Lezane's Ticking

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Kyla's Ticking

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Make Giving Part of my Children Birthday Every Year

Ever since we relocated to India, we have been teaching our kids more about empathy and how giving and helping the poor children mean the world to these children.  In school, they have also been given the opportunity to visit village schools and interact with the local poor children.  Additionally, during this season of getting gifts, the school has also been reinforcing the idea about giving too. 
I don’t want my kids to simply give because mom and dad told them to, I want them to feel empathy and give because they want to help another person .  To start the ball rolling of giving and sharing, Kyla and Lezane had donated a couple of their personal belongings as part of the charity christmas sharing to the poor. 

Also, this year, we took the opportunity of her birthday party to do her part for charity.  We tried very hard to convince Kyla not to recieve any presents from her friends.  Instead, we encouraged her to get her friends to donate money to her Santarina box, where the money will go to a local village school in need of funds.  Of course, in return for her kind 'sacrifice', she gets a big present from mummy and daddy.  Although we know she still doesn't really understand the impact of how her little kind act can help these poor children, we are very proud of the fact that she is willing to give her up presents for donations from her friends.  Well done Kyla!.. From the party, we collected 4700 rupees, which is way out of our expectations.  A very big thank you to all her friends and parents who generously donated.  It felt really good to be able to do something small and yet help the poor through a small children's party.  I will endeavour to make giving and sharing part of their birthdays every year.

Kyla with her Santarina Box

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Give Me the Strength

We are coming to the fourth week of our Delhi stay and second week of school.  Things are still not very settled especially on settling the kids at school.

Kyla is still very much resistant towards school. Every morning, I am 'greeted' with screams and tears when I had to drag her out of bed to get ready for school.  Many times, she would hide in her bubble (comforter) and refusing to come out of it.  Now, even Weikai had to wake up to pacify her.  She would not stop crying even at school.  Her teacher practically dragged her out from my arms and pull her in with her kicks and screams along the corridor.  This is not the Kyla I know.  She is never like that.  I know something must have happened at school for her to react so negatively.  But no one is giving me the answer to it.  Her teacher doesn't know what is going on. On the other hand, Kyla just kept reiterating that she is scared and very scared to enter school - so much so that I am beginning to think if she had seen 'dirty stuff'. 

Friends had suggested homeschool but that is not the solution of our family. I just hope this is a passing phase and Kyla would grow to be a stronger person after this episode.  I really hope to see some light at the end of the tunnel soon.

Another headache that I am facing is with my driver.  He is constantly not coming to work, upsetting my schedules.  As a result, i have to force myself to drive independently, which is very much to my dismay.  Traffic here is very chaotic.  I must have an owl head to look at all directions. Gosh... why are all the problems happpening at one go.  I really need POWER to survive here. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Incredible India= Incredible Patience and Endurance

We have just arrived at our third country, Incredible India.  To many, it sounds like a very exciting adventure.  But to me, it is a daunting adventure.  The past week has been house hunting and we settled with a very new place but a much smaller and cosy place compared to the current one.  Somehow, I am regretting my decision coz my kids will not have much place to run about in the house.

Next week, the kids would be starting their school and hope they would enjoy it as much as in CPH.  This school has more rules to follow and is pretty inflexible with certain administrative issues. In this aspect, Kyla and Lezane are missing their CPH friends very much.  And of course missing the beautiful CPH weather.  I am more worried for Lezane as he has a track record of adapting issues.  I hope this school will be as patient as CIS.  For eg, the school pants are zip pants and I forsee him having problems with it, although i am trying to teach him by this week.

Although things are much easier going in the beginning as compared to CPH, I just feel very uncomfortable in an environment that is polluted, daily traffics jams, floods, many inconveniences here and there, etc.  Additionally, weikai's long unhealthy working hours are not helping much either.  I do not have much of an opportunity to have a proper conversation with him.  At least for me, I am beginning to feel that  this stint is beginning to strain our family relationship to some extent.  (Maybe is a call for us to go back home).  Sometimes, money is not everything.  Money cannot make up for lost time.

I am trying my level best to endure this posting.  Must learn to be more patient and complain less.  Afterall, I am fortunate compared to those who doesn't even have a shelter over their heads.  Gambate to myself!....

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Woohoo 1 year!

On this very day, Sept 4 2010, we stepped foot into Copenhagen (a place which we had to call home for about two years). Fond memories flashed back on the first instance when we were chauffeured to our hotel (not bad) on a super cool van. But 'not-so-fond' memories followed when we entered our first house (not one which I would call as home) in CPH. The first two months were not very pleasant as there were simply too many things to settle and the house was in a complete devastating state which made me very depressed too. Travelling to school was a chore as most of the time Lezane was inco-operative and displayed many unpleasant behavior. I was practically on the verge of a nervous breakdown during the last autumn/winter.

However, I am glad that all the unhappy situations are over now and we are all settling in well in Copenhagen. We shifted to a new place, which the kids and I are very fond of. And alot closer to school, which saved me lots of time compared to the previous house. Over the past couple of months, our kids bloomed- Kyla is on two wheel bike now, very vocal (sometimes too vocal), expressive, helpful etc etc, and Lezane also learnt how to cycle on his trainer bike and developed very good motor skills. He is totally off diapers since a couple of months ago, which saved us lots of luggage space when we travel. He too started school and started to speak with a wierd accent. He is also becoming more independent, thou he is still a mummy boy.

My kids are growing up too fast. As much as I complain about the physical tiredness everyday, I am thankful to be given this opportunity to stay home with them and watch them grow and be an intrinsic part of their life. I am still not used to the complete silence at home when they both are at school (what irony when i complained about them being rowdy and noisy at home).

Our CPH life has been surrounded with many lovely and helpful friends. Friends who are not only acquaintances but friends whom have helped us in times of emergency and need. They made our stay so much livelier and happier. Well, we are half-way thru our stay here. I am thinking that I will be very sad on the day we leave this country and move on to the next. But what to do, this is the life we chose.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Being a Parent Based Overseas

A recent Facebook post by a good friend and meet-up with girlfriends triggered this post to pen my thoughts about being a domestic engineer. The past one year plus had been like an exciting F1 race for my family and I. We relocated to two different countries and moved houses for four times. To Ms Heng's standard, this is crazy kind of life and this kind of life will go on until buddha knows when...

To many friends and people, it may seemed to them that stay-at-home mummies (SAHM) are tais tais and enjoying life with rich husbands bringing the bread home. What they saw were the happy smiley photos posted on blogs and facebook. But they did not see the other side of the picture.

A SAHM is a 24/7 job and no time for MCs or leave. MCs and leave are the entitlements that I can get to enjoy only when I am back to SG for hols. Of course, sometimes Weikai do also take care of Lezane on his off days so that I can get a breather. Even doing an hour grocery shopping without the kids can be a good form of therapy. When daddy has to be outstationed, mummy has to be even more independent in handling the kids all on her own.

Not only do we have to take care of their health, we have to ensure that Kyla and Lezane's educational level is on par with Singapore standards, lest they have difficulties in catching up when we return to base. This is the stressful part. I have to be alot more disciplined in teaching them Mandarin, Math and Science. In this aspect (and many other aspects), I really admire my sister-in-law, who is without any domestic helper now, being so dedicated in homeschooling her four kids and giving them an enriching life (leaving that only little time for herself). I definitely cannot give up that much of my time for my kids. I think I will end up in mental hospital.

A very hands-on spouse is definitely a must before one can even start thinking of relocation. And for this matter, I am very thankful that Weikai is one such spouse. A friend of mine once said, when you are overseas, it is very very important that the husband and wife must work as a team. I totally agree, especially so with regards to the mental state of the couple.

Although being an expat mum is very physically and emotionally challenging, I think I have grown in many aspects. I grew to be alot more independent and emotionally stronger in the mind. Kyla and Lezane too grew to be more adaptable, more open-minded, more outspoken and more independent (but i do hope they can sleep in their own rooms soon thou). I am also thankful that we are blessed with supportive friends in wherever we are. They are the ones who add cheer to our overseas postings, other than our family.

Side track, I must be more hardworking in keeping my blog alive...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Year New Home

Our big living room
Small Kitchen
Kids playing in the living rm

WK fixing the cupboards

The past month had been busy busy busy. We returned to Singapore for a short holiday and came back to the cold wintry CPH to shift house. This is our 4th time shifting house this year (sounds crazy right!).

This shift was a little crazy as the house came without lights and we got to know it only after we took over the keys. I was shocked when I realised there were no lights. WK was lost for words too. Apparently, when you rent an apt or hse in Denmark, it comes with nothing. You are given a freehand to design the house. (hahahah.... to us, we thought lights were the basic). Hence, immediately, we rushed to IKEA to get all the tools we need- drill set, screws, lights, etc etc. I am a goner when it comes to fixing things and hence WK automatically became the Tay's Handy Manny fixing lights and assembling all the furniture around the house. I was in charge of packing and unpacking. Finally, after 3 days of intensive unpacking, our new place is finally set up.
I am so thankful that our kid were patient and cooperative during this period of time. Otherwise the shift would be much more of a hassle. Some pictures of our new house above.....

Sunday, December 5, 2010

3rd Month

It had been only 3 mths that we have been here in Copenhagen but it seemed like a long time. We did quite abit of travelling within Denmark and the kids are loving this country. They have made friends and we (WK and I) have also made quite a number of friends, which makes CPH a much nicer place to live in amidst the super cold, gloomy weather during this period of time.

We have more or less settled down but we are going to shift to our new place (nearer school) in 3 weeks time. Sigh.....We have to start exploring the new place again. As much as I dislike the current house, I am going to miss the convenience of the place (supermarkets, amenities and shopping) are within 5 - 10min walk) and the big garden, where the children love to play. Positively, shifting to the new place will reduce my travelling time to school by more than half. But it also means travelling to work will be much further for Wk, and he will then be home later too. Well, we can never have the best of both worlds.

I am dreading the amount of packing and unpacking soon. sigh....