Wednesday, 27 December 2006

Insomnia

Haven't been able to sleep till it's past 4 or 5 in the morning these two weeks. Too many things on my mind - my last semester at NIE, which module to take, Coco's starting of school and whether I've adequately prepared her for school, William's credit card debts ...

I know it's important for me to set a good example for Coco where sleeping is concerned, but I just can't get to sleep. I'm not sure how she's going to wake up at 5 am every day from next week onward. Perhaps I've to wake up at that unearthly hour too since William won't know how to tie her hair up for her, or make sandwiches for her. I think I'll die if I have to wake up at 5 am every day because my last class for the next sem will be at either 6.30pm or even 7.30pm. By the time I reach home, it will be like 8 or 9pm.

Saturday, 23 December 2006

First Christmas at our new place

The spread ...






This Christmas, I decided to make some personalised stockings for the kids. I had thought I could machine-sew the stockings but realised it didn't work. The slip-stitch has to be hand-sewn to join two pieces of felt together. I ended up spending most of my time on Xavy and Ash's as theirs were more intricate, or rather, complicated.
Here goes ...

Coco's ballet pump


Xavy's elf boot

Ash's elf boot

The elf boots' colours were personally picked by Xavy. I even let him pick the colours for Ash's to let him have a sense of ownership and decision-making power over his baby brother's stuff.

Monday, 18 December 2006

My favourite photo

It was taken last year early October. It remains my favourite as of last Oct. It speaks of a warm moment between a mother and daughter.

Sunday, 17 December 2006

A niggling feeling

He hit me today. It's not a real bashing-up, but I feel that it's the first step towards physical abuses. They all start small, don't they?

It all happened when we were eating at McDonald's after the midnight show. He started to talk shop again, and he started to put me down on how lower educated people don't know what 'IJ' stands for, and that his friends are all of degree level and mine are not. I got irritated and smacked his face half in jest. He hit me hard on the thigh in return. The thigh numbed for a while.

I was shocked. He said he would never lift a finger on me. And I'd said I would definitely leave him if he ever does. I'm not sure if I should wait till he bashes me up before I leave him. If I do, I would be filing divorce for a second time. And we are just one year into our marriage ...

I was talking to Chujuan yesterday when she mentioned that she couldn't understand how Ex could have been 'good' to me. She said that she could still remember how he shouted at me in her presence over some matter. Honestly, I have no recollection at all about this particular scenario, but it still affects me emotionally. It makes me think about how small I was in that relationship, how emotionally bruised I was, how trapped I felt. Friends told me he was nasty to me but I thought they were saying that because they didn't understand him. On hindsight, they were the bystanders, and they passed the best judgement when I couldn't even figure my way out of the relationship.

I couldn't leave him because I was afraid that no one would treat me better than he did. I thought that no one else would want me. I thought that he really loved me.

If not for Coco, I would still be stuck with him. It was for her sake that I forced myself to pluck up the courage to leave the empty marriage, a marriage only in name. I didn't want her to look up to him as a role model for a father, or worse, future husband.

I wasted my most precious 9 years on him. I'm not just about to waste time on another man.

I thought William is God-sent, but I guess he's a man after all.

Friday, 15 December 2006

My Handyman Ah Pa

I got a few pieces of wall tiles that are bad mismatches in my kitchen:
It happened after we realised that the original placement of the plugs was hazardous - it was right above the hob. William got an electrician to shift the plugs to where they are now, but both the electrician and William did not manage to get similar HDB wall tiles, and William was fine with the different-tone tiles, as well as the half-cut tiles as shown above.

One fine day, I called up HDB and after a few enquiries, I managed to buy 8 pieces of these light blue tiles from a particular contractor at $2 each. After half a year, my father volunteered (again) to do up the wall tiles for us - after relaminating our tv console.

He spent hours drilling and knocking out the tiles:
There was a little hiccup when he drilled the wall tiles to break them down. He drilled onto one of the wires and the whole house' was short-circuited, but it didn't pose a problem to my know-it-all father. He repaired the wire (don't ask me how. He just did it) and everything was back to normal.

The kids got a shock when their grandfather turned around. He got tonnes of debris stuck to his bare torso. By the time a small portion of the wall looked like the above, the whole kitchen looked like it was hit by a nasty tornado, except that things were still sitting upright on the kitchen top.

This is how the kitchen wall look like now:
It would have cost me at least a good $200 to have this if not for my personal handyman.

To learn or not to learn ...

I've been battling within myself if I should let Coco take up violin. It's one of the enrichment lessons offered in her school. My main considerations are:
  1. Do I really want her to learn violin? My ultimate aim is to let her learn piano. Will she have time to juggle with both should she pick up piano in the future, on top of her studies? Would she want to go back to ballet in time to come? I'd prefer her to concentrate on one, at most two, of these musical stuff instead of all.
  2. Does she really like violin? I'd seen the way she looked at the kids in her future ('near-future' rather) primary school playing the instrument. I'm not sure if that's longing in her eyes, or was it just curiosity?
  3. Violin lessons even as an enrichment is not cheap. It costs $210 - $240 per term (and there are 4 terms per year), and one violin would set me back by more than $300.
  4. She'd have to go to school on Saturdays from Primary 3 onward for violin lessons. It'll be quite a headache if we still don't have a car by then.
  5. If she doesn't join the group now, she'd have to join the other P1s next year, and it's subject to availability of vacancies.
  6. If she picks up violin now, I probably won't allow her to drop it in time to come. I've always believed learning music has to do with building up one's determination and perseverance. Giving it up halfway would be undesirable.

That's quite a lot of considerations. I can't really discuss this with William since he'll definitely say 'no'. I'll probably go ask what my sisters think and see if Coco has a genuine interest in learning violin. If she does, nothing can stop me. :-)

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Thank you, Ah Pa

My father volunteered to help take care of Coco when school starts! I'm very grateful that he offers his help although it was evident that he went through some struggles before he decided to help. That would mean that he would be stuck at my place for the whole of afternoon to evening from Monday to Friday when school opens. William suggested yesterday that we go look for a mattress and set up the bedframe we had bought for Coco so that my father can rest or nap in the blue room if he wants.

We had enquired about a few possibilities:

1) Coco continues to live in Woodlands. She sets off from Woodlands to school and comes home to Woodlands: $135.

Verdict: We'll do this if worst comes to worst.

2) Coco go live with William's parents at CCK. She takes the same bus to school and goes home at CCK: $60 - $100 (we hadn't enquired about this)

Verdict: Not really plausible. We don't have the money to pay for William's mother to substitute her original income.

3) Coco takes different buses to and from school so that she sets off from Sembawang to school and alights at Woodlands after school: $100 (Sembawang) + $85 (Woodlands) = $185.

Verdict: A slightly better option than (1), but the fee is exorbitant.

4) Coco lives in Sembawang. She takes the same bus to school and back here: $130. But we'll need someone to help pick her up from the alighting point and take her home.

Verdict: Best arrangement, but will impose on my parents.

We knew it's going to be expensive if Coco takes different buses to and from school but we didn't expect it to be sooooo expensive. And after work, one of us would have to go Woodlands to pick her up. It's a lot of hassle and not cost-effective. Besides, my mother's place is not exactly conducive for studying - something my father agrees. There isn't an extra room to act as a study. And Coco would probably end up watching tv the whole day, if not playing with Xavy and Ash. We are sending her to 'one of the best schools in Singapore' (as said by my Significant Other). We can't afford to have her starting off on the wrong foot.

Above all, the last reason is the one I'm most concerned about. Kids are kids. They are not going to think, "I've had too much TV and play today."

For just to and from Sembawang, it'll be $130, including the CCA trips. Hmm ... I hope the driver won't start to charge me extra when Coco decides to join 3 or more enrichment programmes. As it is, I find it unreasonable, or should I say 'dishonest', that he should charge us $100 for just single trips. I can't help but feel that he's opportunistic. Parents from Coco's would-be school are usually rich and so he's charging at this ridiculous rate.

Monday, 4 December 2006

Birth of courage

Finally decided to create a blog after much struggle. An intrapersonal person, it's sheer temptation not to create one - after putting up numerous, persistent but futile resistence. Didn't want to blog simply because I'm a painfully honest person. I say whatever I feel, so I might just end up complaining instead of blogging. At the same time, I was apprehensive about the privacy of my kid's life, but have decided to throw caution (at least some) to the wind in the face of mighty temptations. So blogging world, here I charge!