Your legacy lives on…

Today is D day… the day of our Founding Father laid to rest.

Along with the many Singaporeans, we remained glued to our television sets for the duration of the state funeral which was televised live. We decided to head down to Raffles Place to join the thousands to catch a glimpse of the gun carriage carrying Mr Lee’s body. But the skies turned grey and it started to drizzle a little.

IMG_7438I had hoped that the rain would go away but then the rain didn’t show signs of easing up and it poured heavily. Yet, despite that, Singaporeans didn’t head straight for the shelter. Instead, ponchos/ umbrellas sprung up and they stood by the roads, patiently waiting for Mr Lee’s cortege to pass by.

IMG_7446This reminded me of what I read in our history books – in 1968, it rained heavily on our National Day Parade. Mr Lee Kuan Yew sat in his seat at City Hall and despite the heavy downpour, he said ‘The whole world is watching us to see what we are made of. We will brave on.” And just like that, the people involved in the NDP then braved on.

Today, the mood was sombre all round and it’s like the heavens cried for him too, along with the people of Singapore…

PM Lee Hsien Loong said in his eulogy, ‘This has been a dark week for Singapore. The light that has guided us all these years have been extinguished.’ As I watched on, my tears silently fell. Yes, our Founding Father – Lee Kuan Yew – is gone but his legacy lives on and it’s up to us – the children of Singapore – to carry on the work that he has started. So, the light that has guided us has not been extinguished, it lives on in each and every one of us and let us be responsible to pass on that light to our children.

After the state funeral was over, I looked out of the window and saw the sun shining brightly. I know the weather in Singapore is fickle but on 29 March 2015, this weather is no freak incident. It’s a sign, I told my mom, the heavens have cried for him and now the skies have opened up and are welcoming him into heaven.

Your work here is done..Rest in peace, Mr Lee Kuan Yew…

He rallied a nation with a dream. Speaking to the Singapore Press Club in 1996, he said: “Thirty years ago, my colleagues, younger and more dreamy eyed, settled the words of our pledge. We did not focus our minds on our navels or we would have missed the rainbow in the sky. We pursued that rainbow and that was how we came to build today’s Singapore.”

Of his life, Mr Lee said: “I cannot say I planned my life. That’s why I feel life is a great adventure, exciting, unpredictable and at times exhilarating.”

His political genius swept Singaporeans along the arduous but rewarding journey of hope and discovery. And his courageous spirit continues to inspire Singaporeans, young and old, to take their country towards an even more meaningful tomorrow.

A fledgling nation, once floundering, now claims its place among the world’s most modern – all within the lifetime of an indomitable leader.

In his own words, Mr Lee said: “For the young, let me tell you the sky has turned brighter. There’s a glorious rainbow that beckons those with the spirit of adventure. And there are rich findings at the end of the rainbow. To the young and to the not-so-old, I say, look at that horizon, follow that rainbow, go ride it.”

(Excerpt taken from Mr Lee Kuan Yew: Public Man, Private Life article)

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

10155832_10152855179598915_2772982170926239209_nIt has been an emotionally charged week for many Singaporeans, myself included. The passing of one of the greatest leaders our city state has ever seen has left many emotionally void.

My thoughts are all jumbled up as I struggled to frame them for this post. So pardon me for it may all just come out as gibberish to you but it does make sense to me at this point in time.

For one, I didn’t think that his death would have such an effect on me. But yet, when it happened, I found myself tearing when watching the news on Lee Kuan Yew, on reading the numerous articles that only speak of his wisdom, revealed his great love for his wife and how he has been a great father not only to his kids but also to Singapore. The one thing I’ve learned about this man who appear to many hard on the outside but a gentle giant perhaps on the inside is his undying  love for his people, his nation and this country, Singapore. This is a man who truly is a father of our country, he may look stern but deep down inside, whatever he did right or wrong is truly out of love for his country. A man who moved nations and commanded the respect from many far and wide.

11083646_1014731151871618_2605249401128265715_nI think this photo speaks volumes. It’s hard to hold back those tears.
(Photo credit: Straits Times)

I barely knew the man other than his larger-than-life persona but yet this sense of national loss was great. I cried alongside my countrymen. I found myself glued to my mobile, refreshing pages to read the latest news and to watch the live feed of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s lying in state at the Parliament House. As a mark of respect, I found myself deliberately dressed in black/ white the past week. And of course, I tried holding back those tears when I read memorable quotes and news articles of him. I really love the article penned by Minister Heng Swee Keat’s on Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s Red Box. I wonder where that precious Red Box is now and what instructions/ words it held on 4 Feb 2015.

I found myself walking in a daze momentarily this week, being appreciative of what our little red dot has to offer and also being hugely proud of how our people banded together in this week-long of grieving. Perhaps like what Mdm Halimah Yacob has shared, ‘In grief, we have become more united as Singaporeans.’ In your death, you have united the nation and reminded us of the struggles you have once fought alongside your people to build up this prosperous nation.

The snaking long queues (some taking up to 10 hours) for people from all walks of life to pay their final respects to Mr Lee Kuan Yew streamed steadily since Wednesday and yet, despite people calling us a nation of complainers, those people in the queues didn’t complain. All of them were willing to wait patiently in line under the punishing sun and the harsh burst of rain. There are no freebies but yet, people/ companies banded together to distribute food/ water/ umbrellas to the people in the queues. My social media feeds were filled with deep admiration for the man and the gratitude for those who worked hard behind the scenes.. I was deeply touched by these acts of kindness and gestures that many have given. My hope is that we continue to be united and live the legacy that LKY has fiercely built for our future generations to come.

I had wanted to head down to the Parliament House but didn’t. So we brought Bubba to a tribute site today where we joined many others to pay our respect to this great man.

IMG_7393Thank you our founding Father for all that you have done for your children of Singapore. 50 years ago, you wept for our nation. Today, the nation weeps for you.

On my homeland, I couldn’t be prouder to be called a Singaporean at this time. Yes, there are some things that I’m not happy about our tiny, red dot but as I gaze out and look around what we have today, I am thankful to be born into this city, my home. Thank you for giving us all these and more..

Letter to Sophie – Remembering our founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew

IMG_7188Dear Sophie,

This letter may be a little early for you, and you might only be able to truly appreciate it when you are much older. But Daddy thinks it’s really important for you to know how this man has given us the opportunity to live the life that we have today.

IMG_7200Today is a very sad day for our nation, our founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew passed away at the age of 91 after spending his whole life building and protecting Singapore. Nothing more need to be said about his legacy. Under his leadership, we went from a tiny island that is unwanted by anyone (both Malaysia and UK discarded us at our most vulnerable times) to now a country that even the most successful people in the world coverts our citizenship. I’m sure you will be reading about him and his policies as you start your schooling life, but I really want to share with you how his policies had benefited our family.

It would be safe to say that all policies that Mr Lee implemented has some form of impact on our life. But the 2 most important ones to us would be his insistence on a society that’s build upon meritocracy, and that every child of Singapore would be provided with education, even if they can’t afford it.

Your granddad left us when Daddy was around 5 years old. Not only did he leave us, but he also left us with a large amount of debt. We did not have any money to pay for it, hence definitely won’t be able to afford to pay for school fees. But Mr Lee’s policies ensures that Daddy is able to continue to go to school. Without which, I would not have been able to even finish primary school, and life would probably be very different now.

His insistence that the society should be build upon meritocracy has allowed someone like Daddy, who have came from a broken family to aim for bigger things in life, as long as I work hard and show the results for it. Without his vision of a society build upon meritocracy, we would probably be left behind no matter what we do.

IMG_7216Today, we brought you to Istana to pay our final respects to the man that has created the opportunities for us to have the life we have today. At the tender age of 9mths, you probably would not even remember this day. But as you grow up, I want you to read this and remember that we would never be where we are without our founding father.

IMG_7214Thank u again Mr Lee Kuan Yew, we are all part of your legacy.

23.03.2015: Goodbye Mr Lee

A day forever etched in the hearts of many Singaporeans.

Today, a  great man, a visionary beyond his time and a loyal leader who fiercely protected our tiny dot has passed on. He passed on silently in the wee hours of the morning when many of us were asleep.  As the sun shone upon our city, we (myself included) were saddened to learn of this news.

We knew the day was going to come but perhaps like many others, I had hoped that he could make to our National Day, to see him at the new National Stadium as he walks out of his car and wave at the cheering crowds. He was synonymous with the National Day celebrations just like reciting of our pledge and the fireworks. I had hoped that he would feel better soon but unfortunately, his illness took for a better turn. I just did not expect his passing to hit me that hard.

As I watched the Prime Minister address the news of the passing of his beloved father on television and tears started flowing. This is the man whose father had passed on but yet, he had to hold back his tears to deliver this message to Singaporeans.

I took leave today to run an errand and the Man had wanted to spend the day with Bubba before his work trip. When we found out that condolence boards are made available at the Istana, we decided to make a trip down to pen down our tribute to this remarkable leader.

IMG_7187Tears flowed as we stood at the boards behind the gates and seeing the rest of the messages that has yet to fill the board. We brought Bubba who was obviously clueless about what was going on but we held her and told her that today, our country lost a great man, one that you will only learn in your textbooks in years to come. A tale that we will share when you are much older. A man that we can only be thankful for the country that he and our forefathers have built. Things that we often take for granted – our security, racial harmony, education and bilingualism – we have all of this because this man fought so hard for it and made it happen.

IMG_7214Our nation mourns for the loss of this great man but let’s not forget to celebrate his spirit and keep that alive. Thank you Mr Lee Kuan Yew for your vision, your selfless sacrifice and your lifetime of contributions to Singapore. It’s time to join your wife in heaven, rest in peace…

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1923 – 2015 : Mr Lee Kuan Yew
#Rememberinglky

Letter to Sophie X 9

IMG_7099Dear Bubba,

I’m kinda late this month in doing this because work has piled up and our weekends are packed with activities at time. Plus, I hadn’t had time to schedule a mini shoot for you with the baby milestone card (I gave up on the monthly stickers) because in my head, I had no inspiration. But last weekend, when you refused to go down on your late afternoon nap and instead was bent on crawling and babbling, I had the sudden inspiration to play dress-up with you. Pulled out this superbly cute ‘Emma Sunsuit’ in our fave Secret Garden print from the Little Bow Company and quickly whipped up this mini-shoot for you.

IMG_7108Some days I still can’t believe how quickly time has just passed us by and you are no longer my teeny, tiny baby but almost a little toddler (just shy of 3 more months to your big 1).

At 9 months, you are this burst of sunshine and just so wonderful to be around! Your smiles are cheeky and wide, you start to assert your discontent by screaming and you have boundless of energy – crawling so much quicker these days. Poor Mummy here can hardly keep up! Thank goodness Daddy is super athletic and can’t wait to bring you on outdoor adventures.

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Just a quick summary this month on your developmental milestones:

  • Elevated from novice crawler to an advanced crawler with confidence
  • Able to stand up on your own with assistance from either adults or by holding to stationary objects (like tables/ cupboards)
  • You babble more these days and your vocabulary has definitely increased. Words that you can now say include : Dada, Papa, Ah Tic Ku (no idea what that is), Ah Zak (we suspect you are calling your fave cousin). I’m still waiting for you to call MAMA… still waiting…
  • On imitation, you love blowing raspberry kisses on my belly and this always makes me chuckle out loud when we roll around in bed just before your bedtime
  • Separation anxiety has set in… you now start to recognise people and have become a little wary of who gets to carry you. That said, your facial recognition skills are certainly stronger and you know who to look out for when we ask you ‘Where is Sparky?’ and you start to turn and look for him. Just how cute is that!

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  • According to your Daddy, you now have 2 teeth with your 3rd one peeking out soon.
  • Since you now go to Infant Care, you now have 3 full meals a day with a mid-day afternoon snack. You are slowly taking a liking to porridge and the past couple of evenings, you managed to finish all your porridge/ Petit Bowl puree plus a fruit thereafter. 9 months growth spurt?
  • When placed in your high-chair during meal-times, you make it known to us that you enjoy what you are eating by kicking your legs up in joy. If you had enough, you would shake your little hand to signal that you no longer wish to eat anymore. If I choose to ignore that signal, then you will proceed to scream in dismay and just turn your head away when I try to stuff more food down your throat.

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  • You recently learned how to clap your hands and it thrills us to bits when we ask you to clap your tiny little hands and you oblige with a big smile! :)
  • Oh and you also understand how to wave your little hand when we say bye-bye to you.
  • As for sleeping through the night? Nope, not quite there yet. You are still waking up at least once in the night (highly suspect it’s for comfort) even though we give you a full feed close to midnight.

IMG_7114We really count our blessings that you are in our lives – our little sparkle of joy!

IMG_7180And just like that, 9 months have passed.. that’s the same amount of time, you have spent inside Camp Womb where I have nourished and protected you fiercely and now in this big, huge world where we will continue to nurture and protect you to the best of our abilities.

Love you always : Mummy xoxo

Italiano so delightful at Etna

IMG_7065 Finished a work-do and headed home to be with Bubba and the Man for lunch. Headed out to Etna for a lovely lunch with Bubba in tow. At 9 months, she’s at a age where it’s pretty fun to bring out. She can’t eat much of the food that we eat but as long as there’s bread, that can keep her pretty occupied for a bit before she starts to scream. I started to bring out a book as well so she can play with it for a bit if she gets bored of eating her food.

IMG_7068The best company for lunch! The Man, Bubba, the vino and a lovely plate of divine Burrata Cheese to kick-start the lunch. The menu at Etna has undergone a revamp a couple of months back. We used to love coming here but stopped for a bit. After a recent meal encounter with the Man’s friends at Etna, we rekindled our interest back at the restaurant and decided to revisit. Well, must add, the lunch was truly pretty memorable and looks like we will be back for more. For the food and because Bubba charmed the socks off the servers there as well.

IMG_7069The home-made tagliatelle pasta with the winter truffle was a special for the day that didn’t need any hesitation for both the Man and me to agree in unison to include that into our order. We totally loved this dish! Would definitely order again! Totally yums!IMG_7070We also shared a rib-eye steak that was done just nice.. medium rare! Lunch was a winner with all these dishes and best part, pretty close to where we live.

IMG_7071And the Man had to take a pic of this.. don’t worry, Bubba didn’t have any wine! He just let her inhale his glass of wine.

We need more weekends like these please!

Trying out papaya and melon

At 9 months, Bubba is not quite the adventurous eater when it comes to having proper meals. She spits out her porridge when she has had enough and that usually is like 2 spoonfuls of the puree or whatever I’m feeding. We then plonk her in her high chair so that she can watch the rest of us finish our dinner instead of carrying her away. We want to start training early that mealtimes are eaten together and she has to wait for us to finish our meals before we carry her away. Training has just started so let’s see how we far we go on that.

To keep the little one duly occupied while we have our dinner in peace, I’ve gone on to give her some snacks after her meal. But upon some advice from my sister, we are moving away from that approach as that may give her the signal that she can snack without having her dinner. And my gal? She sure loves her snacks!

We have our very own papaya tree and the fruit was ripe for the picking, so we gave Bubba a slice of the papaya for her to try / play around with.

Verdict?

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Loved it and happily gummed at the fruit before it got too slippery for her little fingers and plopped on to the floor it went. Guess who was the happy recipient of the fallen fruit?

Some fun facts about introducing papaya to your babies:

  • Papaya contains papain, an enzyme that breaks down protein and so boosts the digestion, as well as improving indigestion. It is rich in vitamin C and betacarotene. 75g (3 oz) of papaya will provide a young child’s daily requirement of vitamin C. Papaya is also high in soluble fibre which is important for normal bowel function and an ideal ingredient for baby food recipes.

[Source: Annabel Karmel]

We did introduce Papaya puree to Bubba when she was about 7 months but her mouth was shut tight when I tried force-feeding her with the papaya puree. Looks like v2.0 of introducing Papaya in a sliced form where she can hold the fruit and slowly explore with putting it into her mouth when she wants it is a much better way. Yay to some form of baby-led weaning.

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Just the other night, we introduced Bubba to another fruit – melon (Cantaloupe). She had it before at the JG Playgroup and according to the Man, loved it. This time round, as the fruit was chilled, she took a bite, gave a face and then happily chomped on the fruit further. She’s learned a new trick, if she enjoys the food she’s eating, she will start to kick her legs in joy while seated in her high-chair. I guess that’s a good sign!

IMG_6962 Melons (or cantaloupes) are a good fruit to introduce to your baby as it’s not only soft on the palate but it also tastes sweet and juicy. That’s not all, the fruit does pack quite the vitamin and bera carotene punch which helps with the proper development of your baby’s eyes. So don’t wait too long to give them the melon into their diet as the first year is the one where they reap most benefits from their overall development.

IMG_6964As to when should one introduce melons into the baby’s diet? Some articles that I searched online suggested 8 months and above as a general guideline.

IMG_6963Just look at how happy Bubba is with her fruit… this gleeful pic of her definitely brings a smile to my face! Am feeling a little under the weather and have been on medical leave for the past 2 days, have also distanced myself from Bubba for a bit for fear of spreading the cold to her. Just want to get better so I can shower her with kisses and endless hugs..