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To tend to my loves

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Hubby picked the big kid up from her ballet lesson. Together, they decided. They brought it home and she laid it on my lap. The toddler snatched it up and plucked the petals. I rescued it and stowed it away.

Every day, before she went to bed, she sprinkled it with water.

A week later, in the dead of the night, I remember to take a photo. The edges of the flowers are curling black. The leaves at the side are mushy with rot. I throw it away.

I’ve not had time.

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February

♥♥ Valentine’s Day ♥♥


Evening stroll along the beach


Candlelight dinner
(Indian food is Mr Fluffy Hubby’s way of showing me love. She complained the flickering lights hurt her eyes… but it didn’t seem to have got in the way of her enjoying her food.)


Train ride into the night

♥♥ My Birthday ♥♥


They brought me for chili crabs.


She gathered orange flowers from the ground for me.


He gave me a bouquet of red roses.
(And a gold watch. And went along with my insane requests for McDonalds apple pie & fries and a family photoshoot back at home.)


She recorded a surprise birthday song for me on my iPhone — all by herself!

I am loved.

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There’s this thing that her teachers tell her: We are not angry; we are upset.

Teacher J is upset with RZ because she doesn’t say goodbye to her mummy every morning. She said loudly to RZ, “I am very upset with you.” RZ cried.

Was she angry with RZ?

No, she was not angry. She was upset.

What is the difference between angry and upset?

The difference is… when you are angry your voice is loud, when you are upset your voice is… also loud… There is no difference.

So your teachers tell you that they are not angry, they are upset. But actually, it’s the same thing?

Yes, it’s the same. Ha ha ha!

There is no difference. It’s the same — angry and upset!

Ha ha ha!

Then there’s also this thing with Mr Fluffy Hubby:

Why are you teaching her to be subversive?!

I’m going to roll over and sleep now. Because I’m sure you’re not angry with me. You’re just… upset. Ha ha ha!

There is nothing wrong with anger. Deal with it.

There are stuff that are way worse and way scarier than anger, such as the denial of anger, the suppression of anger, the repression of anger. Those are the ways in which psychopaths are made.

So says me, the angriest person I know. Ha ha ha!

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CNY Day 5

BFF Y was back from Perth. She brought her little girl K over for CNY breakfast.

I could hardly bear to let her leave. Is it going to be another 2 years before we see each other again?!

I miss her.

CNY Day 11

Early 元宵 dinner with my family over the weekend.

Last 鱼生 for the year.

And 汤圆!

Mr Fluffy Hubby’s green and white.

I got green and pink! 2 pinks! I couldn’t stop laughing. 😀

CNY Day 14

My parents asked us over for a simple dinner at the cafe outside their house. And then 元宵汤圆 again! Homecooked by my mother this time. Pink and white stuffed with peanut, sesame and red bean paste. We had 3 big ones each, even the little girl!


Mr Fluffy Hubby’s rabbits

Last day of Chinese New Year — Day 15. The day after, we cut open our Power Pomelo and ate it up! It was yummy! Happy CNY!

Read also:
Happy Chinese New Year!
CNY Preparations
CNY Celebration in School
Reunion Dinner
CNY Day 1
CNY Day 2
CNY Day 3
CNY Day 4

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Popiah Party!

We also had kueh pie ti, chicken wings, fish balls, sotong balls and curry puffs. Kueh lapis for dessert.

But the food was just an appetizer for the fun that was to come.

It was not long before everybody gave up the pretense of lunch.

And took over the kid’s table for some long-awaited ban luck!

This is a very important pomelo. Mr Fluffy Hubby held on to it firmly throughout and never lost a single game!

The rest tried to up their luck with oranges. But come on, an orange is puny compared to a pomelo. So Mr Fluffy Hubby continued winning winning winning!

Next Chinese New Year, we’re going everywhere with a pomelo. POMELO POWER!!!

PS. Her uncle let her play a few hands and she won! He gave her all the money to keep. Her grandfather got her a piggy bank for it. So now, she has a small fortune! My little girl is rich!

Read also:
Happy Chinese New Year!
CNY Preparations
CNY Celebration in School
Reunion Dinner
CNY Day 1
CNY Day 2
CNY Day 3
And there are 15 days of CNY!

Read Full Post »


开工大吉!

My father’s company lunch with all their business associates and closest friends marks the start of the new working year.

I’ve been going to this all-important lunch since I was born. When I was a kid, this was my favourite day of the new year.

Everybody knows, you wear new clothes on the 1st day of Chinese New Year. But in my family, we save our most splendid outfits for the 2nd day.

I would spend the morning running amok with the rest of the children in my father’s office; the afternoon huddling and chattering with my best friend in the restaurant.

The elaborate lunch always ended sometime in the very late afternoon. But my father and his closest and oldest friends (since their childhoods) didn’t let up. They moved the party from house to house till late in the night when they fed us roti prata from the only food stall that was nearby and still opened.

When we reached home way past our bedtimes, we would count our ang pows. It was the best day of Chinese New Year.

Now I’m all grown-up.

My father’s childhood friends still turn up for his company lunch, but not their children. Not my childhood friends. The uncles and aunties take up just 1 table among the many others filled with business associates.

I spend a minute or two missing my friends. I spend maybe another five to ten minutes repeating stories of my childhood to Mr Fluffy Hubby. I sigh, but I am soon distracted.

My child is shrieking with delight at seeing her granduncle. She is wishing him happy new year and exchanging oranges with him. She is holding on to them like they are her most precious possessions. (I will soon find out I am not allowed to exchange these oranges for others.)

The uncles and aunties are crooning at her. They are marvelling at how big and how pretty and how articulate and how clever she is.

She is dressed in her finest clothes — a floaty pink princess dress given by her paternal grandmother — and she is having a ball!

At night, we go over to my elder brother’s place for dinner.

Mr Fluffy Hubby stays to play mahjong with the rest of the men in my family.

I bring our little girl home to sleep. I wait up for Mr Fluffy Hubby till I fall asleep too.

Our 2nd day of Chinese New Year — as good as the 1st day of Chinese New Year, as good as ever.

Read also:
Happy Chinese New Year!
CNY Preparations
CNY Celebration in School
Reunion Dinner
CNY Day 1
CNY Day 3
CNY Day 4
And there are 15 days of CNY!

Read Full Post »

We brought Rabbit everywhere with us!

We started our day only at noon, over at Mr Fluffy Hubby’s mother’s place. She’s a culinary whiz who’s always experimenting with the newest recipes. So after our 鱼生, we had lightly fried chicken rolls stuffed with ham and prawn tempura stuffed with minced pork. Plus her signature 五香, restaurant-style spread of abalone on a bed of oyster spinach, incredibly thick and yummy sea cucumber with scallop and shark’s fin soup that was the real deal. There was even freshly homemade honey and garlic chili sauce.

The little girl developed a taste for sea cucumber and abalone. Mr Fluffy Hubby’s favourite was still the shark’s fin soup. I loved everything!

After that, we sat around and watched TV reruns of last night’s new year celebration. Ate some goodies. And ended the afternoon with mandarin oranges and fruit juice.

It was late evening by the time we got back home. The little girl napped till night, then we went over to my parents’ place.

It was festive! Big red lanterns, long bunch of firecrackers, too much food, and lots and lots of people!

They had already tossed the 鱼生, but saved some for us. The table was filled right to the edge with curry chicken (a tradition passed down from my grandmother’s era), pig’s stomach soup (my mother’s specialty), stir-fried leeks (which I’ve been faithfully eating every year, in the hope that it will imbue me with mathematical prowess by virtue of the sound of its Chinese name, because that’s what I’ve been told by my parents since I was a kid) and abalone (my all-time favourite). Then there was the most indulgent pot of 盆菜 ever. And my mother’s 五香! Have I already raved about my mother’s 五香? I can eat it every day for the rest of my life.

After dinner, the kids went for one round of sparklers before heading back into the house for dessert. Häagen-Dazs ice-cream cakes from my cousin! He has brought them over for so many years now, they have become a tradition.

Mango & passionfruit for the older folks.

Cookies & cream for the children.

Everybody left after the ice-cream, except us. The little girl spent some time sorting and safekeeping her candy with her grandfather. And that was the note on which we ended our 1st day of Chinese New Year — sweet.

Read also:
Happy Chinese New Year!
CNY Preparations
CNY Celebration in School
Reunion Dinner
CNY Day 2
CNY Day 3
CNY Day 4
And there are 15 days of CNY!

Read Full Post »

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