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I came across this link on one of my friend’s Facebook posts today. I thought it’s kind of cool!

It shows most, if not all, the original Chinese symbols of our Chinese surnames. It even has an explanation on the origins. I have always been fascinated by this although my Chinese isn’t anywhere near the A1 level (to the despair of my Mom who used to be a Chinese teacher…).

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This is my surname 赖. Apparently my clan was made up of super farmers! I think the genes has been greatly diluted over the millenniums. My fingers are far from being green. I’ll just stick to admiring flowers and eating vegetables.

I was in two minds, whether or not to blog about this. But, with the exuberant encouragement from JH, I have decided to embark on this perilous project and pray that I don’t get unfriended. Haha.

I just had dinner with 2 long time friends. Well it was supposed to be 5 of us. But one flew our aeroplane ✈️ (double booked and decided to bail out on us) and we flew an aeroplane on another one because of a science test (or was it maths?? Never mind…).

Ok. Back to the topic…. I was never a very “children” person. Before I had one of my own, when I went out with my “mom status” friends, by the time they were 10 minutes into kids’ talk, my mind had wandered off and my eyes glazed over. Ya. I was THAT bad. I’m happy to say that, now that I’ve my own children, I’m a lot better. My attention span on such topics has greatly improved.

Well, what can 3 Mommies talk about over dinner?? Obviously, kids lah! This time it’s about education!

Boy oh boy! The very much controversial topic. Yes. We may have different views on it but still friends, ya?!

I’ve read about tiger moms, heard about tiger moms, and a friend has even jokingly called me “tiger mom” (ha! If you are reading this, you know who you are!) But I swear that’s because they haven’t met a REAL one!! I’m at most a kitten mom. *blush* ☺️

Anyway, I’ve come to realise that it requires a lot of dedication, perserverence and of course vitamin M to qualify as a tiger mom. So I truly respect her for being to achieve it, on top of being a working mom whose job requires a fair bit of overseas travelling.

Her no 1 has taekwando classes 3x a week, learning lab science 1x a week, piano 1x a week, Chinese at berries 1x a week, ballet 1x a week, swimming 1x a week, and some tuition a few times a week (sorry, I kind of lost track because by then my eyes had already glazed over at the descriptions and I’m sure I’ve got most of it down).

Her no 2 has ballet, shichida, music and swimming (I think).

On top of all these, she coaches them on their studies, practises piano with them. When she’s on business trips, she sets them tasks and calls home to make sure that they stick to it.

Seriously, I doubt I can ever attain that kind of tiger mom nirvana. I’ve neither the patience nor the dedication.

That’s why I am at most, a kitten mom. I’ve restricted my no 1 to 3 enrichment classes and I thought I was already very hardworking! Hahahaha! Little do I know…. And I’ve totally given up on putting my no 2 in enrichment classes. He just amuses himself by pushing his stroller around the mall while his sister attends her 2 classes on sat. The lazy mom (me) just watches him indulgently, while he’s doing his weekly exercise.

The education topic discussion was adjourned as cat mom (because although her children have enrichment classes and tuition classes but fewer than eh hem, you know who.. ) needed to go home to coach her no 1 on a science/maths test.

Somehow “tiger mom” has a negative connotation to it. But it doesn’t have to be so. Just like not everyone can be the prime minister of a state, being a tiger mom is not for everyone. Every parent wants the best for their children. I just hope that all children will recognise the love that every parent has for them. It’s also a matter of choice.

I love my freedom too much to want to give it up and dedicate all my time to my children. No matter how much I love them, I still need time and space for myself so that I don’t lose my own identity. Besides being a mom, I’m also a wife, a daughter, a grand daughter, a sister and my own individual being. And yes I need 8 hours of sleep a day or I’ll become a snappish alligator the next day. (Be forewarned!)

Meanwhile I need to work on my tiger mom characteristics though I doubt that I’ll do very well in that aspect. But like my mom always says, it’s good to have aspirations! ROARRRrrrr!!! 🐯

IMG_4351.JPG *image kindly sourced and provided by JH*

*special request from tiger mom* eh! I’m not so selfless leh! I still take time off for monthly facials, dinner with friends, once a month take leave for a date with hubby and I watch Korean dramas after the children sleep!!

Ok ok! So I conclude…. She’s not just tiger mom, but…. Super Tiger Mom!!! Tee Hee!!

In the car, on the way home. The sun was shining in our faces.

小小宝贝 : Mama! Hot hot!
Me : oh! The sun is on your face. Where are your hat and sunglasses??
小小宝贝 : (in a piteous voice) Forgot…

Wow! Although it’s not in full sentences, we are able to hold a decent conversation. 19 months old and already a chatty toddler.

Soon he’s going to wear my ears out with his incessant chatter. I can’t wait for that day to come!!

Toilet Humour!

I came across this in a toilet in Manchester, UK. It was stuck on the lid of the toilet bowl.

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That’s my shadow there. Haha. The cubicle was just too narrow to avoid that.

That’s a fine English toilet humour there! Lol!

It just so happened that when I opened my Facebook this morning, the first piece of news that I read was the death of Robin Williams. Initially I thought it was a hoax (some bo Liao people start death hoaxes about celebrities all the time) and I googled about it. To my dismay, the major news channels were reporting it.

“The world has lost a great actor” was the headlines of most news articles (with slight variations). I grew up with Robin Williams’ movies. It was during my “age of freedom” (the beginning of the time when parental approval was freely given to go out with my friends) so I watched a lot of movies and that was the peak of Robin Williams’ acting career. As a result, I watched a lot of his movies, from comedies to inspirational ones.

My favourite Robin Williams’ movie would have to be “Dead Poets Society”.

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I love his rousing performance as John Keatings who inspired his students to think, to feel, to live! Perhaps it was because I could identify with the impressionable youths as I was one myself at that time. It was exhilarating to see a literature teacher being so unconventional (I was petrified by my very fierce English teacher at that time. I hope she’s not reading this…). It also helped a lot that the movie had some really good looking actors. I was quite enamoured with Ethan Hawke at that time.

Although when I watched the movie again as an adult, I felt that he was not being totally responsible by being too extreme.

Nevertheless, the movie was inspiring enough that vivid scenes reappear in my mind at the mention of Robin Williams or Dead Poets Society. That is, perhaps, one of the greatest gifts that Robin Williams has given me.

The most memorable scene :

I call it – standing on the table scene.

When John Keatings started standing on the table, reciting, “O Captain my captain!”

“Why do I stand up here? Anybody? I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.” It’s almost as synonymous as Scout Finch “To kill a mockingbird” to wear that person’s shoes and walk around in it.

“Carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”

And the final scene when all the boys started standing on the desks one by one, as John Keatings was leaving the school.

That was indeed a moment of courage and gratitude.

Other less well remembered quotes :

“I always thought the idea of education was to learn to think for yourself.”

“Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Don’t be resigned to that. Break out!”

Thank you Robin Williams for delivering the lessons of life through your movies. Rest in Peace.

I haven’t been posting 小小宝贝’s quirky sleeping positions. So here goes.

He started off sleeping in an orthodox manner – head on small pillow, feet pointing towards the bottom of the bed.

At this moment -

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There were a few transitional positions before he arrived at this one. He was virtually going 360° on the bed. Mind you, it’s a king sized bed. And the “debris” strewn all over the bed due to his cartwheeling moments.

Now he’s ended up on my side of the bed with his “dirty” feet on my pillow. Hmpf!

Just have to kick him back to his side of the bed.

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My sweetie sleeping soundly. Poor little guy’s battle scars from a recent mosquito attack. I’ll miss him sorely when I transfer him to 宝贝’s room. But we need our bed back!

Me : (one hand lifting 小小宝贝’s poo-encrusted bum off the soiled diaper, the other hand trying to pull a stubborn wipe from its container) 宝贝 can you come and help me with this??

宝贝 : (very obligingly) ok. I’m coming. (As she was holding on to the container so that I could pull the wipes out) Mama do you know why it’s so difficult to pull the wipes out??

Me : no, why? (Expecting some scientific revelation)

宝贝 : (in a parental reprimanding tone) it’s because you lost your temper this morning and you threw it across the room. That’s why it’s like that. You must stop throwing things.

Me : (feeling very guilty and much chastised) orh. I mustn’t do that again.

宝贝 : It’s ok Mama. Just don’t do it again.

Ha! Caught you! Ya.. It’s a tale of the mother being reprimanded by the daughter. I need to keep a rein on my temper. Aside from that, 宝贝 has the makings of a top grade mom.

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