Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 2011 Hols

A friend shared recently her notes from a session at church. The topic was on how to find time, and the sharing was given by Dr Tan Soo Inn.

As I find myself entering the second quarter of the year and feeling somewhat unprepared for it, I gave the notes a long hard look to see where the pointers applied to me. And there were a few.

I was struck by how I keep getting my priorities mixed up. The speaker touched on the importance of recognising what our roles in life are, and the priorities we should allocate to each. I quote (Thanks Mei for the notes!):

2) Recognising our Roles
List the roles you have and then allocate time to each of them.
How much time are you spending on each of these roles? Should you spend more or less time on each of these roles.

Some KEY roles in our life;
1) Member of Christ's body, the church (Rom 12:4-8)
2) Parent (Colossians 3:21)
3) Child (Col 3:20)
4) Spouse (Eph 5:21-33)
5) Worker (Col 3:22-4L1)
6) Friend (Proverbs 18:24)
7) Citizen (Romans 13:1-7) - often left out - pray for the nations

The role of a worker appears at number 5.

But as a working mom, I realise that I spend most of my hours in a weekday at work (7.15am - 6pm = 11hours 45 min) or thinking about work. As a result, I often neglect my other roles or do not allocate sufficient time to them.

What bums me out is that even then, I spend my waking hours often consumed by the issues I need to resolve at work, and feel like I'm not being efficient enough.

Well, the first step to addressing this imbalance was to take 3 days off from work to spend with the kids.

It being the March hols, we both tried to catch up on lost time building our relationship with the boys.

On Monday, took D to see The Gingerbread Man show at Alliance Francais. Got to spend quality time with G at Aunty L's apartment with Aunty B.

Tuesday saw us at Pasir Ris playground - the kids loved the open space and lots of equipment to jump and climb on, and having Aunty Mei and J there with us.

This morning, we headed out to Jacob Ballas.

Some pics:

At the bottom of Tree House Slide

Love the grin on our 19-month-old:
Tree house slide 6

Nice to see the eldest boy "taking care" of his little brother:
Take that!

And really taking care of his brother:

Other cute photos of our two boys:
P3150315.JPGP3150317.JPGBoy with a bucketP3150333.JPG

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What is Your Nest Egg Wish?

Finally I find myself awake at this late hour, actually up to the task of writing an update on this long inactive blog.

What woke me from this super long "blog slumber" was an email from CPF InTouch inviting CPF members to contribute their retirement wish in return for a chance at winning an ipad.

Here's what I wrote:

"I wish for a retirement busy with activities that would make me happy.

Right now, that would mean the following:

1. Volunteering in church
2. Singing in a choir
3. Organising monthly book club meets - exchanging ideas and ruminations from the latest literary bestseller with like-minded book readers
4. Keeping active - playing golf/ tennis twice a week, and yoga twice a day (like Singapore's centenarian Teresa Hsu!)
5. Mentoring at least one young person each year

Last but not least: family. To be grandmother to the children of my children, should God so bless us with any.

And when each day ends, to end the day holding the hand of the man I married to sleep each night."

What's your nest egg wish?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

KSS Sports Day 2010

Apologies for the long long absence from updating the blog. This year seems extraordinarily busy!

Thanks to the husband who uploaded all the photos from his phone, I guess a good place as any to jumpstart this blog back into life again, is with the KSS Sports Day on Sunday.

This is our first ever KSS Sports Day. In fact, this is first time we are joining the Sunday School bunch from church in an outing of this nature. And it's a first for Dylan too.

Initially planned for East Coast Park, the Sunday School teachers made the call the change the venue to Katong Park, after the oil spill last Thursday saw stretches of the beach coated in crude oil.

We reached the park at quarter past nine, and the sky was overcast, with rain clouds overhead and the slightest drizzle.

But uncle Danny gathered the whole bunch of us and prayed that God would clear the rain clouds and give us sun. And that's exactly what we got! After a short drizzle, the clouds parted revealing a clear blue sky. Amen!

The teachers grouped the 30 plus kids into Green, Orange, Yellow, Pink and Blue teams by tying the colored ribbons around each child's wrists, and commenced the team games.

Game Number #1 was treasure hunt - kiddies had to search the park for 20 colored ping pong balls, and the first team to return with the most balls won.

Game Number #2 was a passing the ball game.

Game Number #3 was Ping Pong Ball and Spoon. The first team to have all members walk the length of the track and back with the ball in the spoon won. Our Dylan didn't do too badly, as you can see!

egg and spoon.jpg

Game Number #4 was all about filling up the bucket across the field with as much water as your sponge would hold!

running with wet sponge.jpg

Game Number #5 taught the children how to quickly get your wet laundry pegged up on the clothesline.

running with wet cloth.jpg

Game Number #6, after the kids (and adults too!) took a water break, the game turned its focus on "Sabo-ing" the parents. This mommy had to somehow wade through the sea of children in blind-fold to identify her son. You can see Aunty PS "ba-kat-ing" with the boy on how to call out to Mommy!

Mommy in blindfold.jpg
"Hey, Aunty Ch-Ee, no peeking!"
with poh suan.jpg
"Dylan - call out to your mommy, ok?"

Clearly, everyone had a great time, many thanks to the tireless Sunday School aunties and uncles who took great pains to make sure that it was the case. Through the games, I also got to watch my little boy learn to play by the rules, stand in line and wait patiently for the game, and cheer his teammates on.

who is a winner.jpgcheering on.jpg

Seeing that Dylan was learning indeed to follow the rules and respond to instruction was reassuring. Especially since just that Tuesday, at the Nursery Teacher-Meet-Parent, his teacher alerted me to her observation that he really is "beyond active" and may need to be sent for assessment.

What makes the day memorable, for me, was also the fact that all of us - Daddy, Gareth, Dylan and I - got to spend quality family time with God's people. I couldn't be more thankful!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's been 20 years.

The year was 1990.

The class?

A bunch of lively twelve-year-old tweens from class 6C at Henry Park Primary School.

Form teacher was Mrs Anna Tan.

It's been twenty years.

In one week's time, I'll be seeing some faces I've not seen in twenty years, I kid you not.

An old classmate has rounded up some of us on facebook and is organizing a class reunion. I've not been to one of these for a long time. Twenty years is a record.

A little anxious, and excited at the same time.

The children grow

Phew, finally got some pictures up from my phone.

The year must seem to have been off to a super slow start, if this blog is anything to go by. But really, that is hardly the case.

Three months have passed in a flash, and I find I'm staring the end of March right in the eye. So much has happened between me going back to work, Dylan starting at nursery, E starting in JB, and G starting on solids.

Where do I even begin?

A good place to start, I suppose, is where the boys are right now.

Gareth's now almost 7 months, happy and healthy. Not just that, he'g got a hale and hearty appetite for rice and oat cereal, potato, sweet potato, and strawberries too.

Here's the picture to prove it:

Gareth starts on solids

A happy little chap, even at bedtime:

happy G

In January, Dylan went for his first-ever "friend's birthday party" at Kids Amaze@ Safra Toa Payoh - a nursery playmate who turned 4. And here I am still thinking of my little tyke as a wee tot who's just seen the other side of 3.

In February, we ushered in the Year of the Tiger in a new way as a family. We took our first ever family trip up north to Segamat, Malaysia - my Dad's hometown - to spend CNY there. Segamat is a small town some 90km north of JB, and even though it was Dylan's second trip there (we went when he was a mere 3-mth old babe), this was the first time the daddy and number two paid the town - and the extended Chen family - a visit.

We put up in a little roach-ridden motel, but what made it all worth it was having the two young'uns spend time with the maternal grandparents, getting to know the extended Chen family and uncles and aunties, and playing with the cousins.

For the little tyke, the icing on the cake came from seeing fireworks at night and real fire-crackers leave behind its trail of red paper all over the ground the following day.

And a real lion dance troupe performing right in front of him.

Over at the country club, he had a fair bit of fun in the playground swings too.

With cousins Sophia, Christy & Sara:
swing in segamat

With cousin Sara:

Another first for Dylan this year - at the tennis dinner at Keppel, the cheeky boy showed off his singing and dancing talent by out-singing and out-dancing the other kiddies on stage. To the amusement of the audience, he sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in its entirety, not once, but twice!

our little singer

Now that Elroy has his passport back, he's been coming home more regularly from JB, at least every weekend if not twice a week. Have to say, compared to the last half a year with him over in Australia, I'm really enjoying having Daddy around more often again.

What do I enjoy?

I enjoy returning from work, taking time to have dinner as a complete family around the table. I enjoy seeing Dylan eat his dinner because he wants to grow big and strong, "just like Daddy".

After dinner, I enjoy the family activity of taking the stroller out, plonking the 15kg boy in it, having little Gareth snug in his baby sling, and walking out to Siglap Centre and back. Daddy will talk about the psychiatric hospital he's placed at, what's happening in the course; his observations of Malaysian life through the lens of a homegrown Singaporean an endearing quirk for me, a half-blood Singaporean who has a Malaysian father. On the way home, we'd grab an ice-cream sundae from MacDonalds.

Come weekends, we've started a tradition of going out for dinner, to some place Dylan might enjoy. e.g. Changi Village, where he gets to drive battery operated cars.

Or maybe Changi Airport. Don't ask why I decided to take a photo of the boys with old Ronald himself!

family at changi

That's all for now.

When I do squeeze out more time to blog again, will try to fill in the gaps of some of the unexpected twists and turns of the year thus far.

Many of which, I thoroughly believe, have been allowed by God to happen, and are blessings in disguise. More on that later.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

So much to catch up on, so little time

Looking through my phone and its growing store of photos, I realize that I've accumulated a humongous backlog of events and photos to transfer, sort, archive, and not least update on the blog.

Trouble is my phone doesn't seem to want to let me bluetooth its contents over to the computer.

Highly frustrating.

Till I figure out how to get the photos over, and in turn, this blog going again, akan datang.

Till then, here's what will be posted up soon:
1) Chinese New Year trip to Segamat
2) Gareth goes on solids!
3) The tot drives at Changi Village
4) Weekends with Daddy

Friday, February 19, 2010

Each a face and a name among the multitudes

Traveling along the PIE this afternoon in a cab I suddenly had a morbid turn of mind. It happens a lot these days, Elroy would tell you.

I thought, in the event of a horrific car accident - don't ask me why I always think of this when riding in a cab - how would bystanders act upon seeing my horribly wrangled body?

They'd have to search through my belongings and look for my NRIC or my civil service card, or my phone to find the contact number of my next of kin.

These are the items tagged to my person that would give them a name to a "Jane Doe". Without them, I'm just another statistic. Faceless, without identity, among a throng of Singaporeans.

Without these tags that tie me to social constructs of citizenship and personal worth, is the harsh reality that I am just a little better than roadkill?

What about the thousands who perished in the World Trade Centre September 11 attacks? All faceless victims, remembered and known only by their mothers, wives, sons and daughters.

In such multitudes, I wonder how it is that each of us truly counts and matters.

Yet the amazing truth is that in the eyes of God our Creator, no such physical tags are necessary for us to be numbered, named, and identified.

No scrolling down the phonebook is required for God to recognize who I am, even though I am only one in 6 billion living on this earth. Not to mention the billions who have since passed through this life and into the next.

So here I am gazing at my two sleeping babies.

So very young, and full of promise.

And I hope and pray that they will never ever experience a moment of doubt in life that they are just a nameless face in the crowd, no matter what circumstances they find themselves in.