lundi, décembre 27, 2010

Au revoir, big comfy sofa bed.

OK. The photo did not do justice to this sofa bed. The cover was all winkled as it had been folded and left under the bed for a long time. 10 months to be exact. But the mattress itself was thick and it made a really comfortable bed.

Now that mum had left, we would like to get rid of this sofa bed for good to make space. The space would provide the kids a corner of their own. Yeah, we were tired of having to pick up toddler A1's toys in the living room each evening after putting him to bed. We needed our own living (room) space.

This sofa bed had come a long way. It was Seb's bed during his balchelor's days. As I said, the mattress was still in top condition so throwing it away felt like such a waste. I decided to put up a notice at I mentioned before that we could donate anything at this site.

Once the notice was up, I received more than 10 demands right away. It was amazing. Some wrote short while others shared their personal situations. There were single mum, student, man quitting his parents' place for a new job etc. I did not give it to the first demand I received but instead replied positively to the third demand who said that she had no luck in getting anything since 6 months. Well, she would come tomorrow to pick up the sofa.

So a good deed done and Seb did not even have to carry the sofa out to the streets to dump it. Now, I wonder how we would decorate the kids' space. Seb would like to turn it into a cosy reading corner with cushions while I opted for a carpet with roads printed for the boys to play cars. Something like this from Ikea. Maybe I will post a photo of the end result.

jeudi, décembre 16, 2010

X'mas time soon

Galleries Lafayette. I think the Christmas magic is really strong here. I just love the decorations of Galleries Lafayette. And each year, the window displays attracted many kids.

This sunday morning, Seb will bring toddler A1 to view the famous window displays of animated toys. I hope it won't be too crowded as it could be dangerous for kids.
Christmas will be here soon and the weather is really cold this year. We may even experience a white christmas in Paris itself. That's so rare. As usual, we shall spend Christmas in Chartres. Stay tune to see what the babies get for Christmas.

samedi, décembre 11, 2010

A saturday evening

I stop by here to write a post before shopping online for an iron.

Saturday evening. . . . Seb brought toddler A1 to the circus. Tickets were offered by his company as X'mas gift to the employees' children. Toddler A1 might be too young for the 2 hours show but the lions performance would only be out after the pause. I do hope toddler A1 gets to enjoy it cos he loves lions. When we show him the lion in his books, he would go 'Grrrr...' with his head tilted backwards and mouth opened wide.

Me, I stayed at home with baby A2. I pushed the coffee table towards the TV furniture and placed the ironing board before the sofa. Baby A2 was in his bouncer and I multitasked; watching TV (the Simpsons in French :( ), talking to baby A2, leg shaking the bouncer, hands ironing Seb's shirts. I was going into my 4th shirt when the iron died. Hm.....

So here I am. Taking a break. Sitting on the sofa with laptop on my lap, watching TV (variety show 'Les annees bonheur' by Patrick Sebastien), leg still on the bouncer, drinking a cup of tea. Once I leave the room, baby A2 would cry. Once he sees me, he smiles. Finally, he is getting responsive.

OK. Back to serious business now. Mission: buy new iron. I would need it by wed as I had only ironed 3 shirts. Nowadays, I buy almost everything online. Even the washing machine. How convienent. I have 30 minutes to find a new iron before the next feed of baby A2.

lundi, décembre 06, 2010

Big revamps in our lives

Over the weekend, it snowed in Paris. This is not very usual for beginning of Dec. The snow did not stay as it rained after. However, it did snow heavily and my balcony had a layer of snow. It was a beautiful sight from the living room but I think my flowers had froze to death.

Baby A2 is getting better. Despite the cold, we had to bring him for theraphy sessions to clear his lungs. I'm glad that after 2 sessions, we were told that he was in the pink of health. For the next months, we would keep ourselves warm at home and avoid outdoors unless necessary.

With baby A1 at the childcare, there are some organisations to be done. Seb brings him to childcare and in the evening, my neighbour, whose son is also at the child care would help me to bring back baby A1. I won't have to take baby A2 with me to pick up his brother. This arrangement would last for these 2 weeks. After which, Seb would be on his 11 days of father's leave. Yeah, another work benefit in France.

Then comes the new year. Major changes would occur come 2011. We were disappointed that baby A2 did not have a place at the childcare. So the best decision for us was to pull baby A1 out of childcare and enaged a nanny. We found a chinese nanny who would come to take care of the 2 boys at home. She would speak chinese to them. She would work every weekday except wed and alternate friday.

For me, I will stop working full time. By law, yeah, another work benefit in France, I can reduce my work hours to 80% and get some financial help from the governement. This means I get to spend every wed and alternate fridays at home with my boys. The loss of income is about 10% after aids from govt which ends on the third birthday of the last child.

France is really a social country. I just realised that with 2 kids,I get about 120€ from the govt each month. I did not realise this until I checked my bank account a few days ago. The amount increased with the number of kids. No wonder some people just keep having babies to get this aid.

At the moment, I'm on maternity leave until 20 Dec but I decided to start work on 2011. After all, I still have 5 weeks of leave. I hope to be fresh for year 2011. I'm just exhausted now and nursing a cold. Hopefully, I won't pass it to the babies.

jeudi, décembre 02, 2010

He is back in hospital

Baby A2 got bronchiolitis and was hospitalised since monday. His condition is not serious. As he is so young, he is kept in the hospital for observation. Still, it is tedious for us. Seb's mom is helping to take care of baby A1 while I spend the day by baby A2's side. As the hospital is nearby Seb's workplace, he would come to visit during lunch time. For the night, we take turns to sleep over. Seb would shower at the hospital before going to work the next day. Today is my turn to sleep at home.

We are keeping our cool. We got to know the doctors and nurses there and know that baby A2 is in good hands. Still, with the extreme cold weather, I would prefer the whole family to be cozy at home. I wonder when the little guy will be back home. The prediction was a week to 10 days.

We are not alone. We see so many other babies just as young who were admitted for the same problem. Gosh, babies are so fragile during winter.

dimanche, novembre 28, 2010

Mom's the best

Though I'm a mother now, the title of this post is not about me. I'm referring to my mother. She is really the best. We always have a good relationship togather and for the past 10 months, I appreciated her much more than before.

She readily dropped her social life and family and business to come to take care of her grandchildren. She did not speak any french; knew no one else here than us; yet, she was brave enough at this age to take this big step. She always put her family before all else.

10 months passed so fast and now she is back in Singapore. I want to thank her for all the things she had done for us; especially her love for babies A1 and A2. She had more engergy than me. It is amazing what she had accomplished and even her friends were telling her that they would not have done what she had done. I love my mum.

samedi, novembre 20, 2010

He is back with us

Thank you my friends for your kind concern. Baby A2 is back home since yesterday evening. His fever was down and doctor confirmed it was a virus but could not identify what virus. We are so happy to be togather as a family again.
Got to go catch some sleep now.

jeudi, novembre 18, 2010

I hate Nov

At this time, I should be resting and sleeping but somehow I just could not. Instead of choosing to watch TV, I decided to take 5 mins to write this down. Maybe that will help me to go to bed easier.

I had spent the last 2 nights at the hospital staying by baby A2's side. He had fever and it was worrying since he was less than 2 months old. It started on tuesday when he had fever of 38.2°C. At the hospital, he had his blood drawn thrice. His urine and stools were examined. He had a lumbar puncture done. But all test results did not show up any virus or bacteria.

Poor boy was in great discomfort and Seb and I took turns to be by his side. His tempertaure had not stablised and this morning even shot up to 38.9°C.

Last year this time, baby A1 spent 5 nights at the hospital. This time round, it's his little brother. I hate Nov. I pray that baby A2 will recover soon.

5 mins up. It's time I go to bed and try to get to sleep. Let's hope that we can have our baby home with us tomorrow.

dimanche, novembre 07, 2010


When I was pregnant the first time, I requested from Seb to offer me a token of appreciation based on the birth weight of baby A1. Baby A1 was 3kg340g and I had 334€ as the gift. With this, I bought a ring with a quartz gemstone and a few charms from Agatha. The theme was based on baby and I got a milkbottle, a boy and a rocking horse charms. These gifts should last forever and are of great sentimental values to me.
When baby A2 was borned, we continued with tradition. He weighed 3kg100g at birth. With my new gift amount, I added 2 more charms; a diamond ring and a letter A to complete my bracelet. I will most probably shop for a pair of pearl earrings to use up what's left of the cash.
If you are interested in Agatha's charms, you can create your own at its website.

jeudi, octobre 14, 2010

Sleeping arrangement

A few months before the arrival of little brother, we bought a junior bed from Ikea for the big brother. Though he was only 16months old, we decided to make him sleep in the junior bed instead of buying another baby bed for the little brother. The little brother would instead be sleeping in the existing baby bed.

We installed the junior bed but big brother did not want to sleep in it. It took him a month before he slowly accepted sleeping in it. Now, he had no problem sleeping in it. I think he knew the advantage of sleeping in the big bed. He could get out of the bed early in the morning and came looking for us in our room. In the baby bed, he would have to wait for us to come get him. We no longer needed to set the alarm clock as we could hear big brother getting off his bed and walking along the corridor at 6.30am or sometimes earlier.

For little brother, I decided not to put him in the baby bed yet. The 2 boys would be sharing a room and since little brother cried so often as all new borns do, I did not want him to disturb his older brother’s sleep. I rented a maternity baby bed for a month. We could easily move the baby anywhere we want. Furthermore, we could see the baby through the transparent cot.
Another week and little brother would be a month old. I'm hoping that the 2 boys would sleep well when they are both in the same bedroom.

samedi, octobre 02, 2010

The birth story

The day before he arrived, we were at Jardin de Plantes in Paris. On the way home, the usual 30mins drive became 2hours due to massive traffic. Saturday evening traffic in Paris was horrible. That was when the contractions started. On Sunday early morning, the contractions continued and became regular at 5 minutes interval at around 3.30am. I called my mid-wife, Adela and she said to go to the clinic and she would join us there. We arrived at 4.30am and Adela examined me. She prepared the labour room and at 5am, my obstetrician arrived. By 5.10am, the baby was out. Adela knew that I would like to have a natural birth and we worked towards it throughout my pregnancy. I was really pleased that the birth turned out as I wanted. No epidural or complications. So it was really true what people said about first delivery being long and subsequent ones would be faster. But neither Seb nor I expected it to be that fast.

I thank God for answering my prayers. Adela, my mid-wife was great. She knew that my first delivery was long and difficult. She did her best to ensure that I would get what I wrote in my first birth plan. I did not even bother to do a birth plan for this second one.

If you are looking for a mid-wife in the Parisian area, let me know. You won't be disappointed with Adela.

vendredi, octobre 01, 2010

The wait is over

My second boy had arrived on sunday. He weighed 3kg100g and was 48cm. He arrived at the same term as his older brother; 39 weeks + 2 days.

Baby boy's name starts with an A, like his older brother. So I guess I have to call my Baby A, Baby 1 and this new born, Baby 2.

As usual, we engaged the services of Adela, my mid-wife and Dr Sabban, my obstetrician. I stayed at Sainte Isabelle Clinique as I enjoyed the service there for Baby 1. This time round, I took the suite since the room was entirely paid by my mutuelle. The rate was like that of a superior room in a 5 star hotel in Paris. Very expensive. The suite was spacious. I should have done that for my first stay instead of opting for the single room.

I stayed 3 nights there and though the food was alright, I longed for kebah and sushi. Seb delighted me with the best sushi he knew in Paris. (That was when he was still eating fish.) The fish were really fresh. I guess I had more craving for food than when I was pregnant.

We are all home now and as usual, mum is doing confinement for me. I can hardly wait for the confinement period to be over so that I can be FREE. Mum is not that strict but still, confinement is confinement!

Baby 1 takes well to Baby 2 and even kissed him. Baby 2 is adorable so far. Not a fussy baby. Or maybe because this baby business is not new to us, we are less stress up.

Oh yeah, when I was at the clinic, I met a nurse who did an internship at KK Hospital in Singapore. She knew about the confinement practise and we discussed a little. She was surprised to have a patient from Singapore and asked if my mum was going to sleep with me at night. I told her that my french husband would never allow that.

samedi, septembre 18, 2010

Waiting game updates

It has been almost 5 weeks since I am on maternity leave and I am still waiting patiently for baby number 2. In the first 3 weeks, I was told to rest tranquille and not move too much. Since 2 weeks, I had the go ahead to move as much as possible as we would like the baby to arrive way before term. In the hope for a short labour unlike for baby A's, the medical team (my obstetrician and mid-wife) would like me to give birth earlier. This was to avoid having a big baby. Baby A was 3.340kg and considered big for my petite frame.

So since 2 weeks, I had been active. When Baby A was at the child care, mum and I went to market, supermarket just to jalan jalan. During the weekend, we took walks in Paris. And with baby A around, we brought him to parks. He could have so much fun even in a small area of greenery. He is going to be 17 months soon and weighs about 10.7kg. Most of the time, he is happy. It is always a joy to watch him discovering new things.

Here, we were at a park nearby Anca's place. He had fun at the small playground and played for a long, long time.

Baby number 2 is very active in me. Whenever we asked baby A "Where's Didi (younger brother)?", he would sayang my tummy. Very sweet. Now, I'm just waiting for contractions. The whole family is so eager to see him and each day, we receive enquires asking if he has arrived. :) Soon, I hope.

mardi, septembre 14, 2010

Home made rice wine

Mum made some home made rice wine. It was easy to do it. Just need to prepare them in advance as it took about a month to yield about a bottle of wine. This wine is to be used for confinement recipes purposes. So far, she had made about 3 bottles. Just waiting to use it anytime soon.

Hoping that second baby comes anytime now.

mercredi, septembre 08, 2010

What's cooking, mother?

I have been staying at home since a few weeks and have been enjoying home cooked food for almost all meals. Mum is amazing. Though I miss Singapore local food, I am often too laid-back to dish them up. But not my mum. Just make a wish and she would dish it up in no time. Of course, I have to drive her to Chinatown to get the ingredients.

So, we already had fried mee hoon with congee for breakfast.

Mum made char siew and then a few dumplings.And ended up, we had wan ton noodles for lunch.
Yong Tau Foo, my all time favorite. Mum diced up the chicken meat and stuffed the veggies and tofu with it. Really really delicious.

All these above food and others stuff she made can be acquired easily in Singapore. But over here, these are gourmets for me!

vendredi, septembre 03, 2010

Singapore population tops five million

Singapore population is growing really fast.
I remembered that 10 years ago, 1 in 4 people in Singapore was a foreigner.
Now, the ration stands at 1 in 3.

Read this and this.

I doubt it will ever be 1 in 2 but 1 in 3 is really a high ratio. Living in France, this does not affect me but I wonder how does it affect the Singapore-born locals there. Any insights from you?

vendredi, août 27, 2010


It is the season of figs. In France, I only saw violet colored figs and today is the first time I came across fresh green figs.

We bought some and these green ones were better than the violet ones. My mum is so in love with it that she would like to pack a box back home in January. But I doubt we can find fresh ones then. Better to enjoy them right now while they last.

Back in Singapore, she would have to settle for those dried figs.

samedi, août 21, 2010

Waiting game

I had stopped work since a week and am just waiting patiently for baby 2 to arrive. At the same time, I was nursing a very bad cough. It was so bad that I could not sleep at night and my ribs hurted when I coughed. My doctor was on holiday and his replacement could not gave me any treatment out of precaution. I was given a throat spray and some honey sweets. After more than a week, I went to see another doctor and this time round, he gave me anti-biotics for my inflammation throat. It had been 3 days since I started my treatment and I felt much better.
Baby 2 should be arriving by end of Sept. I had already packed his bag. Just another month to go. Patiently waiting for his arrival and hoping baby A will accept him fine.

dimanche, août 08, 2010

We have big heads.

I had my third offical ultrasound scan last friday. This scan was to check the position of the baby and his measurements in order to determine if he would be a big or small baby at term.
Comparing with baby A's statistics at his third scan, baby A's brother was growing at the same rate as him. Everything about him was in the norm. His head circumference was however in the higher percentile. Baby A's head circumference was 36cm at birth. The delivery was not easy.

The sonographer explained that this could be due to genetics. She then took out a measuring tape and measured our heads. She took out her charts and confirmed that we were both in the 97th percentile. Seb and I both had big heads. It was not that obvious to the naked eyes and since we hardly bought hats, we never checked on the measurements.

Many months ago, I bought a cap size 12months from Petit Bateau for baby A. When he was a year old, I tried the cap on him. It was too small. I thought then that Petit Bateau had made a mistake in its label. Well, now I know better.

If you are interested to know if you have big heads, here's a link with the chart.

In the scan report, the sonographer added "head circumference: contexte familial".
I never thought that big heads could have bother me so much. I would prefer to have bigger feet so that it is easy for me to buy shoes!

mercredi, août 04, 2010

Appeal to women to take caution when they choosing a man as their husband.

I happened to surf to PAP's website and saw this interesting headline:

However, the article was discussing about ways to tackle ex-husbands who do not provide maintenance payment to their ex-spouses and children. So did Cynthia Phua meant for us women to be careful when choosing husbands in general. But she did not provide what sort of cautions we should take. After reading the article, I thought she meant for us women to be extra careful when choosing a divorced man as husband. Or maybe never to take a divorced man who did not support his ex-family as husband.

Singapore is really a nanny state. We ladies even have to be told to take MORE caution when choosing husbands. That's what any mothers would say to their daughters isn't it?

In France, I understood that if a man did not support his ex-family as decree by law, the ex-wife could lawfully impose the ex-husband's company to transfer that sum of money from his salary to her account. That was what I heard and needed to be confirmed. Maybe I could suggest that to PAP.

mercredi, juillet 28, 2010

How did he do it?

3 days ago, the weather station in baby A's room set off its alarm at 6am. The next day, it happened again. Somehow, baby A had managed to activate the alarm while playing with it. How he did it, I have no idea. We have the weather station (similar to this one) for years and I never bother with the alarm function. Seb finally figured out how to deactivate the alarm function yesterday night and he put it by his bedside this night as a precaution. He was the one who went into baby A's room each morning to switch off the alarm.

And this morning at 12am, we heard another alarm. Seb woke up but could not find the source. This morning, my mum told me that it was the alarm from the sliding world time calculator. It was a corporate gift from my previous company and it was always on the computer table. Yesterday, baby A played with it. Somehow, he set on the alarm function and by default, the alarm went off at 12am. My mum said she had to put the calculator under her pillow cos she did not know how to turn it off. I took 5 minutes this morning to figure out how to deactivate the alarm function. This was something that I never use.

Baby A had already played with phones and laptops and computers and had sometimes given us trouble. With the phone, he had called Seb's colleagues and my brother. He woke up my brother at 2am Singapore time and I got an email from Tim the next day. Oops. I deleted the neighbourhood police number from the phone in any case. With the computers, he had done things that we never knew existed. Magnifying the screen of Seb's laptop and giving his dad a hard time looking for his icons and putting the default settings back.

I hope that this night, we won't be awaken by any alarm any more.

jeudi, juillet 22, 2010

So french and so singaporean

1. Riots, riots again.
2. Strikes, strikes non-stop.
3. Flooding in Singapore a common sight.

1. Grenoble, France. An armed robber was killed by the police during action. He had fired at the police first. What happened next was beyond me. Riots! In the suburbs Grenoble, people started to attack police vehicles and set cars on fire. The girlfriend of the killed robber had filed a complaint for the murder of her partner.

Saint-Aignan, France. A man in a car crashed thru' a police roadblock and was shot dead. Again, there were riots. Cars were set on fire, a city hall was set on fire, police station and shops were attacked.

Lost lives are never easy to accept especially for families and friends of the deceased. However, there is no need for material destructions. There are other canals of venting. I am not even sure how many of those trouble makers are real friends of the deceased.

2. Paris, France. Air traffic controllers were on strike 2 days ago. This had interrupted many holiday makers who were travelling during this summer holiday period. They were on strike over a plan to unify European airspace. This would affect their job status as public servants.

Pharmaciens were on strike a few weeks ago to protest against . . . . I had no idea and did not look up. Just heard it over the radio.

More strikes are forecasted for September. Students are going on strike due to increase charges for university entries; unions are organising massive strikes against the retirement age of 62.

3. Singapore, Singapore. It was amazing watching the videos of Orchard Road being flooded. Not once but a few times in recent months. In the videos, people were just patiently watching the rain and flowing water at the entrance of shopping malls. How could this happen in Singapore, I asked. Like everyone else. Yet, the Minister Mentor said that "Singaporeans expect everything to be perfect ". Who won't when the govt has a perfect income?

If he had said that to the French, would there be another riot or strike?

mercredi, juillet 21, 2010

Flower arrangements

When we were at Brittany the last time, we visited a flower exhibition. Here are a few flower arrangements displayed for your viewing pleasure.

jeudi, juillet 15, 2010

Summer sales is here

The summer sales is here. What are the damages to my wallet so far. . . . . .
I bought some summer maternity clothes from H&M Maman but all of them except for a 3/4 length pants were new collection. Thus, no discount.

Also got 2 Longchamps Pliage bags at half prices. A document bag and a big travelling bag. Of course there were not much choice of colors.
That's about it for me.
For Baby A, I bought some bodies from Petit Bateau, clothes from Absorba and Vertbaudet. I got some pyjamas and day wear for baby A from Vertbaudet and was surprised when paying that an extra 20% discount was given for more than 4 items bought. It was really a bargain.

As baby A was starting to walk and everyone stressed on the importance of having a good pair of walking shoes, I bought 2 pairs of Kickers for baby A. One for autumn and one for winter. Seb paid for them and though there were 30% discount, he was shocked by the price of such small shoes.
I really like the soles of these little shoes. They are cute, aren't they?
I think I am done with this sale. I am looking forward to the winter sales where I hope to get some bargains on clothes for myself and for the second baby.

mercredi, juillet 07, 2010

Parc de Thoiry

Last Saturday, we went to the Thoiry zoo. It is famous for its safari drive through.
When we reached the safari, we took baby A out of his car seat and granny put him on her lap. The little boy was more intrigued by the fact that he was out of the car seat and started to explore the car. He was not interested with the animals roaming around. He even wanted to come to the driver's seat and Seb put him on his lap. Bad decision as baby A started to touch all the buttons. We had to put him back in his car seat despite his protests and only then, he started to be aware of the animals around him. Still, he was too young for this.
After the drive through, we visited the other part of the zoo by foot. The big attractions were the lions. A big glass tunnel allowed us to see these big cats up close and personal. In the ticket, it included a small palace for visitation. Nothing much special and in 15 minutes time, my mum and I were done visiting while Seb fed baby A his afternoon milkfeed.
I did enjoy the safari though I would still prefer Singapore's Zoo and Night Safari. Hopefully, baby A will appreciate it when we bring him to the Singapore zoo next year.

samedi, juillet 03, 2010

Munich again

I just realised that the last time we visited Munich was almost 4 years ago. Wow. Time flies. We spent 4 days over the long weekend to visit Nicole and celebrated her birthday.

The weather was great and at times too hot. This time round, we flew there. Once everyone was settled on the packed plane, the pilot announced that a technical problem had to be fixed before we could fly. It took 2 hours for the repairs to be done and during this time, no one could leave the plane because we were in the middle of no where. We took a bus to get to the plane. No other plane was available and some passengers were complaining as flights between Paris-Munich catered mainly to business purposes.

Baby A fell asleep once the plane started moving. He woke up only when we landed. My fear that he would have ear pressure due to altitude changes were unfound. At Munich, Nicole and her dad came and fetched us. We had a late lunch prepared by Nicole's mum before heading back to our hotel to freshen up. Baby A enjoyed exploring their home and even played with Nicole's childhood toys.

In the evening, we had dinner at Ratskeller's in the city hall's court yard. The next day, we celebrated Nicole's birthday at the Beergarden in the English Garden. During this trip, we visited the uptown, the Residenz Musuem and the Tresury Musuem. Seb had a great time browsing thru' the huge collection of Jazz and Classical CDs in Ludwig Beck and of course trying to be reasonable in his purchaes.

As the FIFA World Cup was going on, we watched in a beergarden the live broadcast of Germany against England on Sunday. Germany won and the atmosphere was great. Baby A entertained himself with the pebbles on the ground.

As this was not our first time in Munich, we were cool with this trip. No rushing, no plans. Just leisure. Still, we were dead tired at the end of each day. It was not easy to travel with a baby who just walked and me being pregnant. Baby A did not want to eat baby food jars and throughout the trip, we shared our meals with him. We ordered food in function of what Baby A could eat. One thing for sure, he loves bretzels and we love Munich.

vendredi, juin 18, 2010

He can walk while the other is starting to kick hard

At a few days short to 14 months old, Baby A is walking by himself. It had been weeks since he cruised from furnitures to furnitures. He could have walk by himself but due to lack of confidence, he would hold on to our finger to walk.

This week, he walked all by himself at his grandparents'. He spent a week there and I guess the big terrace and space in the house made him wanted to explore by himself. We had him back at home today and it was amazing seeing him walking all by himself. Now, we had to remember to close all doors especially the kitchen's.

And baby A's little brother was starting to give strong kicks. He weighed around 650 grams a week ago. It is always a special sensation to feel baby kicking in me. Just a few more months to see the little one in real life.

lundi, juin 14, 2010

Volkswagen Touran

We changed car. I chose the color of our Nissan Note and this time, it was Seb's turn to choose the color for the new car. Finally, he got the chance to own a black car.

With technology advancement, this car offers more gadgets than our previous one. I was skeptical when told about the Park assist function. Well, we had our new car a few days ago and Seb tried it out twice. And it works!
Check out this demostration video.
It is amazing. Definitely an essential feature for me, who can't park parallel.

mardi, juin 08, 2010

Saint Renan saturday market

When Tim and Carmen came visiting, we spent a few days at the summer house in Brittany. The last time Seb and I were there, it was during the week of 15 August, 2008. At that time, I was not aware that baby A was 10 days old in me.

Each time we come here, we make it a point to visit the Saturday market at Saint Renan. The market is full of local products and has a lively ambience.
Our visitors enjoyed the market. We bought strawberries, honey, bread, seafood, artichokes, crêpes etc.

For dinner, we had a spider crab and a normal crab. To cook them, just boil a big pot of water then put the crabs in for 20 minutes. The four of us (Seb and baby A not included) had an enjoyable time eating them.

jeudi, juin 03, 2010

Is global warming really bad?

Recently, I finished reading Michael Crichton's State of Fear. This book changed the way I think about global warming and islands disappearing and glaciers melting. It comes with facts that some glaciers are actually growing, islands would not disappear and not every cities are getting warmer.

I read this news onLow-lying Pacific islands 'growing not sinking' in BBC
The islands of Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia are among those which have grown, because of coral debris and sediment.

The study, published in the magazine the New Scientist, predicts that the islands will still be there in 100 years' time.

I would still make an effort to be environment friendly. But on news about global warming, I would take it with a pinch of salt.

Maybe this one article will give you a further insight.

All of this matters because the IPCC has been advertised as the last and definitive word on climate science. Its reports are the basis on which Al Gore, President Obama and others have claimed that climate ruin is inevitable unless the world reorganizes its economies with huge new taxes on carbon. Now we are discovering the U.N. reports are sloppy political documents intended to drive the climate lobby's regulatory agenda.

The lesson of climategate and now the IPCC's shoddy sourcing is that the claims of the global warming lobby need far more rigorous scrutiny.

jeudi, mai 13, 2010

A nice spring day at Auvers-sur-oise

A few sundays ago, we went to Auvers-sur-oise where Van Gogh left his prints there. Like this plaque showing that he had lived and died in this house on 29 July 1890.

Auvers-sur-oise is a nice city with plenty to offer for art lovers looking for impressionist paintings. It even has a castle.
While visiting, we saw this giant dog. Many people stopped to take pictures of it. A search on internet shows that it was a great dane. And it seems that Scooby Doo was a great dane. Interesting.

The dog was patiently waiting for its owner and it was not long before she came and took him away. Baby A could use this great dane as a pony. He looked at it but with not much interest.

One can easily spend half a day in this city. There is a train station so it is easy to get here from Paris. We went to visit Isle Adam after Auvers-sur-oise. It was a chic and quaint town and we had a nice lunch there before heading home.

lundi, mai 10, 2010

3 times in Munich over 3 weeks

This is written to myself for future reference:
I write so much lesser over here because I have been very busy. Even the journals I kept for baby A and his younger sibling had not been updated recently.
Well, I was away in Munich every week for 3 consecutively weeks. The first week for a day, the second week for 2 days and the third week for 3 days. Work obliged but they were good trips. In one of them, I even got to meet up with Nicole for a nice catch up. We will see each other again in end June for her birthday bash in Munich.
I guess I would allow myself another worktrip in first week of June if necessary. After that, I would be too big to move easily. Already, my back was starting to hurt.
For the next few weeks, I would still remain somewhat offline here. Because Tim and gf are coming to visit. I already put up a nice itinerary for them and sincerely hope that they will enjoy their time here.
Ending: Baby A weighed 10.15kg and measured 74cm as of last thurs. Really an average boy in perfect health. Here, he was looking out at the balcony with his friend Evan.

mardi, avril 20, 2010


I sponsored a girl in Thailand since 3 years. I joined this sponsorship program created by a french humanitaire organisation. I came to know this organisation through a church concert.

Each month, I donated a sum for the schooling of my girl. In school, she would have lunch and stationery provided. She would learn to read and write. My girl's name was Aom. Her parents lived in a slum nearby Bangkok. She had a younger brother and a younger sister. Her father was an odd job worker and her mum sold noodles.

Other than donating money, I also communicated with her. We would write to each other. As Aom was about 6 years old when I started to sponsor her, it was the center's staff who often wrote on her behalf. Aom did drew pictures for me and I sent her postcards and stickers.

Once she drew my son after knowing that I had a boy. It was so sweet of her.

Recently, I received a call from the organiser in France. She informed me that Aom had moved. I knew in the previous 2 letters that her parents had divorced. It was difficult for Aom's mother to take care of her 3 children alone thus, she decided to move to North Thailand to be with her family. I was surprised to get this call and even shed tears. I lost contact with my girl forever as we had no idea where she moved to. I thought I could sponsor her until she graduated and maybe even visit her a day. After all, Bangkok is not that far from Singapore.

I decided to take up a new girl. This time, a girl from Philippines was proposed to me. I do hope that I can visit her one day. And that she will benefit from this program.

I hope I made a difference in Aom's life for the past 3 years.

dimanche, avril 18, 2010


Each time I had overseas visitors, I would bring them to rue des Rosiers if time permits. There, we would grab a falafel and so far, none of my visitors were disappointed.

Last week, Diana and Bey came visiting after extending their Europe tour. It was great having them as mom cooked lots and we all enjoyed her food. It was always easier to cook for several people than just a few. Seb even made a rabbit stew that truly impressed Diana.

On Sunday, the places opened in Paris were limited and our favourite hunt was Marais. The streets around rue des Rosiers were mainly occupied by the Jews during the WWII period. Here, you could still see Jews in their traditional costumes. And just along this street, there were a few Jewish eateries.

The queue for a take away falafel was always long. For 5€, we had a pita bread filled with salad, fried eggplant, humus and chickpeas balls. It was overflowing with ingredients. Even my mother enjoyed it with the free helping of chilli sauce.

If you have the chance, visit this street before it lost its charms forever to the hippy boutiques pushing up like mushrooms.

samedi, avril 17, 2010

Egg Hunt

Easter was Baby A's first egg hunt at his grandparents'. As Baby A was not walking yet, it was his dad who carried him around. And as Baby A had no idea what to look for, it was his dad searching for the eggs.
There was a tricky one perched high up and even Baby A's cousins did not see it. So of course, it was picked up by Baby A's helper, his dad.

The kids were told that they had to divide their loots equally even if one found more than the others. Baby A had his share and since he was not eating chocolate, we gave some back to his cousins. I still had a basket of them in my living room.

Baby A however did chew off a little of the red aluminium package of a chocolate egg. We had to force it out and he was very upset by it. Granny appeased him by giving him just a tiny little bit of chocolate. Let's see if next year, our boy can hunt the eggs on his own and eat them in moderation.

jeudi, avril 08, 2010

Coming soon in Oct

Today, he is 9cm tall and weighs 110grams.
We are waiting excitedly to see him in Oct.

samedi, avril 03, 2010

Green Garden and Melati

Almost each time we go Chinatown for grocery, we would have lunch at Green Garden. Green Garden serves chinese vegetarian food and we always enjoy the food there. We usually order the stir-fried aubergines with basilic.
The last time we were there, which was the first time for my mom, she bought some frozen mock chicken drumsticks.

A week later, she cooked them with the real ones. Are you able to tell which are for Seb and which are for us, the meat eaters? Seb enjoyed them alot though my mom and I found the mock chicken drumsticks tasting more like mutton than chicken.

Speaking of food, I was recently in London for work and was introduced to a Malaysian restuarant in Soho area. The place was called Melati and it served mock meat dishes as well. I had satay as starters followed by laksa. The satay were really good. If I do get to go there again, I would try the roti canai and nasi lemak.

Blog wise, I am on the slow side as work and baby A are keeping me busy. Tomorrow, we are heading to Chartres for Easter egg picking in the garden. Baby A is not walking yet nor does he eat chocolate, but well, I hope he will have fun being with his older cousins in the search for eggs.

lundi, mars 15, 2010

Mamie Gateaux

A few Saturdays ago, we went for a walk around the quartier of Bon Marché in the 6th district. For tea, we chanced upon a tea saloon by the name of Mamie Gateaux. Mamie = Granny; Gateaux = Cakes. The interior was designed in an old school style.
It was very quaint. For beverages, my mom and I had tea while Seb had coffee. I ordered a chestnut cake and Seb had a pain perdu (lost bread). The drinks and food were great. The ambience was cozy and the waitresses were nice. We were served by a japanese lady and only after surfing to blog about this did I realise that she was the lady boss.
Here is a post I found in french with pictures.
So if you do happen to be around this area, do not give this place a miss. The address is 66 Rue du Cherche-Midi 75006 Paris.

And if you are into good food, after tea, spend the next few hours cruising the aisles of La Grand Epiciere (The big groceries) nearby. As the name says, there are food from all over the world. It is impossible to leave this place without buying something to try.

jeudi, mars 11, 2010

Keukenhof (18 March to 16 May)

I got excited this morning as I remembered that spring is coming soon. Each year, I realised that I missed Keukenhof only after seeing friends putting up photos of this event in their Facebook accounts. I wanted to go last year but was heavily pregnant at that time.

So, I started surfing for Keukenhof once I reached office and even contacted a friend who is living in NL now. This time round, I am not going to give it a miss. My mother is with us, and I am sure she will enjoy the flower garden as much as me.

The said friend gave me lots of useful info. It is feasible to do a day trip to Keukenhof from Paris. And that is what I plan to do. She suggested going around mid April as most flowers will be fully bloomed.

We decided to go around the last week of April. We shall take Thalys from Gare du Nord and get to Schiphol. That is a 3 hours train ride. And from Schiphol, there is a bus down to Keukenhof.

I am writing in advance in case anyone out there is interested to visit this spectacular place.

Now, I would really need to read up how to use our new Canon EOS 500D so as to take nice photos to show in my upcoming post about Keukenhof. Stay tune for more info on my visit.

dimanche, février 28, 2010

Prague Day 2 & 3

On our second day at Prague, we decided to visit the Museum of Antonín Dvořák. I love his Symphony No.9, “From the New World” and am interested to know more about his life. Actually, Dvorak had never stayed in this house. This small building housed his works including manuscripts of sheet music and correspondence. It also guided us through the life of Dvorak.The house itself was also a masterpiece displaying beautiful drawings and paintings on the walls and ceilings. After our short visit, we headed down to Charles Bridge and crossed the Vtlava River. Part of the bridge was closed for works and there were many artists and painters selling their creations.

At the other side, we reached the Lesser Quarter side. We visited this charming and calm part of Prague and settled for lunch here. We saw this watermill that was turning and along the fence, there were many padlocks. There was no explanation around so we had no idea if there was any special meaning to that. Nevertheless, it was intriguing.
After lunch, we continued walking up towards the Prague Castle. The Prague Castle contained a cluster of buildings and the castle ground was huge. We visited the St. George Basilica , St. Vitus Cathedral (pic below), Old Royal Palace and the Golden Lane. I was least impressed with the golden lane as it was a short lane and I felt that it did not live up to the nice critics I heard.
By the time we made our way down to the Lesser Quarter, it was almost dinner time. We remembered seeing an Indian vegetarian eatery and decided to try that out. It was served by a very zen Czech and Seb enjoyed the dinner. During our dinner, we overheard a conversation between the owner and his english speaking friend. At one point, the owner said "Michael Jackson is very fine now." Er... MJ was dead. We were quite sure that this guy was high on drugs or something.

After a whole day of walking, we decided to take the tram back to the Old Town. However, lousy us took the wrong side and ended back at the Prague Castle top. We changed tram and returned back to the bottom of the Castle. From there, we decided to continue our walk slowly. As we turned a corner, we saw a sight-seeing boat anchored and walked over to check on the next departure time. It was perfect timing as the boat was about to leave. We spent the next freezing cold hour along the river and taking in the night scenes.By then, I was exhausted and we took the tram to reach the other side of the river. We alighted at a shopping mall and bought a bottle of wine. From there, we just walked back to our hotel. It was a really long walking day.

The next day, we packed our bags and checked out. We left our bags at the reception area and started our last day at a leisure pace. Seb would like to check out CD shops and I would like a massage for my tired body after so much walking. We checked out the busy street at Wenceslas Square. We found a Thai massage parlour and there was a slot available for me. Seb had an hour to check out the CD shops he eyed along the way. After an hour of good and cheap (compared to France) massage, I found Seb waiting for me at the entrance. He found his Jazz CDs. The two happy people continued the last discovery of Prague, the Jewish Quarter.

Above is a statue of the famous author Franz Kafka. At the last hour, we stopped by a supermarket and bought some local delights for friends and families. We then headed back to the hotel to get our bags and walked back to the train station to catch the bus back to the airport.

It was a lovely short getaway and we enjoyed ourselves a lot. We would have missed many interesting details had it not been for the guide book.