Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Kidzania Sunday

I was still on a quest to bond with the boys. The awfully expensive Kidzania tickets were expiring in a few weeks' time. It was a Sunday right after the March school holidays. All factors were in favour of bringing the kids to Kidzania. So we left the house at 8.15am on Sunday. 

I like to pat myself on the shoulder because the day I chose was so good that according to my friend who brought her daughter there with us, it was not crowded at all. The boys had a lot of fun.

Lucas. He smiled and laughed. The unrestricted without any worries type. How I have missed that. He hasn't been so happy in a long time. 

Luis. He was less comfortable and the poor boy was tired by 12pm. But he enjoyed too. Luis was so cute he made me want to keep on hugging and carrying him. 

But what touched me most was Lucas. I just want him to be a happy boy. On Monday he was very tired in the morning. But the happiness lasted. He held my hand on the way while walking to school. The last few weeks he sometimes didn't want to do that. Parenting needs effort. Today a parent said that being down for too long leads to depression. I can't let Lucas be that. I'm so glad that I brought them to Kidzania. And I will spend more quality time with my boys. 

Some things can't be taught

I was on my way home when I heard a loud grandpa voice, "要不要去金文泰吃了才回?". He was asking his grandson if they should have dinner outside before going home. The young man, probably of secondary school age, told in a soft embarrassed voice "不要紧”. Never mind. Because it was soft and the grandpa's hearing was not good, the same two liners repeated two more times. 

I guess that the young man brought his grandpa to the doctor's and they were on the way home. It reminded me of the times that I brought my mother to see the doctor. Because she had a whole list of chronic diseases she had many trips to the hospital each month. My siblings and I split the appointments among us. 

When I was younger in university or when I first started out to work, each time I brought my mother we made a nice trip out of it. After the visit we would go for a nice meal or shop at the supermarket. My mother enjoyed it. When I got older I started to be grumpy. I showed my black face to my mother at times and also was unresponsive to my mother. Especially when she got into the car and kept on complaining about things. When I don't respond she could feel my grumpy mood and didn't talk as much. 

You hear many times that we should cherish our parents. But it doesn't sink in. If I can bring my mother again, I'll do whatever it takes to make her happy. I won't show her my black face. I'll take the whole day off to spend with her. 

But some things can't be taught. Unfortunately. Some things can be learnt only when you feel the pain. You can't reverse the clock. I looked at the grandpa and young man, who has whipped out his smart phone. The grandpa took out a $5 note and tapped on his grandson's shoulder. The grandson lifted his head from his phone but ignored the grandpa and went back to his phone. Grandpa put the money back into his wallet and looked away. 

Thursday, 23 March 2017

A weekday in 2017

A weekday in 2017 
March 22nd, Wednesday

Lucas is in Primary One, Luis is in N2, husband is still in his same job since 10 years ago and I'm on my second month probation in my new company. 

Morning
Sometimes Lucas wakes up at 6.30am probably due to hearing our helper Jona in the kitchen. Then he will come to our bed and lie there for 10min. Today he didn't, maybe because he has been sleeping late at 10-10.30pm. My phone alarm went off at 6.30am and I slept till 6.40am. Went to Lucas' room and woke him up. 
He's not the lazing type. He wakes up in a few seconds and stands up to go eat breakfast. He had two slices of bread with honey and then asked for a third. 
I had a slice of bread with honey and a cup of newly bought detox tea. 
Usually I would have tried to skip breakfast for weight loss reasons but Lucas asked me to eat breakfast with him so we've been having breakfast in semi darkness (he doesn't like the lights on!) for weeks now. 

Then I go get ready and he goes get ready with Jona's help. This part, he's slow. 
Uttered, scolded, shouted a few "hurry up". This is usual ritual. He went into a bad mood I went into a bad mood. This is unfortunately usual too. 

7.15am - we left the house. Walked to school. At the gate I usually say "bye bye Lucas" and he will say "bye bye". I wonder why it's so hard to add "mummy" at the end. 

I then walked to the MRT station. Super crowded. Sometimes I need to wait for a train or two before I could get in. Reached office around 8.10am. 

Afternoon
Is not much to write about. Except on this day I called home and asked Lucas if he wanted to go jogging with me in the evening. These days I sometimes get guilty because I always scold him. I'm becoming like my mother. One of my childhood memories about my mother is that she scolded me everyday. 

Evening
It's important to keep your promises. While on the train at 6plus, Lucas called to ask where I was. And that Luis also wanted to go. Lucas will scoot and Luis will jog. 

Reached home and the boys wanted to show me a funny segment on Moana, which they played on the Apple TV in our room. I laid down and was so tired. Regretted promising to jog but you know, it's important to keep your promises. 

Off we go to the canal. 
 
Oh yeah he changed his mind from jogging to riding his balance bike. 

Turned left and halfway before we reached the end Luis wanted to go back. He said he was perspiring. So Lucas and I brought him back and then Luis asked "Mummy can you come back quickly?". I said it will take a while because Lucas and I are going to jog. 
Then Lucas said "let's just go two rounds (he meant to the end and back) because Luis wants us to come back quickly." Good brother. 

After reaching the end I was wasted. It's no fun jogging after a boy on scooter. It's sprinting. But Lucas is good company, he will go forward and then he will turn back or slow down to wait for me. 
When we reached the end the Gain City building had lights and he wanted to take a video for Luis. Then we turned left instead of going back the way we came. I wanted to bring him back another route just for fun. 

I think he liked it because it was like an adventure. We went straight then we reached the junction I asked if we should go straight or turn left. He looked around and identified a mini mart near our house so we turned left. Then we came upon a coffee shop. Asked him if he wanted to sit at the coffee shop and have a drink. He said he wanted to buy a cold drink back and drink with Luis. I said we will buy one after, from the mini mart next door because it's cheaper. 
He chose a white grape drink because daddy bought it for him once and it was nice. I ordered a sour plum drink. Then he decided not to drink his so he can bring it home and share with Luis. 
So he drank mine. 
 

After finishing the drink we headed back. Again we reached a junction and this time I was also unsure. We went straight. It was more like a guess. Saw a camera mounted on a lamp post and he asked why it's round and does it only capture the ground. Explained to him the round shape allows the camera to capture the view all around. 
Oh yeah it was the right way. 
Reached home finally. He shared his drink with Luis. 
 
 I looked through his bag and found that he had Chinese homework which he didn't know about. 
Did homework. 
 

By this time it's 9.30pm. I was ready to take a slow shower and rest. But Lucas wanted me to let him sleep. Scolded some but he won't budge. So I showered and then let him sleep. He was so tired he fell asleep fast. And then I'm guilty again for scolding him. 

I need to stop the scolding. Build some bonding. And pay more attention to Luis. Do better, mommy. 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

French toast

French toast

I have been thinking about my mother's French toast. Hers is usually sweet but not all pieces are equally sweet and you can't tell which are the good ones. So I will keep eating till I get a good one. Not good for the waist. 
Lucas likes the French toast at Fun Toast but it's expensive. Two slices for $3. I can't bring myself to pay regularly for that. Plus I don't like French toast that are covered with egg outside but you can still see the white bread inside. Soak it through man...
French toast can be easy. According to my brother, my mother uses egg and sugar only. But my recipe below is an 'over-thought-out' one. Just tweak it the way you want! Add less, add more, go crazy... make your signature French toast. Here's mine. 

 

Makes 3-4 super-soaked-through-with-egg slices. 

INGREDIENTS
3 eggs
1/4 cup of milk
2 tablespoons of sugar
Dash of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence 

METHOD
1) Put all ingredients into a big bowl that allows you to dip your bread easily later. 

 

2) Beat the mixture till throughly mixed. 

3) If you like you can cut your bread first. It's fun for children, even if they butchered the bread you can still dip them. No wastage. 

 

4) Get a flat base pan, use low heat and add oil. Without oil the bread burns too fast. 

 

5) Dip your bread. This is the step that determines how much you want to soak your bread. I dip each slice just before putting onto the pan. 

 

6) Drop the bread into the pan. Or put gently and close to the pan, it's safer :)

 

7) Fry till, well, you know, when it looks like cooked French toast the way you like it. Mine are usually abit burned. Add oil between slices as and when needed. 

8) Enjoy on its own or with butter and honey. 




Sunday, 19 March 2017

慈母多败儿?

I have been very frustrated with my elder son. He gets irritated easily by his brother, by things not going his way, by his requests not being met. This translates to unhappiness and complaints. 

Now I love my children. Very much. Like to smell their stinky hair much and sleep with them while they are sick much. But his behaviour has been making my husband and I very frustrated with him. 

So I thought for many days to find the root cause. At least all that training at work paid off here. 
And it dawned on me, that perhaps he's been too used to getting his own ways and when things don't go his way he feels it's unfair. All these is because we have been treating him too well. 

慈母多败儿 - good mothers can do harm to your child. I would never have thought that I will be in this situation. But I think this is it. If he continues this way he will live his life unhappily. We shall have to fix this while we can. 

From today onwards, everyday he will have to write three things that he is grateful for. I hope this helps him to see things differently. I'm not even sure that his works. I'm hoping very hard that it will. 

Friday, 9 September 2016

It comes in waves

Mother has since passed away for 1 year 3 months. It has been less painful and I don't think of her everyday. But once in a while a memory will flash by. 

The other day I was driving my in laws to Teban Gardens to attend a wake. Suddenly on the Jurong Town Hall road I thought of mother. This is the route I often take when sending mother to the hospital for her checkup. She would sit quietly beside me because I would be in a grumpy mood. 

Yesterday I brought the boys to my brother's house. Each time I go there I am drawn to the room that was meant for my mother. Even though she has not stayed there before. I still found myself opening the door and felt closer to her.

Today I was eating a croissant at Delifrance for dinner. And I thought of a time during secondary school when I bought a croissant home and went to my room to eat. When I emerged from the room mother asked why didn't I show it to her. Delifrance was a very different thing during those times. We were a traditional family and so mother was curious. 

Everyone knows that someday their parents wil be gone. For me this fact never truly sinked in until my mother passed away. Tonight I really wanted to talk to her. 

Don't have regrets. Sometimes just let things go and be happy. I miss you, Ma. 

Thursday, 1 September 2016

My birthday

Is today. 

As I get older birthdays become less elaborate. Presents become a thing of the past. Expectations should therefore moderate downwards. Otherwise the higher the expectations the higher the disappointment. 

So birthdays should be a time to be grateful. 

I am grateful for two wonderful children. When I came home this evening both boys were so excited to see me and shouted 'happy birthday mummy!' That really brightened up my day. 

I am grateful for my health. This year I had a scare with the hard lump in my breast. So I am grateful that it was nothin more than a scare. I turn 37 today and I shall make a resolution to take good care of my health consciously. My children need me. 

I am grateful for my job. I have a good manager who trusts me, a good environment that's not political and it has wonderful work life balance! It pays well too so on my birthday I can buy myself a present to make myself happy. 

I am grateful for my support system. I have wonderful in laws who help me everyday selflessly. And I have a wonderful helper whom I count myself extremely lucky to find. 

Everything is peaceful. So I am grateful. Happy birthday to me.