Tuesday, January 31, 2012

CNY Day 1

Can you tell we love CNY around here. =)

We had plenty of visitations to do on day 1. Thankfully, it was only my side as the husband's maternal side of the family was away and the paternal side was in Malaysia.

First up in the morning, we got the kids dressed and they presented oranges to us as we bless them with well wishes for the coming year. It seemed like such a silly tradition but we thought it would be nice for the kids to go through the motions to experience CNY the olden ways.

Kayden starts first.

Mei Mei did last. (No pics of Jake cos he was crying)
I spent the eve dolling up the house with lots of flowers. Thank goodness for the husband who didn't mind a visit to the busy nursery. We hauled back heaps of flowers for the apartment.



Visiting usually starts at my uncle's place. (Now that grandma is not around.) It's the once a year thing where we meet with my cousins and see how fast the nieces and nephews have grown. It's a good catch up. And we watch bad TV every single year.


Then due to a miscomm, we had to take a train to my auntie's place whilst D went to send his mother to the airport. I was not pleased but the kids had plenty of fun training it to our destination.

The cousins and we caught up over lunch. It's always a feast over at the Tan side. There's food to last the entire 15 days of new year. It was delicious as always and we managed to take a complete family pic!!

All of us.

That was that for Day 1. It's off to the Kampung the next day.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Has it been that long?

Last night, in the midst of the sheer madness that is called CNY visitations, I managed to sneak out for a gathering with my ex secondary schoolmates.

Stepping into the restaurant, and seeing all the familiar faces, it's amazing how none of those peeps have changed much.

It was a short catchup where we had quick updates on what happened in the last 15 years since we left school.

Some of us are married. Some are single. Some are working for govt agencies. Some have started their own businesses. Some are teaching! Oh my!!

We enquired on some missing peeps who just disappeared into thin air after all these years and laughed over stories of the past and how my old teacher is now a counsellor in my son's school.

Life has come full circle.

And I am thankful to have met all these peeps in my schooling days.

Friday, January 27, 2012

团圆饭

The lunar new year is always a hoot in my household.

Since I was young, celebrating CNY has always been a fun and massive event. My aunts would always decorate the big old house with pots of flowers and festive decor. Then everyone would get dressed up in their new year finery for the first day or 初一, as we call it.

It has somehow tamed a lil since that time but yet I still like to keep the traditions alive.

First up, was the reunion dinner at my parents. Dad cooked up a storm. We had steamboat, prawns, leeks and a giant pot of cheng tng boiled by mum. It's the fun of stirring the yusheng and sitting around the table just talking about nothing.



We stuffed our faces silly with food before the kids went out to play with sparklers.



Then it was time to go home to pack hong baos for the following day!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The New Schedule

So 2012 has been quite a year of changes for me and for us.

With the kids divided into two separate schools and enrichment classes rescheduled, I have been trying to get used to the new routine.

Here's our new schedule for the this year.

0615 - 0630 -  Alarm clock rings. I snooze it for a while before getting up at 630am.

0630 - Kayden wakes up and shower whilst I put together breakfast for him.

0640 - He is changed and sits down to eat. Having lil regard for time, it does take some cajoling for him to finish his food quickly. D & I wash up.

0650 - He puts his food away and have his vitamins. Then he preps for school. It's supplement time for us too.

0655-0705 - We try to leave home at this point. It's the optimal time to beat the traffic in school.

0710 - 0720 -  K reaches school and we walk him to the gate.

0720 - 0900 - D and I will either go out for brekkie or we will head home to zzzz. Sometimes he will go to the gym after whilst I catch up on some sleep. Then he leaves for work.

0900-0915 - I leave for the primary school as I am volunteering for canteen duties.

0930 - 1030 - I'm at the school catching up with mummy friends whilst helping the Pri 1 kids with their recess time.

1030 - I leave for home. My helper gets the kids ready for kinder. And we play a lil when I get home.

1120 - My second school run. It's time to send the kids to kinder.

1140 - Reach school and drop kids off. K is used to the drop off procedure now. We walk to her class. I put her things and then I tell her that she is a brave lil gal and Mummy will pick her up after. Then I'll hand her over to her chinese teacher whom she likes. Plus, it helps that Jake is in the same school. She doesn't cry when I leave these days.

1150 - Me time. I would usually head to town to shop or walk around. Or run my errands.

1300 - I would leave for K's school to pick him up.

1330 - He is released and we dashed to the car to avoid the carpark jam. It is massively slow when you
get caught in it.

1355 - We will either have lunch or I will drop K home and then proceed to fetch the other two kids.

1435 -1510 - School pick up round ii.

1520 - The two younger kids get home and have lunch. Kate would normally take a nap till about 5ish.

1600 - K has classes on some days so I'll drop him off for his class and wait for him. It's play time for the other two kiddos.

1800 - We get home. I prep dinner. Jake would do a bit of work at this point. Sometimes I catch a quick nap cause I am quite exhausted by this time.

1930 - Dinner time! (When my mum babysits, she does dinner and I head out to gym or pole). Then kids go and shower.

2000 - D gets home. Have dinner. We catch up on each other's day. He spends time with the kids. Sometimes he does home work with them if I didn't follow through earlier on in the day.

2115 - 2130 - Kids wash up and go to bed. D would tuck the boys in and I would tuck the lil one in. We read bedtime stories separately.

2200 - D comes out of the boys room. We catch up. Watch some TV or go online.

2230 - Bed time. Simply because it's a 630 wake up call again the following day.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Closing off the Year as 5

The lovely KC from Tinydot Photography took some pictures for us at the end of last year.

It was our first shoot with lil K. Prior to this we had two shoots with the boys. It is a great way commemorate the different stages in our lives.

(Also, it was because K kept dissing the photoshoot that we did with her brothers in Melbourne. She would shut the DVD player off after watching it and walk away! Ha!!)

After getting all the images from him, I played around with the different layouts and got a few collages that I love.

I was very pleased with the results.



ELEVEN

The gorgeous Z from Little Projects tagged me in on a meme that is too cute to miss.

If you haven't visited her blog, what are you waiting for? Zhing lives in Tokyo now with her gorgeous hubby, D, and the most adorable lil pup called Musashi. She's probably the most creative friend I've ever known. I'm always envious of the crafts she's pulled off. It makes me wish I had more of a creative bone in me... =)

So here goes!

:: the tagged rules are as follows: 1. post these rules. 2. you must post 11 random things yourself. 3. answer the ques­tions the tag­ger set for you in their post. 4. cre­ate 11 new ques­tions for the peo­ple you tag to answer. 5. go to their blog and tell them that you've tagged them. 6. no stuff in the tag­ging sec­tion about ‘you are tagged if you are read­ing this.


  1. I'm a creature of habit. I can eat the same thing and the same routine over and over until I get really sick of it. =)
  2. The only thing I'm allergic to in this life is crab. It really sucks cause there's goes all the chilli and pepper crabs that every one indulges in but I'm always on the sidelines. =(
  3. I've always thought I would be that crazy career woman but, alas,  life had other plans and in a spectacular way too.
  4. D and I celebrate all our anniversaries every year. Dating and Wedding. It's a good excuse for us to try out new restaurants.
  5. My parenting belief is husband before kids. We love each other first so that we can pass that on to the kids. So date nights are a must for us. We go out at least once a week.
  6. I love shopping on my own these days. It's my therapy. And now that I have the luxury to shop during off peak times. Man! It turns me off the saturday crowds
  7. I secretly think my husband is the hardest working person that I've ever known. Seriously! It took me a long time to get used to that.
  8. I would love to take photography a lil bit more seriously this year. Maybe a class or two?
  9. Golf is another thing I wanna pick up.
  10. I used to like being alone but now my girlfriends are everything to me!! 
  11. Three kids is it for me. I know cos I don't feel that lingering awww feeling after I carry a newborn these days. =) 
Tea or Coffee?
Coffee. It is the one thing I crave when I wake up in the morning. A good cuppa latte gets my day going.


I collect...


source
 I'm such a girl I love my shoes and my bags, although lately the latter is taking precedence over the former. Now that my babies are grown and we no longer need a diaper bag, I'm free to take any bag I'd like out. =)

Favorite City

I have a few but probably Paris. It was our first European destination. There is a sense of je ne sais quoi in the air. The architecture that hides centuries of history in them. The shopping! Gosh I need a trip back this year.

Spring or Fall

Source
At this point, spring cos the colors are so pretty and I love playing dressup with the sundresses.

Bloom of Choice

Source
Peonies have my heart. They make me very happy whenever I see them.

Style Icon


Source
 Urhmm... It's probably Victoria Beckham. I cannot imagine how much time she spends looking that immaculate. Especially with four kids and a business to run! Won't it be fun to spend a day in her closet? Plus, her eye candy of a husband doesn't hurt either.

Perfume

Source
L'eau D'issey. It is my signature scent. I hoard a whole lot of other perfumes but this is the one I go to every time.

Linen
Egyptian cotton please!! The higher the threadcount the better.

I'm lusting after...
Source
A trip to Italy this year... with a road trip to the picturesque Amalfi Coast. That would be my dream in 2012.

Most Prized Possession


It has gotta be these three lil tykes that transcend through any material thing that I can ever have. (even though it's the hardest job on earth)  And the husband that just walks along with my through the journey called life.

Boy Crush

Source
Can I have two? Ryan Reynold's with his serious boyish charn & hawt hawt bod (ooh the Proposal) and Ryan Gosling...  Hello Mr Drive and Crazy Sexy Love!


On Weekend...


Weekends are always about the kids and their activities, coffee with friends, date nights, dinner meet ups and of course, farmers market. =)

Yuletide Joy 2011


Well I supposed I should write about Christmas before January is over.

It was one filled with family and friends. And, of course, a whole lot of presents for my kiddos. (Yep... none for me and D under that tree.)

We spent the eve with both sides of the extended family and come Christmas morning... it was a mad flurry of wrapping paper all over the apartment. These kids are very blessed.

We didn't forget the less fortunate this year and bought some electrical appliances and groceries for the Boys Brigade Charity run. It always reminds us to count our blessings for all that we have and in that we hope the kids would learn to give in all situations as they grow.



Under the Jones Christmas tree.

We threw a small Christmas party for our family and close friends this year. The apartment was filled with lots of food and people. It was tough to even find a place to sit that we had to shush the lil kids to the boys room to play.

Lil K truly enjoyed herself this Christmas. She's made a new friend during our Christmas party at home and thankfully was feeling well enough to play, despite her bout of stomach flu.

And just like that it is now January with Christmas being just a lil memory till the next one. =)

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Bircher

One of my favorite breakfasts is a good Bircher muesli.

Left to soak overnight with granny smith apples and juice (sometimes yoghurt), it is a mushy concoction of healthy goodness.

It is pretty common to find it on the menu in Melbourne but hardly so in SG.

The only place I know that serves a really generous and yummy version of it is the Plain.

Mmm... D and I often have to share one. :))

What's your favourite breakfast??

Saturday, January 07, 2012

The end of the week

Wake Up Sleepy head!!
OMG I have never been more thankful that it is Saturday.

We got up at 8 this morning and, already, it feels like it's such a treat.

The most brutal part of the new routine is waking up at 630am daily. We wash up, prep brekkie, wake the boy up, he gets ready and have some food before we leave the house at seven. For this week, both D and I sent the boy to school everyday.

Thankfully, we are still relatively 'young' to get used to the new wake up call. Still, an arvo nap is required to charge our batteries.

And, of course, the much needed coffee after dropping him off. (Especially when the husband had two late nights in a roll.)

I hope it gets easier as the year goes by. Here's hoping!

Kate starts School.

We're going to the school school school...


So on the first day of school, after we sent Kayden off to his new school, it was round 2 with lil miss K.

At twenty six months, my heart ached to send her off to school. However, I knew that she would be ok in the hands of the teachers that I've known so well for the last few years. Plus, she's a bright cheeky kid so I knew she would adapt.

Dressed in her new uniform and her adorable owl-motifed bag, we headed off to school.


Day 1
The husband, my sister and I were there on the first day. The lil one was all enthusiastic about exploring her classroom. She was quite restless and didn't wanna sit down for story time or singing songs. It was a big adjustment to her system as she's used to taking a nap at this hour.

Can I get some service around here, please?
Thankfully, she was happy mingling with the other kids and even sat down to eat her lunch. She must be famished cause she had 2.5 servings. Haha!

Overall, it was a good day. She loved having her Yiyi around to lounge around with and to be at her every whim and want.

Day 2
We were told that only one parent could accompany the kid.

It was a good start of the the day. After showing her where to place her belongings, the chinese teacher scooped her up and ushered her to the morning assembly area. And she d i d  n o t cry. Amazing!

So I stepped back after observing this and left her in the care of her teachers. She did look around for me when she's moving from place to place but didn't cry when she didn't catch a sight of me. (Although at one point, she was going to the toilets and saw me, she wanted to dash towards me but got distracted by her teacher.)

It was smiles and happy jiggles when I picked her up. So, overall, a great day for the lil one.

Day 3
We askedd her in the morning if she wanted to go to school. And she said No. I guess she knew that this was going to be a permanent arrangement and wasn't too happy about it.

Nonetheless, she was happy for my helper to dress her up and get her ready for school.

Once we got to school, she made a beeline for the indoor playground. I just let her be whilst I put away her belongings. After a lil while, I came to get her and brought her over to her teacher.

This time round, she wailed. And was clinging onto me for dear life.

Sigh.

I passed her over to her teacher quickly. I knew that if I lingered, I would've sent her a mixed message that Mummy would be around for the school period. So I went to hide behind a cupboard whilst seeing how long it took for her to settle down in the arms of her teacher.

Two minutes later, she stopped and was ok to be sitting on her own.

I didn't stay on that day. When she was picked up, she was happy as a lark so I guess it's really all about the point of separation.

Day 4
It was Jake's turn to start school. Which was great comfort to the lil fella.

She was a lil reluctant to go to school this morning. And she cried again when I passed her over but stopped after two minutes again.

When I picked her up, Jake was holding onto her bag whilst she was jumping all around. And that was the end of the first week of school.

Friday, January 06, 2012

A Week of Firsts.

We are Day 4 in the first school week of the year.

It has been sheer madness trying to get three people out of the door before 7 every morning. (I'll tell you more about our 630 wake up calls later but there is little joy in waking up before daybreak. =().

So it has been pretty epic because we have not one but TWO kiddos stating new schools this week. It has been such an emotional roller coaster and week of adaptability for all of us.

And here's how it goes.

Kayden - Day 1.
It was easy rousing him up for his first day in his big boy school. The excitement has been building up for a while and he was keen to get his engines going. So after jumping up immediately to shower, he scoffed down his brekkie and put on his shoes to leave.


When we got to the school, we were met with a ton of parents with their SLRs and digicams capturing every moment of their kids' first day in school. So after a quick kiss, he was off to join his classmates.

Parents get to hang around the school for three days and then the boys are on their own.

However, as I volunteered as a parent shepherd for canteen duties, I get to be around for the first month. Poor kiddo thought I was kidding when I told him so.

His food loot for Day 1
So what did he get for his recess break? A burger, a cuppa milo and one ice cream. Not bad for three bucks, huh?

We left right after and I got D to do the school pick up this week. (which he was late for the first day cause the kids were released half an hour earlier but we didn't know.)

Day 2
There was a drag in the waking up process. Poor thing couldn't get up. But after a shower, he was feeling much better. We dropped him off and didn't linger around this time round. Other than the recess duty, he was faring quite ok on his own.

Meal choice of the day - A hot dog and a drink.


Day 3
It was CCA day. So parents were invited to see what the school had to offer. They are pretty big on CCAs and strongly encourage even their Pri Ones to try and participate in at least one.

The boy asked if we could drop him off but with the ton of books in his bag, we said that we would walk him in instead. It was H E A V Y.

D and I scurried off for some much needed caffeine fix before returning to school. It was a flurry of activity there. The boys had so many options to explore in their CCAs. We walked around and had a chat with a few teachers about their respective sports before I left for canteen duty.

So far, we are liking the school. The boys look happy and are pretty polite. There are plenty of sports for them to be engaged in and we are glad that we chose it.

The boy was a little late in coming to the canteen and after buying a drink, he said he had no more $? Only when I told him he had two more $$  and he could go buy a plate of spaghetti, that he realised his blurness.

He later said that he likes a couple of CCAs and would like to join them so I've signed him up for a few and see which one he would get into. (Cause they normally only get into one)

Next up, lil Miss K.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Twenty Eleven

Isn't it a little crazy that year by year, time seems to just go a tad quicker as we get older.

2011 has been a great year for me.

There was nothing extraordinary about it. In fact, most parts of it are just happy peaceful times.

I turned 30 this year. It was incredible. We celebrated it onboard a yacht with my family and friends. The husband, who spoils me silly still, took me to Spain for a birthday treat. It was amazing. We had the best time eating and drinking our way through the country. Spending plenty of time catching up on us time. One of the best moments of 2011.

It is also the third year that we have been back in the motherland. And probably the first that I have truly settled back in. It is finally home and I've made my peace with the decision to be based back here. (which I'm sure my poor suffering husband is really thankful for. I've stopped chewing his ears off about the move.)

My entire universe revolves around my kids. It's also the first time in their lives that we placed a lot of emphasis of their education. I'd made sure that I got the oldest kid prepped up for the academic expectations of primary school.

In fact, it was during this year where we experienced the stress and nervousness of Primary one registration. Armed with a whole load of research and advice from friends, we very fortunately got our boy into the school of our choice.

My kids have also grown so much this year. I guess the boys are definitely not babies anymore. They are independent, funny and at times pretty rebellious. With the husband being really busy in his career, I've been left to hold the fort for many hours this year. Which means the schooling, chauffeuring, violing practising, feeding are pretty much in my portfolio. Thankfully, I have help from my family and the husband tries his hardest to spend time with the boys.

The baby of the family has brought such joy to us this year. She dances to Hi 5. Sings Hokkien Christian songs. Loves reading her bed time stories. Talks in full sentences now. And just giving us a run for our money in general. We love her so!

There were quite a few weddings that we attended this year. All of our closest friends got hitched! The latest being two of our bestest friends who had such a beautiful wedding.

Now that the kids are older, the husband and I have recovered a fair bit of our couple time. We go for weekly date nights when my parents babysit. It was our ninth year of being together and still we laugh and hold hands when it's just us two. He, who has been rather busy this year, still listens to my rants and tries to sneak in as many movies with me as possible. I adore him so.

I've also decided that in 2011, I was going to focus on myself a little. I went to gym once or twice a week. Did pilates once a week. And had pole classes twice a week. All these exercises made me such a happy lady with all the endorphins generated. It was very gratifying to just breathe and do something for myself without worrying about three little people's needs. So I plan to continue that in 2012.

I also got to develop a few new friendships from different areas in my life. And I'm so happy that I have a different galfriend to call or whatsapp for my different needs. In my earlier life, I'd always thought that I would be ok on my own. But now, my gals are everything to me.

I am very blessed, indeed.

2011 was fantastic.

This new year would be special. All of our babies would be in school. It would be a beautiful new chapter. And there is much to look forward to.

Happy New Year!!
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