Monday, March 30
Saturday, March 28
When we reached the Bottle Tree Park, she wanted to jump into the longkang immediately but we held her back and asked her to wait for her friends to arrive. She was really, really excited about the longkang fishing. While waiting for Cherrlyn and Izzy to arrive, she admired people's catch.
Finally, she went into the longkang. She was so happy to catch the first fish. Wait, I think it's Clement who caught the fish. Nevermind.
Same for Chai San, he was the hero who caught all the fishes for Cherrlyn.
but later Jeff needed to take some time to convince her to get out of the longkang. So did the rest of us. The kids (and their daddies) had such a great time playing in the longkang!
After an hour of water fun, we had dinner together at the restaurant. The food was yummy yummy yummy! Thank you, Jeff and Meekfreek, for the generous treat!
After dinner, we took a walk around the park...
Friday, March 27
However, this morning at 4am, the princess who had gone diaperless for almost a year had a little accident. She wet herself a little before she woke up and told me she wanted to go to the toilet. After cleaning her up and changed her pyjamas, I looked at the clock -- 4am.
Oh well. Since my mom gave me some yummy fried carrots yesterday, I shall just cook some brown rice to go along with it. Aiyah, there's a little broccoli left. Ok, I shall slice them up and blanch them. Hmmm... some seaweed chicken will taste good, throw a few in the oven lah. Ohhh.. so many tomatoes and zucchini left, huh. Pack them in the box, don't waste food.
What? I made my bento #77 at 4am?
Excellent. Let me go back to bed now.
Thursday, March 26
5.5hours of lessons is stretching my physical endurance to its limits. Most of the time, because of lessons progress, it is impossible to plan for some classes to do work during class time. In other words, I have to stand for 5.5hours in front of a class of 20-30 students, use my strength to project my voice for 5.5hours, concentrate very hard for 5.5hours... it is entirely different from sitting behind your working desk for 5.5hours.
Like today, I ended my day with a bad ache at the back of my neck which stretched down to my entire back. My throat felt a little sore. I am having this lightheaded sensation that if I turn my body too fast, I might lose my balance. Needless to say, I am not in a good mood either due to the physical and mental tiredness.
Well, I don't blame the timetabling committee for such timetables because they have many, many, many constraints to look into. And I am not saying I am the most pathetic soul because there are many people who worked really hard too. I am just letting off steam here.
Wednesday, March 25
Tuesday, March 24
(1) the place that sells absolutely the best kaya toast, Yat Kun is available at TPH.
(2) there are 2 stalls which sell absolutely tasty roast pork.
(3) there is a bubble tea shop which sells expensive but absolutely the best bubble tea I have ever drank.
(4) I can walk over to Fortunate Restaurant for an absolutely sinful dim sum breakfast.
(5) I am absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to choice of food in TPH.
...and I am absolutely excited for all the wrong reasons.
A happy day which consists of (1) a yummy yam cake from a colleague whom I respect and love a lot (2) fish crackers from Taiwan -- Happy Pig is so generous to share half of what she has with me! (3) happy moments with Jaimie and Clement.
Monday, March 23
The "sianz" feeling spilled over to today. The only time I didn't feel sian was when I was making the bentos and when my last lesson for the day ended.
Anyway, the terriyaki chicken was overcooked and it became very tough, sianz...
The hard boiled eggs were too small for the mould and it didn't turn out very nicely,sianz...
80% of my students had never heard of Sun Yet Sen, or Sun Zhongshan, or 孙中山... sianz.
I am about to catch a flu. I am having a runny nose for the whole day, sianz.....!!!!!
Sunday, March 22
Since the Fishing game I bought for Jaimie didn't turn out quite well as a family game, I wanted to buy another game. While walking around the store, I suddenly thought of "Hungry Hippo". It would be a simple and perfect game for us! Clement couldn't find any "Hungry Hippo" but he found "Hungry Frogs" instead. Ok lah, "boh Hippo Frog mah ho". More importantly, the none originals were much cheaper.
Friday, March 20
做惯了奴隶，都忘了自己是自己的主人。现在，我们的下一代竟然问：“我为什么要学华语？”对不起，他们是说:" Why must I learn Chinese?"更让人感到可悲的，是他们还引以为傲地说:"I don't know how to speak Mandarin."我眼中的他们，是一群手脚铐上铁链，脖子架着一个枷锁的奴役，自豪地说：“我为什么要自由？”当然，这是他们的自由。林肯总统要解放黑奴，黑奴也可以指责林肯说，你为什么硬要给我锁匙强迫我打开我的脚镣？
My Malaysian colleague, Violet bought me a bun from Mr Baoz.
I wasted no time in sinking my teeth into the delicious and pretty looking fusion steamed bun that I forgot to take picture of it.
I bugged my brother to go to JB City Square to buy the buns for me. Clement and I ate 6 buns in a day. We forgot to take pictures again. By the time we remembered, the buns were already in our stomach. Each bun is the same size as the big steamed pork bun you get from Hong Guan.
I am looking forward to Violet buying more buns for us to share on Monday morning when school reopens.
Thursday, March 19
In our family, we try to speak in proper language. My parents speak to Jaimie in proper Cantonese, myself and my in laws speak to Jaimie in proper Mandrain (because the 3 of us are Chinese teachers!) and Clement in proper English. There are many times we slipped into the casual mode and started to speak in Singlish/ mixing 2 languages but we tried as much as we can to speak properly.
Recently, we realised that Jaimie is speaking more and more of English. She is using a lot of English to express herself. We were happy with her ability to communicate in the English language and we are still happy although Clement and I have decided that we will do some adjustment with the home language used.
Clement is the only person speaking to Jaimie in English. As for me, sometimes I do too but most of the time I still speak Mandarin. We started off this way with the intention of allowing Jaimie to learn 2 languages at the same time. However, as MM Lee suggested, it is better for BOTH parents to speak in Mandarin to their children at home even if they are effectively bilingual. We see his point. As you can see, the number of adults using Mandarin to communicate with Jaimie to the number of adults using English is about 3:1. However, the use of English in the social and school environment is strong that Jaimie is gravitated to speaking in English more. If we do not do some adjustment at home as MM Lee had suggested, Jaimie will probably lose her interest in the Chinese language in a few years' time. By then, it will be too late to revert the situation.
Many people think that Chinese is more difficult to learn than English. Indeed, with each chinese character is a picture on its own and it has no phoenics to assist in the learning, it is relatively harder. The Chinese language is a right brain language because it requires more pictorial memory of the brain while English is more of a left brain language. Perhaps that is the reason why some people find it difficult to remember the strokes.
Personally, I really hate it when people associate the importance of learning Chinese with the economic rising of China. No doubt that is one of the reasons and motivations but I do not like it at all. In my 12 years of teaching, I have never once used that as a reason to encourage my students to do well in the language. I do not even discuss with them why must they pay attention in my class. The richess of the Chinese culture, the stories behind each idiom, the origins of the words are enough to captivate them and make them not-hate the language. In fact, a lot of my students told me that they had never known that Chinese is such an interesting and fun language and they looked forward to Chinese lessons. And I can proudly tell you that the percentage of my students achieving distinctions in major exams is quite satisfactory.
I am not being a show off here. I am just sharing the fact that to learn a language well, you need to first like the language. That goes the same for everything, actually. Hence, in my opinion, there is no such thing as a "difficult language".
Toys R Us had moved out so we went to Kiddy Palace to look around. We didn't find anything very appropriate for birthday yet but I decided to buy the fishing game for
In the evening when we returned from my MIL's place, I opened the box excitedly and put in 2 AA batteries. I gave Jaimie and Clement a fishing rod each and with the digital Latin music, we started to play the fishing game.
It wasn't that easy, really. Step 1, you have to wait for the fish to open its mouth. Step 2, you need to drop the hook accurately into the fish's mouth at the right timing. Step 3, you need to pull out the fish gently from the spinning disc. Jaimie could hardly catch a fish even with us helping her with step 1 and 2. In the end, she gave up and started stealing our fish and claimed that they were her catch.
I pictured the 3 of us playing the fishing game together when I bought this toy. Well, in the end the 3 of us did play together but the scenario was a little different from what I imagined it to be. Clement and I were having a competition to see who caught more fishes. I lost all the games. Jaimie was pretending to be a chef and prepared the poisson with all her fine cutlery skills and exotic seasoning.
Tuesday, March 17
So, today, the 4 taitais met at the Hanabi Restuarant at Odeon Towers. When we met, of course, as taitais, we started by admiring one another's outfit and accessories and sang praises of one another for an ego boost. All of us came in our most taitai possible outfit and put on full makeup.
We actually wanted to use the self-timer function on the camera to take the pictures but because we all looked so taitai, a very kind angmo didn't think we know how to do it and offered to take the group pics for us. He must have thought that we were desperate housewives.
To be a taitai, you need to spend like a taitai. Hence, I bought 4 pairs of shoes today.
I bought some clothes too. Going back home in hands full of shopping bags is an important characterisic of a taitai.
We had such a fun day today.
Monday, March 16
Opps. Sorry, I digressed.
Jaimie must be really hungry after the workout at Fidgets. She finished a plate of chicken rice on her own!
Sunday, March 15
To make up for it, I spent the whole day with Jaimie today. In the morning after watching some children's educational program on channel 8, I brought out some crayons and drawing papers to do some colouring with her.
We had a few rounds of Memory Game whereby she was to flip the cards to look for the cards with the identical objects. I started with 2 sets and slowly progressed to 5 sets of cards. She needed a little help from me but generally she was able to remember most of the cards. The picture below was her doing her victory dance when she completed her set of 5 cards. =_=