MTR stands for Mass Transit Railway. In Singapore, they call this the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit). The MTR is one of the fastest, most efficient, and most reliable modes of transportation here. It does get a bit packed during rush hour, but there is also a higher frequency of trains during rush hour, so you can always wait for the next train if the current one is already packed like a can of sardines.
There are panels on both sides of each train that has all the stations’ names listed. There are announcements at each stop and there are prompts on where to get off to change trains for a different line. The next station’s name conveniently lights up as the train approaches it. A light also prompts you from which side of the train to exit.
Do you see the Mickey Mouse ears on the pink line? That's the line you take to go to Disneyland.
For as long as you can reference your way to an MTR station, you will never get lost in Hong Kong.
I like to look at shoe fashion while taking the MTR. Can you guess which foot is mine?
Have a great Thanksgiving weekend, everyone!
Some days I get glimpses of what life might be like when Josh is a teenager.
The other night he wanted to have some ice cream after dinner. I said no. I told him that he could have some the following day if he’d finish his meals promptly. (This was after he took four hours –yes, four hours!! –to just finish his lunch that day. Ah, the drama.)
Josh whined and nagged. I told him to save his breath because it wouldn’t make me change my mind. He whined and nagged some more. I repeated that he could have some the following day, but that he wasn’t going to get any that night. To which, I got --
What? Do you want me to whine all night?
It was all I could do to not to react to that. I was so struck by his sass, yet totally amused that he’d thought that his non-stop whining would eventually wear me down. Yeah, Josh. I’d thought that, too, but I’d underestimated your PoPo. And you, my dear child, are underestimating me.
What do you do to stop the whining and the nagging? For how long do you let it go on before it gets to you?
(Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate it!)
Here is a pic of the gingerbread house that Josh did with his cousins three Christmases ago.
This is probably what we’re hoping to replicate with the gingerbread house kit that I bought at the bazaar on Sunday. That is, if the candies don’t mostly end up being in their mouths instead of on the house. We did this kit when Josh was 23 months, Big K was 2.5 years old, and A was 3 years old.
We all had so much fun watching the kids decorate the gingerbread house. The children were all so proud of their collaborative efforts. We had the gingerbread house on display for about 3-4 days before we threw it out. A bit wasteful, I’ll admit, but none of us could stomach eating all that gooey sweetness.
There is nothing I love more than the atmosphere of a Christmas bazaar –especially one that is held outdoors, on a perfect-weather day. Even more so if said bazaar has lots of activities for the little people.
We decided to check out the Repulse Bay Christmas Bazaar this year and I am so glad we did.
Despite having to wait a bit just to get into the car park (because it was full and we had to wait for cars to go out before we could go in), we all had a good time at the bazaar. There were the usual stalls selling Christmas knick-knacks, clothing, jewelry, and toys.
For the children, there was a bouncy castle, arts and crafts tables, --
Josh wanted to be a superhero…
Best of all, I was able to get a gingerbread house kit that I’d somehow missed getting the past two years because it was always all sold out by the time I’d remembered to go buy it!
Now, I have to find somewhere to keep it, where little people cannot easily access.
It’s a perfect Sunday morning –sun shining, temperature around 18oC (60oF). A perfect day to be out –hiking, going to the park, going on a picnic, and even sailing, it seems!
Zoë was looking out the window when she cried out, “Look, Mommy! A baby sailboat and a mommy sailboat!”
I looked and what appeared to be a regatta was in full swing.
Once in a while, we’d get sailboats passing through, but once or twice a year we’d see whole fleets of them sail past and go around the bend heading on to the south side of the island.
It’s nice to see colorful sails go past, apart from the view of tugboats, cruise ships, fishing boats, and other commercial vessels that we normally see.
It was quite a nice start to the day to see these colorful sails dot the blue water as they go by.
Zoë: Mommy, I need something.
Me: What do you need, Zoë?
Zoë: Something to make me happy. (Said with this really forlorn look that makes you just want to pick her up and cuddle her.)
Me: What would make you happy?
Zoe: Something pretty.
Me: Is a flower pretty?
Me: Would you want a flower?
Me: What color would you want your flower to be?
Zoë: A purple one. (Surprise, surprise.)
Me: Why don’t you go nap and when you wake up, you might just get a purple flower. Okay?
Yet another reminder to myself that it takes very little to make my children happy. That I just need to spend time and play with them and listen to them. Sounds easy enough, yet I find myself “forgetting” with my self-absorption sometimes. Books/blogs to read, posts to write, games to play (guilty!), business to take care of, phone calls to make/return, errands to run. How important are the rewards or consequences of those actions compared to my children’s happiness and well-being? I have to remember that now, they still want me to play with them. There will come a time when they would rather play with their friends. I wouldn’t want Josh or Zoë to look back on this time and say, “Oh, Mommy was too busy…”
This was actually meant to be a surprise for Chris for when he comes home from his trip. Josh had been pretty good at not telling Daddy the “secret” when he would talk to Chris on the phone. Last night, when Chris called, Zoë kept saying that she wanted to talk to Daddy, so I handed her the phone. Without any preamble, she announced, “Daddy, we decorations the Christmas tree. It’s really beautiful.”
So, the secret is out and I can post the pics now. Zoë got the honor of putting the star up on the tree.
We didn’t put up all the ornaments this year, because Josh wanted to make his own Christmas decorations and use those instead. He made drawings of Santa’s sleighs,
He said he’s not done yet, that he will make more when he comes home from school today. He makes the drawings. I cut them out and attach a piece of string to each. Both Josh and Zoë hung them up.
Josh told our helper that she should not throw any of his decorations away, because “we can use them again next year.” I believe I will keep them and will want to use them for years and years to come. I’d already written down at the back of each the date when he made those and maybe I’ll have each one laminated for better keeping and future use.
Is your Christmas tree up yet?
- Simply tell them that you don’t like to compare, that each child is unique;
- Try to understand that they are just proud parents and probably don't know that they're coming across as bragging.
- Ignore them/ tune them out.
- Short of telling them outright, …make a joke and hope that they'll get the message. Something like, "Wow, I hope my other friends/parents/in-laws aren't bored to tears. I'm forever telling them my child did this and that every time I see them, whether they asked or not. Sometimes I can't help myself, but I need to remember that they might not be as ‘into’ my child as I am!"
Zoë: But I want purple.Me: Purple what?Zoë: I want purple light.Me: What color is the sun?Zoë: Um, yellow.Me: So you get yellow sunlight.Zoë: No, I want purple light on dah water.
Josh: No! You have a small head.Zoë: No! I have big head and you have small head.Josh: NO, ZOË!! How old are you? (Trying to use logic to prove that because he's older, he has to have the bigger head.)
Zoë: (Two fingers out) Two!Josh: (Four fingers out) [I'm] Four!Zoë: (Still two fingers out) Eight!Josh: ZOË!!!! YOU MUST BE JOKING!!! YOU'RE NOT EIGHT!! I don’t want to play with you anymore! (Stomped off in a huff.)
(You have been warned, Lindy. But these fishies are of the cute variety…)
The weather has been lovely –cool, but sunny, around 24oC. I thought that I’d brave the weekend crowd and take Josh and Zoë to Ocean Park last Saturday.
In a bid to retain and fight for market share against Disneyland, Ocean Park has undergone major redevelopment ever since Disneyland came to Hong Kong. Certain facilities have been upgraded, new ‘attractions’ have been added. One of the newer attractions is Amazing Asian Animals,
where you see pandas, red pandas, giant dragon salamanders… and koi and goldfish! Lots of them!
The goldfish came in different varieties and had fancy names like ryukin, black moor, lionhead, dragon-eye, fantail, bubble-eye, pearlscale, …