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.

Snap Circuits

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Boys have been busy playing with their Christmas presents. So many presents, so much love from all our friends! K’s fav present is the Snap Circuits that I got for him. It’s totally up his alley – messy, lots of parts, lots of things to build, lots of sound/light effects.

Legoland in December 2015

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Definitely our last visit to Legoland Malaysia this year. The annual passes are so worth it =) T’s routine is to start each park visit with the wet roller coaster ride at Dino Island. He went on it FOUR times this weekend. Me and K only went on it once, lol!

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My favourite activity is playing the shooting game at Lost Kingdom. The queue’s always very short there, it’s effortless fun, plus the entire ride’s air-conditioned. So important to seek respite from the mid-day hot sun!

Messy environment

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These two little people thrive in a messy environment.

The older one sits on top of a rubbish pile everyday and churns out things. This week, he was particularly creative when he made a pair of scissors out of two ice cream sticks, a push pin, paper and tape. And the scissors really works! It cuts through max three pieces of paper.

The younger one has been sitting on top on a pile of messy puzzle pieces for a few days … He decided that he likes puzzles all over again after having not played them for months. He actually poured out many boxes all at once and started doing different puzzles (104 pieces, 250 pieces, 250 pieces) at the SAME time. I’m going to pack all the completed ones this weekend and then start giving them away to the smaller children we know. We need more space at home for advanced puzzles for him (500 pieces, 750 pieces).

Took a pic of today’s dinner. Lots of carrots in their bowls because I’m working with T now to eat more veg at home. He doesn’t want to eat greens still (the broccoli was not touched), but carrots he’s happy to chow down as long as its soft. He ate all the carrots on his bowl just now and that’s a a whole small carrot!

Lower Peirce Trail

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Another week, another camp, another outdoor excursion. K is attending a science camp this week and he brought my camera along to Lower Peirce Trail today. He said part of the route was closed for construction. I took a peek into his bag and I think this week’s camp is focused on learning about plants.

Darnest things that T says

Many months ago in London

T was trying to explain oyster sauce to K. Okay in the first place he doesn’t even know what that is. In his muddled explanation, oyster sauce is actually a product of a Chinese religion. Huh?!? What is a Chinese religion? Why is a sauce from a religion? Mind-boggling …

Many months ago in London too

T was trying to explain how Hitler marched his armies to mosquito. Huh?!? After a lot of guessing, I finally found out that he was trying to describe the invasion to Moscow, lol!

16 Oct 15

T thinks I am very good in Chinese. He told me that I can be a Chinese teacher in his school. But he doesn’t know that in fact, I really dislike teaching them Chinese at home. I gave T reasons like I don’t want to deal with misbehaving children, I don’t want to keep repeating instructions to children who don’t listen to me … yadda yadda ya. He thought for a while and said that I can shout at them if they do not listen to me. And if they still do not listen, I just have to shout louder. I won’t be surprised if that’s what his teachers at school do. I would too, if I have to handle so many of them so many hours a day and so many days a week. Tsk, tt’s tough being an early childhood teacher.

15 Nov 15

Told T he needs a haircut soon. And if I am lazy to cut for him, he should go downstairs to cut. He says he doesn’t want to wear a bra. And he repeated bra a few times. After a while, I realized he doesn’t want to wear a bib, lol!

3 Dec 15

The NTUC downstairs has been running an ad for part-time staff over the festive period. T announced this morning that K should work in the supermarket when he grows up, so that when the family gets sick K can bring home Strepsils and Riccola sweets. Erm, I asked T in this case why doesn’t he himself go work in the supermarket then because he wants to eat those sweets when he’s sick. He says he wants to be a doctor and scientist, K doesn’t so he can work in the supermarket. Woah, cool to be able to decide your brother’s ambition!

K2 Graduation Concert

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T has officially graduated from K2! Last week, he and his classmates were involved in the school’s year end concert. It’s an event they’ve been preparing for months. T’s class performed three items – a violin ensemble (Allegro and Rondosaurus), a dance choreographed by the English teacher (Under the Sea), and a dance choreographed by the Chinese teacher (Hua Mulan).

T was very serious about his concert prep. He listened to the songs at home constantly and showed us his English dance moves a couple of times. Unlike the rest of his family, this boy really enjoys singing and dancing very much!

Happy Birthday Gong Gong!

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Gong Gong’s a year older and wiser again. We celebrated his birthday at the hospital because he’s currently recovering from a surgery where all the toes on his left foot were removed. The poor blood circulation to his toes on that foot has been causing him a lot of grief for a prolonged period of time – going in and out of hospital.

Our birthday wish for him, as always, is to stay healthy in the year ahead. And happy too!

Bits and Pieces of November 2015

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K is in full holiday mode now. There’s no camps in November for him, so he does 2 hours of writing/counting/reading in the morning and spends the rest of the day working on what he likes. Other than continuing to make things that shoot, he’s now trying to build a car. Watching a lot of YouTube videos to do that. It’s been a few days but his car isn’t moving well (yet). When I tried it just now, the bottle cap wheels fell off the tooth picks and the second bottle fell off from the motor. Anyway, lots more to experiment before it’ll work.

K gave those cute clips to his classmates on the last day of school. We’re pleased that he finally got a place in the primary school downstairs. Come January, he’ll be able to walk to school and walk home from school with his brother. K is himself happy that he gets more sleep in the morning, but also sad that he won’t be able to see his current bunch of classmates anymore.

T continues to prepare for primary school. I brought him out for lunch quite a few weekdays this month so he gets more practice in crossing the road (can never teach enough on that) and how to take buses on his own (progress is slow but not so urgent for him to learn). December will be spent teaching him how to use a mobile phone plus getting him to practice buying more things on his own.

Our Christmas tree is out of the store room! We can’t find the stand + lights + decorations anymore. K’s been tasked to think of how to make the tree stand plus decorate the tree with whatever he can create from his recycled material.

Observing others at play

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Rare to see K not running and playing like a monkey … but sitting around and observing how other people play. Maybe he’s starting to outgrow playgrounds already.

T is still happy to climb and slide. He thinks that if he lies down and slide, he goes as fast as the Wild Wild Wet slides, lol!

Marine Barrage

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Went to Marine Barrage to jog today. K only managed to finish two rounds on foot before calling it quits. T was better, managed four rounds on his scooter but grazed his knees badly on his fourth round so we made him stop.

We saw quite a few angry birds flying above us, that must be a popular kite design.

Mr Eater

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There are MANY pics in my camera and phone of T eating. Eating at home, eating out, eating at meal times, eating outside meal times, etc.

First pic – he’s trying to time how long it takes for Swensens to prep the mac and cheese dish. Answer is 8 minutes.

Last pic – he’s trying to cram as much mango juice as he can into his mouth, four straws at a time, lol!

K’s Area

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K is the messiest person in our family. He’s into making things nowadays, especially things that move or shoot. Because of this interest, he hoards a LOT of stationary and what not. The whole house is so messy every time he finishes a plane or gun or boomerang etc etc etc. I don’t pack up his mess because he’s expected to do so himself. But the problem is that he doesn’t. And because some of his things take a few days to make, the house is in a perpetual mess.

Two days ago, I decided that I’ve had enough. I moved the furniture to designate a corner that belongs only to him. Within “K’s Area”, he’s allowed to be as messy as he wants but he can’t cross the line and the rest of our living room needs to stay neat. Just now when I stepped into the area to take photos, it was super duper messy as I expected, lol!

P1 Orientation

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T attended his P1 Orientation today. He was really looking forward to it. He walked from home to school on his own just now, with me trailing really really far behind. Phew, no problems for him on the route. He needs a bit more practice and then he’ll be able to bring himself to school and back in January. He’s able to go on pedestrian crossings and zebra crossings on his own now, having done so for about three months already.

K is on a waiting list to transfer to the same primary school. Hopefully he’ll be successful so the both of them can walk with each other … at least for the first few weeks of January when T considers himself a “beginner”.

Dream

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Spotted this at Hort Park yesterday! Everyone trying their best to look like they’re dreaming … T looking dead asleep on M’s the funniest!

And with that, October 2015 is GONE in the wink of an eye!

Yeah, play!

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Woah, clear skies today after so many weeks of haze! Windows can finally be opened. Boys can finally go out and play. They totally didn’t want to go home after one hour plus of playing. Realized that T is pretty good at dodging. Keen to get him a small touch rugby ball and proper trainers next =)

And I need to go running this weekend. Haven’t been running for so many weeks …

Weekday treat

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Rare weekday treat for him to be picked up from school and have lunch at a mall. With his fav cousin no less! He even came home with a toy, but we agreed that he’ll only open the box after his tests next week.

Thanks for the afternoon of fun, Auntie J!