Perfect score

Yesterday Xian came back with his spelling book. He got one incorrect spelling. I looked at him and exclaimed.

Me: Xian! Why is this wrong?? How was it possible to mix up the 'b' and 'd'??!
Xian: (quietly looked at his book)
Me: Aiyo Xian! Why?? 'b' and 'd' are two totally different alphabets! How could you mix them up???
Xian kept quiet for a while, then he said....
Xian: Mummy! Why are you angry?

That question caused me to pause for a while.  I didn't know whether to laugh at his innocent question or my own over-enthusiasm of wanting him to get a perfect score. Maybe I was expecting him to get all correct because I was very sure that he knew the words pretty well. Or maybe I was hoping my revision with him would yield perfect score. I hope I am not turning into a kiasu parent!

Weekend hobby

Most of the time, during the weekends, I cook for Xian and Yi Yi. My menu is always simple and easy to prepare. Sometimes it is just soup with noodle. Sometimes it's normal Chinese dishes. And sometimes when time permits, I love to experiment different recipes. 

So far, I had tried to make pizza. The dough was bought from the frozen food section. I made the tomato paste and toppings myself. Not bad for my first try. Xian and Yi Yi loved it.

My first home made pizza
I had also tried to make sushi. It was actually quite simple to make although it didn't taste as 'tasty' as Sushi King. Still Xian and Yi Yi loved it.

My co-chef busy with the deco
Come to think about it, everytime I ask Xian whether my cooking is good, he always says "Ya! Nice!". How nice of him!

Mould mites

My kitchen was infested by mould mites on the first day of 2014. It was such a headache because the mites were everywhere in the kitchen. The most headache part was those mites were so small and the thought of them crawling around my house, almost invisible, made me more frustrated. The cabinet contractor insisted that it wasn't his cabinet's problem. But where on earth did the mites come from if not the cabinets? I have been living in the house for 5 years plus and I have not seen these mites before until I installed the cabinets. Chaco even bought a microscope to identify this tiny bug.

In the end, I had to call in the pest control and fogged the whole house. The whole process was so tiring and I was physically exhausted since I had to keep all my kitchen stuffs in the plastic bags and then clean the whole house after the fogging/misting. This was not a one-time process, but three times! On top of that, I had to vacuum the cabinets and mop the floor daily to clear the mould mites. I couldn't use my kitchen because whenever I turned on the stove, the mites 'rained' down from the hood. I couldn't put my kettle on my table top because at the end of the day, the mites would be 'swimming' in the kettle. It was so frustrating.

So now, after almost 2 months, the mites are almost gone... with less than 10 moving ones when I vacuum on alternate days. We even bought an air filter with HEPA to clear the mould in the kitchen, just to be on the safe site. What a war with mites! 

The tiny mites:

Kids are so funny

Xian: Does God go to toilet?
Me: Hmmm... I don't know. Maybe you ask Him?
Xian (saying out loud): God, do you go to toilet? (then pause a while)
Xian: He doesn't answer me. 
Me: (laughing) 

Yi Yi: Mummy, can I have a sweet?
Me: Ya, after I mop the floor.
(After mopping the floor)
Yi Yi: Mummy, can I have a sweet?
Me: No Yi Yi, you had too much sweet. 
Yi Yi: Ei ei ei.... Just now you said I can have my sweet after you mop the floor hoh.
Me: (laughing and speechless)

Brother and sister

This is the third month since Xian and Yi Yi are together with the same babysitter. I am very happy with this change. The most important thing is, Xian and Yi Yi get to spend more time together. Xian learns how to coax, negotiate and persuade Yi Yi to listen to him while Yi Yi learns how to share, listen and obey Xian. Although they still get into fights, they now tend to negotiate first. Most of the time, Xian gives in... Yi Yi is still too fierce and rough for him to handle. But when they are having fun together, it's such a joy to see their smiling faces.

Yi Yi wanted only Xian to drive her around
Both having fun together
Grinning happily with their ang paus
This is also the second month since they go to the same kindy. Xian has been very good at taking care of her. On the first day, Yi Yi insisted that she sits with him. She didn't want to go to her own class so the teacher took another chair and let her sit next to Xian. Xian, on the other hand, kept on telling us to go home and said that he would take care of her. Yi Yi cried only for a day or two compared to Xian last time, probably because there is Xian. Xian definitely knows how to take care of her!

Yi Yi sitting next to Xian in his class

Birthday boy and girl

December is such a beautiful month. First, it's about Christmas. Second, it's the birthdays of my two little kids. That also means we get to eat birthday cakes, twice! Last month, both Xian and Yi Yi turned 5 and 3 respectively. No big celebration, no invitations but just simple family time together. 

We managed to catch a movie together on Xian's birthday. Xian enjoyed "Frozen" but Yi Yi got restless half way through. She was more interested in walking up and down the stairs. As for Yi Yi, I bought her a school bag. Both got to choose their own birthday cake too. 

Both enjoying Xian's birthday cake
2 weeks later, both enjoying Yi Yi's birthday cake
Looking at them, I feel so blessed. They are two beautiful kids, although sometimes they drive me up the wall! 

Yi Yi is an independent and hard headed girl. She makes sure she gets what she wants. She can be sweet, but at the same time, demanding. She doesn't hold back her frustrations and shows it freely.

Xian, on the other hand, is mature. Unlike Yi Yi, he holds back his frustrations and most of the time, clenches his fists and sulks. I love to see him caring for Yi Yi. I really hope both of them grow up being close together. 

Kitchen cabinets

Last Monday, we had our kitchen cabinets installed. I didn't expect the mess and dust at all. I thought the compartments would be pre-built and all they had to do was to nail them into the walls and floor. Easy, fast, and clean, and everything would be done before the children were back... I thought and wished.

It took them almost one day to finish installing and took us the whole night to clean up the mess. The children insisted to help although we wished they would just sit still and watch us clean. After the lost war of getting them to stay off the mess, we reluctantly gave Xian a mop and Yi Yi a cloth to help wipe the bowls and plates. They were having so much fun, not to mention the tug of war for the mop. On the other hand, I was so tired of cleaning for the pass few weeks. A tired body is indeed stressful to the mind. 

Xian mopping and Yi Yi wiping
Before and after...

New school

Not long ago, Chaco and I went for kindy hunting. There are so many kindergartens in my area but to choose one that's suitable is a another story.

The first one we went was very near our house. The principal was nice but the environment wasn't that conducive. It looks old and unkempt. Of course, the fees was much cheaper. Probably half of what we would be paying for the current one. 

The second one was further away but we liked the school and principal. The school was big, clean and vibrant. It's not cheap though. We would have to pay for the December month even though it's a school holiday. Transportation is another issue. The principal gave us some transporters numbers which we called to enquire. Overall, it was too expensive. 

The third one was an eye opener for me of what I called grooming super kids. When I browsed through the books, most of them were filled with words. I was thinking to myself, " Yi Yi couldn't' even hold a pencil properly and the principal expects her to read and write all those?? She would be miserable here!". The children are also expected to do presentation with computer. Woah. Xian would also need to be assessed to determine his level and if he is not good enough, he would need to attend extra classes in the afternoon. Woah. The school provides extra lessons, eg gymnastics, swimming and  of course, those are not free. Woah. Why put so much stress on the young children?

The subsequent ones don't suit us at all too. It's either the school's environment or the school's vision. I don't like schools that are too academic driven. I believe the children can excel too with play. I can't afford if it's too expensive. Seriously. It's just kindergarten and I don't think I need to spend a fortune on that if the outcome is still the same. I also look at the teachers. It's all about gut feelings. 

Finally we found one very near our house. It is managed by a couple and I like them. They seem to have passion for children. The school's not very big and elegant, but decent enough. It's not too academic driven. So Xian and Yi Yi will be going to this school together next year. I hope we made the right choice!