Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wildlife encounters

Ever wake up in the morning not sure whether its a working day or not and being relieved that its a weekend day after all and you don't have to go to office?

Well, I woke up this morning, not quite sure which day it was. Upon realising it was Sunday, I thought to myself.... another working day. Which is what weekends are like. Hard work. I flex muscles which I don't use the entire working week and it shows. The tension headaches which follow after my eyes dart in all directions in order to keep an eye on the crayolas. They are so active - I get such good value for my daycare dollar.

I threw them out into the five foot way to let them run out their energy. All this activity has this single purpose in mind. Are you tired now? Want to nap?

We noticed some top soil was scattered on the floor next to one of the plants in the corner. A closer inspection revealed this.

A lizard or little reptile dug a little hole and was laying its eggs onto one of the flower pots! We didn't have to travel to Kuantan to see the turtles laying eggs. Wildlife egg laying was happening right in front of us.

This was the best shot I could get using the zoom function on my point and shoot. Too scared to go close.

The crayolas were fearless. They crouched near the pot and made a lot of noise observing the lizard laying the eggs. But the lizard didn't move at all from its spot. It was so focused on completing the job.

This is what we were watching.

If you think that this is an amazing wildlife encounter, on Saturday we had to call in a pest exterminator to remove a bee's hive which was growing on a wall near the roof. Grace saw it and brought my attention to it. She is always calm even when conveying alarming news.

"I show you something. Very dangerous."

The pest exterminator showed me a specimen of the bee after they removed the hive. He explained that it was a Malaysian bee. Larger than a normal honey bee, I asked the pest exterminator what happens if these type of bees sting you.

"You die lah."

Which explains why I had to use his services.

Friday, November 10, 2006

A nutcracking time

It was time to set up the tree. The fake tree with blinking lights which would make us feel all warm and oozy with the spirit of Christmas.

The wooden ornaments from the $2 shop were duly assembled.

The theme? A russian nutcracker ballet. But we were true to our roots. The tree, lights and ornaments were entirely made in China.
A few tips:
1. Start with the lights
2. Then the background
- baubles and silvery strings
3. The foreground is last
- ornaments

We were so eager to do the silvery strings and the ornaments, we did the lights last and had a hard time stringing them without messing up the ornaments which were already hung.

Not bad for a first attempt?

Happy Birthday Matthew

My nephew, Matthew turns 3 today. I have only seen photos of him because he lives in North Carolina - in the southern part of the USA. My sister and her husband who is a cardiologist moved to the USA several years ago to further his medical training.

Now, I don’t know much about North Carolina. Someone told me that there are lots of wheat fields. So I imagine, my nephew sitting in a wheat field and my sister hanging her clothes on an outdoor clothes line. But that’s just my imagination. The internet tells me that North Carolina has more than 8 million people. It has one of the fastest growing immigrant Asian populations. It is many times bigger than Singapore and it is mostly urbanized.

Mostly I’m still amazed how my sister does it. She manages her 2 sons and a 3500 sq ft house without additional help. I’ve seen her do this before. When I was 9 till uni, my sister who was the oldest child was given the responsibility of taking care of her three younger sibs. She practically raised us. She was instrumental in how I turned out.

Unlike me, my sister always had the study smarts. She was a straight A student. When I was in my final term in college, she made me accompany her to the law faculty library to study. She wanted the best for me and when I didn’t get a place in the Singapore law faculty, she encouraged me to pursue a law degree abroad. When I told her that I had apprehensions about studying the law because it was a difficult course meant for really smart people, she (who was already a practising lawyer) said this.

“Don’t worry, lots of STUPID PEOPLE practice the law.”


Happy birthday Matt! . I couldn’t wish on you a better birthday present than the one you got in the first day of his life – your mom, my sister.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Weekend at home

We were going stir crazy so we crammed in lots of activity.

Planting green beans into cotton wool and to value add to the fun - water guns.

There was nothing I could do to positively encourage the crayolas to be interested in the piano except discourage them.

"No, piano is for big children only."

They climbed on even more eagerly onto the old upright. It was out of tune and the strings were rusty due to the teardrops shed into those keys during forced practice sessions (endured during my childhood).

Aerial shots of duplo are kinda cool.

The weekend is over, but we have bean sprouts.