April 1, 2017

Sasha at 7

My dearest Sasha, just like that you are 7 and not such a baby anymore. Happy birthday Pumpkin! Since you've settled into primary school, there's been a visible difference to how you carry yourself and behave.

You've shown you can be responsible for your homework, doing it immediately when you get home from school, putting aside documents which need my attention and packing your school bag independently. Keep it up sweetie! Maybe me going back to work wasn't such a bad thing.
I love how you are the first to greet me at the door when I come home from work, such a joy to get a hug and hear your "Mamoo". I don't know when you three started calling us Mamoo and Dadoo but I kinda like it.

You are the most affectionate among the 3 and don't ever stop giving me my 'Sasha hugs'. I appreciate your thoughtfulness in declining new stuff because you say you don't want us to waste money but you don't always have to use hand-me-downs ok?

While you've definitely matured in recent months, there are still moments you unleash your temper on Nat and Noah. Don't think I haven't seen you pinch them or stamp on their feet when you think no one's looking, my Sasha Fierce!

You are unique and lovely, inside and out and I know you will go far. Love you deep deep.



March 26, 2017

Noah @ 3yrs, 9mths

Not very long till I have a 4yr old. At 3yrs 9mths, Noah is still such a mama's boy, but I ain't complaining! Gets anxious if I am not around to snuggle with him at bedtime and or if I am out of sight at home. I've had to distract and trick him a few times just so I can use the toilet in peace!

He's more or less potty-trained so we can save on diapers, although he tends to hold his pee till the last minute. But he was very proud to start wearing underwear to school a couple of months ago. I've hidden his milk bottles, went cold turkey during the school hols and subsequently he's stopped asking for milk in the middle of the night.

His handwriting and drawings are still crappy although he's starting to show a bit more interest in practicing. He wrote his name legibly this month and it was a proud moment!  My mum has been teaching him to spell simple words but he's only interested in words like 'police', 'army', 'helicopter'!
He likes to peel, scratch, dig his skin/nose...he can never just let his fingers be idle. So many scars around his limbs because he never leaves scabs alone.

He is a bit of a Romeo, the name Amber has popped up a couple of times. I have some competition! Although he says he wants to marry me, lol!

He has an attitude sometimes, rolling his eyes, putting up his palm and saying "What-ever!"? When it suits him, he will claim he is big boy in order prove he can do things but most of the time, he will wiggle out of tasks and requests by saying he's still a small boy. Such a manipulator!

Chicken rice, ramen, fishball noodles, char siew rice and nasi lemak are his favourite foods. It's impossible to get him to try new things, bread is taboo although today he ate a tiny bite of donut with sprinkles and I suspect would have tried more if Sasha hadn't tipped him off that it was 'bread'. His reaction was quite funny, saw the panic in his eyes!

He's been dropping hints about the type of party he wants for his 4th but I am not planning any bash. Sorry kiddo!

February 4, 2017

Nat is 9

Happy 9th birthday to my Munchkin!

At 9, you are a diva in the making as you enter your tweens, starting to be more assertive. Or maybe you're just testing my patience by saying no all the time!

You are still a sweet, dependable little girl but can sometimes be selfish especially when it comes to sharing things with Sasha. Do show her more affection because she absolutely adores you.
You enjoy your peace and solitude, you sleep like a log, you can watch anything on TV, you're fussy but you eat like ur Zodiac pig...sometimes I'm amazed at how similar we are!

It's interesting watching your personality develop and I can't wait to see what the future holds for you. Love you to bits and may all your birthday wishes come true! 


December 31, 2016

Bye 2016

Spent the morning with nature as we visited Botanics for the final time this year and quietly ushering 2017 from the comforts of home.

2016 has been kind to us, grateful that I have my health, a loving family, a roof over our heads and food on the table. Noah started pre-school, Sasha graduated from kindergarten, Nat sat for her first exams in P2. Accomplished my travel goals with family trips to Penang and Phuket, a couple trip cruising down French rivers and ticking off lavender in Provence from the bucket list, a girlfriend escapade to magical Bali and a bonus work trip to Vientiane.

Caught Kool & The Gang, Madonna and Take That in concert, looking forward to Coldplay next year.

Started a temp job at CSC which was supposed to be for 5mths but will be back in the new year for another 4mths. My pockets have suffered from countless visits to Expo sales and outlets at CCP...can't wait to get back to work! Hee hee!

Did a mini makeover for the flat and it feels nice to come home to a fresh look.

The only lowlights were: Nick having a tumour scare but luckily it was benign and fixed for the moment with jaw surgery; Geraldine leaving for Canada and her replacement leaving us in the lurch after 7mths; and Pops being hospitalized after a fall, right around the time I started the new job. The new helper is attending her father's funeral back home...she lost him on Xmas, poor girl.

Compared to all the problems in the world or struggles that others face, mine were nothing. Here's wishing for world peace in 2017 and a happy new year to all of you. xoxo

June 7, 2014

Treasures of France (Day 2, 7 June 2014)

Another day of major walking! 

We had most of the day free because the group would only meet for the welcome later in the evening so after breakfast (where they at first directed us to the function room to dine with other groups but I think that was a mistake because our tour hasn't officially started), we headed out to the metro station Anatole France to catch a ride to Notre Dame.
I had an ulterior motive to visit there today because I knew the Queen was going to be in the vicinity, visiting the flower market nearby which was to be renamed after her. Unfortunately the market was closed off to visitors and security was tight. I naively thought we could just bump into her at one of the stalls! Oh well. 

But all was not lost despite it starting to rain. Because of the road closures and our intention to head towards the Louvre next, we had to walk towards Hotel de Ville where we saw a large crowd gathered. I recalled the Queen having a meeting with the mayor prior to her flower market visit so I did eventually manage to catch a glimpse of her after we waited a few minutes for her arrival. Yay! 
Next we walked along Rue de Rivoli to shop a little, I bought some items from H&M and C&A before we wound up at the Louvre. Since the boy doesn't appreciate art and I have been before, I just made him take some photos by the glass pyramid before we continued on towards the Opera House. 
I bought a giant chocolate macaron from Paul, and we found a Japanese restaurant to stop for lunch. It was run by mainland Chinese so the ramen didn't make the cut.
From there Galleries Lafayette was a short walk away and we spent a couple of hours shopping. It was packed with lots of Chinese tourists queuing up for all the designer stores and I was a bit put off. Only managed to cover the first level and bought a Gucci belt on Swana's behalf and a couple of Vanessa Bruno bags for me, plus one for Jane. 
Came back to the hotel after that to rest and freshen up before meeting the rest of the tour group in the lobby along with our travel director Vanessa. Quite a number of Asians in the group, everyone was very friendly and in no time we boarded the bus for a short drive around the city, catching a glimpse of The Pantheon, Opera House, Place de la Concorde, the obelisk, after a quick pit stop at the Eiffel. 
We got off at the Champs Elysees for dinner near the Arc de Triomphe at a place called Chez Clement. We were just in time to catch the daily parade and homage to the tomb of the unknown soldier, I had no idea the flowers were changed everyday with a little ceremony. 
At dinner, we sat with Aussies Ray and Marian from Melbourne, as well as Bill and Naomi from Adelaide. Dinner was pretty good, best French onion soup I've had and the main was roast chicken with mashed potato. Can't go wrong. Dessert was creme brulee was which a generous portion and so smooth and creamy. 

June 6, 2014

Treasures of France (Day 1, 6 June 2014)

Bonjour, greetings from Paris!

After a 13 hour flight, we are here in the City of Lights. We had the whole day free since the tour only starts tomorrow and because the room was not available for check-in, the boy was forced to gallivant with me.

Ate breakfast in the hotel before we walked in search of the metro station which was about a 5 min walk away. First stop, Trocadero Gardens and the Eiffel. I had brought plenty of sweaters and light jackets in anticipation of cooler temperatures but it was a hot day!

I had always wanted to take pictures from Trocadero with the Eiffel in the background but unfortunately the sun was behind us and there were tons of tourists so that wish had to be dropped. And of course, the hubby has no patience to compose shots or take lighting into consideration so this trip will have many photos of him and not me!
I did wear an Old Navy tee with an image of the Eiffel on purpose...corny I suppose. Took pictures of the tower from many angles and when I had my fill, we proceeded on foot towards Invalides, where Napoloen's tomb is stored. Didn't go in but just took a picture from outside.
Next was the Rodin Museum, where an ex-colleague had told me about the rose garden. Paid a nominal entrance fee to access the garden and wandered about, while the boy chilled in the shade. There was a statue of The Thinker but to me it looked like he was on the potty, which I suppose is where a lot of people do their thinking!
From there it was a short walk to my favouritest bridge, Pont Alexandre III. Ever since I saw it in a romantic American Express ad many years ago, I have thought this bridge very pretty. Tried to recreate a shot of me standing with the lamp posts in the background which I took back in 1998 but again, the boy has no patience with these things.
We walked on towards the Champs Elysees where we spotted the Disney Store and Zara Home. I bought some tropical plates for the kids and then we found a Chinese 'economic rice' stall around the corner from Monoprix.
There were lots of stir fries which were charged by weight and we shared some broccoli, beef and chicken. By this time he was pretty tired and the room should have been ready so we headed back to the Movenpick Neuilly. Nice hotel, in a residential area though with not much else around.

There was a complimentary bottle of wine waiting for us, courtesy of the French Trafalgar team and also the hotel GM provided some cheese, tomatoes and olives.
Stayed in and watched some of the D-Day 70th anniversary celebrations on TV, live. That's one of the reasons were's here, to fulfil the boy's dream to see Normandy so why not do it as part of his 40th birthday celebrations and maximise his travel perks? ;-)

December 21, 2013

Phuket (Day 4 and 5, 20 & 21 Dec 2014)

We're home! 

Didn't really do much today except have breakfast, take a final walk along the stretch of shops outside the hotel and before you know it, it was time to check out and depart for the airport. The flight was delayed for almost an hour, which was unusual so we killed time using up our last baht in DFS. 
Yesterday we went elephant trekking which the travel partner Nick works with in Bangkok helped to arrange through their local office. It was a lot bumpier than I expected and I kept feeling like our seat was going to fall off. I paired up with Nat while Sasha went with her daddy. We had a pregnant elephant and the mahout coaxed her along as she ambled along the uneven terrain. 
We were 'held hostage' at one point when the mahouts stopped to help us take photos etc but very quickly fished out a box of elephant trinkets and persuaded us to purchase for good luck. I felt compelled to buy because I didn't want to be stranded on top of an elephant in the middle of nowhere! 

After the excursion, we were brought back to the hotel and we tried their Italian restaurant. Again, kids eat free so they lapped up their carbonara while I had a prawn, scallop and tomato linguine which was very affordable by hotel standards and fresh too...about $12? 
We said goodbye to the froggies and on the way back to the room, there was a giant teddy bear sitting all alone in the courtyard. Coincidentally, I had just watched the movie 'Ted' the night before so I did wonder if the bear would come alive! Nick had a conversation with him. 
We had one last swim in the kids pool before hunting for hermit crabs and seashells on the beach. It's a pity we didn't spend more time on the beach but Patong isn't particularly secluded and the shoreline looked more inviting in Kata, Karon etc. Next time we shall stay there. 
Dinner was at a place called Cafe del Mar which we stumbled upon along the Patong stretch. They had a reasonably priced set meal for 2 and we just added a horfun for the kids. 
It was a nice end to our brief holiday and I daresay we shall be back. The kids loved running up and down the long hallways at the hotel and if they remember nothing else about the trip, they will certainly remember that!