Monday, 24 February 2014

4th Lesson Already

I had completed 4 swimming lessons.

When others had learnt how to kick in water and started swimming within the first or second lesson, I was still learning how to stand in a 1m deep pool.

At the third lesson, I almost drowned. Everytime, after floating in the water, and letting go of the pool side in an attempt to curl my legs forward in order to stand, I would be terrified of the lack of control and support. And I would fall into the pool and unable to balance myself or set myself upright.

Most of the time, the coach would be in front of or beside me, and I would grab his hand like a drowning woman. And I would be safe.

However, he was a few steps away from me and back-facing me to teach the other ladies for that instance when I floated away from the pool edge.

I could not even shout for help as I had panicked and took in water as I opened my mouth. I struggled like mad and grabbed the air as my last resort.

Fortunately, for some reason, I managed to struggle to the pool side and grabbed the edge.

I was so frightened I actually cried. My right thigh suffered a cramp that lasted for a couple of days due to the intense panicky kicking.

The helpless and I-am-going-to-drown feeling felt so similar to the time when I fell into the water thirty years ago.

The difference was: the coach that I had as a child asked me to sit by the pool and not do anything anymore; this coach made me go back into the water almost immediately and got me to walk around the pool till the fear was not so intense. He pulled my hands as I walked so that I would feel safe.

Towards the end of the third lesson, I finally learnt how to stand in the pool. It actually requires your head to tilt down into the water as your legs cave in to the body in preparation to stand. Previously, I could not do that as curling up in the water is something inconceivable to me.

At the fourth lesson, I finally could move my hands to 'draw a circle' without moving my legs. I had problems making my legs still when I moved my hands and I often lost my balance the moment I started to move my hands.

For someone with an intense fear of water, I could move a little - and I mean, 'little', in the water now.

I did have thoughts of giving up after the embarrassing third lesson. My father, sister, mother and Coco laughed when I told them I almost drowned. They already know that it was a 1-m pool. It is incomprehensible to them how anyone could attempt to drown herself in such shallow water.

I am glad I didn't. Now I look forward to the next lesson.

Sunday, 16 February 2014


I went crazy after seeing a friend's Facebook album of her daughter's Disney princess-inspired dresses. 

I could not help but drooled over the pretty and practical cotton dresses. I have always thought those princess gowns are too pompous and are only fit for Disney- or princess-themed parties. How many times can you wear them before you outgrow them? But these cotton dresses can be worn to just about anywhere!

The inevitable happened. My friend kindly shared the contact and I went on to contact Sarah of Lady Herndon from Colorado Springs to customise those dresses too!

I first contacted her in November last year and finalised the fabric selection in early or mid December.

I received the dresses on Valentine's Day after she sent it out a week before. I was too ambitious and overestimated the growth speed of Baby and had requested for the dresses to be 29-inch long. The kind seamstress understood my kiasu sentiments through our numerous exchanges and made the dresses a little roomier than they should be. Nevertheless, the dresses still fit her small frame. 

The dresses are ribboned with small charms that embody the essence of each princess story. 

I paid for the lace to jazz up the dress as I thought it too plain for my liking.


I love the leaf flaps!

Anna dress



Who else but Snow White?


Before the parcel arrived, I had a hard time keeping things under wrap.

It was my first time buying things on Etsy, and paying about $500 for something that I had not tried and seen. I was worried that things might not work out and Baby would be disappointed if I kept talking about the dresses. I also did not tell Baby that I was buying 8 dresses. She had thought that I was only buying Rapunzel or Aurora dress. So when she opened the box, she could not contain her excitement. With all her Singlish, she squealed in delight,"Why you buy so many dress?!! Why you buy so many dress?!!" And she laughed all the way to the bathroom when she knew she was going to change into one of the dresses.

Just two days have passed and she has donned Ariel and Aurora dresses. You can bet she loves them to bits!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Life's Good

Life's been good in 2014.

I have returned to work, on a part-time basis.

I get to report to work later than usual. I get to send the little one to school, a luxury teacher-mothers don't get to indulge in.

No one is tagged to me, except a relief teacher who has not yet been reallocated a class.

I don't have violent kids who threaten to jump at me and abuse me, or special needs kids for me to coax to do work, or to remember to let someone go toilet everytime he asks me, or to write incident reports for kids who get into trouble, or to be updated by different personnels on the antics of the different kids inside and outside of school.

I feel quite upbeat so far. I put on makeup and earrings these days. I am in the mood to buy and wear flowy dresses. I feel that I want to look pretty. Doesn't matter that I am an auntie now.

I took a paycut. I had always thought that would be THE source of my unhappiness.

How wrong I was!

I am very happy despite having less. I feel that I am more alive now. What use is those money if I have to live like a zombie every day, feeling emotionally-drained, mentally and physically tired throughout the year except for 2 weeks in June and 3 or 4 weeks in December, and feeling guilty for not being with the kids?

I am glad that I try part-time workload out. Real glad.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Ear-piercing II

Coco had an unpleasant ear-piercing experience about 2 years ago.

I took her to an OG in Bugis to have her ears pierced by an auntie, thinking that an auntie should have ample experience in doing it. 

Big mistake.

It was a painful experience for Coco: figuratively and literally.

The auntie pulled at her left ear in an attempt to remove the piercing gadget when it was still attached to the ear-stud! It must have been excruciating for Coco.

After the painful session, Coco's ears never did heal, probably due to the fact that a pair of silver ear-studs was used. Her ears kept showing signs of an allergic reaction to the ear-studs by emitting transparent liquids.

In the end, we had to 'close' the pierced holes so that the allergy could stop.

2 years on, she requested to have her ears pierced again.

She saw that Bedazzled at Wisma Atria had this claim of 'Painless ear-piercing' in print and alerted me to it.

So we went ahead and did it. We chose a pair of white gold ear-studs that cost $85, inclusive of the piercing service.

The Filipino salesgirl sprayed some anaesthesia-like substance on Coco's ear-lobes before she did the piercing.

Surprisingly, everything was over within a minute. 

"Is it really 'painless'?" I asked. "Just a bit painful lah," so said Coco.

We have to apply a $10 ear-care solution twice a day on her pierced ears. So far, it looks great. No sign of allergy.

We will return to the shop for a review to check for allergy, and after six weeks, we will return again to have the ear-studs removed.

We love Frozen

I took the girls to watch 'Frozen' the previous Sunday.

Coco said that her Music teacher recommended watching it to 'really' appreciate the song 'Let it go'. And she was one of the only two in her class who didn't watch it.

It was first screened in November last year, so not many cinemas were screening it then. When they did, the timings were not fantastic.

So we specially made time that Sunday morning to watch it at Plaza Singapura.

'Frozen' is not a typical Disney Princess story in which a hero rescues a royal damsel in distress. It is about how the love between two sisters, Elsa and Anna ('Ah-na'), releases Elsa from her Midas' touch of turning everything she touches into ice.

After watching the movie, I could understand what Coco's Music teacher meant. Without understanding the background and Elsa's need of living up to her father the king's expectation of being a 'good girl who conceals her feelings' (so that her power does not manifest itself), it is not quite possible to appreciate the release of repressed feelings in the song.

It is also interesting that the movie shows how desperate Anna is in looking for her prince, resulting in her blindness towards a love cheat, the prince. It is fictional, yet quite realistic - just about a portrayal of how 'love' is like for most young girls, and perhaps women who are not so young too.

Quite a different princess movie from the rest of the Disney princess movies, as noted by Coco: the other princesses fell in love with and married someone they met for just one day while Frozen tells you that it's ridiculous to do so.

When we came home, Baby was singing the medleys from Frozen non-stop, 'For the first time in forever' and 'Let it go' in particular. I went online to search for the lyrics and videos for the songs. I fell in love with 'Let it go' myself.

Although I loved cartoons as a child, I rarely watch animated movies now. In fact, I dozed off in the cinema at least twice when we were watching cartooned (Spongebob Squarepants) and animated movies. But Frozen was enjoyable.