Monday, 19 September 2022

Kai is so tall now

Not too long ago - maybe this year? - he was just at my shoulder height. But he is now past my shoulder by quite a bit. When did that happen??

And on Mid Autumn day, we were playing that silly thumb game we used to play under the desk during boring lessons (oops) when I discovered that his thumb nail is bigger than mine!!

I held his thumb to pose

His hand is still smaller than mine but I guess not for long...

Even though he is taller now, and even though he can be difficult and cynical even, there are many times when he shows that he's just a small boy. Like when he hugs me to say something (actually more like grabbing me at the waist to stop me from being busy), when he pouts to ask for things (❤️) , or when he wants me to be with him (sometimes) at bedtime.

I need to remind myself that he is still a small boy and not be too harsh on him...

Monday, 12 September 2022

The moon is very round this year

I'm very happy that Mid Autumn Festival is on a Saturday this year - this means Sito is home and we can 月圆人团圆!In fact, we had two mid autumn excursions this year.

Two Saturdays ago, we went to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. I thought of it too late so the workshop we wanted was sold out. But the big lanterns looked cute on the website so off we went. And lucky us chanced upon a PA event at Zhongshan Park celebrating the festival!

So much fun at the bouncy castle!

And carnival games with prizes to be won!

Magic show on stage!

Yang won a big balloon!

They couldn't get enough of the games...

Dinner was at New Ubin Seafood again. We ordered less this time. Expensive zichar but worth it when the kids seemed to like the food.

Put them all on one side :p

And then we went back to the PA event. More bouncy castle, more games, and even a Chinese dance! I was so surprised that they sat through the dance. Maybe full from dinner plus tired from bouncy castle. As I wrote that last line, I felt glad they didn't puke!

Hello, us! 

Yes, watching the Chinese dance

And we still hadn't been to the lanterns, our original destination! So we finally brought them across the road to the now obvious lanterns coz it got dark. The lanterns were of planets. Don't know why it was not all eight *.*

I prepared a little quiz for them - to recite the names of the planets in English, Chinese and in order. We memorised this together before and it was fun to go through again! Or it was fun for me? :p Prizes were M&M fun packs!

Kai reciting the planets in order

My three lovely earthlings :)

Yang took this :)

Needless to say, we got home late. We also had to wait a bit for a taxi. And Yu had carsick - he didn't vomit but he started crying as we were nearing home :(

Last Saturday was the day of the festival itself. After dinner at Beng Hiang at Jurong East, we went to Jurong Lake Gardens for more big lanterns of the seasons and various countries. This time, I brought along a lantern with an electric bulb.

I love to see Kai hold Papa's hand :)

These two released water lanterns... into a tub *.*

Yu decided to join me in this photo :)

We walked quite a bit and Sito was thirsty. We happened to be at the concert place - yes, so 热闹!- and some F&B stalls. The queues were very long and very slow! Sito queued up with Yang for milk tea while I queued with Kai and Yu for sugar cane. At one point, we signalled to each other to just go home but the boys wouldn't hear of it! 

So we continued queueing and they continued grumbling... The music was quite nice though and thankfully it wasn't too hot. Sito got his milk tea and bandung drink shortly before me. Yu drank most of the bandung - told him he's like Papa who likes this drink. 

We got home even later this time. Our taxi cancelled on us after waiting a long time to get into the gardens. So we walked out and waited outside a school. Another taxi cancelled on us. We were lucky on the third try! Got home past 9 pm!!

Tired Yu sitting on my feet while waiting for our first taxi

Was glad that Yu felt quite ok this time round. He said being sleepy helped, hmmm... The boys dropped off soon enough. Must be tired. We also dropped off after stuffing down all four of our mini snowskin mooncakes haha! Those were our first mooncakes this year. Had a bit more at Mum's place yesterday but I think that was it! Save the calories, save the waist...!

We spotted the full moon on Saturday - it was big! But it was partially concealed by clouds. This morning, I managed to catch a shot of the still full moon. Happy :)

I remembered that last year, I wanted to make my own snowskin mooncake but was too late to start learning. The same thing happened again this year haha! Even busier now without extra help around the house. Anyway, Yu tried mooncake and didn't like it too much. Yang liked the mooncake yesterday. Kai, nooope! Hope they will all grow to enjoy mooncakes soon enough..

This was a really nice Mid Autumn Festival! :)

Thursday, 1 September 2022

Spam/Scam calls

I haven't received +65 calls for a while and suddenly, I got quite a number this week. And I got reminded to write about a few calls I got previously...

*** *** ***

Earlier this year, I received spam/scam calls about every other day. One week in March, two calls stood out.

1) Spam call

I was ironing when I got a call with no caller ID.

Caller: Hello, can you hear me?
mf: Ya..
Caller: (some loan offer)
mf: Thanks but I don’t need a loan, bye!

Phone rang 10 seconds later

Caller: Eh why you hang up on me like that? Your parents never teach you ah…
mf: ???! I said thanks I don’t need and bye. I’m going to say this again - thanks I don’t need a loan bye!

He called a third time but I ignored.

Cannot take no for an answer

2) Likely scam

Was on the train when I picked up a call with SG number - no +65. Below translated from Mandarin.

Caller: Hey mf, just want to tell you I changed my number.
mf: Ok… but who are you?
Caller: Huh you see new number cannot recognise me ah?
mf: No...
Caller: Eh *my full name*! We just talked at work you can’t recognise me! Why like that (etc etc) never mind I WhatsApp you la..

Well, no WhatsApp came in from this number.

He knew my full name; he spoke with a Malaysian accent which is common; he had me wondering if I might really know him until he mentioned work - I’m not working

I already shred documents with names and contact info. Looks like next is to remove my name from what? Online shopping?

*** *** ***

In June, I received type #2 again. No idea if it was the same guy but my response was different. Again translated from Mandarin.

Caller: Hey mf, just want to tell you I changed my number.
mf: Ok… but who are you?
Caller: Huh you see new number cannot recognise me ah?
mf: ... Oh, Michael ah?
Caller: Ya lor!
mf: So what's up?
Caller: Just give you my new number. Keep in touch over WhatsApp ok?
mf: Ok ok! Bye!

I think it was the next day when he texted me. I didn't see until later so he called me. I wasn't very free so I didn't play long.

Caller: Hello!
mf: Michael ah, what happened?
Caller: Nothing la...
mf: Then why call me when you just left office? Just go and deliver! I thought something is wrong with your delivery...
Caller: ... Never mind, never mind...

He had hung up. Could tell he sounded... awkward? Sian? Of course, couldn't scam me! Yeah!

*** *** ***

Back to this week. I rejected all +65 calls. But I had a bumper crop of calls on Tuesday, and Yang was with me at every step...

1) A legit call

I just stepped into the bathroom when my phone rang. 

Yang (in his usual loud voice, super cute): Mama! Your friend is calling! There is no +65! (Oh yes, I taught them :p)
mf: What's the name?
Yang: No name, just number!
mf: Oh, never mind then. Just let it ring. 
Yang: Oh, now there is a +65!
mf: ??

So the called had hung up and the missed call showed up on my home screen with a +65. Later on, the same number called again. Turned out to be the polyclinic verifying my residency status. I think these guys need some training - how could they call and ask for NRIC issue date immediately?! Nowadays with all these scams, we should be careful too. I once made my bank verify their identity first :p

Anyway, I told the lady I'm a Singaporean and asked her to confirm both my two bills with them were based on Singaporean charges. Goodness.

2) A call from Bolivia

I was in the kitchen when a got another call. 

Yang again: Mama, you have a call from.... Bolivia!
mf: ??

Turned out the country was shown on the call screen. Ok, I don't know anyone from there so told him to let it ring. Most probably a scam.

This year, I did pick up one call from overseas. It was +44 1865 - yup, I still recognise Oxford's area code! It was a call from a current student seeking donations.

3) Spam call

This one has no called ID. Yup, another one of those loans. He spoke Chinese and addressed me by my surname. When I said "yes?", he switched to English. Then I totally lost him - and told him so! I have no idea what you're talking about. He went on a bit more and I heard "credit". I asked if he was trying to ask me if I wanted to borrow money. No need, thanks. I can lend you if you want! Yup, I said that, haha! 

Yang said I outsmarted him, ha! 

Lesson here - instead of replying, just ask who the caller is.

Another lesson, learnt and put to use already - I'm glad I shared about spam/scam calls with the kids :)

The month to wear red and white

We started August with COVID and Yu's puke.

Got a call from the school that Yu puked after lunch and that he was crying from a stomachache. He also had a rash on his upper lip. I picked him up and went straight the NUH urgent care clinic located downstairs from the school since Raffles wouldn't open for another hour and I wanted to grab some food for him at Fun Toast just across from the clinic. Yu had only one slice of toast when the nurse called us from the door. So we packed the toast and went in. 

Yu was very cute at triage. A friendly nurse checked his oxygen level and chatted with him while I stood behind him and spoke with another nurse about his symptoms. I heard him say he was five and going to primary one next year, in a soft voice which was so unlike him! He was shy but very collected :)

The PD addressed him directly too. But a question really made me blink thrice - on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most painful, how would you rate your stomachache? I felt bewildered. I wondered how Yu felt; he was all quiet. I asked if he understood. Still quiet. Then the PD explained that 1 was like relaxed, like lying on the beach (!) and 10 was (some painful sounds). In the next second, Yu answered, softly of course, "Five."

But he couldn't describe his stomachache. I prompted him - was it poo poo pain? Was it vomit pain? Nope, he just shrugged. The PD also asked another question which I forgot but I remember his answer: I forgotted (sic).

I think he did very well :)

Anyway, no HFMD; the rash could be due to the wet nose-mask combi so I switched to cloth mask the next day. The stomachache and puking could be one off or the start of stomach flu. Just monitor and drink more water. 

There was some screw-up about medicine call not getting through. Lucky I went in to ask. Kai called while we were waiting for the medicine. Got him to heat up the pizza himself for his lunch. 

When we got home, I only managed to get Yang to finish his homework. Yang and Yu played together so well they couldn't hear me *.* I hope this was only coz they seldom played in the day on school days, else next year would be bad!!

Yu woke up late one day - not many more chances for such photos! 😢

A friend invited Yu to his birthday party. His mum invited ex teachers and ex classmates as well, as a gathering before primary school. It was so fun!! Think Yu spent an hour in the pool. I spent an hour standing by the pool looking like a hawk! He didn't have his puddle jumper with him as I heard it was a waddling pool but it was connected to the deep pool!

It was time for the playground after dinner so more play time! Then it was cake cutting and singing. The kids were jumping around happily! By then, I just sat and watched :p

Kai and Yang were home. I got them dinner before Yu and I left for the party. Sito cleaned up. Everything was done by the time we came home, which was like 9 pm? Kai and Yang were asleep by then!

Singing with his friends!

Source: Birthday boy's mum's video collage

And then it was National Day! Sito and I switched places - he got food while I isolated :p Well, somewhat isolated... :p KFC has become a standard so it was a lot of chicken while we watched the parade. The boys switched to YouTube Kids after 7 pm and turned back for fireworks after 8 pm.

Happy with dinner!

We just nua-ed at home on the school holiday after National Day coz COVID. So sad. The following week was another short week due to PSLE orals. Yu decided to stay home too *.* Got them to do some work on Monday coz I didn't manage to do any with them the past week. Also had a karaoke session :p Then they played Nintendo. 

Caught Yu in mid air as he jumped (off the sofa or up?) singing on the mic!

On Tuesday, we had an appointment to collect their passports. We got a queue ticket 5 min before our 2 pm appointment time. The ticket said there were like 200 pax in front of us. True enough, the place was packed! After standing for a short while, I found seats to keep the kids at one place... Kai nagged about waiting the whole time *.* Considering the crowd, I thought it was good that it got to our turn just past 2.30 pm!

There was just one seat in front of the counter and Kai must sit on it. And he must exclaimed why Yu was the first to get his passport. etc. Luckily the lady was very patient with us. Kai and Yang had their iris recorded; Yu was still too young. 

Early dinner at Paradise at Wisma!

Also bought popcorn for them before going for their haircut at Beauty World. Then I must grab some baked goods at Ng Kim Lee! Got them some popsicles to eat outside the shop so I could shop in peace. Got some muffins and cakes - happy :)

Still must look at the popsicles while eating...

I cut my finger again on Friday, 20 Aug. Broke a few bowls accidentally and was picking up the last big shard when I was cut. I quickly rinsed off the blood, pressed on it and sat on the sofa. Didn't feel faint; didn't faint. Phew! When I told Yu about it, he said I needed "mind power" (to help pick up the shards) - and he lifted both hands into the air! It was so funny!!!!!

Staycation again - way less snacks this time coz heavy dinner of fried rice with 加料

With the boy who recommended mind power to me :p

Sito came home on Saturday just before we left for dinner. He went out with us but did not eat as he wasn't hungry and he had to make a new pair of specs to replace the pair he lost that week. So kids and I had yummy tongue tip noodles - Kai ate so much! - before finding him at the specs shop. 

And just in time coz he almost got long-sighted glasses instead of short-sighted glasses! So apparently, he now has 老花 too but I don't think it's serious enough looking at the size of text on his phone... We make a good pair - I will see far for him and he will see near for me :)

Anyway, we borrowed some books from the library and exchanged some book bugs cards for the kids, and called it a day!

On Sunday, we went to the SGSecure roadshow downstairs. We queued for a show inside. Turned out to be a simulation exercise! Yu was sitting on my lap and when he heard the explosion sound, he jumped off and ran a couple of steps before turning to find me to go together! Poor boy had a big scare!

Little Yu being consoled by Papa after we exited the show

He didn't cry though. Kai and Yang were aware that wasn't real. Yu heard and continued with the exercise in another room, where we heard people trying to come in from the other side, where a man was "injured" and asked for help. Kai was nearest so I asked him to help. He didn't play along very co-operatively *.* He kept saying this wasn't real etc. The cynical teenager is emerging...!

They enjoyed the games at the roadshow

Eh hello, are you helping or killing the poor guy?! :p

Kai was listening to AED info while the other went hands-on already

We also watched a couple of clips on people helping in emergencies. Yang was especially interested. Need to introduce them to practical things like this. Shall find more to add to my home school slides on crisis management!

Some weeks, I'll bring Yu out for breakfast. He likes Yakun for one. He also likes being out with just me :) Only three more months of just the two of us!!!

Nope he didn't finish the whole plate...

As he was finishing his third piece, he pointed to the last piece on the plate and said, "I really can't handle this because I need (to drink) my milo." And he said it so seriously. I really could not handle it too, haha!

Btw, why must you button all the way up? :p

AhYe caught Covid so we spent another Sunday at home. Time to go Dian Xiao Er for dinner! I've been wanting to go for a while even though we just had the duck when I had Covid. Maybe I miss eating rice with chopsticks? So hard to do that at home coz I pile food into big bowls for everyone - save on washing up!

Yu was happy that Sito was rocking him with a shaking leg

He pretended to insert a coin - Papa has become a kiddy ride haha!!!

Mighty pleased look - and I like how he crossed his tiny arms :)

We had all finished and were waiting for Yang to finish. So this boy came over to our side. Oh, now we often sit the kids on one side where possible. Stare at them eating, heh! 

Very happy to get this shot!

I was sitting with them in front of the TV, and he leant on me. I miss this!! I whipped out my phone and took pictures discreetly... My big boy :)

Sito had a public holiday on the last day of August - yup, non-SG schedule! So we had a nice dim sum lunch and walked the mooncake fair at Takashimaya. Too full to sample mooncakes. We just bought our usual and tried a new one which had a nice box and taste. 

Happy us!

I put back my mask while Sito was happy to walk around maskless. Auntie must protect my nose... After dropping the mooncakes back home, Sito rested while I quickly packed a few things around the house before we went for a foot massage :)

We were going to get a drink when I received a call from the school. Yang called to tell me he hurt his leg and couldn't get back on his own. Sito went to fetch him and Kai while I got Yu and prepared for the evening.

Yang was limping. It was a superficial abrasion but a pretty large one. Took a long while and some drawing to figure out how he fell - on a kerb, slanted, and his leg dragged on the kerb causing the large red patch. He said the bone hurt and it wasn't orh cheh pain. But the skin felt more painful. 

There wasn't a raw wound or blood so I applied paw paw ointment and let him go without a bandage. But I let him skip school (Teachers' Day celebration) and check out the bone at the polyclinic. Thankfully no fracture! He's no longer limping but it still hurts. Could swim today too. Hope he gets all well very soon! Happy and healthy September, here we come!

Saturday, 13 August 2022

COVID struck again!

The last man has gone down now. Yup, Sito who escaped the past two times, finally could escape no more... Must have got it in KL as he was visiting various warehouses or something.

I heard Sito cough on Monday, 1 Aug. Not uncommon. Then at bedtime, he said he had a sore throat. Time to whip out the ART. The result was almost immediate as the capillary action (?) happened :(

That was past 11.30 pm, i.e. kids were in school night beds and only the upper bunk was available. Um, no. So I continued to sleep in our bed, but with a mask on.

His symptoms were mild. Sore throat was gone by late morning the next day. But he started feeling cold and developed a fever. The poor guy was mostly in bed on Wednesday. By Thursday, he was on the recovery curve.

Dinner was served at his desk - he said it felt like hospital *.*

His next test was Saturday, i.e. day 6. Still a dark line. That was the last time he tested, ha! By Sunday, he could go out after 12 noon - considered low transmission risk.

But... I tested positive on Monday morning :( I guess it's inevitable since I was still sleeping in the same bed and I woke a few times to find his mask lost in bed *.*

I was so glad I had been wearing a surgical mask around the kids since Sito tested positive, in case I had already caught it from him. In fact, I was surprised it took so many days for me to test positive - kids and I tested every school day so I could bring them to the bus stop.

When I developed a sore throat on Thursday, i.e. when Sito was still positive, I thought I was going to get it. A bad cough started from Friday. No body ache but that could be because I tried out a new massage machine from JY which was so powerful that I was hurting for a day! But nope, negative. So we thought I happened to have caught a nasty bug, since I brought Yu to the NUH PD clinic on Monday.

Then I developed a fever on Saturday after lunch. We all thought that was it. Yet, I remained negative. I even brought Yu to his friend's birthday part on Saturday evening! But I kept my mask on except when eating and taking that one photo. So far, no COVID news from the group haha!

I didn't test on Sunday as I didn't go out. Maybe I was positive then? No idea.

Sito started feeling sick again on Monday. We think I had the bug before COVID and he was having it after COVID *.* My cough when I first got COVID in February was not this bad. I'm still coughing...

Anyway, Sito took over the meals on Monday and Tuesday. He left on Wednesday so we had food delivered until Friday. I was very happy to find 25% off for Dian Xiao Er takeaway on weekdays so I asked Yang to collect it. Plus it was high time they got more vege!

This time, I felt very bored. I switched to N95 mask when I tested positive. So hot compared to February! I watched too much drama the past few days - sounds wonderful but it got boring staying in. 

Yu also felt bored - again, he couldn't go to school. I gave him unlimited access to TV and iPad from Thursday when his brothers returned to school but they became boring soon. The poor kid would stand at my door to tell me he was bored :(

Or roll on the sofa

Or watch Robot-kun

At first I thought it was so sad that he was watching Robot-kun mop the balcony! But right after this photo, he reached out with a leg *.* Bored, maybe; playful, definitely!

I was running low on ART kits so I didn't test after my positive result until this morning. It was a clear negative. So happy - coz we were down to our last bottle of milk so someone had to buy milk :p

We're going to stay in the next couple of days as well. No school for Kai and Yang on Monday and Tuesday due to PSLE orals so I think I'll just keep Yu home. It happens that there's some virus going around in school; two friends are down with high fever.

Will continue to test the kids next week just in case. Hope they stay negative 🤞

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Start of the second half of 2022

Sometimes, I don't realise it's 2022 already. COVID seems to have caused some confusion in me. Maybe it's the "lost time" - such precious little socialising in 2020 and 2021. Maybe it's what Yu said - why is COVID (20)19 still here when it's already (20)2x?

So we're now in the second half of the year. So fast! I'm determined to get the kids more localised...

On our way to the hawker centre - only the baby got to wear his PJs 

My boys in the playground!


That was a very familiar playground even though the equipment had changed a bit. It was the one near our old place. We went back there for house hunting - well, more on this another day...

Since we were there, we went to Star Vista for dinner. 

Happy with his burger!

Stuffing his mouth with a hotdog bun

He wanted his photo retaken so that he could pose properly

Yu was blowing bubbles into his drink - using his nose!!!

Trying to make lazy GeGe's bed so that they could watch TV

He made a sad face!

I made these signs for my bathroom door - mummies the world over would understand...!

Then, before I could introduce the signs to them, Yang knocked for some trivial thing. When I asked him why, he said I wrote “快敲门”!Ok, an introduction is a must! Read the arrows! Green for yes and red for no!

A few weeks in, I think the signs aren't working too well, haha!

These two like KFC

Yu likes KFC too but he ran off with Yang who didn't like it and who found it too hot! We didn't queue to enter the exhibition coz it was too long.

Went to the playground instead

And had a happy dinner at Bornga!

Kai looked like: Why you steal my show??!

We had a similar shot in 2013 at Bornga at Star Vista :)

Sito showed Yang the receipt for dinner, and...

Yang was appalled to know that a small piece of BBQ meat cost $3 - "we're never coming back here!" So funny!

Love this shot :)

Who's the master mind??

Pool time coz it was hot

We haven't come to this pool for a while and Yu is now tall enough to go without his puddle jumper! He was very pleased and so were we :)

That day, we had steamboat for dinner. Yes, it was a very hot day! But we spent some time in the pool too? :p The kids finished more than a 300g box of beef rolls. I was very happy - eat more!!!

Two weeks ago, Sito came back on a Saturday instead of Friday. So the kids and I went to fetch him, yeah! But we were late and his flight arrived early. In the end, he came to welcome us at Changi MRT station instead *.* 

Oops, Kai was trying to put Papa's arm over his head

Gave them a lollipop as a reward for being (relatively) well-behaved on the long train ride there. It helped keep them (more or less) quiet on our way to Jewel.

... Why so many qualifiers in brackets?! Haha! My kids....

Anyway... We saw DTF the moment we entered Jewel. No one outside so we thought no queue. Wrong. Virtual queue! So we walked on and found Jumbo - why not? :) But we didn't order crabs la. Too much work. Had chilli crab sauce with buns instead.

Looking at the fish outside Jumbo 

Yang and Yu liked the fountain a lot more this time than back in 2020 when we last came here

Helping Papa or playing??

That afternoon, I brought the kids to YX's place for a play date while Sito rested at home. Just as well, coz our new washing machine arrived at 5.30 pm! So much for night delivery...

Must play chess on a play date

DT was there with his family as well, so five boys and two girls in total. But they didn't play together, haha! SF cooked a lot as usual. We had a good chat while the kids played. Finally left just past 8 pm. I think the kids were quite pleased to stay up past their usual bedtime...

Kai was very happy to get and solve a new 8-cube!

But the cube is now lying on my desk, with a few loose pieces *.* So difficult to fix back! Ok, I try later...

While waiting for neighbour popo - Yu had to make and give this card to someone and he chose her

Hurt-my-knee playground struck again - Yu had a bad scrape on his left knee on Saturday as we left the playground. Actually we were nearer the traffic light than the playground when he fell while scooting. So hard to put the dressing on him - always moving or shaking, grrr! Baby, only four months left in kindy!!