Friday, December 31, 2010

Running the last leg of 2010

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[picture credit: weheartit]

Happy new year's eve!

Seriously time really passes too quickly. Can't it just take a break for me to catch up with it?

I've been feeling so drained the whole of December. Running errands all over Singapore, buying presents and thinking of ideas to brighten up people's day. Not to mention meeting up with all my lovely friends. All these give me a boost of adrenaline. However, amidst the drowning sea of work? It simply drains me.

I even thought of trying up to finish all my 2010 blog posts by the end of the year but it's quite impossible as I don't have the time to continue updating about August.

Just now I managed to get home early at about 10.45pm. If not for the throbbing head, I would not have left earlier. I savoured my hor fun dinner ever so slowly in front of the TV and realised that I haven't been catching my CSI for weeks. CSI Miami is already ending its season with a serial killer; I've since got lost in CSI Vegas; CSI New York had always been the one which I would try not to miss and I'm waiting for the new season to start.

So without working my mind too much, I just sat down and watch AXN and Star Movies till now. Pure simple pleasure.

Whenever I meet up with the different groups of friends recently, it's always a hurried affair as I'm constantly on the rush for the next activity of the day. Unless of course, you belong to the last group of activity for my day would I have spent a lot more time with you. The different groups would ask me what I've been up to as I sound really busy.

Work has been hectic due to the revamp of our curriculum. We are slowly losing speed and we're no longer doing our stuff 1 month in advance. While the rest of the working world is happily taking leave during this festive season, my dept has trouble clearing leave.

I was looking at my subordinates working hours the other time and they've been working between 45 to 50 plus hours per week quite regularly when our average weekly hours is supposed to be 42.5 hours! 48 to 50+ was what I was a few years back. I do not want them to be sucked into this whole vicious cycle and go through the same experience as me.

Nevertheless, there is only so little I could do to help. Maybe I should stop editing and making so many changes to the worksheets so we could all have lesser work to do. However, now that I have the manpower, I find it inevitable to change so many parts which I've longed to changed when I was doing a one-man show a few years back and then a pair-work thereafter when permanent help arrived. It's just in me to keep on trying to improve the the materials especially after I've browsed through the materials of some other companies in the same line. I just want ours to be the best as they can be for our targeted consumers. Sometimes when an idea hit me, I would just think of changing a whole part of the materials, thinking only of the benefits and not the cost of changing it.

Kh and I have yet to go on our honeymoon and we've been married for more than a year! I wanted Europe. He said I won't have time for it. I weighed my prioroties and spoke to my bosses about it and they gave me the green light to take a 3 weeks break if I want. But how can I when there's so much work to be done?

He's been wanting to go on a trip, a short one would suffice. We usually go on trips during January and not December as we hated crowds. He asked me for my work schedule so he could start locking those days in but I can't give him a definite answer. In the end, he just went ahead and took a week's leave.

I really don't want to disappoint him.

I just wish for the whole holiday season to end so I could fuel the engine again and start trying to clear enough in advance for me to go on a trip with a settled mind.

May 2011 not be such a bitch.

PS: Sorry for the rant and possible spelling, grammar, punctuation and expression problem up there. I'm typing whatever comes to my mind and obviously I don't think in perfect prose.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

What if Santa were Satan

1. He'll fill your stocking with actual feet

2. When you write to him asking for presents, you must now sign your name in blood and pledge your mortal soul.

3. He's fired all the elves and replaced them with child labour fom Africa.

4. He's given you somebody else's two front teeth instead.

5. "Ho ho ho" is replaced by "Bwah ha ha".

6. Its better to be in his 'naughty' list than his 'nice' list.

7. You asked him for Wii, and what you got was some urine in the box.

8. All those kids who sat on his lap have now kena piles. [In local speak, 'kena' means 'gotten'.]

9. Rudolph has been renamed Adolph.

10. And those hoof prints on your roof actually belong to him.

Taken from: The Last Page 8 Days #1052


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Hope you enjoyed that sick little list up there. I'm a fan of such.

Merry Christmas everyone!

May the many blessings of love, peace and joy be with you always.

xoxo
Jolene

Merry Christmas!

Wasn't Christmas just yesterday? It certainly didn't feel like one year had passed.

What a memorable Christmas 2009 was in NYC where we were all gathered here at Ronald MacDonald House for a Christmas lunch.



Such wonderful memories...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Unfolding July's Folder -- The Trails

Updating the trails of what happened in July...

~*Farewell for our temp 小弟*~


Our combined gift for our 小弟. Presenting...
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and the people

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Boys do not seem to be able to follow instructions.

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~*The hubby's turn to burn a hole in my pocket*~


The night before my hubby's birthday, we had dinner at Sushi Tei with my FIL. It was supposed to be a family affair but my 2 BIL couldn't make it in the end while my MIL decided that her Taiwan drama serial was more important than her son so it was just the 3 of us.

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The birthday boy was really greedy and ordered everything he felt like eating while my FIL and I kept asking if he was able to finish all the food.

He did...

Well, almost. We "takeaway" the beef and mushroom dish for my MIL. My FIL wanted to instruct the waitress to pack the prawn for my MIL too when greedy kh casually reached out for the last prawn and devour it in a flash. He even helped me finish my salmon and roe rice.

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We still had room for desserts!

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I like macha green tea ice cream a lot more than black sesame but it was kh's call that night. Hence, we ordered the latter. For tangy flavours, I would always order the pineapple ice that looks uncannily like a real pineapple but tastes better than a real one without hurting the tongue.

After dinner, we had some time to shop. I spotted a shoe shop called Daphne with Taiwanese pop girl band S.H.E fronting the glass windows and decided to check out their shoes.

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I've never seen this brand anywhere and asked the shop assistant if it was a new company. She replied that it is a popular line of shoes originating in Taiwan which produces comfortable shoes yet doesn't compromise on looks.

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I was sold by what she said and by this pair.

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When my eyes fell upon the shoe box with Rene Liu staring blankly at me, I can't help feeling amused.

Even the elegant Rene Liu endorses this brand? I was all the more convinced with my prudent buy.

I've always been buying my work shoes from the likes of Scholls and Clarks due to my feet problem. Everyone knows that comfort and beauty do not go hand in hand in the shoe department so you could visualise how ugly my work shoes are. Imagine my joy when this pair fitted my feet like Cinderella's glass slippers upon the first try. I walked and jumped in it too! It was comfortable and it paired well with my jeans. I did not walk like a klutz in them and kh gave this pair the thumbs up, saying that it looked better than my normal work shoes.

I was jubilant. Proud of the purchase I've made, I decided to go shopping the next day in this pair to test its comfort. More on that later!


The next day, I treated kh to Italian buffet at Basilico.

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Great food! I love all the rosy sheets of cold cut hams! We ate and ate and ate for almost 2 hours.

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Their desserts weren't too bad. Both the tangy and creamy ice creams were heavenly.

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A champagne buffet was available too but we did not opt for that as we would not make our money's worth with the price tag that went along with the free flow of champagne.


After we had eaten our fill, I brought kh out for an all expenses paid shopping trip. It was really fun seeing him venture out of his fashion comfort zone. He's usually a regular polo and berms or jeans guy but that day, we bought casual blazer, colourful and loud berms, pants and footwear in psychedelic print.

Ok "psychedelic" was an exaggeration but what he bought was a huge a deflection from his usual style.

We bought apparels which covered him from head to toe and the hole in my pocket increased in diameter at an exponential rate.


5 paper bags full of apparels for him which gave him the passport to reclaim back his closet space from a sixth to a fifth of the space.

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My only loot for the day -- Pedro bling bling slippers

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[Start of rant]
To continue my shoe story, I would not have bought the slippers if not for the fact that the Daphne shoes almost killed me! My whole feet up till my knees turned all red that I could walk no more and had to buy footwear to change into. I was elated when I saw SALE signs plastered all over Pedro. I chose from their range of 50% off and headed for the cashier, only to be told that this pair was not on discount. It was placed a few millimetres away from the discount sticker range in the shelf and I had mistakenly thought it was on discount.

$40 for a replacement footwear was way too much but I was too embarrassed to put it back especially since I was already getting ready to pay at the cashier. Kh also told me not to bother too much as he thought the slippers were quite pretty.
[End of rant]


Mickey man!

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The Mickey Mouse tee was one of the T-shirt he bought and changed into immediately just for fun. On normal occasions, he would not even take a second look at such childish print tee. FYI, the traditional Mickey Mouse in that trademark pose is a fashion statement ok? I recall DKNY manufacturing clothes with that Mickey Mouse pose a few years back. D&G recently saw Mickey and Minnie Mouse tees strutting down the runway. Since then, the Mickey fashion has been scampering up and down the fashion scene.


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~*Halia Restaurant & Hair for Hope*~

On a resplendent Sunday morning --afternoon to be exact-- tif and I met up for a hearty brunch at Halia Restaurant before heading down to Vivocity to support xtina for her HFH campaign.

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Lovely ambience

by day
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& by night
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[Photo credit: http://www.halia.com.sg/singapore/html/halia_restaurant.html]


I've since worked out a fondness for breakfast that is served till the afternoon. At Halia, brunch is served till 3pm. Perfect excuse not to skip breakfast for an insomniac like me!

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There's every reason why breakfast is served till 3pm. With food so delicious, it's only right that it's made available for a longer duration. I took great satisfaction in their orange salad. On the other hand, tif who was suffering from severe famine did not take well to that, declaring that the acid was gnawing at the internal walls of her stomach.

I'd wanted to explore Botanical Gardens as the last time I was there was when I was a little girl. However, we were running late for xtina HFH event and had to leave.


We still managed to take some snapshots of the surroundings though.

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A few months back, I've blogged about xtina's unwavering courage to sacrifice her hair in a bid to raise funds for charity.

I'll be including some photos of the event again in this post. To read more, click on the link in the paragraph before this.

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After we parted ways with xtina, tif, zanne and I had peppery bak kut teh for dinner at the crowded food court and Häagen-Dazs for desserts and chats following that.

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Cute little toddler from one half of a pair of twins melted tif's heart and she started playing with him for a while.

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~*Random stuff in July*~


Sunset skies taken using my hp.

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J poem from pris

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Muffin with love from one of my fave student.

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I adore this smart and well-behaved P6 boy a lot. Although I'm a little sad that he did not continue attending my sec 1 class, I was ecstatic when I found out that he scored 263 for his PSLE.

Good attitude and good results are two of the best gifts a student can give his or her a teacher.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Look!

I went to the $2.50 salon near my family home which has since increased its price to $3.50 to cut my fringe. In a spur of moment, I did this...



What do you think?

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I've got a new look for my blog too. Christmas is round the corner and it has started to snow on my blog! The snow flakes would change their direction in accordance with your mouse movement.


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Updated: 21 December, 11:37pm

Ok... I've got a confession to make... I LIED.

*sheepish smile*

I didn't cut my hair short. Those were all my layers brought forward and the longer parts hidden from view.

I would cut such hair when I'm 30+ trying to look 18. I promise when I'm 30+, I won't lie about this anymore. =)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bimbotic Whine!

When: Last update on 16 Dec, 2am
What: Depotting of my UDEPP and hospital visits afterthoughts

[Scroll down to check the latest update of this post]

I dropped my Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion on the floor yesterday morning and it broke! Not just a hairline crack or a fracture; it eff-ing BROKE! The whole piece came off.



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My heart ached when I saw this. I've always been using it with great care, as if it were really a potion. I used it sparingly, never touching the sponge tip applicator itself but to use my own cotton bud to swipe excess off the wand.

I hurriedly used a scotch tape to tape up whatever I can and decided I should watch some youtube videos on how to "depot" the potion when I got home last night. I'm not sure how long the "potion" inside could last with it being exposed.

However, I did not do so coz...

There was the company's xmas party with a bling bling theme and disco night thereafter and so me being me with the mentality that a party is never complete without booze, I drank a little (2 glasses lychee martini, 3 glasses vodka lime, helped viv drink hers and I think that's all I could remember but my colleagues said I drank more and viv insisted she always saw a fresh glass in my hands) so I was quite high and pukey (I actually puked) that once I got home, I slept the nausea away, woke up at 5am, washed up and went back to sleep.

Wow, I don't think there was more than one fullstop in the above paragraph but that's beside the point. So anyway, I managed to wake up early for driving and I was quite proud of myself. So here I am all sober and whiney about frivolous issue like UDEPP.

Ok and since I'm being bimbotic now, I shall post a quick one on my bling bling eye make up.


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One make up tip to open up the eyes is to use white eyeliner instead of black. That's what renowned make up artists proclaim. It works the opposite for me though. I definitely need to line my eyes black black to look awake. There was once I went to work without lining my eyes black black and everyone, colleagues and students alike, asked if I was sick.

For yesterday I've still gotta tightline my eyes black before outlining it with some glittering white eyeliner/shadow pencil I got from SASA to achieve the bling bling effect rather than to only use the white eyeliner on its own. The outcome doesn't look super bling in the photo coz I didn't put on falsies, shimmery eyeshadow and coloured contacts since it was too much for a work day at a neighbourhood location. I envy my friends who work in town coz they can put falsies every day.

Ok it's noon. I shall take a little nap first before running my many errands (which does not include depoting the UDEPP coz I'm just so lazy with 1001 other things to do) and 2 hospitalization visits. I hope everyone is ok.

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Last update: 16 Dec, 2am

I didn't manage to run all the errands I wanted to coz I ended up taking a 3 hour nap. Nevertheless, I'm happy to see that the 2 people I visited at the hospitals just now are doing well.

My ah ma (paternal grandma) was admitted as she had a fall. Before that, she had water retention and her tummy and feet were so bloated. Her feet especially. They were more than double their original size and I'm not exaggerating. The doctors could not find any cause for the bloatedness from all the tests and scans so far so that's a blessing. However, I heard from my parents that the first time she was warded, she fought hard and refused to have any tubes, needles etc inserted. She also insisted on going to the toilet herself. In the end, they had to tie her to the bed and she cried so hard while fighting.

I'm glad to see that the swelling for her feet has gone down but she's been a little senile lately. In her eyes, my sisters and I are always these small kids who are still studying. She said that she couldn't recognise us anymore. She asked us 5 times at sporadic intervals if we're still studying and we answered her 5 times that we are working. Just when we thought she was really senile, she suddenly called my sis and me by our names which was a pleasant surprise. I think I should visit her more often but I'm saddened by the fact that I cannot communicate well to her in Hokkien. All I could do is spout a few phrases here and there.

Glad that she's alright now!

The 2nd person we visited was my uncle (my mum's sister's husband). He had bloated feet and uncomfortable bloatedness in his tummy. He's been drinking less water lately and he feels an uncomfortable sensation in his tummy, as if the food can't be digested. He decided to go to the polyclinic when the bloating in the feet became unbearable. Over there, the doctor found his blood pressure to be 210 and was referred to A&E. Soon scans and tests results show that he has 3 arteries from the heart not functioning well at 100%, 70% and 60% failure.

That's why they say heart attack is a silent killer. If not for the fact that my uncle could not fit into his shoes due to bloatedness, he would not even have gone for a check up and found out about his condition. He would be undergoing a heart bypass surgery in a few days time. We're all glad to see him being so happy and positive. He could talk a lot and even cracked jokes.

He told us that the current Changi General Hospital (CGH) used to be called New Changi Hospital with acronym NCH which implies "Never Come Home". Hence, the govt wanted to erase this negative image and changed its name to CGH which means "Can Go Home". However, now that he had transferred from CGH to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for his surgery, he's really happy coz SGH means "Surely Go Home".

Singapore and its acronyms!

So anyway, I finally had the time to watch some videos on "depotting" UDEPP and have depotted mine.


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Look at how much that small little magical tube could hold! I'm so glad I didn't use the smaller jar.

I did waste some as it was really difficult to scrape all the ones out from the surface of the spatula, wand and cotton bud. If I just leave them there to be used later today, it would just be hardened gunk.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Unfolding July's Folder -- Charmaine's Birthday

~*Charmaine's Advanced Birthday*~

For Charmaine's birthday this year, Make-A-Wish Foundation organized an advanced birthday party cum concert for her at Grand Hyatt Hotel.

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Charmaine had always dreamed of singing in a concert with all her favourite people in the audience. Hence, the birthday party cum concert idea was born.

Before the event, char and jase had to attend singing lessons to prepare them for the stage.


This was taken two nights before the event when the kids were at my (in-laws) place for the first time.

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The day finally arrived!

The kids were really thrilled once they stepped into the suite.

I was too; I was busy taking photos.

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Other than the usual fruits, we were greeted with a box of delectable chocolates from mezza9. The little bouquet there was presented to char by the sweet people at Hyatt.

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Very soon, they started getting comfy and hauled their snug blankie out of the bag.

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It was big char's birthday the day before.

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After that, everyone got changed while waiting for the staff to cue us to go down.

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It was really funny when cyn blurted out that she felt like how a mother would feel when her daughter got married. The anxiety of it all while fussing about everything and waiting for the magic moment to arrive.

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While waiting, the kids rehearsed their parts and boy was cyn anxious coz they were still forgetting their lines and steps then.





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We were famished coz the party got delayed and hence we called for room service.

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I lurve the food! The fragrant chicken rice, the succulent roast duck. Yummy!

Appropriate caption for this should be: The fat greedy pigs

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Advancing to the ballroom

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There was a kids magician dressed as a clown there to entertain the kids.

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kh was dragged up on stage. He looked really silly and the kids were having a ball of a time laughing at how silly their godpa looked. We shared the same table with a boy who had survived cancer and he was called on stage to pop the balloon above kh's head by aiming a dart at him from afar. Oh how I love the boy's winsome smile!

After that, the clown got jase and char up on stage to engage them in a trick or two.

No photos of food at all! Quite rare for someone like me who usually takes more food pics than human pics. We were busy snapping memories of the day's event.

All of us didn't eat a lot for the lunch buffet as we've already eaten our fill but I must say that their ice cream station was the best! Never eaten such good sorbet and chocolate ice cream at a bufffet before.


Next, it was time for the mini concert.

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Jase and Charmaine's duet Lenka - The Show
Charmaine's solo Miley Cyrus - The Climb
[Click to open in new window for video description]




Encore [Click to open in new window for video description]




While singing, a birthday cake in the shape of a blue pony was wheeled out on a trolley. That surprised all of us as we weren't informed about it.

Charmaine was really thrilled by the blue pony cake.

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Award presentation for our feisty princess




The adults agreed that the blue cream from the cake tasted really weird and it left our tongues blue.

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Taken by my sis i-phone from another angle while Jase marched in front on purpose, huge balloons in his hand. I love the candidness of this photo.


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My sis thought Jase looked really like Precious Moments boy boy and wanted a photo with him no matter what so she asked me to "lure" him towards her and took a pic together in front of the mirror coz he thought it was fun to do so.


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My hip mummy loved leopard "preens".

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We are family... My dad and sis spoilt the pic by not sticking out their tongues.

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Friends are family.

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Thank you Make-A-Wish Foundation for making Charmaine's wish come true and Grand Hyatt Singapore for hosting the event.


Back at the suite, the kids were tired but char wanted to "swim" in the bathtub no matter what.

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The rest stayed over but kh and I went back home.

The next day, cyn told us that the hotel was not only giving cyn and the kids free buffet lunch but extended the invitation to her lovely friends who were there with them the day before too. We were really touched by their kind gesture. Being greedy pigs, of coz kh and I couldn't turn down the invitation.


Here there we were at Straits Kitchen which was serving lots of local and Asian food. Yummy yummy!

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Seeing wenz morph into a lapis monster...

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We got inspired too.

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Do you eat kueh lapis by peeling off layer by layer too? I don't, but the boys do. I prefer to chow down my lapis by biting off.


Feisty girls

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All of us had a satisfying lunch.

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Thank you once more to all the good people at Grand Hyatt!


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~*Charmaine's Actual Birthday*~

Charmaine's actual birthday was coincidentally my off day. I arranged with cyn to bring the kids out for some "beach" fun at Hard Rock Hotel pool. The kids hadn't been to the beach for a long time and they were starting to miss beach outings.

Cyn decided to keep the place a secret for she wanted to surprise them. Big char was supposed to join us but could not join us in the end for she had caught some bug.

When we were in the cab, char kept asking where we were going and we dropped hints here and there. Very soon, she was really excited when she guessed Sentosa. To her, Sentosa is synonymous to roller coasters at Universal Studios. After our trip there in May, she has been constantly asking when she could sit on her favourite roller coaster again.

Soon we reached Sentosa. I explained to her that the place was so big that we were going to explore another part other than Universal Studios. In my heart, I went "uh-oh" for fear that she would be disappointed.

She was disappointed.

She went "Huh......" in a droning manner to show her disappointment. But she didn't remain disappointed for long for once she saw the simulated beach pool, she could hardly contain her excitement. By then, Jase was clearly excited by the sight in before him too.

They started asking mummy if she brought their swimwear and when cyn produced their swimwear out from her bag like how a magician pulls a bunny out from his hat, the kids literally squealed. They had no idea that mummy had their stuff in her huge bag all along.

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It was a joy seeing their expressions.


So here we were at Hard Rock poolside! The kids were so eager, they immediately kicked their shoes off to feel the soft sand under their feet.

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[Some bimbotic exclamation aside: Gosh! Waist length. I think this is the longest I've ever kept my hair until.]


EeW! I could never ever sit in the sand like that! They loved it though and was frantically trying to burrow themselves into the sand.

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Look at them! So happy to go into the water.

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After putting on their goggles, they were all ready to swim.

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They started to pick up some stones from the sand which looked really like the colour and had the texture of a chicken's eggs. From there, we busied ourselves searching for "eggs". Whenever they collected a handful (which isn't a lot considering how small their hands were), they would head back to shore to find a safe spot to bury them.


Next, we went to the kids water playground.

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Char was really afraid to slide down and asked me to accompany her. We ended up sliding a lot faster since I was very much heavier. In all honesty, I was scared too for I really could not control the speed we were sliding at and I was very afraid char would get thrown off.

After that, she did not dare to slide down anymore. Even though she was laughing away, I knew she was scared. We coaxed her to try it on her own as the speed would be slower but she did not want to.

On the other hand, Jase was sliding like a pro. He could do it on his own but he always needed me to stay somewhere near him as he was afraid of the bigger boys. There were some boys who were really rowdy and they just ran and cut the queue in front of Jase when he was walking up the stairs gingerly for fear of falling. They also loved sliding down and creating huge splashes. Some of them remained in the water at the bottom of the slide which resulted in the next person bumping into them.

I used them as example to tell Jase what and what not to do: wait for the child in front of him to slide down and move away completely before sliding down himself, move aside immediately when he reached the bottom and to climb out of the water on his own.

He put everything into practice. Even though it seemed like a small matter, seeing Jase sliding down smoothly and knowing how to move to the side once he got to the bottom made cyn and I so proud of him as we watched nearby.

He's a big boy now!


Next, it was time to build a sandcastle. We did not have sand equipment with us so we could only build a sand mountain.

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Feisty mum and babe doing some super hero poses.

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They wanted to do some "real swimming" so they started paddling like how dogs swim and boasting that they were swimming.

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Cyn was talking to me about something when out of the blue, char started spreading sand paste on cyn and said, "Mummy, I help you massage."

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All i could do was to laugh like a hyena. I hoped the word "exfoliate" stuck in her vocab bank. Cyn commented that I'm always teaching char bimbotic words.


mums & babes

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Their eggs collection

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Love this pic!

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The sun had set and it was time to go. If not for the gnawing hunger, the kids would not have agreed to leave the place at all.

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After showering and feeling all refreshed, we advanced to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner where kh joined us.

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The good people at Hard Rock presented an ice cream topped with whipped cream and candles and sang a rock birthday song for char.

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Look at her gleeful cheeky look up there!


Perspective
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She took a few spoonfuls of the dish and left the rest untouched for it was too sweet. By then, we were all too full to help her finish.


Up on the stage for a parting shot.

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Feisty Char needs bullets to fight!

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