Friday, December 22, 2006

This Christmas as we celebrated with the world, the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we also mourned with our friends their lost of a loved one.
Just 4 days before Christmas, we received a message from our friend that their 2 months old baby has passed on to be with the Lord.
The baby has never left hospital since birth, fighting for his life in ICU after an open heart surgery when he was few days old.
I really feel for the parents, because my second daughter also had an open heart surgery when she was 3 days old.
I was very sad when I heard the news that day, but later I remembered reading a book by Chris Pringle saying God will take care of the babies in heaven while they wait for the parents to come.
Here's an extract from the book:
It is but a distant memory
The day you went away
Not quite sure what to say
Silent tears of confusion
Were quickly brushed away.
Life goes on they say
Did you know I loved you?
Did you know I cared?
Did you hear me talking to you
As you were being prepared?
I'm so sorry I wasn't strong for you
So sorry I let you go
We were only together a few weeks
And you never get to grow.
Life goes on they say
He took you slowly on angel's wings
Away from all the pain
Soaring high throughout the heavens
Never looking back again
Arriving at His special place
He welcomed you with love
Stay here with me in heaven
Until your mother comes above
It's not the sort of thing you talk about
"Get on with it" they say
But someone did talk about it,
And now we're on our way. Yeah!

(Quoted from the book Jesse found in heaven... by Chris Pringle)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Orchard Road Christmas

Have You Heard??!!?? Its snowing in Singapore!!!


But it doesn't look cold ya??...

Ok Ok... Its just foam...

Its part of the attraction in Tanglin Mall near Orchard Road. They have it every year during Christmas season.

Moments before the "snow" comes, kids gathered around the area, some were wearing rain coat, some in swimming costume. All prepared to have a good time of "Foam Party".

Isabel doesn't want to join in at first, but later could not resist the bubbles.

Kids love bubbles and foam. There must be at least a hundred kids playing in the foam. It reminds me of the scene in Happy Feet, where the baby penguins and their parents always able to find each other in the crowd.

This is my dear sister with Isabel. Isabel looks a lot like her. That's where she gets her good looks.

For this season, the new attraction in Orchard Road is the Christmas Nativity Village, it tells the story of Christmas. As you walk along, you'll see people dressed in costume of ancient time, you'll feel you are back in time to wittness the birth of Christ.

Starting from the 3 wise men following the star to the place where our Lord and Savior Jesus was born. Here the wise men are not that rich, they were holding donation boxes and asking for donations. But that has nothing to do with the story.

They are using real horns as trumpets, it sounds very nice.

These 2 are pretending to be Princesses standing in front of their castle.

Beside the story telling, there are many performers like this group of students from Dunman High playing Christmas music along the road. I must say they are very good.

The senior citizen not wanting to let the youngster to hog the lime light, came and joined the fun in street busking. They got their Er-hu and guitars forming a band of oldies.

This young girl from Philippine has a FANTASTIC voice. God has given her a powerful, clear and beautiful voice, instead of becoming a pop singer, she chose to sing only to praise and worship God, how wonderful.

Well, Christmas is near, have you done your shopping yet?

Friday, December 08, 2006

First Family Cinema Experience

We promised Isabel to bring her go watch Happy Feet, so we went to the Plaza Singapura for an afternoon show.

It was our first time watching a movie with both of them in the cinema. Isabel was excited, but so was Ally.

Before we came in to our seats, Ally was pointing to the posters of the "Happy Feet" shouting "Happy Feet"... every poster...

While inside the cinema, the girls behaved very well, no shouting or climbing in and out of the seats. No one was afraid of the dark.

I looked around and found that there were plenty of adults and some are even senior elderly instead of some children all over.

I guess with such good reviews from the film critics and the fact that it overshadowed the new James Bond movie for many weeks in many countries, I'm not surprised to see more adults than children watching this show.

I love the movie, but my lovely wife doesn't share the same sentiment neither does Isabel.
Apparently she got frightened by the scene where the seal jumped out of the water and chased our hero all over.

And she's upset that the penguins are locked in the zoo for the people to watch. Maybe one day she'll become an animal rights activist.

Anyway, I love the movie... the songs, the dance, the drama. The graphics are so realistic, I hardly noticed its not real.

As for Ally, she fell asleep 15mins into the movie... woke up 10 mins before it ended.

At least "Got head, got tail" lah.

Monday, December 04, 2006

One of my life long unfulfilled dreams is to join the "Iron Man Challenge" -- The Triathelon... Swim, Cycle and run.

But procrastination has caused me to delay the training... Now I have a new reason...

I tore my Fibrous Band.

I was in an open field playing with my daughters, they ran ahead, I gave chase. I wanted to cut their path by running faster in another direction, but just as I pushed harder... I felt a "Pop" in my left foot.

It was more like a rubber band stretching beyond the max and snapped.

The pain was not instance, it gradually creeped in as I walk. Soon it can't bear my weight, I have to start to limp on one foot.

The next day was bad... I couldn't even walk 50 m without stopping and lean on something.

I went to the clinic today, but the doctor say he couldn't do anything but give me pain-killer and advised me to rest my foot, I should be well in a week, then go back to see him after 2 weeks.

I got 2 days MC. :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Girls will be girls

I have 2 beautiful daughters, one skinny, one chubby.

I never could guess what their character will be but for sure they are born different.

I always thought Isabel is kind of not girly enough, when she was 2+, she fought with boys in the Childcare centre and got complained by the teachers.

She seldom wear skirt, it has always been pants or shorts.

Actually it has never been her choice to wear pants or skirt, it has always been our choice to make her wear pants and jeans as she has yet to learn to sit properly like a lady.

She's actively running around, climb up and down chairs, hopping around.

But after she get to know the Disney characters "Princess" she starts to want to dress like them.

She wants to wear beautiful long dresses, especially when going to parties and meet her friends, she doesn't really want to be seen wearing pants.

She yearns to be a princess, to wears beautiful sparkling dress dance on the dance floor.

She even asked me to be a king so that she can be a princess...

Now even her pajamas she wants it to be long dress.

I guess girls will always be girls, that's how God made them.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy birthday to my lovely wife


To My Lovely Wife:

This will be your best year ahead,
The Passion you have for your job will let you shine in the marketplace,
The Love you have for the family will let make the children grow strong and healthy,
The Joy you have in the Lord will let Him use you greatly in His mighty Kingdom.
For you will be the head and not the tail,
Above and not beneath.
Blessed in the going forth, and blessed in the coming in.
Happy Birthday!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Rescue Me

As I was walking home one evening, I came upon the playground and saw a group of (1)young men tieing something. There were many bystander around watching them.

Next thing I know, the group of young men were holding up a very long pole made of many bamboo poles tied together, tickling the nearest tree.

That's when I realised that there was a ball in the tree...

But despite their effort, the pole was still at least 5 feet too short.

Then out of nowhere, an (4)uncle came holding 4 more bamboo poles and helped them tie it to the existing one to make it longer.

As I watched them beat around the branches, few things came down instead of the ball... there were 2 pieces of (3) garments, a styrofoam toy plane and other things I couldn't identify.

Suddenly a (1)boy of about 15 years old appeared right infront of me and patted me on my shoulder assuringly said: "Uncle! You wait here, I go and get the ball back."
Then he ran off to another passerby and patted him on the shoulder and said the same thing to him. I was puzzled, but I also know he's intellectually challenged. What I like about him is that he always has a smile on his face, and he's helpful too... tried to help hold up the pole.

I didn't stay long enough to see how they finally got back the ball, but I know its done because when I walked passed the place the next day, the ball was gone. But I also wonder, how the ball can get so high up there.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I have been a father for 4 years now... of course, not much experience to talk about, but joy of being a father is indescribable.

There were times when children can really drive me up the wall. but there were also times when we shared a laugh and everything simply melt away. Its like our own laughter is not the best medicine, but its their laughter that can cure all.

Although Isabel has past the phase of "Terrible 2", still, being a child of 4 years old, she has her own thinking, and may want things her way. That's when our discretion has to come in and decide to let her have her way or not. I try to be firm and fair... but she'll be disappointed half the time.

This morning my maid told me Isabel was crying and kicking in her dream last night. This made me think, was I too strict with her. Did I reject her request too often? Should I let her do what she want more often, buy her more toys? Spend more time with her?

Is the cause of her nightmare from me? I really want to be a good father, but sometimes I may over do it, expecting her to live up to my standard, do things a little faster, react a little quicker...

But kids are still kids, they are suppose to drive us nuts until they pass puberty... sometimes beyond.

I guess that is the unpronounceable part of the contract of being a parent, which makes me love my parents more for enduring my nonsense.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

This is what happens when we get the kids to help-out

Would you believe if I tell you that Ally is stronger than Isabel? Despite her size, she's able to bend and almost break a cane with her bare hands.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bite my shoes?

A colleague of mine happily came into the office and started showing off her new shoes that her boyfriend bought.

An hour or so later, she came and complained that the shoe is hurting her feet.

She said: "I've already bitten it why it still hurt my foot?"

I went dazed... "You actually bite your shoes?"

She went: "Yah... Before I wear it. My dad does that too... so that the shoe won't hurt my feet."

Me: "Well... Bite it again!" (whipped out my camera ready to take a picture)

She: "Cannot la... Once I started wearing it, cannot bite it anymore."

I'm really amazed that in this modern society, there are people who still believes in such myth and superstitions.

Like in the western, some people believe that its bad luck to walk under the ladders, or to have a black cat cross your path.
But one common superstition between the east and west is that they all say that opening an umbrella in a room or under the roof is bad luck.

I believe its all in the state of mind, like Feng Shui for instance, what's important is that you yourself have to be comfortable with the environment or surrounding, hence, productivity will increase.

Anyway... its up to you, what they always say: "If you believe... then its there. If you don't believe... then its not there."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Vivo City

We were at the new Vivo City shopping around... the place is HUGE! Because of the crowd, we only managed to get into the Toys "R" us, its also very crowded, but its Ally that's having a ball there with all the toys around her.

Once in there, she was just awed...
We let her push a baby stroller with the Elmo in it, although the place was jam-packed, she managed to maneuver the stroller pretty well, but of course still tripped a few customer.

I think being a second born, Ally didn't have much of her own toys. Most of what she's playing are those from her sister, not exactly suitable for her age.

So she love being at the baby toys section, where there's a wide selection of stimulating toys. Colorful buttons that makes music, flashing lights with small surprises...

She cried and kicked when we dragged her out of the section.

Isabel likes to look pretty, I guess all girls likes to look pretty. Must be in the DNA because I sure did not teach her the idea or concept of being beautiful or looking beautiful, must be from her playgroup friends. She once tried to use a red crayon as lipstick.

On the level 2 of the shopping mall, there is a unquie playground with water feature. Kids can enjoy the water, whip out the soap and bath there (just kidding)

The kids are all drenched, but they really like to play there.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Happy Birthday Isabel

Isabel was born 4 years ago today in the morning 5.26am
I remember every details... Watching her come to this world. I stood by my wife's side as she struggled with the pain of child labor pushing our first born out with all her might.
When I first saw her... I turned to my wife and all I could say was: "She's beautiful!"
She is, to me, the most beautiful baby in the world...

This year we have been celebrating her birthday over the weekend in several places:

Small celebration at Grandparent's place

Celebrated at a friend's place with other October babies

Our own place with a few friends

But Isabel is just happy to blow the candles again and again and again as long as the presents just keep comming.

Well... Happy birthday Isabel. Daddy and Mommy loves you.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

5 years

A lot of times when we go for an interview, the interviewer will ask a typical question: "How do you see yourself five years from now."

How about marriage? Nobody asks about marriage... But 5 years ago did you imagine yourself how you are now?

I never imagined myself to be a father... But now I am.

I never imagined myself to have a waist line of 33 inches... But now I have.

I never thought I could love my wife more than I was loving her... But I can.

As we sat in the restaurant celebrating out 5th Wedding Anniversary, I recalled the day I took her hand and walked down the aisle to say our vow. It seems like yesterday... I still remember decorating our own house, getting all excited over everything...

If I can go back in time and live these 5 years again, I would change one thing and one thing only... I would buy the flat from another more quiet location, everything else will remain the same.

I love my wife... Wouldn't change anything else, especially her.

5th anniversary is also known as "Wood" anniversary, I tried to convince her to play along, to have our theme base on wood, buy presents that has something to do with wood.

I thought for a long time... searched through the web, but couldn't find anything suitable, so in the end I got creative... I made a small photo album and pasted photos of our courtship to our latest family photo with the children. I made everything from the paper pattern to the little flower.

I wrote notes of thoughts next to the photos, drew some cartoons here and there... felt like a teenager again... ha ha...

My wife bought me a bottle of Mont Blanc aftershave. Love it.

Looking forward to the next one.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Creativity and Talents

Ally getting creative with my foot.
Good thing its just water.

If they are really going to be a band, I hope they'll use their talents for Praise and Worship in church. My wife wants me to learn guitar so we can have sing-a-long sessions instead of watching TV every night.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Mid-autumn reunion dinner

Its a tradition for my family to have reunion dinner on certain dates of the year. Namely: Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner, Mid-autumn Reunion Dinner and Winter festival Reunion dinner. These are the 3 dates that cannot miss.

Last night was the Mid-autumn reunion dinner and my parents as usual prepared a sumptuous dinner enough to feed a small army. My lovely wife also bought some of Isabel's favorite Char Siew for everyone.

But Isabel wasn't really in the mood for food as she was really tired. Because her cousin can to our home to play. And so the whole day she was playing toys and watching TV without nap or proper rest. By dinner time she started to feel the toil of the day and dozed off in the middle of the dinner.
ZZzzzzz.... chew chew food... zzzz...mumble mumble......zzzzzzzzzz

Even with all the delicious food right in front of her, she can't keep her eyes open long enough to finish the meal.

I let her cat-nap for a while, 10 minutes later she's alright again.

Haze Daze

Anyone feeling nausea, headache, shortness of breadth?

Take this chance to take MC and stay at home loh!!!

Thanks to the haze, many of my colleagues are doing just that, coughing and wheezing when the boss walks past them. Next thing you know... MC the next day.

On a clearer day, I can see pretty far...

But when haze got worse... see for yourself.

The 2 pictures are taken on different days but same time of the day.

I remember the last time it got this bad was 10 years ago.

I was young and innocent, thought it was quite funny to see haze, but now, I'm very concerned when can it clear up, afraid it might cause any damage to my children's health.

Well... let's pray for it to clear so we can breath healthy air and see the clear blue sky again.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Moon Cake Festival

Moon Cake festival is just few days away, Chinatown has been bustling with products of festival related merchandise like moon cakes of various shapes (square or circle), tastes (lotus seed, red bean paste, ginseng, durian, multi-nuts...) and colors (purple, pink, yellow, brown, green...)

The history of moon cake:

Long long ago, China was in revolt against the Mongols. Chu Yuen-chang, and his senior deputy, Liu Po-wen, discussed battle plan and developes a secret moon cake strategy to take a certain walled city held by the Mongol enemy.

Liu dressed up as a Taoist priest and entered the besieged city bearing moon cake. He distributed these to the city's populace. When the time for the year's Chung Chiu festival arrived, people opened their cakes and found hidden messages advising them to coordinate their uprising with the troops outside.
Thus, the emperor-to-be ingeniously took the city and his throne.

Moon cake of course, became even more famous.

Now, of course many will take it as a festive season to feast, and because of that night will be a full moon night, elders like to think of it as a day of reunion, a day when all family members will come together for dinner.

Children after dinner will carry the lantern and walk around the neighbourhood.

Traditionally lanterns are made of paper and bamboo sticks lighted with a stick of candle inside.

But now, lanterns comes in shapes of blown up dolls lighted with a light-bulb, most of it comes with music.

The new ones will of course be safer for children, but I find the tradition ones to be prettier, especially with the little flame flickering in it. And when by "accident" the lantern caught fire, I have an excuse to buy new one.

This Winnie the Pooh lantern is a product from Disney. Cost S$7.
Crazy right?

I walked around Chinatown looking at the lanterns, most of them are selling S$7. One elderly stall owner told me that this year the production is lower, almost couldn't get lanterns to sell.

I bought a Barney lantern for Ally, she loved it so much couldn't let go of it. Even Isabel cannot hold it for more than a minute. If Isabel trys to snatch and run with it, Ally will chase and pull her hair when she catches up with her.