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!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Xian the recruiter

Two days ago Xian told me that he taught Yi Yi how to write Chinese words. 

Me: That was very nice of you to teach mei mei! What words did u teach? 
Xian: I taught her how to trace the strokes in my homework book. 
Me: Ha? You mean mei mei drew on your book? 
Xian: Yup.
Me: You asked her to finish your homework??
Xian: No! I was teaching her. I even taught her how to colour the pictures in my book.

Wah. Looks like he recruited Yi Yi to finish his homework. Very clever. 

Monday, September 01, 2014

My first letter from Xian

Just now, I was upset with Xian because he insisted that I teach him how to do a puzzle book. I told him that it was too tough for him because he wouldn't understand what they meant. I took another book for him but he sulked and threw tantrums. So, I kept all the books and walked away. He knew I was upset.

After a while, he threw me an envelope.

Written on the envelope
Content of the letter
And subsequently, more letters, with 'I love you'

I have not had such letter for a long, long time. It definitely made me laugh. If everyone writes such letter, the world would be very peaceful! Xian definitely knows how to steal my heart!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Holiday Trip to Philippines

Last month we went to Philippines with Chaco's boss's family. We stopped by at Manila for 3 days before heading towards Boracay. I had not heard of Boracay before. All I knew was that it is a beautiful island, one of the best in the world.

Xian and Yi Yi were super excited about this trip. They were so excited about boarding a plane. They were so excited about going to beach. They were so excited about going for a holiday. This was just their 2nd trip overseas.

The happy faces

Our first destination was Manila. When we got there, it was already evening. The good thing was that our hotel was just next to a very happening place. The whole stretch of seaside walkway was full of people, with lots of restaurants and mini funfairs. I love the sea wind. It was so windy and cooling. 

The next day, while the rest went shopping, we took a taxi to Old Manila. Old Manila is a place with many historical buildings. Some are churches, some are forts. Most forts have just the walls remaining. Four of us managed to squeeze into a trishaw. We felt so cheated because initially we thought it was only 300 pesos to tour the place. Half way through the tour, the guy told us that it was 250 pesos per hour! Anyway, by the time we finished touring, it was night. Chaco managed to bargain until 1000 pesos from 2000 pesos. 

Super thin guy bringing us four. 
He said he has 3 kids to feed.
Roman Catholic Cathedral of Manila. 
Such magnificent architecture.
The happy four in front of the cathedral
One of the forts. Xian and Yi Yi pretending that 
they were protecting their 'castle'

The next morning, we took the plane to Boracay. I thought it was just a short journey. Little did I know that after we got off from the plane, we had to take a bus to the jetty. That was more than an hour's journey. Then we had to take the ferry to the island. From there, we had to take a van to our hotel. Since the hotel was inside the beach area, we had to walk in. What a long journey! But by the time we got there, I was so enchanted by the beautiful sea and windy weather. It was just beautiful. The beach is long with a whole stretch of shops, restaurants and hotels. We could just walk to the beach right in front of our hotel. The beach seems to be bustling with activities the whole day. At night, it was even more happening. 

Two 'once a while' loving siblings

Initially, Xian and Yi Yi were grumpy about the sand. They didn't like the sand in their slippers. They said it's dirty. They preferred the swimming pool. After a while, they got so used to it and they enjoyed it so much. One thing exciting about here was the unpredictable weather. One moment the sun would be out, the next moment, it would be raining. The same cycle could go on for about 6 to 7 times a day! That kept us so busy running in and out of our hotel. It was so frequent that we had to look for shelter right after we applied the sunblock and the sun was out just 2 minutes ago! 

Warming up..
And loving the waves...
And enjoying it so much

We even went island hopping on the 2nd day. We had to go to the other side of the island which was less windy. It seemed to be sunny the whole day on this side!

Another side of the island: hot and less windy
Xian on the jetski with Chaco


Throughout the trip, we had good food. We had lobsters and crabs and prawns. We had buffet dinners. Chaco's boss broke the record of eating 50+ oysters. Gasps!

It was fun. I love the wind. It was so strong that I couldn't even hold the umbrella when it rained. The beach is clean and I think the people there really did a good job by keeping it that way. 

The last day

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Breastfeeding and child birth

Recently Xian has been asking me questions.

Xian: Mummy! I saw women putting babies to their breasts!
Me: That is called breastfeeding. I breast fed you last time too. 
Xian (with his eyes wide open): Ha?!
Me: Yeap! I breast fed you. 
Xian: You mean my mouth is at your nipple?!
Me: Yes. Why? 
Xian (with his eyes wide open again): Ha??!
... and I had to explain to him about the best milk in the whole world.

Xian: Mummy! Did you cut open your tummy when I was born?
Me: Nope. 
Xian: Then how?
Me: Well, through the vagina.
Xian (with his eyes wide open): Ha??! Vagina??! 
Me: Yes. Why?
... and sometimes he would say "I don't want to talk about this anymore". 

Cycling

Last month we went cycling at Bukit Cahaya. I think the last time I went there was probably 7 or 8 years ago. Nothing much changed. Everything looked almost the same as far as I can remember. The only change I noticed was another new bicycle rental booth. 

We brought along Xian and Yi Yi's bicycles, thinking that it would be nice to let them cycle themselves. But then, looking at the slopes, we decided to rent two bicycles which has a child carriage at the back. That was definitely more practical. If not, I believe we would be pushing their bicycles instead of them cycling. 

It was fun, but tiring! Age is really catching up. I don't have the stamina to cycle up those steep slopes. I had to stop occasionally to catch my breathe. Xian and Yi Yi definitely enjoyed being chauffeured driven. 

Me and my passenger 
Chaco, with Xian grinning happily

School's feedback

Last Saturday we had a meeting with Xian and Yi Yi's teacher. Basically it was a session to update us on their progress. 

I was expecting some lecture from Yi Yi's teacher because Yi Yi had bitten a boy few days before. Chaco received a call from the teacher right after the incident and he was told that it was not a normal behaviour. Xian said the bite mark was bad.

But then, on that day, everything was positive. The teacher said that they are smart students. Yi Yi is a nice girl but fierce and whatever she wants, she gets it. The boy bitten by her didn't even wail. Instead, he cried softly and the teacher thought that he had a stomachache. She only realised that he was bitten when she saw the bite mark on his hand. Poor boy. Yi Yi also has the habit of pinching people. When she said that, she repeated looked at us. I wonder why! 

Anyway, as for Xian, he did well in his assessment. He scored at least 90% in his papers. His only problem is his attention span. 

Overall, they did well. That was very encouraging.