Thursday, 7 July 2016

"What do you want for your birthday, Mom?"

IZ: Mom, your birthday is coming, what present do you want?
Me: I want a birthday hug, kiss from you..
IZ: somemore?
Me: a birthday card you make
IZ: somemore?
Me: I want you to be healthy and happy
IZ: is that all?
Me: ya, that's all
IZ: then I'll remind you to give me vitamins when Ah Nah is off
Me: what has my birthday to do with your vitamins?
IZ: so that you remember to give me vitamins then I can be healthy!

Monday, 4 July 2016

IZ & us deal with loss of beloved Ah Ma..

At the hospital, I realised we had to quickly inform IZ of what was happening, despite he was still blur, waking up at 5am. So we told him Ah Ma died, and asked if he would like to take a look at Ah Ma. He said yes.

From then, I was expecting him to cry. He didn't tear.. not at all.

My heart ache a lot. I'm not sure if it's "acceptable" for him not to cry at all. I don't know if he's being strong or he's being unemotional. He did say he's sad, he missed Ah Ma, but while both of us cried our hearts out, he seems unfazed.

For the 5 days of wake, he frequently walked up to Ah Ma altar and casket, talked to her and prayed.

There was no fear.. but there was no tear either..


On the day of funeral, when we placed rose on her casket and spoke our last words (in our hearts):

IZ: wo ai ni ah ma (translated as "I love you, Ah Ma")

And there I broke down.. once again.


Exactly 1 week from Ah Ma's passing:

IZ: I wish Ah Ma could live until 89yo (she was 86)
Me: you wish Ah Ma could live until 89?
IZ: yes, I wish she could see me go to primary school and celebrate birthday with me
Me: I wish she could live longer too, but you see, she was feeling very uncomfortable already, with the tube feed and all, so, it's a good thing she left, she's no longer suffering
IZ: what is suffering?
Me: no longer feeling uncomfortable

Coming home from the 1st day of school, he called out to Ah Ma upon reaching home.  I broke down  over the phone when Ah Nah told me that.


9 days after Ah Ma's passing, we just got home.

IZ: hello daddy, hello mommy (hugged daddy)
IZ: are you still feeling sad, daddy?
Dad: yes, I am still feeling sad
IZ: me too, I still remember Ah Ma
Me: yes, we should always remember Ah Ma, we shall not forget her

In the bed at night.

IZ: Daddy, when you feel sad, your nose and face are red
IZ: I feel sad too
Dad: it's ok to feel sad and it's ok to cry, you know
IZ: I know
IZ: but is it ok to cry when I get punished?


10 days after Ah Ma's passing, on a phone conversation:

Me: how was school today?
IZ: awesome, Yuhan is back in school
Me: so you're happy that Yuhan is back?
IZ: i'm unhappy (I thought to myself.. there you go again, about how you don't want to go to school..)
Me: you're unhappy
IZ: ya, I'm unhappy coz Ah Ma passed away
Me: me too, I'm unhappy too

Totally broke my heart..

He's right. It feels like we have lost the ability to be happy. I'm sulking the whole day for the past 10 days, although occasionally I smile and laugh. It's like Ah Ma's passing took away all our happiness.

I know she wouldn't want us to be unhappy... maybe time can really heal..


Updated on 5th Oct'16 (slightly more than 100 days of passing)

IZ was in the middle of his violin lesson when he suddenly came to me in the kitchen, crying. I thought the teacher scolded him till it was unbearable.

"I missed Ah Ma" he sobbed.

After lesson, he said "I missed the happy times with Ah Ma".

That's right my boy, proud of you. We will always miss her. Not a day passed without me thinking of her too.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The lack of dreams..

It has been 8 days since my MIL passed on in the hospital.

2-3 days before she left us, I dreamt of her, touching one of my SILs, hubby and I, sitting upright and asked us in a very clear voice, to take good care of ourselves. It was a total opposite of her physical state at that point of time, as she couldn't sit up right nor talk clearly then.

Ah Nah dreamt of her the very same night.

Then she left us on Mon, 20th Jun'16 close to 5am.

Ah Nah dreamt of her at 3am, that MIL called out to her.

I've not dreamt of her since. Neither did anyone else in the family. I'm very disappointed, sad, upset and depressed that she has not been coming to visit at all, be it spiritually or in my dream.

I cried for she didn't return on the 7th day like what some said, last visit to the home. I thought she was really attached to the house and IZ, she should be coming home. So we prepared dishes, left them on the dining table, and went to bed early. There was no sign of her at all.

Yesterday, while having breakfast, IZ said "mom, I had a good dream last night".

Me: oh? you had a good dream?
IZ: ya, I dream of Ah Ma. I called "AH MA!" and she opened her eyes to look at me! Isn't that a good dream!
Me: ya! that's a good dream!

I felt that dream was a closure for me at least. That she did appear to her beloved grandson, the one she was worried about the most.

I choose to believe now that she is happy in new place, reunited with her hubby, free from all the pain and suffering.

It's still painful to think of our happy days, and days we spent in the hospital. Our hearts ache terribly everyday. Tears dropped without any warning. We are mourning in the open.

We missed her very much..

One of my favorite pictures of them

Monday, 30 May 2016

K2: 2nd PTM

It was our first PTM with Ms Huda.

Li Laoshi started telling us what they did in Chinese class. She said overall IZ is doing well, except that his pronunciation is not accurate. I can't remember this is the how many times she told me that. :-p But I'm already very proud of IZ, and I'm clueless of what's the problem with his already-so-perfect-to-my-ears Chinese. Hahahah! Anyway, he speaks good Chinese, much better than his dad's and mine.

She told us that she has higher expectations on kids who go for Chinese Immersion Class, so naturally expectation on him is higher too. She suggested to let him continue copying the reader book at home, continue from where the teacher stopped. Good suggestion!

She also told us that he has been more mischievous now, pushing the boundaries here and there. He also talk more during lesson. I've reminded IZ that talking in the class is the silliest thing ever, wasting time to go to school. At the end of the day, he would not know what teacher taught the class. IZ agreed. I told him if that's his attitude to learn, then might as well he leaves school now and start washing toilets in Mc'Donalds, there's no need to go to school. He said, he'll pay attention in the future.

Ms Huda says he's generally a good boy. His "collaboration" with his buddy Yuhan is a good one as they spur each other on. They will wait for each other and understand each other very well.

She says he asks very complex questions especially during the zoo trip (that happened the day before PTM). She says he is mature in his thinking. I told IZ that teacher said he asked good questions. He said "but then, people will feel tired answering all the questions". Haha!

Tuesday, 10 May 2016


Composer: IZ

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Random Bricks Creations (Latest Obssession)

Ah Mah in the hospital..

IZ says:

I wish Ah Mah can come home soon so that we can celebrate her birthday in August.

I wish Ah Mah is here to have this fresh dinner with us.

I wish Ah Mah can recover soon.

How can I make Ah Mah feel better?

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Past 16 days..

So helper went on 16 days home leave and finally came back yesterday. The gush of relief, indescribable.

The past 2 weeks have been nightmare.

I contemplated a week-long SAHM but I failed, miserably.

IZ was sick the very day helper left. And didn't get much better along the week, days into my supposedly leaves. MIL gave me some headache here and there.

Long story cut short, I'm not cut to be a SAHM. I don't know which one I couldn't do.. the one who takes care of the elderly or the young one. I only know I'm not CUT OUT TO BE ONE.

Right at the point of depression, my gang of friends suggested a night out. It helped to be able to hold a proper conversation, laughed and ate heartily. I couldn't thank them enough, I'm grateful to death. A simple offer to have dinner out with me on impromptu. There's nothing more to ask for.

And then the second week started. YJ was going to help me. She did well, no qualms. I couldn't thank her enough too.

In times like this, I'm glad I was not shy to ask for help. To SOS, to cry it out loud.

I've cried. A LOT.

I didn't think it was anything but my own expectations. I stretched myself. I just snapped.

I'm also very grateful of the wooden husband.

I could have complained about him all the time. About his tactless mj arrangement etc. But he has been a great help the past 16 days.

He bathed IZ when I didn't feel like it, he swept, he mopped, he put laundry into the machine, he hung the laundry, he kept the laundry (just didn't fold them), he made IZ sleep at night, he went to work, came home washed all the dishes left in the basin, cleaned up, made coffee for me on weekends when I asked for coffee and once again the very same routine the next day.

He took on more (silently) while I was down with stomach flu or when my face was black.

Today, we finally can take a breather. We took a nice breakfast, just the two of us. And he sent me to the Gynae clinic for annual check-up.

I'm grateful for what and who I have, counting the blessing. And hope all around me is blessed too.

Till the next round.. I know my limits.. already..

Tuesday, 8 March 2016


While IZ is a good natured boy, as YJ always say, I've always been concerned as he has never displayed a little compassion. He has done a little of volunteer work, he understands how some people need help more than others. But I've never seen him concerned over anything, let alone show compassion or empathy.

When I had really bad migraine middle of last year, that I cried and cried. He told me it was the first time he saw me crying. But he said that as a matter of fact. He was not concerned at all.

I'm really worried that he'll grow up a cold person.

Lately I've seen that he was concerned over the grandma, remembering to pass the walking stick to grandma when she forgot.

Last night, for the first time, I saw compassion in him.

We were practising violin when he suddenly stepped on my right leg. I screamed out of pain. And he started crying. Despite the pain, I had to comfort him. I thought he was crying in case I start scolding. Then he said "I'm so sorry, MAMA!" and continue sobbing. "I'm so sorry".

I told him it's ok, I was just in pain. And I asked him why he cried?

He said "coz I feel so sorry for you, I feel so sad for you"

Totally melts my heart, I guess the boy does have a warm heart. What a relief...

Monday, 7 March 2016

K2: 1st PTM

Today was the first PTM with Ms. Beverley. Before we left for the school, I asked IZ, what he expected the teachers to tell us. He said "good".

She is definitely younger than I've imagined. Tall, slender, sweet with nice manicured nails.

She definitely do not look like one strict teacher, although I've heard about her strict methods. Facing the wall, stripping off leader tag if misbehave etc. I guess she has what it takes to manage the kids.

She told us he has good learning attitude, has been very constant with his diligent work. He is very strong in phonics, can read very well, and very delightful to have him in the class. She said she doesn't know how we teach him at home, which embarrassed us a little, didn't know what to say with such compliment.

Seems like she exchanged notes with Ms Fizah regarding IZ's pronunciation. Ms. Beverley says he has no problem with pronunciation at all, and that she sees improvement in him since January. So, she knows of IZ tongue release history and speech therapies. Plus point.

I asked if he eats well. She said he is fussy, but she made sure to knock on the CIP class to make sure IZ eats his lunch. Another plus point.

Li Laoshi, the same Chinese teacher as last year, complimented him that he is diligent in his work and also display interest in the language. Although he needs to correct his Chinese pronunciation a little. To be honest, I'm already quite happy with his development, as long as he likes the language, it doesn't matter if he speaks like a potato. (He recites Chinese poems at home.. although I can't understand what he was reciting about)..

Li Laoshi told us that IZ is very helpful to friends and teachers. Displayed concern when Ms Beverley didn't come to school and would ask if Ms Beverley is feeling ok when she turns up the next day.

Both teachers agreed that he enjoys learning and good in both languages.

He also did well for his show and tell (for both languages) and shared his trip to the fire station with passion and excitement.

We are very happy with his good learning attitude and respect to the teachers.

Well done, son.. do keep it up!

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Violin Grade 1

He's only 5 (and close to 3 months).. crazy I know..

But that's what the dad wants to do. To start him earlier so that the journey is less painful as he grows.

(although to be honest, we can only help and hope that IZ continue to be interested in music...)

I really don't know what we got ourselves into!
Jia you to both IZ and me!

Monday, 22 February 2016


Once in a blue moon, I'll do some pages of work with IZ.

Yesterday, out of the blue, I took out an assessment book and somehow we landed on this page.

Using the tips, we talked about his fear.

He told me he is afraid of dying. He said he's scared he won't be able to play with his toys. He wants to stay.

His exact words: "I want to stay"

I wonder how much a 5 yo knows about death. 

As we think of the future, there are so many uncertainties. 

I told him each and every time we talk about the death topic, that everyone dies, regardless of age. One dies young, one dies old, one dies sleeping, one dies sick.

(I hope we'll be able to build good karma to die comfortably.)

While we are at this topic. I saw someone shared this book and its contents on FB. I took a look and was really thankful. Couldn't be a better timing, really.

At a play date we held in our place 2 days ago, IZ was ultra sensitive and touchy.

He cried over how I compared him with his peers over eating fast / slow. Seems like he has been holding grievances over hubby harping over him eating slowly everyday and suddenly he just exploded.

Then he also cried over me saying he picked fight with everybody. He said "that's not EVERYBODY".

"I want to kill you!!!" in front of everybody. I guess everyone's jaw dropped to the floor.

My heart too.

But I only repeated after him. I reminded myself I had to do the talking after the play date.

So, after guests have left, I told him I felt really sad that he wanted to kill me. Immediately, he cuddled up to me, and hugged me, and kissed me apologizing again and again and that he'd never say that again. I know he didn't mean it, but it was still shocking nonetheless. I wonder from where he got the idea of killing ME. Haiz...

So, when I saw this book "Missing Mommy", I wasted no time in reading to him. He hugged me and said he doesn't want me to die.

But the second round, he wanted to read it himself. He started tearing.

I'm so glad he teared.

He hugged me and kept saying he doesn't want me to die, and that he'll never say he want to kill me again.

Then he stuck to me like glue. Following me everywhere I went, and wanted to sleep beside me and all angelic.

Thanks Cobb!

Community Report: Central Fire Station

After the longest procrastination, we finally did the community report for English show and tell.

I tried to keep it simple so that he could do it on his own.

I really like how he drew a fire beside the fire word

By this, he wrote all by himself, using his limited spelling knowledge
Unfortunately, the teacher only browsed through the pages and told Ah Nah that IZ already did the show and tell, and asked her to bring home.

IZ had no chance to present at all.

Nothing more important..

than his learning attitude.. 

Bravo son, keep it up!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The day he was made a Table Leader.. was also the day he lost his 1st pencil case..

I was so excited to read his K2 teacher;s note asking us to prepare a pencil case with 2 pencils, an eraser and a ruler. To teach them responsibility, teacher wrote. I quickly took out the stash of stationery and pencil cases I've kept for so long. They were all gifted.

I was really excited to let him choose

What he chose. We had to label them too.
I told him to make sure to bring back everything, everyday.

At the back of my mind, I was prepared to replenish stationery along the way.

Never would I have thought.. he would lost the whole pencil case along the stationery. My son is really "powerful".

He came clean on how he lose it. Actually, he didn't really know for sure. He just didn't keep the pencil case in his bag before leaving the school.

As a result, I asked him to think of what we should do. He couldn't think. So I hastily told him he has to be punished. And I wouldn't give him a new one until he earn $1 from me to get a replacement.

So I told him he'll use plastic bag and old stationery the next day. And he has to think of how he want to earn $1 from me. He nodded.

I was really proud that he didn't complain and accepted them as is.

Just a moment after that, he presented this beautiful heart and said it was for me. So sweet...

He couldn't think of a way to earn $1 from me. So I decided that he should help me in the kitchen.

He had to weigh 50pcs X 7g of pineapple paste for my pineapple tarts.

Weighing so carefully.
Find that this task is really good to teach Math and patience too!
Proudly presenting the hard work - 50pcs
for $1 (his 1st job ever!)
With that, he got his 2nd pencil case.

The real story:
To cut long story short, actually, he was too excited getting the table leader tag that he forgot to keep his pencil case. And he was chatting excitedly to a friend. Ah Nah and him made a phone call me to right away to announce the good news (ya, which is he is the table leader now), and thus, he lost the pencil case.

Proud daddy nonetheless
(for a week if there's no misconduct)

The Central Fire Station: 23rd Jan'16

This term topic: Community Helper

We were asked to bring them to the fire station or library for their show and tell. 

I then know fire station open house is held on every Saturday from 9 to 11am. Free admission to all. There's a list of fire stations in the website listed below this post.

His buddy's mom and I chose Central Fire Station as it is located next to the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery. Admission to both premise was free of charge!

Mr Tan who actively, passionately encouraging visitors to sign up to volunteer with the Civil
Defence. "Training is provided" he says.

Trying out the equipment for continuous resuscitation. IZ says "painful".
That's how strong. You need to press 5cm into the chest, even if it means breaking a few ribs.
Maintain the right size. Too skinny, this equipment will not work for you.

The brave girl volunteered to be wheeled into the ambulance.

Family member to touch the end of the stretcher. For comfort I supposed.

Introducing some common gears..

how to carry the hose..

how to activate..

How to put on their uniform..

in split seconds!

Thermal gauge

Kiddos' idol!

While we were there for a mere 1.5 hours, there were already 2 ambulances and 4 fire engines off to rescue.
That's how busy the fire station is..

Demonstrating how firemen gets to fire engines real quick when they are upstairs.


The RT111 - unfortunately automatic equipment were not available for demo

Showtime at 10am

Live demo

Once done at the fire station, we moved next door to the heritage gallery.

We could see how fire fighting / rescue work evolve from 1800s to today. Not that the kids cared, but it was a learning experience for all of us.

It is really interesting that they have interactive activities there for the children to learn more in a fun way.

Then I asked Teacher Xinyi if she could guide IZ to draw something for his Chinese show and tell.

I was really impressed that she actually prepared something in advance.

But she said IZ already had an idea in his mind on what he wanted to draw.

Colouring in progress..

The morning of the Chinese show and tell

Related information: