1 July 2015

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1 July 2015 is the hottest day the UK has ever seen in 12 years! The mid-day temperature was a sweltering 35 degrees just now. Boys were dry when I sent them to school but totally drenched in sweat when I picked them up.

T had a nosebleed in school yesterday, a nosebleed after school today and another nosebleed at bedtime. He usually clots within 5 minutes, so he loses a lot less blood than K. But because T is always very slow in telling us that he’s bleeding, we end up with a lot of blood-stained tops, bottoms and bed sheets to wash!

Looks like they’ll have a hard time adjusting to the weather in Singapore, because 30+ degrees is the norm and not the exception back home!

Meals in June 2015

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Yay, last month of cooking for me! I’m very sure I’ll not be cooking so much in Singapore because the boys can get most of their weekday meals settled at malls/markets/foodcourts and most of their weekend meals settled at their grandparents’ place. We might eat Japanese and Korean food more often though, because the boys do like their teriyaki salmon, bulgogi, katsu and sushi. 
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Those are my meals. Prawns and spinach are staple food items in my fridge. They pop up in almost every meal that I eat at home!

Bye, Imperial War Museum!

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Imperial War Museum is our second favourite museum in London. KL likes the exhibits and the boys like playing in the park outside the museum. Today we visited it for the final time to walk through the impressive WWI exhibition, walk up/down the museum stairs and play in the park outside. Bye!

What REALLY happened

We’re going back to Singapore very soon, so today we decided to visit as many city sights as we can. Those that we managed to see were the Museum of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, St James’ Park, Trafalgar Square, British Museum. That’s a whooping 9km on foot! I’m sure that’s the longest distance the boys have ever walked in a day. We took our own sweet time though, and along the way the boys caught a movie at the Barbican, had hamburgers for lunch, and jostled with tons of people at an LGBT parade (much to KL’s aghast).

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For every nice shot we get, there’ll be a few more rubbish shots where T will be photobombing us. He looks hilarious dragging my bag and walking nonchalantly across the background!
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This blog features a lot of pics of the boys looking happy. However, off the camera K has many emotional and jealous moments in a day. He couldn’t control his jealousy when I told him to leave the photo so that me and T could take one by ourselves.

Two peas in a pod

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My brother made this collage because he thinks that me and T really look alike!

And I must rave about T’s latest haircut. Two days ago when I wanted to cut his hair, I couldn’t find the one and only comb we own here. So I used a fork to help me with the haircut. Phew, luckily the fork did a good job! My mum says that she’ll never allow me to cut the boys’ hair again in Singapore, lol!

Year 3 Classroom

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Had a chance to visit K’s classroom today. There are lots of things stuck on the walls and windows as you’ll expect of a learning space. The classroom is also chock-full of books and supplies because students are not required to bring any to school. Everything they’ll need for learning is supplied for them by the school. Even though the UK education system is known to be monolingual, some schools do expose their children to other languages. In K’s class, they learn basic French and basic Makaton (which is a sign language). 
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Spotted a number of K’s works on the walls and windows too. The portrait of the lady in the middle is ME! Although I don’t think it looks like me at all, lol!

Cambridge Science Centre

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We found this little gem of a place on TripAdvisor. It’s the tiniest science centre we’ve ever been to because the entire centre amounts to only ONE room. That said, the exhibits are mind boggling good. K’s favourite was the ball run. He spent more than an hour at the metal wall fixing tubes and magnets to make just a path to bring pong balls across the wall to an end point.

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T’s favourite was the earthquake towers. He too spent more than an hour building and re-building magnetic structures. The strength of his structures are tested by pressing a button to activate the “earthquake” and turning dials to make the quake stronger/faster. T still fears dying in an earthquake or volcanic eruption very much, so it makes him very happy whenever he builds a structure that survives an “earthquake”.

Cambridge Bus Tour

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It’s our first time taking the hop-on hop-off bus instead of exploring a city on foot. The audio guide of the city was interesting the first time round, but not when I had to listen to it for third/fourth time, lol! That’s how many rounds we went on the bus because boys loved hopping on it … the less walking they have to do, the happier they are.


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Took pictures at the main tourist sights in the university. Unfortunately, a lot of colleges were closed to visitors because it was the exam period when we were there. K posed against the mathematical bridge. Being a mathematician is currently his third ambition, after being a football player and an artist.

Courgette Fries

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Before I came to London, I’ve not gone out of my way to eat courgettes (otherwise known as zucchinis). I’ve never bought any from a supermarket before and they don’t feature in my diet at all. In London however, they pop up everywhere in the vegetarian meals I order … and I’ve come to like the taste very much!

Had courgette fries over the weekend and it was sooooooooo yummy! The boys ate their usual burgers, fries, mac’n’cheese, and none of them wanted to try any of my green looking fries (which is good for me)! The burger place that we ate at had a nice view of the chapel of St John’s College in Cambridge.

Tying knots

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T has been interested in tying shoelaces after watching his brother do it so often. And when this little boy is interested in something, he gets rather obsessed about it. Sometimes in the evenings, we find him sitting at our shoe rack area and fiddle with our laces, which is ewwww so dirty. Last week, I finally got him a pair of shoes with laces! Here, he is seen busy tying his laces on a train ride to Cambridge. He only knows how to tie knots now and has yet to figure out the ribbon bit.

Butties

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T made an awesomely cute froggy hat in school today. It’s so cute I named it Butties because T likes to eat butter.

Both boys are feeling under the weather today. T had a three minute nosebleed in school and K is coughing away after having caught the bug from his best friend. K vomited some phlegm just now but I’m not sure if he can magically recover in a few hours because we’ve actually planned to make a short trip out of London tomorrow morning.

Back in Singapore, gong gong is not feeling well too. He’s warded for treatment. Hope this bout of hospitalization doesn’t last too long …

Bletchley Park

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We were at Bletchley Park today to get a glimpse of code-breaking work in WWII. The huts within the park were recreated to resemble what they once looked like in the 1940s. The park offers a fantastic multimedia guide that kept the boys glued to the screen (it’s an ipod touch) for more than an hour.

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There were also interactive displays here and there for the boys to learn about simple code-breaking. T couldn’t understand how to play them, but K could understand some of them. They especially enjoyed the games in the exhibition on keeping safe online.

Meals in May 2015

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Boring post about the boring food that the boys ate last month. We’ve been making cookies quite often on weekday evenings.

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We hardly cook the adults’ food from scratch. It’s mostly store-bought food with some extra cooked veg at the side. The mussels are store bought, the prata is store bought, and so is the char keow teow (which is so oily)!

Mundoaka Streetfood

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Devoting a blog entry to this meal because T vomited big time after eating! Mundoaka Streetfood is a very well reviewed restaurant in Zagreb and T was game to eat everything we gave him … chicken, potatoes, pizza, fusilli, even lemonade. He totally enjoyed the food but complained of a tummy ache about 15 minutes after we left the restaurant. He vomited six hours later (at midnight) and oh my gosh, it was a very messy affair!

We can’t figure out what triggered the allergic reaction. Those are the regular things that he eats, except rabbit meat which he’s trying for the first time with the fusilli. But then he doesn’t have a meat allergy. Hmm …

Predjama Castle

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Predjama Castle is perched high up in a vertical cliff and built within a cave mouth. It is more than 700 years old and the interiors have been restored for tourists to imagine how life was like during the medieval times. Of course KL and K didn’t actually climb the walls within the castle, they were just mischievously posing. But T rang the castle bell on the top floor of the castle many times!

Postojna

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Postojna is a little town that is not very interesting. We stayed there because it’s within walking distance to the Postojna caves. The town centre is so small that we can walk from one end to the other end within 10 minutes!

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As we do on all of our holidays, we spend a lot of time sitting around and eating. We even found a Chinese restaurant in the middle of the town! Boys liked the 咕噜肉 (sweet and sour pork) so much that they polished off two plates of that dish … on top of other dishes. I couldn’t resist sticking in a photo of T with his chocolate mustache because he looks so cute with it!

Bled Castle

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Bled Castle is a medieval castle that is perched on a steep 125m cliff overlooking the lake. The hike wasn’t too hard, and it took us only 20 minutes to walk all the way up. The view from the castle was gorgeous! The castle itself wasn’t that interesting so we barely stayed for an hour before making our way down.

Boating in Lake Bled

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We went boating twice in Lake Bled. KL did all the rowing of course, while K helped just a tiny little bit. T didn’t really enjoy boating so he parked himself on my lap for the entire ride … except for about 5 minutes when he posed for pictures on KL’s lap. And he kept asking that we make our way back to shore soon.

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On our second ride, T was in a better mood because we stopped halfway to take a walk on an island. Amusingly, he fell asleep on my lap on the way back to shore because the constant rocking motion made him feel drowsy!

Interesting snippet about the island we visited … the most imposing structure on the small island was a church named “The Church of the Mother of God on the Lake”. It was a tongue twister that kept the boys arguing for a while because they couldn’t agree who remembered the correct version of the name!

Lake Bled

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Lake Bled is sooooooooo pretty. It’s surrounded by mountains and forests. We typically spend 1 – 3 hours around the lake area each day.

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Surprisingly, no one got bored going around the lake for so many days. The boys enjoyed feeding the animals in the lake with leftover bread from their breakfasts. And the most famous desert here is the Bled cream cake, that has layers of puff pastry, custard and cream!

Slovenia

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We spent our half term break in Slovenia. It’s a small and very mountainous country, where there are literally mountains everywhere you look around you!

We stayed at Lake Bled for five days and it was awesomely relaxing. In between our meals, we would spend a few hours at the pool and a few hours around the lake. At the lake, we fed ducks, took walks, rowed boats, visited a small island, and climbed up a cliff to visit a castle.

We traveled next to Postojna and stayed there for three days where we did touristy things like visit the Postjnska cave and Predjama Castle. Our holiday is ending tomorrow and then it’s back to London again, back to reality and back to school!

Happy Birthday!

Birthday Celebration
My best friend and me turned a year older … again! We’re going for lots of lunches this week to celebrate, and the family is also heading for a holiday on Saturday because it’s the half-term break and we always like travelling on/near our birthdays.

K has been busy setting up a picture shop this week for us to visit because its a birthday week. We opened all our presents and cards just now, and the boys were very excited with all the bubble wrap that they could pop (they’re seen hard at work popping in the background).

T came home with loads of freebies from school. He has two swollen eyes from an allergic reaction (school doesn’t know what caused the reaction). And he has a medal from his football after school club for being the best player today. He’s really proud of it and thinks its very lucky that he gets to keep it for more than a week over the half-term break. We do suspect the medal is randomly given out by the teachers because T apparently scored an own goal at today’s game, lolz!

What do you most like to eat?

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I’ve told T countless times NOT to go around telling people he can eat nuts and eggs because he’s allergic to them, nuts especially. But he insisted that they go into his weekend homework as the things he likes to eat the most.

The UK curriculum does not emphasize spelling (and grammar) at such a young age. Children are taught and encouraged to write as much as they want to (especially writing that expresses their thoughts and ideas) and do not worry at all that their work will come back with lots of red circles marking out the mistakes they make. So both boys are comfortable with writing at length now but are very poor in their spelling, which is something that the curriculum will only tackle from 8/9 years old onward.

Dotori

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After the yummy sundubu jjigae (spicy tofu stew) I had on Wednesday, I kept thinking of eating it again. So here we are checking out a Korean restaurant that’s just a couple of tube stations away from our home. Prices were decent and the food was so so so yummy. How yummy? Yummy enough that I made a reservation to eat there again tomorrow with another girlfriend!

We’ve been slowly introducing K and T to salmon sashimi. K is fine with eating a small bit of sashimi if it’s stuck inside his sushi and he will pop everything into his mouth (with soy sauce). T still doesn’t like it and will pick the sashimi bits out and eat just the plain rice.

Spacecrafts

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Boys had fun at the Science Museum today. T said the highlight of his day was making spacecrafts that are supposed to land in Mars and Titan, but sadly we couldn’t complete a single successful landing in that particular game. T also spent a lot of time making all-terrain rovers and in fact I found the game so fun (I rarely find games fun) that I downloaded the same rover app when we got home. T is really pleased that he has a high score of over 500m!

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K said the highlight of his day was making a pop up card of the Apollo Lunar Lander. He’s proud that he cut and glued everything by himself. We played a couple of non-space games but all in all, it was really quite a space-themed day at the museum!

5 years and 8 months old

T wore a hand-me-down shirt today. Got me thinking that I should snap some shots of him and then compare with how K looked at the exact age. So here they go …

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T at 5 years and 8 months old in May 2015, London.

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K at 5 years and 8 months old in December 2012, Singapore. There is no resemblance. I won’t pick the both of them out from a crowd to be related to each other, lol!