shabby background

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

He's so going to Swenson's

Couple of months back, I received a parent letter from school requesting that the Primary 3 children to take an International Competitions and Assessments for School (ICAS) conducted by Educational Assessment Australia, UNSW Global Pty Limited.. I sent an email to Jonah's form teacher to inquire if it was necessary to put the kids through another 'exam'. He explained that the kids would enjoy the challenge as the questions would be very interesting. Jonah said he would like to try it out so I consented. Later on, another letter was sent out to parents to remind us not to give undue stress to our kids for this test so I just let Jonah take his test without any kind of 'training'. In fact I'd totally forgotten about it until he came home one afternoon telling me about the test. He said the Science paper was pretty tough.

Yesterday, he came home from school looking very tired after Chinese remedial class and the Health & Fitness program. He flopped on the sofa for awhile before telling me excitedly about his day. The children received their results for the Science performance. The results were graded as Participation, Credit, Distinction and High Distinction. And he recieved a Certificate of Distinction! In the result's letter, it stated that his score was in the top 11% of Primary 3 Participants in Singapore. WOW! Top 11%!

Needless to say, we are very proud of his achievement. He was smiling from ear to ear and did a little jig when I said he was so going to Swenson's! LOL! Ice-cream is his favourite and he loves eating at Swenson's, which we go only on such special occasion.

I've also framed up the Certificate and put it in our glass shelf  'Hall of Fame'. Every year he received a little laminated certificate of encouragement from his form teachers for doing well in his school's exams. Most times, he's nonchalent about it but this time, I can see he is very happy with this little achievement. It's a joy to watch him glow in confidence :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My kind of Therapy

Most people enjoy clothing shopping but I prefer browsing in furnishing stores. I can spent hours looking at stuff and it's therapy for me. My all time favourite place is IKEA. It's very casual, no one follows me around the store and yet I can always find someone to help me when I need it. I get to touch and test out almost everything I see. Then when I get tired or hungry, there's a cafe with yummy Swedish meatballs and free coffee or tea. I was delighted when IKEA opened a branch in Tampines. It's just 5 minutes drive from my home and parking is free because of its location. The products are priced reasonably well and I love their slogan, "You don't have to be rich to be clever." .

Every year, every household in Singapore will receive their latest catalogue. Just a couple of days ago, we received our 2011 catalogue. So I've been spending a couple of minutes here and a half an hour there flipping through it. I enjoy looking at their simple designs and I keep every issue. Yes, I do take them out once in a while to get inspiration one way or another. Did you know that I even have their catalogue dated 1988?

Are you an IKEA fan too?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Water Babies

The first time I took Russell to the pool was when he was just 6 months old. I could tell that he loved it because he was splashing and kicking happily sitting in his floatie. We took him to our friends' private pool  at least once a month. Pat and Rodney have two boys and they love playing with Russell eventhough they were a few years older.

Then one day I chanced upon a book; Water Baby: A First Fun Book of Water Skills by Lauren Heston. It has lots of beautiful pixs of babies swimming and their eyes were opened wide in the water! I was fascinated and bought it. It has clear guides and steps on teaching your babies to hold their breadth automatically before dipping their heads in the water and how we can help them gain confident and freedom swimming on their own. After reading it I was so excited because instead of just dipping in the pool and lazing around watching Russell play, I could actually do something useful and fun.

Well, it was fun indeed. Especially watching him enjoy our 'lessons'. When he was about 18mths old, we bought an underwater disposable camera and took precious pixs of him in the water.

Unfortunately, we didn't take the same kind of photos of Jonah. But Jonah is a 'dugong'. He can sit in the pool daydream all day if I allow him to. He loves the weightlessness and cool feeling that the water gives. He enjoys sitting in the pool, jaccuzzi, the inflatable wading pool, in the ocean by the beach and even tried to cover the shower room drain with a cup to fill it up with water. If we have a bath tub, I bet he'll want to sit in it all day long.

This photo was taken when Russell was 10 and Jonah was 7. They love dipping in the pool so much they won't get up until their palms are all wrinkled and pale as ghosts!

Monday, August 2, 2010


I love to read. But it didn't start till I was 11years old.

My first book was by Enid Bryton given to me at age 10 by my cousin Doreen and I fell asleep after the first page. fact I had phobia looking at Enid Bryton's books after that!

When I was 11, I went to live with my brother and granny in her employers home. There was a wicker shelf filled with their older boys' old and forgotten comics and storybooks in our bedroom. The room was very small and the books are always in my face so I picked them up to read when I had nothing to do. That was it, I was hooked. I started borrowing classic stories and Nancy Drew's collection from school.

When I became a teenager, I giggled over paperback love stories. I was lucky that granny's employer has a daughter just 2 years my senior. We were 2 giggling teenage girls who were nuts over the paperbacks. She received generous amount of pocket money from her dad each week so I got to read the books for free after she was done.

But after high school, comics became my thing. The Adventures of Asterix were my favourite and I hunted down every series at Bras Basah Complex. There used to be many 2nd hand bookstores there but the number has dwindled down to maybe 2 or 3 now. Garfield comics were my favourite too. I could read the comics over and over again and still laugh every time!

When I was a flight attendant, I had lots of time in my hands when I was cooped up in the hotel of a foreign land with eyes that could not sleep due to jet lag. I would spend my time reading fictions and non fictions alike. When I read, I feel totally absorb in it and sometimes laugh aloud or cry softly. I can feel intense, excitement or relief as the story goes. And I enjoy being in my own world while reading.

My boys have been reading since they were born. From Eric Carle to Eric Hill to Todd Par and Roger Hargreaves when they were babies and toddlers. I used to pick books for them at the stores or library but now they pick their own. They particularly enjoy informative and stories with big dose of humour in them. Unlike me, they enjoy Enid Bryton's series by the way! They also enjoy my Garfied comics and Asterix Adventures. At 9 and 11, they've read so many many books between them. Recently, Russell received a gift from his school's library for being one of the highest book borrowers in school.

The boys would borrow books from school with each other on their minds! How cute is that?! They would tell each other excitedly about their finds and how they know that the other brother would love them too :)

Since becoming a parent, I enjoy reading inspirational, motivational and self help books. I've been introduced to The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill a month ago and it inspired me to teach my kids what I've learned from the book. It's a very thick book and it has 15 sest of laws that everyone should know and learn. And these laws will be very effective in helping anyone to be successful in whatever the person wants to become.

What are you reading now?