Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Saturday activities

Last April, I enrolled Xian for wushu class and Yi Yi for drawing class. Both classes are on Saturdays, same time, for one and a half hour. Finally they have some activities on Saturdays, instead of just staying at home. And finally I have some "free and quiet" time on Saturdays. 

Xian seemed to enjoy himself. Wushu classes should be good for him since he is so full of energy. I hope one day he will be able to join some competitions. 

Yi Yi, on the other hand, looks forward to her drawing classes every Saturday. 

Xian, in his wushu outfit
Yi Yi, concentrating on her art work

Monday, June 15, 2015

Xian's story

Xian loves to draw and write stories. I wish I have the time to digitise all his drawings and stories. Sometimes he surprises me with stories which, to me, are just beautiful.

His story about God

My muffin is the best!

Yesterday I woke up early and made some muffins with Xian. However, they all didn't turn up well. The muffins were burnt and tasted bad. I told Xian and Yi Yi that I felt so sad because my muffin didn't taste good. In fact, the muffins were lousy. 

Xian was very kind. He planted kisses on my hand when I told him that. He said my muffins were good and he liked them. I asked whether he would bring to school. He said yes. He even commented that they were very crunchy (actually they were burnt). Then, he went on to make a certificate and a medal for me. Awww..... 

So lovely of Xian!

Yi Yi, on the other hand said that my muffins didn't taste good at all. Very honest indeed. Obviously, she didn't like my muffins. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Xian's study

Xian's mid year exam starts this week and I have been doing revision with Xian since last week. Still, I don't think we managed to cover all. There are just too many things to study. For the past few days, I have been telling Xian to study and study and study, up to the point that I think I am stressed too. 

I don't remember studying for my Primary 1 exam. I don't remember having so many books to study. There are at least 3 books per subject for Xian. Except for BM and English, all the subjects are in Chinese, which, I myself have difficulty teaching. The scope of subjects looked so different from my years. I thought Primary 1 is like taking a stroll in the park, but alas! I feel like sprinting down the street and panting for my breathe. 

I haven't decide whether to send Xian to tuition classes. I am always wondering how other parents like me cope. How do they find the time to teach their children, on top of the house chores and work? There is also a saying that it is easier for a stranger to teach your child than to teach him/her yourself. I wonder how true that is. Will Xian do better if I get him a tutor? What if I send Xian to daycare which provides homework guidance? I won't have to rush through the night doing revision with him. But then, I will have to prepared dinner for him. I might conveniently not track his performance too.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

New routine

Today is the last day of February and almost a quarter of the year is gone. Everytime I sit down to reflect and start blogging, I feel like time just zooms by with another month passed. 

Xian and Yi Yi's schooling have been smooth. Our routine seem to shift to earlier hours. Xian and Yi Yi used to sleep around 12am. Now, I rush them to bed, the latest by 10.30pm. I wake up around 5.30am to prepare breakfast. Xian leaves the house around 6.45am while Yi Yi goes to her kindy around 8am. At night, I go through their homework. 

Initially, I had a hard time trying to get them to follow the routine. Most of the time, they wake up feeling groggy and grumpy. On the bright side, after taking a good morning shower, they are all smiley and bouncy again. At night, it used to be tough getting them to sit down quietly and do their homework. Now, Xian knows that he has to do his homework before he can have his free time. It is still tough to teach two young kids at the same time. I feel that I put more attention on Xian as he has more homework, and neglected Yi Yi.

On the other hand, I am really thankful that my body still has the energy to keep up with this hectic routine. My voice box has been adjusted to the highest volume, or else they don't seem to hear what I say. I think the houses down the road can even hear my voice. They are much more independent now. But I would have drop dead tired if I had them at an older age. 

Xian wearing his own socks
Yi Yi getting ready to go to her kindy

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Xian's orientation

Xian had his orientation on 31 December last year. I was so excited! My boy's going to Primary 1. How time flies. 

The school opened just last year. So, many of the facilities are not complete yet. I could hear children crying for their parents. One was wailing so loud that the whole school could hear! All these brought back memories of me when I was in primary school decades ago.

Xian didn't have problem with me leaving him there. I knew he would be fine. I guess Chaco would have to be actively involved here because this is a Chinese school and I have difficulty understanding some of the terms the teachers use. 

I hope Xian will have a good time in his new school. I hope the teachers are dedicated, although I have no high hopes.

All ready for his orientation
Xian looked bored. I think they all looked bored.

Up north trip

Last month, I went to visit my sisters up north with my parents and kids. This time, I was the one driving because Chaco had to work. He was concerned but I was pretty comfortable driving up myself. I trust my driving skills anyway. 

So 5 of us took off on the 26 December. My sister was all ready to greet us when we reached there. She prepared nice, warm food for us and even had Christmas presents waiting right under her Christmas tree. Yi Yi loved her bear so much that she insisted on bringing it everywhere. Robots never fail to amuse Xian. 

Yi Yi's new love

The next day we went upper north to visit my youngest sister in her university. Then we all went to Dannok, Thailand. We parked the car at the border and walked across, through the immigration. Lots of people were queuing to go across the border. Nothing much to see there but plenty of stuffs to buy. We bought packets of instant noodles, though. Thank God we didn't drive into the town or else we would be stuck in a long jam.

My youngest sister's 'home'
Dannok. All we could see was two streets with lots of shops
Tired and sweaty and hot

We didn't walk far because the weather was so hot that day and bringing two young kids on hot weather was not very pleasant. Then we came back to have our dinner at the seaside. 

The kids enjoying their pony ride
Sunset with my kids and parents

We managed to visit our relatives too. I had fun there with the kids and my family. I think my parents must be very tired, sitting hours in the car. Altogether I drove 1330 km for that 4 days.

Bandung trip

Last December, we went to Bandung, Indonesia. It was a four-day free-and-easy trip from 11-14 December and this time, our flight was very early in the morning. Both Chaco and I had to get up at 2 am to get ready and the kids were literally carried from the bed into the car to the airport. But when we reached the airport, both the kids were all exited and wide awake. 

All happy and grinning, ready to take off

Bandung is the third largest city in Indonesia and it is a famous place for shopping. According to Beng Beng, our tour guide, we can buy anything we want there. The first day was spend on sight seeing in the city. Most of the building has Dutch architecture. I love the cool weather there. 

The second day was spent at the country side. The first stop was the caves. One of the caves was used as a prison. We visited a section of it and it was so disturbing to know that 200+ prisoners were dumped inside that part of the cave, with just four walls and without sunlight. 

One of the caves..

We also visited the hotspring. It was beautifully developed as a tourist spot. The kids even had a swim there. 

The kids enjoying a dip in the hotspring

We passed through tea plantation, visited the strawberry plantation and civet coffee plantation. The final destination was the floating market. I was expecting the floating market to be like the one in Thailand. To my surprise, it was a beautiful place with beautiful scenery. The boats were nicely parked by the lakeside and people could buy food from the boats. 

Bandung's version of floating market

I love the food there too. The restaurants we went to were beautiful. One of them was at the top of a hill. I wish we have restaurants like these back home.

Beautiful view from one of the restaurants

The third and fourth day were spent shopping. I only bought some shirts for the kids. Most of the shops we went to were fashion shops.. not my type. Morever, Chaco was down with diarrhea on the third day. 

Clothes were everywhere!

Overall, I enjoyed myself. Bandung is a nice place to visit, but I guess I won't want to stay long there. Coming back here, I am just so thankful for the BIG airport and clean toilets and roads.

Sibu trip

Last November, we went to Sibu for my younger sister's wedding. That was the first time we traveled as a family, together with my parents, sisters and brother-in-law. My mum had all of our blood pressure shot up to the maximum when she couldn't find her IC just before they went to the airport. They almost met with an accident along the way too. Three cars piled up in front of them and my brother-in-law managed to stop just in time and the car behind managed to sway to the side to avoid knocking my brother-in-law's car. What a day for all of us. 

Overall, we did have a good time there although it was just a short trip. The market is unique in its own way. Xian and Yi Yi enjoyed playing with the chicks there. That was the first time they see sago worms. Sibu life seems to be less hectic and chaotic compared to here. Good place for retirement. Tomato's dad was very entertaining, especially when we were at the airport. I am sure he must be very happy and yearning for grandchildren!

The beautiful girls!
Another new addition to our family
Xian with sago worms
Bet he wished he could keep them

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy birthday, kids!

How time flies! Xian will be going to Primary 1 next year. Xian has grown up quite a lot for the past few months. Although he can be rough when he plays, he still has a gentle spot. Somehow, he won’t be rough with me. Whenever he wakes up from his afternoon nap, he would come to hug me. One thing I find him really cute is when he taps on me whenever he wants to talk, especially when I am busy. He will tap on me, then starts talking, then taps on me again when I turn away and taps on me until I stop to listen to him.

Yi Yi, on the other hand, is so cheeky and fierce and demanding, exactly like a tigress. When she is upset, nothing can stop her… well, except me. Nah. Most of the time, when she is upset, I will leave her alone. Dealing with her at that moment is a waste of time. But then, after that, she would come to me and say sorry. Sometimes she says she cannot control her brain.

The two still fights but when they are in good terms, they can be really loving. It is just wonderful to see them negotiating and sharing and talking to each other. They know how to entertain each other, especially when I am tied up with work.  

This month they both turn 6 and 4 respectively. Chaco really spoiled them with toys. I, on the other hand, the more practical one (ahem) treated them nice meals and their favorite cakes. Happy birthday to my two little ones!

Xian, with his Spider cake
Two weeks later, Yi Yi with her fruit cake

Graduation day!

This year’s Xian’s last year in kindergarten. Yeap, he has graduated! I am actually quite happy with his kindergarten. It is not a perfect kindergarten and there were some hiccups here and there but if I could turn back time, I would send Xian there when he was 3. 

Xian has been taking good care of Yi Yi in the kindergarten. Next year Xian will be going to Primary 1. I wonder whether Yi Yi will miss her Ko Ko. 

Xian, the protective ko ko with Yi Yi. Their last day in the kindy together

Anyway, his graduation was simple and short. Xian was asked to tell a story on the stage. To me, he did a great job, considering that it was a last minute request from the teacher. Not only were he not stage-fright, he was giggling and laughing on the stage.

Yi Yi did a great job in her performances, too. It was really entertaining to see her, especially when she was singing her hearts out during one of her performances.

Overall, I love it. It was more for the students to have fun on the stage and not to impress the parents. I am sure the kids enjoyed themselves as much as we enjoyed their performances. 

Xian, receiving his graduation cert
Yi Yi, dancing and enjoying herself
Everyone grinning happily

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mek Mek's wedding

Mek Mek's finally married on Sept 20. It was a simple ceremony but meaningful. The happiest of all were of course Pa pa and Ma ma because Mek Mek's finally leaving the nest to start her own family.

Xian was appointed the ring boy while Yi Yi was the flower girl. I had such a fun time finding the right clothes for them. It was entertaining because for the first time, Xian got to try out all the tuxedos and vests and coats while Yi Yi got to try out all those beautiful, fluffy dresses. 

Another new member in our family
The beautiful bride and handsome groom...
and of course the beautiful flower girl and handsome ring boy!

And out of nowhere, there was a sniper.

Indeed, it was a beautiful day. May both of their lives be blissful always!