Friday, December 24, 2010

This is Silent night... But nowadays its anything but silent.
My wife had been busy preparing this night which her few good friends will be gathering with their children... all 20 of them... Jared as seen in the picture, is dressed as Superman. This is his 2nd Christmas, he sure is getting a lot of present too.
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Ice Skating

Their Aunt... (my sister) brought them to the Leisure Park for a ice skating session. I think Ally is getting better. Maybe one day, she'll be better than her sister.
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

9th Anniversary

On 13th Oct, we celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary.

At first, I tried to book a table in Carousel 2 days in advance, I have tried the seafood buffet and now is looking for a reason to walk-in again, but was too late as others have already made reservations 1 week in advance. I was placed on the waiting list but I know I would never hear from them again.

I settled for the next best thing... The Fullerton hotel, "Town" restaurant.

Where's Mommy?

I'm hungry! What's for dinner?

There's something stuck in my teeth!!!

When I was making the reservation, I told them it is for my wedding anniversary, not only did they remember the occasion, they even gave us a complimentary small cake.

Thanks for the 9 wonderful year, with many more to come.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

First Swimming Lesson

For years, I've been trying to teach them to swim, but they won't listen to my instruction. They just cling to me or the side of the pool afraid to go any deeper.

Finally I've decided to send them to a proper coach for swimming lessons.

I booked the lesson in SAFRA Yishun. Heard its rather popular as for the past 2 sessions I couldn't sign them up as the places were already fully taken.

Before the lesson, Isabel was worrying if she would drown, or swallow water, or what if water goes into her ears... But Ally was rather neutral, she just want to have fun.

I wasn't told that they have to have a swimming board ready, but our friend who's daughter was in the earlier class, called me to inform me of it.

When the class started, they began by doing some warm-up. The girls gingerly joined in as they are unfamiliar with the people there.

Coach Soya, and her assistance coach Lisa patiently went through the safety and then the basic foundation of breathing and holding breadth. One of the student is repeating the course cos she failed the test at the end of last course. She looks not a day older than 4 years old...

Another girl is simply a princess of her own La-La land. Doesn't care about the on going lesson, played in the baby pool for most of the time. Her mother has to keep dragging her back to join the group.

After the lesson, they were eager to practice more, immediately I could see the improvement of the water confidence and the movements.

I hope this will improve their health and well being, and for me I will get some exercise too. I'm planning to hit 20 laps by the end of their last lesson.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Crisis in Life

Recently I've learned that crisis is normal to life. Crisis will make you stronger and better.

I wonder does it apply to Mid-Life Crisis.

All this while, I've always thought mid-life crisis is for people in their fifties. If that's true, then man's average age should be over a hundred.

But since the average life-span of a man is 75, then I guess I'm at the right age of going through the MLC.
I did not know that I was going through this phase until I read an article which listed some of the things which men in this phase of life has a tendency to do... I scored pretty high on the list.

One of them is the tendency to look for something dangerous and reckless, to prove his manliness. Thus, I've been thinking of bungee jumping, getting a tattoo...I'm also bothered by my complexion, my youthfulness seems to have been zapped out of me. People used to guess my age at least 5 years younger than my actual age, but recently everyone seems to guess it right or a year ahead. Its really disheartening.

I bought a bottle of face-lift cream, spread that thing on my face day and night like kaya on toast, but it does not seems to work as it was advertised. Sigh...

I've also heard of applying Aloe Vera on the face could help to give a smooth complexion, So I bought a big piece from Cold Storage and started to apply the sticky gel every night. But one product which I've secretly been using is my wife's SK-II Facial Treatment Essence which contains Pitera. That seems to work.

Beside the physical, career is another issue. As I edge towards the next big "zero" of my life, my marketability is definitely going down. I looked at my career path, I know I have to steer hard towards my goal. I don't have much time to be idling around thinking I still have tomorrow to do whatever needs to be done... Everything needs to be done now.

I now also have a clearer picture of what I need and how to plan it. I called up my insurance agent, went through all my polices, made the necessary changes. Now I understand what is that peace of mind that the insurance company has been marketing about.

So to conclude, I guess crisis in life is really about showing you what you should have done earlier, get it done, make the change and come out of the crisis to be stronger and better. But like what my Pastor said, never lose sight of God, hold on to your core fundamental.

I'm still going to get that tattoo soon.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

Small opt

Jared is born with an extra toe, although it does not hinder the way he is developing, or learning to walk, we still decide to have it removed as he has difficulty putting on his shoes.

Someone once said that it could be a blessing in disguise that he may be exempted from serving in the more physically demanding areas during his NS years. I totally wish it not true. I hope that he will be the best that he can be, and that his talent will outshine the others and bring home the "Sword of Honor" in the Officer Cadet course, which is something that I regret not having.

I suppose that's what every father wants their son to be... better than themselves.

Operation is scheduled at 2pm.

On the day of his opt, we started to fast him since 8am, his last drink of water was at 10am.

The little boy, oblivious to what's going to happen to him, continued to explore the hospital lobby with curiosity. Moving with ease between chairs with a pacifier stuck to his mouth. He sees the world with a fresh new mind filled with excitement. His finger touching every fiber and texture enjoying the strange sensation each will bring.

Soon we were notified of the ward and because he is only 1 year old, they changed the bed to a "cage". Earlier we prayed for him, thank God he is really a good boy throughout the time of fasting. He didn't fuss because of the hunger or thirst which we have worried for days of how he's going to go through it. Even the anesthetist praised him for being such a cooperative boy.

After the surgery, he continued to sleep till almost 6pm. He woke without crying, cautiously, we gave him some water, he eagerly drank most of the water in the bottle. Almost vomitted out.

Half hour later, the dinner came. He ate quite a big portion of the serving. Then he ate some cake when a friend came to visit. Then he ate some bread from my wife's burger. Then he ate some cupcakes brought by another friend later that evening.

Well, I take it that its a good sign that he has good appetite after the surgery.

I think most of the nurses in the ward like him.

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Lost Symbol

Just finished reading the new novel by Dan Brown... The Lost Symbol.

As usual, he did a great job doing research on histories and linking them together. In his last book, The Da Vinci Code, he managed to stir up a storm by telling the world how the Bible has been distorted through time and people and the so-called hidden truth of Jesus, that he is so in love with Mary Magdalene that they have a child together.
Angering Christians around the world. Many have called in protest to boycott and ban the movie and book. But ultimately creating a greater interest and publicity for the author and movie making him a overnight sensation.

The Lost Symbol has no lack in thrills and mysteries, quick pacing a timeline with few things happening at the same time ultimately towards the same destiny. But one thing that disappoints me is the character development of Robert Langdon, who is also the main character in the previous 2 books.
It is frustrating to read that a man that has such great head knowledge of symbols and histories has become skeptical with the things he sees. Being a lecturer of such topic, he sees all, knows all but not believing at all.
All that happened through the story, he is always rejecting the idea of any of those myths and legends to be true.

The author has done extensive research on the American history. It is interesting to know that George Washington actually has a sculpture of himself as a god. I did a google search it, and found it is true that such sculpture exist.

Another interesting area is the introduction of the Noetic Science. Its the study of how the human mind, through thoughts or will power, is able to change matters, alter situations, even influence other's thoughts. I remember Pastor Kong ever preached how negative or positive thoughts can hinder the formation of ice crystals.

Apparently, the Institute of Noetic Science has done such proving experiments that a common unified thought from a group of people is able to change or alter and achieve their goal by thinking about it. In unison the thoughts is magnified. It is a scientific reality that the power of prayer groups and healing circles has the power to heal and move situation.

Genesis 11:6, God acknowledged that with people thinking and focusing in unity, they can achieve anything.

In the finale of the book, the author affirms that the Bible is the Ultimate truth of the Universe. Holding an immense amount of knowledge that is too powerful for man to understand. And that faith is the new science and the new direction for people.
Maybe its an attempt for the author to please the readers of the Christian world, nonetheless, it is a good book to read if you are into such topic.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Amazing Race? Modeling Race?

These are the faces that will represent Singapore in the month long race around Asia and beyond for the low price money of $100,000.

Seeing the rest of the teams... Models, tv presenters, basketball player, models, beauty pageant contestants... Come on... its obvious that the ordinary people has absolute no chance to be in it.

First of all, I don't see any ordinary looking people. I'm not asking for ugly, but just normal next-door-guy kind of contestant.

Second, there are non with a normal job. TV host, Basketball player, models, Strip club manager, tattoo artist... Come on la... If I'm in the race, they'll probably say I'm a ex-military specialist...

I admit, it will be boring if a general clerk, or a plumber gets chosen, but hey, these are the guys that are our day to day heroes, Don't they get a chance?

Well, just have to watch and see how entertaining they can be. I like to watch them puke over some nasty food.

Caught the movie... Real good old fashion, real manly, action packed movie, fully loaded testerone, almost as high as "300".

The show has plenty old action heroes, its like a reunion for them. Arnie, has a 2 minute scene just talking sarcasm with Sly. They look more like a divorced couple trying to step on each other's toes while keeping a smile in front of Bruce Willis.

Sly is more into this character than he was in Rambo 4 which that show was a disappointment as he could not bring out the character of Rambo anymore. He was just... him.

Mickey Rouke shed a tear while in the scene where he explained why he is no longer the killing machine, and how his soul has died in him. I think he is perfect for this role and has done a wonder job portraying this character.

Jet Li , being smallest and the only Asian, he has to try real hard to fit into the gang. He really doesn't look comfortable among the muscle clad bunch whose average height is 2 heads taller than him, and he has to appear to be in a "bo-chap" attitude which is not really convincing.

But overall, the movie is entertaining, the flow is good, believe it or not, all the good guy survived. Which guess makes it a happy ending.

Monday, August 23, 2010

what a weekend.

The weekend has always been an important time for the family to have bonding.

During the weekday, much of the nights are spent finishing the children's home, coaching them and helping them to deal with their daily stresses.

Weekends has become a time to bring them out of the routine to relax and also sweat it out.

Dinner... Seriously must break the routine of eating at home everyday. Brought them to the Suntec City basement food terrace. An inexpensive way of enjoying good local delicacies in an air conditioned environment.

Next is Koi feeding at the Koi Garden. Man... those Kois are FAT...

Jared was afraid to go near the water, so he sat down as near to the edge as possible.

Sunday afternoon, the weather was cooling. So I brought them to the nearby open field to fly a kite.

The kite was small and it uses those new design whereby it has no frame structure unlike those traditional type. It has funnels to help it catch the wind. But it requires constant strong wind
to keep it flying. I feel like I'm flying a plastic bag... maybe a plastic bag would be easier to fly.

I promised them to get a big one from the gift shop at the mall, Ally was already thinking of the colour she wants.

Looks like there's going to be another session this Saturday.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Family time...

Doing a little shopping after dinner at Compass Point.
Trying out new phone camera app.
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this is the day...

this is actually a test blog from my Samsung Galaxy S.
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Sunday, August 15, 2010

My favorite Pass Time

This is what I like to do when I'm free. Watching my little plant grows and blooms really make me happy.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

NDP 45th Birthday

How do most people celebrate National Day?

I've not been able to get tickets to watch the actual day NDP for the past many years. I remember the last time I actually get to watch the NDP live is in 2005. Even that, was only in those heartland celebration.

1999... I remember the experience of having queued for 2 days 1 night outside National Studium with my then girlfriend (now my lovely wife) just to make sure that we get the tickets. As we are not allowed to leave our queue, we brought along food, water and tentage. At that times there was no PSP, iPhone, or wifi internet. So we brought along board-games and radio along just to kill time. I must says we had lots of fun then.

Now, to get a NDP ticket, you got to apply and ballot for it.

One thing is the idea of being there 3 hours before the event starts, seated in the hot sun while waiting for the hosts to entertain us hasn't been that appealing either.

This year, although its a long weekend, we didn't plan anywhere far. Our friend organized a pot-luck dinner on Sunday night at their Condo, we let the kids had a dip in the pool, also to let Jared get use to the water.

The evening was cool, the water was fine.

We were told to be in red and white that night.

Here we wish Singapore Happy 45th Birthday.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Fire Station visit

I found out that every Saturday morning, every fire station (except Jurong island) is open for public visit from 9am to 11am.

I've planned this long ago, but because Isabel usually has tuition on Saturday morning, so I've been delaying the visit.

Last Saturday, tuition center was closed. So we headed to the nearest fire station as early as possible.

Mommy took the car to work, so we had to take the bus instead.

Without the comfort of the car, the girls had to walk a distance. Not exactly something they are very used to.

The Sengkang Fire Station is a modern building, if without the words hanging on the facade, I would have thought it would be an office building.

Inside it, we were brought to the waiting area which I think it would be their lecture area for the trainees. There was another family there visiting the station with their young kids. The person in charge brought out toy hats and rain coats for the children.

We get to try an invention by SCDF themselves... The Water Mist Gun aka WMG.

They explained the function and purpose of the Red Rhino. I always thought it looks really cool on the road.

One thing I'm impressed is that the staff's enthusiasm of showing us their equipment. They are not tired of removing them from a neatly packed shelves, and lay them out on the floor to show us the functions of it.

Only thing lack is that they don't say a single word about home fire prevention. Something I feel that is just as important as knowing we can count on them to put out the fire.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Hi All

Its been really quite a while since I've logged on for blogging. Main reason for missing is because my phone, which I use to take a lot of impromptu photos of our daily lives is not able to sync with the PC, hence I'm not able to upload any photo to tell my story. Other reason is that I've been attending night classes, preparing for exams...

Anyway, I can't miss blogging this one.

My son is now 1 year old. Wow, time flies... I remember him as a little infant when we first brought him home.

This whole year has been interesting as he is the only son in the family, he has been a source of joy to all of us. The 2 sisters dote him so much, especially the elder sister. She like to carry him around the house, sing and play with him. I can safely depend on her to look after him for short moments.

This one year has also not been easy for us and Jared as we have to place him in a Infant care center, he fell sick almost every month. Fever, flu, cough... that sequence. We brought him to the Pediatrician several times, spent hundreds of dollars on his medications.

Jared was really happy at the beginning of the party, but as the guests are not all here yet, we waited till past his nap time before we could let him cut the cake. By then, he was starting to be grouchy.

Even before he blew the candle, his hands and feet were already covered with cream.

Jared would like to thanks all the big brothers and big sisters for celebrating his first birthday with him. He would also like to thank all the aunties and uncles for all the blessings he has received.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Jared @ 10 months

Time flies ya?

Now Jared is almost 10 month. A couple of months ago he started to clap his hands, now he signs along when he hears the song "Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars" opening and closing his little hands imitating the movement. At the end of the song, he'll clap.

Totally cute.

I'm now trying to teach him to point up when I say "Up" and point down when I say "Down". Also the regular baby sign language like "Milk", "Water"...etc is a must. It helps them to communicate instead of crying.

Can't wait to see him walk.


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Batam? What Batam?

Was I in Batam?

I also don't know... Why do I not feel I've been there?

Too short period? Maybe...
Didn't do anything I wanted? That too...
Didn't eat what I craved for? Definitely...
Never been where I wanted to go? For sure...

So... what was I doing?...


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Give me some space...

When the kids grow up, new sets of problems arise.
I'm pretty sure all parents know what I'm talking about.

I'm really sure that Isabel has out-grown those kiddy stuff... first, she no longer likes those Princess merchandise, she prefers a sling bag that has no girlish prints. Later than I found out that it was a trend among the kids her age that they all have sling bags. And it has to sling in a particular style...strap across the chest with the bag at the back.

She used to play cooking with her sister, but now likes to read alone. But her poor sister who worships her, still likes the company of the elder sister.

Sometimes when when she's bored, she'll bug her elder sister and look over her shoulder to see what she's doing. Tries to read her homework out load. This really bothers the later.

Isabel is learning to write journal, at the same time I introduced the idea of writing diary so she can even more freely expresses herself with words.
But because diary is something personal, she became very secretive abut the content and even more secretive about the location where she is hiding from her sister, This really really frustrates the younger one. Then they'll start to complain about each other.

Its interesting to watch them grow up, but its also difficult to solve problems like this...

I have to be fair to both and at the same time realise and give Isabel more respect as an individual.

I certainly can't force ideas into her anymore. A lot of explaining has to be done to guide her to think like us and be more attentive to listen to her ideas too.

At the same time, I have to be fair to Ally and distract her with other activities such as computer games and teaching her sign language.

Just part of growing up... me growing up.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Birthday to me

Isn't it nice when your birthday falls on a public holiday?

Well that's what happened to me... My birthday happens to be on Good Friday this year.

Illuma @ Bugis

I booked tickets to watch Clash of the Titans. We dropped the kids off at my parent's place, then drove off to Illuma, the new cinema... at least its new to us. We are a couple of mountain tortoise that almost forget what Orchard Road looks like.
Can't say that I'm totally super impressed by the story of the movie, but I agree that it has superb special effects. Its just that the characters are rather rushed by. If it can be made into a 2 and a half hour movie, spend a bit more time beefing up the characters it will be better.

Worst is Medusa... totaly computer graphic. Its not that I was hopping to see her half naked, she is suppose to be extremely beautiful when she's not shooting beams of death rays from her eyes turning people into stones. CG don't do Justice for her beauty at all. And she's not given a single chance to talk and act like she was once human. The whole scene was done in 5 minutes.

The kids wanted to make their own cakes for me and my brother-in-law who's birthday happens to be 2 days after mine.

We went to the Icing room in Compass Point. Good thing it was not that crowded yet. My older daughter quickly said that her cake will be for me. Her sister has no choice but to say hers is for their uncle.

Like all other kids before them who has done it for the first time, they are not an exception from the results...

They all are overly creative and they have no idea when to stop. In fact, they have no basic theme in the first place, which resulted in every cake being over crowding with colours and icing.

But coming from them, its the prettiest cake I've ever received.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Genting Highlands

Its been 3 years since we've been to Genting Highland.

A few days before the trip, we watched the video recording of the last trip back in '07. The kids look so small and cute, Ally could hardly speak yet.

This year the Genting trip involved 11 persons of 3 families including 6 adults 5 kids, age range from 3 - 8 years old. Basically the whole trip is about them.

At 6.15am, we grabbed a cab and headed to Golden Miles Complex to catch the coach which departed at 5 mins before 7am. The journey will take 7 hours including toilet break and brunch break.

Although the kids were excited, but they soon fell asleep in the coach after we've crossed the immigration customs. The secret is their own personal comfort pillow which almost guarantee to make them sleep at any place and situation.

The first stop an hour and a half after going through the Malaysian immigration custom, was the usual popular Yong Peng, the eating place. It has many stalls selling varieties of food. One thing I have to say I'm fairly impressed is that the owner of this place really emphasized on the cleanliness of the toilet there. There is a person in every toilet, his/her job is to constantly mops and flushes the place, making sure the place has no odor at all.

Reaching the top of the mountain after half hour of upward winding road which makes us nausea and light headed. We were told that the queue to check-in was 2 hours long. We than decided to take a number and bring the kids to enjoy the indoor theme park.

The thing about going to a place like Genting, is that we have already set our mind to expect a long queue in every ride we take. The popular ones would take us 40 mins, the less popular ones would be around 20 mins. But each ride would ends in minutes, unless its those slow train rides that goes around the perimeter.

The kids have grown up, but some things still don't change yet. They still like the Merry-Go-Round. But because of their height, they now can ride something much more thrilling...

Isabel can now drive the bigger bumper car, sit in the Cyclone roller coaster, the Viking and also...

The Spinner

Its a giant spinning machine that spins 50 thrill seekers sitting on metal seats hung by metal chains attached to the top. Its the first time both of them took such ride, the moment they came down, they wanted to queue for it again. For me, I really don't have the stomach to do it twice in a row.

Dinosaur Land

There are also those slower rides for the entire family, like the boat ride in Dinosaur Land which takes you to a cave of almost total darkness putting up a display of the land before time.

Junior Bumper Car

One of the hot favorite for the younger kids. I guess its a way that to release aggression in them through a less destructive way. Bumping and knocking into each other on purpose which they are not suppose to do on normal days. Or the intoxicating thrill of having a total control of a machine making them come back for more.

Genting is a nice place to take a short break. I remember it used to be much colder than this, but this time with a clear sky... I got a sun burn.

The equipment are old some are even dirty, the attitude of the staff is lousy. But I guess with the amount of tourist pouring in everyday, the amount of cash they are raking... they would think... "Why bother?". Kids certainly aren't bothered, they are self-entertaining. Then as long as the kids are entertained, the parents would be happy too.

For the kind of price we are paying, I guess it should be considered worth the money.