Saturday, February 28, 2009

Send Love To Daddy

The other day, I had a conversation with Ace about why we were not spending so much time with him recently.

You see, we have been working hard... add that to a sudden spurt of growth in our biz and an expansion into Malaysia.. you have two parents working very hard for the future of their cute little son.

While Max has explained to Ace that he has to work hard and spend time away from him because he has to earn more money so that Ace can stay in hotels, Ace still constantly cries out for him.

The other day while i was sleeping with Ace, I explained to him that Daddy was going through a very difficult time in his life right now. Because he is at the crossroads and because he loves us so much, he is working super duper hard...

And then I told him, "Ace, the reason me and Daddy working so hard now is because we know no other way to make more money. But mummy knows.. that gifts can help... if you share your gifts and we shared out gifts with each other, we still would have a good life and lots of money.. but dun have to work so hard and we become more effective at what we do and can spend less time doing it."

So I suggested that Ace share his gifts of abundance, confidence,success and flow. We closed our eyes and imagined ourselves filling up with with these individual gifts and pretended that the bolster is Daddy and all hugged each other and shared the gifts.

And true enough, the next day, our biz moved even smoother.

And now everynight before we sleep, Ace will tell me, "I want to send love to papa..." I think he feels good being able to help. And so we do that almost everynight..

Yesterday, he surprised me by saying this.. "I also want to share with Uncle Arthur..." Wow.. in my mind, Arthur is already a rich multimillionaire... I bet he has lots of these gifts.. but I guess he wouldn't mind more and so we shared our gifts with him too...

And I think Ace taught me a lesson about the gifts that we have in us.. that we can share with anyone and everyone whether they already have it or not ;) That our gifts are precious..

I really love my son... and i am so happy he has such a BIG and open heart filled with love :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ace can express his feelings

Ace is starting to get quite good at expressing his feelings already...

For example, he will tell you when he is sad and when he is angry... and he will even explain why he is angry.

For example, the other day when I brought him out, he got upset when he was hungry and told me, "I am so sad that you did not bring anything for me to eat..."

And then, when I offered him my kong bak pau and my biscuits and got rejected, I knew he had a specific food in his mind that he wanted to eat...

Turned out that he previous time I brought him to that place, I bought a mudpie for him... so he wanted to eat the 'chocolate cake' again...

So after we finished being bz, we brought him to the cafe and ordered a chocholate cake for him. Because it was really late and I din think he should finish the cake alone, I took a piece of it and ate it. "I am so angry... because you eat my cake I don't want to friend you..." he said.

I told him that he did not want to friend me, then don't come to me and ask me to wash his bum, dun ask me to read him story books or sleep with him.... He said, "Daddy is my friend. Daddy can wash for me.. daddy can read for me..."


But overall though, I was really impressed with his ability to express his feelings. I mean I would rather he be able to express himself than to keep everything or pretend to be otherwise.

A few days later, he was playing with his lego set and he wanted me to make a Transformers Toy for him using that. I made a robot and he said, "Your one not nice, I dun want... Your transformer looks ugly... I ask Daddy to make and his transformer is much nicer..."

Wah lau, make for him still knows how to say I am ugly and knows how to say Daddy's transformer is much nicer...

Previous Post: Share The Work

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Share The Work

Ace surprised me yesterday when he started to behave like an excellent team member.

We haven't been around nuch and yesterday was one of the rare few days where I had time to play with him and so he wanted to play his fractions game. It is a set of toys where there are plastic circles cut up into quarters, halfs, eighths, sevenths.. etc.. and some cards for you to place them together so that you know how many quarters make one whole..

After he finished playing with them, I told him that I needed him to help me keep.

"Okay, you also play..."

"You help me keep lah..."

"You keep together.. you also play..." he insisted (even though he was the one who insisted that i play with him in the first place.)

"OK, we keep together..." I told him.

And the natural team leader started to delegate jobs. "Ok, you keep the toys, I will keep the cards..." he told me.

hahahaa.. so cute!

PS: FYI, this little boy is very smart lor. There were only 10 cards lying around, but there were 38 pieces of toys lying around a larger area.

Previous Post: I Am Uncle Arthur

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Am Uncle Arthur

Children are like that, monkey see, monkey do...

I know that Ace is a great fan of Arthur now. He likes to listen to his tapes, tells us that he loves Uncle Arthur, and keeps reminding us that Uncle Arthur bought him ice cream... (Yse, Arthur bought him a chocolate ice cream and his fn-o-meter shot up instantly...)

The other day, I left Ace at my mum's place and when I went to 'collect' him, my mum told me that he put on the shirt that we bought for our dad and started holding a 'mircrophone' and declared he is uncle arthur and went on to 'give a speech'.

While he walked around.. he started asking people to raise their hands and at the end of his presentation, he found a few peices of paper and walked around the house... asked my dad, "you want tickets?" and then he asked my mum.. "you want tickets..." and continued walking around.. "anybody want tickets?"

He only watched Arthur do it twice lor!

I think he will be a natural successor of our biz..this very good ticket seller. I can't wait till he turns older and can even start to IDSAME for me..hahaha

Previous Post: Can You Stop Bugging Me?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Can You Stop Bugging Me?

It's a carnival!

Ace just cannot stop bugging me since last weekend. Everyday, when he sees, me, he will have something he wants to bug me about.

"Mummy, can you play with me?"

"Mummy, I want to watch your wedding vcd..."

"Mummy, I want to play a new game with you..."

"Mummy, I am hungry, I want to eat something..."

"Mummy, can you help me on the lights?"

"Mummy, can you help me get my toys?"

"Mummy, can you sit down with me?"

"Mummy, can I play computer games? Can you play with me?"

"Mummy, can you read story books for me?'

"Mummy, I want to cut something. Can you cut with me?"

The other day, Max had to go do duty and so we picked Ace up at around 4pm or so and since we reached Waipo's house, he bugged me none stop.

Finally after bathing, playing with him, feeding him and many many many activities together later, I finally had the time to eat my dinner ... Alas, I couldnt eat in peace.

"Mummy, I so hungry now," (he just had his dinner about 20 min earlier lor) "I want to eat something.. can you eat something?"

"Ace, I am eating now.. can you wait a while..."

Before I can eat another spoonful of rice, "Mummy, I am so hungry, I want to eat something..."

Exesperated and tired, I told him, "Hiyo, Ace, 你可以不要烦我吗?Can you let me finish my food in peace?“

Unperturbed, my very good son (乖儿子) immediately replied without any pause.. "哦!...我去烦公公。" and then he turned around and shouted out to my father who is in the kitchen washing dishes. "公公,我要吃东西!"

I laughed and laughed and laughed until I could not stop...

He sure knows how to cheer me up ;)

Previous Post: Sell Reward Before Effort

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sell Reward Before Effort

The other day, out of desperation, we had to bring Ace along to our business seminar. So as usual, we reminded him of the DOs and DON'Ts... (actually I know he remembers cos a few days ago, out of nowhere, he told me this, "Go to Uncle Arthur talk must keep quiet. Cannot be rude and talk loudly.. ok?")

The moment he saw Arthur.. HEY!!!" And he waved and ran towards Arthur to greet him.. just like an old friend. (We later found out the reason why they seem to click so well is cos Arthur is born on the same day as Ace and also a rooster... so exactly 36 yrs older!)

This time round though, Ace was not so keen to listen to Uncle Arthur talk and then midway, he started to talk to himself loudly. Arthur told him, "Ace, if you keep quiet until the end of the seminar, I will buy you an ice cream..."

Immediately, my son shut up and kept quiet till the end of the function! Arthur says, this is a good example of selling reward before effort...

After the function, Ace came to me... "Mummy, where is my ice cream?" I asked him to ask Uncle Arthur and so he followed Arthur around...

Before we left, Arthur walked around to see if anyone wanted any extra function tickets. Because Arthur told us the story of how his 13 year old has to write a compo on his Dad and says that his dad is a ticket seller, we asked Ace to follow and learn. I mean if a good ticket seller like arthur is a multi millionaire with a 20mil house, I dun mind my son becoming one.. hahahaa.. "Ace, you go and follow and help uncle Arthur..." and Ace merrily followed Arthur around.

Then all of a sudden, he came to me and asked me, "You want tickets?" And then he asked Daddy, "You want tickets?" and afterward, he asked Zhenyin, "You want tickets?" We had a good time laughing...

He learns fast indeed!

Previous Post: Kwala Ace the Magician

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I Want To Ride School Bus!

Ace told me the other day that he wanted to take the school bus to school.

His wish came true.. somewhat...

Daddy had to do duty and because Popo is no longer working at Learninghill Siglap and so, this mummy who still does not know how to drive had to take a bus with Ace and walk a super long distance to his school.

While he has a not so happy expression in the picture, I think he quite enjoyed our trip. On the way, we had a lively discussion about the things that we saw.. like the different brands of cars in different colours (we even saw a red open top BMW convertible), the diffrerent plants that we saw on the way, the different dogs that we saw...)

However, it was quite a long and warm walk and towards the end of it, he got a little tired. I rested a while, fed him some water, carried his bag for him and we trudged forward.

He was so happy to finally reach his school and since I enjoyed the walk myself, I decided to walk somemore and spent the next 45 min walking home! Daddy says I am a siao kia to do that.. hahaha... but well, it is good exercise for me I think...
Previous Post: Basketball

Friday, February 20, 2009


The other day, Ace decided that he wanted to play basketball and he put on a cap, insisted that Daddy put on a cap as well and started playing ball with his Daddy...

I wonder what is with the cap and wat inspired him...

Previous Post: I Am A Big Boy

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Am A Big Boy

While we were away for our trip in Hanoi, something interesting happened.

My mum changed job and becuase there was no one to take care of Ace, she brought him along for her farewell dinner. During the dinner, my mum told the teachers that Ace still insisted that he had to poop in diapers and so ALL THE TEACHERS reminded him that he is a big boy... especially his form teacher, Teacher Erica.

She told him that he is a big boy now. He has to poop in the toilet bowl.

So when we went to fetch Ace on the day that we came back, we were so surprised to find him telling us that he is a big boy now. "I am a big boy now, I drink milk from a cup.. I am a big boy now, I walk on my own and dun need bao bao... I am a big boy now and I 大便in the马桶. I am a big boy now...."

We were SOOOOOOOOOO impressed and wondered wat happened during the week that we were away.

And indeed, Ace has grown into a big boy now. I noticed he can now articulate his sentences better. We brought him to our business seminar and when he saw my coach, Arthur, he ran towards him like an old friend and said, "Hey!"

And then after that, he started chatting with Arthur about how he can cook rice now because his teacher taught him to do so.. and he went on to describe the process of how you have to wash the rice and then you have to add water to it... I was really impressed!

The next day, his Daddy was bz and couldnt fetch him home and so I attempted to do a STUNT ;) I walked all the way from my home to Ace's school (it was a 20min brisk walk) and then walked with Ace all the way home. Initially, he told me, "I am a big boy, I will carry my bag by myself and I don't need you to bao bao. I am a big boy, I walk by myself.." without me asking him at all.

Because the initial journey was within a private housing estate, we had alot of fun looking at the different plants and flowers and naming them and noticing how they grow and why they have different colours. Once we are on the main roads, Ace found it to be boring and started to want me to carry him.

"I thought you said you are a big boy and you will walk by yourself?" I asked him. "No!" he said firmly, "I said I want bao bao..." and then he giggled. So I carried him for a short while and asked him to keep walking.

2 playground stops and another 25min later, we finally reached home.

At night, Waipo called me and then I realized why he kept talking about being a big boy.

"And he was so funny ok. That night when he reached home, he wanted to poo but because he wanted to use a diaper, he did not want me to see him doing so, he kept asking me to go into the room to sleep and he closed the door and quietly went to find his diapers..."

What a little devil. Anyway, the end result was that he did not find any diapers, went to the toilet bowl to sit for 15 min and decided that he would rather not poop.

That night, I teased him and asked him if he is drinking milk via a cup or a milk bottle. He looked down on the floor and sheepishly told me, "I want milk bottle..."

So I made milk for him in a milk bottle and told him that I will tell Teacher Erica that he is drinking using a milk bottle. "No, don't tell teacher... dun tell her... dun tell her... I don't want to friend you...."

So I sat down with him and told him, "Ace, whatever you want to do.. if you are afraid that people will know, then don't do it. If you do it, then don't be afraid that other people will know. There is nothing wrong with the fact that you use a milk bottle. Just tell teacher that you are not ready yet and switch when you are ready. You know I will love you no matter what, right?"

And he seemed a little more at ease.

PS: I met his chinese teacher in sch and told her how he was angry that she scolded him. She said she scolded him again today because he was busy playing and not concentrating on his work again. "Actually Ace is a very well behaved boy when he is on his own.. but he is such a follower and when his classmate Y comes into the classroom and starts creating havoc, Ace will always end up joining him!"

Previous Post: Mahjong King, Ace!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mahjong King, Ace!

No lah, Ace doesn't know how to play mahjong lah.

I will be dammed if he learns to gamble at age 3.5.

Well, it is just that he got so bored at yeye's house that they that he requested to play with that 'brown box' and once he sees the chips and the mahjong tiles, he has to take them out for a spin lor.

So here is how you play two player mahjong... you line the tiles up in a straight line.. and then leh, pick a card and throw.. whoever has a larger number wins lor.. hahaha...

Previous Post: Healthy Boy Eats Veggies

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Healthy Boy Eats Veggies

Remember me telling you that Ace does not really like to eat veggies?:P

Well, it is true.. your children dun follow what you tell them, they follow what you do ;) Partially due to the fact that we are health concsious, we have decided to go for a vegeterian diet and both me and max prefer to take veggies as compared to those mock meat stuff...

About a month or two ago, I have been sharing with Ace this during meals, that healthy boys eat a mixture of healthy foods. And this includes veggies. Eating more veggies will make us more healthy and it will give us more energy so that we are free to do the things that we want.

So nowadays, Ace will eat his veggies. And whenever he eats them, he will tell me, "Healthy boy eats vegetables... Ace is a healthy boy..." And sometimes if he eat carrots, he will inform me that he is a rabbit.. hahaha ;)

It's good to see that my son is health conscious.. and he really is. He would remember to drink more water and he will ask for his Chloreana because he wants to stay healthy and does not like to be sick. And he keeps telling me, "I want to be healthy..."

Anyway, since a long way back, I have already known of children who are born vegeterians who just dun like meat and seafood.. I am not so sure though if my son will stay vegeterian since he is such a sucker for food and whenever he sees food, he would say he wants to eat...

I have noticed though that since young, he will only ask for the food if it is vegeterian. Usually if it contains meat or seafood, he naturally does not ask you for it.

I always wondered if it is because of our very good education.. or was it the fact that our scare tactics worked (even though I take a more holistic and relaxed view of things now and tell him he can make his own choice.. just tat veggies more healthy than meat and seafood) that he did not want to eat meat and seafood.

The other day, I finally discovered why.

I got my first clue when we were sitting in popo's house one day and suddenly, someone started cooking belachan..... and the smelled of belachan filled the air. For many, this is the most heavenly smell on earth but Ace pinched his nose and tell me, "So smelly, mummy..."

A few days later, I got a furthur confirmation. We were having a discussion about food and then he told me, "I don't like fish and chicken. Fish and chicken is very smelly..."

Now, we have never told him that fish and chicken are smelly. We just said to him not to eat them because they are our friends.

That is what most non-vegeterians don't know.. that if you are a vegeterian long enough, alot of times especially if your body is very 'clean', you develop a very acute sense of smell. And fish, chicken and people who eat them actually emit this unpleasant odour. This sense of smell is especially sensitive when you are doing intensive detox or you could say the smell feels especially strong when you are doing a detox. So when I am detoxing in progress, I can tell what you have eaten and whether you are healthy or not even because people who are sick or going to fall sick also have this sort of smell on them.

Me and max have been through this before but I did not expect Ace, as a young kid to also experience this.

That is the reason why some vegeterians dun like to eat with their friends in non vegeterian places cos in certain restaurants tat sells certain types of foods, the smell is especially strong. Eg, I hate the food court in bugis cos Pepperlunch gives out that smell and it stays on you all day.

Anyway, I guess as he grows up, he might choose to eat more rubbish and loose this acute sense of smell... we'll see, but at the moment, our whole family still chooses to stay vegeterian :)

Previous Post: Stay At Home And Play

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stay At Home And Play

Ace loves having fun with his daddy.. and he likes it when we are at home to either read story books to him or at least build something interesting with him using the engineering set.

And alot of times, because he enjoys having fun so much, when he has had a few days for fun say during the weekends or during the holidays, he would wish it would never end and throw a tantrum when it does... eg, he will refuse to wake up in time for school (it is always toughest to wake him on a monday morning)

He throws the biggest tantrum when Daddy goes and fetch him after school and he realizes that the route we are travelling towards is popo's house instead of his own house. Because that means that that night, we will not be spending time with him and he will be spending time with his grandparents at their place. He will either whine, or give this really sad face and only be pacified if he were promised food (panda biscuits, ice creams) or time at the playground.

The other day after CNY, Ace looked very sad when Daddy told him he would be going to Waipo's house again (since we were really bz as it is closing at the end of the month for us). And then he asked Daddy, "Daddy, can you don't go out? Can you stay at home and play with me everyday?"

So Max explained to him that we are going out to make money. "Do you like to stay in hotel, Ace? If we don't go out, we cannot make enough money for you to stay in hotel very often..." And so he unwilling went home with Waipo..

But I am real happy that Ace is finally at the age where he is capable of expressing his thoughts.. instead of having us guess what he is thinking, he can actually say exactly what he wants.. yeah!

Previous Post: Superhero Ace

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Superhero Ace

Nanai's friend, Ah Choo, gave Ace some new shirts and some recycled pants. One of it was a superman pants.. you know, the blue pants with red underwear on the outside? And one of the shirt had a spiderman logo on it.

And so, my son decided to make believe that he is a super hero.. he is usually not so brave and doesn't like to climb up high.. all of a sudden, superhero Ace can climb so high lor.. and he even asked me to take pictures for him!

Anyway, he had lots of fun pretending to be different superheroes that night:)

I told nainai about it and she said last time when Shushu was young, someone bought him a superman shirt with a cape, for fear that he would really think he is superman and jump down from a high place, she cut it off.. hahaha..

I think I should secretly keep tat pants somewhere out of his reach.. shhh...

Previous Post: Lucky lucky Ace

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lucky lucky Ace

I just came back from a trip to Hanoi to celebrate my 5th wedding anniversary with Max :)

I must say that after almost a week in Hanoi, Singapore seems a little alien and strange. When I reached there, I couldn't decide if I liked it or not. But I know I was glad that I decided not to bring Ace along because the roads are uneven and there was alot of walking to be done. If Ace had gone along, I think my biceps and Max's biceps should get much bigger and stronger in no time at all :)

But my thinking changed when I came back to sgp...

With the sights, smell and feeling of Hanoi fresh in my mind, when I went out for lunch and saw alot of school children having lunch at the hawker center and suddenly I feel that the singaporean kids are really a lucky bunch.

We have nice schools to go to, we have TV, aircon and every luxury you can possibly think of, we have a great transportation system that takes us everywhere we want to go, most singaporean families own cars and dun have to squeeze a family of four on a motorcycle.... For a moment, I wish I DID bring Ace along so that he could see for himself how 'wealthy' he is and how much he has and thus learn to treasure all the things that he already has in his life.

But of course, I wouldnt say that the people there are unhappy. I guess they are happy just the way they are and they are marvellous people who teach a good lesson about LIVING BEYOND LIMITATIONS.

  1. They dun follow traffic rules. Zebra crossings and traffic lights just act as a guide. Everyone doesn't stop for pedestrians.. they just horn at you and try to drive around you.

  2. The vietnamese are CREATIVE people. They really think that you can transport ANYTHING in a motorcycle. And I mean ANYTHING! We have so far seen people carrying the following on their motorbikes: a coup of chicken, a 2 meter tall ladder, machinery, a family of FOUR, three big pots of Hai Tang flower, a huge photo frame

  3. They always drive on the opposite side of the road. Road signs, traffic signs are just but things tat show you who has the right of way. They dun really mean you have to stop.. this is the reason why most tourists have a petrified look their first day there while they try to cross the roads.

  4. Vendors are creative there. They sell you pineapples, shoes, knick knacks, souveniors, travel books, lighters, ao dai, a ride on a ciklo or a bike from one place to another and they even sell you a photo opportunity by forcing their bamboo with two balancing baskets on you.

  5. They dun think it is important to use the door in the toilet even if you had one. I once went into the toilet and saw the horrible sight of a woman, sitting on a squatting toilet bowl with her legs opened wide and her you know wat facing me while she just peed merrily.

  6. They don't pronounce their "s'es.
    'Excuse me' is 'KCuse me'
    'Mushroom' is "mucRoom"
    "Vietnamese" is "vietnameeee"

  7. Anyone can start a business. Just get some tables and chairs and bring some pots and pans and you can set up a road side stall. The most impressive thing is that they can sell a different thing every single day and it doesn't bother them that a business needs consistency or branding. Typical hairdressers are male with a chair and a mirror hung on a tree.

  8. You can cook anywhere you like in vietnam. No, you dun need a proper kitchen. I have seen a hair salon owner (hair salons are usually just space with two chairs inside), box up a pan in one corner of her shop and she just uses a eletric gas stove to start frying BEEF!

  9. The only thing that they seem to be organised in is their streets. The different streets actually specialize in selling diff things like: cups, alchohol, electrical appliances, wedding stuff, stamps, paintings, vegetables, meat, altar and worship related stuff.

  10. They have no need for perfect translation on TV. In vietnam where Korean and Chinese dramas are a huge hit, the generally just use ONE FEMALE VOICE to translate all that EVERYONE in the show is saying.. and you can hear the chinese or the korean original soundtrack softly in the background so that you know who said what. Talk about training your eyes, ears and mind co-ordination...

  11. They wear pajamas when they go out on the streets shopping lor! Who said pajamas are only made for sleeping? They can be a fashion statement too!

Here are the pictures of my trip... (You can click on the link to read about my musings about the trip)

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

Day 4:

Day 5:

Previous Post: Ace Can Complain

Ace Can Complain

Ace is good lor.. now knows how to complain already...

The other day, I was playing with some bejeweled game that I had in my handphone. Ace came and ask me, "Mummy, can you play with me?"

So I played with him for a while and then I went back to play my game again.

"You see, you see you see.. mummy, you again... why you play your handphone game again?"

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry and so I shut off my game for good and played with him.

Yesterday, it was my turn to sleep with him. So when I thought he is asleep, I tiptoed out of the room and went back to my typing at my computer.

After about 3 min, Ace walked out of the room sleepy eyed. But he did not look for me. Instead, he looked for his Daddy and "complained".

"Daddy... HUMPH! You see mummy again... Mummy 又这样..."

Wah lau, jia lat man....

Previous Post: The Last Few Days

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Last Few Days

The other day, my mentor shared this with me..

He said tat when people are chasing their dreams and chasing their goals, during the last few days, are the days where you usually face the most amt of challenges (cos it is when you will feel the pressure and take the most amt of action anyway).

And it is during this time, that you see people for who they really are.

"If you give up, then sorry to say, you are just the type who will give up even before you succeed..."

And true enough, I had a very interesting experience of observing how people react during the last few days of our month end closing....

Some are relaxed and equally not bothered because they choose to stay unfocused, some become slightly motivated and take one or two steps forward, some let the stress get into them, some will throw tantrums and complain, some will just give up, some will be so excited they can move none stop, some will break through and grow through this experience, some refuse to give up and fight till the very last second, last min...

And I think it is true that you see people for who they really are when that happens because how you do something, is usually how you do everything. I mean if you spoke to the ones who gave up, likely, that is not the only time they gave up in their life. If you spoke to the ones who broke through, likely the will gamely overcome any challenge that comes their way in life...

I wonder if Ace only had a few days left to achieve a goal, what will he do.. wat sort of person is he? I wonder what sort of person me and max are... hahaha..

PS: Talking about goals and dreams, I asked Max to tell me about the story about that jap guy.. he was telling the story halfway and said he felt like crying... cos he felt exactly like how the guy felt since he is currently in the midst of some huge changes in his career....

I would like to repeat this story here so tat Ace can learn from it as well...

Once, there was a guy called Tanaka... he was a American born Jap and was working a normal 9-5 job. ONe day, a friend whom he hasn't met in a while visisted him and while catching up, his friend asked him "After working in the same company for so long now, you must already be promoted and doing really well!"

Alas, Tanaka has not been promoted and still has a miserly pittance of a salary while his friend is currently living i a big house, has a yatch, gets driven around in a limo...

"How did you do it?" he asked his friend...

"Oh, remember the biz I asked you to partner with me? I made some good money from the biz.. and so now I can lead my dream life...

Tanaka thought back about the dreams he had and how he had wanted to do the biz and make them come true. "It would never work..." his wife said.. and so, he stayed put at his job. Not wanting his dream to die off just like that, when offered a chance to partner with his friend again, Tanaka quit his job and shifted back to Japan with his wife.

Not being able to speak Japanese in Japan was a huge challenge for Tanaka... and on top of that, it is most disgraceful for him not to have a job.. so every morning, he would dress up nicely like he was going to work and then go out into the streets to give out flyers to promote his biz.

One day, he saw his in laws on the street. "What kind of useless bum are you? Why are you giving out flyers here instead of working a proper job?" They asked him.

He immediately ran home, packed his bags and asked his wife to leave with him.

"Why?" She asked him.

"Well, because I will never again let anyone steal away my dream!"

Previous Post: Mummies Are Natural Leaders

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mummies Are Natural Leaders

My mentor likes to say, that we are in the leadership business.

In this aspect, I think it is really a tough business to be in.. especially if you are not ready for the leadership role and would much rather play either a dependent, or a victim. While it is quite fun because it is challenging, it is also tough because leaders are usually targets of authority conflicts and attacks.

So since we are in the leadership business, this happens to us alot more often than it happens to an average person I feel.. (unless they happen to be a mummy)

And it is true, as leaders, we are crap attractors.. tat's what my mentor will say.. we will attract a whole lot of crap and people will just overwhelm us with all their crappy problems... most are not even genuine problems but just "zzzzzzzzzzz......zzzzzzzz..." *sound of the fly* complains...

Some people show you attitude like you owe them for your living... some just dun want to listen to you and like to do the exact opp of what you ask them to... some, no matter how you cheer them on, just choose to give up anyway... worst still, when some give up or if they meet a problem, it is always your fault..

If you are a mother, you aren't new to these things I guesss.. hahaha... most mothers will encounter times where their children show them attitude.. when their children want to rebel against them... when their children dun want to do what they ask them to and choose to give up (Ace likes to say, "I don't know how to do, I dun want to do..." )... and of cos, all children blame their parents for one thing or another at some point in their life.

But the beautiful part of this is that because you are not new to all these as a mother, really, if what you apply to your children works, it works when you are leading a team as well :) I believe everyone is a child a heart! haha.. Because adults and children are alike anyway... the only thing is that children are a little bit more inconsistent :)

Here are some things that I find useful in motherhood.. and leadership as well...
  1. Explaining why you do something.
    It gives your child/group a higher chance of understanding it and following through cos they now see why this is important.
  2. Sending them love.
    Whenever your child throws a tantrum, say that they dun like you, it is because they are asking for help. So when your group throws a tantrum, blame you for everything that has happened to them, say you suck as a leader... it is also because they are asking for your help, and the only way to help them, is to send them love...
  3. Lead by example ;)
    Children don't follow what you say, they follow what you do. Likewise, your group does not follow what you say, they follow what you do:) That doesn't mean you have to be perfect, just dun expect them to do what you are NOT WILLING to do :)
  4. Have a big heart; forgive forgive forgive
    When we have a big heart and forgive our children for all the things they have done wrong.. it helps them to learn their mistake and it helps us learn our mistakes.. likewise the same goes for a group. The end result is we become better mothers and leaders.
  5. Talk to them alot.. COMMUNICATE
    Just like it is impt to communicate with your children and spend time with them to let them know how you feel, to understand how they feel and to make them feel like they are important, it is impt to do the same for your group...
  6. Be generous with PRAISE.
    Remember how your boy's eyes lit up when you told him he was a good boy or a clever boy or that he is very strong because he could do this and that and how they would do it again and again and again and again just to hear you repeat the praise? Your group would do it again too.... if you are as generous about your praise towards them for their little achievements :)
  7. Be their best friends
    Remember, the furthur you are away from your group, the more you are putting yourself in the position where authority conflict occurs. When that happens, they will always do the opposite of what you ask them to do. Likewise, the same when it comes to children. And remember, to be their best friends, it means you are willing to focus on their good points, overlook their bad points and still love them anyway just the way they are...
  8. Expand their dreams
    Your child experiences the world through you. They don't know how big and how beautiful this world is, until you show them. They don't know how to lead their lives and what to do.. until you show them. They have unlimitless imagination and usually have big dreams.. unless you confine them and keep telling them what they cannot do. As mothers, it is natural to paint a beautiful picture of the future for your child so that he will strive to improve himself. The same holds true for your group. A small leader can never inspire or mould big dreams because he will never be able to contain them!

No wonder that in recent years, more and more women are taking up leadership positions in the corporate and political world.. hahaha ;)

Previous Post: Escapades In School

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Escapades In School

Nowadays, conversations about what happens in school is getting to be a little bit more exciting.

Last time, whenever you ask him about what happened in school, Ace would always say something like, "I bang Michael Phua's toys and Michael Phua bang my toys..."

And everyday, you get more or less of the same answer.

The other day, Daddy noticed a scratch on his face and asked Ace about it, then realized that our son got into a fight with his friend in school! Hahaha... I am not quite sure how the conversation went about but according to Daddy, he asked Ace why there was a scratch on his face and from his reply, he realized that Ace and his best friend, Edmund, were fighting over the same toys.. so Edmund scratched him and left a mark.

Alas, Ace is not at all angry at his friend and still became best friends with Edmund a short while later.

The other day before bedtime, we had a really interesting conversation...

It started with me asking him about his teachers. "Do you like Teacher Erica?" "Yes.."
"Do you like Zhao laoshi?" "No..."

"Why not?"

"Because she is a naughty girl..."

"Why is she a naughty girl?"

"I don't like her.. she angry with me... "

"How do you know she is angry with you?"

"She scold me and she take away my homework.. and I cry cry cry..."

"Are you still angry with her?"

And he nodded his head.

Turned out that during his lesson time, he was playing with his friend so hard that he did not want to do his homework. So his teacher got angry and scolded them both and threatened to take away their homework since they do not want to do it and so Ace felt very upset that he would not have a chance to do his homework and cried.

Sadly, he bears grudge over this. Now a week later, when I asked him if he has forgiven his teacher, he still says he is angry. I think I shall give him a prep talk about how his teacher loves him and how he should love her and forgive her.

Still, I think sometimes it depends on the people involved as well. Teacher Toh who was Ace's teacher last year is very firm with Ace and scolds him sometimes but still Ace loves her and never complains about her and is only all praises for her. Even now he keeps talking about Teacher Toh this, teacher toh that...

The only one thing I am concerned is that this does not affect his interest in the Chinese Language as I noticed that he is usually more grumpy during the chinese session of his trilingual lessons at LNT. I know it is not because of the teacher.. cos he likes Teacher Ivy and so I suspect he doesnt like Chinese as much as the English language. I know how teachers make a difference to whether a student likes a subject and I can only pray he will be blessed with good teachers all his life.. LIKE ME :)

PS: I mean blessed like me to have many good teachers.. not tat I am a good teacher.. haha..

PPS: The next few days, I gave him a repeated prep talk about how much his teachers love him and even though scolding someone is not a good way to show love, that was the way that the teacher learnt how to show love... and then one day, when he was happily eating a chupppa chups orange flavour (his favourite) sweet, I started asking a few simple question for some small yeses as answers and finally, I asked him if he would forgive his teacher and he said yes.. You see, persuasion is easy work.. hahahahaha

Now he loves her to bits and even tells us that Zhao Laoshi taught him how to cook rice in school.
Previous Post: Ace Knows How To Bargain

Ace Knows How To Bargain

These days, me and Max have been rather bz and so we haven't had a chance to spend alot of time with Ace and he always ends up going to Popo's house after school.

After a long week... we finally spent like a whole saturday with him and at night before we slept, I told him he has to go to Waipo's house again. "Who has meeting again?" he asked me and I told him both me and Max had meetings. "Do you know why Mummy must go to meetings?" "To make money.."

"What do we use the money for?" "So that Ace can stay in hotel.." he said.

Then on sunday morning, when he woke up, while Daddy was lying on the tatami, he went to tell Daddy, "Do you want to scissors paper stone?"

And Daddy asked him WHY...

"Erm... if I win, we dun go popo house....."

Dadddy was stunned and said, "Huh? What did y0u say?"

And Ace repeated.. "If I win, we dun go popo house...."

"And if I win leh?" asked Daddy.

"Then we go lor..."

The very clever Max just changed topic and refused to play along with him... hahahaha... my son is really getting more ingenious in his methods to get what he wants...

Previous Post: Terrible 3s

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Terrible 3s

I was just telling Jez Ah Ma about how Ace is repeating his terrible 2s or terrible 3s again.

Ace was generally a very sweet kid and did not seem to want to exert his independence at all when he was two... So I always wondered why they said it was terrible... and I even thought it was because I was a very good parent and I gave him lots of choices and so there is no real need to exert his indpendence.

I later realized that it was just because all the things that Ace wanted to do at 2 years old did not bother me much at all and thus, I gave in to him and so, there is no conflict :)

But when he turned three years old, alot of the things that he wanted to do did not sit well with me and what I wanted him to do started not to sit so well with him and he started to go into the "Noooo, nooo nooo nooo" phase..

Now that he is turning 4 and far better at expressing himself.. he will tell you, "Humph, I don't like this.. I dun want that... This is not nice..." and then he will cry and whine and stamp his feet etc...

I do realize that alot of times this happens because we wanted him to do things in a certain way so tat he will convenience us... while we try our best to give in to his free will, there are some times and some things that we cannot give in.

Eg, I cannot give in to his desire to eat bao.. and then after one bite, allow him to waste the bao and ask for chicken rice because to me, this is not acceptable behaviour. This is wasteful behaviour and most importantly, this makes me fat cos i have to eat his leftovers!

And alot of times, I feel upset either me or daddy have to sacrifice and eat what Ace wants to eat because we have to share and he refuses to give in and take turns to eat what the other person likes to eat... Eg, when he is in the noodles phase, in insisted on eating noodles everyday. Now that he is in the rice phase, he insisted that he cannot eat anything else...

I just which this phase will go away soon. I know it is just part of growing up..

Anyway, I subscribe to Baby Centre's newsletter and the other day I was reading an article on the terrible twos or the terrible threes... and someone commented that their children are now 13 and 14 and they go through yet one more found of exerting their independence.

When I think back of my growing up years, I think it is true that when I reached 13,14, I was somewhat a little more rebelious because I was finding myself and my true identity and I wanted to be different.. blah blah blah...

But what I also noticed is that when people reach 23,24, they go into a quarter life crisis and go into the terrible 3s all over again! hahahaaha.. cos they will want to do things their way, purposely come home late even though they know their parents are worried...

So what about 33 and 34? After discussion, me and Jez agree that there will be no more terrible 3s.. because their children will help them act it out by then! hahahaha....

Anyway, I do wonder how I would react when my son is going through that age? How would I react if my son or daughter stays out late, if they have unkempt long hair that looks UGLY to me, if they want to have tattoos, if they dun want to study or do biz and just want to have fun, etc...

Well, I guess I can only remind myself to what I do best. No matter what happens, be their best friend...

Previous Post: Holiday Sensor

Monday, February 09, 2009

Holiday Sensor

Nowadays, Max has to wake up earlier than usual.


Cos of his precious son... hahaha.. Ace likes to sleep in and lie on bed and refuse to wake up. In the past, we could wake him up if we tickled him using his fav Pooh Bear that shu shu bought for him... nowadays, even that doesn't work and he would just sleep and sleep and sleep and sleep.

No matter what you did to him, he would just turn over and continue to sleep.

Sometimes, he is soooooooooooo lazy tat because daddy is going to be late soon, we put on his uniform for him when he is asleep... not bad, he still will raise his arms and help you put them into the armhole but his eyes will remain closed... he will open his mouth and start chewing his chloreana but his eyes will remain closed.

Until the very last minute when I announce that "Daddy is leaving home!" and then he will wake up and wear his shoes...

"Where got people so lazy one?" I exclaimed to daddy the other day. "Erm.. let me think.. hmmm.... it is so familiar... I think he learnt from someone lah..." and he laughed.

"I where got like that?" I replied indignantly and he just laughed.

But you see, the reverse holds true when it is a holiday.

Somehow, Ace has a sensor that tells him whether today is a holiday.

Things are different if it is a holiday. If it is a holiday or a weekend, every second counts because he wants to play play play play play...

So leh, during weekends and holidays, he just would wake up very early in the morning. Sometimes he would poop and ask you to wash his smelly bum bum for him. Other times, he just comes to your room and says, "Mama, wake up already.. you see you see.. got light already.. wake up already.. come and play with me..."

"Just how does he know when it is a holiday and a weekend and when it is not since he is not able to tell the different days of the week yet?" Max asked me.

Beats me, man...
PS: I believe he has an automatic machine inside him. He usually stays in Popo's house for the night on thursdays and gets to drink milk on a friday morning. Somehow, even though he does not need to sleep over in Popo's place, he knows when it is a friday and will ask for milk...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Ace Likes To Lao Yu Sheng

The other day, we had yet another 'party' at Waipo's house to celebrate the END of the new year.

Yeah, in the chinese tradition, we always celebrate it for 15 days and because it was coming to the end of the new year celebrations, we had lao yu sheng (Ace calls this New Year salad cos when he asked me what is Lao Yu Sheng, that was the explanation that I gave to him.)

As usual, the very helpful Ace tried to help popo get ready the yu sheng. Even though he made more of a mess than really helped, I guess we should treasure his good intentions while it lasts cos I am not sure if he will STILL be interested to help out next CNY.. hahaha...

Here are the pics of that day:

Previous Post: Ace's Celebration At School

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Ace's Celebration At School

Well, Ace had a great time celebrating CNY in school.

Just for this purpose, he had actually learnt three songs in school to perform during their annual Chinese New Year party...

He was so happy to see us and kept waving at us and boy was he singing VERY LOUD throughout...

Here's a video of his performance and some of the pics I took that day :)



Previous Post: I Share With You

Friday, February 06, 2009

I Share With You

Ace may be small and young... yes, he may be only 3 and a half.. but at this tender age, he already knows how to 'geng' lor.. think he is a really smart kid and we better teach him right so that he can use his intelligence on good things like how to make the world a better place...

The other day, we went for lunch together after his lessons and as usual, Daddy bought a drink and we told him that he can only drink the drink when he finishes his meal. It is our usual BRIBE for him to finish his meal quickly...

Anyway, Ace went on to finish his meal quickly and then, he came round to my side of the table where the bottle was and he took it. And then he declared loudly to us.. "I share with you, ok!" And he took ONE BIG SIP.. and then passed the straw (only, but still held up to the bottle tightly) to his dad.

Very quickly, before Max could even drink much, he took away the bottle and declared again "I share with you, ok?!" , took a big sip, then passed the straw to me.. and before I could even sip anything into my mouth.. he said, "I share with you, ok!" and took the bottle away...

And thus, in holding on to the bottle, he controled the amount that we could drink and ended up drinking most of the drink in the bottle...

What a sly fox! hahahaha...

PS: But I think he only monkey see and monkey do.. cos tat was a technique we used previously to prevent him from drinking too much.. darn! he saw through it and turned tables on us!

Previous Post: Look Like Shu Shu

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Look Like Shu Shu

The other day, I washed Ace's hair while he was bathing and after we changed into his clothes, I told him I would style his hair for him.

"See, so handsome..." I told him after I did the "cockadoodledoo" style for him...

He ran into the mirror, stared at himself and told me. "I am like shu shu!"


Previous Post: House Keeper, Anyone?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

House Keeper, Anyone?

Well, my son is more than capable of housekeeping duties.. he can change bedsheets, change pillow cases and bolster cases... and he works hard... I know CNY is over but you still need to change bedsheets often, right?

Housekeepeer for hire, anyone?

Previous Post: Ace Can Cut!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ace Can Cut!


This is Ace. I am so happy to be talking to you here today...

My mummy says she is tired of reporting on my behalf so today, I am going to tell you about a new skill i acquired ;) It is cutting and using the scissors!

Since I was 2 years old, my shichida teachers have already started me on using scissors to cut things. But back then, I needed help from mummy to hold the paper and I was not really able to cut along the lines properly.

But these few days, because Daddy and Mummy have been bz, I have had lots of chance to go Waipo's house and PRACTICE. I would take out magazines and the children's day present (pink scissors) that mummy bought for me and I would cut out all sorts of things.

After so much practice, I can now cut according to the lines and can hold the paper by myself.

Here are two pieces of work I have done myself... yes, all by myself without any help from mummy.. even the name was written by ME! ;)

Do you think it is nice? I am very proud of myself. Mummy says that my teacher says that only a few of us in the class can cut like I do.. so I guess Mummy must be feeling proud of me too.

Anyway, do you want me to cut anything for you?


Previous Post: 5 More Minuites

Monday, February 02, 2009

5 More Minuites

Never do anything you do not want your children to do... that is the only advice I can give parents who are exesperated by their children.. because what goes around, comes around.. what ever you do, your children will SURE follow... that's because your children will NEVER follow what you tell them, they only follow what you DO!

I know it is hard to accept and it is rather sad. Sometimes I look at the part of Ace I dun like and I find myself to be quite a terrible person.. the good news is, the contrary holds true as well so when he is nice, warm, caring and kind, I am reminded of what a good person I am as well.

Anyway, I am a procrastinator... when I am sleeping and Max wakes me up to do something, I always put my hands up and make a "5 more min" sort of sign.. and then I will doze another 5 min, then finally wake to do watever i am needed to do. Because of this, my very smart hubby always factors this in when he plans to go out early in the morning...

I never expected though, that my son would pick up this habit so fast from me... early in the morning when you wake him up for school, he shows you the "5 more min" sign...

The other day, we brought Ace to visit his godma and when he went home, he saw the playground and said he wanted to play at the playground... we told him that he is only given 5 min and alas, after 5 min, he wanted to play somemore. Usually he would be happy if we gave him 5 min but that they, he had to make lots of noise.

And then he started stamping his feet and crying and did the "5 min more" sign. So Daddy gave him 2 more min... when it was time to go, he started to cry and did the "5 more min" sign again.. and then all the way from the playground till the carpark, he kept crying and doing that sign until Daddy asked him... "Give you two choice, you go back to the playground now, I will NEVER bring you to IKEA playground... you go home now, next time I bring you to IKEA playground..."

He decided tat it is more wu hua to go IKEA playground and so, he finally stopped crying.

Then in the car, he asked me, "Mummy, where are we going?" "We are going home.."

Not wanting to give up his playground idea, he tried to use persuasion on me... "Mummy? Are we going Ace's house? Ace house got playground right? Can I play at Ace's house playground? I want to play at the playground... Ace house got playground right? Can I play at Ace's house playground?"

Well, in the end, it was a win-win situation lah... Ace agreed to go home and Daddy agreed to bath with him and play with water together lor..
Previous Post: Boowa and Kwala

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Boowa and Kwala

Ace has a favourite website.. and it's called Up To Ten.. it is sort of like his and his dad's special moment.. you know.. the special thing that they do together.. and their favourite clip is this:

Because of this, Ace keeps taking my scarf, tieing it around himself and performing magic shows for us.. hahaha.. when I got chance, I will take video of it to show you.. hahaha...

Because of this, whenever Daddy is using the computer, Ace will run to him and insist that he also wants to use the computer... either he will ask for Barney or he will ask for Boowa and Kwala..

Anyway, I have found it to be a rather interesting website that keeps kids bz and happy.. I think that Ace likes Boowa and Kwala because they talk funny.. just like someone who is learning to talk... just like Ace :)

Anyway, Ace says tat Daddy is Boowa and he is Kwala.. hahaha...

PS: Yesterday, I was waiting for Max to drive over with Ace and then I told him that we could pretend to be Boowa and Kwala. He said he wanted to be Boowa and asked me to be Kwala and give a magic show. So I stsarted.. "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my magic show lah... today, I am going to show you a magic trick..." And I copied the silly trick of hiding my hands.. and like the clip, Ace clapped by the side, "Hooray! Hooray!" Hahaha.. he looked so cute!

Previous Post: Don't Give Up!