Saturday, February 22, 2020

The man, the must go-to concert is here

Finally! After securing the to-die-for tickets last September, I had been doing the final countdown to this day.

It was worrying too as the days got closer, with the impending covid19 pandemic going on, if the concert would still go on. I was hoping that it will go on as scheduled as I don't think I'll have the opportunity next time and better still when in home grounds - I can secure tickets early. 

Met up with S, a long time friend, at coffee bean for a catch up before the concert. The girls haven't seen each other since a year back during the NUS Open House. 

Enjoyed the concert tremendously. And when he did his encore, he went to the grand piano which is closer to our seats. But I didn't take video of him playing the full song. All good things must come to an end, we feel so elated that we finally went for his concert in this lifetime.  

Picture time!

 Scanned booklet cover
 From my seat

 Photos taken from SSO FB page   
 Photo taken by me as he played an encore for us. One Summer's Day from Spirited Away. Was fan-girling away, waved to him like crazy. Haha! 

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Freshening up

I went for 3 morning walks from Tanjong Rhu to Flower Dome in October. I haven't done this for quite a while as I had some family commitment. Should resume this soon. 
12 Benefits of Morning Walk You Should Know


For many people who hate to get out of bed early, walking in the morning may seem to be a real challenge. However, with all these benefits of morning walk, you might as well try it.

1. It’s a Great Way to Start the Day
Everyone who walks in the morning will tell you that it is a great way to start the day. Whether you are going to your office or doing some chores at home, waking up early and starting your day with a morning walk will surely energize you and get you in the mood to start the day. So, next time, instead of jumping out of the bed and hurrying off to work, start the day early with an easy morning walk.

2. It Freshens Up Your Mind
This is actually one of the best benefits of morning walk. Whether you had a good night’s sleep or not, waking up for a morning walk is guaranteed to help you start the day with a fresh mind. The morning sun and cool air will boost your mood and prevent stress from setting in before all the worries of the day begin.

3. It Counts as Physical Exercise
If you don’t have the time to go to the gym, a morning walk will give you the chance to do some exercise. It can also be a form of a warm-up exercise before you start your routines. With this, you don’t need special equipment or club memberships and you can adjust your time and pace according to your needs.

As physical exercise, morning walks can help you burn calories, strengthen your bones and muscles, and keep you in shape. It can help promote physical well-being and prevent disease, which are usually related to a sedentary lifestyle. Many experts recommend regular walking to promote good circulation and to prevent heart disease.

4. It Helps Beat Stress
The mental and emotional benefits of morning walk include reducing stress by increasing your body’s production of “feel good” hormones. To achieve this, try to walk briskly, until you feel sweaty. Physical exertion helps release brain chemicals that help reduce anxiety – an effect that is better than all the pills other people might take.

5. You Get Some Time to Plan Your Day
The best time to plan your day is when your mind is clear and you feel good physically. You can do this while taking your morning walk. It helps you think clearly during the day. It gives you time to be alone with your thoughts before all the chaos of the day begin.

So instead of rushing to work with no clear sense of direction on how to conduct the affairs of the day, take a few minutes to walk in the morning and lay out in your mind which tasks you must prioritize. You will be surprised how well your activities may go on smoothly with a little planning in the morning.

6. It Prevents Mental Deterioration
Studies suggest that one long-term benefit of walking regularly in the morning is that it helps prevent mental deterioration as you age. Dementia is common in the elderly, but studies show that regular exercise, such as walking reduces your risk of the disease and helps preserve your brain function as you age.

7. It Helps You Socialize
You do not have to walk alone all the time. Sometimes, walking is more fun and energizing if you do it with a friend, a family member, or a group of people. This can help you keep up the habit of getting regular exercise and can give you the chance to socialize before starting a long day at work.

8. It Gives You Energy All the Day
Early morning walks can help improve your circulation and give you energy to begin a long day. Most people who wake up late and go straight to work feel lethargic during the day and very tired towards the end of the day. But those who walk regularly in the morning usually feel energized all day because of the boost in circulation and good hormones that keep the body fit.

9. It Improves Your Appetite
It gives you a good appetite for the most important meal of the day – breakfast. While most people would wake up late and hurry off to work without a good breakfast, you must try to eat a healthy breakfast after a morning walk. The combination of physical exercise and a healthy breakfast will help you maintain proper weight because it will help keep you full longer before lunch.

10. It Helps You Stay Positive
What can make you positive, but a great morning walk followed by a healthy breakfast? The benefits of morning walk make you think positive during the day. Even if you meet some trials at work, starting your day in a positive way can help you manage these challenges and prevent overwhelming stress. Whether you are walking alone and enjoying the fresh air and scenery or walking with a group of friends, you are bound to forget any feelings of loneliness or anxiety when the “feel good” hormones kick in.

11. It Helps You Lose Weight
One of the important benefits of regular exercise is weight loss. If you want your morning walk to help you burn calories, try walking as briskly as you can. You burn more calories by increasing your speed, so challenge yourself by walking faster than a stroll. You will not only burn calories but reduce your blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels, which can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke. However, you must also remember to eat a balanced diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

12. It Helps You Sleep Soundly
Finally, one of the important benefits of morning walk is that it helps you get a good night’s sleep. Yes, it helps you start the day right and end it right as well. Walking exercises the body while relaxing the mind. With a properly functioning circulatory system, strong muscles and positive attitude, it is easy to see why you will undoubtedly get a good quality sleep every night.

My first trip to the nail salon

长到这么大我还是第一次去美甲屋。虽然以前在新航当空中服务员、我也觉得去美甲屋太浪费钱了。何况我的技术还比美甲师跟厉害,我可以在摇动的车擦指甲油。

It was an unplanned trip as I had broken one nail while doing housework. In frustration, I trimmed off the rests of the nails, only to realise CNY is a week away. OMG! There was no way my nails can grow that fast. In desperation to look a little presentable, I went to a nail salon at Parkway Parade. Usually, I’ll paint my nails on the eve after colouring my hair. All the last minute to “beautify myself”. So this year would be me pampering myself.

I’m such a boring person. My nail polish colours are either light brown or maroon red - SQ nail colour. So when I chose my nail colour, I went back to choosing SQ colour.

But after that I regret... regretted that $80+ went down the drain. Sim tia.. no more visits to the nail salon anymore.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Miss my gal

Che-che has gone for a week trip with her school and I’m beginning to miss her. It's not her first time overseas without us, she went for a trip with the school Handbells Ensemble in Primary 5? or was it Primary 4? And then there was overnight trip to Malacca in Primary 6. But this time is different, because she's such a big girl now. She packed her own bag, of course I did help her with the toiletries bag. Still it's different now that she goes through the bag to check that I don't put in unnecessary stuffs for her. The rests is packed by her as she needed to bring some other items for the activities that they're doing there.

She was away from home since 24th Nov and will only touch down tomorrow night. I can't wait for her to share with me what she has done there, I'm sure it's some life-changing experience for her now that she's 17 years 4 days old. And did lil' one miss her sister? She claims not, she didn't tear at the airport, she's happy that she's away from her. Likewise older sister claims she is happy the irritating girl is not with her. But I'm sure despite all these, they do miss each other, the partner-in-crime needs to work together otherwise it's powerless with only one. I'm grateful her teacher helped me with the birthday cake and all there so that she had an unforgettable birthday without her parents. Ahh.... maybe she's happier this way.     

Has Orchard Road lost its charms?

Has Orchard Road lost its charms? Or is it me?

I can't deny that in my younger days, going to Orchard Road is definitely more boastful than when I say I went to Tampines to shop. But with malls springing up in every neighbourhood now and seeing the same shops - Watsons, Giordano etc.. 不去也大不了。

我也不想念  Orchard. Infact, if I needed to shop, I'll shop at Parkway Parade. Chop chop and get all my errands done in one trip. Parkway, Tampines Mall, Hougang Mall have all the things that i  need. And perhaps it's also due to the crowds. I HATE CROWDS!! Orchard Road is one massive mess on weekends. I dread going there, the girls dread it too. We only have to go more often now as their orthodontist is in Orchard. Even when we (family) had to go there for the girls' birthday treat, we made it there quick quick and came back quick quick. Good thing we didn't have to jostle in the train as well.  

So why do I hate crowds so much? Perhaps it was the lifestyle I lead. During SQ days, I have off days when everyone else is working. So even when I window shop or shop, I didn't have to deal with mixing with the crowds. Now as a SAHM, I have free time to shop before lunch time, before the office workers have their lunch.  

Not that I enjoy shopping too. It's really rare as what some friends say "you were a stewardess before, you should love to shop". Not then and not now. Then, I didn't mind shopping overseas so that I won't walk out in the streets and have someone else in the same clothing as I do. Now, I have to think when I shop. I have to think on which to throw away before I shop. I guess I'm living the minimal life now, just have my basic needs and I'm happy.

Orchard Road, though with the many branded stores, don't appeal to me now. Even this LV lover don't shop in LV all the time. I mean, I had some bags which still lasts till now, is there a need for me to shop? I guess not, I'm not a social influencer, I'm not a tai-tai who hangs out with all the other tai-tais that I can't be seen carrying that same bag all over and over again. 
Probably with the youngsters, Orchard is still a hip place to hang out. So move over old lady! It's time for me to hang out in Wan Yang (massage chain) instead. 

Comes Christmas season, we never hung out since the girls were older. We used to bring them out for a walk, not until once when we had party revellers anyhow spray the confettis into the air. It scared me coz' one of the girl was on daddy's shoulder and it would have gotten into her eyes. Anyway, I don't really care about the decorations there now. Seeing the simple decorations overseas is even more refreshing and nice.         
  

Monday, September 16, 2019

"You're BUSTED!"

The day my girls were busted. 

It was the 2nd or 3rd day the girls are sleeping together in lil' one's room to share the air purifier. (Yup! haze is back)

It's funny that they didn't hear me when I opened my bedroom door so loudly, for the obvious reason they were too engrossed in their conversation in the dark - it was 10+, way beyond their bedtime. I stood in the dark doorway listening to them, about 40 seconds later I decided to turn on the aisle light and I heard che-che's "Ssshh.." Lil' one couldn't stop her conversation in time (reaction abit slow), she also has this habit of wanting to complete her sentence. In other words, she hasn't reached the 'full stop' of what she was going to say so wanted to continue. Che-che had to hush her again "Ssshh" I gave a leeway of 8 seconds before I opened the door. Lil' one laying on her front, I guessed she plonked down immediately. Che-che on her side, the tell tale sign that they were facing each other. Che-che pretended to open her eyes and spoke in a sleepy voice "what".

"Don't bluff! Both of you were talking in the dark. Being your mother, I always have to think and do things  

Thursday, September 12, 2019

DONE!

I  got the tickets! I got the tickets!

First thing I did as I woke up, I checked my email if they have replied me. 

Premier seats, not the best 2 seats closest to the stage (where we sat for SSO ND Concert) but the next 2. Ai yah, mai hiam can already., otherwise I would have booked Cat 1, which is rows away. No discount for this category - Cat 12 - but I'm happy and relieved as long as I got my tickets.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

OMG! This is so stressful!

OMG! This is more stressful than P1 school registration. What accounts for this high level of anxiety from me? Joe Hisaishi!! OMG! I've been waiting for him to come by Singapore and this is a chance not to be missed. 

There's a catch though. Tickets are sold first to the SSO Friends, public sales will only start on 21st Sep. Can I wait that long? The seats that we wanted are already taken, which is very surprising coz that's a different category, so how did the person managed to get the tickets? 

I have 2 options :
1) either I have to do the "fastest finger" wins at 9am on 21st Sep, standby with the laptop at 8.58am. No guarantee coz if 2 tix are taken up now, in days to come more tixs may be sold. 
2) get the Friends Season pass and then we can't get the seats that we want but we're in Cat 1, 5 rows from the stage. But at least we chope our seats. 

We have switched from "wanting the best seats with best sound" mentality to "as long as we get tickets" mentality. How desperate can we get.

Problem now is, I paid for the Friends Season Pass but I have no Promo Password to key in. OMG! I'm so dying inside.... D.E.S.P.A.R.A.D.O 

Synopsis
The world-renowned Japanese composer-conductor Joe Hisaishi makes his impressive first appearance in Singapore in 2020!

Joe Hisaishi is the musical mastermind behind the score of numerous films, this symphonic concert celebrates his long and fruitful collaboration with the master of animated cinema, Hayao Miyazaki.

Concert Program:
  1. The East Land Symphony
  2. Woman for piano and strings:
    Woman
    Ponyo
    Les Aventuriers
  3. Spirited Away Suite

Aiyoh..... aunty's heart cannot take it leh!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Tennis

Finally bought her her first tennis racket from Royal Sporting House in NEX.

Description
The Federer Pro 105 has a lightweight frame designed for fast, aggressive strokes and outstanding maneuverability. Weighing only 9.7 oz. (275.0 g) This extra long racket allows players to reach more balls and hit the net faster. Its Midplus head provides more tolerance and control. The Federer Pro 105 is an effective transition racket for up and coming tennis players more consistency.




WRT5661 Federer Pro 105 for $127.20, marked down from $159. It's the cheapest racket there I guess but it's good for her since she's still a beginner. 
Tennis lessons? Hmm..... problematic finding the suitable time. Lil' one refuses to learn tennis, wanted to learn badminton. And if I sign up one child for sports class; I'll have to be fair right? So there goes the problem of finding a suitable time with both tennis and badminton running classes at the same time in the same venue. Meanwhile, it'll be us playing our lousy tennis game.    



Thursday, July 25, 2019

Feeling so proud of myself

I’m so proud of myself.

It’s coming to the end July and Teacher’s Day gifts 🎁 are all packed. This is a much earlier completion date so far, in all my years of preparing gifts for the teachers, some of them clamouring till 1-2weeks before the day. Of course this is only made possible because I have one task less to do now - academics with lil’ one.
The other reason why I’m so proud of myself is that I’ve finally accomplished an iron-on. I have always been fearful of iron-ons, so many “what if”s pop into my mind whenever I consider iron-on and then I’ll change idea and end up preparing other gifts. This comes at a time when ideas are all running dry.

Teachers Day gifts are getting lesser and lesser, which is good news. Che-che never once gifted anything to her secondary teachers. Even for her favourite Math teacher in Sec 3 and 4, all she did was to write a note to the teacher on testpad paper 🤪 .
The gifts are for tutors and primary school teachers, their favourite ones. I guess once lil’ one has no time to go back to primary school during Teacher’s Day will be the day / year onwards I can stop preparing for the primary teachers. Which I believe the day will come soon. Che-che only made it once back to primary school, when she was in Sec 1, the next 3 years after were rather impossible for her to go back as they were dismissed from school late.

Nonetheless, it’s something that I’ve designed personally for each teacher, a work from my heart.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

I have this crazy idea

With a little more time on my own now, I've been thinking what I can do with the very little free time I have. Well not that I have alot of free time.

Now that the girls are slowly not needing me in some areas (academic - marking work; assigning work; typing stuffs for them), what can I do with that little minute pocket of time? I'm still required to send (on some days) and pick the girls up on an almost daily basis. [Che-che has grown tired of taking bus to and from school since mid May]  Otherwise I would have been able to free up more time. I can perhaps bake, decorate icing cookies (but nobody's eating them now), go for some aim and shoot on my own - I meant photography. However I'm interested in landscape and Singapore is disappointing in this aspect. 
I've practically sold my life to the girls for the last 16-17 years that I realised I haven't got a hobby at all. The things I love to do - baking - is mainly for the girls. 
I stopped my reading for a long time so I think I should pick up books. Back to crime or holocaust genre? It's nice to curl up with soothing music plugged to my ears while I read ignoring the world before me. Alas! Easier said than done, always that reality of me rushing out to packing their food into the car and pick the girls. I thought maybe I could do some brainless things like cross-stitch or amigurumi BUT I have no idea what I could do with them after that and it's not exactly a good idea as I'm always trying to declutter the house. I'll end up throwing my money away. Perhaps someone can pay me to do the job for them? Then a silly idea came into my mind - learn a new language. Forget about my 半桶水 Japanese maybe I should pick up German instead? Maybe it's that sudden craze I have now listening to german music as I'm on the computer. But why didn't I pick up German when I was flying? That was a good opportunity to put the language to practice,  though I only know very simple words like "kaffee, tee oder mich" - haha! 
But why German? German is rather hard to pronounce I feel. However it seems that German is more widely spoken in europe.

This song just came into my mind :
Es tanzt ein Bi-Ba-Butzemann
in unserm Haus herum, fidibum,
Es tanzt ein Bi-Ba-Butzemann

in unserm Haus herum.

I still have my german children songs CDs in the house. hee!
Check out lil' one doing her folk dancing. So cute! 


Hmm...... perhaps this has to be put on hold too? As I am in the midst of planning our year-end holiday itinery. Ok, that was a good break from my planning, I shall go back to it now. 

Note : I came across my blog entry in 2018. Have I checked off the list yet?
https://athenamummy.blogspot.com/2018/04/what-will-i-be-doing-in-2019-entry.html

Auf Wiedersehen. Schönen Tag

        

Monday, June 24, 2019

Medieval Nuremberg

Our holiday may be 6 months ago but my heart is still in Nuremberg. I’m missing this place so much. There were many places left undiscovered that were planned in my itinerary but due to the fact that I had 2 people who were not commutable (one limping away since the start of the holiday, the other is lil’ grandma lil’ one) makes it difficult. 

There's just something about Nuremberg that makes me want to go back again. Is it the medieval feel? But I've been to few "medieval" places before, so what makes me want to go back again? Or is it because it's a totally new place for me so I feel my sightseeing is not complete. The other places where I planned for our holiday is mainly for them as I've been to the places at least twice. Munich is my 4th time, Dachau Concentration Camp my 4th time too, Salzburg my 2nd time. 

Ok, I really need to get my butt going and plan for a solo trip.    

Thursday, May 23, 2019

That deja vu feeling

Sometimes when I do stuffs on the laptop, I'll prefer to have peace and quiet but sometimes I like it when I listen to some soothing music. 

Today, 23rd May, five months plus after the last time I was listening to music while on laptop, I had that deja vu feeling. 
Back in November and December, I was rushing through planning holiday itineries and doing up lil' one's travel journal I was listening to all the jazz songs, christmas songs too to put myself into that wintery christmas-sy feel and also to block out any noise the girls were making. 

At that time, I kindda left the girls alone without me chasing or telling them to do their work etc.. It was definitely a very relaxing feeling. Suddenly the heavy stone on me was lifted away, I didn't have to bother about their academic as they had both finished their exams and while I resigned to fate with lil' one's results and posting, I had no idea and didn't want to think too much on che-che's results.
The girls were hanging out together, sent them out to settle lunch on their own which they gladly did. They went to Hougang Mall, NEX etc.. they had fun outside without me, I had them out of the house so that I could focus on the planning. I shall not leave things to last minute this year, I should start planning some thing now. 

The holiday makes me want to really start planning a trip on my own. But holy shit! Che-che's Grade 8 exam is sometime in end Aug to Sept. And provided the man is not travelling too. Sigh..... 我要出国。 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Lil' cheena girl

15th May 
My lil' cheena girl forte is Chinese. Her compo since primary school is quite power, getting results like 30++ / 40 kind. At one time, I told myself I should send her for some essay writing competition. But you know what? I totally forgot about it and 3 years have passed by without me doing anything for her.

Today, she came back home from school and told me to help her type something as she's tired to do it and she has lots of homeworks to complete. She gave me a instruction sheet and for a moment I was jumping at her over why I had to read this and comply to it. Obviously I wasn't reading .... and when I tried - OMG! Is this even Chinese? She read a few instructions for me then I shoo-ed her away to get her homeworks done while I try to read it. Before shoo-ing her off I questioned her on the reason for doing this. Her compo is one of the two in her class selected to be published by her school and distributed to the students. Better than nothing right?  

As I typed her compo. Oh my! I've never seen some words before, and so many strokes to one particular word. How the heck she remembers this word? (Wait! I don't even know what that word means.) Well, for some good reason this girl can remember/recognise chinese words very well, this sets my mind to ease that at least she's not dyslexic.    

Another sounding positive news is that in the 1st WA, she was one of the 5 students who passed her Chinese and this time there are 9 students who passed and only one scored high marks of 30++/40 , I'm hoping that she's one of the 9 and definitely the one with the highest marks. I can only see her results on PTM day. 


                                             _______________________

as at 21st May : She didn't show me her test papers but I saw it as she left it lying around on her bed. I saw her results and asked if she was the one with the highest marks. I'm happy. 

She also showed me the $10 Popular gift voucher given by the school for the students who had their essays published. She's really happy. I had wanted to give her $10 cash so that she can bank in but she didn't want. Meanwhile please remind me to close both eyes should she end up buying some rubbish with her reward. 
Oh! She told me it was an essay competition for all the students. Hmm.... girl can you please tell me what's happening in your school?  

Documenting this down so that in years to come lil' one will be reminded she had a reward in Sec 1 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

On This Day - 11th May #Reminders from FB#

11th May 2012 - 
Her first trip to the optician. It's confirmed that she IS DESPICABLE MISCHIEVOUS!!! Optician said she can see. He had his way of finding out if kids were lying. At one point he made her write down. (phone batt went flat couldn't take pic of her doing that).
He kept shaking his head and I suspected he tricked her. Ok, at least she sat on that chair. That should make her happy already right?     
I asked her if she really can't see. Days ago she kept saying "I cannot see". Today, I asked and she gave me that sheepish smile and said that she could see. @-@!! 


这个小瓜小冬瓜真的是伤脑经啊!Keeping me on my toes all the time. 
__________________________________________________________________________

11th May 2013 -
Massaging her ponytail and head. Hahaha! Little Miss Shortie is so funny! The SAs laughed at her; the guy sitting next to her tried to control his laughter.  One SA came and tried to pull down for her but still reaching her ponytail.
That day we were in Compass Point, in our usual weekend jalan jalan. We walked by Osim massage chairs display in Harvey Norman? or Best Denki? We sat down to try, and lil' one in her sharp voice "I want to try! I want to try!" and sat down. What followed after that was laughter from me and hubby. So funny!


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Growing up and more needs

26th March
We bought the current laptop (think it's already 3-4years?) intending to let che-che use it. However she didn't get to use much, any online projects the kids can do it on some Google thing where their groupmates can go in and make their edit.  
Things changed when she's in JC1, she needs the computer more often now, leaving me with no computer. Not that I have a big business to handle but I'm like at the beck of her call on when I can use it. There are days when lil' one needs to use it too, and she don't like daddy's gigantic sound-blasting-until-can-go-deaf laptop. Then I considered getting one for myself or maybe for her.  


Mid April
Honestly I know nuts about computers and asked sis for advice. And she told me to look for a certain brand. 

28th April
The girl complained that the laptop is lousy, the battery depleted so quickly that she couldn't do her PW with her team mates and she needed one urgently. So when I spoke to the man about it, he took it upon himself to get it for her. Of course, he being the doting dad gave her a choice to choose. She had wanted those flip- flexible kind which I told her it's useless, spoils more often and no way getting those type for her. Still, he gave her the choice "either this or Apple". (The girl had asked for Apple also) "Do you know how to use Apple?" 

Ehh....... duh! The man is so out of date huh? They've been using computers in school, and they have both kinds of computers in both schools. 

And it's a fast deal kind where he ordered the laptop online and as there is a delay in their delivery, they chose to pick it up in Orchard.  


29th April
She got her own laptop. No more dying battery, no more complaints. I only have to deal with the “not fair. How come che-che has a new computer. I want one too.” from you know who