Saturday, July 18, 2009 ;
1:27 PM
My sis and her family has left. We had a great time.

Towards the end of her visit, they did explore more places. Some they went alone, some we went out together and some we all went out with H and her kids as well.

We had couple of lunches out. We had cravings for western food after their 1st week here. And in particular we were looking for fish and chips. The funny thing is, we went to Sinense Restaurant at Olympic Stadium mall (where the old Emart is) and they served steak and lamb chops but no fish and chips. I treated my sis to that meal. (The steak wasn't good. H said, what can you expect here? Her family tried the TGIF here and felt it falls way short of the normal TGIF standards.) [We had the whole 2nd level to ourselves. The server suggested that level to us after she saw our party of 9.]

Then, on the same hunt, we went to Gino Cafe (beside Din Tai Fung). They had nice pasta and pizza (the kids liked them) but again the steak was disappointing (tough and thin) AND still no fish and chips on the menu! Why do none of the Western restaurants serve fish and chips? H and her kids were with us too. We had a nice VIP room though, and the kids ran around the room playing together. VJ treated this meal.

H treated all of us to Korean food the next week. We also had a VIP room. With the high level of decibels our group of 4 adults and 5 kids generated, it's no wonder every restaurant gladly had us in their secluded VIP rooms.

We visited the playground a lot, went for walks, the kids rode their bikes or rollerbladed, and we just sat and talked. We also watched a lot of DVDs. Dh would go buy a few every couple of days and after the kids slept every night, we'd sit down and watch one. VJ said he might have movie-withdrawal symptoms after returning to Sg. After compromising to each others' tastes the 1st couple of nights (me and sis preferred romantic comedies, Dh and VJ preferred either sci-fi, CGI-heavy action flicks or thrillers), we decided to watch 2 DVDs each night. Me and my sis in one camp, Dh and VJ in the other camp.

Example, me and sis would watch Accidental Husband or Charlotte's Web while Dh and VJ watched Transformers 2 and Angels & Demons together. Stuff we did watch together were Red Cliff, The Mummy 3 (with all the Terracotta soldiers), Da Vinci Code. I think while they were here, we definitely watched more than 10 movies.

On the 8th of July, we set off for Beijing. My sis' flight was on SIA and flew from Beijing, so we decided to spend the last 4 days in Beijing. Beijing had a lot more attractions anyway.

We enjoyed the stay at Ascott a lot. Even met one of ds2's best friends in Nursery there, with his family. The boys chatted as if they never separated or had a break. The topics seemed to carry on right from when they were still in school, it was so funny and amusing to observe.

The kids used the swim pool, jacuzzi and playroom a lot this time, cos we had no agenda and spent a lot more time in the hotel. We only went out for meals and a little shopping.

For meals besides the 1st night at Ding Ding Xiang cos my sis and VJ wanted to eat famous hot pot, the rest were spent in Western restaurants. But even at big Western restaurants at places like The Place or The Village at Sanlitun, there were no fish and chips on the menus! We asked a local for a restaurant that would serve that, they couldn't recall any!

My sis consoled me that once I returned to Singapore, we could have that everyday. Cos a Jacks' Place just opened right beside our apartment block, and of course at Jurong Point across the street, there are Long John Silvers, Fish and Co, Swensens... I will not need to patronise the Din Tai Fung there for at least 6 months, I think, haha. I like the fish and chips at Manhattan Fish Market too, just need to travel a little further than Jurong Point. Dh and I are dreaming of crabs, prawns, and various lovely fish at the many seafood restaurants too.

I am digressing.

My sis and I had the chance to do some shopping at Yashow by ourselves cos the dads watched the kids at Ascott. Dh even brought the boys to meet with his Sg friends for a Japanese meal.

My sis was so happy to get shoes for both her kids (my niece and my soon-to-be-born nephew), clothes, bags, etc etc. I was happy to buy clothes and bags. The quality was better than at Dahutong, and the styles more appealing to us. Best of all, it was air-conditioned, with better air ventilation and the stalls were arranged in a neater more organised way.

So when it was time for them to go, they had really packed luggage, plus a Graco double stroller to boot. My sis decided to bring my double stroller home. Since now she is the one who would have a 2 yr old and a baby. Last time, it was me with ds1 and ds2. My nephew and niece would have around the same age gap as well.

With the tiny car boot of the local cabs, we had to rearrange the luggage and double stroller several times before we found a way to get all the people and stuff in one cab. It would be tough to have 2 cabs since it meant VJ might be alone and he can't communicate with the driver in Chinese. And with my sis carrying Eva, there would be problems if she arrived at the airport first. She wouldn't be able to get all the luggage out of the cab.

When we arrived at the Beijing South Railway station from Tianjin, an MPV cab driver saw our group of 7 and the huge double stroller and asked us to take his MPV. It cost 12yuan per km. So it's really much much more expensive than if we took 2 normal cabs, but we still took up his offer because my sis may not know how to get to Ascott if she were on her own. The MPV was very comfy indeed. And safer for everyone cos his MPV was very new and all his seat belts worked. The kids napped on the MPV on the way to Ascott. A good option for any large group with a lot of luggage in future.

After bidding my sis and her family goodbye, we returned to Tianjin.

Although the house became much quieter and I could sleep better at night (no more Eva waking at all odd hours to wail and scream), I missed their chatter, the movies (so much more fun watching together), playing Sims3 together and making up weird characters who are evil and killed other characters in the neighborhood (oops), and the kids had less distractions. VJ made it a point to play a game with the boys everyday. Be it chess, or magic cards, or silly monster games, the kids had so much fun with him. Mommy is much more boring compared to that. :-)

And both my sis and VJ liked to eat the same food as the kids, so the kids had a lot more chances to drink Milo, eat chips, chocolate, ice cream... And my kids learnt to ask them for snacks and meals instead of me, so I did have a lot more free time. haha. They did discover that their good old Aunt Grace spread the bread with so much thicker layer of Nutella than their mom!

Now, the kids have their summer fun classes at CF, so everyday we'd go with H and her boys. However, we did miss 2 days. One of which was when we were still in Beijing and the other was when it was raining, and I didn't feel like going.

They're having fun now, despite initial reluctance in having some structured schedule after a long relaxing chaotic hol time. When they're in their classes, H and I will have a good time in the Mighty Deli cafe, eating sandwiches, she sipping her iced Mocha and watching Desperate Housewives DVD (she bought the entire season 5) on my Mac.

Injuries update:
During school term, the kids get into falls and scrapes in school which the school nurse has to call me often about. I know both school nurses very well by now, not a surprise.

Now that they have vacation, it seems I have to bear the brunt of all these. And it seems to cause even more heart pain when I have to witness it myself.

So this week alone, ds2 first fell from the upper bunk of the bunk bed. That's ds1's bed at night, but they were playing some pirates games in the bedroom while I was in the living room. They were climbing up and down the bunk bed. ds2 likes to follow his elder brother. But of course his elder brother is taller, and can do more stunts without falling. ds2 was holding on to 2 toys, one in each hand, yet still attempted to climb down from the upper bunk by swinging down onto the lower bunk, instead of using the ladder. ds1 does this frequently, so ds2 must have wanted to follow suit.

Yet, he slipped cos his hands couldn't hold the wooden railing tight enough due to both hands already clutching some toys. His left side of the face bore the brunt of the fall. The sound of the fall already brought me running to the room. Imagine his whimpering cries that followed. He didn't dare to wail, because he knew this was his fault. If it was his brother who pushed him, he'd be screaming loudly.

So I put him on the bed and applied an ice pack. It didn't swell but had a really angry bruise for the whole week. It was greenish at first, now it's more blackish.

Then at CF rollerblade class, he took off his helmet during the break and didn't put it on as he started to blade again after the break. At this time, a much older boy crashed into him and he fell backwards, with the back of his head receiving the first and hardest knock.

Sigh. He cried really loudly then, according to ds1, and the teacher had to calm him down and allow him to do drawing for the rest of the class.

The weird thing is, when I appeared at the end of the class to pick them up, the teacher didn't mention the fall, nor did he apply an ice pack. So by the time the boys told me about the accident at home, there was already a bump the size of an egg!!! Any slight touch of the bump from me brought a wince from ds2, so I just let it subside by itself, and observed him closely.

Thankfully, he did not exhibit signs of concussion.

By today, the 3rd day after the incident, the bump is already down to a Chupa Chup lolly size. But ds2 still doesn't want us to touch it, says it's very painful.
Other than that, he is his normal self.

I told him never to take the helmet off at all, next time. They still have 1 more week of the classes, then it's a one week break, then the Aug classes start. In Aug, they are not doing painting and rollerblading anymore. It is table tennis and crayon art.

I guess table tennis has less risk of serious falls or injuries?? Keeping my fingers crossed and praying hard for no trips to the hospital till we get home to Singapore safely.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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