Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

A Magical Childhood

I read this on A Magical Childhood and was inspired to write a post about my childhood. Plus Wanz started this thread on Facebook about our MGS school days and triggered many many happy memories.


Compared to kids these days, I think I had a pretty carefree and fun childhood. My parents were at work most of the time and we were cared for by our grandmas. That meant that we spent most of the time just playing with the cousins. School work was hardly like how it is nowadays and my parents were quite relaxed so I had it pretty easy. These are some of my favorite memories:-


1. School holidays! Walking to the market hand in hand with all my cousins and grandma. We used to stay at my cousins' during the holidays coz grandma lived with them. She'll look after all 4 of us – me, Kel, SL, SM and later KH at the same time. Wonder how she did that… I miss my Ah Mah… I wanna be like her when I grow up.


2. Weekends! My dad used to play mahjong at my uncle's place on the weekends and we'd all go along. The cousins would play together while the adults play mahjong. I remember mashing up bouginvillas and rubbing them on our legs like medicine.


3. Going to the beach with my parents and sometimes with my cousins.


4. Family holidays to the US, Perth, Brisbane, Malaysia – we were not all that well off but Mum and Dad made it a point to bring us out of the country every 3-6 years. I went to the US/Japan/HK when I was only 6 and then to Perth when I was 12. But those were super memorable trips.


5. Going to the National Library at Stamford Road with my mum on the weekends.


6. Buying otak and bread from the stall outside my primary school. 10 cents ice lollies! Tuk tuk sweets! Mamee!


7. Chinese New Year celebrations, reunion dinners, ang pows, cookies, visiting, staying up late and playing with cousins etc…


8. Thomson Plaza (or Thomson Yaohan as we used to call it), spent lots of time there when we lived in the North. We only moved to Bukit Timah much later.


9. Playing badminton at SJI (now Singapore Art Museum) with a friend (can't even rem her name now!) and running to school at SAC when the bell rang. Playing 5 stones and skipping rope! Teddy bear teddy bear turn around, teddy bear teddy bear touch the ground… I sucked at zero point tho.


10. Mum making us writing letters to Santa and receiving what I wanted at Christmas on my pillow (this was before we became Christians and I realised that Santa did not exist!). So exciting!


Ooo I miss those days… My favorite times have been times spent with my grandma and cousins. I'm sure there are lots of other memories. Funny how I don't remember much of studying or stress but remembered only the fun times. I think the most memorable bits are mostly related to food and fun. Makes me think about the memories that I wanna help create for Sophie and Levi.


What about you? What were your favorite childhood memories? Being a mum sometimes I forget that I was once a child too.

It’s my birthday…



… and I do what I want to!


I'm really bad at just doing what I want. I'm always doing something for someone else and feel almost guilty spending money to pamper myself. It's a bad habit and not a good thing at all because deep down, I really just want to do what I want to do and if it goes on for too long it festers into frustration and self pity! Yeeks!


But thank God, James knows me best and this birthday, he insisted that I go wild and I did!


We went to the Mount for sushi on Sat, bought a couple of Spring pieces from good ole Valleygirl, I had a whole lamb rack for dinner on the actual day, lovely pineapple and malibu cheesecake, and finally an absolutely well deserving massage at the local Matamata spa called Indulgence. Woo hoo! That's a real birthday treat! Ooooo and I almost forgot, Sophie gave me three dance performances on a stage at the place where we had dinner. So cutee….. I am truly blessed…

Farm Show in Town


We spent the day at the local A&P show today. It was fun, fun, & fun.


Sophie had a couple of firsts – first cotton candy, first ride in a tea cup and on her own (she used to refuse to go on rides), first time seeing miniature horses, first time seeing someone spinning wool, first alpaca wool sweater…


I enjoyed looking at the antique farming machines and I saw a couple of antique cars driving past. Sometimes I still can't get used to the idea that I'm living in the countryside where farming is the main business. I saw little girls dressing up in their gear and getting ribbons for horse riding. I've only seen those on TV thus far! I even saw a girl pulling along her prize winning sheep with a couple of ribbons round it. So cute!


P/s Btw, A&P stands for Agricultural and Pastoral

Sending mama n yeye off



My in laws left last weekend. We went up to Auckland to send them off and spent a night there.


It's been such a blessing having them around. They cooked for us every day, every meal for 6 whole weeks. It was such a luxury. My father in law was also the one who drove us to the hospital when Levi was about to be born. My mum in law helped to soothe Levi in the evenings so that I could have dinner in peace. Most of all, they were Sophie's main companions when James had to return to work and I was spending most of my time with Levi.


Sophie was inconsolable when they left. She cried and cried. Poor thing. She's grown so attached to them over the past 6 weeks. But it was good that she could grief like that. As grown ups, we always overlook the grieving process when people leave because we get so hardened. Looking at her grieve made James and I wished we had that kind of heart again. Once she stopped crying she was absolutely fine.


1. Auckland is so fun! I love being in the city once in a while. James and I went on a date (Levi was our chaperon) on Sat night to watch the latest movie The Last AirBender. The show was so so but it was my first date with James since we returned to NZ in July and my first 3D movie. I know, very suaku but so shiok. Levi slept thru the movie and woke up in the last 30 mins to feed. Nice.


2. I drove back from Auckland. Woah! 2 hrs straight. I'm really starting to enjoy driving long distances.

Birthday Presents

Sophie had lotsa birthday presents.

We gave her a dollhouse that was as tall as her.



James got her a dress up Cinderella doll – her fav story at the moment. Everything is Cinderella.



Grandma and grandpa asked me to get something for her and I got her a cloth house that comes with the three bears and their beds.



But when I look at these pictures, I feel so blessed for her because she now has a little brother to call her own for the rest of her life. I think that is one of life's greatest blessing – to have siblings. What a gift!




Lemme just say it again, NZ is BEAUTIFUL.


We just spent the weekend with my in laws in Rotorua. It's only about an hour and a half away from Matamata. However, the landscape is totally different. It's filled with lush green trees even though spring only just started, many geothermal areas and smells of sulphur.


We went one day at Wai-O-Tapu to see the mud pools, craters, lakes and geysers. You need to pay to get in there but it's nicely built up for tourists and easy to push a stroller. Very safe too. Unfortunately it was pouring so we had to brave through the rain to do the walk. Thank God we brought the Mountain Buggy. Sophie was quite happy to sit in there completely protected by the raincover and even fell asleep towards the end of the walk. James carried Levi in the sling and wore a poncho.


Left: Lady Knox Geyser shoots up to 20m high!

Right: Devil's Cave, a sulphur hot pool


The next day we went to Redwood Forest to do the shortest walk. It was supposed to be a half hour walk, turned out to be an hour for us. Sophie started to whine halfway and had to take breaks along the way but still she made it to the end. It was also drizzling and the heavy rains before made the ground really muddy. I think it'll be great to try the walk again on a sunny day. The trees were so beautiful. It's a very doable walk for kids too.



This was Levi's first trip away from home. We stayed at a hotel. They didn't have a cot so James folded up the duvet covers and made a little "mattress" on the floor for him. It's pretty easy traveling with a newborn since they still sleep most of the time. I think he only had a melt down once prob because he had enough stimulation and was tired of being in the car seat.




We are back from a short weekend trip to Rotorua! Updates soon, meanwhile photos on flickr.

Tea at Robert Harris



Once a week, we try to go down to town for tea as a family. Just to chill and hang out.


Sophie's very happy with her fluffy/baby chino and her cookie at Robert Harris, a coffee joint in town.




After completing the 5km walk on Friday, our butts were a bit itchy and we wanted to get going again. We figured that I don't have long to go before I can't drive long distances. So on Saturday, we decided to spend the day as a family before DiDi (little brother) arrives to go shopping, walk around and just stop wherever we wanted.


We drove 30 mins to Cambridge to check out the farmer's market. Nothing much there but we always enjoy walking around Cambridge coz it's so pretty and the weather was great.


After that, we drove another 20 mins to Hamilton city for lunch and shopping. We managed to get quite a lot done! Got some stuff for Sophie (Pumpkin patch was having sale!), ourselves and baby. We even drove out of the city to Te Rapa Road where there is a huge shopping area with factory outlets and all. Reminded us of Harbourtown in Brissy. HUGE shops.


Finally, last stop at New Save Asian Supermarket to stock up our pantry and the base's pantry. That's where we found out that all the Asians come out at night! Normally when we are there in the day, there are not much people at the asian supermarket but the carpark was almost full that evening.


We finally got home about 7pm. It gets dark at 6pm here so I actually drove home from Hamilton in the dark for the first time. A bit daunting at first but it was alright. I was pretty exhausted by the time I got back and James was wonderful, he cooked dinner and cleaned up. :) All in all, we had a really great time.

New Driver On the Block




Today was momentous! I drove to town and back on my own! It was all great except at one point, I bumped into an elderly man's car bumper a little trying to reverse out of a parking lot but thank God no damage, phew!


I drove all three of us to town to have brunch at the All Day Breakfast place in town to celebrate Father's Day (erm, NZ doesn't celebrate Father's Day today) and then to New World (supermarket) and Warehouse (like Kmart) for some shopping before we headed back home. I was a bit tensed the whole time coz it's the first time I'm on my own for almost 10 years since I got my license. And it was raining quite heavily at some point. In fact, I'm not sure if I've ever driven on my own before without a seasoned driver!


Anyhow, it's great! Looking forward to more! FREEDOM!!!!!

Dad and I



As the first born in the family, Dad and I share a very special relationship. I can't really explain what exactly it is but it's just special. Maybe coz I had a good 5 years alone with Mum and Dad before Kelvin came along.


I grew up knowing that we were not rich and couldn't afford most things that Sophie would now take for granted. I knew that Mum and Dad had to work just to make ends meet. When I was growing up, they had to work long hours and I hardly got to see them. Yet during the weekends, we would spend lots of time together going to the beach or the gardens.


I also remember the times that Dad will attempt to teach me Math in primary school using Algebra (which I only figured out when I was in Sec sch! So that was what all that A+B=C was all about!). He's REALLY good with Maths being an estimator and involved in budgeting for million dollar projects like building huge oil rigs and all. I guess I kinda took after that. Although I'm a bit rusty now and need the calculator to figure 8×7.


He's an organizer – since he became a Christian (the year I turned 11), he's always woken up at 4/5am to spent time with the Lord. He's always on time and loves to put things together. Guess I took after him in that aspect too. Ok, not that 5am quiet time BUT I'm definitely more an early bird and I love to organize.


Dad loves to read the papers and watch TV, just like every other Dad. He doesn't talk very much but when he does, he always makes a lot of sense. Even though he doesn't talk very much, it helps that he smiles a lot and always give us quiet assurances that he loves us by asking us if we got enough pocket money or asking Mum to make sure we have this and that.


As I grow older and older, I'm more and more thankful for my Dad. He's 61 this year and he's still working. He and Mum just made a career move to Brazil to help to work on the shipping projects there. I think he's super brave. His tenacity for hard work always amazes me.


Dad, you are amazing and I'm so thankful to God for you. May the Lord bless you on this special Father's Day and even though you are far, pls know that we love you and miss you VERY much.

Happy Father’s Day


In a world where many are growing up without fathers or absent fathers, Sophie is most blessed to have James as her Daddy!!!!!!!!


Happy Father's Day dear one! You are so precious to the both of us and we're SO glad you've come home just in time so we can celebrate you!