Monday, June 29, 2009

Term 3 Spelling List

In the past, I always misplace my boy's spelling list. Hence, I have decided to have blog post on this, so that I can access it anytime, anywhere.

Perhaps, if you are a school teacher especially for primary school, you could post the homework which you have assigned to the students and we, parents would be able to better monitor our children's progress. In addition, we would be able to provide comments to you via the blog rather than the current jotting down in the journal method. At times, I do not know if the message is relayed across.


Spelling 1
1. carefully
2. whistle
3. chirp
4. everywhere
5. noisily
6. sweetly
7. clever
8. screech
9. scratch
10. crack

Spelling 2
1. buzz
2. neigh
3. bleat
4. gobble
5. squeak
6. bray
7. chatter
8. croak
9. roar
10. growl

Spelling 3
1. dangerous
2. scientist
3. forest
4. stable
5. burrow
6. insects
7. lodge
8. slimy
9. sticky
10. scaly

Spelling 4
1. spiky
2. silky
3. rough
4. basket
5. smooth
6. field
7. lair
8. obey
9. hive
10. eyrie

Spelling 5
1. rainbow
2. painted
3. favourite
4. choose
5. stickers
6. columns
7. pictures
8. wonderful
9. market
10. ripe

Spelling 6
1. attract attention
2. vehicles
3. camouflage
4. pattern
5. stripes
6. hunted
7. crushed
8. powder
9. outlines
10. silent

Spelling 7
1. branch
2. trunk
3. leaves
4. twig
5. stem
6. petal
7. roots
8. awful
9. flowers
10. plant

Spelling 8
1. rake
2. wheelbarrow
3. spade
4. digging
5. sprouting
6. planning
7. growing
8. exhibition
9. vegetables
10. fruits

Sick on Saturday n Sunday, Moan on Monday

I had a very lousy weekend. It was so horridly bad that it continued into the following Monday.

Sick on Saturday n Sunday

I developed skin rashes on Friday. Thinking that it was just pricky heat and would go away soon, I did not pay much attention to it and continue with my day-to-day activities.

But the rashes persisted and spreaded to the whole body on Saturday and I had that irresistable urge to scratch it. But scratching did not soothe the itch and when the night came, I was scratching my body like a silly monkey. It was then that my husband decided to send me to see a doctor. But it was Saturday night and most clinics were closed. I decided to have my dinner before heading to the 24-hour clinic at the hospital as the wait was usually excruciating long.

As the itch turned unbearable, I turned resourceful - quickly gobbled my food, told my husband to foot the bill while I headed down to the nearest pharmacist for advice. After looking at my rashes, he told me that if rashes persisted for more than a day, I should go down to see a doctor for an injection. But I could not stand the itch any longer and enquired if there was any medication to relieve the uncomfort. He gave me some tabs and told me to seek medical advice if it did not help on Sunday. At the same time, I also asked for some medication for my ooh-so-painful corn on my foot - that was another story.

I popped a pill soon after payment. It took about half an hour for the medicine to work its way in my body. The itch slowly went away and I had flawless skin - well, the condition before the prickly heat set in.

My younger boy joined the sick party

Alas, the rashes came back on Sunday night and I quickly swallowed a tab. It was around the same time when I was moaning over my misery that my younger boy was down with fever.

It must be the prickly temper from the prickly heat, I was irritated that my husband could not help to feed him with his fever medication as he insisted that "mummy, to feed me". It was at such times that I would really be appreciative if my husband could exercise some initiatives to humor and coax him. Unfortunately, it was sadly not the case. So I guess, being a mother is a 24/7 job with no medical leave.

Moaning on Monday

My boy's fever has yet to subside today so I am staying at home. Alas, being a super mother also means that my older boy also gets to stay at home and I will need to send him to school later. This is no big deal but tempers do fray when he did not complete his school work dutifully and he misplaced his themometer yet again. So now, I am moaning.

For now, my motivation comes from what Uncle Ben told Spiderman "with great powers, come great responsibilities." At least, I am really glad that my rashes are gone. It's difficult to be a superhero when one is down notwithstanding that a superhero can be down but never out.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Teacher of the Night

I always remember her. Unlike other teachers who eschew night life, she encourages me to embrace it. Afterall, if one is scared of dark, he or she would have wasted half of his or her life.

There are so many things to learn in the night. When the lights are out, that is where the fun has just started for the nocturnal animals. But it is also where danger lurks so stealth is her advice especially when I am walking in the dark, cobweb-laden trail.

I always enjoy my night out at Night Safari. After many encounters, the best time to walk and check out the animals is between 6 pm and 7 pm. That is the time before the last day light. While the night animals are just coming out, I am a diturnal. This is the time where my eyes see the best. After the last light, I will need to adjust to the light-deprived night and figure out the animals from their shady feature.

As my night teacher would advise, nothing beats being up close and personal with the many night creatures on the prowl. I love watching the fishing cat as motionless as rock with its eyes fixated on the fishes in the pond. But it quickly comes to life when a fish unknowingly that its predator is watching closely, swims near and fell prey to the cat. Then there is the magnificent lion who cut a lone and forlorn figure in the dark.

The tram would never take me into the enclosures of the flying squirrels or that of the fruit bats - the flying creatures of the night. Neither will the tram brings me close to smell the distinctive odor from otters which is a put-off to me. But the fun, furry little animals scurrying around are a joy to look at.

I agree with my teacher that the night is a hive of activities. She is also a fun teacher who organises animal show allowing me to rest my tired feet and at the same time, feast my eyes on the entertaining performances by the nocturnal animals. And I believe, she will understand should I oversleep the next day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thank you Toastmasters Club

Tonight, I presented my Toastmaster project 9 speech at another club, Whampoa CC Toastmasters Club. At first, I was a bit apprehensive but after I met the club members, I was swiftly welcomed and bonded with them as we are all fellow toastmasters.

I could associate myself immediately with these wonderful people who joined the club for the same purpose - to improve our public speaking skills. The same warm, cordial air lingered in the room. Constructive and respective feedback were so generously provided to me.

Many join the club for various reasons. Some toastmasters take it as a continuous effort to improve themselves. There are also others like me who joined the club due to some events that happened. In my case, what that triggered me to join the club was the need for me to do presentation in the office.

I was not trained, not taught, not prepared for such spotlight. A mathematician by training, I resembled more of an eccentric scientist in the movie than an eloquent speaker. I preferred to be in obsurity, fading in the background, rather than to talk. I would have been happily to remain in my wallpaper mode if not for the seismic change in my workplace which came fast and furious. Almost overnight, everyone is expected to do presentation. No is not an option.

Being a toastmaster is like being on the fast lane to conquer the fear of public speaking. Today, I am much more confident if I need to speak. I could focus on putting my points across rather than wasting precious energy worrying and consequently, "blank out" when I need to speak.

Thank you Toastmasters Club!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Celebrate Celery

This Sunday morning, I was on cloud nine - no constant brawlings from my two boys who were at my mom's place and "let's go to the driving range/green" from my golf fanatic husband. Just me - home alone and lazying around.

I spent some time rehearsing my toastmaster project 9 speech which I promised my toastmaster club to deliver on the coming Thursday. Afterwhich, I planned on the menu for the week ahead. Aileen's restaurant as my elder boy referred to my home cooking, has been closed for the past two weeks. This was because we had just come back from Hong Kong and I was too tired to do grocery shopping after the return.

Life was slowly returning to normalcy. A few days ago, I resumed grocery shopping both at the wet market and the supermarket. It was at the supermarket that I bought a bunch of celery on an impulse. You see I have never bought celery since I returned to Singapore about 5 years ago. All except me in my family are carnivores. A trait that my two boys learn from their daddy who will meticulously sieve out any traces of green in the food. My two boys are worse, they would reject the whole plate of food if they see "green".

As a result, my cooking has been deprived of that refreshing taste of vegetables which I love. It is not efficient to cook for one person in the household. Then I saw that bunch of celery calling out to me at the supermarket. I heeded the call and picked it up without thought.

My mind turned to the bunch of celery. Before long, I have decided what to do with the celery - to stirfry them with Woh Hup's "steam fish with soybean" sauce. Initially bought to bake my fish fillets for my two children, the sauce turned out to be a tad spicy for them. But I loved the sauce. So I happily chopped more cloves of garlic and fried till the kitchen was filled with the pungent aroma. After saving the golden garlic excess for future use, I put in half packet of the sauce and stir fried for some moments before stirring in the chopped cubes of celery. I then scooped some of the celery, have a slice of bread to soak up the sauce and added some dried crispy cuttlefish to complete the taste.

The verdict - yummy! I will save the rest to serve with rice for the week ahead. Then I turned to read today's Lifestyle and chanced upon the article "Slices of sunshine" by Tan Hsueh Yun. Oh yes, it was her article some weeks ago about her obsession with celery and a simple recipe to share that planted the seed for me to cook dish. But no, I was not ready yet to plunge into baking....

Welcome Recession

I was at Orchard on a weekday during lunch hour. On my way to the premier shopping centre of Singapore, the MRT was crowded. When I reached Orchard, the shops were filled with people. The cash tills were ringing constantly.

Recession? I looked at my colleagues with me as we hurried to the restaurant for our lunch appointment.

Yester nite, I was with my husband queuing up for a pair of cinema tickets. It used to cost 10 buck each. Then the cashier cheerily told us that we will only need to pay 8 buck as we were paying with UOB credit card.

Things suddenly became clearer. To combat the accompanying downward retail sales and the expected-lower-than-usual tourist receipts, shops have come up with attractive discounts to lure fellow Singaporeans to open their wallets. Anecdotically, it seemed to be working. When I visited my favorite haunt - koi garden at Suntec City during weekends, the number of people exceeded the kois at the pool. Most were seated - resting their tired feet after a hard day of walking to sniff out the best buy.

While there was much talk about this recession being the worst for Singapore since independence, it appeared that things were not as bad as we thought. It probably had to do with the Job Credit Scheme which the Government has implemented to cushion the impact of the recession.

With talks about more "greenshoots" surfacing and Singapore being an open economy, well-poised to capitalise on the next upswing, hopefully we could be out of the recession soon. But these attractive sales would be something which I would miss sorely...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on Air

He started out as a kind, old man - with much wisdom gathered from the years. He took good care of me and showered me with much gifts. Regretably, as the years progressed and he turned younger, he was a changed man - capricious, calculative and callous.

Five years ago when the Budget Airline first came onboard in the airline industry, I did not take much heed to his arrival. It was after my colleagues told me about a promotional airfare to Hong Kong that I was embraced into his warm wrinkled arms. My husband, my elder boy and I took Valuair and were pleasantly surprised by the light snacks and drinks provided free-of-charge. Yes, it was free even though we expected to pay for it.

Fast-forward to today, Valuair was no longer value after being taken over by Jetstar. Like a jet, he has become an intolerable and impatient young man.

He was intolerable to change even when it was told to him in good time. Exorbitant changing fees were charged. I only changed the name of one of the passengers and the arrival date. He considered it as six changes and charged more than a $110.

While I fully expected to pay for the food and beverage, he was impatient to wait for my two children to ponder and decide on what to eat. The face on his stewardesses told it all. After adding the food and beverages, the puny savings were not enough to entice me to put up with the unfriendly hostesses, the cramped leg space and out of the place boarding area.

I suppose that spells the end of our five year relationship... I still prefer the more caring older airline veterans.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My Small Brother is Big Now

It has been about two years since we last took an airplane together as an extended family for a holiday. The last time we did so was with my mother in 2007 to Taiwan. This time round, my youngest brother also managed to find time to join us in Hong Kong.

Due to work commitments, he could only join us one day later on Wednesday while we flew off a day earlier. Initially my mother and I were worried that he might not be able to find his way to the hotel as he was known to us with no sense of direction. But hey, he proved us wrong. Not only did he manage to find his way here, he also went for his dinner and did some shopping on his own.

During the holiday, he has also been a terrific child minder and a favorite with my two boys. He doted on them. He was also a good mediator - breaking out the many potential fights between the boys. Not only that he was also a filial son - remembering to pass some pocket money to my mother and always on a lookout for her.

This was a the first time that we holidayed together. My family was not rich and we never had the chance to go on a holiday - not even to our hinterland Sentosa together when we were young.

I was the eldest in the family and was seven years my youngest brother's senior. When I started working, he was still in junior college. And I always thought that he was still a child.

This holiday showed me otherwise. My small brother is big now. Big enough to take care of himself and even me. He is also a generous person splurging so many gifts on his nephews, family and friends. I am proud of you little brother.