The School Holidays Begin

November 17, 2013 at 11:10 am

And so, the school holidays have started. The girls will be home with me, and boy, it’ll be tough keeping them occupied so that they don’t disrupt me working.

I’d kind of laid down the rules, before they get to watch TV or use the iPad, the girls have to pick 2 of my activities every day from : 1) writing on their journal; 2) learn and write 4, 5 new Chinese idioms (for Zara), and words (for Zaria); 3) do 4, 5 pages of work sheets. They have also smartly laid down their rules, on days I don’t work (i.e. Saturdays and Sundays) they don’t have to do their work. They said,“It’s a holiday for you, so it’s also a holiday for us!”.

Here is Zaria’s writing last Wednesday, looking forward to her holidays.


(See what she calls me! At least she knows who’s the boss.)

How To Stay Safe – From Children’s View

October 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm

The recent case of a 15 year old being murdered, has made me extremely worried about my girls. (What is this world coming to?)

I went on to share with the girls some of safety measure they could take to prevent themselves from being a victim. Just to make sure they understand it, their writing project yesterday was to write about How To Stay Safe.

One thing still missing from their list, that is to keep their parents informed wherever they go. I have to continue to drill that.

And mind their spelling, they don’t use spell check like us adults on the PC/phone/tablets.

(Zaria still have a very vague understanding of what rape is, but Zara knows what happen in a rape, and she said it’s too disgusting to write it down in her journal.)

Fist Fighting – By The Girls

October 1, 2013 at 11:23 pm

The girls although love each other and enjoy each other’s company very much, they are also always bickering over the smallest issues. Lately, they have even started fist fighting!

One day, it was because Zara drew a picture of Zaria kissing someone. *POW* Zaria gave Zara a punch, and then Zara punched back, and then the punching began, until I intervened. So as a punishment, they had to write 20 lines “I shall not fight (with my sister) anymore.” in Chinese.

As if they learnt.

Another day, Zara tickled Zaria when Zaria was doing a handstand on the sofa (which is forbidden); to retaliate, Zaria put her hand into Zara’s pants and started tickling Zara’s buttocks. Zara of course didn’t like it, and started beating Zaria, and Zaria fought back; it was PUNCH PUNCH BEAT BEAT until I intervened. Again, they have to write 20 lines “I shall not fight (with my sister) anymore.” in Chinese. Sigh.

Here are their comic strips capturing the ‘moment’.

o.O” (And they said I’m mean for punishing them!)

Do your kids fist fight with each other too?

My Mom Is Bossy – By The Girls

September 10, 2013 at 4:22 pm

The girls don’t have to go to school this week from Monday to Thursday because of UPSR, so I drew a schedule for them to follow. Basically for the whole day, I’d planned out that for 3.5hrs they need to do some worksheets and journal writing and for the rest of the time it is free and play time.

I had a clause that states if they played with Bubbles, our dog, during the time allocated for work, I’ll minus points for each offence, and if a total of 10 points were accumulated, I won’t bring them ice skating.

They were not happy when they first saw it.
Zara : 你的字那么的丑,我都不会读. (Your writing is so ugly, I can’t even read.)
(I sat them down and made them read through, and understand the clause)
Zaria : You are so bossy you know.
Zara : (annoyed) 遵守什么? 什么都要遵守, 不然就扣分!? Haiyoh! (Follow the rules, everything also must follow the rules, or else minus points.)

So for the day’s writing, they did a comic strip about me.

Zara’s.

Zaria’s.

Bubbles, Our New Dog

September 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm

For the longest time, the girls have been asking us for a dog. Last weekend, we succumbed to their request.

Bubbles, a 2 year old West Highland Terrier, was adopted, and moved in with us on Sunday.

I’ll let the girls tell you about him.

From Zaria.

From Zara.

Zara’s Writing – Day 3 Starter Camp At Radiant Retreat

August 29, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Continues from here. (Typed out as per how Zara wrote it.)

Today, after a wonderful breakfast, we went to an animal farm. On the drive there, I started to feel dizzy and I’m telling you that ride was worse than a roller coaster. When we reached, I thanked God that ride was over.

We saw deers and rabbits at the farm. I wanted to pet a deer but I was afraid the deer might kick me, so I decided to pet a rabbit insted. I saw a cute rabbit and started chasing it around. When it stoped I pated it and fed it a leaf. Surprisingly the rabbit liked it so I gave it more.

When we got back, we had lunch and played more archary. I met a Malay boy there and he teached taught me how to aim even better. We played and chatted for one hour, then I went back to my room. I chatted with my friends and each of us had to tell a joke and a ghost story. Before I (k)new it the transport was here.

(no photos from the camp host Radiant Retreat as most photos taken were of the group playing paintball)

Zara’s Writing – Day 2 Starter Camp At Radiant Retreat

August 29, 2013 at 7:57 am

Continues from here. (Typed out as per how Zara wrote it.)

Today, after a delicious breakfast, we went for archary and I always hit the target. After the archary, we studied the fish that we caught. The teacher fliped it around and I started to have goose pimples.

We ate a gourmet lunch. Then we went to a men made forest. It looked more like a pinetree farm.

When we came back, we went fishing, we could dig up worms to fish, but the girls preferd to use bread. Some boys fell into the river and had to dismiss fishing.

For dinner, we BBQed the fish we caught and ate it. In the night we had a safety talk. Before we went to bed we told each other jokes, and they laughed so loudly and they stomped on the floor. And when I went down I heard the thumping of elephants. By the time I went to our room, all my roommates were asleep.

(Here are some photos taken by the camp organiser for Day 2 by Radiant Retreat)

Continues here.

Zara’s Writing – Day 1 Starter Camp At Radiant Retreat

August 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Zara went to her very first camp during the holidays. I asked her to write about the trip in her journal so I know what she did during the whole 3 days there. I typed this out just like how she’s written it (even the spelling).

On Tuesday, when we arrived at camp, I was so hungry I had to eat some curry puffs (wich I don’t really like to eat.) Then they announced our rooms : the boys had to sleep in the lobby (poor things), and the girls slept in the bunggalo. I was like ok where’s the bunggalo? Then I heard a girl say “The bunggalo’s up stairs.” Then I thought it’s no big deal it’s just a few steps up. But when we started to go up the stairs, I thought they were taking us to the top of Mount Everest. The moment we reached, I fell on the ground and looked up, there I saw a sofa and a DVD player. I saw a little kitchen with flask of boiling water and our own little fridge. Then I saw a staircase and I started climbing it. When I went to the top, I saw a door. I decided to open the door, and inside I saw a sofa, a huge king sized bed and five mattresses. I saw a glass sliding door and there was a(n) outdoor bath tub, but I didn’t use it because I was afraid that a monkey might take a photo of me being naked.

The rest of the day was just lessons about nature. We ate lunch and I had heaps of it. We went river swimming. The moment I stepped into the water I couldn’t feel my legs because the water was so cold. Leeches were about to feast on my blood but I just flicked them away like dust.

While we were swimming, the teachers caught a few fishes for studying. When we went back, dinner was on the table, and when I saw the dinner, I started to dribble, then I ate until my stomach was as big as a mountain. We had a karaoke, and when I started to sing, all the people turned to look at me.

Before we went to bed, we got to watch a movie. I watched until I fell asleep on the sofa, and before I (k)new it, it was day.

(Here are some photos taken by the camp organiser, Radiant Retreat)

The Boys’ dorm isn’t that bad.

Children being briefed and having lessons about nature.

The scrumptious lunch.

The children walking to the stream for a swim.

Cool dip in the stream.

Continues here.

Zaria Missing Her Sister

August 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm

We sent Zara off to a holiday camp meant for 8yrs and above.
How fast they are growing up. Sigh.
I asked her if she was fine on our drive to the pick up point, and she told me she’s a bit scared (scared not being near us) but at the same time excited with what she would be doing, and the people she would be meeting.

It was with mixed feelings I saw her carrying her overnight bag climbing into the car that would transport her to camp. Zaria’s face turned gloom when she saw her jiejie closing the car door.

This is the very first occasion where Zara is away from home, without her parents (it’s always either the hubs or me will be with the girls; only once we had to leave the girls at their aunt’s house because both of us had to travel for work); this is also the first time Zaria won’t get to sleep with Zara.

So how are the girls doing?

We called Zara at camp yesterday night.
Me : Are you ok?
Zara : Yes ma. We are having so much fun.
Me : Everything is alright then?
Zara : Yeah.. I’m having so much fun.
(sounding impatient, like she couldn’t wait for the conversation to end to get back to whatever she was doing)
Me : Anyway, just wanted to tell you, Zaria missed you.
Zara : Oh… (2 seconds) But ma, I’m having so much fun. The river swim was so fun.. We got leeches all over our hands.
Me : Ewww… but aren’t you afraid of leeches? (I had a leech clinging on to me once in Sri Lanka, and the girls were all screaming like they had seen ghost.)
Zara : No, I just flicked them off my hands.
Me : Oh wow. Alright. You have fun then..Bye. Love you.
Zara : Ok ma, love you. (put the phone down real fast).

I told Zaria about our conversation, and Zaria asked, “Huh? She doesn’t miss me?”

And this morning, she woke up asking me “What bed did jiejie sleep on?” “What do you think she ate for breakfast?”

Per the usual holiday routine, Zaria did some homework from me, and then did her journal writing in the morning (and painted her nails in between doing these.)

And this was what she wrote and drew in her journal (she always like drawing first, then writing, as though planning out the scene).

My sweet sweet girl, missing her sister badly.

姐妹情深

July 12, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I’m a morbid person. I like to talk about death with the children, just so they know it’s not something to be afraid of, and that everyone goes through it.

Yesterday is one of the rare moment where Zaria has to go for a class that Zara doesn’t attend. Alone in the car with Zaria, we had this conversation.
Me : One day, if daddy and mummy died, of all the aunties and uncles, kuma (姑妈), yeeyee (阿姨) that you have, who do you think you would want to ask to be your parents?
Zaria : You and daddy both died?
Me : Yeah.
Zaria (thought a while) : Hmmm. I want jiejie to be my mummy. o.O”

Today over lunch. I told Zaria to keep quiet because I want to ask Zara the same question.
Me : One day, if daddy and mummy died, of all the aunties and uncles, kuma (姑妈), yeeyee (阿姨), ah kim (婶婶) that you have, who do you think you would want to ask to adopt you? Zaria has given me her answer, but I want to hear what you say.
Zara : Who did Zaria pick?
Me : Can’t tell you now. You tell me your answer first.
Zara : (thought a while with her finger tapping her chin) I want to live alone with Zaria. We’ll take care of each other. o.O”

I want to cry just knowing how close these 2 are.

The girls do almost everything together. I’m lucky to be able to arrange that they attend the same morning session in school, go for almost all their extra-curicular activities together. Although they annoy or irritate each other sometimes, most of the time, they get along very well and have a lot of fun together.

Zara has numerous times stood up for Zaria when Zaria got punished. She’s blocked the cane (coming down) that was meant for Zaria, told us off when we scolded Zaria too much and threatened to send her to boarding school (the little one can be a tyrant at times, if you’d been following me on Facebook or my blog), “She’s your daughter too you know.” And it shows by this question, that they do love each other very much.

It warms my heart knowing that their bond is so strong. *wipe tears away* 死也无遗憾咯.

Here is a piece of writing in Zaria’s journal (written end last year). I made her write about her sister, and think about how it would be if Zara is no longer living with us, after they had a big fight, and she said Zara was a rotten sister and asked us to send Zara away.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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