sleep and wanting to be carried

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Anything Can Be

I am at the crossroads of my life now.
And I found this saying, of all places, in an Ikea brochure, and I feel it is there to remind me.

Listen to the mustn'ts, child.
Listen to the don'ts.
Listen to the shouldn'ts,
the impossibles, 
the won'ts.

Listen to the never haves,
then listen close to me..
Anything can happen, child.
Anything can be.

- Shel Silverstein

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rings - Lost and Found!

A note of gratitude to thank my lucky stars that I have found back what I lost.  Yesterday I went to do my regular facial session, and stupidly put my anniversary ring and my gold ivy ring into the bathrobe pocket.
The anniversary ring was just bought this year, and the gold ivy ring was a birthday gift from my hubby J on the year we graduated.
And then, after that, I changed back into my own clothes and forgot all about them.
I didn't even remember anything until about 6pm, 5 hours later!
Then I quickly called up the center, and they said all the bathrobes had been sent to the laundry!  I nearly fainted.  They promised to call the laundry person to look for them.
About 45 minutes later, I got a call back.  The rings were found!
But they can only deliver to the center today evening on their regular laundry collection rounds.  So I went there after work, and got my rings back.  So very thankful for the lost and found!  Thank you to the honest people who helped return things to their rightful owner.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Books Warehouse Sale

The problem with me is that I cannot resist buying books. I have forever unread books, but that doesn't stop me from buying.  OK, I am making a resolution to read every night, even if it is a small bit of a chapter everyday.
Today I finally take the kids to "sapu" books from the MPH warehouse sale.
The kids chose Big Nate and Enid Blyton books, while some of my selections are here.

Hopefully I will be able to finish these in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Raya 2012 Long Weekend

This Raya I am glad to be taking it easy at home, and also thankful that I was able to do several things:
   1. Bought 2 Math books for Yuan from Popular and coached her to do it for 2 hours to understand why     she has a problem with Math.
   2. Slept in for 2 days, getting some much needed rest.
   3. Watched Battleship with J.  It is a great movie, whoever first told me that it wasn't good, causing me to delay watching it?
   4. Finished reading "How to be a Zillionaire" by Chellie Campbell.
   5. Bought an electronic insect repellent from Groupon, hopefully it can repel the cockroaches from my house.
   6. Started reading halfway through "Inside Steve's Brain" - about Steve Jobs.
   7. Cooked one of the kids' favorite meal: Spaghetti with mushrooms, tuna and cherry tomatoes.
   8. Pampered myself with a relaxing facial session.  Bought a Royce chocolate hamper.
   9. J played badminton with the kids, while I concentrated on increasing my pedometer steps.
Parkcity evening walk

10. Went through some webinars taught by Marcus De Maria's course.
11. Caught up with friends at 2 Raya Open Houses, immersed in the spirit of "Maaf Zahir & Batin".
12. Spent lots of time enjoying Baby Xin and her many antics.
13. Spent time with Mom and my siblings at lunch and dinner
Wow, that's a good list of things that I had done.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Royce Chocolate Hamper

A special hamper with our favorite Royce chocolates from Hokkaido.
When I saw this offer, I cannot resist, because it is about time to replenish my supplies, plus the kids get to eat this chocolate!! Yeah!
So what happens to the container basket when I take everything out? It becomes my wardrobe organizer as well.
Nothing goes to waste.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Plans for Adopting a Pet

After reading about so many sad stories about animals having to be put down in SPCA and various other animal shelters, due to overpopulation and lack of adopters, I asked the children one day if they would like to have a pet dog.  Not now, but one day after we moved to a house.
Photo from: http://www.dailypuppy.com/puppies/phoebe-the-husky-mix_2009-10-05
Immediately here are the responses:
Yuan: Yes, please, can we adopt a husky?
Me:  There are no huskies in the SPCA, people don't throw away dogs like that.
Wei: Then what breeds are there?
Me:  No breeds, just mongrels.
Wei:  What are mongrels? Cross-breeds?
Me:  Yes, cross-breeds.
Wei: Then can we have a cross-breed between a husky and a golden retriever?
Me: There are no dogs like that.  Look, that dog on the street, that's a mongrel, the dogs are going to be like that.
Wei: Stupid!
Me: What?!
Wei:  I mean cute! (This boy twists his words very quickly).
Yuan: Yes, as long as we adopt a puppy, it will be cute.

I then went on to explain that having a dog is a life-long commitment, not just playing with it when it is a cute puppy and then when it grows up, it is no longer cute.  The children thought about that and is yet undecided if they can shoulder the responsibility to care for a pet.
Well, since we have a lot more time before we actually move house, we can still think about that.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday at Home

It is a very unusual Sunday that we have absolutely nothing to do, nowhere to go. J slept in for watching Olympic games late last night and the kids were in the house playing. Later in the morning, the kids have fun playing badminton, and walking around our home compounds.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

July posting before August comes

Whoa, I have left this blog space for far too long.  Here I will manage some quick posts before time flies away again, with "cheats" of backdated postings.
As usual I blame my heavy workload, but still no excuse, this is my gratitude diary and how can I have not been filling this up right?
So here's a quick post.  My dear hubby J, went to Sandakan with his mom and his 3 elderly aunties, to visit his cousin there.  So, left alone with 3 kids, I went to my mom's to spend a night.  And woke up in the morning to the kids requesting for an early morning playground session.
Here is Baby Xin in action (2.5 years old).

Baby Xin on the seesaw with Yuan, at Grandma's playground

Friday, July 27, 2012

Who was having the Happy Time?

Yuan and Wei's essay tuition teacher requested their class to be cancelled during the past school holidays, to be replaced later.  I forgot about this, and found out that there was a tuition class today, which was not the usual day.
Me: Why is there a tuition class today?
Yuan: Because during the school holidays, we were having a happy time. But, actually, I don't know who was having the happy time, us or the teacher.
Me: (speechless)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Starting Young

Dr Peter Yee created the SUCCESS boardgame, which is a game on financial management as well as the other aspects of life. It is different from Rich Dad's boardgame 101 by Kiyosaki, because Kiyosaki's only focuses on financial aspects.
Dr Peter Yee was generous to give away a boardgame each to his past students, and even organized a session to teach us how to play the boardgame.  I took Wei along to learn the game.  After an hour, we got the hang of it.  It will take many hours to play, to reach all the goals of the game.
Wei listening to Peter Yee, photo courtesy of Nadira Noor

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Kuching Work Trip

This time work commitment has taken me to Kuching for 3 days.  I am grateful that part of my work involves volunteer work to help out a good cause, the Race Against Time 2012 which is a 5-km and 7-km run to raise awareness for organ donation.
We woke up at 5am today for preparations of the run, which would flag off at 6.45am.

Starting and Finish Line
Besides organizing the t-shirt and bibs hand out yesterday, this morning we were in charged of handing certificates of completion, caps and water bottles to all who completes.
Here's the cap we got as a souvenir.
An organ donation is a gift of life

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

While we didn't do anything special for Mother's Day,  Wei and Yuan wanted to cheer up a normal day through a little activity.  They created a Mother's Day Treasure Hunt for me.

I was very gratified to see that Yuan had created all the clue rhymes where I am supposed to hunt for paper eggs, and Wei just helped with the sign and graphics.

The Clues
1. To start, find a room wher you bake tarts.
2. Find a place where families sit together, and turn on a machine that can tell you the weather.
3. Find a place where a blue sofa is there, it's very unusual, and the egg is just there.
4. Find a place where there's lots of toys, the room has three beds, but there's only one boy.
5. Find egg #4 underneath the toys

Egg # 4 says: Find a place where there is an X, it's nice over there and the....
underneath the toys there was another strip of paper that says .....comfort is max.

So the last clue was "Find a place where there is an X, it's nice over there and the comfort is max.

And at the head of my bed, there was a paper sign:  "Happy Mother's Day!."

My carnations which Yuan got from school

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Haircut on Saturday

Baby Xin is a such an easy baby for the hairdresser to do his work.  She obliged to various instructions without question, like "Look down" or "Close your eyes".  The whole job took less than 10 minutes.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Best Things in Life are In Contentment

This is a very common view from my own balcony and often we are just too busy, we failed to appreciate what is before our very own eyes.  In our quest for a better life in future, let us remember to show gratitude to what we have, for the best things in life, are very often already with us.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Old Monks Don't Lie

These few days, my revered Buddhist teacher, Ajahn Brahmavamso, came to KL for a teaching visit.  Among the many activities, my family and I attended a Buddhist Gem Fellowship charity dinner.  I attended a 1-day meditation retreat, and on Labour Day, I took both Wei and Yuan to attend a full day public seminar with Ajahn Brahm at Sunway University.
Ajahn Brahm signed Yuan's book

Ajahn Brahm is never tired of sharing his stories and jokes so that people lead more happy, peaceful and fulfilled lives.  I am thankful for the opportunity to listen to the Dhamma from him these few days.
Old Monks' Don't Lie is one story he told at the public seminar about fulfillment, which touched me very deeply.
Once upon a time, there was an old forest monk who went wandering for alms from village to village.  When it was near the Vassa months (rainy season) the old monk came upon a poor farmer's house to ask for food.  The kind farmer was happy and asked the monk to stay with him for the 3 months' rains retreat where he built a small hut for the monk and made food offerings once a day.
When the rainy season was over, the monk had to say goodbye.  The poor farmer's family was very sad to see the monk go.  But before the monk left, he told them that he wanted to thank the farmer for his kind hospitality, and he had seen with his powers that there was some treasure buried somewhere near the farmer's house.  If the farmer followed his instructions and dig up that treasure, then they will never live poor again.
The old monk gave the farmer these instructions.  "Tomorrow morning, stand at your front door, and hold a bow and arrow.  As the sun rises, aim that arrow towards the sun, and let the arrow go. Where the arrow falls, dig up a hole, and you will find the treasure."
So the poor farmer followed the old monk's instructions.  He stood at his front door, pulled up a bow and arrow, and watch the sunrise.  Then he shot the arrow at the sun, and followed the arrow.  When it fell, he dug up the land where the arrow was, hoping to find the treasure.
But instead of treasure, he found trouble, because the arrow landed in a rich man's garden.  The rich man was furious that the poor farmer had ruined his garden, and wanted to beat him up.  But before he did, the poor farmer blurted out that it wasn't his fault, an old monk told him there would be treasure where the arrow landed.  So the rich man said, "Old monks don't lie.  What he said must be true.  If there's no treasure, then it must be something wrong with your technique.  You are a thin and weak farmer.  It must be because you don't shoot the arrow strongly enough.  Tomorrow morning, I will shoot the arrow from your house.  And when we find the treasure, we will share it equally." 
The farmer agreed, and the next morning, the rich man did the same thing that the poor man did.  Only that he was indeed, a well-fed and stronger man, and he did shoot the arrow farther.  But where the arrow landed, there was no treasure, only more trouble.  For this time it landed in the army general's garden, who was furious with the rich man and wanted to punish him.  But when the rich man told his story, the general said: "Old monks don't lie.  What do you know about shooting arrows, you lazy rich man!  I am an army soldier, I will definitely have the better technique at shooting arrows.  Tomorrow, I will shoot the arrow from the poor man's house.  Then we will find the treasure and share it 3-ways."
So the General shot the arrow from the poor man's front door next morning, following the instructions of the old monk.  Where the arrow landed, which was indeed much farther away, there was still no treasure, and this time the 3 men had dug up the King's garden.  The King's guards caught them and brought them before the King, who was not pleased that his garden had been ruined.  So the General told the King about the story of the old monk.  
This time, the King was wiser.  To get to the bottom of this, he asked his guards to look for the old monk.  When they found him, the King and the 3 men all went to the farmer's house the next morning, where the King now held the bow and arrow, and prepared to follow the old monk's instructions.
The King stood at the front door, and looked at the old monk, who reaffirmed that the King was correct.  Then he waited for the rising sun, and he aimed the arrow at the sun, and again the old monk affirmed that the King was correct.  When the King pulled on the bow strings, and looked at the old monk, the old monk said, "No, that is wrong, I didn't say shoot the arrow at the sun, I said aim at the sun and let the arrow go."  So the wise King let the arrow drop right at his feet, and the old monk said that was correct.  Where the arrow landed, which was right by the front door, the men dug up a hole and in it they found a treasure chest. Old monks don't lie.

The story serves to tell us, our happiness isn't out there somewhere in the distant land or in the distant future. Our fulfillment and happiness is here and now, if only we would open our eyes to see.  We can never wait until we get a bigger house, a better job or when our children grow up to achieve happiness.  Our fulfillment is now, and we have arrived.  And Ajahn Brahm added that we had better believe him, because old monks don't lie.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ikea Rocking Horse

I am a fan for Ikea things.

So when I saw someone advertised an Ikea rocking horse which is now discontinued, and something which my Baby Xin would love, I grabbed it.  Even though I had to drive very far to meet the seller.

Thankfully, Baby Xin enjoys it.

When she sits on it, she sings: "See-saw, up and down..."

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Melaka Chess Festival - A Medal!

Wei came back at 9.30pm today, totally zonked out from having woken up at 5am to catch a bus to Melaka for the Chess Festival.  Thankfully he arrived safely and J and I were waiting outside the Olympic Hotel for him to arrive.  A very sleepy Wei emerged from the bus with all his belongings, including a medal hanging from his neck that he had not taken off even when asleep on the bus.  
He got number 4 in his category, having won 4 games, lost 1 and drawn 1, and we are very proud parents.
In the car, Wei mentioned that one of his opponents used the Sicilian Dragon move, and he countered using the Yugoslav Attack.  Sounds very Harry Potter to me.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Melaka Chess Festival

Wei is going to Melaka tomorrow, travelling outstation for the 1st time without family members.  There is a childrens' Chess Tournament at the Melaka Chess Festival tomorrow and his chess teacher asked him to join.  At first, we were reluctant to let him travel so far, he is not 11 years old yet.  But the teacher asked us again to help him out, he wanted to gather 35 kids to answer to the bus sponsor who is providing free transport.  So, Wei skips school tomorrow (yes, there is a Saturday replacement school day tomorrow).

Wei is excited, the bus is picking the kids up from Olympic council at 6am tomorrow, so we have put him in bed. I have also packed his bag for the day trip.  What's in his bag?

A sweater, in case it gets cold on the bus, a tupperware containing a snack which I will pack tomorrow morning, his pencil box with a huge angry bird key chain (to record moves), his Wolverine wallet containing RM20 for meals. And not forgetting a camera with its pouch, for the opportunity to take photo with the International Chess Grandmaster (I wonder who that is). And of course, I will add a water bottle.

I think we are as ready as can be.  Good Luck, Wei!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Marshall Goldsmith's Principles of Leadership

I was privileged to attend a leadership workshop conducted by Marshall Goldsmith in Kuala Lumpur.  He is a renowned behavioral coach and leadership thought leader, and author of the book, "What Got You Here, Won't Get You There."
Here I list down some of my key learnings from this session.

Annoying habits of leaders that we all make at some point or another, that can hold us back:
1. Winning too much (wanting to compete on everything)
2. Adding too much value (when your staff comes to us for a proposal, we always have to make changes to prove that we are superior)
3. Telling the whole world how wonderful we really are
4. Saying "I already knew that" - it dampens spirits
5. Passing judgment before the idea has a chance to even surface

We should always remember these as leaders in our daily work life and even in our life with our children.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wei's First Chess Medal, 2012

Wei brought home his chess medal today.  His school came out 2nd in the zone for the team Chess Competition 2012, and Wei is a proud member of the Boys Under-12 team.  And I am a proud mom ;-)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Yuan's Hair Salon

This sign was posted up on the kid's bedroom today. Yuan the hairdresser / entrepreneur.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Swimming Again

It all started with a pedometer that my boss bought. She became obsessed with making 10,000 steps a day, or at least 8,000 steps as advocated by our MOH.  Since then she has led a more active lifestyle, taking walks around the park even after work. Hearing her stories, I began to feel that my life was very sedentary and lacked the fitness goals that I always want to achieve for 2012.
So I decided to go swimming twice a week, in the morning before work.  I have always tried swimming after work, but it never took off because I often come home too late for anything else.

So it has been a month since I started swimming every Wed and Fri before going to work. I used to swim, but after delivering BabyXin, I hardly went back to the water. At first, I was very reluctant, thinking of the unpleasant cold water in the morning.  But when I actually did it, it wasn't so bad.  I feel more positive every day that I swam, like I could overcome anything and achieve everything that I want to. Then I noticed that my energy levels also improved and lasted longer into the day, so much so that at 7pm I still feel OK.
This is a great routine and I have the determination to continue this indefinitely.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Remembering My Father

Yuan asked me today, what my Dad was like.  My Dad passed away 14 years ago when he was only 50, a sudden event from an illness. I told Yuan, that my Dad was the kindest and most patient father in the world. He would never get angry with children, even when we did something wrong. And that was true, too.

So Yuan, with her ability to imagine what "the wrongest" thing you could do to your Dad, said:
"He wouldn't get angry? Not even if you broke his laptop or something?"

I chuckled and said, "No, not even that."
(Computers existed in the form of Ataris and 286s, what more a laptop).

"Gee, he must have been the best father in the world....."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Between Planning & Taking Action

Over the radio today, I heard a good story which I would like to share here.  It's regarding one of the radio station DJs who is on duty every afternoon. Because of his working hours, he used to just sleep in the morning until 10 or 11am.  Then one day he shared his plan with his friends, that he would wake up early at 7am every morning to take his parents to the park, so that they can get some morning exercise.

And he really did it.  The 1st day, after the morning exercise, when he went to work, he told his colleagues that he felt very tired.  The 2nd day, his mom woke him up saying: "Wake up! I thought you wanted to go for morning exercise?"  And then this new daily routine continued for 2 weeks. The parents became more motivated to go because they met other old people at the park and made new friends.  At the end of 2 weeks, he had bought 3 pairs of sports sneakers, 1 each for mom and dad, and 1 for himself, to continue this morning exercise routine.  After the exercise, they would have a hearty breakfast together.  Hence, the start of a healthier lifestyle and a great way to spend time as a family.

The story was told as an example of having an intention to do something, or planning, and actually putting the plans into action.  It takes a great deal of effort to overcome the inertia of doing things the old way.
But if we have a plan and put it into action, we will see the results, even if it is just something as simple as taking mom and dad for morning exercise.

Monday, March 12, 2012

National Age Group Chess Competition - Day 2

I am a very proud mom, even for a little bit of progress!  Today Wei won 2 out of 3 games, and ranking improved 6 places.
Tomorrow, 2 more games. I hope it will be a good confidence-boosting day for him.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wei in National Age Group Chess Competition 2012

Today is the first day of the 3-days competition. There's Wei, unranked and without much of a chance, but participating for the experience and building character. Sportsmanship, competitive pressures, playing with national-class champions, those are really the experience that I hope that he would get. And, my poor dear, on his 1st day of competition, lost 2 games and won 1. That's already great for me.
Gambatte Wei, for tomorrow and Tuesday!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"I Said Please!"

Baby Xin - Feb 2012
This morning, Baby Xin woke up and wanted to go into the bathroom to play with the water tap.  She asked me to go with her and said: "Please?" several times.
When I refused to respond, she said: "I said please!" emphatically and wanted to hold my hand to take her into the bathroom.   Another added vocabulary that she can use to her very advantage.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

12th Anniversary

J lost his ring.  Unbelievable, since he lost it at home, but it has not re-emerged despite us looking high and low for it.  So, as compensation, J got us both 12th anniversary Atlas rings.  Really beautiful.
And as the shop told us they are going to increase price by 28 Feb  (increase 10-15%), I wanted to buy a pair of matching earrings too.  And my dear hubby paid for it too.  Thanks, dear!
But I still hope that the original platinum wedding ring that we bought from Tomei 12 years ago, will be found soon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Yuan Won a Science Magazine

I am so proud of Yuan today.  She showed me a small piece of contest form which she had filled in her details in pencil, and cut out by herself. I thought she wanted me to post it for her, then she explained that she had already won the prize.  The teacher had told the class that the 3M magazine which the whole class subscribed to, had a contest running every month, and all they had to do was answer the question and put the cut-out form into a little contest box at the school bookshop.  And Yuan did just that.
So today, she received the prize in the form of a science magazine, wrapped in plastic, together with her little cut-out contest form.  What a resourceful little girl!
She said: "I've won this magazine and it is truly awesome."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Baby Xin Explains Her Water Antic

I brought a few balloons home for Baby Xin today.  She was playing with them the whole day. Then in the evening, after we have bathed and changed her, she continued playing with a balloon.  While we weren't taking notice, we heard running water sounds coming from the bathroom.  So we went to see, and lo and behold! It was Baby Xin, turning on the bathroom tap (used for filling up pails to mop the floor) and running the water on her balloon.  Of course, in the process, she got herself and her pyjamas all wet too.
When J told her to stop and what a naughty girl she was, Baby Xin went into an instant defense mode.  She came out of the bathroom and held up the balloon for us to see.  She said: "Dirty, dirty, dirty...." while holding the balloon, trying to explain she wasn't really playing with water but was washing the dirty balloon. She looked ready to burst into tears.
So, I calmly told J that I would handle the situation.  I said to Baby Xin: "Oh you were washing the balloon because it was dirty right?"  She affirmed in her "mm" which means yes.  Then I gently told her that she needed to change pyjamas because it was all wet, and led her to do so.
After she changed, I said gently to her that Papa was angry because she played with the water.  Her face turned red and she looked ready to cry again (for real or not), and I quickly said, why don't she go say sorry to Papa. And so, with fresh pyjamas on, she trotted to J and said: "Sorry!" to him.  And J couldn't do anything but smile at her and pick her up for a big hug.

I should have taken a picture of her, all wet.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bangkok Work Trip 2012

Over the past 3 days, I went to Bangkok for a work trip. But what's best about this work trip is a little leisure with food and shopping.

Food-wise, we were taken to the Blue Elephant, a Thai restaurant and cooking school, for dinner. It's located near the Surasak BTS station.  The colonial style building was beautiful, and the Thai cuisine was great.  Here is the unique tea-pot which they served lemongrass tea at the end.

Shopping-wise, this is my first encounter with this designer brand made in Thailand called Jim Thompson.  The founder was a ex-army officer from the USA who had a passion for Thai silk and made Bangkok his home, and created a business of reviving the Thai silk industry to the world.  Of course, being designer brand, prices were "designer-grade" too, however, I am thankful to have the chance to visit its factory outlet, where out-of-season merchandise were offered at discounts of nearly 50%.  I got a dress for Baby Xin and a few small items as gifts.
No matter how many times you have been to a place, there is always something new to experience. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Eve of CNY 2012

Wah.... the past weeks have been crazy with preparation for the meetings and trainings at the company, and there was hardly anytime to organize shopping and home for the CNY.  Even this weekend, on the last 2 days before CNY, we were busy cleaning and packing things away for recycling, and went to Carrefour for some last minute shopping.  Last weekend, J took all the kids for their haircut.  Baby Xin came out looking like she had a coconut shell head ;-)
Baby Xin and her coconut haircut

J's CNY gift hamper for deco

Thankfully all our shopping and cleaning is done, as much as we could, and I even had time to put some CNY deco in place.
Reunion dinner is as usual, steamboat with seafood at home, which we thoroughly enjoyed.