Tag Archives: Facetime

A Virtual Celebration

19 Jan

A memory feed popped up on Facebook this morning: M1 turns 18 today, and we celebrated. That was six years ago. Today she turns 24! Dang, time sure flies.

Wasn’t it just yesterday she turned one, and we had friends and family over for a party? Then the next thing I know, we were at her graduation commencement in the Summer of 2019. That was the last time the whole family was together. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree.

With both girls pursuing their education in two different countries, it certainly is hard to have a birthday celebration. Add in the three different time zones that we are all in, a virtual get together is the only way – either a FaceTime or WhatsApp group call for this occasion.

Happy Birthday, M1! Stay safe.

Just Like Grandpa

9 Apr

Not too long ago I told M1 that her Grandpa diligently wrote me letters when I was in college every single week and she requested that I do the same for her. So I decided to write real letters and mail them weekly to her at university in the USA, just like Grandpa did. Sometimes some things ought to be done the old fashion way. 

There was no such thing as emails back then. Technology was probably at its infancy and for me to even get close to a computer to send emails was unheard of. Moreover, mom and dad didn’t even own a computer! So snail mail was the way to go. I still have all those lovely letters from Dad.

Besides, making phone calls were also very expensive back then in the dinosaur era. Nowadays, we are very fortunate to be so connected with WhatsApp, FaceTime and Skype.

But all in all said for the effort, I find it funny to be holding a pen and writing so much! All these while, with the advancement of technology, one just sits at the desk and type away on the keyboard to compose what they want to say in the email without holding a pen. Now I find myself struggling to pen decent looking sentences that hopefully, she can make out what I am writing!

Then again, I am pretty sure my handwriting will improve with time. For the sake of keeping up with what my Dad did, I will continue with weekly scrawny handwritten letters and snail mail them to her.

The ME is Still Me and Not You!

25 Nov

Setting up the phone was not as easy as we thought. Because it was my phone, my name, number and ID was everywhere. It took a while to figure out the ID, Phone, Message and FaceTime settings.

“Why is the ME still me and not you when the phone is in your name already and not mine?” I asked.

M2 was blank and M1 was equally confused.

It sounds convoluted. When test iMessages which was sent to M2 ended up coming back to me on my iPhone5S and my iPad Mini, something was not quite right! I think it was due to the fact that the iTunes and App Store account was linked to my email (which we left it as is) that everything got messed up.

Finally, I figured it out. It was under Mail, Contacts and Calendars that we had to identify ‘My Info’ on top of Phone, Messages and FaceTime settings. Once this was fixed, the ME on the iPhone4 is no longer me but M2.

Phew. It was way past midnight when this was resolved.

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.


Feeling Excited Now

11 Oct

Now I can feel the going away excitement building up. I love Bali for its laid back lifestyle and relaxed atmosphere. Definitely the perfect setup for a good break to rejuvenate and recharge!

So bye KL, I won’t miss your haze and stress but yes, I will miss my M1, M2 and Roo but hey, with FaceTime, they will still be close.

Au Revoir Paris!

25 Jul

It seemed like only yesterday that we arrived and six days has gone by. Today is our last day in Paris. Where did the time go? I guess when two are busy having business meetings while one is traversing across museums and attractions, time does fly by.

Six days away does create separation anxiety, this time more obvious in the children and Rooney. I try to FaceTime with them whenever the time zone allows and I also discovered that official pet number one misses us both terribly. He has been unusually quiet in our absence.

I leave Paris today with better memories than the last time. Hotel Magenta has been pleasant, convenient and very comfortable. The museums have been very inspiring, I may go back and whip out that canvas that has been collecting dust. The food, well, could be more exciting if I had more time to enjoy it at a leisurely pace. But then again, I really enjoyed my ham and cheese baguette lunches. And when dinner time came around, I was too tired to enjoy anything but a nice cold beer. Thumbs up for 1664! The city is great, if not for the hot and humid weather the last few days, which according to the locals is rather unusual. Global warming?

Would I return? Yes. Au revoir Paris, I will be back.

We leave the city of lights tonight. With another 15 hours to kill before departure, I am willing the hours to fly by quickly now; I miss my girls and I can’t wait to see them (and Rooney) again!


A Different Adventure

24 Jul

Today I embarked on a different visual appeal: shopping! The weather is much, much better today, cooler and feels more rightly so that I am in a foreign country than in KL.

The train was packed at ten. Is this rush hour? Stepping out from the sardine pack, one must be aware of signages and not follow the herd. Yesterday in my state of tiredness, I got out of the train and simply followed the crowd to another train line instead of the exit! So, ‘sortie’ is what I have to look out for…

Three hours into my shopping, I must admit it’s a tough job! Whether in KL or Paris, shopping is not quite my thing. M1 and M2 are constantly on my mind as I browse to get them things. And being in Lafayette, there was wifi, so I was able to chat with M2 for awhile.

I found out the reason for her panic attack. She was getting back her school test results! The fear of not doing well got the better of her resulting in dizziness and nausea. Poor child.

Well, the overall results are an improvement so this calls for gifts from Paris! M1 should not be left out too for I should mention she aced her interview with the school board and has been selected as head librarian of the school! Her mummy taught her well how to talk as if presenting a design pitch to a client. Well done girls! Lotsa prezzies coming your way!

By 3pm my legs started to give in; I was dragging my feet, now very heavy with those boots. I quickly made my way out from the shopping haven and hopped onto Line 7 to get back to FaceTime with them before their bedtime.

All in all, 9500 steps, 3km and almost 200 calories for the leisure pace.




Should I Be Worried?

24 Jul

I came home from my museum exploration to a barrage of messages from M2 on the iPad Mini. As today I was on the move a lot, there was hardly time to get connected at free wifi spots.

She messaged to tell me she is more sick than last week and requested permission to be excused from her tuition class this evening and would like to skip school tomorrow too. Hmm.

Should I be worried?

However, by the time I replied, she’d gone to bed already, with the 6 hours time difference. I suppose it’s serious and she’s frantic as her messages were typed in all caps and my name in caps three times. Even M1 texted me via Viber!

I better try to catch them when they are getting ready for school the next day to assess the situation. Maybe an SOS call is needed to Grandma… We shall see.

Paris is Hotter than KL

22 Jul

And so the holiday begins! With the different time zones between the two cities, we get an extra 6 hours after traveling for the last 18 hours to arrive at Hotel Magenta on Boulevard de Magenta, Paris.

Firstly, Paris is hot and feels way hotter than KL. The train ride from CDG to the city was a total sardine experience, packed and sweaty, long and cramped, confirming the sweltering heat. The train broke down after one stop and all passengers had to disembark to change train. What a start!

We finally got to the hotel and the front desk guy told us it can get to 34 degrees this week! Dang. But reassured us the room has air-conditioning, phew, thank goodness.

I managed to FaceTime the girls at the airport but the 15 minutes ended way too soon. And it’s too late to contact them now. No, I am not missing them… I am on holiday, remember?

It’s amazing the trouble we endure and go through with the journey to lead to a good vacation, which is the prized experience at the final destination. Despite with the extra hours gained, I feel tired and should hit the sack soon and be fresh for the next day.


Separation Anxiety, Part 2

21 Jul

This has been a busy month for us, traveling again in a spate of two weeks. I think both M1 and M2 are used to it already by now, being older and having more activities to keep them occupied.

Tonight as we prepare to fly off for another six-days of separation, I sincerely think separation anxiety should not be happening. After all, since our first trip away from them (to Hong Kong), over the years we’ve done more than a week for each of our trips to the far and the exotic, they did not seem to mind our absence.

They are much older now and with our lived-in maid taking care of them (and Grandma not troubled), they also have the pets to keep them company and school work to keep them busy, six days will fly by very soon. Anyway, there’s always Skype, iMessage and Facetime if we have to see or hear them…

Wish us a great holiday!