Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Settling in...

It's been 10 days since we're here yet hardly a routine has settled in. Too much going on :) !! Nonetheless, girls are getting more comfortable in our 'home' and i'm easing into the cooking - caring - schooling - cooking - cleaning routine. R even helped do some of the chopping for dinner :)

It's only been a few days of cooking and i'm already out of ideas of what to cook ! Bad eh. So all of you out there with easy to cook - throw in a slow cooker, or put straight in oven - type of recipes - please send over ! Desperately NEEDED. Seriously. Thanks Lil - got your link.

I still haven't picked up the guts to drive. Louisa Academy has also yet to fully function ;P (effectively). The wheels are being oiled though so hopefully we'll get there.
These few days have been very much resource gathering - stocking up supplies at the local stationery and crafts store, and building up our reading lists for our curriculum ahead. I think we've accomplished all of 2hrs of sit down work per day (only mon and wed) in the mornings, and that was it !! That's school. Very chiat lat, i know. But, it's a start.
Being totally in the thick of it where the kids' education is concerned is very reassuring yet scary, and altogether a humbling experience. It is a huge responsibility and those who home-school their kids are really such an inspiration to me. I'm flabbergasted by the amount of knowledge, research and work that really has to be done on the parent's part to be able to nurture curious young minds in the most optimal manner.
To ready myself for the role ahead, i spent some time going through some home schooling websites (largely angie's ) and checking out the curriculums used. Ideally, this should have been done prior to my being here - but aiyo - my life was chaotic enough back home.
So back to home-schooling. Gosh, i must say after reading Angie's blog, i'm so hugely embarressed. The amount of thought and effort that goes into nurturing the kids - i fall so far behind, it's not even funny. And everything that we take for granted - such as sending the kids to primary school - is a considered decision, and one that is opted out of in the end. One where many of us would swing the other extreme - joining associations, volunteering and scheming the buying and renting of homes just so as to get our kids into the 'best' schools we think we know to be. Yes, am guilty as charged.
But while i certainly can appreciate the many benefits of home-schooling, the jury is still out for me - largely because i'm not confident i could do a good job. These coming months though, i am committed to be able to handle my brood and nurture them as best i can. (like i say, for sanity, premium outlets are just 20mins away - heh !)

So i took the kids to the Library (again) on Tuesday, by BUS, and hoarded up as i furiously copied down the many recommendations from home-school sites on reading lists the night before. I must have some 50 library books at this moment in my home ! I just kept going back through the shelves for more. By the 3rd time i queued to check out (so 'pai seh' - embarressed - already) i sent my trusty proxy (Rachel) to borrow the books instead :p (heh!)
So right now, the girls are being exposed to poetry (i never did read to them poetry previously), and we're reading Peterkin Papers (about the Peterkin family who complicate even the simplest tasks - written in 1926 tho' so language takes some getting used to - for C at least), Shirley Hughes' Alfie series, and Little House in the Big Woods (which i intend to read aloud to the girls). I myself am trying to set aside some reading time for me and am getting through Howard Pyle's "The Wonder Clock", which a P1 home-schooled child had already completed ;P. Haiz, not sure how far my ambitious plans would get accomplished, especially since we don't even have a timetable as yet, and the girls already want to do craft tomorrow !
Oh well, guess we need some artwork to 'liven' up our little abode anyways and i might even get to do some scrapping (one can hope, ya... hee !) on the side !
sigh... i miss my 'me' time - now realising how spoilt i was previously ;P
Wish me luck as i continue on my sojourn !
ps: do u know i actually hold a military id now.... eeeks !

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Our first weekend together so Papa had to make up for all the time he spent away from girls and spent it on a High ! Took the girls to Legoland - and amazingly - every single exhibit is made from Lego blocks - some equipped with sounds and water fountains to boot ! From Bob the builder to Dar Vadar (erm correct spelling - Star Wars fans ?? But queue too long didn't manage pix :() to Fairy Tale characters like Hansel and Gretel, Snow WhiTe and fearless Knights

A specially taken shot of dino (for the boys out there and of cos' Ash.) This was the first exhibit right at the entrance and C had commanded that i take a pix of it :). Really these two - he's never far from her mind, and everything she does, she would say "ash, sure likes this !" or in her usual teasing tone "heh heh, ash can't see this :P ". But ya, she misses her best friend so ...

Finally, a family pic - courtesy of one of the staff there. The standards of service at these theme parks are really excellent beyond compare - but i guess, it's already all inputed in the price of the ticket !

There was so much to do, we hardly finished seeing them all. And the queues of cos were forever. Each ride took approx 45mins to get to - so lots of waiting and snacking in between.

And here's the highlight - VOLVO driving school !
So cool ! The girls were thrilled and after the passed through, they were actually given a drivers' license with their very own name and photo on it ! Here's C on her test drive ...

They refused to take their license off the rest of the trip, and wore their license everywhere ! Yup, that's it around their necks - in this next shot of miniUSA. This was a replica one of the casino precincts in Las Vegas (MGM i believe) ...

On to the other rides - Here's them on the "Beetle Bounce" - totally tickled and enjoying themselves.

They actually re-queued this ride 3 times, after which, R - being the 7 year old she is - had to declare - "hai.. it's so boring mommy" after the 3rd ride ... with arms akimbo - but nevertheless, that grin still on her face !
A whirring rescue copter - the fake one for us ... the real pilot was hiding under a tree somewhere taking this shot :P

And this one which C made me quere an hour for ! She went on this horse around the moat of a castle all on her own, with little monkeys (made of Lego blocks) and knights popping out here and there for interest along the way...

I still for the life of me don't understand why.. but Papa decided to splurge to have caricatures done of the girls !!! check this out....

In progress - C nods off, and nearly falls off her chair .... R just being R.... shifts and sulks on her seat ....)

At last -- TA -DA !!!
LURVE how he did R's "bo-geh" (missing front teeth!) !! umm which do you think looks more like them ???

Haha .. sorry about this pix laden post ! So here's leaving you a last one of C in front of a sea of flowers which we passed by and stopped to pose :) (R was... erm... tired... ;P ) Now how in the world am i going to get them to settle from such a HIGH for school this coming week ????!!!! umm... maybe another week off ??? think the teacher's getting cold-feet too :P !!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Home-sick for Chicken Rice !

Woo hoo !! Check out my home cooked version of Chicken Rice !!! Not bad eh.....

But of course, couldn't do it without the help of this pre-mix ! But oh well, beggars can't be choosers :)

Nothing much on today. Girls had a largely quiet day indoors playing their pretend games. Seemingly, their pretend play sessions do get quite elaborate - carnival stores, play school, acrobats class, dance lessons, mandarin classes and all sorts ! Of cos' these are always interspersed with lots of squabbles in between, while i just eavesdrop and grin. It's nice to be young and carefree :)

While i... need to sort out my culinary skills so i can function more effectively as homemaker and teacher ! Picked up a cooking mag specialising in Slow-Cooker, casseroles and soup recipes today... heh.. gonna be my bible for a bit :P

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fun in the Sun !

A sunny warm day finally, we decided to hit the outdoors. The beach near us was just an immense span of unmeasurable powdery silver sands (i never realised this phrase to describe beaches actually existed until i walked on them today). With seagulls lurking nearby and SeaHawks (erm... that's the helicopter you see..) flying overhead it was an interesting mesh of the real world and the tranquil.

Living so close to an operational naval base with the sounds of whirring copters, frigate calls, and 'rounds' fired (during drills) almost second nature now, after 3 days here, just serves to remind me how real-life the US navy's work is and how dangerous the world can actually be to demand such intense training and operations.

Took the girls to the playground near our home yesterday. On the background you see the San Diego bridge which links us back to the main city. Guess their faces say it all :P

Hope all's well at home. I want Chicken Rice ! aarggghh...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

So jetlagged !

Harro Harro !!

am still sooooo jetlagged. By noon i'm literally falling off my chair ! Today was the worst - i actually caught myself standing in front of the stove while preparing lunch, and waiting for the soup to boil and i was nodding off !!! hahaha !

Yea - have started to settle in and christianed my kitchen with some simple home cooked food. And amazingly EVERYTHING is available here !! There's a chinese supermarket, and i hear even a Jap one. There's even DAISO which i certainly plan on visiting... soon ! So all the Lee Kum Kee sauces and even packet Hainanese Chicken Rice mix is available ! Of cos' all at a price - but then, at least cravings can be satisfied.

House is still very bare but comfortable enough - and girls are just lapping up the experience. Today, I became the proud member of the Public Library too and gosh, you all must hear this.

There is NO LIMIT on the number of books you can borrow !! And R was like .."even up to a hundred, mommy ?" AND the range is just AMAZING ! The girls of cos' had a swell swell time. C couldn't even get past the 'B' shelf cos' there was just so many she wanted to get ! AND DVDs were just 50cents for a week - so really quite spoilt we're gonna be ;p Looks like that's going to be our regular haunt - well, that is once i'm confident enough to start driving !

Well just to show you some shots of how we are living - here's my spartan home.... kids' room is the nicest ;P And we actually have a real live fireplace which is at the moment indispensable cos' still freezing cold in mornings and evenings !

(the 'lame' sofa - in R's words, which we haven't yet got a cover for ;P )the kids' room - which is the nicest part of the entire house - courtesy of hubby's efforts ;P , and their linking vanity and ensuite bathroom.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hello from San Diego !

It's 10.40pm here on Sunday night (already 1.40pm the next day for Singapore) and the girls are in bed, leaving me finally some respite ! So glad that i'm no single parent any more, and the girls seemed to suddenly remember they had daddy and kept asking for him all the way in the plane ride ! They were really quite well behaved on the flight, i must give due credit, eating and sleeping when they should, and discounting minor winching, were perfect little angels. Even nearby passengers stopped to smile and talk to them commenting on how independent they were. I'm pleased, but no less haressed !! As i struggled with my 3 carry on bags, 2 kids and 6 - 23kg each- luggages, and made my way out of Los Angeles Airport. I am soo sooo sooooooo never doing this alone AGAIN. As a friend had put it - what the hell was i thinking ??!!!

But look at these cheerful faces --- awwww -- made it all worthwhile i suppose.

After driving for 2 hours we finally reached our 'home' :) Lots to do to add the woman's touch and embellish the mundane practicality of a man's ;P but guess i'll have to remind myself to be patient and take my time. Weather was cool - cold really when the wind blew, at about 18 degrees, but nonetheless very pleasant though jackets were a must. Little C didn't even mind the windswept hair all over the face, and i guess it's only when you experience it that you realise just how much difference weather makes in just uplifting your spirits ;)

The promenade you see alongside the waters is just by the development we live in - so yes, we are certainly pampered by the view of San Diego city in the background. Walking to the row of promenade restaurants, we had a 'simple' pizza dinner (but still costing us 50bucks total - sigh... am sooo going to miss hawker centers) and then headed home to settle down.

Am totally pooped having not slept for 36hrs straight. So nightie night ! Gotta get some admin stuff settled - passes etc - tomorrow, and then woohooooo outlet shopping, here i come !!!!! hee hee !!!


Saturday, March 21, 2009

goodbye - for now !

It's finally quiet and the girls are asleep after an exhilarating cap to R's maiden 2-night dance performance at Victoria Theatre. Guess we are all set to begin our new adventure tomorrow !

This past month has just been crazy and totally memorable to say the least. I've had to tough it out, and learn to plan, balance, juggle like i've never before. There's been much tears, frustration, anger and anxiety, yet, i'm happy to have lived through the process and cherish the memories - the good and the ugly ;P.

All of you, my dear dear friends, sisters and family - thank you. You can't imagine the role you have played in keeping me afloat. I really would have been in pieces if not for your constant support, reassurances, and company to keep me sane, happy and going :P

This past month, I've been simply overwhelmed and touched by your generosity and love. Thank you so much for all the thoughtful presents, love and and well wishes that you have showered on us. We are indeed so blessed and fortunate to have all of you in our lives. R and C are gonna miss their friends so so much. This is my constant nagging guilt at the moment - that i've wrenched them away to be 24hrs cooped up with me !!! poor things - yeeeks !!!

I'm soooo sad to have to miss out on the milestones happening here too - the new babies, the new homes, and all the 'gossip' !! Cannot leave me out just because i'm physically not here ya ! Must send lots of pix and make sure you keep me virtually posted and in the loop on everything !!! I will certainly do my part to update my blog as often as i can so do drop me comments or email me often k ? Sigh... i'm soo gonna miss you all.

Honestly, this virtual channel may be my only other prime pillar of emotional support to keep my sanity intact - the other being those outlet malls 20mins away from my new home (heh ! Heh !!!). So keep those shopping lists coming ya ... donch pai se - i'll be quite happy to be your personal shopper !

So til' you hear from me from American shores.... take care and love you all !


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Apron Strings March 09 Kit

My first DT work for Apron Strings Designs !! The Apron Strings Mar Kit features Basic Grey's Eva line and Cosmo Cricket's Mr Campy and it is such a lot of fun to play with ! - totally spoilt we are on the DT !

Check out the LOs i created ;P
This is gonna be a pix-loaded post ...

"Give Me Patience"
"Golf Champ"
"All that Matters"

"Sweet Adorable You"

"Two Generations - Sisters"

"Happy Lil' Chums on a Road Trip"

"Where the Wild Things Are"

Would love to hear your comments ! Thanks for dropping by !!