Sunday, December 25, 2011

what's on our tree this year...

Thanks to HQ :-)

Merry Christmas, peeps! Hope it's a wonderful, happy and very blessed celebration with your loved ones! :-D

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text can only be republished with permission and links back to the article/ blog.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

This year I've lost 4 people that I know.

My ex-schoolmate was murdered in Amsterdam when she was there for duty. The papers were filled with her news when it happened.

A girlfriend of mine died mysteriously on her bed one night. She was back home in her mum's house, and passed away on the bed that she slept on when she was still single. She left a two year old son.

My cousin was killed in a car accident on his way to attend his elder sister's wedding. I just saw and waved to him the night before he passed away. He was only in his early twenties. It saddened me so much to think that the sister's wedding anniversary coincides with his death anniversary.

And this Monday, I lost a colleague due to pneumonia. The events happened so quickly, and when I learn about her demise on Monday morning, I felt like a bucketful of ice water was thrown on me. Everything was so unexpected. I was in deep shock. We worked together in the same office for 7+ years. She left a much-loved and very precious 3 year old daughter.

Her demise made me suddenly realised how dangerous pneumonia can be. QQ was hospitalised due to pneumonia and bronchitis before, and I had taken everything for granted. It only occurred to me now that it could be fatal.

I hope deep in my heart, that all four of my friends and cousin will rest in peace. I hope they are now at a much better place, with no pain and suffering. You will always have a place in my heart.

Life is short, so unexpected and so fragile. From now onwards, I vow to always treasure my loved ones. I will spend more time with them, be more patient with my kids, and spoil them a little bit more. I will love more, laugh more, and rest more.

Happy Dong Zhi, everyone. Be home early for dinner tonight. I know I will.

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text can only be republished with permission and links back to the article/ blog.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

HQ is reading thicker books now :-)

My Sis presented HQ with a Geronimo Stilton book - Four Mice in the Jungle last Christmas 2010, when HQ was 5.5 years old. He took the book, gave it a fast flip, read probably 2.5 pages, and chucked it aside.

I bought The Enchanted Woods series and presented to HQ for his 6 year old birthday in May 2011. The series comprises of 3 books – The Enchanted Woods, The Faraway Tree and The Folks at the Faraway Tree. I was hoping that I can get the exact library copies that I loved when I was a kid… hardcover large books filled with adoring images. It took me many months to find these books, and when I saw one last torn set selling in Popular Summit USJ, I grabbed it. The one that I managed to find were softcover and loaded with words. Very few black and white images of the characters, drawn rather unattractively. He took the first book, flipped it, read probably 1.5 pages, and gave it back to me.

I knew he can read the books, as he has read National Geographic, and excitedly narrated info that interested him correctly. Although there were big words, he gets the overall picture. And I knew The Enchanted Woods and Geronimo Stilton, filled with exciting and imaginative tales will interest him. But he told me the books were boring… if only he reads further to find the interesting parts!

Anyway, mid October, I think he finished reading his current collection of books, when he reached for The Enchanted Woods. He never stopped reading since then (HQ: 6y 4m old) :-). He was bringing this book around in his little bag, filled with other books to everywhere we go. He was reading in the car, while having meals in restaurants, and at the barber! :-) He often tell the stories to me, and sometimes read to his Meimei :-). As of now, he has finished reading Enid Blyton's The Enchanted Woods, Geronimo Stilton - Four Mice in the Jungle (he said he took 2 days to finish this book!), Geronimo Stilton - Race Across America, Tintin in America, Tintin: The Crab with the Golden Claws and Tintin: Red Rackham's Treasure (yes, he's very into Tintin too!)

For this long school holiday, he has pestered his Papa to buy more Geronimo Stilton books. One visit to Popular book store, and he ended up with four new Geronimo Stilton books. We didn't want to spend so much at one time, but he wouldn't let go even one book. At last, Papa relented. Was HQ happy! At the shopping mall, waiting for Papa to get money from the ATM machine. HQ can't wait to read his new Geronimo Stilton book! His reading habit... he will read a few books at a time. He will read a few pages of one book, then change to another book. Read a few pages of the second book, then continue with the first/ third book. With the help of bookmarks, he's able to continue where he stopped. To my surprise, he doesn't get the stories mixed up, as he tells the story correctly.

Right now he's reading Enid Blyton's The Faraway Tree and Geronimo Stilton - I'm not a Super Mouse at the same time. And he reads in different positions and places too. It is also very usual for him to have a reading marathon for a few days and then chuck them aside, only to continue reading after an interval of a few days. Sometimes not reading anything up to weeks! Such is the reading habit of a kid who gets bored easily :-S.

This was how HQ read the last page of his The Enchanted Woods :-). (C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text can only be republished with permission and links back to the article/ blog.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

western... but not so western...

It's not often that I cook western food, and when my kids requested for a burger dinner, I did it a mish-mash version :-)

I cooked exactly like how I do usually... Eastern style sweet & sour pork chops (sorry, non-halal) and carrots and french beans.
Instead of serving the food with rice in bowls, I served them with burger buns on plates (this was QQ's portion). Hee hee... kind of cheating yeah :-)
And washed down the meal in a Chinese soup of ribs, lotus root, corn and carrot :-)
Both my kids loved their meals :-). Here's my little munchkin enjoying hers. She couldn't scarf the burger into her mouth as is, so she ate the top bread half first and the rest later as an open sandwich. I was really happy that she polished the whole burger and all the vege! But she complained that she was toooo full afterwards, so she skipped the apples :-).

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text can only be republished with permission and links back to the article/ blog.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Incident hapened in August 2011: HQ was 6y 3m old

The iPad is a god sent on weekends when we need the extra shut-eye but our kids think otherwise. Like any other day, they are up (and active) from latest 7.30am onwards (sometimes as early as 6am! *faint*). And so we chuck the iPad on their faces and we continue our slumber for another 30 - 60 minutes. Lazy parents... :-)

Hubs taught HQ how to do a search on Google. It is now his to go place when he wants to look at cool pictures and read interesting facts about his favourite subjects - dinosaurs and animals. So, when he gets bored playing Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies or other silly games, he'll Google.

Some time ago, he discovered something via Google, and he excitedly told me about it.

It's "You To Be" he said.

I said, "You be what?".

"It's movies on the Internet!" he told me.

And I found out, he actually meant "Youtube"


(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text can only be republished with permission and links back to the article/ blog.

Monday, December 5, 2011

our little "date"

Hubs and I attended Hub friend’s wedding last Saturday at Damansara Heights. It was like a long-awaited “date” for us :-D.

We started the day by explaining to our kids that we needed to go to a wedding dinner. Of course they wanted to follow. But we explained that kids are not allowed, beer and wine will be served (not suitable for kids), bla bla bla. In response to that, my little boy suggested that since they (kids) can’t go, why not we (adults) stay home with them as well? Hubs explained that because they (Hub’s friends) attended our wedding dinner, so we have to attend theirs as well. Luckily HQ accepted that reason… phew!

We have tried bringing our kids to a friend’s wedding dinner before. It was tiring and so unmanageable. It’s different when we attended my brother’s and relative’s weddings where my parents were there as well to lend a hand. At friends’ wedding dinners, we concluded that it’s best just to give ang pow and not to go. Until now, we decided we shall go, without the kids. Hee hee hee. We are very lucky that Mum volunteered to baby-sit. Thanks so much, Mum & Dad! :-D.

So it was an enjoyable evening :-). For once, we can eat in peace and have proper adult conversations with friends. And I can take my time in the washroom :-). I felt so liberated!
My dress that night. I bought this dress online from here, and unlike other miss or hit online purchases, I am very happy with this dress. Thanks so much, Shireen :-). Too bad I didn’t get to snap a full length photo… too paiseh, I seemed to be the only one snapping photos before the dinner :-). We left at 10.00pm right after the dinner and yum seng (no after-dinner clubbing for us) and reached Mum’s place at 10.30pm. Surprisingly the kids were still awake; they’re waiting for us to return! Hahaha… it would be our turn to wait for them to come home when they reach their teens :-D.

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text can only be republished with permission and links back to the article/ blog.

Friday, December 2, 2011

QQ's first kindy concert

QQ: 4y 3m old

HQ's last kindergarten concert was also QQ's first concert. Unlike HQ who started kindy when he was 3, QQ only started when she was 4. Which is this year.

She was so excited about her concert. Mainly, she's excited about her very sparkly (and sexy) costume. Although she felt uncomfortable in it (she kept scratching her waist while doing her moves on the stage), she loved it to bits. And she's also very excited about putting on make-up. Haha... this was the first time she put on make-up and was the main highlight of her day :-D.

Here's my little vainpot putting on her make-up. She's so afraid that she may smudge her lipgloss and kept her lips pursed; haha!All done! :-DWith korkor :-)
She did 3 dances that day. Here's the video of one of the dances (she's the girl in the middle).

While dancing the other 2 dances, she was communicating with her other friends who were not on the stage. Calling out to her friends, waving, making angry faces, and laughing with her friends... this girl gets distracted very easily... tsk tsk tsk :-)She also sang a solo English song. The teacher chosed a simple song for her. She stammered when she introduced herself; instead of saying "I am here to sing a song named Mary had a Little Lamb", she said "I am here to sing Mary had a Little Lamb". Because of that missed word "song", she stammered and thought she had to say the whole sentence again :-). If you listen carefully, she sang a little faster than the music. And the poor girl got to sing 4 rounds of the same song following the music, over and over again. At the end of it, parents were clapping their hands in tune to the song, and singing along with her :-D

It's ok, mistakes and all, she still enjoyed herself :-). And by going on stage alone, I think she gained a bit more self confidence :-).

She received the Best Reader Award (English), for reading her Peter and Jane series (1a to 3c) well. She was also placed 2nd in her class of 22 students. We were rather surprised that she scored quite high in her Mandarin reading too :-)
Emotionally, her teachers commented that she's an easy-going child, happy, very courteous and always ready to help :-). She's generous most of the time, but if she says no, and kids still snatch her things, she'll retaliate. Her weaker point is although she's very fierce in protecting herself/ her stuffs, she cries easily too (more like tears of anger) :-S.

Good job, Mei mei! We're mighty proud of her :-).

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text can only be republished with permission and links back to the article/ blog.

Monday, November 28, 2011

HQ's graduation day

As I see my firstborn happily skipped to his school gate on his last day of kindergarten, wearing his concert uniform and swinging bags of goodies in his hand, I have mixed feelings. I am eager to see him grow and ready for new challenges... he's so excited with the new school! Opportunities to make new friends, new environment, Robotics class, Chinese chess (which he starts to play now), proper self defense lessons and more. I'm looking forward to packing his snacks for school breaks and to hear his stories after school :-D. Yet I am worried to no ends how the new school schedule will affect him.

We attended HQ's last kindergarten concert on a Saturday, 5th November 2011. It was his graduation day as well. His graduation photo... he does look like a big boy, doesn't he? :')
Seeing my firstborn march up the stage as the first kid to give his short graduation speech, made my eyes well with tears.

What he said: "Good afternoon. My name is Bxxx Hxx Qxxx and I am 6 years old. When I grow up, I want to be a Forest Ranger, whereby I can take care of the forest."

Where other kids wanted to be teachers, doctors, polices, nurses, my HQ wants to be a Forest Ranger. Must be too much influence from Nat Geo Wild :-).

But, you know what? He later whispered in my ear that "Mama, let me tell you a secret. I actually want to be a spy. But I cannot tell anyone about this, so I tell them I want to be a Forest Ranger. That's my second choice"

:-). Amazing how little kids think ya? :-)

He started out being really unsure of his Mandarin characters, and we used to spend 1/2 hour every weekend to practice his Ting Xie for the first school term. For the second school term, he's already doing dictation, and he insisted that he didn't need practicing. Yes, he's a lazy little boy and we let him (bad parents :-( ). However, we were surprised when he often comes home with full points for his dictations. During the school concert, he was also awarded with "Best Improvement in Mandarin". His Headmistress told us that he deserves the award :-).He's represented the 6 year olds in telling an English story during the concert... I was listening with all ears, and he did not make even one mistake :-). My chest heaved with pride :-). Here's a video of the story, although it could be much better if the background wasn't that noisy.

I enjoy seeing my big boy doing big things on the stage, and mingles with his teachers and friends. But I couldn't help feeling that he's living his own life now without much assistance and influence from us adults. I feel he is really growing up too fast!

For the past one year, he has grown a whole lot. He has attended this kindergarten for the half day session since 2010 for 5 year old class (he attended another kindy f0r 3 and 4 year old classes). This year, he was placed 5th among 23 other six year olds. Although it is not a top 3 position, I am proud of his achievements. To me, it is not only academic achievements that we need to stress on. Confidence, being comfortable among people he has just met, carrying himself well in public, and courage to do new unfamiliar things count a lot too. I wouldn't say he's perfect in all those; there's still lots of room to grow :-)

I hope he will continue to grow, emotionally and academically, as an individual and as a team member of our little family. Hubs and I are excited for his future, and also very mindful to be better role models to him. Yes, Hubs and I have a lot to learn and improve too. I am sometimes very afraid that we are not sufficient as we are now and may lead him the wrong way... so, do pray for us!

HQ's first concert in October 2008 (3y 5m old)
HQ's second concert in November 2010 (5y 6m old)

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text can only be republished with permission and links back to the article/ blog.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

my cutest "birthday letter"

HQ, my 6 year old firstborn gave me this "birthday letter" on my birthday. Yes, my birthday's today!

I was very surprised and touched by his 2nd sentence, and I was laughing heartily from his 3rd sentence onward :') What a cute and fun way to describe!

My dear dear boy... thank you for the very thoughtful and sweet note. I feel so blessed having you as my son, and I love you very very very much too :-D.

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text can only be republished with permission and links back to the article/ blog.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

singapore 2011: day 3

This is a forewarn that this post has some really unacceptably blurry images. Due to poor camera, poor photographing skills, poor lighting (and any other reasons that I could not think of at the moment :-)).

On day 3 of our Singapore trip, we planned to go Universal Studio at Sentosa Island, but due to the heavy rain in the morning, we decided not to. We don't fancy lugging a whole lot of umbrellas, caps and hats to that place, queuing under the rain and anticipating many cancelled rides.

And so, we decided to use our free coupons instead, complimentary from the resort. We were really tempted to use the tickets for Wild Wild Wet, the water park of the resort. But for the same reason (heavy rain), we ditched the idea.

We used the tickets for the indoor playground instead, eXplorerkid, which was located inside the shopping mall adjacent to the resort, White Sands Shopping Centre. This decision was strongly seconded by my nephew, because he just had his birthday celebration there and it was one of his most favourite place :-D

The indoor playground is HUGE... no kidding. The playstation(Mega Play) was 3 floors high... and as big as a classroom. Adults have no problem going in too. The kids went ballistic!The lit ball poolThe toddlers' play area
There's also one structure set up for various adventurous activities, which the boys were really eager to try. However, they have to be at least 120cm tall, so none of them got to try it. If we go now, HQ would have just reached that height :-). So the boys climb the cliff instead.I noticed that in playing, HQ prefers to play in a group, while QQ prefers to play on her own. Although HQ do love doing activities on his own like reading, and play pretend with his toys, in this instance, he was playing closely with his cousin and kept encouraging QQ to play with them. He was fabricating a story of spies and baddies and needed QQ as one of his teammate :-)

QQ on the other hand kept running out of the group and exploring the place on her own. Again, although she has no problem playing with friends at other times, in this instance, she wanted to be playing alone.

Funny how kids react at different times :-).

After some really good exercise, we dragged the kids out for a late lunch at a Hong Kong coffee shop. And they doddle on the Boogie Board :-). Click here to read more on how they enjoyed the session :-)

After lunch, Sis and her boys left for her friend's place for a Hari Raya open house. We decided to check out the nearby park & beach. There were lots of facilities available; bicycle tracks, bicycles for rent, a wide clean beach and picnic spots, lots of BBQ plots too, horse rides, fishing spots, etc. After a breezy walk at the beach, we went for dinner. We explored White Sands Shopping Centre next to our resort and crossed the bridge to the opposite mall as well. We ate at Just Acia that offers good healthy food at an amazingly low price... a big bowl of chicken whole leg and chinese herbs soup, yummy seaweed taufu, miso soup, chawan mushi, greens, edamame, tasty panfried salmon, and kimchi. The helpings were pretty generous and the food was fresh. What delighted my kids most is the free flow of drinks and ice-cream :-)After our dinner, we managed to do some shopping. On our way back, we saw a man swirling cotton candy in the cotton candy maker. The kids were fascinated, and wanted to try some. It's really fluffy compared to pre-made ones that we always see at hypermarkets. This is the first time our kids tasted cotton candy, and they loved it.
That's the end of of day 3 tour at Singapore.

The next day we visited Granny again, picked up mum, BIL treated us to a scrumptious lunch, did more shopping and we headed for home. The drive home was smooth, although it did rained quite heavily and we encountered a short stretch of jam at one of the exit to a small town. Forgotten the name of the town, but other than that the drive home was uneventful :-).

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text can only be republished with permission and links back to the article/ blog.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

doodling has never been so fun :-)

We were having lunch at a Hong Kong coffee shop in Singapore sometime ago. While waiting for our food to come, as usual, our kids wasted no time to doodle on their Boogie Board.

They totally love their Boogie Board as it very easy and fun to use :-).Boogie Board is a LCD writing tablet that is paperless and great for the environment. Great for me too as I just got to slip a really slim and light tablet into my bag when we go out. And no mess of scribbled paper and flying pencil shaves to clean up :-)What's new at Boogie Board is you can now save your images in PDF! (Picture borrowed from Boogie Board Singapore)Isn't that so cool? :-)

Check them out at their Facebook Page :-)

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text can only be republished with permission and links back to the article/ blog.

singapore trip 2011: day 2

On our second day in Singapore, we took our time in waking up and by the time we left our room, it was quite late in the morning. We did a quick and simple brekkie at the resort's food court again. After breakfast, Hubs needed to drop by his Singapore office. Again, with the help of our Papago, we made our way. It's a very long stretch of road and by the time we reached Hub's office, QQ has fallen asleep. She must still be tired from the night before.

After taking care of what Hubs had to do in his office, we made our way to Jurong Bird Park. As planned, Sis called us and we met up for lunch. It’s a close fight between Chinese food and McDonalds… in the end Mummies won :-).

QQ with her signature rice on the side of her mouth :-)Here are some pictures taken at Jurong Bird Park.
Here’s how our little Princess enjoyed her tour. Papa, who’s always been her hero, was even more appreciated that day :-D.We enjoyed a bird show at the amphitheatre – Birds are Buddies. The show was filled with pink flamingoes, clever parrots, hornbills and swift eagles.Our kids were really hopeful to be picked as a volunteer…
They really enjoyed the show. Love their happy expressions :-DAt the end of the show, the kids wanted to donate some money to the park, so they made a beeline to the donation box. The place was so crowded I didn't manage to take a photo. After that we moved aside and took a photo with the colourful parrots.Right after “Birds are Buddies”, we went to another show "Kings Of the Skies”. Waiting for the show to start. This show is more informational, sharing the history of birds as predators of different continents. Owls, eagles and vultures. Pretty interesting.Kids insisted to take a photo with one of the “actress” in the show, a noble lady from the Medieval times, with her prized eagle.It was drizzling when the show was over, and we continued with our tour with caps, hats and umbrellas. We went to the lorries station. By the time we left, the park's rangers were already rounding up the place to inform everyone that they were closing for the day. It was dinner time. I remember we were all famished, but I couldn't recall where we had dinner :-(. I asked hubs, and he can't too... Sigh... age is really catching up :-(.

I only recall that that night, while the kids were sleeping, hubs and I got to watch a movie that I've been planning to watch for ages... Pursuit of Happyness, staring Will Smith. It was good :-).

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text can only be republished with permission and links back to the article/ blog.


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