February 23, 2012

Bad things come in threes

~An entry from Yiu Yiu's perspective~

I had an extremely bad day yesterday, and for the first time in my life, I experienced the adage that things happen in threes.

It started with mummy forgetting to pack my t-shirt and shorts for PE into the green recycle bag that I bring to daycare.  I only realized her boo boo when I wanted to change into my uniform after my shower.  I normally wear my t-shirt inside the white shirt and the shorts too, so I only need to remove my pinafore and shirt during PE.  I started crying because I was worried that I might be penalized for not wearing appropriate PE attire on a PE day.  Teacher Fu quickly called mummy, and luckily mummy picked up the call.  You see, mummy was having a full day training and she doesn’t typically pick up calls during training/meeting, more so from an unfamiliar number.  That’s because Teacher Fu called from the land line, instead of the mobile phone number stored in mummy’s phone.  Anyway, mummy told Teacher Fu that she would ask po-po to go to our house to get the t-shirt and shorts, and pass them to Aunty Tan, who also fetches Yihao to school.

I was still crying inconsolably when mummy called back to inform me of the arrangement.  She told me to keep the t-shirt and shorts in my school bag, and change in the toilet before PE.  I calmed down after that and went to school.  I ended up changing in the class, as Teacher Kathleen was worried that I might get my uniform dirty in the wet toilet.

Later at night when mummy came to fetch me from po-po’s house (she was late as she had to attend the team dinner), I asked to play a while longer with Yihao, Xiaoyu and mei-mei at the car porch.  We saw a moth flying about and started chasing it.  I lost my footing and fell face down, knocking my nose and getting a nasty bump on my elbow.  It was so painful I cried for a good 5-10 minutes!

When we were home, mummy quickly helped me to pack my bag as she wanted to get us to bed since it was already 10pm but I requested for Maggi mee supper instead.  Mummy decided that it was easier to cook for us instead of putting up with two whining sisters.  While we eat, she went upstairs to take a quick shower but halfway through, she had to rush downstairs in her towel when she heard me screaming in pain.  A naughty little bee decided to sting me while I was happily savouring my Maggi mee.  It was so painful that I asked mummy to send me to the hospital emergency amidst my very loud cries.  The neighbours must have thought that I was being tortured!  Mummy saw the stinger jutting out from between my toes and wanted to remove it with her tweezer but I refused to let her, insisting that she sends me to the hospital and let the doctor remove it J  Anyway, the sharp pain subsided after a while but amidst my sobbing, I still refused to let mummy remove the stinger.  Actually I was afraid that she  was gonna poke me with the tweezer (like in getting an injection) but I was reassured when I saw that the tweezer was not like a sharp needle.  Mummy also demonstrated how she would do it by removing a loose thread from the shirt that I was wearing.  I braced myself for the ‘operation’ and was pleasantly surprised that the stinger was removed in just the blink of an eye.

So there you have it, my account of how ‘bad things come in threes’ for me yesterday.  I hope today will be a better day!

February 12, 2012

One month into Primary 1

One month into Primary 1, and whenever someone asks Yiu Yiu if she likes school, her reply has been a consistent no!  When probed further, her complaint was “The school is so hot!”  Ha ha!

Her routine now is waking up in the morning and getting herself ready, before I drop her off at the daycare before going to work.  So the poor girl needs to wake up early every day, despite attending the afternoon session.  The daycare organizes tuition class daily from 9-11am, after which the children will have their lunch and shower.  She’ll reach mum’s house about 7pm daily (6.30pm on Friday) and goes for a short bicycle ride with the neighbourhood kids before having her dinner and shower.  She only comes home when either hubby or myself reaches home.  She’ll knock off between 9.30-10pm now, which is good, coz she didn’t sleep till midnight during the school holidays.

There hasn’t been much homework yet, and Yiu Yiu has also been quite blur when it comes to homework.  There were 2-3 occasions where she came home with a big “?” in her workbooks, indicating she didn’t complete her homework.  Her defend was that she didn’t know those pages need to be completed.  Haiya!  So she now carries her a homework pouch in her school bag and places her homework inside so she won’t forget.  I also taught her to pack her school bag according to the timetable, and she packs her bag daily under my supervision.

Just one month and the zip of her pencil case is torn away and a screw is missing from the handle of her school bag

She can read simple English books, though unfortunately, we’ve not been successful in cultivating a reading habit in her.  I read with envy how this boy, who’s also in Primay 1 like her, is reading such wordy and thick books.  Yiu Yiu on the other hand, still prefer Barbie dolls to books as presents and didn’t even touch a single book during the entire year-end school holidays last year.  I guess it’s the parents’ fault, as we are not keen readers ourselves L  She can only understand a smattering of Malay, and I think I need to step up more efforts to help brush up her Malay.  Her Chinese is quite alright, and being in a Chinese school environment, I think she’ll be fine with Chinese. 

I went to her school during Federal Territory Day as I wanted to get an extra PE t-shirt for her.  I purposely went close to recess time so I could “spy” on her.  After settling the PE t-shirt matter with her class teacher, I waited for her at the catering area and saw her skipping happily in with one of her classmates.  And on her way back to class, a number of friends stopped and said hi to her – ex-kindymates, children from the same daycare and some whom I don’t even know.  Looks like this girl has no shortage of friends J

As for the catered food, on most days, she’ll tell me that she only ate some/half but on several occasions, she’s been honest to admit that she didn’t eat her food, knowing full well that I’d be upset.  And to encourage her honesty and openness, I’d applaud and tell her how much I appreciate her honesty, before nagging her J  Looks like we will not continue with the catering once this payment cycle ends in February.  I can’t be packing bento for her since the food won’t last for eight hours till recess time.  So we’ll increase her pocket money for her to buy whatever food she fancies from the canteen.

February 08, 2012

Chinese New Year 2012

This year CNY marked the first time we had pre-CNY dinner in KL. I don’t call it reunion dinner, since it wasn’t with hubby’s, nor my family. The two girls and I had dinner with babysitter’s family – we were grounded in KL coz hubby had chicken pox, which started the day we made kuih kapit. So for the first time ever, no reunion dinner at hometown.

Making faces with babysitter's children

Anyhow, hubby decided to drive back to Kuantan on the first day, since most, if not all, of the blisters had crusted over, and he’s no longer highly contagious. It was a smooth drive back, and when we turned up at parents-in-law doorstep unannounced, they were delighted.

Our dinner spread 

With their cousins from Singapore

We didn’t go for our usual visitings but it was still way better than spending a really quiet CNY in KL, minus the festive atmosphere. We also had an early birthday celebration for MIL.

We went back to Ipoh on the fourth day, again amidst smooth traffic, and made a pit stop along Karak highway for some durians.  Not fantastic, and not cheap either.

Heaps of fireworks and sparklers awaited the girls in Ipoh, courtesy of their “official” annual fireworks supplier, their 大姨姨.

We returned to KL after breakfast on the sixth day, and escaped the traffic on the North-South Highway. After unloading our stuff, we headed to hubby’s friend’s office for a CNY lunch and lion dance.

We rounded off the CNY celebration with a family dinner on Chap Goh Mei, and let the kids finish off the remainder of the fireworks and sparklers at home. Time to open the girls’ angpows and bank the loot into their accounts.

Self-guided holidays

Right after the Christmas and New Year holidays, we were greeted by the Chinese New Year holidays. And for folks working in KL, there was the Federal Territory Day break shortly after everyone started work after the Chinese New Year break. This was followed quickly by the Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday and Thaipusam holidays the last two days. That’s really one holiday after another. Little wonder than that people find it so difficult to get into the groove at work.

But holidays like this are also the best time for family get-together, perhaps a holiday away from home. And if you are like me who loves to travel independently instead of following tour groups, online travel guide is something I cannot live without. I will plan my itinerary with the help of travel website and get inside tips from those who’ve been there, done that. And of course, when deciding on which hotels to choose from the myriads of accommodation choices available, again, I’ll turn to hotel reviews online.

My criteria for accommodation choice is pretty simple – I don’t need hotels with fancy decorations, nor facilities such as fitness centre, business centre or different types of restaurants. My main criteria is that the room, and the bathroom and toilet, must be clean. Swimming pool is a must if I travel with the girls, but otherwise, I don’t mind a hotel without a pool too.

For those contemplating going it on your own for your next holiday, I’d say “Go for it!” so you have the freedom to do and see what you like, and decide on your own time to start and end each day, instead of being bound by the fixed travel itinerary. But make sure you plan well in advance to ensure you have an enjoyable holiday.

February 03, 2012


Few months back, Yiu Yiu began to not look forward to her art class, as she claimed that she doesn’t like drawing and colouring.  Instead, she said she’s interested in doing crafts so we changed her to the craft class at the same art centre.

Here are some of her handiwork since she started attending the craft class.

Molten lava cake

A pair of butterfly sandals

Hanging Butterflies decorative item, fishy key chain and rabbity stone (or perhaps paper weight?)

Pop-out birthday card and recycled paper bag

Another rabbity pencil/pen holder

 Treasure chest

CNY decoration