How I met your father

Friday, April 29, 2016

Dear Ks,

Before your father starts telling you a warped story that it was me who shamelessly lured him into being his girlfriend (then) and wife (now), let me set the story straight. 

Long, long ago, in a dilapidated school, where Chinese culture was prevalent, a boy and a girl met. I had never imagined myself being in such an environment. I mean, dilapidated is bad enough -- Think toilet doors not having sufficient lightings and its wooden doors not having a lock. Sanitary conditions were deploring. What's more, the place was infused with students speaking in Mandarin. Nothing against that. In fact, ultimately I am pleased with the outcome -- A1 for Chinese! I'm Chinese, but growing up in an all-English speaking environment meant that I would be rather awkward in this school. My grades could have gotten me a place in some other schools, but nooooooo.... I had to go against my parents' wishes and choose this school which was totally unknown to me. (Please don't do that to me, dear children. )Why? Not because I knew it would be the place where I will find the man of my dreams. But it was all in the name of peer pressure. You see, back then, we had to choose our schools before our PSLE results were announced. It was a gamble. I followed the pack blindly. But alas, most of my friends received better results and were posted to other schools. Also, unbeknownst to me, most of their first choices weren't this particular cheena school, but were another! *HORRORS. So children, my advice is, don't follow the crowd blindly. 

So I was thrown into a dark abyss. Having to swim in a sea of strangers wasn't easy. Back in Secondary 1, I was next to this class filled with Ah Bengs (aka gangsters). The bunch of rambunctious boys often created havoc along the corridor. I didn't quite bother but there were a few punks who were pretty notorious and that caught my attention. One of whom was you father, who wasn't from that class though. I was rather appalled by their behaviour at times. Anyway, the following year, we were streamed and I was in the top class. Your mother is smart, my dears. Lo and behold, the notorious one aka your father, was also in the same class as me! Shocking! Ok, fine. He is quite a smart one, kids. But it was then, that I realised that he was different from the rest of the boisterous boys. At least he wasn't just some empty vessel. He was very vocal and smart and had extremely good rapport with the teachers. During the year, we hardly interacted but got a little more acquainted during an interclass swimming competition which I forced him to join, just to make up the numbers. He wasn't any eye candy in terms of physique in case you are wondering. I was also in the same ECA (extra curricular activity) group as his buddy which made our connection a little more comfortable.

Following that, we were classmates for 2 years. All these while, I didn't have a great opinion of him. I felt that he was probably one of those rich spoilt brats as he was constantly chauffeured to school in his parents' Mercedes or BMW and was always sashaying down the aisle in his Armani or United Colours of Benetton bag, with his socks pulled high and hmm I can't quite recall but he might have one of those plastic combs with a long tail stuck on his back pocket! How annoying is that? During those two years, he constantly teased me and amused me with his antics. I found it irritating, yet strangely, fun. I think it was because of this, my profile went up a notch. All of a sudden, all eyes were on us! Even my best friend came forth to ask if something was going on between us! No way! I didn't even entertain such thoughts because seriously, he was a menace. Once, when I was taking my siesta, he called to date me out for a movie. He caught me in the middle of a lovely dream and that put me in a foul mood. I hung the phone up rudely. Thinking that I was simply trying to be cautious/ worried that I was the only girl around/ trying to act coy, he got his buddy to make a second call and I was told that a girlfriend of mine was coming along! Ahhhh...that would have been a great tactic save for the fact that The girlfriend was in Malaysia then!

So things didn't take off. We went to our Junior Colleges respectively. On the first day of school, my eyes actually lit up and heart skipped a beat for a moment when his name was called out during the attendance taking. His name wasn't a common one hence it had to be HIM! I looked around the sea of uniforms but saw no sign of him. Disappointment sank in the pit of my stomach as here I am, once again, alone in a new environment. Nevertheless, life went on. We both got attached shortly after but they were just puppy loves. 

Fast forward, we lost contact for those two years but somehow got reconnected during my university days over the now defunct ICQ! Oh-oh! It was a messaging platform online, similar to watsapp or Facebook if you even have that in your era by the time you decide to read this space. He was in the army and probably was bored, hence would be online most nights. Me, being a night owl too (and bored) would also be online. We started chatting and one day, he asked if I wanted to go see some car show with him. Hmm...why not? Interesting to see if this Ah beng has changed. The last I heard, he had long hair during JC! So before we went to check out some fast wheels, we had a simple dinner at Far East Shopping centre and I was totally disturbed by his ungentlemaness, if there's even such a word. He did not offer to pay for the meal! Mind you, it was only a plate of curry rice so I am pretty sure his meagre salary from the army would cover it! So that meetup didn't go too great. 

That's Me, in the middle in case you can't recognise! We were are the airport sending his buddy (seated first on the left in the first row)

Shortly after, his buddy left for the States. It was a very late night flight and I joined him and a bunch of others in sending this buddy off. He offered to send me home that night. I think it was then that my opinion of him started to get a tad better for some strange reason. Maybe this spark was already in me, waiting to be rekindled. It was a love-hate relationship. I'm not sure. Love is quite a strange thing as you will learn. Each day, I would look forward to that "Oh-oh" and we would sometimes meet up for supper. Several a times, when I was staying late in school to study, he would even drop by my university to bring me out for supper. Mind you, he stayed in the east and I studied in the west! That's quite a journey! Even his mom started telling the kampong that something was fishy. Coincidentally, one of my seniors was his cousin! I only knew it when one night, they saw and acknowledged each other! The world just got smaller didn't it? 

Things progressed nicely and his charisma outshone his menacing ways. Yes, he still irritates me. So we weren't a couple until one fine night............

4th September 1998: He asked me out for a movie -- Blade. It was the most unromantic, stupidest show ever. I guess this nature of him tagged along over the years. It was some superhero show staring Wesley Snipes. Tell me about Batman or Superman, I'll probably appreciate. But Blade? huh? Who? And the venue was worse! It was at SHAW along Beach Road. He claimed that it was easier to get tickets over there. Well, OF COZ! the place was so shabby. I could have sworn it was his plot in getting me to fly into his arms and jump upon seeing a cockroach! ok, so, I couldn't quite remember the plot, but during the show, I felt that our arms kept nudging each other. There was a connection and it was a nice electrifying feeling. Then, while we walked out of the cinema, in pitch darkness, our fingers interlocked slowly. Just like that. The strange bit was, when we later bummed into one of our mutual friends right outside the theatre, our hands immediately loosened! It's as if we did something wrong! That night, we were out meeting a friend for supper and sensing that something was amiss, that friend asked if we were "going steady" there even some new lingo the youngsters use these days? Steady means you are in a stable relationship with someone. That person may otherwise be known as your "stead". Anyhoots, we denied almost simultaneously. To me, it was probably a natural reaction as the whole world knew I was irritated by his mannerisms and now, all of a sudden, he was my Boyfriend? haha..It took me a while, quite a while, for the whole thing to sink in. But I must say, it felt good. Sweet dreams every night. I knew i could count on him like if I got myself drunk at some pub. In fact, there was once, a bunch of classmates and I were at a bash and I had a drop too much. I knew I was going to be a goner that night. So, I brought my girlfriend to a corner in the toilet, sat on top of a bin and instructed for her to call my boyfriend (your father). His number was deeply etched in my memory even though I was already way tipsy. The entire episode was later related to me by my gf who couldn't believe how coherent I was when rattling his mobile number. I guess, he must be the one then. :P. PS: Children, please don't be dead drunk or for that matter, get yourself into such situations as it can be really dangerous.

From that day, we called each other every night. Or rather, he, called me from camp every night. The poor dude had to queue up for the public phone until shortly after, he got a mobile phone. We went on several trips with friends and got to know each other even better. Children, please note that Mama here will only allow you to go overseas with your boyfriend/ girlfriend if it is in a big group! He used to be an Ah beng, but has mellowed down tremendously. His wits and humour makes me love him more and more each day. Our opposing character brought us closer. I am a hopeless romantic, living in fantasy while he is a practical person who doesn't give a hoot about your fantasies. Initially, I didn't take well to his sarcasms which he thought was humorous, but after a while, I grew to be just as sarcastic. 

Us. ROMed on 14 October 2006
Living up to our Ah Beng and erm Ah Lian name

Us. Married. 14 October 2007. Photos taken at the place where we met. I told you it was rich in Chinese culture! It was a truly memorable session to be taking our wedding shots at the school with a bunch of brothers and sisters who were mostly from the school as well.

It is a journey nothing short of amazing thus far with this man whom I call my husband since October 14, 2006. There were no fireworks kindof proposals from your father in case you are wondering because, given his nature, he'd rather take the more practical approach which was "Shall we go get a HDB"...-_-. He did, however try to give me a proper surprise proposal. He had to get his friend to give him bits of ideas and courage but the whole surprise was killed as he was discussing with the friend what to do when I was next to him! Yes, that's your father. Not very smart in the romance department. I have known him for 24years and counting and you could say that he is my bbff (bestest best friend forever). I am able to be me in front of him. Unpretentious and totally idiotic. We would bicker a lot but would always find a way to resolve the problem. He is often saying that I am the worm in his stomach. I can't rely on his for aesthetics, but I certainly can rely on him when I am in trouble or down. I will never forget the time he had dropped his work the moment he touched down in a foreign land, miles away and flew back on a 20hr flight the moment he heard that we lost the sibling you never met. I appreciate this man, your father, for the times he has been there for me. He has made several sacrifices and gives in to me frequently and for that, I thank him.

First there were three.....

Now, there are four.

Really blessed to have such a gorgeous family!

He has played a big part in giving me two beautiful children and for that, I thank him too (shhh, don't tell him, lest he gets swollen headed again). My dear Ks, I hope that you will each find the partner of your dreams and that he/ she will be someone whom you could confide in and rely on. Someone whom you can trust your life with. Someone who will love you for who you are and will love your parents of coz! Someone who is romantic yet sincere; Someone who is witty and not too irritating; Someone you love. But darlings, please don't let this day come too soon. Not when you are still in Secondary School ok?!


The Chill Mom

This post is part of the "How I met your father" blog train hosted by The Chill Mom. Join me and fellow mommy bloggers as we turn back time and get all nostalgic!

Next up, we have super momma, May from A Million Little Echoes:

"First of May marks their 9th wedding anniversary. Meyer and May were each other's first love and she was only 16 when they became an item. Fast forward 18 years later, they are now parents to two little imps. How did their mother meet their father? Find out more at A Million Little Echoes next!"

Home series: All about beds

Sunday, April 17, 2016

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Today, I share with you our search for beds, in particular, toddler beds. I have grand plans to shift the two kids into one room. Let them fight it out bond and allow the hubs and I to have more privacy. Something which we haven't been having much of for the last 5 years. You see, to date, Big K still cosleeps with me and due to the current situation, Small K cosleeps with the daddy. Not very ideal considering that Small K was trained to be an independent sleeper since young. I am not sure how I'm gonna work out the transition, especially since Small K wakes up an hour earlier than the sister and still needs one feed at dawn. Big K on the other hand, has yet to be diaperless at night. I failed miserably and was told that I have to wait till she is ready, meaning, her diaper should be relatively dry when she wakes up. Every morning I pray that I get a light diaper but alas! It always weighs a ton. Sigh. So, we shall see, perhaps a new bed would entice her to be diaperless and perhaps sleeping together would allow Small K to quit having his night feed. Wishful thinking I hope not?

So, alright, we were looking high and low for a low loft bed. Below were some of which we have visited:

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The hubs was pretty insistent on going with Ikea. For the price. I mean, let's be honest, at $269, who could resist? His take was that even if it spoils, we could throw and get a new one and still save! I did entertain thoughts of getting the Kura reversible bed. However, the height wasn't ideal as Big K isn't diaperless yet at night. What if she tumbles down whilst climbing down to go to the loo? More importantly, I wasn't too confident of the wood. It didn't give me a sturdy feel too. Affordable it was, but my children's safety are of utmost importance. From a fengshui perspective, the bed has got to be sturdy. Your bed is the only piece of furniture that has the most intimate connection to your personal energy. The role of fengshui of your bed in relation to your health , well being and relationships cannot be underestimated.


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Kids Haven started out in 2010 when its founders were in search for practical, unique and affordable children's furnitures for her 2 young children. Indeed, when I browsed online, I saw a large range of beds. They have a good selection of designs beds like cars, safari, and carriages. I am sure all children would be able to find their dream bed here. We visited their Ubi outlet at Oxley Bizhub. The place was a tad difficult to find and when we finally entered the showroom, the lack of space made us very uncomfortable. The quality of the beds wasn't too impressive as well. Somewhat similar to Ikea. Perhaps we didn't get to see their solid pine wood range as the sales person was busy serving other customers and since nothing caught our eye, and after waiting for quite some time, we decided to move on. 


I love how sturdy their wood is and their matrix system meant that I could revamp the configuration in future as my children grow. Unfortunately, after several attempts in calling and contacting them via  private messages over on Facebook, I gave up. Their website had been down since 2 weeks ago. At the point of penning this post, it is still down. We wanted to make an appointment to view, but their couldn't reach them via phone. My messages via FB did not get replied either. So, sadly, we had to look for alternatives.


I didn't really think of Harvey Norman until a friend reminded me of it. It has quite a selection of designs and one particular deal caught my eye! A bed with a trundle going for $1399, complete with two mattresses! A steal! The wood looks pretty sturdy too. 


Our choice!

Situated at Funan and Liang Court, Ibenma has quite a selection of loft beds to excite the kids' imagination. They specialize in 100% finland pine wood, uses nontoxic materials and produced with conformity to ASTM and EN71 standard (haha, whatever that is! But sounds pro and reassuring right?). We popped by their shop at Liang Court and were immediately sold by the selection they they have. The showroom was nice and clean and the kids were having a wonderful time climbing up and down the beds. We tested the beds ourselves and it is definitely sturdy enough. Their modular system is also something which we have been looking for! So a low loft bed it is, from Ibenma! Only thing we weren't too excited about was that we had to top up $100 to get the ladder shifted to the width of the bed! Their stand was that they had to cut out a piece of wood from the width and put an additional piece of wood on the length. Sounds like a net effect to me, so why charge me an extra $100? I insisted that I didn't need that extra hole to be filled in at the length when the ladder is taken away, hence they should not charge me but they were pretty rigid and said that it is their factory standard that I had to take it as a bundle and could remove it in future if i wanted. -_-. If not for the fact that I had to have it done that way due to the configuration of the room, I wouldn't have paid that extra sum. I wanted a slide but decided against it, coz after all, a bedroom is for the kids to sleep in, not play! I wouldn't want to turn bedtime into a drag. As it is, getting them to bed takes me an hour! So, the bed for the kids has been confirmed. Our total damage: $860. $690 for the whitewashed bed frame, $70 for the ladder and $100 for the extra piece of wood.  


This site popped up several times on my FB thread, hence I decided to check them out. I was very impressed by the selection of designs and made a trip down to their showroom at Delta. Customer service was great and the selection was quite clear. 

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Prior to going to the showroom, we already had our eyes on the above. The Cayson Bed. Its rustic feel is perfect for our bedroom. Made of solid Acacia wood, it has a mix of uneven distress wood treatment which I love. At a bundle price of $1599 inclusive of delivery, it didn't take long for us to make the decision.

SO Yay! We've got our beds selected! Now for the rest of the house! Stay tune as we will share with you more on our furniture shopping!

Home series: Choosing the right flooring materials

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Our renovation journey has started last year. In November 2015, we started scouting around for an interior designing firm who could help us with our renovation. The hubs was not keen in engaging an ID as he deemed that they would charge sky rocket high due to their design fee. Typically, the design fees would be an average of $4000 and he would rather get contractors in and get me to draw instead! I would love to, save for the fact that he travels a whole lot and at the end of the day, I might be the one coordinating every single thing! Probably possible 5 years ago, sans kids. However, now, it's I.M.P.O.S.S.I.B.L.E So the search began and it was an arduous one no less. We surfed, we asked and we shortlisted 3 companies. Inflation has really kicked in fast and furious over the last 8 years when we renovated our matrimonial home. We were in for a shock when we saw their quotes! The most expensive being a whopping $96,000! Mind you, we live in a humble 5 room apartment and we were looking at pretty minimal renovation, so a quote like that wasn't going to go well with the pocket. So we searched and searched and finally settled with one which gave us most of what we needed for $77,000. That sounded a little better except that with that price, it doesn't include air-conditioning, furnishings and appliances. What it does include are: hacking of floors and wall tiles; dismantling of everything else, hacking away one kitchen wall to make things more spacious; laying of new flooring; building of cabinets for kitchen, master bedroom and study; doing up new windows and grills; false ceiling and lightings. Does that sound like a lot? teehee. Any hoots, the generous hubs decided that after 9 years, we should have everything changed! New beds, new fridge, new washing machine...everything NEW! I still don't know how we are going to fork out the total bill and am living day by day. 

After we settled on the quote, where i acted like an aunty going to the wet market, we quickly got down to the drawing board. However, as it was the festive period, many were on leave and things were delayed. By December, we finally gotten our 3D drawings presented to us. We spent some time amending and choosing the materials and by the time things were ready to commence, it was nearing to Chinese New Year! During this period, most foreign workers would go back to their hometown and the companies would typically rest for at least 2 weeks! I pressured the ID to have the floor hacked before CNY. I don't know what was I thinking, trying to annoy the S*** out of my neighbours. They would probably hate me for creating so much noise and dust just before the new year. But my intention was just to get things started! Things really had to move as the current living condition is stifling! Think: 7 pax in a small apartment, with one member of the family sleeping in the living room every night. Hence, I have no privacy or place to work after my kids sleep as everyone else would be sleeping and to turn on the lights would be impolite right? My eyesight has deteriorated so much due to working in dim light. Apart from that, keeping up with chores is a pain. I pride myself for being able to manage things. However, I am now living with a professional homemaker who wakes up at 430am to do chores and goes to the market at 6am! Every single day, laundry is being washed and folded. And I have to try to keep my children's toys at bay and leave them with only a box of random toys and a box of lego. That's all they have been having for the past 9 months! So yeah, I need things to start moving!

In anticipation of all the festivities and break from work, our ID suggested that we go shopping and get everything settled for a seamless transition thereafter. Hence, we started choosing our tiles, bathroom accessories and lightings.

Here's sharing some of our findings and loots:

Flooring is so important as it is essentially the foundation of your home. We have to hack the entire floor and redo the flooring instead of doing an overlay which was a much cheaper option. The existing tiles were approximately 20years old and the contractor noted some hollowness in them hence suggested that we changed lest the new overlaid material pops up in years to come. So, hacking of the floor was going to cost us big time. Bummer. 

Popular options for flooring:

Tiles: Of late, the Peranakan and Mediterranean-inspired tiles are in vogue due to their ornate patterns. 

Homogeneous ceramic tiles: Most versatile especially for bathrooms. Some come in matt whilst others are with glazed finishings. Minor scratches won't be obvious. A good choice with kids around.

Natural stone: Marble, limestone, granite and slate. Each cut is unique, hence the price. However, extra care and polishing is needed, so this isn't quite the type of flooring you would be looking at if you have young children. 

Traditional parquet: This is aesthetically pleasing and has a warm feel to it. However, it is easily damaged and will darken with age. I recalled always getting scolded for scratching the parquet of my parents' place when I was a little girl. -_-

Laminated flooring: It has beautiful wood grain, with extensive design. Many use this as an overlay which saves cost. It is actually compressed wood coated with aluminium oxide to enhance its scratch resistance. Low maintenance however, should water seep through, it may spell trouble. The adhesiveness might be lost and the laminates may start popping.

Concrete screeding: I LOVE THIS! 8 years ago, when I did up my first house, we wanted and we tried. However, the contractor wasn't able to achieve the desired look hence it had to be scraped. Apparently, back then, not many contractors were able to do this. This actually saves money as you merely have to top it off with a concrete sealer for smoother finishing and to minimise the dusty feel.

Evorich High End Resilent Flooring: Its 100% waterproof feature is a big draw. You never know when the little ones will spill a pail of water in your living room! It has better wear layer than the traditional vinyl and it is glueless and odourless. 

After analysing all the pros and cons, we decided to go with the High End Resilent Flooring. It was a tad more expensive than laminates, but we believe it will go a long way. 

Apart from the main floor, we had to select tiles for the bathrooms. For this, we went to a shop at Ubi, somewhere behind those car showrooms. Their selection was fairly decent and we settled for the below:

We were going for a resort feel, hence the stone tiles. What do you think? The above is our common toilet. Many commented that it will be tough to wash as dirt will be trapped in between. However, I believe that constant spraying and a bit of mould removal detergent should do the trick! After all, Chio (pretty) is most important right? :P


For our master bedroom's wardrobe. I'm still missing my old walk-in closet! Boo!

White for our kitchen cabinets. Hope it wouldn't be too tough to clean!

Laminates for our wardrobe and kitchen cabinets were chosen. We went through two rounds and kept changing our minds. Don't blame me, I'm Woman after all. 

For our Kitchen top, we have chosen to go with iquartz. This is apparently similar but better than its counterpart, the granite. Granite used to be top of the range and expensive. However, over the years, with innovation, iquartz and granite pricing are pretty much the same. According to our ID, granite isn't favoured as it is more porous and for kitchen, you wouldn't want your sauces to seep into the holes right?

In my next post, I will share with you some places to check out for furniture. Stay tune!