Thursday, December 30, 2010 ;
A friend, who has 4 kids and is a very inspiring person, has been visiting because she was buying a violin for her then 1+yr old boy, and then later, also having a bow made especially for him because no factories would make 1/64 or 1/32 violin bows. She also had a bow custom made for her oldest son who is 13 now.
She visited a few times and we also visited her place, because Dh had to listen to how her 2nd son played the erhu, and then modify and change the erhu strings to enhance the performance. Her son won 2nd prize in the National Chinese Music Competition for erhu, by the way! Well done!
Anyway, I am blogging cos I received a lot of good stuff from her, some of which she handmade, and I am so grateful!
Here's just a sample of her handmade books. She also passed me puzzles and many board books that dd loves thumbing through (err, and chewing, unfortunately!).
Misulo free trial
Misulo is an art adventure center that started in Korea. It has finally come to Sg and set up shop right where my place is! So I had to go and take a look right?
They were offering Safra members a free trial. We were members so I jumped at the chance. I would have signed all 3 kids up, but their course is for kids from 2-6+yrs old, so I only had one who "qualified".
It was scheduled for this particular Tues. I was very impressed cos it was a full hour lesson, with 2 teachers to ds2 alone. What a ratio!
It's called an art adventure because it doesn't teach kids how to draw a cat, or a plane, nor does it teach kids art techniques per se. Instead it is about exploration of various materials, and how they can form art.
This trial session revolved around marbles. Parents don't sit in (I went for a walk with dd), but I was shown pictures and told about the whole session by the teachers and ds2 at the end.
They rolled the marbles, played with them, then dipped them in paint and rolled them in a paper tray. (Photo in FB) Then they made "watermelon juice" in an empty plastic bottle by rolling marbles dipped in red paint in the bottle. After that, when asked to add some lemon juice, ds2 dipped the marbles in yellow paint and added them to be shaken in the bottle.
After that, they used marbles to paint a picture. ds2 painted a garden pic. Then they painted on the wall and ds2 enjoyed spraying water onto the wall picture to create "rain". He didn't want to stop spraying even when the lesson was over. (Guess I deprive them of making such mess on a regular basis at home, that's why!)
I didn't sign up actually, thinking of saving money. But I was very moved by it because it will boost ds2's confidence and self esteem which I think is lowered because he is the younger one and he constantly compares himself to his brother.
It was only when my niece Eva went for a trial and my sis was very very keen cos it was one of the few classes where she would be interested and involved throughout the lesson. She also loved it very very much so my sis signed up and wanted ds2 to be in the same class so he can motivate her.
Since my sis might be leaving for the UK soon, I thought it would be a good chance for ds2 to bond with Eva and during their class, me and sis can bring our younger ones for some eating and bonding too.
These pics are a sample of other sessions. This one involved tissue paper and the messy part was what ds2 enjoyed too, flinging tissues soaked with different coloured paints all over the wall, incl the ceiling, to create a masterpiece.
(Just look at the walls! I am glad it is not my house. haha)
ds1 liked Misulo a lot too, but he is overaged. So I let him mix stuff at home. He was happy too.
Went for a friend's wedding. She invited Dh and I, so we left boys at home and mom babysat them. This friend was the one who played the piano for us at our own wedding, and she was also my S7 junior in hc. She happened to be Dh's junior in String Orch too (plays both violin and viola). She was from DHS CO, and plays the harp too. Very musically talented.
Pic on FB - she's carrying a huge "bouquet" of balloons. (She married a magician btw, and there was a professional magic show during the wedding, so pro that I've never seen anything like that before.)
It was at Goodwood Park Hotel, and I wore a dress that wasn't nursing wear, so I had to ask for a place where I could nurse dd (since the dinner was preceded by the solemnisation, we were there since 6pm, and it ended at 11.30pm). I asked the waitress who was serving our table, for a place where I can "nurse my baby".
She said sure, it's at the handicap toilet, and gave me directions! I said no, I need to "breastfeed my baby", thinking maybe she didn't know the meaning of "nurse". She said, "yeah, it's inside the toilet. There's a plastic thing you can lay down and put your baby on top." I almost fainted.
She looked very young, perhaps waiting for her O level results or something.
Ok, I looked for someone more senior, and immediately, this guy got a bunch of keys out, ushered me to a meeting room near the ballroom. He even switched the air con on and made sure I was comfortable before leaving. He told me I could lock it from the inside.
Initially I thought I'd be bored cos the bride's more of Dh's friend. But we were seated at a table where the rest were also people in the music circle. Another guy was also from HC Strings and was my senior. He's now in SSO. Another 2 are conductors of several secondary schools' string orchs. Then there was another couple with a baby and the mom also bf her baby and naturally we had lots to talk about.
ds1 had his 2nd chess comp. This time it was a group one. He was again the youngest one fielded. He didn't do too well this time, lost his 3 matches. Fortunately his other team members were ok, but the group did not win. They consisted of only P1-3 kids. The school fielded other teams, and the A teams managed to win. Phew, else I think we'd feel bad. The TIC says no problem, he fielded the younger ones just for exposure and experience. No expectations placed on them.
My mom happened to be in Sg that weekend so she helped us accompany him as a volunteer. She helped the teachers and then was able to ensure that ds1 ate his lunch. Good, at least this time he had something to eat and drink.
Later in the evening, we picked ds1 up and went to celebrate fil's birthday at the restaurant in Safra club. Then we walked back to my house cos I baked a cake after mil requested for it. They didn't want any present, just the cake. I guess at their stage, presents don't mean as much as family time.
Dh went to USA again. For another competition. Mom helped me again, thank God.
Parent-meet-teacher session for ds1.
Met the form teacher first then the Chinese teacher. Both discussed his strengths and weaknesses in the subjects they taught him (academic nature) and showed me the marks he obtained for the different modes of assessment. They then suggested ways to help him improve on the weaknesses.
Eg for Chinese, he is poorer in his speech (oral), so I was asked to use the language more. Cos if we speak to him in the language, then he will learn more descriptive words and expand his vocab. I nodded my head. I must remember to! It's just so easy for me to lapse into a tirade in English, especially when scolding them!
Both teachers also talked about his personality and character. His Chinese teacher even said, "我超喜欢" (I super like him!). His form teacher did give me more insight. He is a mischievous boy who would often think up tricks or pranks to play on his friends. He also cannot keep still and still moves everything on his table while listening to the teacher, which is distracting.
But she did say he is adorable because he would crack jokes with her and also tell her "stories".
He is forgetful and absentminded though. Will make many careless mistakes and will often forget to do corrections or homework or miss out pages, that kind of thing.
Ok, I know what areas to help him in P2 now!
ds1's school went to East Coast to clean up the beach.
ds1's school held a Green carnival, and they could wear green tees to school. They had activities and performances in school that educated them better about caring for the world we live in.
Parents were invited, and we were also encouraged to wear green and bring stuff to recycle.
If we brought a lot, we could even exchange the stuff for coupons to get rice and stuff.
Sounded fun, but I couldn't make it!
Mary and CY had to work, and their moms couldn't help out, so they brought Ch and L, plus the helper to my place for the whole day.
I wasn't worried I couldn't cope cos the helper would be there to take care of her own charges. I just had to supervise.
In fact, I got very excited and started planning a fun-filled day for them.
We went out to JP, budgeted and made lists and browsed at Popular before choosing something useful to buy (each kid had $5 but L napped and didn't spend his money). ds1 chose erasers and pencils (4B-6B ones), ds2 and ch both chose a packet of plasticine with various colours. So cute. They made plasticine animals, fruits, food etc together at home.
We bought fishball noodles and had them at home for lunch. I also bought them popcorn and the kids watched Toy Story3 while munching on popcorn (after lunch, of course).
The kids were well-behaved even though in a group they tend to be noisier. They did not mess up the place and listened when I gave instructions.
After the movie, I said it was nap time, and everyone obediently napped. Wow. Then, we made kaya from scratched.
Showed them how to harvest pandan leaves, blend, strain etc, and I let them crack an egg each since the kaya portion I made needed 6 eggs. After that they played while I and their helper did the tedious stirring over "water bath".
Mary came to pick them up later, around 7pm, I think. It was a really fun day. I was tired at the end of the day mainly cos dd did not nap well and thus was very cranky and required me to sling her the whole time (yeah, while making kaya and supervising kids). But I wouldn't mind doing such things again. :)
Mil came over for dinner too, and she did meet the bunch of them before they left.
This time, Dh just returned from USA. The rest of ds2's class already had theirs and the teachers were kind enough to reschedule it just so Dh could be around. He missed all of the kids' PTMs this year, so at least he was able to make it for this one.
ds2 received a lot of things from the school. Besides the "report card" which had comments from teachers and a checklist of stuff he could achieve, there was this scrapbook of photos which was so beautiful. The teachers must have put in tremendous effort because the pages were full of pretty stickers/ cut-outs, and printed with personal anecdotes of what ds2 did in class.
Photos had captions, and each page would be filled with pics of him and his friends or teachers doing something, and the descriptions would bring smiles to my face.
It was great seeing all his excited and happy expressions in those pics. Wonderful to see him having a fantastic time with his friends too. It'd serve as a great memory of his K1 yr.
Teachers comments were mostly praises, similar to what we had in June. But this time, Dh got to listen to it. Of course, these PTMs are for parents to feel very proud of their kids and to congratulate themselves for choosing the "right school" for their kids to blossom. Cos that's the idea I get with both boys' PTM. It's like wow, they enjoyed so much, learnt so much, what a great school, the teachers are so amazing, and wow, how clever your son turned out to be...
I really am proud of my sons, and I really appreciate the teachers and love their schools to bits. But after hearing so many rounds of such PTMs since they were in Nursery (and in different schools), I know how it works and learn to smile at praises and nod my head at things I need to help them to improve. It's funny that even though I know what to expect, I still love the PTMs where I get to meet the teachers. Never boring.
So I hear the same adjectives again. ds2 is advanced in reading and Math. His spelling is amazing. His Chinese word recognition is surprisingly good, and he writes pretty well.
However, he cannot speak well. (similar to Ds1 right?) But ds1 is at least loud and proficient in English. ds2 prefers to be soft. When it is his turn to present things, he will speak very softly. In Chinese presentations, he mutters even fewer words. Some words have wrong intonation. I *smack head*. Can't believe that just 2 yrs in USA and us not speaking Mandarin at all can cause such a big effect. I do admit I didn't put in effort to speak it much in USA since there was hardly the environment and we go out so much. I think it happened to be their most formative years too.
Experts say linguistic abilities are greatest from 0-3yrs right? Then after 5 yrs old, sorry, drastically reduced. Now we can only play the catch up game.
Recently the papers had this Asian mom say we Asians need to learn to accept praises about our children graciously. We tend to play them down. When the teacher told Dh that ds2 was quicker than his friends in Math, such that she had to give him extra and more difficult Qs to work on, Dh looked incredulous (even though I know he must be happy).
He asked the teacher what kind of Math she was referring to. She said addition within 20, for eg. The rest of the class would be figuring it out and she had to give him addition above 20, but within 100 to keep him occupied.
Dh then asked, "But did he get them correct?"
Teacher said, "yeah!"
Dh (still not convinced) asked, "hmm, but is he doing it correctly cos he is good at memorising and thus it is just rote answering, or does he really understand the concept?"
Teacher: (hesitated) errrr...
I think she was stumped. Then she had to ask Dh what he meant, and he explained himself fully, saying maybe ds2 has a good memory only, so maybe he remembered that 25+25 is 50, but actually he doesn't know how to do working, and doesn't know why it adds up to 50, blah blah blah.
I was quiet at the side and let him talk, since PTM is for us to ask Qs and understand our kids better. But I just found it mildly amusing. Dh seems to be unable to believe that ds2 could be anywhere better than mediocre.
Hari Raya Haji hol
Our family went to Mag's house and had a smashing time catching up with my ex-colleagues. There was Wii and ds1 got to play chess with my ex-colleagues too. They are all very good as well. Wah, so many hidden talents I didn't know about in the past. Photos on FB.
My niece and nephew's bday party at my sis' place. It was the last time we visited that place. She vacated it shortly after and moved in with my mom, with the intention to sell. Glad we made that trip.
Everyone had a great time playing together and enjoyed the food we all helped to prepare. Photos on FB too.
PSLE results released. Niece (another one, not the above bday girl) got pretty decent results and got into RV. She didn't get into RV through DSA a few months ago. Thankfully she did by PSLE results.
Four Seas Commencement Exercise
Went for this graduation. Pics on FB. It's my dad's last time as President.
In the evening, there was cottage meeting and I made Korean chap chae this time. Pics on FB too.
We visited Diana at her house in Tiong Bahru then went for a playdate together with Angeling and kids at Fidgets. Before that, we had a scrumptious lunch at Sol Playground Cafe first. It was so yums!
Fidgets was very fun for the kids. Such a large space and I like it that the baby area, where I was stuck with the crawling and climbing dd, had CCTV monitors and screens that I can view the boys playing at the big kids' area further away. Nice.
What a fun-filled and packed November!
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 ;
ds2's school was taking part in the event where kids all over the world will read the same story on the same day, to raise funds for other needy children. Funds will be used for education, to buy books, set up libraries and so on for kids.
Last year, the boys were in Tianjin and their school also took part. Then, it was the story "The Hungry Caterpillar". The school had this giant caterpillar move around and the kids had fun acting and reading the story and doing many activities.
I was delighted that ds2's school was taking part this year too. Sad that ds1's school didn't. Most primary schools in Sg didn't take part.
This year's story is "A Snowy Day". It is a lovely story, imaginative, and well-illustrated. Kids can learn a lot from it. There are many activities that can be done too. Unfortunately, it is not so easy in tropical Sg.
ds2's P suddenly called me up to ask if I can help out. Initially, it was just asking if I can volunteer to read, but in the end, when we were discussing, and the P was saying the teachers in school would all jump at the chance to help me take care of dd while I read the story to all the kids. At this, I started to wonder. Cos dd has entered the stage of stranger awareness and separation anxiety. She absolutely sticks to me and if a stranger carries her, she cries.
After discussing, I volunteered Dh. I said that'd make everyone less stressed. Cos I'd have to do 20min readings to the playgroup class, toddler class, nursery then kindy. All these add up to quite a long time. I said I'd still go and help, but I'd carry dd myself and Dh will do the reading.
The P thought for a while, and was hesistant. She said she felt Dh was a quiet and introverted personality. My jaw almost dropped. I wanted to guffaw loudly into the phone! Fortunately I could control myself and informed her that there would be no problem. That Dh had acting background.
He acted in the Tan Kah Kee play in Sec school and was one of the impt roles. In JC, he joined the HuangChengYeYun each year and also acted in key roles. Even in Uni, he was still acting in outside productions. He performs violin/ viola solo and in groups and in orchestras all the time. He sings so loudly. Hmmm, quiet? Introverted? Those who know him would laugh too.
So she said ok, and said the teachers would take care of all the activities/ art and craft and decorate the school/ music room. All we had to do was come and read the story. She also had props but I said we can bring our own.
ds2 was excited that we were all going to his school. His friends all chanted dd's name over and over when we reached. The tr had to stop them. I signalled sorry to her for disrupting the class. They said no problem, she's too cute, that's why.
All the teachers in his school were clamouring to carry her. Unfortunately she was very uncooperative. She makes me embarrassed all the time cos people love her and want to carry her but she'll cry and reject them.
Anyway, this is their breakfast time. I really love their classroom, wonderful view that makes the room look airy and bright.
Dh went to the music room to prepare his music Cd and props. I put dd there too.
The different classes started streaming in. The playgroup consists of kids 18mth to 2yrs old. They were mostly attentive and interested but they did not respond as appropriately when asked Qs. Probably Dh and I haven't attuned ourselves to that level yet, cos the Qs he asked could've been a bit tougher. It has been awhile since we had an 18mth old kid, you see!
Then the toddlers (2-3yrs) came in. They were livelier and laughed a lot more. They also squealed and jumped around when Dh did anything funny. So it was more fun.
This pic shows everyone trying to make snow angels like how Jack did in the story.
The Chinese teacher of the toddlers managed to hold dd for a while!
After just 20min, the kids had bonded so much with Dh they didn't want to leave. They all hugged him before saying goodbye. So sweet. This age is so fun.
After that, the Nursery kids had their turn. They're between 3-4 years old.
Then the K1 and K2 kids, incl ds2, came in.
They responded the best, asked the most Qs and were very spontaneous. They reacted quickly when the cotton snow balls were thrown and at once started a "snow ball fight" that was read out in the story too. The younger kids were more "blur".
After the story, all the kindy kids posed for a pic, together with the trs and P.
Dad and son had a good time bonding together too. That's why I am all for schools who are open to parents participating and for schools who invite parents to their field trips and to volunteer.
I like the convenience of the kindy below my apt. They also have a pretty good curriculum and programme and is much less expensive than ds2's current school. Besides the fact that they have no space for ds2, they were very reluctant to let parents into the classrooms. They didn't want us to observe, neither did they welcome parents on field trips.
I wonder why. I always think schools who try to keep parents out must be hiding something?
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
Friday, December 10, 2010 ;
Met my American friend at Thai Express for lunch. Brought dd only. I received a beautiful gift from Greece from her. Hearing her speak about her trip there makes me want to go there too! I will keep that place in mind, it is a coastal area near Athens, if I remember correctly.
She also invited us for playdates at her place, because there is a terrific swimming pool there. But I haven't yet gone cos it was flu season in Nov and Dec and till now, I think our family has gone through 3 rounds??!?
Other events, I will probably post the pics on Facebook so it would be quicker. And I'll just make a short record here, for my kids' sake and for my future self, in case, amnesia stirkes, and I can refer back to the blog. :)
Then I will revert to posting pics and updates here and try and be more current in 2011. Must be my new year resolution!
Had a rare dinner with my parents. Seldom eat with both of them due to my dad's schedule. Ate tze char at Boon Lay. It was delicious. After that, we strolled to their old place at Boon Lay and passed by the expat kids playing hockey. Apparently they play hockey every week at the Boon Lay CC. Some kind of coaching clinic or maybe a junior league.
Ladies Fellowship group
My group is the Wings Sisters this year.
We had lunch at Kichi Kichi at Ngee Ann City.
Dh ate with the boys and dd went with me.
We managed to get Josiah's birthday present there at Takashimaya, so happy!
After that we brought Meda along and went to Lai Mui's place for the singing session.
I let the boys swim at her mansion's pool. They had so much fun. I didn't bring dd down cos it was too much hassle for me. (the boys can shower by themselves, but I'd have to shower myself and dd if I went down, and I would have to bring all of my clothes/ swimwear etc. it's so easy for boys, but so troublesome for girls, many more pieces of clothing to bring, and more accessories to pack too)
Lai Mui's helper kept praising my boys for being so well-behaved. She was amazed that they could shower and change themselves. She said she was comparing them to another boy who's the same age as ds2 who often goes to her mdm's housr.
After that we were ushered into the guest room. Lai Mui kindly offered a bucket of toy cars, so the boys played happily, Dh and singers sang downstairs gustily, me and dd relaxed on the queen-sized bed. I lazily switched the TV on, and she had cable in the guest room! I ended up watching a korean movie while nursing dd, so lucky!
Bday party at philatelic museum.
ds2's classmate booked a Museum birthday party. Very interesting. The kids learnt more about stamps and played group games that involved running around the museum looking for clues. Us moms sat in the party room, drinking coke, munching on chips and chatting. Fun!
Dinner with Mel at Sakura, Science Center.
Our dear friend, who was a teacher at the intl school in Tianjin, visited Sg with her son. She is now teaching in the intl sch in Jakarta and used her short hol to vacation in Sg.
She came alone with her son, leaving her dd with her hubby in Jakarta cos she wanted to wean her dd off bm and it was impossible with her around, so she was going to give her dd the cold turkey.
I asked Dh if I could do that in future. haha. He gave me a look of horror. It takes a lot to be the parent at home with the bf child who wants bm and starts crying, and the source is nowhere to be seen! All I can say is, her hubby is very brave and her hubby must have had a week without much sleep at night. :)
Mel and her son were awesome company. She's Australian and her hubby's Indonesian. Her son is so so beautiful. Anyway it was good we met up cos they toured the science center before dinner and he got all wet. We have boys so it was easy to offer extra clothes, socks and shoes. She returned us the next day cos we planned to go to the zoo together.
After a good meal, we all squeezed into the car. Having been in Tianjin for a while, Mel was able to squeeze, no problem! (Most Americans and Australians would be concerned about safety, especially with the kids not in car seats) Dh sent me and kids back first, then sent her and son back to YMCA in Orchard.
We don't often take the kids out of school. But friends from overseas who come once in a blue moon are an exception. We took both boys out of school to go to the zoo with Mel and son. We had an amazing day!! The boys took to each other so well, despite the age gap, and that while in Tianjin, they hadn't actually met each other before. (Mel's son was too young to go to school then)
Pics are on FB.
Josiah's bday party at Changi chalet.
Jon and Angelia rented the chalet. We had fun blowing bubbles and the boys played at the beach, wetting themselves fulling running into the sea, and then getting sand stuck all over their wet clothes.
I didn't bring any extra clothes for them cos it was supposed to be a short birthday celebration. Argh, they sat on trash bags in the car all the way home, wet, sticky and dirty. But they loved it. Reminds me of that old nursery rhyme: girls are made of all things nice.... then boys are made of all the yucky icky stuff like frogs and lice?
ds1 at mil: PSLE marking day.
There were 4 longs marking days! Holiday for ds1! So my mil said he could spend one day at her place. She wanted to bring him out and also do some activities with him, like listen to music and do calligraphy (but ds1 hated that). ds1 said by lunch time, he was very bored and asked for his gonggong (fil) to return from the factory to play chess with him.
After that, he was happy cos they played 6 straight sets of chess before fil had to return to work.
dd had her vaccination that same day. She was also weighed and checked by the doctor. Everything's fine. She is also slimming down, a natural progression with all my kids. She was then at the 97th percentile already, down from 100th.
For my kids, because they take only bm for the 1st 6 months, absorption is very good and they put on weight quickly. After 6 months, they start having more and more solids. The more solids they have, the less efficient the absorption. Also, they start running after 1yo and then there is no looking back. They become thinner and thinner.
I also tend to control the amount of deep fried/ salty/ sugary stuff they eat at home, so I guess that's how they don't put on much weight thereafter. And of course, there is the genetic component. (The only time we all did put on weight was in Utah, I think. We ate a lot more fatty food, salty stuff and soda/ candy/ ice cream/ chocolate.)
Since ds1 was still on holiday, I took ds2 out of school, and we had a playdate with Eva and El and went to check out this new indoor play area. It is a 2 storey bungalow with all kinds of lovely playthings inside the house. Train sets, doll houses, ride-ons, dress-up and puppet play, kitchen sets... And Wii, Nintendo upstairs for older kids. Outdoors, there are sand pits, water play areas. But it was raining that day, so we only played indoors.
Surprisingly, halfway through, ds2's former music tr at his kindy walked in! He was a great music tr and taught them all kinds of dance, like hip hop, tap, and introduced them to a lot of different genres of music. He also played many musical games with them and sang very interesting songs. Ds2 came alive with music during the time Mr I taught them.
But sadly, he left. And then I found out he left to set up this new playcenter! Ahhhh, no wonder. He has his own "baby" now. He looked very happy, and was carrying a lot of props which he said were for birthday parties. The 2nd storey had party rooms and he said they were fully booked for parties till March 2011!
The boys got extra playtime without charge that day. :)
Pics on FB.
Dinner for guests.
When we were renovating our house, Dh and I dreamt of entertaining our friends at least once a month. We'd like to cook something special and invite a small group of friends over for a meal. Thereafter, we can chat or play games together.
After our house was renovated, we had dd and then were so busy trying to get the house in order. I think we only started having guests over for the kids' birthdays and other special occasions.
Then Dh had a coffee party idea, and we started the entertaining ball rolling.
This Friday night, we had some church friends over. We drew up lists of different "cliques". Those with young kids, those without, the youth etc. Because our house was small, we can only manage small groups. So we divided the groups up and lined them up to be invited. :)
So far, we had a few groups already. This particular Friday, we roasted lamb, steaks, pork, potatoes and I stir fried French beans with sze chuan veg. Then I made mushroom sauce (with red wine) using Portobellos and brown mushrooms, lots and lots of them. We used loads of the sauce with the meat.
After the meal, we played games, and I actually FORGOT to bring dessert out! Argh! can't believe it. There was ice cream from Island Creamery that Leon brought and lots of potato chips. I only remembered the strawberries and grapes from Peter and Sab.
Must be cos dd was bugging me non stop towards the end. All of us had a great time, especially the boys. They always get very hyper with guests around.
(This has now evolved into more of potlucks with games, cos I realised after all the cooking and cleaning while tending to dd, I am too tired to play games, haha. Next time when kids are older, I will start cooking more to entertain. Now, I rather prepare dessert only. :))
Met up with dear old ex-colleague HM at JP's Ichiban for dinner, then still adjourned to Bakerzin for desserts later. haha.
ds1 was very well-liked by her 2 girls. Pics on FB.
It was great catching up, especially since 2010 had been tough for her. And me, actually, come to think of it.
Very sinful feasting over the past few days!
Sunday evening, had a rare dinner out with Tim, Law, and Mary's family. All the way at Upp Bt Timah. There's this super famous tze char stall near the Hazel/ Dairy Farm area.
Very yummy indeed! And there are wildlife species to spot while eating too! It was a long wait, and the boys took a nice long walk with Dh along the canal. They saw monitor lizards, amongst other animals!
Pics on FB. And dd had her first prawn paste chicken wings there too! Thanks to Tim and Law for recommending.
Old friend returns with her hubby and dd from UK. She was my classmate in Sec sch and we went to different JCs. After that, she worked in the finance sector, all the way up. She's a vice-president of a certain dept in a big bank now, in London. She has a romantic love story too.
Met her British hubby in New Zealand while she was backpacking. How cool.
Anyway, they settled in UK but then as their dd grew, she felt that an education in Sg would be good for her dd since it is bilingual.
There are a lot of parents here who want to bring their kids overseas cos they hate the system in Sg, but then I meet lots others who want to come to Sg for their kids' education instead. I think it is just how different people think differently.
Anyway so she returned to buy an apt near a good school and we met up at Bakerzin. Her dd is so adorable and she loves dd very much, so dd was very entertained by this big sister while YP and I chatted. Her hubby is very easy to get along with and surprisingly he can join in our conversations with ease too. (I say this cos sometimes Dh gets bored when me and girlfriends yak non stop).
I had to leave cos it was time to pick the boys up from school, and we promised to meet up the next time she returns for CNY and then later on, for good.
Diana visited me with her dd, who is just a month apart from my princess. They had a fun playdate, eating their Baby bites together, while me and Diana chatted. Her hubby lectures at NTU. Sometimes she'll follow him and since I live here, she will visit with me till her hubby is done.
There are several times she smsed me to meet up but I was not available. Otherwise we'd have had many more playdates than the 3 we already had, I think.
Pic below: A quarry near in-laws' place. They like to walk to this quarry as a form of exercise, so they often ask us to go along. Sometimes they bring just the boys.
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
Thursday, December 2, 2010 ;
After Vivocity on Friday, 1/10/10, Mary's helper stayed the night at my place, sharing a room with the kids (let her choose between the kids' room and the study and she chose the kids' room).
Mary's helper likes to cook/ bake a lot. She told Mary she prefers that to looking after kids actually. haha. It is way less stressful indeed, and satisfaction can come after a much shorter period of time, don't you agree?
So I decided to bake cupcakes and make our own pizza for lunch.
The cupcakes were for the boys' Sunday school teachers, as well as for Ch and L and Mary's helper.
Icing was done a day after on Sun morning.
Pizza was made from scratch too. Used a recipe from Allrecipes.com. Then kids could put whatever ingredients they wanted. They put a crazily disproportionate amount of mozzarella!!
Mary's helper was pretty adventurous. She tried many different combinations and in the end, she also followed the kids and used lots of cheese.
I, on the other hand, love my mushrooms and olives. Yum.
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
Went to Rama's house for cottage meeting. I cooked red bean soup with tapioca pearls.
He has so many cats! Amazing.
ds1's school organised a field trip to IMM. There they had fun locating different stores/ banks and filled up some worksheets. They also had $2 to spend, and they realised they could pool it to buy bigger stuff, which they lugged back to school and had a super class party.
Some parents went as volunteers but this time I didn't. Shopping is not my specialty anyway, haha.
ds2's turn. His school brought them all to West Coast Park to celebrate Children's Day. They had a blast. I didn't join in either, thanks to dd.
ds2 received so many gifts for children's day!
His Chinese teacher was very thoughtful in giving each kid a book teaching them traditional values too. Plus candy and stationery of course, to please the kid.
When he reaches Pr sch, he will get this, which is what ds1 got:
On my part, I gave them several coupons which they could redeem, some had deadlines/ expiry dates (have to use by 1st Oct), some didn't. ds2 requested to go to Vivocity, using one of his wishes. ds1 was simple, he wanted to go Popular, which was just in JP.
ds2's wish required more manpower and Dh wasn't free, and I was fortunate that Mary and family were going to spend their weekend at a local hotel. They thus deposited their helper with me. With an extra person, I had someone to pacify the screaming dd all the way to Vivo.
This trip was mainly for the kids so I didn't really shop, only to buy a gift for ds2's classmate whose bday party was imminent.
They played hard indeed!
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow