Bits and Pieces in May 2020

Snapped a pic of the living room on a rare day where the wooden platform was super duper neat!

KL bought a huge pork knuckle for dinner a few weeks back. Argh, so oily but I think T ate a lot of it.

I recycled a LiHo tea cup. And when I make iced honey green tea with aloe vera for the boys, it looks just like the real deal!

T has not gone on a car ride for a super long time. Caught him surfing Google street views on a random day … moving along almost like he’s in a car being driven around!

Can’t eat out so when we feel like eating Jap or Korean, delivery is the only option! We had a super colourful dinner from Watami the other day … argh can’t wait to go out for a proper Jap or Korean meal after CB ends!

There is a smallish rooftop garden on the 10th floor of our HDB carpark. We went there a few times recently to walk walk and see the skies change colour in the evening! Nice!

So much love!

And we’re heading into the last week of CB. The boys have never had so much home-cooked food before. So much love from their 婆婆! They’ve also been snuggling in with her at bedtime and sleeping in the same room, just cos they can. They are so going to miss her when she moves home after CB ends.

Celebrations in May!

Plenty of celebrations in May!

Lewis turned a year older. No social gatherings, but ice cream delivery is allowed. So I got to see the birthday boy for 2 minutes!

It was a mammoth task to get a regular cake this Mother’s Day. So we settled for a really small block of carrot cake from a Clementi bakery. For the price we paid, the cake turned out to be really yummy 🙂

K continued to have his belated birthday presents arrive through delivery. Apart from the magic toys, he also received a punching bag and an archery set from KL. Argh so noisy when he punches/kicks non-stop!

KL and me turned a year older. No holidays, no staycations, no nice restaurant meals, but a jolly good celebration still! Shall post about it soon …

Mini Blender

Felt like making my own oat milk, so got myself a mini blender two weeks back. It’s been really fun playing with the blender!

For myself, I’ve had pumpkin soup twice. Only good stuff inside – pumpkin + celery + carrot + zucchini + onion + garlic + oat milk + salt + pepper. To hydrate myself after my runs, I reward myself with two big cups of juice everyday! First cup today was cucumber + lemon + orange + dragonfruit. Second cup today was cucumber + celery + lemon + orange + pomelo + starfruit. Zesty and nice!

For T, I’ve been blending a lot of veg and mixing them up with his store bought paste/sauces. Great way to make him take in more veg with his pastas. These two weeks he’s had tomatoes + carrot + celery!

For K, he loves mangos so he slurps up one to two mangos a day! Lucky the sweet Thai mangos are in season and super affordable now. A plain mango drink for him would be Thai mango + Thai lime. To make the drinks more interesting, sometimes I’ll add strawberries and sometimes I’ll add banana. Although he usually still prefers the plain mango version.

Back to the oat milk. I don’t have a cloth strainer so it takes quite long to extract the milk out. And it tasted really plain on its own. Read somewhere that I have to add salt. Oh well, will try again another weekend …

Bits and Pieces in April 2020

Been going for long walks. Found a nice route that doesn’t require us to drive or take public transport. Home –> green corridor –> old Bukit Timah railway station –> green corridor –> home.

We were flashing our lights with the rest of Singapore last weekend. Luckily none of us dropped out phones out of the window, phew.

I tried to grow scallion with in a leftover egg carton. Used water instead of soil, but it shriveled and died within 2 days 😦

KL discovered nice wagyu patties at Star Vista’s RedMan (by Phoon Huat) Although I must say that getting into that shop is tough because there are so many people always queuing to get in. Is everyone turning into a home baker?

For 10 straight days in April, K did not step out of the house a single inch. Then I offered to bring him on a late night shopping trip to Sheng Siong, which he took up because he wanted to stay up late. Macs was still operating then, so I sweetened the deal by driving through to get him a late night snack. Ah … just a few days later enhanced CB measures kicked in and I can’t even bring him along to the supermarket now. So for the rest of April he didn’t step out of the house anymore.

K’s presents finally arrived! KL got him lots of knick knacks to do magic tricks. Some of the more kiddish ones went to T instead, and T had fun on a video call showing off his tricks to his 2 year old cousin.

T is still doing is PE lessons a few days a week. He times it before he bathes cos he’ll be sweating buckets after 10 – 20 min of workout.

Running a restaurant

婆婆 continues to run a very successful restaurant business at Dover Crescent. She works from home for a few hours in the day, and when she’s not doing her work in the room … she’ll be in the kitchen cooking up a feast! We’re really lucky to have her stay with us now 🙂

Home Based Learning

We’re 1/3 through the circuit breaker.

Boys are quite used to their Home Based Learning (HBL) routine now. They wake up before their first lesson starts by 8.00am, eat their breakfast as they go through the first lesson, get a recess break around 10.00am, learn for a few hours more, eat lunch at around 12.30pm. By then, T would be done with his lessons. K finishes later at around 2.30pm except for Thursday where he has Malay, and Friday where school ends earlier for CCA.

T gets online PE lessons too! He’s received two video links from his PE teacher so far, and we’ve tried it on a few evenings so he gets to sweat massively before he takes his bath. Online PE lessons are fun!

More toys are coming out to play because there’s just so much time at home! Lego, wooden blocks, soldiers, nerf guns … and Spiderman wants to swing outside, but can’t! There was one morning where Spiderman really got out and T had to wear a mask downstairs to search for him (found him, luckily).

Lovely Meals!

婆婆 moved in to stay with us for a month before the circuit breaker kicked in, so that she does not have to travel to-and-fro to cook for the boys. Now that she’s staying 24/7 with us, the boys get really lovely meals! She has literally been cooking up a feast in our tiny kitchen.

The boys are so lucky because they get to enjoy her chicken rice, nasi lemak, curry, fried bee hoon, fried rice and so much more! K’s all time favourite is his 婆婆’s macaroni in pork soup.

Happy 13th Birthday!

K turned 13 on a Tuesday. It was a most extraordinary day. He went to school in the morning, and that’s actually his last day of school before Singapore heads into a one-month circuit breaker.

We initially booked a staycation, but had to cancel it because leaving the house for non essential reasons is not allowed. Social gatherings are not allowed, so he couldn’t go out with his friends. Restaurants no longer allow dining in, so going for a nice Japanese dinner is also out. nice birthday dinner is out of the question. to have a nice meal is out.

婆婆 cooked yummy nasi lemak for the birthday boy. Then the five of us celebrated with jelly and fruits and soft drinks! K received a present from a classmate, received cards from the family, and we’re still waiting for all his birthday presents (ordered online, delivery is very slow now) to arrive …

Last day as a 12 year old!

K’s turning 13 tomorrow!

At school, his favourite subject is math and his least favourite subject is Chinese. He likes to go to school because he gets to meet his friends.

At home, his favourite food is anything cooked by his 婆婆. And he likes nothing better than to curl in a corner (or laze on a beanbag) to use his mobile phone.

Bits and Pieces in March 2020

K is neat in his work, but messy with his things. His homework, stationary, snacks … etc are just lying all over the floor all the time.

Eating out and playing in park in the last few days of March. This is such a luxury now that Singapore is having very strict social distancing measures.

K is interested in card tricks all over again.

A friend bought a bag of vegan choc chip cookies for me. The packaging is serious cute! I’m won over by the serious looking bear, lol!

14 days break

We returned to Singapore on 16 Mar 20 before Malaysia closed its borders. We weren’t issued a 14 day stay home notice because we came in through the land border. But MOE decided that it was safer to make all students who travelled overseas take a 14 day leave of absence, just in case. My office did the same to me too.

So we’re at Day 10 of our leave of absence from school/work! Luckily we weren’t confined at home totally because we could still head out to get essentials. So plenty of home cooked meals (including with the grandmas) this past week! I was also free enough to make my own hummus and museli!

Bye Johor!

Bye JB! We cut short the stay so we could drive back to Singapore before the travel restrictions on Malaysia’s end kick in. But it was a good short holiday still! We went for a hike, we visited a mall, boys caught a movie, and we all had a good rest at the nice service apartment.

Gunung Pulai

We went hiking at Gunung Pulai today! Weather was great, but only the adults completed the 10km walk. Boys took turns to complain, and in the end we left them to sit somewhere to wait for us while we did a loop and returned to pick them up. In the end, they completed 7km. Which is not too bad, considering that the elevation is three times that of Bukit Timah Hill! T kept saying that he was going to die! Tsk tsk…

Hello Johor!

Not wise to travel on a ship or a plane, so we drove in to JB for the March school holidays! K has plenty of online homework to complete, so the laptop came along with us. T had marshmallows with chocolate fondue for the first time, and (no surprises) he really liked it!

Awesome Meals!

I started on a plant-based diet in early December because I was keen to improve my running performance. Went full vegan for a month, but decided it was not sustainable when I felt super weak after a particular run in end January. Started adding in eggs into my diet and it’s been all good since then!

Whenever I eat a pretty meal, I snap a pic of it because it makes me happy to be eating well 🙂

Haven’t touched meat for three months! I didn’t give myself cheat days because I don’t actually miss meat. Though on some rare occasions, I do ask myself whether I’ll reintroduce fish into my diet someday. Still thinking, haven’t actually done so.

Am consciously avoiding dairy too (swapped with soy!), and on occasions when I can’t, I find that my eczema flares up. So it does my eczema well to avoid dairy altogether. Not too late to discover this now!

(T read this post and said it is not awesome for him 😑)

Bits and Pieces in February 2020

Saw K painstakingly copy out a page off his science textbook. That’s a very creative punishment from his teacher for forgetting to bring his textbook!

T has been reading the Ellie Belly series for two months. Ellie starts the series as a Primary 1 student, so her concerns are really juvenile. But I’m not complaining cos T is reading the series in both English AND Chinese (with hanyu pinyin)! Awesome!

I tried to make my home-cooked pasta look restaurant-standard by twirling all the strands nicely. Wahaha, T liked the presentation.

T played pick up sticks with his 婆婆 on a random weekday evening. He’s doesn’t lose well in games, so I think she gave him some leeway.

K looked smug to be drinking Sprite along with his honey popcorn. That was for his supper on a random weekday evening. Tsk tsk tsk, sugar overload!

T and me sometimes still do our 1000 piece puzzle together. Less so, now that he has other interests. But once in a while when we are (mostly) home-bound for the weekend, this is still a fun activity to do together.

Workout at NUS track

Super short workout at NUS track. We wanted to get T to practice for 1.6km, but he ran only ONE round and absolutely didn’t want to continue. K did a lot of physical training at CCA the day before, so he just played with a ball while waiting for us. Aiyah, ended up adults ran a timed 2.4km and then we’re off for dinner!

Learning journey along Singapore River

We went on a learning journey along the Singapore River today. I wanted the boys to learn about the history along the River. I downloaded the balik.sg app but failed to get it to work when I tried to scan the codes at the landmarks. Sad!

I definitely was the most enthusiastic member of the family on the journey today. I was the only one reading all the plaques and looking at all the sculptures in detail. Can’t say the same for the boys. I couldn’t even get K to pose with the sculptures because he was busy skateboarding and jumping around …

Weekend in Changi!

Great weekend in Changi! I woke up early to go on a super long run! Ended up in East Coast Park, met KL and the boys for breakfast, and we checked into a chalet. Sigh, we were supposed to gather the cousins to swim, but big family gatherings are quite tough now given the COVID-19 situation. Oh well, we went swimming by ourselves anyway!

Boys had homework to complete, which they bought along. K and KL also went bowling. And K ate a lot of nasi lemak! He likes the fried chicken wing from a particular nasi lemak stall at Changi Village Hawker Centre. and I lost count of how many chicken wings he ate over the weekend!

Happy V Day!

The two of them came to pick me up from work! We had Korean food at one-north. Or rather, KL and me had Korean food and T packed his dinner from PastaMania.

K had CCA till late, he wanted to eat with his CCA seniors, so he didn’t join us. Oh well, that’s part and parcel of growing up! We did end up meeting him and his friends at the same mall … totally by chance!

Random conversations with a ten (plus) year old

Last few months of 2019
T: xxx went to roll his eyes at the teacher. Then he said he didn’t. And he cried also. This is a level 3.8 offence because it’s being disrespectful /defiant towards teachers.
KL: Then what is 1.1?
T: Being late for school. 
K: And stealing is 3.1. And my class doesn’t care because we steal each other’s things and then return 5 minutes later.
K: Prefect will book you for 3.1 or 3.2. But nothing will happen after that.
T: Bullying is 3.6. 

Don’t know when
(Old Town Road came on the radio)
Me: I have this song on my kpop workout playlist
T: What? This is not even heavy metal.

Don’t know when
(How do you sleep came on the radio)
Me: Yes, how do you sleep when you lie to me?
T: It’s ok. I can still sleep.

1 Sep 19
T: Mama, you know that I am having fantasy dreams, related to the book that I am reading.
J: Are you the hero in the dream?
T: I am the person who got saved, not the hero.

21 Sep 19
T: Yeah, CNA says the price of bean sprouts are a shooting up. Will they be missing from our favourite dishes?
T: Yes! Disappear! Disappear!

16 Nov 19
(Passed a fashionably dressed auntie)
T: Who’s that? She show her back, wear big earrings and short shorts. All her stuff is matching and expensive lah….

Random conversations with a thirteen year old

24 Oct 19
(K using rude words at home like “shut up” and “you’re crazy” to me)
T: Am I a good boy? (He means in comparison to K).
Me: Yes.
T: And you know he said those words because he’s growing up. He’s a teenager and it comes naturally to him.

Don’t remember when
(Me randomly walking around in the foodcourt)
K: Mama, do you have ADHD? 
Me: No.
K: Then why do you do random stuff, and keep getting distracted?

31 Aug 19
K: The zoo is the worst place in the world. It’s so smelly. It’s like looking at the fat and dirty animals in a smelly hot place.
Me: Not all animals are fat
T: I like zoos because I like looking at animals and their behaviour. And also aquariums is not good. The fishes are just swimming around. It’s nothing good to discover. Fishes swim around and do nothing.
K: Aquariums are better. At least there is aircon and not smelly. And clean.

大年初三

Family dinner at Yew Tee on 大年初三. Esther cooked us all an unbelievably delicious dinner!

We tossed 魚生 too! The children tossed a version that was just shredded veg, salmon slices, and lots of potato rings. Luke was caught sneaking potato rings into his mouth, cute! Glad that his visit to the hospital on 大年初一 turned out to be a false alarm. His left hand is fine now!

大年初一

The extended family gathered at my mum’s place! Less photos this year because little Shamus was running a fever and crying a lot, and little Luke hurt his arm plus had to visit the hospital in the middle of the celebration! What a way to start the Lunar New Year …

Bits and Pieces in January 2020

T finally figured out how to solve a rubiks cube in December! And he has has been digging up all the cubes at home to fiddle with them …

I am no longer vegan but vegetarian. I started eating eggs! Still keeping off meat and dairy, cos I actually don’t miss them much. Ah … but having trouble finding dairy free chocolate chip cookies that are nice! I have tried a few brands before because K eats them … but they’re just not as nice.

Our first reunion dinner this year was a steamboat with plenty of veg and a mushroom based soup cos my KL’s mom knew that I was vegetarian.

I am not a Christian, but K goes to a Methodist secondary school. And the other day, the school actually gave him a bible to bring home. I’m surprised the school could do that. But he did say that if you didn’t want to, you didn’t have to bring it home.

T is still fervently eating his 干幼面 on weekend mornings! We are bored, but he is not…

I fit in a long run once a week, usually on Saturday mornings. I like the stretch along the Marine Barrage to Kallang because the views are nice!

Oh Fridge!

Our 10 year old fridge finally decided that it was time to call it a day! On Thursday, the fridge compartment started feeling warm. On Friday, the the ice in the freezer compartment started melting, and we decided to clear everything out. We purchased a new fridge on Saturday but it’ll only be here in four days’ time.

Ah, I miss cold drinks and cold fruits!

Ryoshi Sushi Ikeikemaru

Our favourite sushi restaurant in Liang Court is going to close down in March. The whole building is slated for redevelopment and many shops have already started to vacate.

Sighz. We eat at this restaurant at least once every two months. It’s always a treat to be able to enjoy a nice meal after our 8km jog from Dover to Liang Court. So the food always tastes good! We even celebrated a few of our birthdays here.

The staff said that they’re looking to relocate, so hopefully they’ll be able to find somewhere to continue their business!