May 20, 2012

Home improvements

We moved into our current house in early 2007, and five years on, things are beginning to show signs of wear and in need of repairs.  There’s a whole lot of home improvement works in my list but the work has been delayed again and again.  Reason being we are planning to get the original interior decorator cum contractor who renovated our house to work on them, but he has been busy with other bigger projects so ours repeatedly got pushed back.

In any case, we started work on our small patch of lawn in the front yard with a garden landscaper.  We had previously planted Philippines grass which required a lot of maintenance.  The grass grew quite fast and therefore needed to be cut at least once in 1-2 months.  And due to different level of exposure to sunlight, the lawn had turned ugly with patches of yellow, as Philippines grass need sunlight to grow well.  We also had a giant-leaved yam plant which was growing too huge for the small garden and encroaching into the parking area.

So one fine day, the workers came and uprooted the grass and the yam plant.

We replaced the Philippine grass with the low maintenance pearl grass, which requires little cutting or watering.  The texture of the pearl grass is not as nice as the Philippines grass, but I’d trade this for the convenience and time saving.  In place of the yam plant, we planted a bonsai-like tree which will not grow sideways.

Next project for the front yard would be to get pavers to replace the interlocking paving stones at the car porch, which has weeds growing in between, to patterned tiles for easier maintenance.

May 17, 2012

More crafts work

For the past many weeks, Yiu Yiu didn’t bring home any craft work from her classes, but we knew she was working on a giraffe.  Last Saturday, she finally came home with these:

I love the colourful giraffe.

Girls pretending to ride on the giraffe.

This, another giraffe according to her, is a ring toss toy…

 …and this is a tissue holder.

May 13, 2012

Becoming 四眼妹 (four-eyed girl)

Yiu Yiu came home from school one day, informing us that there was an eye check at school, and she was diagnosed with astigmatism.  We took her to the optometrist to get it checked out again, and confirmed her astigmatism of 1.0 Diopter.  She also has nearsightedness of 0.5 Diopter.

I asked the optometrist the reason for her sight problems, and he said that most likely it’s inborn.  A quick check on medical literature confirms that the cause of astigmatism is unknown.  It is usually present from birth, and often occurs together with nearsightedness or farsightedness.  According to an American study, nearly three in 10 children have astigmatism, and the prevalence is higher in Asian children.

While adults with a higher degree of astigmatism may realize their vision isn't as good as it should be, children who have astigmatism symptoms may not be aware they have this condition, and are unlikely to complain about blurred or distorted vision.  So parents of young child(ren), if you are reading this, please schedule regular eye exams for your child(ren) to avoid vision problem in school, which may impair their performance in school and in sports.

Back to Yiu Yiu, the optometrist recommended that she starts wearing glasses, so that she doesn’t need to strain her eyes when looking at the blackboard in school.  We shortlisted these two frames – actually she chose the pink one and I asked her to consider the purple one.  No prize for guessing which one we ended buying J

And now I present to you, the bespectacled Yiu Yiu…