Archive | May, 2014

Selective Hearing

30 May

M2 has mastered the art of selective hearing recently. Plugged into her music with her big Sony headphones, she would conveniently ignore hubby or me whenever we ask or remind her on school assignments for the day.

However, she can amazingly pick up key words, mind you the headphones are still in place, whenever M1 shares stories with us on the latest developments in school, be it news or gossip!

Hubby concluded it is definitely selective hearing.

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I Don’t Eat My Kind

29 May

Not too long ago, M1 openly complained that M2 has been very soft and called her a tofu; M2 took to heart her association with the food type.

We went out for dinner on one occasion and I happened to order tofu and scooped some for M2 to eat but she declined and said,”Mummy, I don’t eat my kind.”

“Huh?”

“She’s a tofu and she doesn’t eat her kind,” M1 explained.

Ahhh… What a clever new excuse to avoid food that one does not like.

Obsessed Beyond Belief!

27 May

Last week, workload in the office was quite stressful. Add in the constant evening downpour that causes the going home drive (read massive traffic jam) to be even more unpleasant, I needed an outlet to destress.

So I downloaded Farm Heroes on my phone! Something I normally don’t do – having a game that I play on three devices. It came to a point where playing on the laptop (and occasionally on the desktop in the office) and the iPad were not enough, I needed quick turnaround for lives without having to wait for people to send me, thus this decision. The latest level, 280, has taken over me, making me obsessed beyond belief! The spiders are simply horrid.

Subliminally, this is also my reaction to Candy Crush. I have reached Level 578 but this has been the mother of all frustrations! An unbelievable and ridiculous challenge, comfort from my other games does not seem to help…

Am I turning into an obsessed monster?

Eeeks! Spiders!

26 May

Unlike Candy Crush where every chapter has a name (Biscuit Bungalow, Gummy Gardens and so on), Farm Heroes Saga do not have any whimsical names for its chapters. They just introduce new elements and although, it may not be evolving chocolates and tornadoes, it can be annoying in the form of nasty rabbits, time bombs, irritating raccoon and mean fruits.

And the latest being spiders! Eeeks. Be warned, spiders appear from Level 266 onwards.

Family Not Required

23 May

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The last few levels of Farm Heroes was tough. But as always, with patience and perseverance, I would overcome the challenge. It took a while to overcome Level 190 and I thought I would require the hubby, M1 and the Roo to send me tickets. But guess what? They were not required!

The secret to this is, along the way, beat Rancid the raccoon by getting at least two stars to obtain the key to unlock the next chapter. So as soon as I achieved the stars, three farm animals automatically show up and tadaa! I’d breeze pass. Quite pleasant I must say as this is the first time, I did not have to enlist the family or friends for help. I am not complaining but satisfying, that’s all.

79 is Not 80

22 May

Mid-year exams are around the corner and motivation needs to be provided for the girls. Unlike M1 whom I am proud to say can achieve her targets, M2 needs a little bit of encouragement. So I offered my old iPhone4 seeing that the need for a mobile phone had cropped up again recently.

There was no tussle over the iPhone4 for ownership after I upgraded because I did not allow a tussle to occur. Although by hierarchy, M1 is entitled to my old phone, she is pretty contented with her hand-me-down Android phone from hubby.

But since M2 has been grousing for a phone, why not just dangle the iPhone to entice her to do well? After all, the iPhone4 is just sitting there collecting dust. All she needs to do is to achieve the 80 percent average target for all her subjects.

M2 is hesitant because firstly, my old iPhone4 was problematic (that’s why I changed) but I convinced her ever since I upgraded, the old phone seems to be okay. The choice was tough: a smartphone or no phone. The second reason being, she wasn’t sure she could achieve the 80 percent overall. So she negotiated with me.

“79? Can ah?” she asked me several days before the exams started.

I merely raised my eyebrow and commented. “79 is not 80. Does it look like 80 to you?”

She cringed. Silence.

Then she tried again.

“What if it was 79.6? Cos if you round up the point six, it would be 80!” she sensed victory in putting her mathematical skills to good use!

Hrmph. We shall see…

Staying Connected Anytime, Anywhere

20 May

The mobile phone is truly a wonderful must-have device today, keeping us all connected 24/7. With the variety of smartphones available now and with apps like Viber, WhatsApp, Facetime and iMessage to name the ones I use, we are always connected, be it the normal telco connection or via wifi/3G. During the dinosaur era when I was 17, mobile phones were unheard of and I would be hogging the house phone for hours to continue conversations from school with my best buddies.

But of course, you don’t see that with the children of today, hogging the house phone that is. They tweet, Skype, Instagram or status update on Facebook. However, with more and more social app choices available, it is hard to keep up. All I know is my girls are using something that I am not!

When M1 turned 12, both the hubby and I decided maybe it was time for her to have her very first mobile phone. But being only 12, we felt the phone shouldn’t be very expensive yet has all the cool functions. We got her a Sony Ericsson and put her on a post-paid plan instead of pre-paid. The rational was to monitor the calls instead of capping the usage at a monthly fixed pre-paid cost.

That first year, she must have discovered the wonders of staying connected anytime, anywhere. Ten months into ownership, her bill came to a whopping figure, it shocked the daylights out of dear hubby! The amount was more than what he and me uses—combined—for a month! My goodness, you could see smoke coming out from his ears… The punishment: deductions from the daily allowance to settle the bill.

Since then I guess M1 must have learnt her lesson for whenever I try to call her, it is so difficult to get her. She hardly or never picks up or answers the call promptly and will always go to message, which annoys the daylights out of me. Everytime. Hrmph.

When M2 turned 12 last year, the thought of getting her a mobile phone never crossed our minds after our experience with M1. So we left the situation as it is although she had hinted for a mobile phone every now and then. Whenever the situation arises, and in order to justify her need for a mobile phone, I would gently remind her by asking where is the old Samsung phone that she had inherited from me. Knowing full well the reply would be “I don’t know…” it was a practical reminder to her that she is not ready yet to own a mobile phone.

Undeterred, she found a way to overcome this. Proudly she tells me she has been saving her pocket money to buy one, sharing her dreams to have the latest Samsung models or the Apple iPhone5S. I even encouraged her to keep up the good saving trait. But my child being my child, she daringly pestered me to upgrade my phone to the iPhone5S so that she could inherit my old iPhone4; thus her saved funds can be used for something else! Behind the efforts taken, she was worried the fund was very slow to grow and lamented that by the time it became sufficient, she would be looking at probably, an iPhone10! While I did not budge on the upgrade idea, circumstances had me changing my phone this year. So now I have a spanking new iPhone5S and the old iPhone4 is just laying around, doing nothing but collecting dust waiting for new ownership.

And the lure of owning a phone has cropped up again with the 13-year old M2 who aspires to stay connected anytime anywhere with her friends, more than her parents. It remains to be seen whether the old iPhone4 remains to collect dust or be adopted.

So the house phone still has its usage after all.

Am I Italian?

19 May

It was during Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year that we discovered some very enlightening facts about hubby’s side of the family. Hubby’s uncle and cousin had painstakingly researched the family roots, tracing back to his great-grandfather, who was born in 1881 and emigrated here from China.

This means his grandfather is the first generation of the clan, hubby the third generation and my girls the fourth generation. I was awed because on my side, my only sibling and I are first generation; my Dad came from Singapore.

During the PowerPoint presentation, the whole clan learnt of the beginnings of the ancestors: how they met, when, where and all. There were even mug shots of the great-grandparents and it was one of the mugs that I commented, “Gosh! He looks European! Almost like an Italian!” to which M2 overheard and perked her up.

“Am I Italian?” she said.

Tickled by her question, I merely raised my eyebrow. She persisted.

“Am I Italian?”

I rolled my eyes and ignored her.

“Hmm. I must be because I like pizzas!” she decided and beamed.

Oh No! A Glitch!

16 May
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See the up-down scroll arrow, on the left?

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up-down arrow appears again at a different spot!

I have come to the end of Biscuit Bungalow. Level 575 was not that difficult. Thinking that I could move on, on the laptop to the next chapter, I thought I would have to ask for tickets but alas, I could not do so!

There seems to be a glitch on the laptop as I cannot click on the ticket platform. Every spot I try to place the mouse at, an up-down scroll arrow appears instead! Oh no!

Luckily the next day, the glitch was fixed on the laptop and with tickets arriving, I have progressed on to Gummy Gardens. Yay.

Suckered In

15 May

I was stuck at Level 566 in Candy Crush for so long that I contemplated giving up. Go back to my retired status from the game. However, the app updated last Thursday for the iPad and I got suckered in yet again.

But amazingly, last weekend proved to be fruitful. The horrible Level 566 was overcomed and I have breezed along on the iPad. I am now at Level 575, the end of the Biscuit Bungalow chapter. Looks like if I want to carry on, it’s back to the laptop as the game has another chapter in Facebook. And I might just do that because Farm Heroes has hit a snag at Level 245. Cuteness is lost with time bombs here! And these time bombs are meaner than those in Candy Crush. I am not amused.