Tribute to my 嬷嬷

In 2012, when I was in Colorado Springs for those 2.5 years, the greatest thing that weighed on my heart is the thought of not being able to see my grandmother again, not being able to be around if she were to be ill. Those years, by God’s grace, she was kept healthy. However, each time I Skyped with her, I will end the session in tears. 

Over the last 2.5 years when we moved to Chiang Mai, I was much more relieved that if anything should happen, I would be able to get back home the soonest. Although with that in mind, I never really thought that day will come. When I left Singapore for Chiang Mai in May 2017, I was expecting to see my grandma next Chinese New Year in 2018. She was healthy as usual though she had mentioned a couple of times that she might not be able to see us again. I, of course, dismissed it as ‘rubbish talking’. Why would she not see us again ? 

嬷嬷 passed away peacefully on 13 August 2017 after 2 difficult and painful months. 

Those 2 months I consider the most difficult months for her. For as long as I’ve known her, she has been independent and active. She was still walking around (although should be assisted by a walking stick but she hates it).
She lived with my family and took care of my brother and I since we were born. I had always shared the room with her until I got married. (So I never had my own room) 

I would say because of her, now that I have a family of my own, I strongly value eating together as a family and having home-cooked meals. She was the mistress of the kitchen. One of my regrets was not learning all the cooking skills and recipes from her. Partly because she wouldn’t let anyone in the kitchen or I felt intimidated by her presence in the kitchen. By the time I wanted to learn, it was a little too late. All those food that I wished I learnt : 芋头糕 (yam cake), Bak Chang, her special chilli sauce (she had taught me but her measurements were agak agak, I had tried it a couple of times, it tasted fine to me but not sure if I would dare to let the rest of the family try). She also said a couple of times that after my kids are older and when I have more time on my hand, then she would teach and impart to me some more recipes. 

Although I did not inherit any of her recipes, but I think I inherited her value of cooking and giving your all to take care of the family.

She was one capable, strong woman. One that I fondly remember, our 嬷嬷 and 太婆.


Judah’s 3rd Birthday

Judah 3.0! We pray you will retain your childlike and sweet features, developing leaps and bounds in speech functions and skills and wisdom. We are expecting more songs downloads in the system and auto-gratitude functions. “Thank you mama for cooking” has been one of the voice activations whenever a meal is served. Brings sweetness and joy to our souls.

It seemed like Judah knows and had been expecting his birthday to come. He did not want a party with friends, only want Papa, Mama, David and Judah. At one point, he did say he wanted the entire extended family too. 

The night before his birthday – he was so excited about it that he slept at 11pm! Before he slept, he said he want to eat birthday cake. Eh, buddy, not at 11pm. How many roofs are you going to jump off?

As soon as he woke up, he couldn’t wait to go down! He expected something. 

He had grown to like dinosaurs ALOT. So I thought a Dino-themed celebration would be nice. He also like rainbow cake and chocolate since tasting some yummy rainbow cake at Valerie’s house.

This is my first attempt at making a rainbow cake. It turned out not bad! The taste and colours turned out great. The best was the Frosting! So Yummy!!!!

 The cake base is pretty simple, it’s just taking time to mix the colours and bake the layers. I took 2 days to bake 3 layers per day as that’s all the time I have each day (in between after dinner and David’s bedtime or after David sleeps). 

I was glad I frosted the cake the night before rather than on the day itself. The frosting could set and there’s no need to rush in the morning with cranky baby who woke up at 5.30am and excited birthday boy anticipating a CAKE. 
I would bake this again anytime!

Since we weren’t having a big party, I just wanted to keep the decoration simple but surprise enough. Found some patterns of Dino balloons which were perfect!

Cheers to our Dinomite birthday! 

Singapore travels – West Side Story 

The journey to the west of Singapore is one that I seldom embark on, because ‘what’s there in the west ?’ and it’s seemingly so far.

Since we have a car for one last day, we decided to check out West Coast Park. So glad we went there, there is such a huge playground for different age groups – toddlers, bigger kids, even for teenagers and adults. It caters to different needs too – sand play, climbing, swings.

As we went on a Thursday late morning, we have the whole place to ourselves, just one or two other young children and a few group of students from a school sports day. Even on a weekend, I can imagine that it’s plenty of space for children to play.

I think Judah was overwhelmed by the hugeness of it that he didn’t know where to stay and what to do. He chose one portion of the playground and ran around for a bit before stopping to play with sand, that was his original intention. He got really excited to play ‘sandy’ when he saw me packing the sand toys for him to play.

Because we were at East Coast Park the other day and he got to play sand while having a view of the ocean. He went riding towards the ocean, but only to find huge sea vessels and no sand. LOL!

We will surely be back again when we come back next year!

Since we are in the west, why not check out some good food in the west. I was in a mood for some instaworthy cafes. W39 Bistro & Bakery was just 7 mins away and again, it’s a place that if we don’t have a car, we won’t even consider going. Tee has the burger while I shared with Judah the Poached Chicken. Oh and a add on of $5 for a drink and Carrot Soup. It was twice of what we would pay in Chiang Mai but you know it’s homecooked and not some freezer meals.

Our week of learning

Hello March! Time is ticking by so quickly! We have a very busy February, with 2.5 weeks hanging out with Nigel and Dora who came to visit us and sharing their songs, 1 week of babysitting our friend’s son. The last week of February, Papa Tee was at the FatherHeart Seminar all day all week (9.30am-8pm, Monday to Saturday!!)

You are seeing this post and it’s a good thing because the kids and I are still alive!

Because we will be home all day, I have to come up with activities to keep the big boy occupied. My goal was not to use the tv or iPad only very necessary and keep it to after naptime. He usually gets to watch Disney Jr cartoons after nap while I prepare dinner till bedtime.

I have been wanting to “restart homeschooling”. Life gets crazy and we don’t end up doing anything.

So I chanced upon Simply Learning blog and the mum was going to use this curriculum called “The Peaceful Preschool“. It has activities and printables available. Simply Learning also has lots of resources, links, activities and printables available on Pinterest. I really felt like I needed to buy the curriculum and get ‘school’ going. I have tried to find my own activities and it’s hard work. I take too long to figure out what will work. I really needed something already written out and I can tweak it along the way.

I’m taking some weeks to try out, since we leave for Singapore in a week’s time and our schedule will look different when we are there.

I like it so far based on Judah’s ability and learning interests and what we have available at home.

On Monday, we started with letter A recognition. He could already recognize A and whenever he saw the letter A, he shouts it to me. He also decorated the letter and apple with glitter. He did a good job with glitter, didn’t get too big a glitter blowout. We also read ‘Apple Dumpling’s Day’ (the only A-related book we have) and ‘Little Miss Sunshine’. These books, we ended up reading almost everyday. Talk about routine.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we didn’t do much school, I was pretty tired out from caring for 2 boys under 3. We just read the books a couple of times and he watched way too much tv that day. We had to be at the doctor’s on Wednesday for my vaccination so we didn’t do much too.

Thursday we had friends come over for lunch, but before that, we did some playdough maths. He enjoyed it but he was distracted. Afterwhich we did some bike rides and songs and reading before our friend’s arrived.

Papa Tee has the afternoon off so we could go out after nap too! Phew! A much needed break from cooking and being stuck at home. Judah was so happy to be able to play at the playground and have some coconut icecream.

On Friday, I found new strength and energy (must be the shopping mall and icecream). I think he would really enjoy playing with water in the ballpit. It was kind of chilly in the morning so we had to wait for the sun to warm up the air a little more. Judah was very patient, so we made glitter Alphabets. And then decorated some popsticks that little apples will go on it later for pattern sequencing activities. Boy, he had such a fun time squeezing lots of glitter on the sticks.

I gave him a go at using kid’s scissors, it’s his first time so he hasn’t gotten that motor skills yet. He looks really funny trying to cut with his mouth opened though.

Finally the time for waterplay! The best time of his life all week! One of the activities in the curriculum was measuring out rice or water. I threw him a set of measuring cups and spoons for him to measure away. Waterplay kept him occupied for an hour!!

Review of 2016 and #OneWord for 2017

The #OneWord for 2016 was Create – I meant it to instil creativity, doing new things. We ended up creating a new life! We had absolutely no plans to have a second child in 2016, but we end 2016 off with a second child. No complains though. Things changed a bit and it is indeed better to have a child now, than later. God’s timing and providence is always good, anyway.

I think 2016 was a good year, although it feels like most of my year was spent being pregnant and figuring out my life as a mum of one, then two. Still figuring out.

 My word for 2017 is … I still don’t have a sense of what word. But I’m thinking like ‘Find’. Finding joy, finding peace, finding, finding. Searching, looking for the positive in every day things, in the mundane things, finding new things 

Thankful November

November, the month of Thanksgiving! 

There are much to be thankful for this November. 

Firstly, of course, we are thankful to receive our second-born son early. Thankful that all is well with him, he is growing strong and well. He sleeps most of the time, if not he is pretty happy lying on the rocker or in bed and I get to be with Judah a little more and do things around the house as usual

We are thankful for Judah for being such a great brother. He has not been any more fussy, except when his toys don’t cooperate or exhibit any jealous notions. He showers his little bro with 500 kisses everyday and is so understanding and affectionate. 

We are thankful for our community in Chiang Mai, who has helped in many ways in our transition to a new family figure. They brought food to us, asked if we need groceries, play dates for Judah. It meant so much to us, when our immediate families are not near to help us.

We are also thankful for many who have blessed us with love gifts during this season though they are far from us. Your thoughts of us are so precious too!

We are thankful that we can be called a family in this time. To be given this privilege to raise our 2 boys. 

It is good to be thankful and remember the good things the Lord has blessed us with.
Happy Thanksgiving! 

My birth experience in Chiang Mai

I can’t believe it’s already and only 1 week since we welcomed Baby D into the world. It felt like a long, good time. This transition has been so much easier than I expected.

I want to document my experience giving birth in Chiang Mai first though. I’ll share about the transition blessing in the next posts.

Many people of course had asked us if we will deliver the baby in the Singapore and Thailand.

We decided to deliver the baby in Chiangmai because of logistics, we have everything set up here, car, space in the house, equipments. Though my greatest fear was NO EPIDURAL when I need it and my greatest worry is lack of support from my mum who could look after the kids and cook for me when she gets home and on the weekends. But it will be so tiring for her and I feel real bad to put this burden on her.

Well, then come choosing the hospital and gynae in Chiang Mai. In Chiang Mai, there is a very famous gynae who only delivers missionary moms and is very good with assisting natural births. However, we heard she doesn’t take in new patients (but only missionaries). We would have fit that category that she would take but “we didn’t want to be like everyone”. Just kidding. The hospital that she delivers was a little far from where we live, we have to go through the busy streets around the moat.

We decided on McCormick Hospital as it’s just like 2 turns around our house, 5-10 minutes away when there’s no bad traffic. However when I spoke to people who had their babies there before, 3 out of 4 were C-sect. That got me worried as I didn’t want a C-sect. I began to question the abilities of the doctors (haha!) and asked my gynae if he will push for natural or C-sect but he said ‘we will try natural first but if there’s complications then we have to do C-sect’. Fair enough.

The cost to deliver a baby at McCormick is about the same as delivering a baby at KK Hospital in Singapore. In SG, I can claim from Medisave (if any) but get a class B 5-bedder ward. At McCormick, it was a simple personal room.

The nurses were super kind and patient and available. Probably it’s because it’s not so crowded with mums and babies. The nurses at the nursery were very nice too. I felt really safe leaving baby D with them.

Language was not a big issue, they could speak some English and try to, but if they couldn’t, they tried to speak Thai slowly and I could understand and respond sufficiently.

Food at McCormick was surprisingly delicious! It didn’t taste like bland hospital food. I finished everything most meals except the desserts as I’m not fan of coconut milk desserts (except Mango sticky rice). I ate so much, I felt bad for being greedy.

Some of the food I ate:


Overall, I would say I had a good experience there although I was apprehensive initially.

Not too sure if I will deliver there again, as Two is Enough!

The Birth of David L

So, Baby D decided to make his appearance into the world 5 weeks before EDD! It was so unexpected for us. We thought we have about 3 more weeks to have things ready since we were aiming for the 38th week as Judah came 2 weeks early.

So the story goes: 

On Thursday at 1.30am, I felt fluid leaking out of me. Initially I thought was blood as that was what happened with Judah. When I went to the bathroom, it wasn’t blood, but water, so I put on the sanitary pad and monitor what will happen. Though in my mind, I was thinking ‘is it the water bag?’ And started googling and worrying while trying to go to sleep. (Note: I didn’t tell Tee coz I think he wouldn’t be able to do anything and probably will tell me to go to sleep and wait till the morning when we wake)

At 6am, I checked and the pad was all soaked and I could also feel more fluid coming out through the night. I told Tee about it at 7 and said maybe we should go to the hospital to have a check up.

Quickly, I threw things I needed into the hospital bag, just in case we needed it and we won’t be fumbling too much. The good thing was I had already packed half the things I needed few weeks before.

At the hospital, my gynae said the cervix was thinning but everything else was normal by admitted me for bedrest. The plan was to have the baby stay in me for another 2 weeks, if there is contractions , to delay them. 

I was then in the hospital the whole day with nothing much to do. It was like a mini staycation and the hospital food was not that bad, Thai food on my menu. 

The nurses were checking regularly if I had contractions but I had none. 

At 2am, I woke up with some strong stomach pains. I thought maybe coz I slept on my right side and I thought I wanted to poo. I asked to go to the bathroom but nothing came out. 

The nurse checked on contractions again and there was nothing so I went back to sleep. 

At 3am, I felt strong contractions so I texted Tee “I think contractions may have started”. I was thinking if it’s like last time, there’s probably time for him to come to me at a later time.

He replied me 15 mins later and I was already timing my contractions and it was pretty close, like 5 mins interval.

So I called him, in the same sentence I remembered saying “maybe you can wait awhile, no no, come now, it’s really bad!” (Good thing it only takes 5 mins for him to get to the hospital coz it’s near our house) He wanted to shower and I said no need, just brush your teeth. Haha!

While he was on his way, I called for the nurse and they were still timing my contractions. 

When Tee arrived, they decided to check how much I had dilated. The nurse was so shocked that I was FULLY dilated! They were in such a rush, calling doctor and making preparation In the delivery room. The nurse told me not to push and wait for the doctor to come. I was like “Mai Wai! (Cannot in Thai) when is the doctor coming? (I thought they were going to call my gynae who is probably at home, I last saw him at 6pm! Where is he coming down from?)

They transferred me to another bed and wheeled me couple doors down the ward. And I was just trying not to push and relax.

On the delivery bed, I just kept closing my eyes and trying not to push until they say so. 

But at one of the contractions I was ready to push, regardless if they are ready. And I heard the nurse said ‘ok, push down!’ What a relief! And I opened my eyes to see a doctor in front and hear Tee’s voice behind me. 

So with all my might I pushed and just wanted to get it over and done with. In less than 10 mins of pushing, Baby D is out! At 35 weeks exactly!

The doctor then said I must have been working too hard so I had preterm labour. What to do, I was looking after an active toddler. This week, Tee was out the whole day for Perspectives seminar and I was busy with Judah, making Christmas cards preparation and baking cookies!

Well, now I’m excited about being family of 4. But ask me again when I leave the hospital and begin my sleepless nights!

Our time in Bangkok (ft 3 free children playgrounds for kids)

We made a second trip to Bangkok last week because I needed to renew my passport. Initially the plan was for me to go back to Singapore alone with Judah (because Tee was supposed to be busy with running a Y DTS in Sept). But because of the pregnancy, I don’t think I would be able to handle Judah by myself. In the end because it would cost lesser to collect my passport at the Singapore embassy in Bangkok than flying 3 of us back to SG, we opt to drive down. 

My agenda was to go to free places and eat! No shopping as it’s really depressing to shop when you can hardly fit in anything your usual size and in 2 months’ time, I won’t be needing bigger size clothes (fingers crossed!)

Of course, our first stop is always IKEA at Mega Bangna. A big playground for the adults and actually children too, except that when the child is awake while we are shopping, it can get pretty chaotic and stressful for me. 

So, our plan was to exhaust all the energy outta’ boy at the play areas around the mall with his lil friend before heading to IKEA. Judah had a really great time with his friend, W. They had only met once since last year but Judah was so excited to play with a friend. He was asking him to hold hands together the whole time! 

The second day, we went to the Children’s Discovery Museum behind Chatuchak Market. A couple of things are still work in progress. But the main things like the outdoor playground, water play and exhibits halls are set up pretty nicely. 

Judah loved the water play, of course, the weather is hot and he loves water. It’s much like the kind we have in Singapore. 

He wasn’t quite interested in the outdoor sand playground, I think because it’s a little young for the shaky bridges and tall ladders. Plus, it overlooks the water play which he was really more interested in.

The exhibition hall features different themes like Dinosaurs, My Body, Building a city, Cooking school etc. It’s a great place for school excursions and older children.

There is also another building that has a full padded playroom for 0-2 years old, lots of books, wooden toys and a ‘plot of land’ with veggies and flowers.

We didn’t get to explore another section called the Rainbow town because we were getting hungry. According to the brochure, it’s something like Kidzania where kids can do some role play learning. 

I wish we had more time or had pack our own lunch so we can have own lunch and do more playing after that. It’s a pity they didn’t have a cafe set up. However, there’s lots of street stalls just outside the museum. So I guess, one could go out to eat and go back in again, since entry is free.

While Judah was taking his nap, we had ventured to Siam Paragon area, and there was nothing much that a toddler could do. We could go to the Ocean World but we didn’t want to spend money on that and we didn’t have much time since we were going to meet another friend in 2 hours. KidZania would have been great but Judah is still too young to really enjoy it. I suddenly remembered that was a time we went to a free playarea in Central World Chidlom. 

So we walked all the way via the walkway. Judah was up by then and he wanted to walk, no sitting in the stroller. They had expanded the playarea and added a few more features. Kids can even ride the car for free, not exceeding 30 mins so other kids can have a chance. 

I really love it that it’s so family friendly, you don’t have to pay a lot for children to have fun. 

Super recommend these 3 places to go while you’re in Bangkok with kids. And they are so accessible via BTS. Except for Mega Bangna, you have to take a cab from Bang Na station, unless you drive then you can also load all the stuffs from IKEA. 

These 3 places might just be my favourite places to go whenever I’m in Bangkok.

week 27 of pregnancy #2

Just 10 more weeks or so, and our status of family of 3 will turn into family of 4! GASPS!! AM I ready?? I don’t know!

Well, some days I’m working out in my head how that will look like especially the first month of ‘confinement’ – how I will be physically, adjusting to taking care of myself, judah and baby #2. Since my mum is not able to come over to Chiang Mai to be with me, in my mind, I’m preparing myself to be ‘supermum’ and that I can do EVERYTHING. Only when the day comes, I will know if I can really do it or crash.


So far, I’ve been doing really well in the pregnancy, as like the first. No morning sickness, just tiredness from taking care of an energetic, active toddler. I’m so thankful for that, I cannot imagine being sick and having to take care of a toddler..

We think Judah has been doing well in preparation to be a big brother. He would kiss my tummy in the night, say “didi”, although sometimes he wants to say “meimei”. We hope he will be just as excited to see a physical baby in his house and be such a great helper too.