Staycation at Capri

15Apr17
Impromptu decision to go on a staycation since KL did not have to work over the Good Friday weekend. We stayed at Capri by Fraser, and boys liked the fact that we could see planes land at Changi every 3 minutes or so. This is actually our second time staying at Capri but because they were so young then, they don’t remember the staycation four years ago.

Boys didn’t leave the hotel much. They swam, played xbox, played with their phones and watched movies in the room. Good break for everyone!

 

Birthday Lunch

9Apr17
Birthday boy wanted to meet his cousins, so I organized a family lunch for him with as many extended family members as can be gathered. One of his fav cousin couldn’t make it, and his 爷爷 was too sick to come. Otherwise, it was a happy enough gathering for him – seeing so many of his relatives and getting a big stack of ang pows. Before he went to bed, he said he enjoyed his birthday weekend very much 🙂

Happy 10th Birthday!

7Apr17bK turned TEN on Friday! KL got him some science toys and I made him some vouchers to be used in the next 365 days. K went to school as usual on Friday. Except that they counted him as a ten-year-old instead of nine-year-old for his Napfa test that afternoon.

7Apr17a
Dinner was at a Jap restaurant at Clementi Mall because birthday boy likes Jap food. Actually birthday boy also likes Mac, so we allowed him to munch on a Happy Meal while waiting for his udon.

T was generally upset the whole day, as he usually is on the day his brother celebrates his birthday. In the morning when T saw the vouchers, he was already visibly jealous. He declared that he didn’t want a single present on his birthday so we should just get him a lot of vouchers instead. In the evening when he heard that the terms of the vouchers didn’t include him (for example 1 hour of screen time doesn’t mean that he gets to play with his brother, it just means that his brother plays alone), that was devastating. At dinner, the boys were joking with T that he didn’t have arm muscles (which is true, he doesn’t have)… and you know what, he burst out crying, coughed a lot, and puked out all his cha soba dinner. He wasn’t allergic to the food, but he had a fever the day before and was feeling under the weather still. Anyway, the whole situation was really quite ridiculous!

Hmm…Papa?

6Apr17
K is one day shy of 10 years old! Me and T sang him a birthday song for fun with some biscuits and a tealight. K decided to make funny messages and they gamely posed for pics to send to their papa, who’s on call tonight.

Watching movies

2Apr17
K and T enjoy watching movie nowadays, but movie treats are rather expensive in Singapore if you add in a meal before/after the show, popcorn, drinks etc. So we head over to JB to watch movies instead. These are all the shows I can remember off the top of my head that they watched recently …

  • Sing
  • Doctor Strange
  • Trolls
  • Star Wars: Rogue One
  • xXx: Return of Zander Cage
  • Kong: Skull Island

 

When we are in JB, we like to stay over so that we don’t have to go through customs twice in a day. We get time to eat, shop, and sometimes even catch two movies. So far we’ve already tried 10 different hotels in JB! Last weekend’s hotel was only S$39++ per room per night on Agoda. We booked two rooms, but the boys decided to huddle together on the floor to sleep. So there was quite a lot of space for nothing. Oh well.

出前一丁

2Apr17.jpg
K learnt to cook instant noodles at an outdoor activity in school. He’s been wanting to cook again at home. So today, he cooked dinner for himself and his brother! They ate 出前一丁 sesame oil noodles with corn.

I gave him verbal instructions in the kitchen because I did not want him to handle the stove without adult supervision. T hovered around the kitchen as he wanted to be part of the action too. T helped to mix the seasoning into the soup, and he has grand plans to learn how to cook spaghetti on his own!

K did the dishes after dinner. Awesome!

Cherish the simple things

25Mar17
Life is good. No one is sick at home. Adults are gainfully employed. We can afford the time to spend the money that we earn. Children are coping well in school, and by that I really mean that T’s teachers have stopped calling me to complain. Hardest decision to make on a Saturday is where to have lunch.

Cherish the simple things.

Bits and Pieces of March 2017

30Mar17
KL is crazy about Japanese food now. When he’s off work, he’s always planning his day around the Japanese eateries he wants to try. We’ve been chugging along to eat udon and sushi with him for many weeks!

T discovered Mos Burger not too long ago. He likes their cheeseburgers and would eat TWO at one go. I like Mos myself. It’s the only fast food restaurant that I will happily eat at!

K won a medal for a team sport at his school’s sports day. My first time turning up for an event at this current primary school! See if you can spot him in the crowd …

How to survive anything?

25Mar17
T is very captivated with this particular book now – How to Survive Anything: Boys Only. He’s been pouring over the pages and looking at every scenario intently.

Ever since we’ve started reading to him about natural disasters a few years ago, he’s been worried that he’ll die in one (see here and here). Among his other worries are being caught in a plane crash, being struck by lightning, etc.

Before he went to bed last night, he passed the book to his father and told his father to read it on his own because to T, the information within is really very important to know. This morning when he was up, he started reading it again and he told me that although I am a girl, I can read the plane crash scenario because it could happen to me. He told me that I could skip the whiteout section because it’s not likely to happen to me, and of course I could skip the zombie section because zombies don’t exist.

Masking tape game

17Mar17

  1. Tear off stripes of masking tape.
  2. Stick one on your face and one on your brother’s face.
  3. At the count of three, grab your brother’s tape while protecting your own.
  4. First one to get eight stripes of tape wins.

* Game was ridiculously funny! Awesome that their childhood is filled with ridiculous things like that!

Mindstorms

13Mar17
We’ve finally saved enough to buy a Lego Mindstorms set! Since October, I’ve been sending the boys to school on foot a few days a week. It started out as a punishment for them because I caught them lying and this was one of their entitlements that I slashed. As the weeks passed, it turned out to be a good arrangement because after I drop them off on foot, I get to work on foot as well. Exercising in the morning makes me rather happy =)  I cancelled my office season parking and with all the money saved over half a year, we bought a S$560 toy!

Boys didn’t want to do anything during their March holidays except stay at home to play with their new toy. Which was perfectly fine with me, because this meant that I just went to work everyday without needing to bring them out. KL was super busy being attached to the surgery department, so he couldn’t bring them out either.

On Monday, their cousins came over to play. On Wednesday, a friend came over to play. Some other days they had Chinese tuition, and their tutor treated them to a nice lunch on Thursday. All in all, it was good break for them. Although one week was really not enough to finish building all the possible models in the Mindstorms Ev3 set. T was not able to follow all the instructions, so it left to K to do majority of the building (with a lot of help from Google). It’ll have to be the weekend before they can pick up the set to play again!

4km

12Mar17
K has been asking to go running because he wants to practice running 1.6km (fitness test in school). This is the second weekend we’re running together. We did 4km in 45 mins at Marina Bay. He jogged in the first 20 min, and then jogged + walked in the last 25 min.

T is absolutely not ready to join us in our jogs … yet. We’ll always bring along a bicycle or scooter for him.

 

National Gallery

4mar17
Made a pact with T last week. If he can get by the entire week without a single teacher calling me to complain about his behaviour, I’ll reward him with a trip to the museum. Yeah, he managed to behave really well (which just meant that he behaved like a normal 8-year-old) so we visited the National Gallery today!

I’ve already been to the National Gallery once with my colleagues, and found 90% of the artwork boring. There was only one room that I really enjoyed on the second floor, which featured Singapore art in the 1990s – 2000s. I especially liked this clinking lighbulb installation that was totally irreverent and irrelevant …

Boys didn’t enjoy the visit as much as me. K says it was just a bit fun. KL thinks the Supreme Court should be commercialised into a hotel *roll my eyes*.

Bits and Pieces of February 2017

26feb17
Cousins played blackjack on the last day of CNY. My brother was the banker. K earned $3 that evening. T didn’t join the game. He played Lego with a younger cousin instead.

Coke light and eggs were assembled for a science experiment. T had to soak one raw egg and one hard boiled egg in the liquid for 48 hours. One of the egg’s shell was supposed to drop off, and the other was supposed to be bouncy after that. But the experiment didn’t work. I suspect we should have used regular soda instead of diet soda.

Lovely note from K. He made breakfast for me one Saturday – four slices of bread with jam, complete with heart cut outs. The jam was too sweet for my liking (I’m trying to cut out sugar in my life), but I ate two slices anyway because of the amount of effort he put into the breakfast.

Shooting erasers with rubber bands. K has been making rubber band shooters for at least two years, but T has never been interested in shooting. On a particularly idle weekend, we made T sit down to shoot erasers with rubber bands. Because his aiming is so bad, he has to sit really close to the target to hit it, lol!

Worst Valentine’s Day

T told many lies today.

He was supposed to turn up at his Chinese tuition teacher’s house at 2.30pm. When he didn’t turn up and she called him, he said he didn’t know how to get there. Which is a lie, because he has been walking on his own to her house for months. She offered to walk to our place to pick him up, and she actually did so. But he did no pick up her calls and he never showed up to meet her downstairs. She charged me the fees for today anyway. She knew he lied and I knew he lied.

He was supposed to use $2 to buy a 听写 book from the school bookshop. He did not buy it because he claimed he did not know how to buy it. He did not ask his brother for help to buy it. He did not tell me he spent the money on snacks instead until I asked him about the book. And he was definitely not supposed to have bought such an expensive snack because he had to spend within his means (which is already a very generous $4 a day for two meals in school).

He played games on the tablet at home when he was alone. Nobody is allowed to play games in our family on weekdays ever ever ever. And he knows it well because over the December holidays, he and K were already punished for telling lies when they played games on my computer on a particular week. Anyway, T played a few games and he lied about it.

As a punishment, he was sent to bed at 7pm because I did not even want to see his face anymore. He was smacked on his hand by his father. There is no fruits and supper for him tonight, no breakfast for him tomorrow. When the boys lied in December, I stopped giving them some of the things they liked for the next three months (no bubble tea, no car to send them to school every morning). That is going to end in February. But because T lied so many times today, I will have to stop giving him some of the things he likes for the next three months (no pasta at all, no car to send them to school for another three months).

I realized at about 10pm that he did not do any of his homework because he was playing the tablet today and sent to bed early. I wanted him to get scolded in school tomorrow, but close to 11pm, he actually got out of bed and told me he could not sleep. I forced him to do his homework, and watching him do homework so close to midnight is just mad.

I cannot imagine how much of a compulsive liar he will grow up to be. This is absolutely the worst Valentine’s Day ever.

大年初一

cny3
Boys were very tired when they visited their grandparents today. They completely knocked out on the car ride to/from Bendemeer. That’s because I mentioned the 守夜 custom to them in passing and even though I told them that it doesn’t apply to children, both decided to STAY AWAKE TILL MIDNIGHT on 除夕. Lights went out at 9 plus as usual and I didn’t even know they were still awake until they came to ask me what’s the time at 11 plus. Crazy little boys!

Visiting Dad

15jan17
A year has passed since my dad passed away. Cousins met at the Mandai crematorium to visit him, as well as my deceased grandmother, grandfather, first uncle, third uncle, last auntie.

Conveniently, everyone is in the same block at the crematorium. My mum and aunties think that it’s my grandmother’s will that kept my father in the same block with them, even in death.

Malacca in December 2016

27dec16
We squeezed in a short holiday to Malacca before the year ended. As KL couldn’t make it, me and my mum and the boys took a bus there. It was quite painful, 6 hours each way. T took an anti-motion sickness pill on the way there, so he didn’t puke. I lost his other pill on the way back, so made him sleep for most of the journey to prevent him from feeling sick. But he puked anyway!

Food in Malacca was yummy as usual. T especially likes chicken rice balls – he eats 5 in one go! Boys like to eat Mamee so they were happy to see the big Mamee on the last day we were strolling on Jonker Street.

Treehouse

1jan16
The Science Centre is our go-to place on weekends whenever we have a few hours to spare and nothing to do. We spent our New Year’s Eve afternoon there.

We pop by the ecogarden trail sometimes because the treehouse is quite lovely – to the boys, not to me. I have NEVER stepped foot into the treehouse ever since I ran into the snake there years ago.

Bits and Pieces of December 2016

dec16
Last post to round up the year!

Stuffed toys neat and snug under the blanket. When K sets the sleeping area (not so often), he makes an effort to line things up nicely. When T sets the sleeping area (most of the time), everything is randomly left on their tilams.

Used many plasters this month to cover up K’s abrasions. Those were from a disaster biking outing at Maidstone Road. The lil path there is nice for jogging but not well paved. K fell at the end of a slope because he trying to avoid a pond. T got himself and his bike stuck in an overgrown grass patch while I was tending to K. They hated the whole outing and don’t ever want to go back there again. Plasters are from a stash that my dad left behind. Using the plasters remind us of him.

Recycled five piles of unwanted books and papers this year. I packed one pile and boys packed four in exchange for screen time.

Erasers all over the place. Boys have a few country erasers and I gave them a whole stash for Christmas. K is drawing up a play area before starting the competition.

Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa

16Dec16.jpg
We stayed at Holiday Inn Resort Benoa for five days and boys loved it as usual. They have the same program every day: breakfast, Kid’s Club, lunch, Kid’s Club, swim, dinner, Kid’s Club (sometimes night swim). They play with the same things at the Kid’s Club and eat the same meals every day but they’re not bored at all.

17dec16We took them to a nearby mall once, but they very much prefer staying in the resort. So me and KL just ventured out a few hours a day without them, whenever they’re parked at the Kid’s Club.

Hideaway Villas Bali

14dec16
We were in Bali this month! Stayed three days in Hideaway Villas in Uluwatu. It was so “ulu” that our taxi driver could not find the place initially.

Each villa comes with a pool and because we ordered room service for all meals, we ended up staying in the villa all the time. Not that anyone minded. The boys totally did not want to step out of the villa. I was also happy to stay in and read/dip in the pool.

We travelled very light for this trip, one small backpack per family member for seven days!

Mangoes

10dec16
I just learnt that there are two mango trees downstairs. Their friends’ father spent more than an hour getting two mangoes – first with a football, then string/stone, then with a basketball. T made a bouquet of stems from the fallen leaves of the tree.

Bits and Pieces of November 2016

nov16
Boys have been getting home-cooked dinners 4-5 nights a week, now that my mum is frequently staying over in our place.

T has no front teeth now! One of them has been wobbly for a while and he plucked it out by himself.

K is still making a lot of things at home. He made a pair of mobile phones for himself and T. It comes with a fighting game.

T drew a picture with stick men dancing in the snow! Till today, the boys still speak fondly of their Prague + Austria holiday 2 years back, as that was one and only time they played with snow!