Sunday, October 25, 2009 ;
All through my childhood and then during my schooling years and beyond, MAF has always been memorable.
When we were young, we walked around with lanterns with our neighbours, or we visit the Chinese Garden with the splendid lights and many lanterns hanging everywhere.
After entering HC, MAF celebration was taken to yet another level with her large-scale over-the-top festivities. I enjoyed everything from the street market, mass singing, mass dancing, lanterns, mooncakes, and of course the giant light-up. That lasted many many years after I graduated because we always went back even when we were in Uni. It was one big reunion for all my classmates.
It was even sweeter when I went back to teach there. Now MAF would be celebrations with students, ex-students, colleagues, ex-classmates, family, kids and kids of friends'. Even as a teacher, I sang the songs heartily, danced for a couple of years until I was either pregnant or stuck with a baby... Fortunately some songs and dances never changed over the years. Even Dh, who was in HC 2 yrs before me, knew almost the same songs and dances, so it was great.
We hope our kids will have wonderful memories too.
Here's how we celebrated MAF this year:
Dinner with the Goh clan.
Watching the Singapore Chinese Orchestra perform at the Kranji Turf Club.
Then back to in laws' house to light up the lanterns. And no electricity-powered lanterns for my kids, I like them to use the traditional candle-lit ones.
Then ds1 wanted to go to spooky places with the lantern, so we kind of combined it with some Halloween spirit and went to the back of the hill (Bt Timah Hill, or part thereof), where there were absolutely no lights. And lotsa climbing in the midst of trees and bushes. And yup, lots of insects making weird noises.
They had a lot of fun.
We bought mooncakes from Goodwood Park Hotel, and tried the new soursop filling. Dh didn't like it, but I did. We also had the traditional oven-baked ones. And pomelo. And tea.
Then, my nephew Elias arrived on 10th of Oct. What an easy date to remember.
I visited him in hospital then at my sis' home too. This was taken at her place.
I have an idea of how the boys will take to their new sister. ds1 is more mature already, and he's very ready to welcome a baby into our family. He is very good with Eva, my niece, and he took to Elias at once. ds2 on the other hand, has a more hands-off approach. When asked to hug Elias, he would. But all other times, he was not interested in the baby. Look at him playing with the toys.
ds1 would cuddle, coo and be concerned about the baby. When asked to pose, he did this naturally.
When ds2 was asked to pose with baby, he was like, hmm, what is this sleepy red-faced creature?
And ds1 loves his cousin sister Eva to death. Till even she was not that keen to keep doing the huggy thing.. haha Look at her expression. She's like, "Not again??!?"
But then she did kiss him.... And ds1 was over the moon.
I think this 3rd baby will be easier to manage. or rather this 3rd pregnancy and experience. for me. Cos the 2 boys are older, can help out, and are more independent. And Dh can fully manage them on his own.
When ds1 was a toddler of 2yo, and ds2 was born, it was such a tough time for me. Thinking back, I really wonder how I survived that period of time, juggling work, home, living together with in laws, 2 young ones and a hubby who was constantly at work.
Life is much better now. Dh has spent enough time at home to know the boys well and is thus able to manage them. Being a SAHM means I can focus on just the home. Having a smaller apartment to ourselves means I have less housework and more leeway/ freedom in managing my tasks, disciplining the kids without grandparent influence.
We also have less stress when the kids cry, because in the past, whenever the baby or the toddler threw a tantrum, the grandparents would question us. They can't help it, we know, but it just stresses us to no end.
This was taken when we spent a leisurely afternoon at the Botanic Gardens, me, the kids, Dh and mil. We wanted to catch the New York Phil and SCO in concert there (open air concert that was free, and hey, Dh and I love the New York Phil), but we got the day wrong. I thought it was 6pm Sat, but it was 6pm Sun. And there I was, wondering why at 5.50pm, the orchestra was still not on the Symphony Stage tuning their instruments. haha. Big boo boo.
So we just walked around aimlessly, which was really good for the kids. They were thoroughly delighted, cos usually we adults tell them where they need to go, what they need to do. Now suddenly there was no goal or objective in sight. So they ran around reading the signs, telling us about the different trees...
Of course, I had to educate them on the native tree of Singapore, with such important cultural and historical value- the Tembusu. Look how old it is. How grand and beautiful.
The boys only saw the millions of ants crawling around the roots of the trees, despite me pointing out the beautiful roots and the lovely epiphytes (bird nest ferns and all) sitting on the tree. They only looked up long enough for me to take this pic.
Can't blame them I guess. I myself was an animal person right up till Uni days. We hated plants so much in JC cos the A level syllabus was so dry on everything botany-related... Plant physio, anat... Animal units were so much more interesting. And to kids, things that move are definitely more exciting than things that don't.
And my dear ex-colleague gave me 2 tix to the STOMP concert at Esplanade! We happen to love this sort of thing. And Dh seldom tolerates any music apart from classical, but he appreciates STOMP a lot cos of the recycled materials and how Dh firmly believes that music can be made out of anything, even trash.
And the tix were good ones. But since they only allowed kids above 6yo, we decided Dh and ds1 should go, while ds2 and I stayed outside the theatre. It was ok for me cos there are always free concerts outside. ds2 was a little upset initially and kept asking to follow them into the theatre, but I managed to distract him with the concerts that day, which happened to be celebrating Hari Raya Puasa, so there were a series of Malay dances, drumming, singing and so on.
It's easy to distract a 4-yr old. I just had to clap loudly, cheer and exclaim at everything on stage, that got him interested enough.
We should treasure all these outings more. Soon, our lives will be different... I wonder how much different...
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow