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Monday, December 28, 2009

One Week in Singapore

We've been back for slightly over a week. but it feels like i have done more in the last week that what i normally do in a month! hahaha.

gosh. coupled with the fact that i don't feel too great with the morning sickness kicking in (or should i say afternoon sickness, or evening sickness ... u get the drift) .... it's quite tiring ;p and i do feel lethargic alot of the time.

so much so that i have yet to find time to visit the hairdresser ;p

yes yes, the one who said that she's not going to have a second child, is going to have one! kekeke.

anywayz, orchard road has changed so much ... with so many new shopping centres and the festive season -- its so crowded it 'scares' me. at the same time -- i love it. i love the fact that there's endless shopping and eating!!! oooo ... how i miss it! every few steps there's a snack that i can buy and eat! yummmmz! hahaha.

but of course, this morning sickness is sort of getting in the way between me and my food. i don't have much of an appetite. and when i do eat, i cannot eat as much as i want to!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Home!

Reached singapore on 19 Dec and my body is still adjusting. ;p

feeling super lethargic ....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

First Snow is Here!

Thank you Lord for answering my prayer -- letting little kaira see snow before we head back to singapore!

This morning when we woke up we were greeted by snow and being the first snow of the season, it's really such a pretty sight!! light and flurry. floating about in ernest. enjoying the sight of snow in the comfortable warmth of our home, it is a really nice scene.

Kaira and I had breakfast together with a snow view :))))

Of course, there isn't alot of snow yet on the ground .... guess progressively it will get so.

still we had fun @ our backyard with kaira experiencing her first snow. Thank you Lord once again.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cold. Hot.

This week the temperature is generally below 0degrees.

Brrrr..... i wake up each morning to see the frost on rooftops, cars, grass patches....brrrrr. cold is the word.

it apparently snowed lightly today (according to 2 friends) but i didn't see the snow leh ?! haizzz.... hoping that kaira will see snow fall before we head back to HOT HOT singapore!

and dun think we are hiding at home in this weather .... we still go to the playgroup, go to the market for shopping and have our time outdoors, but all wrapped up!!

Yeah, we are going to leave behind the cold this friday !! and say hello to HOT HOT Singapore on Saturday! Wooohoooo.

But i am very sure after a few days i am going to complain about the heat and humidity ;( heehee. ;p

Thursday, December 10, 2009

2009 Visit to the German Christmas Markets

This year, we decided to travel a little further to visit the Rothenburg & Nuremberg Christmas Markets. and on our way home, we stopped by the Dusseldorf christmas market as well.

We decided to stay with Karin again, after a great stay during our summer holiday this year.

thank God that he answered my prayers for less rain! in fact in was dry on the first day and only a slight drizzle on the 2nd day! God is Good.

Rothenburg.
We arrived ard 4pm @ Karin's on Monday and by the time we settled down made our way to the old town 2 Rothenburg, it was close to 5pm and dark. So our photos didn't turn out that grea ;( Rothenburg's christmas market is a cosy affair and although there aren't many stalls, it's complimented by the various stores in the town, the most famous being the Kathe Wohlfart. This shop is a must visit when one is there. Beautiful!

Nuremburg
The next day, after a leisurely breakfast, we headed to Nuremberg (i say leisurely cos we took close to 1 hour, chatting with the other guests and Karin while Kaira entertains herself looking for "Oma and Opa" i.e Karin & her husband. for some reason, she likes them very much, especially Opa.)

Nuremberg's christmas market was huge -- so many stalls! and the festive mood is really strong. Guess this is a case of the more the better!!! Seriously, after visiting 5 different christmas markets over 2 years, my conclusion is that a bigger market is better! ;)))) that's my preference ;)


Sunday, December 06, 2009

SinterKlaas + Zwarte Piet

We were @ amsterdam today and @ the central station, they were offering free photo opportunity with SinterKlaas & the Zwarte Piets.

As it's an instant photo, it's kind of low quality and after scanning .....the image is even worse... ;(

But for memory's sake, here it is :

CHOW FAMILY WITH SINTERKLAAS & ZWARTE PIET



p/s SinterKlaas NOT EQUALS santa claus. ;p i was very confused the first year i was here. hehehe.

Friday, December 04, 2009

White Hair

Nothing surprising @ my age i suppose. i have lots of them. In fact, i've had them since i was a teen.

However, a couple of days ago, i spotted ONE strand of white hair on kaira!!!! thought i saw wrongly. happened that my friend was here, so i asked her to take a look and she confirmed it.

2 year old with white hair!!! 太恐怖了吧!

一定是遗传了我"不良" 的基因! **哎**

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Weighty Issue

For months i've avoided going onto the weighing scale.

I know that i have definitely put on weight and just can't bear to know exactly how much weight i have put on.

today, as i wanted to weight little kaira, i decided to just do it!

well, little kaira weights ard 13kg (maybe slightly less).

and me????

I have put on 5 kg in 2009 alone!!! quite terrible. so much!! and they probably came on in the second half of 2009!!

u know in 2008, i lost all the weight i gained in my pregnancy plus a few extra kgs which means i lost a total of appx 18kg.

I thought i wouldn't have to worry about weight gain for a while.

but alas, +5kg in 2009. really have to watch the chocolates, chips and cakes that i eat so liberally each nite!! ;p

Conclusion : 2009 has been a good year! how else to explain the weight gain? ;p

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Where?Where?Where?

I know about the "Why?" phase.

But nobody told me about the "Where" phase!

the last week (or was it last 2 weeks??), her favorite question is "Where is xxxxx?"

even after we have answered her question, she will ask "Where is xxxx". sometimes when the item is right in front of her, she still turns to us and asks "where is xxxx?"

quite funnie. Ok, at least we both find it amusing still.

an example of her "where" question.

on friday night, we were out. the traffic was slow due to the rain and crowds. We were in the car, and we were simply not moving. So i was talking to hubbie about the "traffic jam"

and she asked " Where is traffic jam?".

tried to explain to little kaira that the cars on the road are not moving cos of the rain etc. and that our car can't move cos the cars in front of us are not moving. that's what a traffic jam is. and she goes "Where is the traffic jam?" and starts looking around.

after a few tries of trying to explain to her in different ways.......gave up! decided that it's best to distract her with other things instead. ;p

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

H1N1 vaccine

received the notification last wednesday that Kaira was to be vaccinated against h1n1 today.

so the last few days were busy spent scouring information on the net on the vaccine. having some knowledge of the controversy of the vaccine (presence of mercury) plus the fact that some countries (such as singapore), the vaccine is yet to be approved for children, made me uncertain whether i should send her for it.

on the other hand, with the cold season now, flu is really rampant. and therefore risk of getting h1n1 is higher.

i don't know if i am thinking too much? quite a few of the dutch i know didn't even think of not giving their children their vaccine. but a few of us foreigners were concern (myself, my indian friend and a japanese acquaintance).

it's really a hard decision. cos how does one weigh the risk/benefits without full knowledge anyway?

wellz, after much prayer, i brought her for her vaccination this morning. Thank God she was very cooperative. Didn't whine/wimper at all when the shot was given. Seems like she didn't feel any pain. hopefully she doesn't have any great/adverse reaction to the vaccine ....... shall be monitoring her......

2nd shot, 3 weeks later! and then we will be going home to singapore! and with all the travelling and changes in climate, guess i can have a bit more reassurance she's "relatively safe" from the h1n1 ;9

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Warm November

So different from last year's!

although it does rains very frequently ;9.

the last few days gave us some lovely weather and we could even go to the fruit orchard on kaira's birthday to enjoy the lovely weather!


*ripe for picking* ;p

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Budding Artists

This is one of Kaira & Anya's regular playdates and boy were they busy this time!

having fun painting their boxes!




didn't manage to take more photos cos busy preventing these 2 from painting everywhere!! hehehe.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Little Japan

If i may, this would be my description of Dusseldorf! haha.

everytime we need a japanese "fix" (read authentic japanese meals, japanese snacks etc), we will head to Dusseldorf.

and that's what we did on Saturday (again!).

I am so grateful for Dusseldorf. It's a little oasis to me when i am tired of the "european-ness" (surely i made up this word!) of life here.... ;)


(above) my lunch :))))

it was indeed a japan day yesterday. japanese lunch and dinner, plus japanese snacks and supper!!! At a price of course ;(

dreaming of the day when we can go to Japan again for a holiday.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Kaira's Second Year Journey

Kaira's going to be 2 in a couple of weeks' time.

taking this time to remember the year that has past. so much happened and she has growned so much!! thank God for a great 2nd year. so so so much more fun than the first! ;)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Colors of Autumn



p/s Ah Gong and Ah Ma -- the jacket you gave kaira last year, she can finally wear it this year!!

What's Up with Kaira?

hmmm, lazy mummy here hasn't been updating on her monthly progress the last 2 months ;p too much happening .... so much so that i cannot remember all that i wanted to blog down!!

tsk tsk. lazy bum.

so much has happened the last 1+/2 months.... using the potty for her pee and poop @ home, converting her baby cot into a toddler bed, switching from milk bottle to cup for her milk feeds...are the major milestones.

speech wise, she's been so expressive and holding such "meaningful" conversations with us that i cannot help but be amazed by this 小大人! she has learnt to "bargain" with us sometimes and can be so stubborn, i wonder who she inherited that from??? ;p
like when i ask her to do A, she will sometimes tell me she wants to do B for one last time before she will do A... if i say no, she will whine and cry and keep repeating her request till she gets it!!

tho she can't hold a tune very well yet, she likes to "sing". sometimes when we are out and about, she will suddenly sing out loud and look meaningfully @ the uncles and aunties around her. i think she's expecting them to praise her!!! hahaha. funnie sight. and obviously, the strangers are oblivious to what she's "singing".

she has suddenly developed a "fear" of cartoons. she actually asked me to swtich off the TV for her on several ocassions. and most days, she doesn't want to watch cartoons any more unless she's accompanied by my or hubbie. think it all started cos there was a "witch" on Dora and she was afraid of the "witch". then she started to be fearful of most of the cartoon characters including thomas the train.

been trying to explain to her that there's nothing to be fearful about, guess she will need some time to overcome whatever she's afraid of.

she has grown taller. from the "agar-agar" measurement we take @ home, think she's ard 88-89 cm now.

socially, she's still shy @ times. but she's very sharing and would gladly share her toys with others, especially to the younger ones. she has yet (should i hope that she doesn't ?? ;p) to reach the stage where she monopolises toys or snatches toys from others. but she's abit more "assertive" these days. in the past, when she's playing with something and another toddler comes and tries to snatch it from her, she will let go of the toy. these days, she holds on so tightly to the toy that the other party can't take it away from her and she will "run away" from the other party ;p

she's into art and craft these days. love to use the glue and paste things. coloring -- well, let's just say she can focus for a few minutes on coloring. after which, mummy here has to do the coloring for her. she;s likes to draw and is very imaginative -- a few strokes and it can be an aeroplane, crocodile, whatever !! hehehe.

so there, what a busy little toddler we have. so many things happening @ the same time for her!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rich Poor Divide

港貧富差距全球最懸殊


Although the headlines refers to hong kong, if you read the article, there is mention of Singapore and it is apparently ranked #2 just after hong kong!

is that a surprise?

is this something that is unavoidable as our economy develops? can something be done to address this? will the government recognise this as a "problem" and address it?

will be disappointing if the government tries to "explain" this away (again!)......

Monday, October 26, 2009

I hope they do something to improve it!

Drop in public transport share in Singapore: survey

saw this news today.

wonder if there will be any improvement to the sg public transport. those who know me know that the public transport system in singapore is my pet peeve.

if something good comes out of this .... that will be a wonderful thing.

If it doesn't, then we know that some people are definitely sitting in their ivory tower.

my personal philosophy is this. if the public transport network is so good, why would i want to own a car? my 4 years in hong kong, i saw no need for us to own a car.

cannot say the same for our time in singapore! whether in the past when we were living there or in recent years, when we spend at most a couple of months back home each year.

i hope something good comes out this.

Does one really need to be PC all the time??

????????????

Cannot believe we met a family of pigs today!!

what a weekend. first my handbag was stolen @ the city centre on saturday.

and today, we went to our neighbourhood winkelcentrum and met a family of pigs! *grrrr*

we were circling round the carpark looking for a carpark and cos this is the sunday of the month when the shops are open, there's obviously a crowd and parking lots are limited. many cars were circling round, looking for lots.

after sometime, we spotted a car preparing to come out of their lot and hubbie stopped near the lot and put on his signal lights. and we waited.

as the car came out and we were about to move in, guess what? a car driving in the opposite direction just swerved and parked in the lot! I am like ... *&%$#@@ u cannot see that we are waiting??

k, so hubbie gets off the car and told the driver of the car that we have been waiting for the lot.

the guy simply ignored hubbie and mumbled something like we have been waiting as well (yeah rite ... u were looking for a lot for some time we know, but u were definitely not waiting for THIS lot!) and walked off with his wife and son.

We were apalled! What a piece of shit!!! piece of dutch shit to be precise!

even the passerbys and other car drivers "sympathised" with us ... but so what???

what a fine example he set as a parent!

he obviously knew that we were waiting but he still cut in to take the lot. what kind of a person is that???

i am truly apalled.

honestly, my experience with the dutch the last 1+year though generally civil has been dotted by several unpleasant encounters. this being one of the worst.

i really do not like this place at all. not at all.

O God, what a testing weekend this has been.

I am really very angered by this encounter. at that moment, dear Lord, i do not know how to respond in a Godly manner. My initial reaction was the desire to curse the person -- that the Lord's curse be upon this person. and maybe scratch his car!!! ;p

but tonight as i was praying with little kaira before she slept, the words that the Lord, you have put in my mouth was so different from how i felt. i actually managed to pray for his (and his family's) salvation and pray that he will not exhibit such inconsiderate behaviour to other people in future.

honestly, i am not sure if i really meant it. but the words just flowed as the spirit moves.

this weekend has really been a test of my reaction to unpleasant situations and thus far, it looks like i am going to receive an "F" on my report card! ;(

please forgive me Lord! and Lord, please help me so that i will be a better child of God, a better testimony of your grace and love. by my own strength, it's very difficult cos i am such a sinner! Only by your grace and strength can it be done.

Amen.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stolen!

yesterday, while out shopping with hubby & kaira, my handbag got stolen!!

my first experience and i hope my last! wished it never happened cos it's not about the $$ lost -- it's the inconvenience of losing my credit cards/debitcards/identity cards and so forth that really stressed me out!

had to go through all the trouble of calling the various banks to cancel my cards, filing a police report etc. it was not just a lost bag. it was a lost day ;(

and how did it happen?

well, i was trying on boots and the bag was on kaira's stroller & hubbie was supposed to keep an eye on it. i guess, with a kid, his eyes were off it for a moment and in a flash, it was gone :(

i had a friend with a similar experience (but thank God for her, she spotted the person trying to take her bag and shouted after him and in a panic, he dropped her bag and dashed off) and was just telling hubbie the other day that we ought to be more careful with our belongings! and haha, my bag was stolen. what a JOKE.

damned pissed with myself. even more pissed with hubbie for dropping the ball!

OK OK, i shouldn't be pissed with him, he had to look after kaira while i tried my shoes on! so i should be more pissed with myself! why did i not carry my own bag huh??

and after the incident, i kept thinking and thinking about it. and the more i think about it, the more upset i got. the more irritated i got.

anyways, nothing i could do, it was gone.

reported to the departmental store security and the guy told me there's nothing he can do. except take down my name and contact number and if he finds it, he will give me a call. and suggested that i go to the police.

thanks very much. that was really helpful!

walked round the departmental store trying to spot my bag (maybe the thief took off with the cash etc and left the rest of contents lying around??) no such luck.

in the meantime, do the very important thing : make phone calls to the banks to cancel/block the cards. That is the single most important thing to do i feel when one loses one's personal effects. make sure all your cards are cancelled/blocked whatever.

K, after that is done. made our way to the police station to file a report.

making our way to the police station, i can't help but "scold" hubbie. he on the other hand was praying.

how holy. surely he will be steps ahead of me, the day that the Lord Jesus returns ... cos i am just so so so so so unGodly especially in times like this. anger and frustration easily got the better of me.

alright, so we reached the central police station. and lucky me, I met the "friendliest" lady police officer there. i hope i never have to step into a police station here in eindhoven ever again.

ok, report filed. nothing i can do now. felt so drained all i wanted to do is go home and "beat" myself up even more for losing my handbag.

reached home and the phone rings.

Wow, security guard from the departmental store called to say he has found my bag.

Praise God. Hubbie's prayer worked!! i was too flustered to pray really. and was so upset that i thought is there any use of a prayer as the bag has already been stolen? God, could you have prevented it in the first place and save me all these heartache!

anywayz, so it was a rush back to the store (cos they close in 30 minutes).

inspected the bag and yup, cash/creditcards/debitcards were missing and kaira's raincoat! aaaargh. why did they take that? that was like my favorite favorite item for kaira :(

security guard told me they found the bag lying on the floor in the handbag section. and reminded me to be more careful in future. U BET!

really thank God that i got almost everything back! and my ID cards etc were all intact. if those were lost .....it would have been very troublesome to get them replaced and what have u.

O, and i am so the very glad the thief did not take my bottega wallet! he/she obviously 不识货!hahaha!that was the single most expensive item in my bag.

and so last nite, i was reflecting on my reaction to the incident.

Felt terribly ashamed actually. The ungodly of ungodlies! sigh. felt like i didn't pass the test that God has set me.

seriously, how does it help the situation that i express anger/frustration to the people around me?? hubbie felt very bad about it already. and really, what's done cannot be undone.

would have been far better if like him, i have stopped for a minute to say a quick prayer to the Lord and leave it in His able hands. and calmly face the situation.

and this experience will only help us -- cos we will be more mindful of our belongings in the future. and that can only be a good thing.

so, why make an unhappy day even unhappier by showing anger/frustration??

i am just very glad that the day is over and hope that i never have to go through such an experience ever again.

Friday, October 23, 2009

后来

the other nite, hubbie was humming/singing the song 后来 (by 刘若英) and little kaira (or kaininu as she likes to call herself these days) could finish off some of the sentences of the song.

so amused by her. and so amazed by her memory. in fact she can also spout some lyrics from 孙燕姿 songs cos we play them quite often in the car.

kids are amazing sponges aren't they?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Deja Vu

Thursday evening, kaira knocked herself (her mouth actually) against the edge of our dining table whilst climbing up her high chair.

She has been climbing up the chair for a few months now and is quite proficient with it. Alas, that's why it is called an "accident".

Right in front of my eyes, she kind of slipped and knocked her mouth against the edge of the table. Split second. Not enough time for me to shield her from the knock and when i saw the impact, i knew it's going to be a nasty one.

Usually when she knocks herself, i will try not to react and she sometimes cry, sometimes doesn't.

But this time, without a word i quickly picked her up. And was greeted with blood from her mouth!

Again!! Deja Vu

For a moment I felt panic. tried to calm her but she was inconsolable. called hubby who asked me to put sugar on her wound. but she refused to let me do it leh. told hubby to COME HOME NOW (he actually had a dinner appointment, so had to cancel it)

so in the meantime, continue to comfort kaira and try to determine where the wound is .... lips, tongue, teeth, gum??? with her wriggling and crying, really cannot tell how bad the wound is. after like 5 minutes, stopped bleeding. and she wasn't crying that bad. still can't really see the wound cos she's not very cooperative.

and when hubby reached home, she seemed fine. Thank God!!! Just very "manja". She even managed to finish her dinner and ate her fruits.

While she was calmer, can see that her upper lip is wounded. asked her if her mouth was painful and she said "no", so that was good. can see abit of the dried up blood on her lips and she kept touching her lips that night. but she wouldn't let us examine her mounth. so not sure abt her teeth/gum/tongue.

but drank her milk as usual and brushed her teeth as usual. so hopefully all's well.

Really thank God for His protection.

This morning, had the chance to look @ her mouth more clearly. Wellz, can see that a small area of her gum is also bruised.

Hopefully the wound will heal swiftly. Good thing she doesn't feel anything. and is behaving, eating and drinking normally.

If this had happened while she's under another person's care, think i will be quite upset and trying to establish the "why's" and "how to prevent" etc etc. Typical of the corporate type ... trying to find "who to blame"!! hahahaha. No lah, just kidding.

but being her sole caretaker all this while, has been a very humbling process. cos unlike @ work, where i can try to control as much as possible, and minimise mistakes/problems ...... looking after a kid is a totally different ballgame. I must admit that i am pretty hard on myself whenever i make mistakes (whether @ work or looking after her) but in the last 2 years ... i've learned to forgive myself when accidents happen. no matter how vigilant, how careful, a knock here, a slip there .... lots of heartache, yet part and parcel of her learning process.

Tough.

Thank God He's more omnipresent than I am. And more able to protect her than I can!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

BBBrrrrrrrr

Overnight temperatures have dipped below 0 degrees.

Cold Cold Cold!

Thank God on some days, like yesterday and today there's sunshine in the day so it's not that bad!

Really dislike wet, windy and cold days! ;(

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Birthday "Ah Ma"!!!

"Ah Ma"'s birthday is on Sunday, so Kaira has been practising the happy birthday song. More practice needed, but isn't she such a darling? ;)

Happy Birthday Mum!!



Friday, October 09, 2009

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Names

Kaira's into giving herself nicknames these days.

As i mentioned before, she likes to call herself Kaina. Until today, she doesn't pronounce the "r" sound properly.

So some days she is Kainu. Some days she is Kanina. and Others she's Kaninu.

quite hilarious cos i think they all sound quite awful ....hehehe.

on a separate note, when she see 2 objects, one big and one small e.g. a big dog and a small dog, she will say the big dog is mama and the small dog is kaira. no idea what it signifies to her but very heartwarming when she identifies "me" in her world :)

Monday, October 05, 2009

大閘蟹 Shanghai Hairy Crabs

(pix from www.dazhaxie.org)

This is the season for the Shanghai Hairy Crabs 大閘蟹. As the name implies, it's a specialty from Shanghai. and even the wikipedia states so.

But recently, i heard from a Chinese friend that the origins of the hairy crab was from the Netherlands!! Yup, right where i am. Although we don't see much of it here cos it's not popular. But it's apparently sold @ the markets (however, may have to ask the fishmonger for it, cos it may not even be prominently displayed).

Next weekend, i shall go to the open market and take a look. see if we can spot any :)

i have tried cooking it at home when we were in hong kong and eating it @ the restaurants too .... honestly, i don't get as much satisfaction out of eating the hairy crab compared to say eating singapore's chili crabs!!! hahaha. maybe cos i am not a "roe" person. and too much of the "roe" can be nauseating sometimes ;p and the crab is a very "skinny crab" ....LOL on top of that, it's not a healthy dish afterall .... imagine all the cholesterol ;p

Sunday, October 04, 2009

中秋节

Saturday 3 Oct was mid autumn's festival 中秋节.

We organised a dinner with a few friends @ home and enjoyed a sumptous dinner. guests were 2 singaporeans and 2 chinese turned singapore PRs with their daughter.

it was nice and warm and so much food that i was stuffed!!! :p although it was cold and very windy outside!! can hear the wind howling throughout the evening.

the spread we had :




(we only remembered to take photos of the food and not the people there!!! how greedy can we get?? LOL)

this year, we had both the snowskin (thanks to our guests) and traditional mooncakes :) i am not really a fan of mooncake but it's nice to have some of it during the festival :) i love the 猪仔 though! but can't get that here ;(

o, and an interesting point to note. the snowskin mooncakes were from Tung Lok (yup, Tung Lok Singapore) and guess what, i think the price of the mooncake is cheaper than those sold in singapore. but we all think the quality ain't that great though ;p a case of lower quality for export purposes? i thought usually the good stuff are exported??

and the traditional mooncakes were from 荣华 the hong kong brand. and they cost a bomb here. think close to double what i would have paid for it in hkg but had to close both eyes lah, since want to eat, must pay lor.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

WooHoo ... Supermarket Opens every Sunday now!

Cannot believe it when i saw the announcement! Yeah, the supermarket near my place is now open every Sunday from 4pm - 10pm!!!

Yipppppeeeee!!

After enduring one plus year of "nothing opens on Sunday" here, this is like such great news!

ok ok, the Eindhoven city centrum is open on the first sunday of every month and the Woensel winkelcentrum (like the neighbourhood shopping hub)which i patronise is open on the last sunday of every month. So yes, there are sundays when i can go shopping and get necessities should i need to.

But it is definitely so much more convenient now that the supermarket is open every day :) something that i have taken for granted back in hong kong and singapore.

Can u imagine?? me being so happy over the supermarket being open on Sunday!! Goes to show how deprived i am here! hehe.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Kaira's Attempts @ Singing

I think, a better description, would be Kaira's attempts @ reciting the words of the nursery rhymes. =P Can't seem to make out the tune ....

Itsy Bitsy Spider



Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Monday, September 28, 2009

Potty Training Updates

Picture speaks a thousand words.

Since the last update on 10th Sep, she has been very cooperative in terms of peeing in the potty @ home. she gets star stickers and fish stickers for doing it rite and she loves sticking her stickers onto the page :)

There are accidents here and there, but can safely say that 90% of the time, she makes it to the potty in time :) I have been trying to get her to take off her pants, but most of the time, she prefers me to do it for her. And since her peeing can take place @ the most inconvenient times, like when i am cooking, it gives a new meaning to multi-tasking!!! LOL.

Now, pooing in the potty, is a different story all together. I thought pooing in the potty is supposed to be easier to train than peeing!??!!

Initially, that was the case, after a few days, she managed to poo in the potty all by herself! i.e taking off her pants, sitting and waiting for the poop. then running to me to tell me she has pooed! (cos i was in the kitchen cooking). so i thot, wow, that's not too difficult! (compared to the peeing part that is.)

how wrong.

the very next day, she suddenly developed a fear of pooing in the potty!! no idea why and how it came about. she cries when she feels like she's going to poop. and refuses to sit on the potty! oh-oh. no matter how i reassure her, what special stickers i promise to reward her if she poops in the potty, she doesn't want to and cries so pitifully! very poor thing. then to avoid the issue altogether, she kind of withheld her poo for a few days. really worsens the matter isn't it??!! cos she's the kind that poos daily, and when she doesn't do that, runs risk of constipation...haizzz, making matters worse.

being her full time caretaker is really such a challenge. i wish i can "outsource" this problem to others!!

so i became a broken record and every day reminding her that she has to poop everyday and that it is a good thing. that poop is food that her body doesn't need, that's why it has to come out of her "bum bum" ;p that she does not need to fear.

so for one week, she was really crying pitifully every time she poops! it was also difficult to get her to sit on the potty, cos she will be struggling. so yup, it was a week of cleaning poop off the floor, off her pants and what have you. TOUGH. plus dealing with her crying.

i also had to modify her diet slightly to ensure that she's not constipated.

and when she poops, i get her to say "bye bye" to the poo and we flush it down the toilet bowl together, and reward her with special bear stickers if we manage to get ANY/SOME poop into the potty!! (she gets star stickers for pee-pee in the potty). and of course praise her.

then in the second week, it got abit better. she still cries when she feels like her poop is coming, but it was for a shorter time. and at least, with some force on my part, she will stay seated on the potty and the poop goes there (instead of everywhere!) and she will willingly say bye bye to th poop and flush it down the toilet bowl.

and today, she finally pooped in the potty, all by herself! no crying, no fussing. took off her pants herself and did her business.

I hope it continues that way tomorrow and every day in the future! and that it is not a one-off thingy like the last time.

O, and last week, we went shopping to buy underpants for her...she was really excited...hehehe. cos the character, Molly Matthews, in the book "Big Girls Use the Potty" which she has been reading also has very nice underpants cos she uses the potty!!

kaira loves her new panties to bits, especially the one with the flower prints :), and she says she's Molly Matthews! hahaha. very funny.

I like the book "Big Girls Use the Potty" cos it came enclosed with stickers and the star chart (as in the picture above) and Molly Matthews is a "real" gal not a cartoon drawing. I think this book works better for kaira than the other one i bought her, "A Potty For Me", an illustrated book.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Getting Ready for the Cold

Bought a new pair of "house shoes" for little kaira this week. Winter's coming, so we need to keep her little feet warm even @ home :)

They look so sweet and cute!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lazy saturday

We were tired after consecutive weekends of visiting other towns. So we decided to stay in eindhoven today.

Whiled away some time @ the playground with little kaira :)

一二三, one two three

been wanting to capture a video of kaira counting for the longest time.... but always forget! finally managed to catch her in action .... counting in her "ang moh"-nised chinese.....





the english version :

Saturday, September 19, 2009

How long will they last?



my newly acquired herbs -- oregano, basil & peppermint.

OK, the peppermint has lasted for 2 weeks now, so that's not too bad!

just got the basil & oregano today.

From what i found on the internet, they seem to require more care than the peppermint plant ;p hmmmm, wonder how long will they last under my "not so green fingers"!!

and i didn't purposely buy these plants OK, i got them free from the butcher's that i patronise. They were having a promotion.

and thanks to them, i discovered how nice fresh peppermint tea tastes! :) never liked peppermint tea in the past cos whenever i tried it, it reminds me of colgate =P not my cup of tea really. but since i didn't have much use for the peppermint leaves, i decided to make myself a cup of peppermint tea the other day and wow, it's lekker (dutch for delicious)!! see, the "old dog" can learn "new tricks" afterall...hehehe

Friday, September 18, 2009

好惭愧

....因为我骑自行车的速度比这里一些阿婆,阿公还慢呀!! ;p

Kaira's New Fringe



above pix, she's trying to do a "笑嘻嘻"




think i did a not too bad job here with her fringe ya? :) hehehe

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Say In English Please

That was what she said when her Papa spoke to her in Chinese recently.

*faints*

i hope the day does not come when she says to me "Say in Dutch please"

Thursday, September 10, 2009

We are making improvements....

in terms of potty training.

had a "heart to heart" talk with little kaira on tuesday morning. not sure if she totally understood me, but i just wanted to tell her that i do not like scolding and beating her over the pee/poop on the floor. that i am sorry for losing my temper. that i really am upset/angry cos i can see that she's not even trying to use the potty. told her that learning to use the potty is something that as she grows, she needs to learn. and it is up to her. she can learn now or learn later. i cannot force her. told her i was very tired after 1 week and if she thinks she doesn't want to try, then we will stop.

Amazingly on tuesday, she really tried her best to pee and poop in the potty. she managed to pee 2x in the potty and poop as well. we were both happier.

on wednesday, i brought her to the playgroup which has resumed (we haven't been going cos it was closed for the summer vacation). maybe because the whole morning she wasn't reminded abt the potty, she had her accidents again. but after various reminders, she finally peed in the potty after dinner.

thursday she made very good progress. she will try to take off the pants before peeing. sometimes she will say "pee coming out" so that i can help her with taking off the pants and getting seated on the potty. all in, we only had 2 accidents on thursday! that's really a very very very good improvement! i am so so so proud of her.

the stickers i gave her as rewards also help. (p.s Peipei -- i used those stickers that you bought for me in sg as rewards!! must thank you for the cute stickers, she loves them!!!)

but i think she's still learning to identify the "want to pee" sensation, cos she can sometimes sit a while, get up, play, then go back and sit on the potty, keep time telling me, pee coming out. but actually only peeing after a few tries.

but whatever it is, i am so very thrilled by today's progress and so was she! i can tell that she's very pleased with herself each time after she pees in the potty. :) hopefully, she continues to try so hard every day ....... there will be accidents but i am very encouraged that she's trying. that makes all the difference to me.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Potty Training

It is not going well. It is driving me nuts. She's resisting it. And we are not making any progress at all.

Not responding to rewards.
not responding to scolding
Not responding to encouragement
Not responding to beating.

In short, she just doesn't want to pee or poo in the potty.

In fact, on many occassions, i get her to sit on the potty and after a long time, she insists she wants to wear her pants and in seconds, her pants are wet. And today, after she wet her pants, i asked her whether she preferred to pee in her pants and she answered YES. o God, what is this???

I feel like stopping. yet, i am reluctant to yield in case it gets harder in future?? or will it get easier?? it's like a 50-50 chance. so how now brown cow??

i wished i hadn't started on this potty training thing. but i guess, i have to "Face" it sooner or later?? she's traumatised and so am I.

I try so hard to be encouraging. and to entice her with rewards. and heap her with praise. After 1 week, she managed to pee the grand total of 1X in the potty and poo 1X in the potty!!! how helpful is that??? she knows we are very happy when she does it. but she doesn't want to repeat it :( :( :(

And more often than not, she pees rite after getting up from the potty -- that is what makes me lose my cool. And end up, I scream and shout at her. Beat her. But to no avail. In fact, she cries when i beat her. but the moment i turn away, she stops crying and starts to play. obviously, she's not afraid of the beating!!! *hmmmmph*

The last one week hasn't been a "happy" week for us. I am not sure how long it will take before we see some progress :( :(

I was so angry today, i told her that i will beat her every time she pees in her pants. i know i shouldn't do it. but anger, got the better of me. i so absolutely hate this phase.

She has been such a "easy" toddler that i am really unprepared for this "challenge". Even her most "difficult to feed phase" is peanuts compared to this. :( :(

i know there is the option of taking a break. let's see how things go this week....

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Giethoorn

Today we had planned to visit Lille (France) as there's a mega flea market event this weekend. but we were a little late in our timings -- the travel time by car is ard 2.5 hrs. add to it, the fact that today we cannot drive directly into the city centre because of the event and must park further out and take the public tranport into the city, with a toddler in tow, i think we will have to take abt 3 hrs to reach. Maybe more, since we don't know the traffic conditions. Plus pit stops for lunch etc.... so we decided to skip it (hopefully we make it there next year!). we should hv planned to get out earlier since this was going to be a day trip, but u know lah, with a toddler, sometimes timing just goes haywire ;)

so, we decided instead, to visit Giethoorn, which is also known as the "Venice" of the Netherlands.

It is a nice & quaint little town. But i think the term "Venice of the Netherlands" kind of misled me.......misled me to compare it with Venice that is! I shouldn't. Cos if i thnk that i am going to a place that resembles Venice, then, i will be disappointed. It's not at all like Venice. Errr, except for the waterways i suppose. Maybe that's why they call it "Venice of the Netherlands".

It has its own quiet charm and tranquility. The houses retain their thatched roofs, making them very unique and pretty. And if we had visited Giethoorn earlier, i think it will look even more charming with flowers in full bloom. Now, some of the plants are abit dried up ;) Walking along the waterways is a very relaxing affair and one can simply cross to the other side of the bank where they may be a pottery, or a souvenir shop. Very nice to simply walk and explore the place. Of course, take a canal tour -- which we didn't .... didn't want to risk kaira wanting to jump into the waterway which she was already wanting to do while walking along the banks. *faints* She kept saying "splash splash".... **shakes head*8 ;p

As the weather was relatively good today (although abit windy!), we spent quite abit of our time sitting out @ the terrace, having a drink and enjoying the singing!

There are vacation homes and a holiday park -- a good idea we thought, to maybe spend a long weekend (or even longer i don't know) here in future ;)

This will definitely be a place where we bring visitors to visit! Unfortunately it's a 2-hour drive from our place, else we will definitely visit it more often :) See, its nearer for us to drive to Dusseldorf in germany than another part of the Netherlands ;p

Monday, August 31, 2009

Eventful Weekend!

What did we do? Had our Asian Fix this weekend ...hehehe.

First, a visit to 2 japanese supermarkets in Dusseldorf followed by an authentic japanese dinner on Saturday. This is our second trip to Dusseldorf, and i think only the start of many to come!

I dunno why, but this half day trip really "rejuvenated" me.... felt very happy buying my bottles of Kirin Afternoon Milk Tea! Although it's the "normal" not the "special" ones, but "no prawn fish also good" if u know what i mean ! ;)

and i felt like a kid in the candy store when i was @ the japanese supermarket.... heart palpitating, hands wanting to grab everything. LOLOLOL. makes me miss CitySuper (supermarket in hkg) suddenly. cos although the japanese supermarket is relatively well stocked, it was small and quite cramp. not the authentic japanese supermarket experience. hahaha.... where the aisles are wide, and everything displayed so prettily which citysuper managed to emulate so well :)

so, what i cannot get in eindhoven, the consolation is that it's at most 1 1/4 hr drive away in germany! the "good" thing about living down south ;)


Next, we went to a lunch gathering organised by the Singapore Netherlands Association on Sunday. Our first time to such a gathering and our attempt to connect with more singaporeans here in the netherlands :)

Overall a pleasant time. It was a long lunch, almost 4 hours and grateful that the little one wasn't too difficult or got too cranky! hehehe.

No singaporean cuisine though ... Chinese fare instead! also good, haven't had a meal in a chinese restaurant in a long time!

we were quite occupied talking to new friends and keeping our gal occupied that we didn't take any photograph. ;p

Delft
after lunch, we went to the Delft city centre to take alook. Its sunday and most shops are closed. but since we were already in the vicinity, we decided to just visit it! and good thing we did, cos as u can see, Papa was happy to discover that there's kind of a "beer festival" going on.


had always wanted to get a delft blue, but didn't manage to get one today. was abit tired to look around and anyway, only the very touristy shops were open. maybe the next time.

other photos here :

Friday, August 28, 2009

3 wet pants in 2 hours! why does she have so much pee?? ;)

anywayz, i was inspired today cos i met a new friend @ a playdate whose daughter is turning 2 next month and is kind of toilet-trained already. At least in the day! she said she took about 1 month and started a couple of months back. which means that she started when the gal was around kaira's age now.

hmmmmm, i have not been keen on potty training ... as i really do not fancy cleaning up the mess .... kekeke....but i was inspired today, so decided to try after coming home from the playdate. and also thinking that maybe i should start now while the weather is still OK, not too cold. hopefully by the time it gets really cool, she will be toilet-trained already!

but haha, not too a good a start isn't it? 3 wet pants in 2 hours. *bleah*

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kaira's New Friend.

and this is kaira with Money, my friend's dog. his name is Money and is a very gentle and obedient dog.

Kaira likes him, yet, as you can see from the picture..... she's a little afraid of him as well. ;) Money likes her cos she was feeding him her rice crackers!!! kekeke.

小花猫

brought kaira to visit a new friend of mine who comes from taiwan. and this is what happened!! she really enjoyed the chocolate biscuits ! (something she doesn't get when she's @ home...kekeke).