Where in the world is she?!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

That was my first reaction at the airport two days ago. Then it dawned on me that I might have been played out.

My ex-maid's contract would have ended in early January 09 and she indicated countless times that she wanted to renew her contract with me. She went for her home leave and was due to return two days ago. However, when we went to fetch her from the airport, she was not there and has remained un-contactable since then. Initially I had wondered if perhaps something might have happened to her but as the days passed and still no telephone call from her, I am convinced that she has pulled a fast one on me.

I simply cannot understand why she had to do this MIA thing. If she did not want to tell me face-to-face that she has changed her mind about renewing her contract with me, she could have called me from Indonesia, cook up some story if she wants to and say she is not coming back! Then I could have gone ahead to find another helper instead of waiting her.

She had been a great help around the house while she was with us but the whole pleasant experience with her has soured with how she has chosen to end the 2-year relationship. If she had been forthright, we could have said our goodbyes properly and wished her well.

As things are now, I am now urgently sourcing for another domestic helper. So here I am, running around various maid agencies, hoping to find a helper who has the potential to be a good fit for our household.

Someone told me : Without a maid, headache. Employ one, also headache. Sigh…

Wedding bells a-ringing

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Well-wishes are instore for my brother and his long-time girlfriend who will be tying the knot end of the year. It has been a dating marathon of many years for them and all of us are happy that they have finally made up their minds to get hitched.

Their good news brings back memories of my own wedding nine years ago. The hectic preparations prior to the event brings a smile to my face as I recount the countless decisions that needed to be made. We were blessed manifold by our wonderful family and friends in so many ways and we truly had a fantastic wedding, just the way we wanted it done.

Come next year, Hubby and I will be celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary. I am fully convinced that I married my soulmate, a man whom I will still choose if I have to choose a life partner again. In many ways, he is the opposite of me and in that same number of ways, he is my balance. He brings a calming balance to my vivacious side, an analytical mind to my passionate nature. He takes on the role of a creator of beautiful things to my appreciation of beauty, an ocean of thoughtful ideas to my outbursts of emotions. Dear, I love you.

I am pondering over how we will commemorate the special year. Nothing too fanciful but definitely something meaningful. Perhaps a studio photo session with our kids? A pair of couple watches? Or a nice dinner celebration with the extended family? Maybe a second honeymoon for just the two of us?

Hmm.....something to think about.

Tainted milk

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tainted milk from China

This picture in today's edition of The Straits Times brought tears to my eyes. It so poignantly speaks of the plight of thousands of Chinese infants in the latest China tainted milk scandal.

I read with horror at how thousands of infants developed kidney stones and other related health problems after consuming formula laced with melamine. My mind recoiled at the atrocities committed against such helpless and dependent victims, unable to fathom the impetus for putting innocent young lives at stake for selfish gains.

As a testament to how inter-linked the world now is and how processed many foods have become, the chain of affected food products has extended to products manufactured outside of China. I did a quick check of my fridge and ditched several 'Made in China' products into the rubbish bin. However, I remain wary as it was reported that Singapore food manufacturers use non-branded milk powder and dairy products from China. As tests continue, who knows what else will be found to be tainted too.

As a precaution, my family will be staying away from as much dairy products as possible, probably limiting ourselves to those produced in countries with their own cows.

Your son has been chosen

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ry's School Concert Emcee Script

Big Buddy came home with this small card tucked into his bag. Subsequently, his nursery teacher confirmed that he has been selected to be the emcee for his class item for the school concert. So, the purpose of the card is for us to help him memorise the scipt.

I admit I am secretly pleased and proud that Big Buddy is given the opportunity. At the same time, I wonder how he will react in front of so many people as he tends to be rather shy in the presence of crowds.

This brought to mind the time I was asked to audition for an emcee role in my junior college's production by the Chinese Literacy Drama and Debating Club. On the encouragement of my Chinese class teacher, I joined the club to improve my Mandarin. I remember standing tongue-tied on stage while being prodded and exhorted to say something to introduce the production. No prizes for guessing how that audition turned out for me.

I strongly hope Big Buddy will fare way better than his mother did then.

Tectonic movements

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The past 48 hours have been face-changing for the financial sector.

Ripple effects of the US sub-prime crisis had never hit home so close as the news about AIG, the insurer for several of our insurance policies. I read with growing unease about how Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers have been drawn into the Wall Street carnage with buy-outs by Bank of America for the former and Barclays for the latter's US units.

Events moved so quickly that it left little time for reaction, leaving many in the tailspin of the whirlwind. In a knee-jerk reaction to the AIG gloom, many responded quickly. Not that I blame them, I guess it is the survival instinct that kicked in the need to do something and not just sit and wait for the worst.

Hubby and I spent a good part of last night assessing the opportunities and risks in the current market turmoil with our financial advisor, who called to address any concerns we might have in view of the recent events. Hopefully things will pan out well in the days to come.

It is early days still. Yet I sense the peace of God even in the midst of all this, akin to being in the eye of the storm.

Eye Of The Storm

Job 5:24
You will know that your tent is secure;
you will take stock of your property
and find nothing missing.

Tile painting

Monday, September 15, 2008

We happened to walk by the Crossroads, a Yellow Ribbon Project exhibition at Marina Square yesterday. There was a booth organised by hansart, one of their sponsors and my boys were invited to try out tile painting.

Because of the age difference, both boys were given different art materials. Big Buddy was instructed to draw a design in pencil on his blank white tile before going over with paint while Little Buddy was given coloured markers and told to draw straight away on his. That went rather well till Little Buddy saw his brother working with paint and his independent streak took over.

Little Buddy demanded to be allowed to use paints with full autonomy as to how he should hold the paintbrush, what colours to use and where to apply the paint. Considering his age, he has rather good control of his fine motor skills, managing to produce a fine piece of work all on his own.

Little Buddy's Tile Painting

Big Buddy displayed an acute interpretation of his version of a dog and a cat which he painstakingly drew with a pencil but which resulted in an interesting smorgasbord of colours.

Big Buddy's Tile Painting

The session concluded with 2 proud parents and 2 happily-satisfied boys, a proud Big Buddy and a paint-streaked Little Buddy.

My very envious mom just stole Uncle Ned's underpants

Saturday, September 13, 2008

That got your attention, did it not?

I got that from a book I am reading. It is one of those tricks that school kids make up to help them remember information that never seem to stick in memory. My very envious mom just stole Uncle Ned's underpants = Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto. Cool eh?

I remember some of those myself .....

  • How do you remember your 9 Times Table? Hold up both your hands. Bend the last little finger on your left hand, showing nine remaining hands and that is 1 x 9 = 9. Bring the little finger up and bend the ring finger next to it, showing 1 finger on the left of the bent ring finger and 8 fingers to its right. The answer to 2 x 9 = 18. You get the whole 9 Times Table just by bending one finger at a time, moving from the left to the right.

  • ROYGBIV = red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Colours of the rainbow in sequence from the outer to the inner curve.

Come to think of it. Since finishing school, I have yet to encounter a situation that called upon the need to have those information remembered in sequence. But it is kind of fun, making up nonsensical acronyms, stories and what-nots just to make information stick.

Oh joy of joys

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This morning Big Buddy gave us a nice present.....a dry pull-up pants!

Finally, after a long long time, Big Buddy woke up this morning with a completely dry pull-up. The very first time despite him not having woken up in the night to use the toilet. After waking up this morning, he went to the toilet and came to tell me 'I'm dry!'. Heh heh.....maybe this is the result of telling him how wonderful Little Buddy has been at not passing urine into his diapers for the past one week.

Just as I was resigning myself to the thought that it may take him quite some time before he manages to wake up to use the toilet at night, he springs this nice surprise on us. This just proves to me yet again never to underestimate the influence of one sibling on the other and to remain optimistic in the face of challenges of bringing up children. A breakthrough will come at the moment you least expect it to.

Ride the wacky DUCK Katrina

Monday, September 8, 2008

Our family joined some friends on the Duck Tour yesterday afternoon.

We were warned that weekends are busy times and it will be advisable to pre-book the tickets especially if we had a large group. And a large group we were too - 11 adults and 12 children.

Considering the fickle weather recently, thankfully the weather held up and we had a dry and sun-hiding-behind-clouds kind of day.


Honestly, Hubby and I were not too impressed with the Duck Tour. The ride was not very comfortable and it got quite bumpy when on the road. The scenery was quite boring since the buildings have been there since eons ago and the Marina area is undergoing major construction. It was like one huge construction worksite. The only interesting bit was the informative trivia that the tour guide dished out along the way.


But the reaction of the kids was different. Big Buddy was excitedly anticipating the Duck Tour as he has this fascination with the various modes of transportation. He could not wait to get on the vehicle and Little Buddy was just game to do whatever his brother was doing. They particularly enjoyed the water part of the ride, waving and shouting hellos to the other boats that passed by.

The joy of the kids was enough to make it a satisfying trip for us. To see such bliss and enjoyment on their faces made our day.


Yes, that is the whole bunch of us.

Oh by the way, if you are contemplating a ride, be informed that Singaporeans and PRs are eligible for 30% discount off ticket prices although this is not advertised on their website.

Goodies from my online shopping

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The eagerly-awaited loot from my online shopping at Benefit arrived today via vPost. Actually I ordered them to share the base shipping cost for my supplements spree and thought that this would be as good a time as any to order something that I have been wanting to try for some time. OK OK, this is the vanity in me speaking.....

Anyway, after looking through some reviews, I got these :

1) posietint - touted as the cheekiest flush you can get from a bottle. It was a toss-up between this and the benetint and I finally decided to get this instead as it has been recommended for those with fairer complexion.


2) that gal - a brightening face primer. I have been looking around for a primer and this seems easy enough to apply.

that gal

3) dr. feelgood - an invisible balm for matte skin. There had been some feedback that it can clog up pores but I decided to take a gamble as I shine like a Christmas lightbulb after 3 hours. I wanted to see if this will be effective for me.

dr feelgood

Edited on 7 September 2008 to add :
I tried out dr. feelgood today and it did somewhat help keep the shine at bay. My makeup lasted almost 6 hours before any hint of an oily shine showed through.

Gifts for the teachers

Monday, September 1, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I was racking my brains on what to get for Big Buddy and Little Buddy's teachers at school, enrichment class and church. I had aimed to get something nice with a personal touch as gifts for them.

Finally, we settled on chocolates and Marks and Spencer biscuits and handmade the butterfly gift cards using some of Big Buddy's past artwork. The message tags were created using WordArt.

Teacher's Day

Over the course of a few hours, both boys chipped in and created these. During the past few days, both had fun handing them out to their various teachers.

Teacher's Day Gifts

Little Buddy is off diapers.....Hooray!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Toilet-training is one of those major parenting topics that many parents of young kids like to dwell on. There are severals schools of thoughts on this well-discussed topic, ranging from the hows and whens to the whys and what-not-to-dos.

I am quite laissez-faire about having my kids toilet-trained and I suspect this may be part of the reason why Big Buddy is still in night-time diapers. Anyway, my mother suggested toilet-training Little Buddy sometime back and yesterday, Little Buddy went diaper-less during his wakeful moments.

And I am so proud to announce that he only had a couple of accidents for the past two days! And that was because we forgot to bring him to the toilet. In fact, on the first day itself, he was very receptive to the idea of passing urine into the toilet bowl or potty whenever we brought him to it. Not bad, really not bad at all.

Well done Little Buddy!

Edited on 1 September 2008 to add :
Little Buddy's toilet-training is progressing very well. He has learnt to vocalise when he needs to pass urine. Today, he woke up from his afternoon nap saying that he wants to 'pass urine' and when I checked, he had a dry diaper!

Edited on 2 September 2008 to add :
Upon waking up this morning, the first thing Little Buddy said was 'pass urine'. We brought him to the toilet where he released a full load and we were so pleased to find that his diaper was completely dry.

Edited on 3 September 2008 to add :
Little Buddy woke up dry again this morning and another new achievement for him today.....

We made Little Buddy wear a diaper when we brought him out this morning as I was afraid of not being able to find a toilet in time. To our much surprise, he absolutely refused to pass urine in his diaper and insisted on us bringing him to the toilet. He managed to hold it in till we found one and the moment we pulled down his diapers, his little stream spurted out almost immediately.

I found some great blinkies

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

For some time, I have been wanting to add some blinkies to my blog to liven up the look. Finally I managed to find some time to surf around and I uncovered some interesting ones at Blinkies By Alexis, Blinkies by Sparky, Desha's Blinkies, Mel's Blinkie Swap and Tami's Blinkies.

These brought back warm memories of some 80's movies I had enjoyed :



I remember watching this with my brother after accompanying him to collect his PSLE results.

My father brought us to watch Empire Strikes Back at the now-defunct Rex Theatre.

And here are some musicals that Hubby and I love.




I remember the front few rows of audience were offered umbrellas to shield themselves from the water during the splashing rain acts.

Here are some other random ones that described my family's taste in life, or just because they are so witty and catty!

kitkat hersheys bandj monsters bob outnumbered2 makemilk dfj hgiog thankimfemale shoefits onlythebest

My Little Handy Man

Having been a witness to his father taking apart the tower fans for cleaning, Little Buddy got out his little plastic screwdriver to 'fix' the fan.

Fixing Fan

As an aside, if you have those tower fans at home, chances are, you would probably have been as frustrated as we had been in having them cleaned. There is absolutely no way in which you can take them apart other than applying brute force.

I called the service centre and was told that we can only wipe and vacuum them on the outside. "If you require a thorough cleaning, you will have to bring it down" was their ridiculous reply to my question before adding "...but you will have to pay for it".

I have five such fans at home, can you imagine how much a regular cleaning for all will cost me?! Not to mention the inconvenience caused. This will be the last time we are going to buy tower fans. Nicer to look at but terrible to maintain.

Happy Birthday Big Buddy

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

This year, we celebrated Big Buddy's 4th birthday with 2 parties - one at home for family and relations and a second one at school with his friends.

The home party was celebrated the weekend before his birthday. My mother and her helper did all the cooking and wow, what a sumptuous spread it was! We had prawn fritters, ngoh hiang, sotong youtiao, char siew, roasted pork, fishballs, mixed vegetables, fried noodles, chicken wings. For dessert, there was fruit salad and tau suan. And of course, we had a Pocoyo birthday cake, a design requested by Big Buddy.

Big Buddy's 4th Birthday Party Home

On the day of Big Buddy's birthday, he woke up nice and early. And for once, we did not have to hurry him to finish his breakfast and dress for school. He was all ready to go, dressed in his party clothes.

He had a wonderful time in school that day, sharing his birthday joy with his friends and teachers. Little Buddy came along to the party too and Big Buddy was so well-behaved and considerate towards his brother that it caught us by surprise.

Big Buddy's 4th Birthday Party School 1

Big Buddy's 4th Birthday Party School 2

Big Buddy explaining to Little Buddy what Teacher Rose is saying

And that night, we had another smaller birthday cake for him, courtesy of someone who blessed him with it. So all in all, he had 3 cakes for his 4th birthday!

Art in the family

Monday, August 18, 2008

Big Buddy's Drawing Moving

Big Buddy loves to exercise his self expression through free-form drawing. We often find him doodling with whatever media he lays his hands - all types of pens, pencils, markers or crayons on his drawing journals or just about any scrap of paper he finds.

We have encouraged him to draw and paint since less than 2 years old by providing various materials for his experimentating. I am blessed with a mother who previously taught art and had produced students with award-winning works. She had been instrumental in fanning Big Buddy's art interest and guiding him.

Over the years, Big Buddy had filled several art journals with his creations and I enjoy flipping through them to witness how his drawings have matured.

Lest anyone says I have been biased towards Big Buddy, here are some of Little Buddy's too. He has great concentration power when it comes to drawing. Similarly, he has been given his own art journals to record his emotions and thoughts. After he outgrew the stage of throwing crayons around, he has shown more interest in producing some quirky work. While Big Buddy draws with broad bold strokes, Little Buddy has been great with fine detail work. Here are his recent renditions of the Chaos Theory.

Little Buddy's Drawing

Little Buddy's Drawing 24Jul08

Jack and Jill

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Jack and Jill

For some unfathomable reason, Little Buddy absolutely adores this nursery rhyme. Somehow the concept of falling down amuses him to no end. He is almost word perfect when he recites the whole rhyme from memory, breaking into peals of giggles along the way.

Finally fixing puzzles

Monday, August 11, 2008

For the longest time, I had been wondering when Big Buddy will stop throwing puzzle pieces around and start using them the way they were meant to.

Towards the end of 2007, he started fixing bordered knob puzzles. Each puzzle piece fitted into a space meant for one puzzle piece. Apparently, he found it too amateurish so I mixed two sets together to provide him with more challenge. It proved to be still too simple and we progressed till he managed to fix all 10 sets of puzzles even though they were all mixed together.

We then gave puzzling a rest till he was given this set of 6-piece transportation puzzles. These were not individual piece puzzles and he was stumped by this new challenge. Then just today, he suddenly fixed them all up on his own!

Transportation Puzzles

Online shopping

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Today marks my first personal foray into online shopping. I had always refrained from overseas spree-ing on my own, preferring instead to join sprees organised by others. I feared the risk of encountering problems along the way and detested the hassle of liaising with the overseas merchant to sort it all out.

After hearing numerous feedback of the reliablity of this merchant, I decided to give it a try. I am proud to declare that my virgin overseas spree is with Lucky Vitamin. Yes, nothing pandering to my vanity, nothing self-gratifyingly selfish, like clothes or cosmetics. I have been buying non-GNC vitamins and supplements from this site through friends and it is way way cheaper than buying the same product locally.

It was so simple, a breeze so far, now just awaiting delivery of the shipment.

Cool robot cities

Monday, August 4, 2008

Robot City 1

I stumbled onto this interesting flash city and spent some time exploring it. Move your cursor around and you will discover that some features can be manipulated. There are two more fun robo-cities to check out, here and here. Have fun!

Busy as a bee

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Busy busy busy! That is how I would describe the past 2 months.

Business-wise, we have been swamped by RFQs as we jostle for a share of the early childhood education market. MOE and MCYS are inviting eligible preschools to submit their applications for grants given for purchases of educational products and other teaching aids. With tight deadlines to meet, I have been working late into the nights to rush out quotations.

Well, I am not complaining. Being kept busy with constructive tasks is a good sign.

In the business world, everyone seems to agree that it is all about profits. I would like to position ourselves as different. Yes, staying profitable is importable but we desire to be successful through honourable means. I desire that my character and soul to be kept from being tainted by any thing that shuns the light of day.

Sometimes, because of this stand, we lose out. And so I have been asking the Lord to bless my business, to bring in successful deals. I wanted the Lord's goodness and His glory to be manifested through what I do so that even my work can be a testimony of God's blessings.

Food for Thought

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


July 30, 2008

Doing what's right without fear or favour
By Lee Wei Ling

I WAS born and bred in Singapore. This is my home, to which I am tied by family and friends. Yet many Singaporeans find me eccentric, though most are too polite to verbalise it. I only realised how eccentric I am when one friend pointed out to me why I could not use my own yardstick to judge others.

I dislike intensely the elitist attitude of some in our upper socio-economic class. I have been accused of reverse snobbery because I tend to avoid the wealthy who flaunt their wealth ostentatiously or do not help the less fortunate members of our society.

I treat all people I meet as equals, be it a truck driver friend or a patient and friend who belongs to the richest family in Singapore.

I appraise people not by their usefulness to me but by their character. I favour those with integrity, compassion and courage. I feel too many among us place inordinate emphasis on academic performance, job status, appearance and presentation.

I am a doctor and director of the smallest public sector hospital in Singapore, the National Neuroscience Institute (NNI). I have 300 staff, of whom 100 are doctors. I emphasise to my doctors that they must do their best for every patient regardless of paying status. I also appraise my doctors on how well they care for our patients, not by how much money they bring in for NNI.

My doctors know I have friends who are likely to come in as subsidised patients. I warn them that if I find them not treating any subsidised patient well, their appraisal - and hence bonus and annual salary increments - would be negatively affected. My doctors know I will do as I say.

I remind them that the purpose of our existence and the measure of our success is how well we care for all our patients - and that this is the morally correct way to behave and should be the reason why we are doctors. In NNI, almost all patients are given the best possible treatment regardless of their paying status.

My preference for egalitarianism extends to how I interact with my staff. I am director because the organisation needs a reporting structure. But my staff are encouraged to speak out when they disagree with me. This tends to be a rarity in several institutions in Singapore. The fear that one's career path may be negatively affected is what prevents many people from speaking out.

This reflects poorly on leadership. In many organisations, superiors do not like to be contradicted by those who work under them. Intellectual arrogance is a deplorable attitude.

'Listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story,' the Desiderata tells us. It is advice we should all heed - especially leaders, especially doctors.

I speak out when I see something wrong that no one appears to be trying to correct. Not infrequently, I try to right the wrong. In doing so, I have stepped on the sensitive toes of quite a few members of the establishment. As a result, I have been labelled 'anti-establishment'. Less kind comments include: 'She dares to do so because she has a godfather'.

I am indifferent to these untrue criticisms; I report to my conscience; and I would not be able to face myself if I knew that there was a wrong that I could have righted but failed to do so.

I have no protective godfather. My father, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, would not interfere with any disciplinary measures that might be meted out to me.

And I am not anti-establishment. I am proud of what Singapore has achieved. But I am not a mouthpiece of the government. I am capable of independent thought and I can view problems or issues from a perspective that others may have overlooked.

A few months ago, I gave a talk on medical ethics to students of our Graduate Medical School. They sent me a thank-you card with a message written by each student. One wrote: 'You are a maverick, yet you are certainly not anti-establishment. You obey the moral law.' Another wrote: 'Thank you for sharing your perspective with us and being the voice that not many dare to take.'

It would be better for Singapore's medical fraternity if the young can feel this way about all of us in positions of authority.

After the Sars epidemic in 2003, the Government began to transform Singapore into a vibrant city with arts and cultural festivals, and soon, integrated resorts and night F1. But can we claim to be a civilised first world country if we do not treat all members of our society with equal care and dignity?

There are other first world countries where the disparity between the different socio- economic classes is much more extreme and social snobbery is even worse than in Singapore. But that is no excuse for Singaporeans not to try harder to treat each other with dignity and care.

After all, both the Bible and Confucius tell us not to treat others in a way that we ourselves would not want to be treated. That is a moral precept that many societies accept in theory, but do not carry out in practice.

I wish Singapore could be an exception in this as it has been in many other areas where we have surprised others with our success.

The writer is director of the National Neuroscience Institute. Think-Tank is a weekly column rotated among eight heads of research and tertiary institutions.

I read the above article with interest as I pondered over the ideas championed by the writer. Interest, based not just on the content material, but also because she wrote knowing who she is and the weight of her words.

I admire her altruistic care for patients that cross her path, paying homage to the Hippocratic Oath. I love the way she so succintly penned down her beliefs and in such a diplomatic yet strong stroke of the pen.

She might have said that she obeys only her conscience and indeed, she has been an example of overcoming set traditions to practise what she preaches. While it may not be that she is using her name to make a statement, yet I wonder....the other way round.....if she is not who she is by way of parentage, would she have been allowed to have her way of things?

Customer Service or the lack of it!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Goodness! What is this world coming to?

Hubby went to a certain GP at E**** Mall, enquired about the flu vaccine and was absolutely stunned at the service, or should I say the total lack of service he received.

He walked through the door, saw a lady cleaning the glass panels and stood there for a minute, waiting for her to attend to him. She decided that the glass panels were more important and continued on with her task. "Ahem...excuse me, may I know how much does this clinic charge for the flu vaccine?" She finally turned her attention from the panels to Hubby for a split second before rewarding him with a blank stare.

Then, a voice boomed from within the confines of the clinic, "$45". Hubby glimpsed the back of a man sitting at a desk in a farther room and deduced that he must be the doctor.

"Oh? I though it is usually about $20+?", asked Hubby.

"Sure, if you have 100 people taking the jab, I can charge $20+."

"OK, never mind then. Thanks."

However, the doctor continued jabbering on "...and if you have 200 people, I can even go lower...."

The whole exchange took place with Hubby looking at the doctor's back. The good doctor did not feel it was necessary to turn round to make eye contact. Nope, he was not attending to any patient. In fact, there were no patients at all. We thought it is basic courtesy and good etiquette to look at the person you are speaking to. Apparently not everyone agrees with us on this point.

Oh by the way, Hubby took the flu vaccine at another clinic on the same day.....for just $25.

First school fight

Monday, July 14, 2008

The school called up to inform that Big Buddy was involved in a fight with his friend. His first school fight!

The Scenario
Everyone was in class, working at the table on the worksheets Teacher set for them.

The Incident
Big Buddy looked at J's work and commented that it was "Not nice!". J got upset and threw Big Buddy's worksheet onto the floor, Big Buddy retaliated by crushing J's worksheet and that started the fight. Teacher had to intervene to separate both boys and make each apologise to each other.

The Result
Big Buddy received a tiny scratch on his nose.

When Big Buddy came home, I asked him why he told J that his drawing was not nice. "It's really not nice what!" was his reply with a frown on his face. Well, I give him credit for his honesty but err....zero for his sensitivity. Using simple language and plenty of examples, I explained to him about loving and being nice to his friends and how exercising sensitivity is one aspect of respecting our friends.

Big Buddy looked at him with a serious look as he digested all that I said but seriously, I do not really know if he fully understood it all. Anyway, he is just a 3-year-old boy, some concepts may just take more time to be grasped.

In fact, looking around, some adults do not seem to have learnt this lesson yet too.


Friday, July 11, 2008

After a bout of illness, I had been away from the gym since April. No justifiable reason for the long absence, just pure laziness. Somehow the longer you stay away, the harder it is to get back. I am not giving excuses but hey, I am sure you experienced it yourself, have you not?

Well, something someone said recently jolted me into action and so I went back to my gym workouts this week. This time round, I included additional routines into the sessions - leg raises and time on the exercise bikes.

Nautilus Exercise Bike

Cycling on this exercise bike is quite therapeutic. I was actually contemplating bringing a book to read while peddling away on this machine. However, my favourite piece of gym equipment is still the elliptical. I love the jaunty wide-ranging movements and when the right workout music comes on, I caught myself almost dancing away on it!

So far so good, for this week. I managed to hit the gym for an hour and a half before settling down to work. Let us see how I fare in the weeks to come .....

An excellent dinner

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hubby and I went to the much raved-about Morton's The Steakhouse to celebrate my birthday. We had heard about its steaks and wondered if they were really that good.

Instead of making a statement with its entrance, the restaurant went against the norm with a nondescript-looking wooden door set along a dimly lit corner of the lobby, hidden behind a pillar. The ambience inside was cosy with dim lightings but suggesting a jovial non-stuffy mood. The reception was warm, staff immediately greeted me with a 'Happy Birthday' upon realising from their reservation system that we were celebrating my birthday.

We were led to one of the booth seats lining a wall; we were given one right in the centre of the room, according us an excellent view of the restaurant going-ons. To our surprise and pleasure, instead of leaving us to slide ungracefully into our booth seat, our server moved the whole table, enabling us to sit down with ease.

Not fancying any liquer, we ordered mocktails for pre-dinner drinks - Bull Sour for Hubby and I had Passion. After a short while, we had a preview of Morton's offerings when a waiter brought a whole trolley of raw meat and vegetables and proceeded to rattle off the whole dinner menu while displaying the full range of cuts. For appetisers, we decided to go with the Colossal Shrimp Cocktail and Lobster Bisque. We were recommended a single serving of Filet Mignon for each of us and we had Lyonnaise Potatoes and Sauteed Mushrooms as sides to go with the entrees as Morton's does not serve sides with their steaks.

Shrimp Cocktail

The Shrimp Cocktail was not too bad, the shrimps were sweet, fresh and huge. I did not quite like the Lobster Bisque though as it had a bitter aftertaste although it was rich and thick. They were thoughtful enough to split the order into two dishes when informed that we would be sharing the soup. The complimentary Onion Loaf was delicious, with a wonderful aroma of warm baked bread infused with onions.

The steaks were excellent, done according to our preferences. It had a slightly charred look on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside. The mushrooms were pretty run-of-the-mill but the Lyonnaise potatoes were tasty, albeit slightly on the oily side. We were warned by our server that portions were going to be large but when the steaks arrived, they did not look too daunting. In fact, we thought we should have no problem finishing them together with the sides. How wrong we were! Halfway through, we suddenly became conscious of how our stomachs were filling up. So try as we did, we had to leave some of the sides unfinished.


We did not want to leave without trying some of the desserts and so we had the Key Lime Pie. I was also presented with a complimentary serving of the Morton's Lengendary Hot Chocolate Cake. The servers did the usual cliche thing of singing the Happy Birthday song but with a difference as they proceeded to snap a photo of Hubby and I, which was later given to me as a souvenir of our visit.

Both desserts were wonderful. The chocolate cake satisfied my sweet tooth while the tangy Key Lime Pie was a fitting finish to a great dining experience.

Angela's 35th Birthday Dinner at Morton's

Birthday Thoughts

As my birthday rolls round once again, I seem to be in a more reflective mood this year.

I ponder over the past years of my life and wonder what the future beholds. I savour my past achievements with a mixture of pride and nostalgia, and wonder what new milestone has my name on it. I look at my children and see my future in theirs too.

Over the years, I have mellowed down a lot. I see my character refined with each significant event, my maturity developed with each situation I encountered and my perspective of life moulded by the experiences I had been through. I am now more introspective, valuing quiet moments over boisterous partying, treasuring a few good friends rather than a sea of acquaintances.

Last weekend's sermon touched on God's covenant and anointing for a new season. How apt it was for this phase of my life. I felt that for the past few years, I have been in a phrase of repose. Whereas over the past few months, I have sensed that I am on the brink of something big and about to ride on the crest of the next big wave.

Oh Lord, bless me and lead me. Bring me into the next chapter of my life.

I love Pocoyo

Friday, June 27, 2008

I first met Pocoyo and his friends last month when we stumbled onto their program on Disney Playhouse. It had a very different concept for a children's program which to my surprise, worked! Big Buddy, and even Little Buddy, enjoy it very much.

The program revolves around the adventures of Pocoyo and his friends, Elly, Pato, Loula and Sleepy Bird as they explore the world around them. The characters are depicted in bold block colours with very little accessories. To further minimise distraction, the usage of props is kept to a minimal and when present, are always integral to the storyline. All these help young children focus on the main points. The storylines are simple, often exploring a single concept per show. Narrator Stephen Fry does a great job as he guides Pocoyo along, often engaging the viewer to participate too.

As for me, I love the artwork, humour and the antics.

Hey, I sound as if I am Zinkia Entertainment's spokesman, raving on and on about this precocious little boy! Anyway, I invite you to check it out and let me know what you think.