Marina East!

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We exercised along Marina East yesterday – adults on foot, T on scooter, K on bike. It was a one hour session and we probably covered 6km. After dinner, we sat around and watched the fireworks lighting up across Marina Bay. Nice!

Jurong East Swimming Complex

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Cousins met up at the pool today. I must say that I like the Jurong East Swimming Complex so much better than the one at Jurong West. It’s nearer to our home, plus there’s KFC and Pastamania right beside the children’s pool so it’s very convenient to grab a bite. The boys (including Lucian!) ate so many boxes of pop corn chicken!

Cousin’s Day Out

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Cousins met to check out Marine Cove today. Place was packed, as expected. Great that it rained heavily when we were about an hour into playing … because half of the crowded left after that.

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The bigger cousins all like sand so we spent an hour on the beach. Lucian didn’t really want any sand on his feet, but he was okay after Lewis plonked him on the sand and left him standing there for a while. FotorCreated6Jul16c
We also rented a family bike to cycle! It moved at turtle speed and it was soooo heavy that it couldn’t even go up a slope. Lewis had to push it from behind, lol!

And it’s Lucian’s birthday tomorrow. Happy turning four, little boy =)

Hello Isaac!

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Hello Isaac, the newest addition to our extended family! Isaac turned one month old on 19 Jun 16. He’s nocturnal for now … Older cousins were making a din the entire afternoon but that didn’t wake him up at all. In fact Isaac slept through his whole first month celebration and only woke up at 7.30pm when the guests were leaving!

Lake Thetis

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Last post to round up our Perth trip!

We stopped at Lake Thetis, which is a small lake literally in the middle of no where. Apparently this lake is one of only a few places in the world with living marine “fossils” that are more than 3000 years old. The lake was soooo beautiful that morning we were there!

Cycling in Perth

We rented bikes to get around Perth on two days. T can’t ride a proper bike yet, so he sat in a child seat on KL’s bike.

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We did 20km per day on the Swan River Ride. Sights we passed on the first day were the Elizabeth Quay, Old Brewery, Matilda Bay Reserve, King’s Park. Sights we passed on the second day were Heirisson Island, McCallum Park, Perth Zoo, Swan Estuary Marine Park, Canning Bridge.

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Both rides took us 5 hours, inclusive of a long lunch stop and two playground stops. Fun, but we only saw so little of King’s Park. We actually need an entire afternoon there to play and see the whole park!

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Scitech Perth

Visiting a science centre is a must! Pity the opening hours are short (many places close at 4pm in Australia) so we didn’t finish exploring the whole place. We even missed the entire planetarium!

Permanent exhibits were hands-on and interesting enough to occupy the boys more than 2 hours. We also caught a good math and explosions show. Learnt random facts like a million sec equals 11 days, a billion sec equals 32 years. Totally the things that K is interested in.

Explore-a-saurus is a new exhibition at the centre. It totally freaked T out. He was okay digging for fossils but at some exhibit measuring how strong you are against a T-Rex’s bite, he ran away to cry because he worried his family will be chomped up by the dino. Lol!

Argh… and my camera lenses died at the centre. Didn’t take a lot of photos today and have to rely on KL’s phone for the rest of the holiday =(

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Lesmurdie Falls

We went on a walking trail at Lesmurdie Falls today. It’s actually a brook and not a real water fall. But it’s very pretty still.

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We did the easy 2km route from the top of the falls to the bottom of the falls, took a short picnic break, and then looped back. That took us 2 hours. Fun!

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Yanchep National Park

This is a very accessible park so there were many families there on Sunday. The lake was picturesque lake, so we had a picnic for the boys to snack and play with sticks (as they always do).

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There was a short boardwalk for us to view koalas in their natural environment. But because they are nocturnal, most of the koalas were just sleeping on the branches at noon time!

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We also went on a walking tour of Crystal Cave – Perth’s only tourist cave – to see stalactites and stalagmites. Our ranger was so knowledgeable that he was spewing encyclopedia-speak for a full 45 minutes! The cave experience was only so-so because we’ve seen bigger/nicer caves in Europe.

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Gravity Discovery Centre

This wasn’t on our itinerary originally. But we drove past twice and decided that we’ll head there because it sounds fun.

The most interesting attraction is the Leaning Tower of Gingin. It’s 13 storey high and you get to climb up to drop water balloons and observe how they fall from the top.  Just like what Galileo did in Pisa 400+ years ago. Boys watched many YouTube videos on Galileo before, so they were excited to try the experiment. My gosh, it was so windy up there that the normal (non water-filled) balloons were just ripped off our fingers by the wind.

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There was also a solar system walk that took us through endless bushes. We had to find all the planets in the walk, but because the place wasn’t very well maintained quite a few planets were missing from their stands. And we spotted two roaming kangaroos today!

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Lesueur National Park

Our travel planner likes to get us off the beaten track so today we headed to Lesueur National Park. We saw a grand total of 7 people the whole afternoon we were there! The Park is so ulu that there are no real rangers to collect entry fees, only a poster one reminding you to drop the fees into a box.

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We went on a 4km trail up Mount Lesueur. Along the way, there’s diverse (and endangered) vegetation but I totally could not pay attention to anything except to watch where I was walking. The trail was not very accessible – either rocky (up the mount) or very soft unmarked sand (flat). K amused himself by drawing many arrows on the sand to point us the right way back to the start point!

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Pinnacles Desert

We’re in Perth for a two week holiday! The first attraction we visited was the Pinnacles Desert. It is 200km north of Perth and T puked twice in the car ride…

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Pinnacles Desert is a popular tourist attraction. Thousands of limestone pillars sitting on really soooooft sand. Everywhere you turn, it’s a beautiful sight. T kept digging for jewellery in the sand so he can get rich. I had to keep telling him to stop it! KL went into some bushes and spotted three kangaroos there!

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Cycling @ East Coast Park

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We were at East Coast Park with Dover CC yesterday. It was supposed to be a family cycling event but because it rained in the morning, cycling only started close to lunch time. Bummer!

We stayed on to cycle on our own. We were supposed to cycle for 3 hours but cut it short to 2 because T was so grouchy that we made him cycle so much … Oh well, at least he got to have fun “digging for diamonds” on the beach.

Brain Fest 2016

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The Science Centre is running some activities for Brain Fest 2016. We played a 45-minute mass escape game with tons of other families today. We brought along very little brain power because it’s only me and K and T … and many of the activities were designed for upper primary students and above. Anyway, I’m not particularly good at escape games but still we managed to solve everything at around the 40-minute mark. Boys found the whole experience very fun!

The Brain Fest is sponsored by Brands. So the earlier you complete the game, the more bottles of chicken essence you get to bring home. I think the 30-minute mark folks got at least 9 bottles? We went home with 3, not that I would drink any, lol!

Legoland in May 2016

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Popped by Legoland over the weekend after K finished his mid-year exams. For a few months, T has been announcing that he’ll work in Legoland when he grows up. He wants to operate the roller coaster there and do up the Lego Christmas decor when it’s December.

100 days

Didn’t know what to do with this blog after my father left us. A very big reason why this blog existed was to keep the grandparents updated about what’s happening to the boys on weekdays when they don’t get to meet each other. Now that one grandparent has left us, and we’re spending more time with the other grandparent on weekdays, I didn’t know whether I should continue to blog or not.

100 days has passed … and I’m still thinking what I should do …

Lim Beng Gee

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My father passed away a month ago, on 16 January 2016.

Seeking closure after the death of a loved one is never easy. My father, of all people, knew that well. In every murder case that he encountered, dedication consumed him to search for answers and pursue the truth that the deceased so deserved. In his life, he worked tirelessly to help others say a fitting goodbye to the ones who departed abruptly before them. In his death, I was glad that the same was done for him.

So many of his former colleagues came to his wake to remember the exceptional criminal investigator he once was – he would have been so pleased to know that. So many media articles featured him in their obituaries that I stopped keeping track after the third day – again he would have been so pleased to know that.

I shared with my family that we are mourning his passing not with sadness, but with the gratification that in his life, he has achieved so much. It brings me some comfort that the memories of his distinguished career are what survives him.

 

The Tinkering Studio

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The Tinkering Studio is a new exhibition at the Singapore Science Centre. When we visited last week, it was not officially open yet so some activities were not available. Nonetheless, boys had fun playing with the pinball game. I wished the table was slightly better designed, maybe with a hole that goes back to the beginning or balls of different sizes to shoot. Anyway, there was also a marble run complete with tons of interesting materials, including some that do not work … which I thought was a really good idea.

We will definitely be back again when the whole place is up and running!

It’s getting better …

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T had bouts of anxiety this week, but he’s getting better with each passing day. He just needs a longer time to get used to being a primary school student.

  • Packing his bag: First day he was super stressed about doing it on his own, second day he did it in a shorter time with some help from KL, third and fourth days he packed everything on his own.
  • Buying food for lunch (after school): First day he didn’t want to do it, second day he threw a tantrum about wanting K to help him buy, third day he was okay with buying himself, fourth day of course he’s totally fine too.
  • Doing homework: First and second days there wasn’t any, third day he was upset that the flowers he drew are not nice and insisted KL help him, fourth day he completed homework on his own along with a lot of complaining.

 

Other random shots from our week …. this primary school emphasizes a lot on character/personal development so K has worksheets that are quite different from those in his old school, he was thinking v hard about how to answer some of these questions. T was learning how to draw 3D shapes a few days ago and he went crazy trying to draw a nice looking cube. K made a treasure box from a recycled egg carton, last I checked he counted staple bullets among the treasures he owned. T chose to get a red bag for school and not a boy-ish coloured one, great choice because its bright and nice! K’s school bag is three years old and still serving him well, hope it’ll last all the way till P6.

First day of school

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Morning was good. T survived his first day in primary school! He ate macaroni at recess and is pretty confident about walking home from school, though he hasn’t tried walking on his own yet. He will probably get a chance soon … after K sorts out his CCA with the school.

Afternoon was terrible, unfortunately. Both were drawing when I came home. Nothing was done for the next day, even though both know my expectation for bags to be packed BEFORE I am home. Okay so I gave them a chance (since its the first day and all) to pack when I was getting dinner ready. But can you believe that they took ONE AND A HALF HOURS to do so?!? Even K. Dinner was one and a half hours late because nobody gets to eat unless bags are ready for school the next day. No time to read, no time to do fun activities after dinner …

I can’t figure out if it’s because T is a bad influence on his brother, or the two of them are bad influences on each other. But for the past two years when K was alone at home, K would have finished all his work, arranged everything that needs a signature, and packed his bag before 4pm because that’s the magic time he starts playing. It was a big shock for me today when nothing was done right. Nagged them to no end at dinner time because packing a bag for school takes 5 or max 10 minutes. Wah, I really cannot bear to see this happening again. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow …

Ready for school!

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After three hectic days of buying, labelling, wrapping, packing … we are finally ready for school! Three big bags of books went into the recycling bin and another big bag will have to be given away. Yay for more space in our shelves now so I can get more age-appropriate books for the boys!

Uniforms and shoes have been lovingly washed at their grandparents’ place. Packed bags are now sitting in the living room just waiting for the first day of school on Monday =)

Petrosains in December 2015

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As a family, we love visiting Science Museums and Science Centres. The boys like tactile exhibitions, KL likes all things science-y, and I like learning about the social aspects of science/technology. Boys are allowed to spend as much time as they want with any exhibit they fancy. That’s why each visit takes us more than four hours, and still we never ever complete each place. Plus Petrosains @ KLCC has quite a big floor area, so we definitely need to make 1 – 2 more visits there!

It was v crowded the day we were there. We purchased at tickets at 11am to get in two hours later. We had to queue another hour till 2pm before we actually got into the Centre itself. Luckily there were magicians peddling their tricks in the queuing area and that helped to break the monotony of waiting.

Entry to Petrosains was FREE for all of us because they have a partner program with the Singapore Science Centre. Showing your annual Singapore pass allows you to visit partner premises for free.

Kuala Lumpur in December 2015

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We were in KL last week for a family holiday before school reopens. Relaxing five days with no planned itinerary other than to visit Petrosains. We ended up eating a lot and swimming a lot in the hotel. My third time staying at KL Hilton and the accommodation + service is great as usual. We caught two movies at the mall. T loved The Good Dinosaur, but was slightly bored by the dialogue in Star Wars. The rest of us preferred Star Wars though.  
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Food in Malaysia is yumz as always! We found this Peranakan Place nearby that has really nice steamed fish. So nice that we ate it two days in a row. K rated the fish 10/10 and he even wanted to eat it a third time, but no lah there’s so many other places to try.