Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Recently conversations with Sophie have gone on to a whole new level.

She's using words like "finally", "only", "nevermind" - big, abstract words yet she really seems to know what they mean.

Dinner conversation:
Me: Sophie, eat your cereal?
S: No........
M: Its really yummy cereal you know (repeated descriptions of how nice it is)
S: Don't want (repeatedly)
M: How about... Mummy put raisins inside your cereal?
S: FI-NAL-LY (exasperated tone)

The funniest of all, is the word "Because".. Sophie's learnt the word, but she does not know how to reason yet. So when we ask her a question beginning with "WHY?", she'll reply "Be-Cause".. and then pause...................... and not know what to say after that.


"Because" and not knowing how to continue kind of sums up my feelings over the month as well, I've been pretty down and trying to figure out how to get around what seemed insurmountable issues (in my tiny understanding that is!).
Didn't post though I wanted to many times, I felt I might be too "emo" and shock some, or be too "angry" and shock others.
And I hate having to deal with fallout, so better keep it all to myself till I've
(a) decided what to do
(b) gotten rid of the emotional aspect of my thought process so I can write rationally
(c) gotten out of my funk so I can write non-emo-tically

And so, here I am, at the end of December realising it was not really such a blog-worthy month after all. Too much to write on one hand, too little on the other, so err on the side of laziness and write less. =)

Check out Meimei's muffin-top tummy!

I've spent the month mostly at home, entertaining the 2 kids, seldom going out - yes, I didn't hit ANY shops once throughout the entire month, can you believe it OMG. Christmas shopping was done in hurried snatches in between tuitions, waiting for buses / trains, and so very very few (count them on 2 hands) adults got store-bought presents this year. A slightly bigger number (45) got hand made books from me, so I keep on telling them these books are SUPER LIMITED EDITION haha. Whatever possessed me to do the handmade books, goodness knows, they were certainly gorgeous but MEGA time consuming.

Children's presents on the other hand are a whole different ball game. The glee on my girls' faces as they see their presents and rip open the wrapping paper is just so heartwarming. So I rather put in the effort to buy, wrap and arrange the kids presents nicely under the tree, and make it a point to give pressies to all my friends' kids, they will surely enjoy receiving them as much as my kids do.

I bought S a set of Crayola washable markers, crayons and a colouring book for Christmas. Super good choice as she loves to colour, write and draw now.

Z got a set of board books and a soft toy, I hope she will not destruct them like Sophie did hers (hey, why would I need to buy new board books if S was a gentle girl you know)

This is also the first time I am seeing Christmas festivities through the excited eyes of my kids. I drove my in laws and the babies down Orchard Road in November before the crowds got too crazy, it was still a 1 hour journey just from ION to PS. Still, the journey was worth it because the babies liked the lights.. Mummy has no idea what the lights look like, I was busy fighting the traffic!

Seeing Sophie so excited at the Christmas tree in her school, I bought her a small one from Japan Home for $1 and a small box of ball ornaments from Daiso for $2 (CHEAPO alert!) - I made the rest of the ornaments myself from scrap papers and embellishments. Once the Cheapo tree went up, S would always go for it once she got home. Just $3 and she is so happy.. gosh..

Christmas morning outfits! Decided to let the kids look slightly chic in grayscale clothes. Nearly spoilt the effect though by wanting to put them in 1 red and 1 green stocking each!! HAHA!!
Don't worry, in the end S wore 2 green and Z wore 2 red. =P

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sit Up and say FATS

Miss Zoe has managed to sit up on her own just before the age of 6 months. Doesn't she look absolutely yummy (like, I-WANT-TO-MUNCH-HER-THIGHS kind of yummy).

Warning if you do that, you might risk CHD and atherosclerosis some point later in life. Close up o her fats so you know what munching will get you into:

I am continually amazed by her thighs!
And just in case you needed a cuteness overload..

Cuteness providing service from the Sim Sisters, at your service 24 hours a day.

Scotland Is..

.. very very rainy - brooding gloomy kind of rainy

.. very very cold - below ten, above zero, and luckily we got out before winter REALLY set in

.. very very beautiful - i've never seen grass so green, ref to pt above about rain

pics when i have time - now to recuperate from jetlag and whiny mice.


Update: OK here's the pics.. I can't sleep cos its the middle of the afternoon Scottish time, sigh. Can anyone say JETLAG!

Going Around Glasgow
Scottish breakfast, we ate the same thing every morning.

Overhead bridge also so chio

Our group in one of the rare moments of sunshine. I look so freaking silly with the darn hat I decided to stop wearing it.
At the Glasgow Science Center - They've some Age Machine thing. First pic is of me, 2nd pic is me aged 30 years (oh man I so need to start skincare regime NOW) and 3rd pic is of me as a man (no difference at all WTH!!)
Remember the quote "Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration" (Zoom in)

Glasgow Central Station, they've merged brand new facilities so well with old buildings.

Glasgow Cathedral, also known as St Mungo's (Hogwarts!) I am a big HP fan, I SO felt like I was living a HP novel in Scotland. The robes, the place, the mist and the castles. *dreamy eyed*

The interior of the church. This is the innermost portion where services are still held. There is an outer church and a lower church too.

Kelvingrove Museum and Glasgow University tower. I love the light here

Was lucky to get this sort o lighting on the last day there

University of Glasgow & the Dow / Davies Labs
The iconic Glasgow University Tower.. Can you spot the rainbow behind it? Hey with all the rain.. there's got to be rainbows lol

In the University Square courtyard of Glasgow Uni
View from the University Library.. omg how to study with a view like this, I'll be gazing out the window dreamily all the time I think
Chowing down in the cafe. This is cheap eats, a hot meal for around £3.. S$7, omg. On the streets, the cheapest we could find was around £5 or so and it was mostly more in the £7-10 range. Freaking expensive to live there lah

Wolfson Building where the Dow / Davies labs were located

First day in the lab and intro to the FLIES.. Many of them died for our sakes that day lol. Lab staff, Laura, Tony and Pablo who helped us loads
I told you many died for our sakes

Pablo demo-ing in the lab. We managed to get good clones for the 2 genes worked on, hooray. Hopefully we would be able to further this with positive results here in SG.
Tony and the confocal microscope
With Professors Dow and Davies, who so kindly hosted us in their labs. They are wonderful people, very gracious and kind and always willing to talk to us about all sorts of things, not just the projects.

It was Prof Davies' birthday on Nov 29th and I made this little gift box for her and stuffed a muffin inside. Had actually brought along the materials to make thank-you LOs for the 2 Profs and Helen (but forgot to take photos of those, facepalm!) - this box was made from the scraps.

University of Glasgow: Other Labs
Short lecture at the Henry Wellcome Functional Genomics Facility
Genomics: DNA microarray
One chip can hold all your DNA - there you go
Proteomics: PAGE gel runs, HPLC, mass specs, Flim-FRET.
Metabolomics: Super sensitive LCs that detect up to 0.0001MW. You can tell the difference between metabolites based on their MW.

Insectory with Anopheles mosquitoes. The research group studies the malarial parasite, which is cultured on a blood medium.

We went to the Institute of Molecular Parasitology after this, which was also a Wellcome Trust center. Unfortunately my camera died by then, so no pictures.. Can you believe the darn cam went through 14 batteries in 10 days. Crazy!! Every few hours I'd turn to ML and go "can you take photos my camera died liao" sigh.

We saw fluorescent trypanosomes, tsetse flies, and various other microscopes and plate readers.

Side Trips: Dundee, Stirling, Edinburgh
This is MUCH more like the weather we had all day every day than the sunny pictures above! Shot on the bus to Dundee.

Walking through the center of Dundee city

View from University of Dundee cafeteria

Wellcome Trust Biocenter
The TEM.. thats more than my entire house worth of $$ right there on the table, and that was just one room!

There was also the Anatomy department, but we were not allowed to take photographs. We actually went into their dissection rooms and saw the partly dissected cadavers. There were regional specimens (limb, head, neck) and full-body specimens. Fascinating, I never thought I would get a chance to see these as it is relatively rare for a course to be offered in Anatomy to non-medical students.

Observing fungi in the microbiology labs

Super foggy the day we went to Stirling

SO foggy I didn't realise there was anything on the hilltop till someone told me

Comfort food on a cold day, yummy
The Scottish Saltire - it was St Andrews' Day on November 30th
Saltires galore
An actor telling the story of William Wallace at the Wallace Monument
Stirling Castle. Sigh.
Slightly improved - one of the interior buildings of the castle
Sunset outside Stirling castle

St Andrews DO in Glasgow's George Square - a very winter-wonderland themed place. The Saltire was projected onto the City Chambers building.

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh. Rainy day again =(
Edinburgh Castle
Castle interior courtyard
Procession of bagpipes players up the Royal Mile - again St Andrews' Day celebrations
Look at the roadname WTH
Cockburn Street

I dearly wanted to walk around Edinburgh on their free walking tour but it was raining and cold =(

Finally ending of with my self-shot attempts hahahaha
Mugger-like. The robber kind.

On the 2197th attempt to take a good picture of myself in the University of Glasgow I finally succeeded
Camwhoring with a glass of the national drink Irn Bru (equals lemon barley with fizz kwakwa)
The best of the lot but still fail at camwhoring - I need a tutorial!! ZEKE!!

Thats all folks.. back to boring Singapore. I need to SLEEP (but I can't!) Argh.