Wednesday, August 31, 2011
For the past five years of sending Kai to childcare, I never once received any complaint from teachers about his behavior. He is a sweet, gentle boy who gets scratched/bitten/shoved, not one who scratches/bites/shoves.
Kit has been going to playschool in the same center for only about six months now. Yet in this short six months, I can't believe the amount of feedback (or rather polite admonishment) I have received from the teachers about my feisty 23.5mo. Here's the latest: He scratched three (or was it four) boys in his class today and threw toys at another. A few weeks back, he fought with the biggest boy in his class and won(!). And as if that wasn't enough, he saw two classmates fighting (presumably over a toy) and decided to join in the fun.
There are some days where I feel like throwing my hands in the air, look up to the sky, and say: "Why me?" Yup. This is one of them.
We wanted to visit the Istana during its open house on August 30 (to celebrate Hari Raya Puasa), but the queue to enter the Istana snaked all the way to the office complex two blocks down! We were in the car, and stared in disbelief at the crowd waiting patiently to enter the Istana. Kai was a little upset at being denied a visit to "see Singapore's president" yet again, but we didn't have a choice. I am not going to wait one/two hours just so I can visit its gardens. Lucky for us, the National Museum of Singapore is just round the corner and since entry is free for Singaporeans and Singapore permanent residents for the month of August, it was our way of salvaging the outing for the boys.
|Contemplating what goes on his box.|
|Kai wants a bright future for Singapore!|
|Kai getting increasingly annoyed with Kit, who was stopping mummy from helping him with folding the box.|
He then gingerly placed his box on the exhibit.
There! Kai is officially part of the museum's 'art history'.
We then had a well-deserved lunch break at Novus, a cafe at the museum which we all enjoyed immensely. (Doesn't Terence's face say it all?)
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
When we got married, I knew Terence had a stack of comic books which he read and collected in his teens. Every time we moved, we brought them along. They were a big part of Terence's life and I always thought that, maybe one day, I will read them too. But they were never a priority and over the years, they were left lonely, dusty, waiting for our next move.
Up until Kai developed this major appetite for every thing and any thing to do with X-Men, Spider-Man, and Captain America. So the comics had a second chance in life, and Kai was thrilled to inherit his daddy's comics collection! I am reading Spider-Man's Perception series of comics to Kai.
And Terence put together the X-Tinction Agenda (for X-Factor) comics, which he thought were the best, for my reading pleasure.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
|Kit playing with an automatic dice roller for a board game that is placed|
just after you enter the exhibit to engage the younger audience.
I love visiting museums, but the museum isn't top of my to-visit list for my two rascals on a weekend. With this, I don't mean the special programs that our Singapore museums put up for children; I am talking about the shuffle-silently-and-stare-in-deep-contemplation-with-furrowed-brows-while-perusing-museum-brochure-seriously kind of exhibits.
I always imagine my 5yo wandering bored and uninterested through the exhibits and my 23mo tearing down an installation or setting off a security alarm. But boy, was I surprised by how well our first family outing to the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands went.
|It looks like they are in an illegal gambling den! This game table is a nice touch for|
young children; it engaged my boys for a good 5-10 minutes.
OK, but I kind of played up the fact that we will get to see REAL treasures from a REAL sunken boat at the museum's "Shipwrecked" exhibit. That caught Kai's attention; he probably was initially thinking about pirates, treasures, canons etc. So there weren't any pirates (or their remains) to see, but the whole exhibit was set in a dark hall with dim lights, giving it a mysterious air (like how it would be shipwrecked, under water) and he was hooked. He sat through a short documentary about the ninth-century Arab dhow that sunk near Indonesia's Belitung island about five times in a row! He was so enthralled by the underwater images of the sunken ship that he made me explain everything again and again and again. And it helped that there were some kid-friendly activities to do in the exhibition hall.
As for my 23mo, he tried to dislodge a fire extinguisher hanging from the wall. Twice.
It was good fun, and I even had time to enjoy and appreciate the exhibit. I think a key reason why the outing didn't turn out to be disaster was because we were there first thing in the morning, just after the museum opened its doors. That gave Kit a fair bit of room to ramble around. Nice. So I'll just nudge "visit a museum" up a notch (or two) in my to-do list for the weekend.
("Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds" ends October 2, 2011)
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Kai's Captain America shield received an upgrade from his grandma who painstakingly made and painted two shields -- one for Kai and another for his cousin -- from a used cardboard box.
He was so pleased with his new shield, and wanted to throw the one he made (with our help) away. Hell no! I need it when I do pretend sword fighting with him!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Asians eat almost everything. We push the envelope of strange eats. Fish head? Fantastic; the cheek is the best part of the fish. Fish eyes? Yup, love suckin' the juice out of 'em. Chicken feet? Yum, great for making soup.
Waku Ghin's Tasmanian abalone with fregola and tomato
Do we even find anything strange anymore? Yup, throwing a fresh abalone on a grill. Now that's strangely different. For the uninitiated, an abalone is a type of sea snail. A delicacy in some parts of the world. Most of the time, we braise (canned) abalone or sometimes, we use them to cook porridge. But throwing a fresh abalone on a grill is most uncommon if not, almost unheard of. We didn't think it would even taste good, until we tried it at Waku Ghin in Marina Bay Sands.
We were just blown away by the taste and texture.
Terence's take on Waku Ghin's dish
And so Terence tried to replicate it at home on our BBQ. Our guests have never heard of grilling (or BBQ-ing) a fresh abalone, and they were pleasantly surprised that it tough or overly chewy. (Terence cooked chicken stock instead of a tomato-based stock that was used in Waku Ghin's dish.) The abalone wasn't all that expensive either; we bought ours at S$10 a piece.
So game for grilled fresh abalone anyone?
That looks like a nice piece of dried leaf that needs moisturizing.
My days have been pretty busy lately; it was a mix bag of things -- Kit is sick, again (!); work, work, and more work; chauffeuring boys from some place to another; arranging playdates; visiting museums; shopping.... Some tiles also fell off the kitchen wall in the middle of the night. I thought it was the cats up to no good again until I saw one of them, wide-eyed, bushy-tailed with fur all poofed up and staring at the tiles on the floor.
I was tricked by the noon weather today. There were clouds in the sky, covering the glaring noon sun and I didn't imagine it, there was a nice cool breeze too. It's a perfect day for Kit to walk home from school via our secret path. Then just as I managed to haul him off the school slide, the sun came out with a vengeance and the heat was soon beating down our back.
Why don't I do a good deed and give it all the moisture it needs...
But little boys really don't care for things like harmful UV rays, skin cancer, and dehydration. So trivial. It's more important to clear the path of all dried leaves by throwing them into the drain, and say "丢"! (throw in mandarin) for each leaf that drops.
...so there you go, into the drain. Drink up!
We took 30 minutes to get home as a result! Mind you, the journey home via the secret path only takes about 10 minutes. And maybe my 22.5mo was so excited by our little excursion that he simply REFUSED to take his nap thereafter; he was quite a handful by evening. Urgh. Despite the discomfort from the heat and perspiration, I can't help smiling to myself this afternoon. All it took were some dried leaves to keep him entertained for half an hour. Ahh, the simple pleasures of childhood.
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
I am going crazy. Shortly after Kit recovered from HFMD, he fell sick again with fever, running nose, cough... AND he's teething.
I don't know about you'd feel, but having a sick, hyperactive toddler in the house is REALLY NO FUN. Work is piling up and there are the usual day-to-day running of the household thingies to take care of.
On the first sign that Kit was ready to go back to school (i.e. no fever in the morning), I packed him off to school and decided to be a little unconventional with my outfit for a client meeting. I pulled on the lovely Dr. Martens Darcie boots in teal^ (yes, teal). I have been eyeing the Darcie for the longest time and it was a tough decision -- it was between leopard prints or teal -- but I finally decided I REALLY dig teal. (Plus, I already own a Dr. Martens clog in leopard prints, but that's another story....)
Nothing beats retail therapy. After the meeting, I checked in at Zadig & Voltaire in Marina Bay Sands.
It was fun going through the sale items, and I finally found a cashmere shawl (100% cashmere!) that was on discount. (My previous helper put my old shawl in the washing machine, and I haven't been able to find a suitable replacement.) I felt rockin'.
Kit came down with fever again in the evening. Not rockin' right now. Feeling all guilty for packing him off to school.