We’ve finally saved enough to buy a Lego Mindstorms set! Since October, I’ve been sending the boys to school on foot a few days a week. It started out as a punishment for them because I caught them lying and this was one of their entitlements that I slashed. As the weeks passed, it turned out to be a good arrangement because after I drop them off on foot, I get to work on foot as well. Exercising in the morning makes me rather happy =)  I cancelled my office season parking and with all the money saved over half a year, we bought a S$560 toy!

Boys didn’t want to do anything during their March holidays except stay at home to play with their new toy. Which was perfectly fine with me, because this meant that I just went to work everyday without needing to bring them out. KL was super busy being attached to the surgery department, so he couldn’t bring them out either.

On Monday, their cousins came over to play. On Wednesday, a friend came over to play. Some other days they had Chinese tuition, and their tutor treated them to a nice lunch on Thursday. All in all, it was good break for them. Although one week was really not enough to finish building all the possible models in the Mindstorms Ev3 set. T was not able to follow all the instructions, so it left to K to do majority of the building (with a lot of help from Google). It’ll have to be the weekend before they can pick up the set to play again!


K has been asking to go running because he wants to practice running 1.6km (fitness test in school). This is the second weekend we’re running together. We did 4km in 45 mins at Marina Bay. He jogged in the first 20 min, and then jogged + walked in the last 25 min.

T is absolutely not ready to join us in our jogs … yet. We’ll always bring along a bicycle or scooter for him.


National Gallery

Made a pact with T last week. If he can get by the entire week without a single teacher calling me to complain about his behaviour, I’ll reward him with a trip to the museum. Yeah, he managed to behave really well (which just meant that he behaved like a normal 8-year-old) so we visited the National Gallery today!

I’ve already been to the National Gallery once with my colleagues, and found 90% of the artwork boring. There was only one room that I really enjoyed on the second floor, which featured Singapore art in the 1990s – 2000s. I especially liked this clinking lighbulb installation that was totally irreverent and irrelevant …

Boys didn’t enjoy the visit as much as me. K says it was just a bit fun. KL thinks the Supreme Court should be commercialised into a hotel *roll my eyes*.

Bits and Pieces of February 2017

Cousins played blackjack on the last day of CNY. My brother was the banker. K earned $3 that evening. T didn’t join the game. He played Lego with a younger cousin instead.

Coke light and eggs were assembled for a science experiment. T had to soak one raw egg and one hard boiled egg in the liquid for 48 hours. One of the egg’s shell was supposed to drop off, and the other was supposed to be bouncy after that. But the experiment didn’t work. I suspect we should have used regular soda instead of diet soda.

Lovely note from K. He made breakfast for me one Saturday – four slices of bread with jam, complete with heart cut outs. The jam was too sweet for my liking (I’m trying to cut out sugar in my life), but I ate two slices anyway because of the amount of effort he put into the breakfast.

Shooting erasers with rubber bands. K has been making rubber band shooters for at least two years, but T has never been interested in shooting. On a particularly idle weekend, we made T sit down to shoot erasers with rubber bands. Because his aiming is so bad, he has to sit really close to the target to hit it, lol!

Worst Valentine’s Day

T told many lies today.

He was supposed to turn up at his Chinese tuition teacher’s house at 2.30pm. When he didn’t turn up and she called him, he said he didn’t know how to get there. Which is a lie, because he has been walking on his own to her house for months. She offered to walk to our place to pick him up, and she actually did so. But he did no pick up her calls and he never showed up to meet her downstairs. She charged me the fees for today anyway. She knew he lied and I knew he lied.

He was supposed to use $2 to buy a 听写 book from the school bookshop. He did not buy it because he claimed he did not know how to buy it. He did not ask his brother for help to buy it. He did not tell me he spent the money on snacks instead until I asked him about the book. And he was definitely not supposed to have bought such an expensive snack because he had to spend within his means (which is already a very generous $4 a day for two meals in school).

He played games on the tablet at home when he was alone. Nobody is allowed to play games in our family on weekdays ever ever ever. And he knows it well because over the December holidays, he and K were already punished for telling lies when they played games on my computer on a particular week. Anyway, T played a few games and he lied about it.

As a punishment, he was sent to bed at 7pm because I did not even want to see his face anymore. He was smacked on his hand by his father. There is no fruits and supper for him tonight, no breakfast for him tomorrow. When the boys lied in December, I stopped giving them some of the things they liked for the next three months (no bubble tea, no car to send them to school every morning). That is going to end in February. But because T lied so many times today, I will have to stop giving him some of the things he likes for the next three months (no pasta at all, no car to send them to school for another three months).

I realized at about 10pm that he did not do any of his homework because he was playing the tablet today and sent to bed early. I wanted him to get scolded in school tomorrow, but close to 11pm, he actually got out of bed and told me he could not sleep. I forced him to do his homework, and watching him do homework so close to midnight is just mad.

I cannot imagine how much of a compulsive liar he will grow up to be. This is absolutely the worst Valentine’s Day ever.


Boys were very tired when they visited their grandparents today. They completely knocked out on the car ride to/from Bendemeer. That’s because I mentioned the 守夜 custom to them in passing and even though I told them that it doesn’t apply to children, both decided to STAY AWAKE TILL MIDNIGHT on 除夕. Lights went out at 9 plus as usual and I didn’t even know they were still awake until they came to ask me what’s the time at 11 plus. Crazy little boys!

Visiting Dad

A year has passed since my dad passed away. Cousins met at the Mandai crematorium to visit him, as well as my deceased grandmother, grandfather, first uncle, third uncle, last auntie.

Conveniently, everyone is in the same block at the crematorium. My mum and aunties think that it’s my grandmother’s will that kept my father in the same block with them, even in death.

Malacca in December 2016

We squeezed in a short holiday to Malacca before the year ended. As KL couldn’t make it, me and my mum and the boys took a bus there. It was quite painful, 6 hours each way. T took an anti-motion sickness pill on the way there, so he didn’t puke. I lost his other pill on the way back, so made him sleep for most of the journey to prevent him from feeling sick. But he puked anyway!

Food in Malacca was yummy as usual. T especially likes chicken rice balls – he eats 5 in one go! Boys like to eat Mamee so they were happy to see the big Mamee on the last day we were strolling on Jonker Street.


The Science Centre is our go-to place on weekends whenever we have a few hours to spare and nothing to do. We spent our New Year’s Eve afternoon there.

We pop by the ecogarden trail sometimes because the treehouse is quite lovely – to the boys, not to me. I have NEVER stepped foot into the treehouse ever since I ran into the snake there years ago.

Bits and Pieces of December 2016

Last post to round up the year!

Stuffed toys neat and snug under the blanket. When K sets the sleeping area (not so often), he makes an effort to line things up nicely. When T sets the sleeping area (most of the time), everything is randomly left on their tilams.

Used many plasters this month to cover up K’s abrasions. Those were from a disaster biking outing at Maidstone Road. The lil path there is nice for jogging but not well paved. K fell at the end of a slope because he trying to avoid a pond. T got himself and his bike stuck in an overgrown grass patch while I was tending to K. They hated the whole outing and don’t ever want to go back there again. Plasters are from a stash that my dad left behind. Using the plasters remind us of him.

Recycled five piles of unwanted books and papers this year. I packed one pile and boys packed four in exchange for screen time.

Erasers all over the place. Boys have a few country erasers and I gave them a whole stash for Christmas. K is drawing up a play area before starting the competition.

Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa

We stayed at Holiday Inn Resort Benoa for five days and boys loved it as usual. They have the same program every day: breakfast, Kid’s Club, lunch, Kid’s Club, swim, dinner, Kid’s Club (sometimes night swim). They play with the same things at the Kid’s Club and eat the same meals every day but they’re not bored at all.

17dec16We took them to a nearby mall once, but they very much prefer staying in the resort. So me and KL just ventured out a few hours a day without them, whenever they’re parked at the Kid’s Club.

Hideaway Villas Bali

We were in Bali this month! Stayed three days in Hideaway Villas in Uluwatu. It was so “ulu” that our taxi driver could not find the place initially.

Each villa comes with a pool and because we ordered room service for all meals, we ended up staying in the villa all the time. Not that anyone minded. The boys totally did not want to step out of the villa. I was also happy to stay in and read/dip in the pool.

We travelled very light for this trip, one small backpack per family member for seven days!


I just learnt that there are two mango trees downstairs. Their friends’ father spent more than an hour getting two mangoes – first with a football, then string/stone, then with a basketball. T made a bouquet of stems from the fallen leaves of the tree.

Bits and Pieces of November 2016

Boys have been getting home-cooked dinners 4-5 nights a week, now that my mum is frequently staying over in our place.

T has no front teeth now! One of them has been wobbly for a while and he plucked it out by himself.

K is still making a lot of things at home. He made a pair of mobile phones for himself and T. It comes with a fighting game.

T drew a picture with stick men dancing in the snow! Till today, the boys still speak fondly of their Prague + Austria holiday 2 years back, as that was one and only time they played with snow!

Learning Styles

We were reading a book about learning today, and decided to do a quiz on our individual learning styles. We have two visual learners and two tactile learners at home …

·         Auditory: 5%

·         Visual: 60%

·         Tactile: 35%

·         Auditory: 25%

·         Visual: 45%

·         Tactile: 30%

·         Auditory: 30%

·         Visual: 30%

·         Tactile: 40%

·         Auditory: 25%

·         Visual: 35%

·         Tactile: 40%


You are a Visual learner!

If you are a visual learner, you learn by reading or seeing pictures. You understand and remember things by sight. You can picture what you are learning in your head, and you learn best by using methods that are primarily visual. You like to see what you are learning.

As a visual learner, you are usually neat and clean. You often close your eyes to visualize or remember something, and you will find something to watch if you become bored. You may have difficulty with spoken directions and may be easily distracted by sounds. You are attracted to color and to spoken language (like stories) that is rich in imagery.


You are a Tactile learner!

If you are a tactile learner, you learn by touching and doing. You understand and remember things through physical movement. You are a “hands-on” learner who prefers to touch, move, build, or draw what you learn, and you tend to learn better when some type of physical activity is involved. You need to be active and take frequent breaks, you often speak with your hands and with gestures, and you may have difficulty sitting still.

As a tactile learner, you like to take things apart and put things together, and you tend to find reasons to tinker or move around when you become bored. You may be very well coordinated and have good athletic ability. You can easily remember things that were done but may have difficulty remembering what you saw or heard in the process. You often communicate by touching, and you appreciate physically expressed forms of encouragement, such as a pat on the back.

Here are some things that visual learners like you can do to learn better:

  • Sit near the front of the classroom. (It won’t mean you’re the teacher’s pet!)
  • Have your eyesight checked on a regular basis.
  • Use flashcards to learn new words.
  • Try to visualize things that you hear or things that are read to you.
  • Write down key words, ideas, or instructions.
  • Draw pictures to help explain new concepts and then explain the pictures.
  • Color code things.
  • Avoid distractions during study times.

Remember that you need to see things, not just hear things, to learn well.

Here are some things that tactile learners like you can do to learn better:

  • Participate in activities that involve touching, building, moving, or drawing.
  • Do lots of hands-on activities like completing art projects, taking walks, or acting out stories.
  • It’s OK to chew gum, walk around, or rock in a chair while reading or studying.
  • Use flashcards and arrange them in groups to show relationships between ideas.
  • Trace words with your finger to learn spelling (finger spelling).
  • Take frequent breaks during reading or studying periods (frequent, but not long).
  • It’s OK to tap a pencil, shake your foot, or hold on to something while learning.
  • Use a computer to reinforce learning through the sense of touch.

Remember that you learn best by doing, not just by reading, seeing, or hearing.

PS: K had a ear infection over the weekend. Because the entire right ear was infected, his auditory score must have dropped to a measly 2.5%!

Staycation at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa

We’ve not gone on a staycation in the last 2 years. Decided to stay over in Sentosa last week when the boys had a break from school. Our second time staying in this hotel and boys especially liked the meals at the hotel (the children’s buffet corner won them over) and the xbox room.

16oct16We spent a lot of time at the beach because it was clean and nice. The pool was perpetually crowded, so we didn’t hang out too much there.

Labrador Park

Our first visit to Labrador Park. Boys had their bikes and they were supposed to cycle but they were so distracted by the playground that they spent all their time there. Looks like we’ve gotta make another trip here again!


First day that T is riding a two-wheeler!

Earlier in the evening, he was playing with a 5-year-old neighbor and a 6-year-old neighbor. They asked him why he was still riding a tricycle. They also got him to try their two-wheeler and *surprise* he could ride it ably! I came up to remove his tricycle wheels within the next 10 minutes!