making it easier to keep in touch with family and friends

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Birthday, Grandmother/ Mother

The girls find it very hard to forget their grandmother's birthday! Their grandmother's birthday falls on 31 October which is also Halloween. Another reason why the girls would not dare to forget their grandmother's birthday - they think their grandmother is a witch because she has uncanny abilities lol. They claimed that their grandmother would always know when they are up to no good, at times even when they were just thinking about it! Hahaha.

Happy Birthday, Grandmother/ Mother!

lots of love from
All of us in Singapore and UK

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Windows 8

During lunch break, my colleagues and I dropped into Challenger, an IT store to look at the latest operating system on PCs, notebooks, etc.: Windows 8. 
Haha, it looks like my Nokia Lumia 800. :P I love Windows 8 already lol. I love the tiles, the colours, the interface lol. I am thinking if I should get a new netbook... :P

Monday, 29 October 2012

Signature Please

Both Marieann and Juliane were returned their exam papers today for parent's signature. They both passed their exams. However, I felt differently towards the girls despite both passing all their exams.
I was really proud of Marieann because she achieved all her targets and has improved in her results, especially for Chinese. :) I will be getting her her Sentimental Circus stuff as promised. Well-done, Marieann! Keep it up.
I was disappointed with Juliane because she had fallen short of achieving her targets. :( As a consequence for not doing well enough, Juliane will be doing revision work during the school holidays. Pull up your socks, Juliane!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Happy Birthday, Yeun Yi!

Happy 10th Birthday, Yeun Yi! 
Hope you have a great party! :) 

Lots of love, 
all of us in Singapore and Taiwan (Ah Ma is in Taiwan now).

Saturday, 27 October 2012

MY VERY Quiet Birthday

It is a very quiet birthday, would not even have any celebration if I didn't say anything (see below). But thank goodness for the great company of Matthew, James and Dennis, I enjoyed myself.
Within a day, I read Seven Ancient Wonders by Matthew Reilly, Temple by James Rollins and The Irishman's Horse by Dennis Lynds (aka Michael Collins). :) Well, the day started really early and I have read those books umpteen times so I know the stories really well and could speed read lol. I just love re-reading my books. :P  

The girls had their dental appointment in the morning. I was disappointed that they didn't remember my birthday but I wasn't going to let them off so easily. So I messaged Marieann when they were on their way to the dental clinic.

Me: Buy me a birthday cake!
                        Marieann: Why?                      
Me: My birthday!!!!
                                         Marieann: Ah Kong forgot your birthday.
Me: I'm disappointed. Don't remember 
my birthday but you can remember your
teacher's birthday which is same day as 
                      Mareiann: Yes, so sad for you
                        Marieann: Mei Mei wrote that!

I almost fainted when I saw the second last message. When they came home, they did buy me a birthday cake but Juliane still had a earful from me. 
I am still waiting for my birthday cards... I won't stop nagging until I get them lol.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Workshop of the Non-Academic Kind

This is the first time I ever attended a beauty workshop organised by Clarins whose skincare products I use. The workshop (of 5 people) started at 2pm and ended around 3pm. It was pretty fun, especially since I attended it with a colleague lol. The Clarins beauty consultant taught us how to apply the various products properly and told us the benefits of the various products. Frankly, I am surprised that I didn't end up with more wrinkles and lines than I do now because I have been exerting way too much strength and pressure when applying the products on my face lol. It was quite flattering too when one of the beauty consultants mistook me for being younger and asked me to try out a product for a younger age group haha. Thank you for thinking I am younger. :P 
At the end of the workshop, we were given a door gift (several pieces of travel size products) and additional goodies if you are a Isetan card holder. Although I had to pay $40 to attend the workshop, I was given 2x$20 vouchers in return which I could use to buy Clarins products. So it was pretty good value for money. :) 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Flu with High Fever

Juliane is down with flu and high fever. It has been quite some time since she last had high fever. Her temperature went as high as 39.5C. Juliane was given one day's medical leave for today and also to be excused from her school's swimming programme on Monday 29 October. 
She slept most of the time and didn't have much appetite. Her temperature fluctuated between 38C and 39.2C, especially in the night. I had to keep replacing the ice packs which were used to lower her temperature because they warmed up so fast due to her high temperature. It was worrying that her temperature is so high. I hope she will recover and be back to her normal self soon.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Pre-Birthday Dinner Celebration

Yesterday, my friends decided to take me out for pre-birthday dinner to celebrate my birthday which is this coming Saturday. It was so nice of them. :) But what they didn't know was yesterday was actually my Chinese birthday! So they were right on time lol. :P They came to pick me up after work and we went to Parco Caffe which I have never been to.
I was really surprised to know there is a restaurant in the middle of Raeburn Park which is a commercial/ office building behind the former Tanjong Pagar railway station. I love the decor of Parco Caffe, lots of green foliage which makes one feel as if you are dining in a park, and green is my favourite colour lol. :P

We chose to have soup as our first course - Mozzarella, Lettuce and Cold Tomato Soup ($20) and Chickpea Cream Soup with Seared Tiger Prawns ($13). I pinched a bit of my friends' cold tomato soup. The cold tomato soup was really tangy and the mozzarella complemented the soup perfectly. I had the chickpea soup which I totally enjoyed and the prawns were really fresh and crunchy. The bread was very delicious (and warm) too, with the condiments provided and with the soups. 
 For the mains, we ordered Beef Loin with Foie Gras, Mushroom, Rosti and Creamy Truffle Sauce ($36) and Pan-roasted Prawn Tail wrapped in Sole Filet with Potato Mash and Bisque Sauce ($29). Since I don't take beef, I tried only the foie gras from my friend's plate lol. Just one word to describe the foie gras - YUM! Lol. I loved my prawn tails wrapped in sole filet very much. It is certainly an innovative way of combining the two kinds of seafood and making them taste so good together. :)

For dessert, I wanted something light and not too sweet so I went for the Mango and Yogurt Mousse ($12) while my friends ordered the Lemongrass Panna Cotta ($10). I enjoyed my mousse which tasted a little like cheesecake but I loved my friends' panna cotta more. The lemongrass panna cotta was light and extremely refreshing.

I really enjoyed my pre-birthday dinner and the company was great as well. :) Thank you so much! :)

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Streaming In

The girls' exam results are streaming in...
So far, Marieann has gotten her Science and Chinese results and partial results for Math while Juliane has gotten all her results - English, Math and Chinese. I think by tomorrow, Marieann would have gotten the remaining results.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Aren't You Stressed?

Today, a colleague asked me that, "Aren't you stressed?"
"Stress? What stress?", I asked. 
"The kids' exams!", said my colleague. 
"Oh! (Laughing) No because my kids' exams are over!", said I. 
From our conversation and with my other colleagues, I realised my girls' school started their exams earlier than most schools. One reason could be the girls' school is a full school (both primary and secondary schools in the same site) and the school wants the primary school students out of the school before the O level exams start in early November because their school holiday starts on 10 November, earlier than the other primary schools. :)

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Unstress Almost

Tomorrow is Marieann's last paper - Mathematics. I would be going over with her the various Math topics. Just a little more to go, Marieann and it will be over soon enough. For me too. :)

Saturday, 20 October 2012


This post is a response to a reader who asked me to post about my experiences with bullying. What I would like to do in this post is to talk about why a child might become a bully. 
With my combined experience as a teacher, educational psychologist and counsellor of over 15 years, I have met my share of bullies in schools. I have discovered that very rarely, it is a simple clear-cut case of a bully being a bully because he/ she simply wants to or aspires to be a bully. There are often underlying reasons resulting in a child becoming a bully.
For the younger children, sometimes, it is a learnt behaviour from significant adults in the family.  The children have seen these adults get their way using these behaviours and the children are simply copying the behaviours, not realising it is not the right kind of behaviours when interacting with their peers. In other words, the bullying behaviours are a way of life for these children. Usually, I would speak to the parents to find out more about the family situation and work with the parents and child.
Sometimes, the bullying behaviour is a reaction to changes in the children's lives, e.g. death in the family, divorce between parents, new family member (could be younger sibling or step-parent and/ or step-siblings), relocation, and others. The adults may see the changes as a part and parcel of life but to a child, it is a major upheaval of things familiar to them and often beyond their control. These children thus react in the form of bullying to retain some sense of control in their lives. Usually, I discovered that in such cases, the adults have neglected to explain the situation to the children, often citing that children won't understand or that the children would adapt easily. Again, I would speak to the parent(s) and work with the parent(s) and the child.
From my personal experience, the above are the more common reasons of why a child is a bully. I feel it is just as important to understand the reason(s) why a child is a bully while tackling the bullying behaviour. Without understand the reason, any course of action will only just subdue the bullying for the time being and it would resurface again later. 
I hope this post has been helpful in highlighting what are some of the possible reasons of a child becoming a bully.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Talented Violinist - Lindsey Stirling

My girls discovered Lindsey Stirling's Youtube videos and introduced me to her. Wow, she is really talented! Lindsey is is an American violinist, musician, dancer, performance artist, as well as composer. She has original works and covers of songs. Here are some of her covers.

A Phantom of the Opera (uploaded by lindseystomp)

Skyrim by Peter Hollens and Lindsey Stirling (uploaded by lindseystomp)
Amazing, they even dressed up as characters. :)

Lord of The Rings Medley (uploaded by lindseystomp)

Thursday, 18 October 2012

False Alarm

Today was the last day that the girls followed me into office. Tomorrow, they will be back at school. While I was checking up on Marieann and her progress in Science revision in the late morning, the fire alarm went off!! My girls were grinning from ear to ear while a collective groan arose from the adults in the office. My girls have been hoping for a repeat of Monday's fire drill. After a while, it proved to be a false alarm. My girls were really disappointed that it was a false alarm but all the adults in the office were really glad that it was a false alarm! Lol. Personally I think my girls were hoping for another fire drill so that they could take a break from their exam revision. Well, just bear with it, in a few days' time, your exams will be over. :)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

No Drill, No Thrill

For the third day, the girls are back in my office. However, there was no repeat of a fire drill... 
No drill, no thrill, they said lol. 
Maybe tomorrow, they said. 
NO, I thought. 
But since my office is a conducive place for them to do their revision with no distractions, they are welcomed to come to my office again tomorrow. They can try to catch another fire drill but good luck with that lol.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Exam Revision

My girls are back in my office for the second day. They continued with their revision - Marieann writing up her Science notes and Juliane doing Math exercises online. They were waiting for excitement to happen today in the office. Unfortunately for them (and fortunately for me), the fire drill wasn't repeated lol. 
Since they have been hard at work, I decided to give them a little tame excitement. I brought them to Jurong Hill for lunch lol. Well, it is a place that they have never been to and it has a kind of old world charm. You definitely don't see many places like this anymore in Singapore. 
After lunch (at the Japanese restaurant at the bottom of the tower), the girls enjoyed running up the look-out tower at Jurong Hill. Instead of stairs going up the tower, it is a ramp all the way to the top. They said it was like a car park but for people lol. The girls could see an aerial view of Jurong from the top of the tower - Jurong Island, Bukit Timah Hill in the distance, etc. 

 The girls also enjoyed walking round the Garden of Fame, looking at the many trees planted by visiting foreign dignitaries from 1969 until 1984. They only recognised one name "Queen Elizabeth II" lol.
As usual (whenever they visit my office), Marieann and Juliane enjoyed themselves. It was a fruitful day for the girls.

Blog Post about Bullying

A reader has asked me to do a blog post about bullying based on my experiences as a teacher/ educational psychologist/ counsellor. Thank you for asking. It is a good idea. 
I will do it as soon as I can. Please bear with me.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Surprise Fire Drill

It is the start of the four days of PSLE marking. I doubt that the girls will really do their exam revision if I leave them at home. So I brought them along with me to work where there is no tv, no computer, no iPad, no telephone, no bed, no fridge. In other words, there is NO distractions for them at my workplace! :) I am cruel, I know lol.
They settled down at the empty work stations just next to mine and immediately started doing their revision - Marieann worked on her Science notes and Juliane did past-year papers on Math. I checked on them once in a while to make sure that they were on track. They were making good progress by lunch time. :) After lunch, we continued with our respective work.
Suddenly at 3.10pm or so, the fire alarm went off. The girls were spooked and asked if they should run. I told them to continue with their work since nobody was moving. :P Then came an announcement that they were checking the situation. Soon after, came the announcement that we had to evacuate the building. Argh. I was right in the middle of work... :(
Not wanting to risk it being a real fire, I told the girls to pack up their stuff and bring them along while I lugged my notebook as I haven't backed up my data for a while now. Won't be funny if I lose my data in a fire. We all moved out in an orderly (but somewhat leisurely, maybe because it was only a fire drill?! Not really the right attitude, I know) manner to the car park area. To make the fire drill exercise more realistic, there was a "fire" (lots of smoke, used a smoke bomb?), an "injured" person, and a fire engine also arrived with firemen to put out the "fire". The "injured" person was attended to while our attendance were taken to make sure everyone was accounted for. It was very hot standing in the sun and we were there for close to 30 minutes. When I was in school, 30 minutes was considered a fail as it was too long a time taken to account for everyone's safety. Actually it is quite shameful that we adults took far longer than school students would in a fire drill to evacuate to safety. :S By 3.50pm, we were allowed to return to our office. 

The fire engine, the Light Fire Attack Vehicle (LFAV aka Red Rhino) and the firemen
It was pure heaven to return to the air-conditioned office after the sweltering heat but it was hard to settle back to work after the interruption. But I think the girls welcomed the fire drill because it provided them with a break and some excitement for the day lol. :P

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Fight Against Bullying - Stand Up by Mike Tompkins

Here is an original song, Stand Up by Mike Tompkins. He wrote the song to empower young people to overcome challenges related to bullying. He hopes to raise awareness and encourage young people to stand up to bullying. 

Stand Up (uploaded by pbpproductions)

Stand Up lyrics: 

All around the world if we stand up, then we'll light up, and we'll rise up Kid it gets better from here
If we stand up, then we'll rise up and we'll light up up up
All around the world

Verse 1:

Just takes a single moment to find a weak component Sounds like the same old story, but not just one story And all I know is hope is found,
In what's about to come right past now,

You're not alone, with no where to roam,
Just look at the places and where you'll go
Tonight you and me and I,
Still time to decide, whether we step up or stand by the side, And nothings impossible, it's not a long way to go,

Just takes you and I


All around the world if we stand up, then we'll light up, and we'll rise up Kid it gets better from here
If we stand up, then we'll rise up and we'll light up up up
All around the world

I chose to Stand up, I chose to believe and know that there's still so much more than this

Verse 2:

Tomorrows a new day, will we fight it?
Or will we be so cold.
And all I know is hope is found,
When you and I stand up, with courage now.
One day you'll find looking back on your life you will be proud Tonight you and me and I,

Still time to decide, whether we step up or stand by the side, And nothings impossible, it's not a long way to go,
Just takes you and I


All around the world if we stand up, then we'll light up, and we'll rise up Kid it gets better from here
If we stand up, then we'll rise up and we'll light up up up
All around the world

I chose to Stand up, I chose to believe and know that there's still so much more than this


Put your hands up, and scream real loud.
We about to turn the whole world upside down

Saturday, 13 October 2012


The girls get a little breather this weekend. 
Although they are half-way through their examinations, there are four days of PSLE marking (15-18 October) next week (which means no school for the girls). Hence the exam only resumes on 19 October. Marieann and Juliane will rest this weekend and start their exam revision again on Monday 15 October. :)

Friday, 12 October 2012

Press On!

By the end of this week, Marieann has completed 2 out of 4 examinations and Juliane has completed 2 out of 3 examinations. The examinations are half over. :) Marieann still have Science and Mathematics examinations and Juliane is left with Mathematics examination.
Press on, Girls!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Beauty Workshop

This is the first time ever that I signed up to attend a workshop that is not academic in nature! A Clarins  hands-on beauty workshop featuring a new product lol. A colleague from work asked if I wanted to attend it with her. Since it will be held at Isetan Scotts (near my home), so "Why not?" I thought lol. I have been curious about this new Clarins product but was just too lazy to find out more about it. As such, this workshop will be perfect, in more ways than one: 1) get information about this new product and its application, 2) get double points for any purchases I make because it is my birth month, 3) get to meet up with my colleague in an informal environment other than work, and 4) it will be a little pre-birthday treat for myself. :)
I am looking forward to this beauty workshop on the afternoon of 26 October lol. :)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Happy Birthday, Yeun Song!

Happy 8th Birthday, Yeun Song! :)

Here's your birthdate prediction by Blogthings. Just for fun, ok? Hope Mommy and Daddy are okay with this :P
Your Birthdate Predicts You're Fearless
Ever since you were born, you've always been able to assert yourself.
You are confident in carving your own path. Soon enough, other people will be persuaded and follow along.

You are driven and competitive to the point of being impulsive. You'll do just about anything to win.
It drives you crazy when you have to stay still in life. You are too dynamic to stay stagnant.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Birth Month - October

In October, we have four birthdays in our family - my 2nd nephew, Yeun Song (10 October), me (27 October), my 1st nephew, Yeun Yi (28 October) and my mother (31 October). So what does our birth month, October say about us?

Your Birth Month Says You're Principled
You are a natural leader who is able to stand up when no one else can.
Strong and powerful, you tend to overshadow those around you.

Your soul reflects: Gratitude, comfort, and true love

Your gemstone: Tourmaline

Your flower: Cosmos

Your colors: White and yellow
What Does Your Birth Month Mean?

Haha, we have four principled, strong, powerful, natural leaders in our family. :) 

Monday, 8 October 2012

SA2, Here We Go!

The girls start their SA2 this week, beginning with the English and Chinese written papers on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Both last night and tonight, I went through with Marieann and Juliane vocabularies useful for their composition-writing and I had both girls write out the vocabularies on flash cards for revision and easy reference. Hope the flash cards will help them.
Good Luck, Marieann and Juliane for your exams!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Childhood Memories

How many of you remember this?! 
It was a happy childhood memory and comfort food for me. :) I remember when I was young, my mother would reward me with a piece of Arctic Roll when I behaved well or did something well. :)
Birds Eye's Arctic Roll
I am really happy to see Arctic Roll selling at the Market Place, Tanglin Mall. :)

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Favourite Hobby?

What is your favourite hobby? That was the question posed to me by my girls as we lay in bed talking just before bedtime.

Girls: What is your favourite hobby?
Me: Hmm, what do you think?
Girls: Scolding us. 
Me: What?!

I am offended that they thought my favourite hobby is scolding them. Hey I have better things to do, ok?! If you girls pay better attention to your work, I will definitely be scolding you girls less!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Happy Children's Day 2012

Happy Children's Day!

It is also "Bring Your Child to Work" Day at my workplace today. I was initially hesitant about letting the girls come to my workplace because their exams start next Monday! But I relented as it is Children's Day and they did deserve some fun. (BUT I also got their promise that they will work hard for their exams lol :P ) 
The day started at 8.45am with registration and the girls each received a goodie bag with a book on Science facts (Marieann got Animal Planet's Incredible Journeys: Amazing Animal Migrations and Juliane received discover science's Apes and Monkeys), a hand-held battery operated fan, a pen, a bag of popcorn, and a bottle of mineral water. Following after registration was the Book Exchange activity. I bought new books for the girls to bring to this particular activity as they couldn't bear to part with any of their books. They managed to pick up books that they liked. :) The other parents were also present with their children during the registration and book exchange activity. By 9.30am, all the children who were divided into different groups, proceeded to the Math laboratory for Math and Arts Activity. 
Marieann and Juliane (with the exhanged book in her hands) after the Book Exchange Activity
Just before the girls moved off to the Math and Arts Activity
Lunch was at 11.45am and I met up with the girls again. After their lunch, I brought them to the Prologue stall that was set-up especially for today. I bought them each a book. Story-telling by Adeline Foo and Stephanie Wong was next on the programme. I told the girls that I was classmate with Adeline Foo at NJC but they didn't believe me. Sigh. So I stayed till Adeline Foo arrived. Yes, Adeline did recognise me and we chatted for a while before I left (back to work!). Oh yes, Juliane managed to ask Adeline Foo to autograph on her Amos Lee Book 2. :) Movie screening of Kung Fu Panda was after the Story-telling. 
The girls and their Mckkies lunch (not exactly the heathiest lunch choice)
Overall, the girls really enjoyed themselves with the activities, the goodies they received and the new books they bought. They said that they want to attend "Bring Your Child to Work Day again next year. :)
The girls at the landscaped water feature just before Admin Block

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Speedy Recovery, BC!

My friend's cat, BC, whom I look after whenever they go away for holidays, underwent a dental operation today. BC is pretty elderly, 17 years old and so his owner was extremely worried about the complications during operation due to BC's old age, existing health conditions, etc. Called my friend in the late afternoon and heard that the operation went well and the offending broken tooth was removed, in fact, quite a few rotten teeth were removed too. Gosh! No wonder, the poor boy kept having mouth infection. :( Now they are out of the way, BC should have less dental problems.
I am really happy that the operation went well. I wish BC a speedy recovery. :) Take care, BC. :)

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Good Bye, PSLE 2012

Today is the last paper, Higher Mother Tongue for PSLE 2012. (For most of the P6 students, the last paper was yesterday.) As I was in school for counselling, I heard the P6 students cheering when they were dismissed. Well done, Girls! All the P6 students have definitely earned their well-deserved break. :) 

PS. I can't speak for the other schools but for my counselling school, I haven't heard of any emotional breakdown from the students after the PSLE papers. Either the papers are set within acceptable range of difficulty, this cohort of students are emotionally stronger or this cohort of students are just well-prepared! Lol. I hope all of them obtained the results that they hoped for.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Psy Gangnam Style Parody - Star Trek Klingon Style

On a lighter note, here is another this parody of Gangnam Style. This parody has recently gone viral with over 2 million views! As a Star Trek fan, I totally enjoyed it because it was done in the Star Trek style and used mostly Klingon language! Amazing lol. :) For those of you who are not Star Trek fans, the dancers were dressed as characters from Star Trek: The Next Generation. :)

(uploaded by Comediva)

Monday, 1 October 2012

Ronan by Taylor Swift

A beautiful, sad and touching new song, "Ronan" by Taylor Swift. She wrote the song as tribute to Ronan Thompson, a 3 year old who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and passed away nine months later after a brave fight with the cancer. The words of "Ronan" was based on a blog posting by Ronan's mother, Maya Thompson who has a co-writing credit on the song. All the money raised from the song will go to cancer charities, while Thompson’s share will go to the Ronan Thompson Foundation, a charity devoted to establishing a neuroblastoma research and treatment centre. Bravo, Taylor Swift for doing the right thing. 

Ronan (uploaded by AllTaylorSwift13)