Monday, 30 September 2013

Isaac's Drawing of a Car

Isaac doodled and said "car". Creative!

Art and I

It has been a really long time since I complete a visual art piece. 

The lack of time and motivation have put off any art piece I tried commencing. Finally, the chance came for me to complete a few pieces. 

All thanks to my art module that I am able to re-engage in something I enjoy. And it's amazing how I still retain certain skills.

Here's a rendition of my Afghan girl. Inspired by Jason Wee's installation of Mr Lee, No More Tears, I wanted to put together something that has a mosaic effect, but more colorful. I retained the idea of a portrait that told a story.

The story of the Afghan girl was a sad one. I wanted her to be in a better situation. The most unique feature must be her arresting eyes. And I maintained her unsmiling look.

Baby said the make over was too drastic that people wouldn't be able to link back to her. My take is, it's my way of telling her story, not the photographer's. And I fantasized for her. That's the beauty of art! I can be all whimsical.

Putting together the art piece was a team effort from Chrystal, Esther, Suhailin and Shirley. We had to complete this piece in 2 hours.

Following this work, I am now inspired and motivated to put together more art works. And I am inspired to make water color, water resist and collage as my main techniques of work.

Life is getting exciting when you engage in your passion. Thank God for leading me back to one of my first loves in life!

Lastly, art is a very important form of learning for children. It holistically build up a child! I incorporate a lot of art in my curriculum. When I am ready and following God's guidance, I would love to expose more children to art.

The next module is music and movement, another love of my life. Anticipating!

Here's my group's masterpiece.

The sketch before the make over. My first portrait sketch in eons.

The final piece that will eventually hang in my new place. I love the collage - use of paper, crepe paper and cloth.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Isaac's new "toy"

This is his favourite new "toy". He drags it around the house, pretends to row a boat with it when I sing "row, row, row your boat", bites and licks it like it's the tastiest lollipop, tries to pick up stuffs with it and help me with my chores. He runs to it the first thing he comes home, wakes up and whenever he is at home. 

Happy Father's Day in advance (to my baby)

The journey of parenting is an arduous and tedious one. It is most certainly not a walk in the park. And fathers are worthy to be commended for their efforts in parenting.

I would like to dedicate this special post to my baby.

From being a child himself (child at heart), he has taken on the role of being a daddy to Isaac. His love for Isaac is indescribable. Even though I feared before delivery about Baby not adapting well, he has surpassed my expectation of him as a father.

There were so many times he controlled situations much better than me. I have learnt a lot from him. Ironically, I read more about parenting and spoke more to people.

In the end, it was him who taught me that every child is unique and thus, no guide is perfect. 

A mother may love her child much. A father's love isn't lesser. Baby has to travel far for his work all over Singapore. He would rush back to pick up Isaac. 

He would settle him while I do the dishes, change his diapers and check if he has rashes or if his stool was normal. 

When Isaac had very high fever, he stayed up to take care of him even though he had to work the next day. He sponged him, took him to the doctor's and fed him medicines and took care of him. There were also the moments of vomiting where Isaac puked all over Baby.

He took care of him so mummy can work, cook, run and enjoy some me-time. All done without assistance. 

For someone who is an only child and have been independent, Baby has stepped out of his boundary and beyond. He is a great father.

His love is like that of Jesus. He gives unconditional love to Isaac. It is a no-wonder Isaac would call "Daddy". And until today, that remains one of his favorite phrases. Sadly, "mummy" isn't in his vocabulary yet. 

Baby may appear nonchalant. Deep down, I know he loves Isaac a lot. He is unknowingly loving him more than himself. No, I am not jealous. Cos he still loves me a lot. I know.

So, Baby Derrick Teng, thanks for all the thins you have done for Isaac and me. No word can describe how appreciative I am. And I am sure Isaac feels your loves and knows because he is happy in your care. He loves to be with you. And he looks forward to being with you.

You have been an amazing father and I am really proud of you. We love you. Happy Father's Day baby.

Being a new parent... Isaac was only 5/6 days old.

Giving Isaac a peck... Lovingly...

Sunday, 2 June 2013

My Little Boss

Absolutely love this article.

At one point in motherhood, I was absolutely uptight and very much affected by what people think and the expectations of the "social norms" of parenting.

At one point, I was disturbed by comments and standards set up some so-called experts. 

At the end of the day, I became miserable and I didn't enjoy parenthood. What changed me was one word from my husband "chillax".

If someone says that it requires a lot of patience to be a parent, he would disagree. He would say the key to parenting is to chill and relax, this "chillax".

Since I learnt to be more laid back in my parenting style, we enjoy one another more. Isaac has a lot of liberty to explore and we watch and keep him safe.

I allow him to eat fries and he loves it. He eats chocolate wafer and ice cream sometimes. On some weekends, we skip the morning showers together. And sometimes, we go to bed late. I allow him to mess up and we learn to keep his toys together.

He plays with what my husband calls "industrial toys", such as wooden spoon used for cooking, Tupperware, a full milo tin and cutleries in the restaurant (not to mention creating a din). 

There were times he screamed and cried because he waited too long sitting with us at a restaurant, we just let him have his moment while we finish up our food. The same applies to when we have to finish up some urgent matters such as a visit to the restroom and he wouldn't allow us to. We would tell him,"too bad. You have to wait."

Who cares? If we, as parents allow him to explore the world, he will eventually learn. And yes. He turns out to be able to take instructions much better at 14 months.

He learnt that when he sees smoke from a cup or bowl, it is hot. And when there is vapour, it is cold. He learnt that when he lie down too quickly to throw tantrum, he would hit his head too hard. So, he gently put down his head before rolling and kicking, much to our amusement and often, we let him be and then pick him up to explain to him.

The incidents reduced. And he began to understand us much better. 

Some friends are amazed at my calmness. But like the article, I don't feel I am a bad parent.

I just choose to ignore all comments, views and social acceptable standards, and run my family my own way. I choose to bring up my child my own way.

And when friends think I am such a "poor thing" having to bring Isaac out everywhere. Actually, I want to! And I enjoy it. I love bringing my little terror out.

Who cares? To me, giving Isaac security and love is the most important. With security, he can be confident to expire his world. 

This little adventure I introduce him to. The liberty I allow him to have - of course, watched and loosely controlled, is how I want him to be when he grows up.

To always have the spirit of adventure to explore, take calculated risks and always keep the curiousity burning - to learn for life.

Note: Just to clarify... When I said I ignored comments, it includes compliments. I humbly thank compliments for Isaac but I don't feel proud. My pride is for my own to enjoy in his development. Having said that, I also do not judge myself. Cos judging myself means, judging others. And this also means comparison. I just bask in my own confidence as Isaac's mummy and the joy of bring a parent. That's as simple as that. And this spirit has been brought into my entire being. Not just parenthood anymore.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


I am breathing. I am glad. To be breathing. This very simple act of human basic body response is a sign of life!

Yet, have we ever consider the air we breathe?

I just read about noble gases after an enriching conversation this afternoon. Love meeting this friend who always fuels my brain with more perspectives and knowledge.

Instinctively, I came home and researched rare gases. Of them, I saw Argon.

Recently, I saw a documentary film by Tom Shadyac, and Argon was mentioned. I vividly remember it said that Argon exists in the atmosphere since there was an atmosphere. Using Argon as a metaphor to show how interconnected human beings are to our environment, it was said that through breathing in and out of Argon, we share the same breath as those who ever lived. That includes Jesus, Aristotle, the dinosaurs and any other living creatures that breathed!

Breathing the same air, literally! Perhaps that was how this phrase was conjured!

So, gases do stay in our environment. What happens when harmful gases are added to the atmosphere? What if one day, the atmosphere become saturated with the harmful gases?

Will we still be able to continue breathing?

Or at least, breathe with ease?

It is funny how it is so easy for us to forget what the natural human make up is and how entwined we are with nature and our environment.

We have forgotten and only remember our relationship with money - through industrialization and commercialism.

And it was recently as well that I found out Helium is depleting worldwide. That goes to show how one day, everything we have on earth will exhaust from over usage and misuse.

When will human beings realise we need nature to live and not so much of nature needing us to live then?

Will we still be glad till then that we are still breathing when one day, what we breathe are harmful gases?

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Champ in the Making

The 3-Mind Revolution by Brian Caswell and David Ciem of Mindchamps is a must-read! It opens up our eyes for the future!

One of the easiest to digest books ever! It was light-hearted enough with relevant metaphors.

The book talked about the revolution of information and knowledge and described how education is no longer effective with rote learning - like how workers used to assemble products at the production line.

I truly agree.

And rote learning takes the fun away!

We, as human learn from interacting with our environment. If we start confining ourselves to learning things to pass our exams, we are limiting our ability to expand our knowledge.

What I don't ever want for Isaac is to fall into the trap of hating to learn. I would like him to continue to be curious. So he will be able to become creative.

The other thing mentioned was the champion mindset. I remember when I was younger, I used to feel less confident about myself because my classmates were all book smart. They used to teased me too.

As I grew older, I realised the difference. The difference was, I was a non-conformist. I spent more time imagining, setting goals for myself, trying different things, daring to risk failures to pursue my own dreams.

I rebelled the system and hated being in it. I constantly fought it. And until today, I want to be in the system to improve it.

I think of different ways to make things work better. And that makes me different. I have a champion mindset, and not just a follower or someone going after the grades.

And I know myself and what I want. I have found my uniqueness, the passion in me and the things I will fight for.

I believe, with the blessing of God and taking the step to pursue my passion, I will succeed like the champions!

Because, a champion mindset will take me far. And through all the trials and errors, I have found myself, my life purpose and my intention.

Therefore, likewise with Isaac, I want him to have a hunger for life. To fight for his own dreams and passion, and to make it work.

Life is too short to chase after money and materials. We must live life to the fullest, with a purpose and the rest shall be by products of our success. It comes from passion and the heart.

Nurturing God's Kingdom

It is official! I am finally pursuing my passion to teach. Not just to teach but to nurture children while serving God!

My true passion is in early childhood but financially, Baby was more keen in me pursuing other levels of teaching.

God has a way with things. He knows our hearts and he will open the doors he wants us to pursue. So, after several prayers and wonders, He led me to Bethel Presbyterian Preschool.

Not only that, he gave me so many signs and answers regarding my desire to be in his ministry. The whole process was so smooth that I was shocked.

How awesome is our God.

Anyway, I am really glad. I will be professionally bettered and part of the pioneer batch.

I shall follow God's guidance into leading his kingdom and spreading his love!

Seriously, looking forward!

Job with a heart

There are not many jobs in the world where you may put your heart in to do, and feel completely satisfied about it, no matter how hard it may get.

Parenting is such a job.

It is the only job in the world that is 100% challenging but 200% rewarding.

The love, sweat, time and effort put into bringing up a child are insurmountable. But all you need is for your child to smile at you, come to you and give you a hug, call "mama" or simply following you around, you know, your efforts have produced results.

Your child loves you back. It is just that simple.Your child is growing day by day.

Looking back to the initial days when Isaac was born, it often brought such sweet memories, I felt moved.

Parenting is a job where you put in so much effort but you ask for little back in return.

It is also one of the rare jobs where your boss is demanding, difficult and may be somewhat tyrant. Yet, you will continue to serve him whole heartedly and love him deeply.

It is one job where you don't get much tangible benefits yet, you are happiest doing it.

I love my son. Everytime I watch him sleep or sing to him at bedtime, I am in awe at how much he has grown.

This is also my best job, ever.

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Milo Drum

This evening, I was busy doing the dishes and Isaac wanted to be carried so he could meddle with whatever I was doing.

To keep him occupied, I gave him a milo tin to play with. He enjoyed making music and even slammed the tin. I thought it was tightly shut until I heard an explosive sound. Then I saw the milo tin on the floor with a pile of milo powder.

Isaac had run far away from it to a corner, looking frightened and guilty. It was such a funny sight to see him standing frozen, staring at the strange brownish content from his "drum".

At that moment, I wasn't angry at all. I was responsible for it and cleaned up the mess. Whichever the case, it was a way for him to explore our world and let him grow and adapt.

One day, he will love this strange looking powder as much as mummy and daddy!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Dare to Dream

It has been five hectic months for me, transitioning from corporate working life to being a tutor. On top of that, taking on an education advisor role at Mindchamps.

Both have been rewarding and satisfying. Now, rewards and satisfaction need not be monetary. But both have enriched my life. I have learnt so much from all the people I came into contact with, including the children. I have enjoyed teaching them and making a difference in them. Additionally, Mindchamps has taught me invaluable lessons I apply in tuition and in nurturing my own child.

I don't mean to sound narcissistic but my students enjoy my classes! It was funny how one girl went out of the room to check on her mum and then told me she told her mum I extended the class. She did not want to end tuition class. Another girl looks forward to seeing me. Of course, these are how the little ones will react.

For the older kids, I am glad I have built trust and confidence by working with them in achieving improvements and moving towards attaining their objectives. To ensure this, I go the extra mile of providing advises on their study styles, possible career dreams (one needs to dare to dream to create a goal) and even remotely checking their works and explaining over Whatsapp.  That's the beauty of social media.

It is usually touching when children/teenagers adopt a positive attitude towards their studies. And it is very fulfilling to know it is due to what you have done.

Following this stint, I decided to take my passion one step further. I applied to be a MOE teacher. I have always wanted to obtain a teaching certificate. Why not now? There is never a better time. And just in case, for some reason I don't get a call back, I have also applied to be a relief teacher. There is of course no guarantee any of these will come through. But, that's all right. I could always try again or try other avenues.

Of course, God is always in control. I am sure he has the best plan laid out for me. I just need to still my anxious heart and rest on Him.

Anyway, this is my latest quote for myself.

"When you have a dream, pursue it. It may not be fulfilled immediately. But if you persevere, someday, it will come true."- ME

Therefore, one of the things I encourage my students to do, is to dream. Dream about what they want to do in their lives in future. Dreams always start small, fuzzy and uncertain. But it has the effect of leading someone to setting a goal for themselves. And this ability to dream, to think about their future, will lead them down the paths of exploration. Eventually, the explorers will know what they want to do in lives.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

New Leap of Faith

It's like God calling out to me. When I left the career I built in the last 10 years for my passion, I got many doors opened in the education industry.

I was invited to attend several parenting and education workshops. Of them, Mindchamps impressed me the most with their well researched and proven education system and techniques. They focus on developing the children's mindset. This, they coined it, the Champion Mindset.

Through their complimentary workshops, I learned to be a better parent myself. Through their complimentary workshops, I witnessed drastic improvements in children. These convinced me enough to join them to be their consultant.

Why? Because I hope to help more children and parents find the fun in learning. Educating children is a confusing task and many parents get stressed over it. Needless to say, the pressure is transferred to the children.

So, here I am. I am officially a Mindchamps consultant.

Contact me at or if you would like to receive education or parenting tips.

Friday, 4 January 2013

The Little Things

In life, we often take the little things for granted. Things such as safety and security. And that's because we live in Singapore, a relatively sheltered nation with strict laws and rules.

So, how often have we felt thankful to be able to walk out of the house, dressed to the nines, looking fashionable and even sexy for some ladies? How often have we felt thankful for being able to hop onto a night rider or taxi tipsy or even drunk without being taken advantage of?

The rape case in New Delhi has shone light on the issues of safety for women in India. Reading an article by author of Beautiful Life about her living in India, made me felt so thankful about living in Singapore.

I am thankful I do not have to cross my arms and look down on the floor when I walk around. I am thankful I do not have to wear clothes two sizes too big for me. I am thankful I can take public transport even late at night.

But I don't take it for granted and start wearing revealing clothes that could get me into trouble. I do keep a watchful eye as I travel at night. When I walk in places I feel uncomfortable about; where prying eyes roam, I do not keep an eye contact with men nor do I stroll. I can't say the same for some ladies, particularly the younger generation.

I have observed teens wearing revealing or body hugging outfits. Some of them are see-through blouses, which they might as well wear their bras. Some are plunging necklines revealing cleavages and offering a peek to their bras. Seriously, you can't blame men for being lured into temptation.

We have been lucky to be living in a safe country. However, with the influx of foreign talents, how can we be sure that the safety we have enjoyed will remain so?

Nobody can. And since we have been brought up sheltered, safety has been taken for granted. And ladies are not well prepared to protect themselves.

Some ladies carry just a small purse out. What makeshift weapons could there be in that small purse?

The rape case also brought to light the vulnerability of being a woman in general. There are cases of women being raped every now and then, even in Singapore.

Should we blame those men then for being unable to control their sexual desires? Or should we, women start taking care of ourselves?

I think it is therefore imminent for women to start carrying items in their handbags that could protect themselves. Women should also learn some defense techniques, especially since we are usually the weaker gender. This should be made compulsory. Defense mechanisms are not just useful locally, but overseas as well as we travel for holidays. Women should also stay vigilant and avoid walking alone in dark alleys or "unsafe" corners. Lastly, women should really look into their wardrobe and start covering up sufficiently to ensure they are not the cause of temptations.

Before ending off, I am reminded of a rape case I read years ago. The woman escaped safely. She succumbed to the rapist but before he penetrated her, she took his erection and broke it. After that, she ran away to make a police report.

So ladies out there, stop taking the safety we enjoy for granted. Start protecting ourselves and stay vigilant. These little things matter.