Monday, March 30

Bento #78

The bentos today are simple are delicious! Fried udon with green and red pepper, mushroom in oyster sauce. Side dish is tomotoes and chicken balls. Fruit of the day is kiwi. And you end off with a toblerone chocolate bar. This is what you have missed, YH. :) Anyway, I am terribly paranoid about headaches now. Hope you recover soon and it's nothing serious.

Saturday, March 28

Gone Fishing!

I read about Meekfreek bringing Izzy to Kids Kampong last weekend for longkang fishing and I thought it was fun! Then, I received Joyce's sms and she invited us to join her and Meekfreek to Bottle Tree Park for longkang fishing on Saturday. Of course I said YES! I told Jaimie about the weekend plan a few days ago and she was looking very much forward to it. In fact, she was into "fishing" lately. She would sit on the sofa and dangle a string to the floor, claiming that she was fishing.

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.

Well, actually it was Clement who caught all the fish because it wasn't easy to catch the very "street wise" longkang fishes! They knew how to hide from the fishermen! Jaimie was just following behind Clement's backside most of the time.

Same for Chai San, he was the hero who caught all the fishes for Cherrlyn.
Here comes Izzy. She was reluctant to join in at first...

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...
with our pets.

The girls had fun running, jumping and taking pictures...

...while the mommies had a great time chit chatting.

The children had some more fun at the playground before the sun set.

We had such a fun filled afternoon! Jaimie said she wanted to go fishing again. Yes, we'll definitely do this again!

Friday, March 27

Bento #77

Last night I told Clement I would not want to wake up early to make bento the next day because I was very, very tired. I needed that extra 45mins of sleep. I was not going to care about the unfinished food in the fridge.

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

I Hate Thursdays

Some of my friends know I freaking hate my Thursdays because of my extremely hectic timetable for this day.

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

Bento #76

The simpliest and plainest bento I have ever made. I am even a little hesitant to call it a bento. However, it was the yummiest! Yam cake was a special homemade one given by a lovely colleague. I can assure you that this homemade yam cake was THE BEST OF THE BEST I have ever tasted. siew mai was frozen ones which I just had to steam it. The siew mai tasted good although they were frozen food.

Not so healthy but I will make it up with a ham and cheese sandwich with loads of veggis for lunch. The sandwich was stuffed inside a plastic bag, so NO PHOTOS, PLEASE.

Tuesday, March 24

Getting Excited!

Finally, after a long wait, Jaimie got her place in the Shichida class in Toa Payoh Hub. She'll be starting her lessons in 2 weeks' time. I am so excited because...

(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.

Bento #75

A yucky day which consists of (1) a headache from the flu (2) policies which I do not agree (3) students not handing up their homework on time.

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

Bento #74

I was in a super sianz mood yesterday. When PMS meets eve of school reopening, you get a FIERY MONSTER. Sigh. After so many years in the work force, I just couldn't escape from the curse of the pre-school-reopening syndrome.

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

Hungry Frogs

Last evening we went to Jurong Point (again) to catch the Thomas Tank Engine show. After that, we went to Kiddy Palace (again) to wild away some time.

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














再谈 学习华语

(It might be too long to write as comments to reply to the previous post, so I am writing as a new post instead)



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?







Mr Baoz

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.

Enough said.

Thursday, March 19

My Thoughts on the Chinese Language

Recently, MM Lee gave his comments on the Speak Mandarin Campaign. As a Chinese teacher and a lover of the Chinese language, I welcome such support from our government with both arms.

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".

Fishy Fish

After a relaxing and rejuvenating facial at Jurong Point today, I met Clement for lunch and then we shopped around to see if there was anything to buy for Jaimie's upcoming birthday.

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 myself Jaimie.

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.

Well, it is still a family game...

Tuesday, March 17

The Taitai Dream

It started off like this.

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.

As usual, we had a fabulous time eating, chatting and laughing. We ate until so full that we could hardly walk. Joyce had to go off to meet Chai San (the birthday boy) for Swensens ice cream while Viv had to go back to her office check on her maids.

Did I just say we were so full that we could hardly walk? Well, after some shopping with Wolfgirl in Bugis Junction, we decided to extend our taitai day by having afternoon tea and dessert at MOF.

To be a taitai, you need to spend like a taitai. Hence, I bought 4 pairs of shoes today.
Just look at the details on the shoes! Each pair is about $95!!!! but they are really comfortable and pretty!!!!!! Ohh! What am I talking about? Taitais do not need to justify their spending!

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.
However, the "taitai feeling" ended the moment Jaimie stepped out of her childcare centre. I was transformed back to the desperate housewife immediately.
Cinderella's fairytale ended at midnight. Mine ended at 4.30pm, when Jaimie comes home.

Monday, March 16


Wolfgirl blogged about the outing at Fidgets. Since we have already been there a dozen times, I shall just ride on her post. :) Clement took these photos while enduring the very bad backache. Btw, we seemed to find a relief for his pain. He felt better every time we dipped into the hot pool at our place. Maybe heat therapy will do the trick!

Opps. Sorry, I digressed.

Sherrilyn and Caleb, Vivian and Ezra, Joyce and Cherrlyn were supposed to join us but they all could not make it last minute. How unfortunate. Next time, then!

Jaimie must be really hungry after the workout at Fidgets. She finished a plate of chicken rice on her own!

Sunday, March 15

A Quiet Sunday with Jaimie

It has been some time since we blogged about Jaimie. OOpps. Sorry darling, I think I have neglected you!

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. =_=
Clement was ok to walk to the market for lunch and so we went. Jaimie and I shared a bowl of fishball mee-pok. She is loving mee-pok now.
I promised her to bring her for a swim after her nap. Unfortunately, it was raining cats and dogs when she woke up. She watched Clement played Mario Kart on Wii for a while and I read her some storybooks.
She went to bed at 8.30pm, which was unusally early, I started to chat with her and asked her about school. I think she was spinning stories about what happened in school based on the questions I prompted her.
She was asleep by 9.30pm. That was very, very early. Why? Because I told her she would need to sleep IMMEDIATELY if she wanted to go to Fidgets tomorrow morning.
It has been some time since I spent such quality time with Jaimie... and I am loving it.