Monthly Archives: September 2011

Our New Helper

We finally bit the bullet and got ourselves a new helper. I LOVE our new helper, his name is Ronnie by the way and this is how he looks like.

The newest addition to the family, Ronnie

With two young children and a dog that sheds like there is no end, we or rather poor Matt was constantly running the vacuum at least once a day. My mornings are usually insane which doesn’t leave me much time for cleaning. So I bit the bullet and order Ronnie via Amazon when the US dollar dropped.

Ronnie arrived and was set to work straight out of the box. Then this intelligent woman here blew up the charger so poor Ronnie had to wait till I could get a replacement. * If you ever buy a US model, don’t forget to use a transformer with the charger if not you’ll risk blowing it up like I did.

How did I come to the conclusion that Ronnie is a boy? Well, despite his general helpfulness in keeping the house clean, there are a few aspects of Ronnie that aren’t too smart. I like to give women more credit than that hence it’s a Ronnie not a Ruby.

1) He gets himself stuck in tight corners and then beeps pitifully till someone comes to save him.

2) He sees a bunch of wires and still goes towards it knowing that the wires would get tangled in his brushes and render him useless. He then beeps pitifully till someone comes to save him.

3) He has selective hearing, when I program him to clean one room, he tends to gravitate to the other room instead. Sure he gets the job done in the end but it takes time.

Despite Ronnie’s flaws, I really love him, our floors feel clean, well they do at least to me. I can send him to clean under furniture so I don’t have to do it. We have a four-poster bed and it’s a pain cleaning beneath it but now with Ronnie it’s a breeze. Best of all, he picks up most of Neesha’s fur which is what I really wanted him for.

Like all things, Ronnie requires maintainance, brushes have to be cleaned and batteries have to be charged but this beats having to lug out the  bigger vacuum every morning. It’s still early days yet but so far Ronnie has met all expectations. We’ll have to see if this keeps up.

*Update: As of today, Ronnie has managed to run over Neesha’s tail and get it caught in his sweeper blade thingy. Neesha is plotting her revenge as we speak.


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The Key To Success

A friend shared this article with me and I thought it was a very interesting read. It’s a little long but do take the time to read it.

As parents we only want the best for our children, we want to give them everything they need. But what if the key to success is failure? What if letting them fail and helping them pick themselves up is the real key to success?

Now that Ally is in school, we have  parent teacher conference twice a year. The first time we met with her teacher, I was more interested to know how she was coping in her school environment rather than how she was doing academically. I was pleased that she was settling into school and we highlighted certain issues that we could help her work on.

At the moment she is struggling in her gym class, she told us that she didn’t want to attend class cos it was too hard. Now that she is in an older age group, they are expected to learn more advanced skills. I can tell Ally still enjoys herself in class but she struggles with not being the best. She is competitive by nature and seeing other girls better than her has got her down. We spoke to her and said that she has to finish up this term, we also explained that when things get hard, we can’t just give up. I shared with her about my experience on learning how to drive a car and how I felt like giving up after I failed my test the first time. Some people might say that we’re pushing her too hard, after all she’s only 4. Believe me, I’ve asked myself many times if I am pushing her too hard. But I’m with her at every class and I can see that she’s happy, if she was crying and miserable that would be a different story. I can only pray that I’m doing the right thing for her.


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Lately the kids love playing dress up and make believe.  They have a whole box of dress up clothes but today Ally wanted a superhero cape. She came over and said to me ” Mama, can you sew Max and I a cape please? How long will it take? 10 minutes?” The child obviously thinks I have fairy elves that help me with the sewing. It’s nice that she thinks so highly of my sewing skills, I had to google to find out how to sew a cape and it turned out to be quite simple. I modified the pattern from here and used light weight knit material so that I didn’t need to hem or finish off my seams.

Ally requested for pink and purple, all Max wanted was a train and so, here are the results.

My two little superheroes

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Baby No.3

I haven’t talked a lot about baby no.3, truthfully I’ve been so busy that I’ve hardly had time to think about the new baby.

We have chosen not to find out his/her gender till the birth, friends and relatives are having fun guessing. Like I always say to them, they have a 50% chance of being right.

I never had morning sickness with the other two, with Max I had an aversion to certain foods. This time round I was hit with nausea from 4pm to the time I went to bed, every day for 3 weeks. It was miserable but thankfully that has passed.

Other than that everything has been pretty smooth sailing, which I’m very grateful for. We’re at the halfway mark, hope the rest of the pregnancy goes as smoothly.

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Merging Their Lives With Ours

The other day someone asked ” do you bring your kids everywhere with you?” When I told said person yes, she gave me a really strange look. We don’t have a helper so that doesn’t leave me with much choice. In actual fact we are so used to it cos that’s the way things have been since they were born.

There are times when we do leave them with grandma who is always happy to babysit but ordinarily they come with us to the bank, the post office and of course, supermarket shopping. True it takes twice as long with both kids in tow but it’s a great learning experience for them. Ally realises that food needs to be bought with money, she knows the post office is where we collect parcels and buy stamps. Recently she has learned to order her favourite soya bean drink on her own and count out the exact change for the lady. Max can walk into a coffee shop and order his own Milo ping and kaya bread though more often than not the auntie doesn’t quite understand him.

When we had kids, we made a conscious decision to change our lives to suit them. When we plan holidays, it’s now all about them. That doesn’t mean to say that it’s always about the kids but we learn to compromise. If I need to go shopping, I let the kids hit the bookshop after as a treat. I keep my shopping trips short since I know they don’t have the patience to wait.

Luckily for me, Matt is an extremely hands on father. The reason why I can cope without a helper is because he’s such a great dad. We work like a well-oiled machine, if one person is busy with work, the other automatically keeps an eye on the children.

Since we literally spend the entire day with them, I am usually wiped out by 7pm. Hence the kids go to bed at 8pm so that we adults finally get some alone time. It’s the only way all of us can retain our sanity.


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Bad Habits

I mentioned in my previous post about Ally’s bad habit about biting her nails, now she has started to chew her hair as well! It really annoys me! I just gave her a lecture about what a dirty and disgusting habit it is and I’ve threatened to cut her hair short if she continues.

Argh, it’s just one of those days where she has pushed every single button and used every ounce of patience that I have. Good thing she’s taking her nap now, we both need a break from each other and a chance to cool down. Do your kids have bad habits? How do you help break them?

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Busy, Busy, Busy!

We’ve been busy as usual, don’t really know with what in particular but a day seems to just fly by. Our car had to go in for some repairs so the kids and I were left car-less for the day. We decided to head to our neighbour shopping centre to let Ally get her nails done. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a girly girl, in fact I only recently had my first pedicure. BUT Ally and I share one really bad habit, we are nail biters. I had to appeal to the vain side of her and was hoping that by letting her get her nails done this ONCE, she’ll want to keep them pretty and stop biting them.

Hats to protect them from the scorching sun

Getting her nails done, she was so excited

He entertained himself the whole time we were there, bless him

She kept admiring her fingers while the lady worked on her toes

I let her have her toes done as well for a special treat. Since she has to go to school, I only let her have clear polish on her fingers but relented and let her chose her own color for her toe nails.

All done!

It’s only been two days but so far she hasn’t bitten her nails, it’s still to early to tell yet if my method works.

On the sewing front, I finally finish sewing the Elephant softie for a friend’s son. It took 1 prototype, 2 mistakes before the finished product.

The finished Elephant

You can't see from the picture but he actually has wonky legs

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Gym Photos

Practising her handstands

Ally has been doing great in her gymnastic classes, she loves her coaches and has settled in well in a new class.

The look of concentration


Learning to do a cartwheel

The ever patient Max who practically grew up in the gym

Trying to emulate his big sister

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Hong Kong Disney Part 2

It was scorching hot by the time we got to the park and Max had fallen asleep once again. We headed to ” Its A Small World” so that we could relax in some A/C.

We bought the kids sunnies to shield their eyes from the scorching sun


Max asleep on " It's A Small World"

We were lucky that there wasn’t any queue for It’s A Small World so we just sat on the ride continuously while Max napped. The downside is I had the song stuck into my head for half a day. Since Max was still asleep after the 3 of us were all Small-world sick, we left the ride and bought Ally and ice cream. Since the hotel had given us priority seats for The Golden Mickeys we decided to catch the show. There was an extremely long queue but thank goodness we could skip all that. The show was great, even if it was in Cantonese. Both the children loved the characters and performances. Definitely a must see but do go early to get a good seat.

Ally's turn to nap

Immediately after lunch, Ally fell asleep in the pram and woke up just in time for the parade. We rented an extra stroller for the day, it was much easier for both the kids and ourselves.

The parade was fantastic! The children loved the floats which were so colorful and best of all, they got invited to be apart of the parade as well.

My personal favourite, Eeyore

Ally's favourite, Tinker bell, who looked rather manly

Joining in the parade fun!

After the parade, Ally still wanted to have her photo taken with Tinkerbell so we walked around trying to find her. FINALLY we realised that she had her own little garden set up behind the Dumbo ride so we checked the timings and headed over to Adventure land.

Checking out the drums at Adventure Land

It was time to meet Tinkerbell and Ally was beside herself.

Max joined in the fun

She wanted to see Tinkerbell again after her first photo taking session but I knew Max wasn’t interested so Matt took him on the carousel while Ally and I queued up again. She had a long chat with Tinkerbell about who knows what but she was really happy at the end of it.

A kiss from her favourite fairy

Since it was our last day at Disney, we decided to stay for the castle light up and the beginning of the fireworks. Ally wanted to go back to the club room to say good night to Mickey which meant we had to HURRY.

The castle light up was beautiful

We knew that once the fireworks were over everyone would start to leave and there would be huge queues for the shuttle buses. So we let the kids watch the beginning of the fireworks then we made our way back to the hotel.

She managed to catch the mandarin storytelling

And Mickey came to say good night


We had an afternoon flight the next day but I read in their news letter that sometimes the Disney Princesses would make an appearance at the club room at 10.30am. We went for our usual swim, had breakfast and as expected, Ally asked to wear her Sleeping Beauty outfit again. I didn’t mention about the princess appearance since the staff could not confirm and I didn’t want to disappoint her. But lo and behold, who should walk into the club room but Sleeping Beauty herself!

Meeting Sleeping Beauty

Ally was beyond excited, Max took one look at Sleeping Beauty and ran in the other direction. There was no one else in the club room at that time so Ally had Sleeping Beauty all to herself. She was kind enough to sit down and read a story to Ally.



She spoke to Ally for a long time and you could see the delight in Ally’s face. What a great way for her to end her holiday.

A big hug goodbye


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Hong Kong Disneyland- Part 1

We had free ferry tickets from Macau to Hong kong, the hotel provided a shuttle bus to the ferry pier which made everything a lot easier. Ferries depart every 30 minutes and it doesn’t matter what time it states on your ticket, if you’re early and there is space on the ferry, you can get on the earlier one. Which is what we failed to find out until we were there, we were ushered onto an earlier ferry, as a result we had to run from the terminal to the ferry which is quite a distance. Not to mention we had two toddlers and a ton of luggage in tow.

The ferry ride was surprisingly pleasant and smooth, Max slept through the entire journey which took about an hour. We stopped for lunch once we reached Hong Kong and then took the MTR to Disney.

Playing with Ally's bag even though we told him not to

In tears after falling over with her bag

On the train to Disney!

We chose to stay at the Disney hotel on the club level for several reasons. Breakfast was served in the club room daily, not to mention finger food and snacks throughout the day. More importantly, they had a story telling session each night for the children and either Mickey or Minnie would come to say goodnight to the kids after that. This meant that we didn’t have to join the long queues at the Park to take pictures with Mickey or Minnie. We could also watch the fireworks from the balcony on the club level, another way to avoid the crowds. I did think a long time before booking a club room since the rooms aren’t exactly cheap. We didn’t regret out decision in the end.

Check in was quick and easy, we were given a list of activities for the day plus our park tickets that we had pre-booked. Not only that, the hotel gave us fast passes for the park and additional priority seats for either The Lion King or The Golden Mickeys.

There was no way we could take a short nap, the children were far too excited so we changed our clothes and off we went.

It was relatively empty when we reached there, most people were leaving since it was about 4.30pm

We had just missed the local school holidays by a week which made a huge difference in the crowds. We were told that it was crazily crowded just a few days before. Even then we never let the kids out of our sight being the PP (paranoid parents) that we were.

Max's favourite ride, he kept asking us to take him on it over and over again

Max was excited to meet Buzz lightyear

The queue was never more than ten minutes for every ride, except for the car ride at Tomorrow Land which had a waiting time of 30 minutes. We promised Ally that we’ll come back tomorrow for the ride as we knew neither child would last waiting in the heat for 30 minutes.

Ally our family pilot

Ally is in full princess mode at the moment, she was dying to meet Tinkerbell, ever since Grandma had bought her a Tinkerbell outfit from US. We walked into a princess shop and the next thing I knew, she was dressed in a Sleeping Beauty costume. Matt bought it for her as expected, there was no way he could deny his little princess her dress. Plus she did look awfully cute.

Our sleeping beauty

Max and his "pickey" mouse balloon. For some strange reason he can't say Mickey

We headed back to the hotel to watch the fireworks, by then all of us were totally exhausted.

Posing on the balcony

We had a swim in the morning before heading to the park again. Ally was brave enough to go down the water slide all by herself. I had pre-booked a character breakfast for the children, I knew that they would enjoy seeing the characters up close.

Max's favourite, Mickey waffles and pancakes

The kids were so excited to see Mickey and all his friends, we took photographs with all the characters. Max looked a bit confused at times while Ally kept asking me why Mickey and gang didn’t answer her when she spoke to them.

Ally insisted on wearing her Sleeping Beauty outfit again

We headed back to the park with the intention of catching the parade. More about that in the next post.



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