Science Centre on 22 Apr 18

22Apr18
Snapped at the Mirror Maze at the Science Centre today.

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Road Safety Park

21Apr18
T likes the Road Safety Park so he always asks to go there when the adults can’t decide where to jog. Today K bought his skateboard instead of his scooter. He skated 4km, so that’s a good distance considering that he’s still trying to get used to skating!

14 April 2018

14Apr18
It was a good Saturday. K invited T to use his one hour screen time voucher. T washed dishes for everyone. K stuck 3D lenses on the binoculars so everything appeared red + blue. I made honey green tea with aloe vera for the boys as an after-lunch snack.

Random conversations with an eight (and a half) year old

14 Mar 18
T: If I have a clone, I will make him go to school.
Me: 然后你做什么?
T: I rest. And make him do things.

30 Mar 18
After a fight
T: I know why Kaizer is like that. People of his age are like that.
Me: You mean teenagers?
KL: He has been like that for many years.

30 Mar 18
T: I want to go to Harry Potter school
Me: You are a muggle.
T: I am not. Lead can appear in my mechanical pencil and ink can appear in my pen.
T: I am not a muggle.
(And in this whole conversation,KL does not know what is a muggle because he has not heard the term before – only mugger)

Happy 11th Birthday!

7Apr18a
K turned ELEVEN over the weekend! He chose presents instead of money/vouchers this year. My present for him was a skateboard and skateboard shoes. KL’s present for him were new Nerf guns.

7Apr18b
Because the school declared Monday a holiday (rest day for teachers after carnival), we managed to squeeze in a staycation in Johor Bahru over the long weekend. It was a lot of eating, swimming, and watching TV. K ate way tooooooo much jelly. By chance we passed by a pasar malam and K picked up a new 5×5 cube (so that’s considered a birthday present too)!

Fairfield Funfair

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It’s the once in five years Fairfield Funfair! Funfair fell on K’s birthday! K’s class managed two stalls – one games stall and one food stall. K was in charge of collecting balls at the games stall. Their game was easy, and the boys managing the stall decided to all use their own vouchers to play at their own stall! By the end of their shift, the boys won all of the big prizes from their own stall. Face palm moment!

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T’s class managed a hodgepodge stall that sold candy floss, potato rings, stuffed toys. T helped to stick price tags on the candy floss but his main job at the fair was to bring a signboard and walk around to advertise his stall. He didn’t play any games with his vouchers. He spent it on 2 cups of candy floss, 1 cheese prata, 5 minutes on the water boat.

It was a fun morning at the carnival!

Bits and Pieces in March 2018

31Mar18
Homework. Boys were super pleased to find a rude word in T’s crossword puzzle homework. Had to share with their cousins, who found the rude word at record time too. Lol, their brains are all wired the same way.

Origami. K is back in business in making guns. We confiscated their phones two weeks back after we caught them at midnight (on a weekday night, no less) playing their phones. Apparently they were doing this for three nights before we caught them. Since the confiscation, boys have spent more time doing better things in their life – like origami.

Pot. K made a cute pot at school during art lesson. I am keeping it to store paperclips at work.

Mealworms. T had to rear mealworms this month. We spent some time googling on mealworm habitats and settled on oats + carrots + ribena for his. He took home 5 altogether, but somehow 2 escaped and the rest didn’t survive more than 3 days. Sad!

Mess. I was sick in March. On and off when I woke up from my naps, I felt even sicker looking at the mess they made in their room!

Kamala Beach

17Mar18
Our nearest beach was Kamala Beach. Although this stretch was much quieter than Patong Beach (10km away), Kamala Beach was still really commercialized. On our first night, we checked out the brick and mortar restaurants along the beach. Every single restaurant was so touristy and EVERY single restaurant served pasta. T was happy to eat pasta but for the rest of us, the Thai food tasted quite bland.

18Mar18Luckily from the second night onward, we went out to jog and discovered where the locals ate and packed our meals back to the villa instead. Food was so much better when we ate where the locals ate. Boys didn’t come along because they didn’t want to jog. For such a holiday, they wanted nothing other than stay in the villa to swim + watch TV + use their phones. Suit themselves! Our finds were a local park, a local shopping street, and the bustling Kamala Friday night market!

Glam Habitat Phuket

14Mar18
We visited Phuket over the March school holidays. T had a nosebleed that lasted about 5 minutes when we boarded the flight, but he managed to nap an hour after the plane took off. He took an airsick pill and didn’t puke, so that was considered a good flight to me. We arrived on 3.14 – which, the boys informed me, was pi day. So geeky!

16Mar18Our accommodation was a three bedroom villa at Glam Habitat. For some unknown reason, the boys woke up at 4am on the first night to snack, use their phones and watch TV in the living room. When the adults woke up at 9am, we were shocked to see them sprawled out in different parts of the living room snoozing so deeply. That day we didn’t go out, after breakfast we made them go back to the villa to catch up on their sleep debt (with plenty of scolding from us, of course).

17Mar18
80% of our waking time was spent in the pool – villa pool and hotel pool. I think I am two shades tanner after this holiday!

Sports Carnival 2018

9Mar18
Sports Carnivals are fun affairs. Last year and this year, K took part in sports that were held indoor (good for me as a spectator). This year, his team did v well and he came home with a super nice medal! Next year, T will finally be able to participate in the event as an upper primary student.

Science Centre on 4 Mar 18

4Mar18
We renewed our Science Centre membership today. I don’t know how the Centre does it, but they’ve been capping the annual family membership fee at $65 for so many years. Such a reasonable deal!

We haven’t been here for a while. Virtual reality is now gone and replaced by a Boeing-sponsored flying exhibition.

Bits and Pieces of February 2018

28Feb18
Nerf fights. Once in a while when we feel like it, we switch off all the lights at home, hide in the dark, and try to shoot each other. When shot, T always drops down so dramatically! The game is fun!

Pineapple boat. Made this on CNY eve. Hollowing out the fruit was hard because it took half an hour to do a good job with each pineapple. But it sure was satisfying seeing the end product!

Johor Bahru. We popped in twice in Feb. Caught a lion dance on the first trip. T went v close to collect the sweets that the lions spewed out.

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Gosh, February passed in a flash!

Sentosa

24Feb18
Another weekend, another visit to Sentosa! Nobody wanted to exercise with me today, so I jogged on my own and finished before we reached Sentosa. I do not like to lie on sand at all, so while they were playing, I laid on the beach mat to read.

Happy Valentine’s Day

14Feb18
I totally forgot about Valentine’s Day till a day before when a colleague asked me what’s my plans.

So it was an impromptu dinner at Itacho Sushi for the four of us. After dinner, we popped by a Jap supermarket and they picked their own gifts there. Boys wanted ice lollies and KL wanted canned coffee. So those were their gifts.

Uneventful, but much better than last year’s disastrous day. Have to count my blessings when things are uneventful!

Bits and Pieces of January 2018

30Jan18
Sushi rice. I’m still experimenting with it. Adding more and more ingredients to my sushi rice like red grains, brown grains, oats (T doesn’t like oats), corn, carrot.

Creamier. We’ve been making regular trips back to eat their ice cream and waffles ever since we discovered the Gillman Barracks branch mid last year!

Young Scientists. Learning through comics is fun. Boys love reading these comic-filled magazines. Their first stash was inherited from an older cousin. Some issues they’ve even read twice or thrice. They’re now going through their second stash that was swapped with classmates living upstairs.

Fish curry. Nicest meal my mum cooked this year!

 

 

5.5km

14Jan18
Today’s route took us to Sentosa! Same thing – adults jogged, K scooted, T cycled. We started from Sentosa Boardwalk and did a loop around one of the golf courses (Serapong?) before heading back. Weather was cool and it didn’t even feel like we covered much when KL told us to turn back. We had dinner and ice cream after the run, yumz!

Christmas Presents!

29Dec17
We opened our presents late this year because K was away in the last week of December. He went on a cruise with his grandma and auntie and cousin. We were nice and waited for him to be back to open the presents together.

The boys received so many gifts from family and friends again! The Mastermind game and Nerf guns were especially fun! And this year, K made me vouchers that I can redeem for the boys to pack the house + keep quiet, lol!

Au Revoir Paris!

Too soon, our holiday has come to an end! What did I like best about the holiday? The yummy food in Paris! The familiar feeling of home in London! And the rich history in Bayuex!

Must make myself jot down a short note on the yummy food in Paris. Our hotel was on a busy street with a few bakeries, fruit shops, cooked food stalls, restaurants. They weren’t the sort of stores that would feature on TripAdvisor, but gosh everything that I put into my mouth was so fresh and delicious! I couldn’t get enough of the strawberries, tangerines and chocolate croissants there, so sweet and so nice!

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Omaha Beach

We wanted to take a tour package to go around the D-Day landing sites. But as luck would have it, all packages had to be booked in advance since it was winter and we only had ONE sunny day out of our entire Bayeux trip to visit the beach. Because we had to go to the beaches there and then, we decided to be adventurous and just went exploring on our own (with GPS of course).

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We took a local bus 20km out to the Overlord Museum, walked 4km to the Omaha Beach, walked some more along the beach, managed to find the American Cemetary 4km later, and managed to find the bus stop to get home.

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The route was nice. We saw farm animals and on a little stretch we even found apple trees growing along the road. Boys kicked the tiny apples they found on the roadside and squealed every time a passing car smashed the apples.

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The good thing about exploring on our own was that we could walk for as long as we wanted along the beach. It was so peaceful and surreal. There were a few people walking their dogs. The boys had time to pick shells and play with the fine sand. And because it was a leisurely walk, there was plenty of time to think about what happened so many summers ago. Surreal!

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The bad thing about exploring on our own was the uncertainty about the local bus. I didn’t mind the walking at all, it was a good 8km workout, weather was a sunny 7 degrees and boys didn’t complain about being tired. But the local bus, that was stressful. According to the schedule (which was all in French of course), its runs 4 to 6 times a day. We missed the second last bus (or maybe that bus didn’t run that day) and were absolutely stressed waiting around for the last bus of the day. It would have been awful if we missed it, but phew… luckily we didn’t.

 

 

Battle of Normandy

Bayuex was the gateway for the Battle of Normandy in 1944. We visited the Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy today. This museum was different from other D-Day exhibits I’ve seen because it didn’t focus too much on D-Day but talked about everything else that happened from D-Day + 1, meaning 7 Jun till the end of summer 1944.

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It was my first time thinking about the ‘others’ involved in the Battle – the engineers, journalists, psychological warfare units, prisoners of war, etc. So plenty of food for thought for me when browsing through the place.

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Plenty of military vehicles, uniforms, artillery on display too. And so many wax soldier figures staring at me. It was slightly eerie to walk past some of them because the museum was so empty and cold today. Decided not to take any pictures of them!

Shops in Bayuex

No shopping malls in a small town like Bayuex, but plenty of nice little shops scattered along the main street. I found a shop that handmade all their chocolate and bought all of my souvenirs from there. I bought many different types of chocolate because seriously everything tasted so good!

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Many bakeries dotting the main street, so I had fun trying the chocolate croissants from different stores everyday. And the delicatessen just downstairs had really good pies and lagsagne. We tabao-ed those for dinner whenever it got too cold and dark to eat out.

Au Ptit Bistrot

Bayuex5We generally enjoyed the food in Bayuex, but Au Ptit Bistrot was a standout for me. All the dishes were made from scratch and I especially loved the pumpkin puree with my fish. I finished every drop of that and even stole the ones from the boys’ lunch. They were won over by the meal too because their children’s lunch set came with two scoops of ice-cream each.

Tapestry and Art

Bayeux is home to the Bayeux Tapestry. In fact, this was the most famous thing about the town. I was initially skeptical about how special an embroidered piece of cloth could be, but after seeing it for myself today, I had to admit that it was really impressive! It dates back to the 11th century, and is amazingly well preserved (given that cloth is challenging to conserve).

The cloth itself is 70m long. It depicts in a comic-strip style, the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England in 1066. We’ve been to the battle site at Hastings before, so it’s nice that we see the same story now from another vantage point.

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We had audio guides to walk us through the 50+ scenes embroidered on the cloth. Gosh, it took us 20 minutes just to walk from one end to the other end because the cloth was choked with details! Too bad no photos allowed of the tapestry.

After we were done with the tapestry, we popped by another museum to take a crash course on the history of art in Europe. Nothing was particularly famous at this museum, but the curatorship was excellent! Almost every room was a visual treat, so I enjoyed the visit v much!

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Boys were bored because there were no audio guides here or any children activities in English. They sprawled themselves on sitting benches (sometimes they just plonked on the floor next to the radiators) to wait for me. Halfway through, KL passed them a phone to play so I think they enjoyed their museum visit too.

 

Bayeux

We’re back in France! It was a full day of train travel. We travelled from London to Paris, and Paris to Bayeux.

Bayeux is a small town in Northern France. KL likes small towns. Whenever he plans our trips in Europe, he’ll always try to make sure there’s a short stay in a small town.

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When we got off the train just now, K asked if we’re stopping in the middle of nowhere, lol! And I counted that from the train station to our accommodation (750m), we saw a total of three people! Wiki says that Bayuex has a population of 16,000.

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Snowy Sunday

Snow is fairly rare in London, so I was not expecting to see any on this trip. But Storm Ana dropped a lot of snow in the UK this morning.

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Lucky for us. Boys were thrilled to see snow falling in the morning. They had a lot of fun throwing ice balls at each other! And sticking their tongues out to taste the snowflakes as they fell. Yucks, totally not my cup of tea …