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Month: April 2013

Let Them Grow

Let Them Grow

“She doesn’t know how to take the bus.”
“You must be kidding!! Isn’t she in Sec 2 this year?! I went around on buses when I was in Primary 5!!”
“Well, she’s always been ferried around by her mother…”

Oh my goodness…

Overprotective parents. Are we helping or harming our children?? Sure, these youngsters are academically brilliant but completely inept in handling normal day to day stuff.

I even see it in 宝贝. She’s been ferried around so much that taking mrt and bus are treats. I recall that it was the other way round for me. Buses (mrts were only operational very much later) were the norms. Car rides were the treats!!

When I gossiped with my friends about these “lucky” kids, it made me more mindful that I need to stop mollycoddling my children. Sometimes, for the sake of convenience, we “help” them with their tasks. Are we really helping or over helping??

We sometimes underestimate the abilities of our children. They are in fact, very capable of performing many tasks. We, parents, should have confidence in them and let them do it.

宝贝 was able to feed herself at a very young age. Of course, we went through lots of cleaning up and soiled clothes before we reached that stage. It was so tempting to just take over the spoon and shovel the food into her mouth so that I could save myself the task of cleaning up the entire mess!! I shudder at seeing grown up children (even the ones in primary schools) being fed by their parents and maids at the restaurants or even at family functions. Ok, I’d rather go for the mess at home during training than to be caught dead with an academically brilliant imbecile who still requires feeding at an advanced age.

Sure, she wants me to help her with everything, if she has the choice. It’s the easy way out. i usually let her choose – either she does it herself or everything remains status quo. No coercion or begging. Her choice.

Definitely, if the tasks are dangerous to perform at her age, I’d definitely take over. Her grandmas and some friends of mine think I’m too brave. Their idea of “safe” differs from mine at times. :p

There’s no better time than now to let go and let them learn. In fact, I have to constantly remind myself to let go for I can’t take care of her forever.

At the age of 3.5, she can do the following things (which I think all children of her age should be able to do) :
– Use the toilet on her own with the help of the handy ikea stool. That stool is worth every single cent and a hundred times more!!
– Dress herself.
– Prepare her own breakfast. Simple one of course.
– Feed herself.
– Pack her schoolbag.
– Walk home after she alights from her school bus
– Set the table (cutlery and plates) for the whole family at mealtimes.
– Bring her own dirty plate and cutlery back to the kitchen.
– Return her toys and books back to their original places after use.
– Do her own laundry. (Just putting them into the laundry basket and then into the washing machine, turn on the washing machine at the right setting).
– Use the phone, dial the correct numbers and “buy” groceries, (She places her grocery orders with my Dad. Haha.) or simply chit chat. She remembers a few people’s numbers for this purpose.
– Send whatsapp messages with single words.

Quite a long list! Next one on the list – bathe herself adequately.

Of course she gets treats when she does her chores. I just have to take the risk of cleaning up the mess if she fouls up. But hey! It’s for the long term benefit. Think of the amount of time and money you can save when she can help out with the household chores??


Meanwhile… Here’s my little housemaid in her Hello Kitty apron. That’s extra incentive. She likes to look good when she’s performing household chores. :p

People of Singapore

People of Singapore

People of Singapore – One Face at a Time.

How apt. I stumbled upon this blog when it was cross linked to one of my news tweets.

It’s a blog chronicling the lives of the people who are living in Singapore, from all walks of life.

Ignore all the happiness reports, boring people reports, wealth reports and other trashy reports out there that people like to quote, especially on the social media. This is the real Singapore. These are the people in flesh, forging their lives in Singapore. Real living people define Singapore, not absurd statistical figures from skewed reports that people take as gospel truth.

Ignore even the xenophobic, whiny, social media posts of the minority who make such a racquet that they are assumed to be the majority. (Empty vessels make the most noise. Sorry. Can’t resist taking a jibe at them. Losers!!)

This is the real Singapore, with a face and a heart.

People of Singapore – One Face at a Time.


Photo at the courtesy of The People of Singapore website.

Fried Crabsticks – Air Fryer

Fried Crabsticks – Air Fryer

Made myself some fried crabsticks snack before they expire… Not the healthiest thing on earth but at least I air fried it without oil. So it’s a jiffy healthier. (I like to console myself with that.)

The air fryer is really the most idiot proof appliance around. You won’t burn the house down, you probably just end up with charred food. And with no oil involved!

Well, it’s a breeze to make this. I didn’t use up the whole packet of crabsticks because 小小宝贝 was wailing halfway through my food making. The only chore is to peel the plastic off the crabsticks and to “unravel” them.

I used 160°C and fried them for 15 mins. I turned up the heat to 180°C for the last 5 mins. Every 5 mins you have to stir them and separate them from sticking to the tray and to one another. I didn’t manage to do that as I was changing diapers, so the top few were a little chow dar. And some underneath were still whitish and not very crispy.

But overall, still yummy!!




“Eh! You are very 偏心 (show favoritism) leh! You flooded your Facebook with photos of no. 1 but we hardly see any photo of no. 2!!”

Huh?! Really? I checked my Facebook. She really had many more baby photos but then again he’s only 3 months old. However, it’s true that I’ve fewer photos of him in my phone. I used to snap her in every compromising position and laugh over it.

Maybe the novelty of snapping baby photos has worn off? Because we have been through it once and we kind of know or even expect it when he does certain things at the “right” age.

The bigger reason is probably because we used to have only 1 baby. Now we have a young child and a baby. The child demands attention from us and so does the baby. There’s simply no luxury of time for us to hold up the camera and patiently coax the baby into the positions that we want him to be in. Not with a little child hopping around us, demanding for her needs to be fulfilled.

At the same time, 宝贝 wants me and me alone to help her with her activities when she was previously contented to have her grandparents help her with it. She’s sensed that her attention from me has effectively been halved with the arrival of the baby and wants it back.

Do I love her more or the baby less? Love is something that can’t be quantified. Hah! This drives the statisticians mad. I love both of them. I love to cuddle with Ms chubby and the baby. Sometimes 3 of us just cuddle together.

But yes, I’ve only 24 hours a day. Time has to be shared. There’s no other way out of this. And while she is lucky enough to be first born, she had an extra 3 years’ worth of 100% love and attention from us. I refuse to agree that 小小宝贝 has been short changed, for now he has the attention and love from everyone plus his doting sister. She’s extremely gentle with him.

She showers him with love and kisses every day. She even holds conversations with him on her daily activities with him “oohing” and “aahing” in his baby talk. I’ve been trying to capture it on video but she clams up when she sees me sneak up with my phone. Sigh… I need to pick up some stealth skills for this paparazzi work.

Both my 宝贝s captured in a shot. *V*


Apple Crisps!

Apple Crisps!


An attempt to “dewhiten”, I just coined the word, one of my many white elephants in the kitchen.

This is an idiot proof (I’ve proven it! Even I can do it!) recipe. No oil involved, natural food, totally yummy!!

Just slice your apple thinly (you don’t even need to core it) if you are skillful and patient with the knife. I’m not equipped with the skill nor the temperament, so I chose to do it with the shredder. I ended up with various shredded sizes, thickness of apple slices. But I’m chin chai lar. So I find it ok.

Spread them out on the wire mesh of the air fryer. Set the temperature at 160°C for 15 mins. Just stir them every 5 mins to keep them from sticking together.

Voilà! Apple crisps! Mine don’t score too high on the looks department but they are yummy!! Don’t judge my apple crisps by their looks!!! The small slices are crunchy n sweet. The bigger slices have crunchy edges and sponges middles. Thumbs up from my 宝贝!

They are easy to prepare and definitely healthy! Not only that, economical too! You don’t have to pay the exorbitant price for apple crisps from the supermarkets.

Family Portrait

Family Portrait


A rare family photo. Thanks to Michelle! We hardly have the chance for one of these. We are always taking turns to take photos.

Not only that, it’s au naturale, without makeup. See all those eye bags and wrinkles! Eeeks!

Even 小小宝贝 is in it!! Inside my huge tummy lar!!!

One day, just one day, we may walk into a studio to have some nice ones taken before they all grow up and lose their charming innocence.

Another addition to my never ending to do list…

Card Play – UNO

Card Play – UNO

This post should have preceded the chess play post.

We taught her how to play UNO just before our Gold Coast Trip in Aug last year, before her 3rd birthday. The game box stated that it’s suitable for ages 7 and above. But since this game has been around for decades (I remember playing it when I was a wee kid and I’m not young), they probably should have revised the age recommendation as children are becoming smarter these days!!

We taught her that because we ran out of games to play with her. Haha! Ok ok, it’s actually to train her matching skills for colours and numbers. We were not expecting her to know how to use the special cards like reverse, draw 2, skip, wild, draw 4. But she picked it up easily like a fish in water and actually understood when to deal them out.

She started off holding the cards in one hand and she had to pick them up one by one to see them. Now she’s able to fan them out nicely – see! Improve fine motor skills!! She’s also able to deal the cards out to everyone, 7 for each player by counting out loud.

The only thing she needs to be trained is to develop a poker face when she plays. It’s so obviously written on her face when she receives special cards. It’s pretty amusing to see her giggle to herself when she gets good cards. No hurry for her to lose her childish innocence. There are enough years for her to ease into the masked society, hopefully, not too disillusioned along the way.


*Contemplating which card to throw out. Hmmm….


*The evil laugh just before dealing a draw 4 card.


*Watching Godma Eds closely to make sure that she’s dealing the cards properly.


*A snapshot during the game.


*A snapshot of the 4 players @ sakae sushi at Changi Airport. You simply must have self taken photos at an all girls’ outing. No girly outing is complete without this!!!