Sunday, August 19, 2012

Forest Adventures - a Little Treetop Fun

We did something incredibly fun this arvo with the boys.

Knowing that they have a thing for adrenaline driven activities, I'd booked a session with Forest Adventures, a treetop adventure course.

Nestled in the leafy surroundings of Bedok Reservoir, there are two separate courses for adults and kids. The kids course has 16 crossings and finishes with one awesome zip line. Which the kids thoroughly lap up.

First up, we needed to get them kitted up. A safety harness was placed on each kid, along with a hook that will link them to a safety line all the time whilst they are up in the course.
 

Next up, it was time to get started! The boys excitedly ran up the stairs to begin whilst we stood at the ground to watch. You would read that it is encouraged for the kids to complete the course on their own. Whilst parents can encourage from the ground. And it was exactly what we did.


Kayden is an adrenaline junkie. As it is, he plays a few sports weekly. Jake, on the other hand, is a not so much a sports person. He only swims once a week. We were worried he might cry in the middle of it. The upside is, his new ambition is to be a ninja! Yup you read right! So we said this was his ninja training 101 course.

Lo and behold, he surprised us with his tenacity. He absolutely smashed the course on his own. We were so proud of the little fella!

(If a kid ever gets stuck, an instructor will come to rescue them.)

The course itself was pretty cool. It's a good mix of easy and complicated parts. The sweetener was the flying fox at the end of the course! All the kids loved it! The time spent to complete depends on each kid. The boys took about 30 minutes to manueveur the course each. You have about an hour to complete but the peeps there are pretty chilled about the timing. (unless it's packed.)


The best thing about sports is seeing the strength that kids possess. And when you go through the different obstacles, you see the teamwork that comes through without prompting. We saw the kids wait patiently, helping each other and taking initiative all on their own. Isn't it great? We can never learn these in books.


It was a litle hot today but the shade of the trees did offer some reprieve. And there were plenty of seats for parents to wait for the kids too. The boys were pleased as punched when they finished! It's was so fun watching them feeling rather accomplished. We all had ice cream after, just to cool off. It was a pretty awesome Sunday arvo.

Note: You are recommended to book online at www.forestadventures.com.sg or call them at 8100 7420. We paid $30 per kid for an hour. You can continue for another hour for $10, pending availability. Good stuff! We will be back for sure. =)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

West Side!


A couple of weeks ago, we were in the west for a furniture warehouse sale.

Since we are hardly in the area, I thought we should hop by the West Coast Park to let the kids have a go at the enormous playscape there. It's great! There is even a flying fox trapeze for the older kids and a huge rope pyramid for them to explore. Fun!

Nothing like the good old sun and sand for these city kids.

Oh how I miss the sprawling gardens in Melbourne! We loved picnics in winter. =)

No sand toys? No probs!

This fella is growing up too quickly for my liking. =(

Spin the wheel!!!

Yee Haw!!

Exploring the other side of the country!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Coming to be: Us


I always consider myself very fortunate to have met my husband. I love the man to bits.

After almost 10 years, I think we have found a perfect balance in our relationship.

The initial honeymoon years were great. However, when we got to the middle, where we had to juggle career and young kids, we felt a little stretched and stressed. When we moved back to SG, it took us almost 2 years to feel settled and happy.

Fours years on, it's safe to say that we are in a good place right now.

What I've learnt from the last couple of years are

  • Laugh - Seriously! At anything! I kid that only we would understand the moronic humour we share. He laughs at some of the dumbest things that ever came out of my mouth.
  • Go on dates - Now that our kids are older, we get to go out more. My parents babysit a few evenings a week. So we grab the chance to catch a movie, go for a nice dinner, work out, have dinners/coffees with friends. You would know that we go away once or twice a year too, just to have a breather from the kids
  • Compliment each other - Everyone likes to be told they look nice or did something awesome. D is good at that. He's always the biggest fan of my cooking. And whenever we go out on dates, he would tell me I look pretty or I'm wearing a gorgeous dress. I usually tell him I appreciate the things he does for me.
  • Fight! (and then make up!) - Yes, you've read right. I'm quite a chilli padi. Or at least that's what I've been told. When I'm not happy about something, oh you can be sure the whole world would know about it. When I was younger, I used to hold grudges after a fight. Oh those cold wars could go on for days. I'm not sure if it's because I'm older  but I still tell the man, the way I see things. Angry words could be exchanged. The difference is, we will always almost make up immediately after as well. I guess we don't wanna waste time being angry these days.
  • Let the small things go - Sometimes things don't go according to plan. I used to get angsty when that happened. Now I've learnt to curb my tongue and be flexible.
  • Co parent - Parenting is a lifelong journey. I've always wanted an involved husband. D is very good with the kids. If I'm ever not available, he's always ready to step up to the plate. He's knows their schedule and he knows what to feed them. I never worry when they are with him. We discuss and make parenting decisions together. He doesn't question the classes I send the kids to, cause he trusts that I've done my research. It's a good balance.
  • Go out with friends - Both together and separately. We have a group of good friends we hang out often with. But we also do have separate friends that we enjoy their company too. D goes out for drinks with his boys sometimes. I go for lunches or shopping with my girlfriends. It's so good for our souls.
  • Respect - This comes in many forms. We don't check each other's phones. We don't throw anything out without asking the other person. We don't track each other's movements during the day. It's small things that makes up the trust we have for each other.
  • Spouse First, then Kids - I guess this has been preached enough. It's true that when you love your spouse first, the love will transcend down to the kids. =) I cannot tell you how true it is. But when you feel valued, you will have love overflowing to your kids. *cross my heart*
Last but not least, life is not perfect. We do fight and we do have silly little arguments/ different point of views. But every morning, I'm grateful to wake up next to him. He's makes me better. He's taught me to open my eyes to new possibilities. We're best mates and we love nothing more than to have a good laugh over just about anything. He's also given me three wonderful kids whom I love more than life. A partner to last a lifetime only comes ever so often. So I'm hanging on tight to mine. =)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A New Chapter Begins!


It's official!

We've collected the keys this evening. Brought the troops over for a looksee. Even my mum came along for the ride! However, I think we are the only ones interested because my boys were just sitting by the door playing the iPad. *epic fail*

But, yes, it's time to finalize the quote so that we can start reno pronto. And hopefully we can move in about 8-10 weeks.

*fingers crossed!*

Monday, August 13, 2012

Not So Little Kate - Almost 3!

And just like that my little one is two months shy of turning 3.

Since she's the youngest of three, I've always thought of her as my littlest. She's always the baby of the family. That is, until we visited a newborn that day, when suddenly all thoughts of me just delivering her came rushing back. It's been thaaat long?

She's such a little grown up these days, it's not even funny. She speaks in complete sentences and totally understands everything that we tell her.

Being the third kid in the birth order, she is very independent and is totally capable of looking after herself.



She loves keeping busy. Most of the time, when her kor kors are doing homework, she would insist on doing something too. So to keep her occupied, I bought her coloring books and simple worksheets like writing her ABCs. She's very serious when she does her work. It's normally very neat and immaculate. She also loves her arts and crafts. She loves to doodle or even paint. Which she does with so much finesse and enthusiasm. Above, is a butterfly that she self painted, following a color scheme on the page before.


Love my pasta!

This little one has quite an asian palette. She is rather content with her steam fish, soup and rice. She's also very open to pasta and most things we offer her. So it makes it really easy to feed her. She's still quite a fresh milk monster, and sometimes drives me crazy when she insists on having way too much milk for her own good. We give the kids fish oil capsules daily so she's gotten into the habit of inhaling those as well.

Gosh I wonder how long Mama will let me have this for?

Being a kid of this generation means that she's been pretty well versed in the language of IPhones and IPads. She knows how to work the youtube app, really well, too. Sometimes, we'll indulge her and let her watch a few videos. However, majority of the time, we try to distract her with a book because I don't really want her playing with gadgets too much at this stage.

What's Spot up to now?
Speaking of which, thankfully, she loves to read. I usually borrow a whole stack of books from the library. It's good rotation for her because she would get really obsessed with one book and insist that I read it 3-4 times at a go! So if it's really good, I normally would buy it after. If not, the assortment of books does wonders for her development. She's so good at remembering the stories. Sometimes she would repeat after me, or read along with me. And more often than not, she would giggle at all the right spots. =) Bedtime stories are pretty grand times for us. I still enjoy it a lot.


The little one is quite an early bird. Usually, when we get up to send K to school, she would normally get up with us and wanna come along for the ride. I wonder where that gene comes from because I love lazing in bed for as long as I can. So clearly it's not from my side of the gene pool.


If anything, she has her dear daddy wrapped around her little finger. He adores her! I remember him saying that parenting boys and gals would be the same. WRONG! He has a soft spot for her. She makes his heart sing in a different tune and I love watching the tenderness between them. It's really the epitome of being Daddy's girl. I know, for sure, D would cry when she walks down the aisle. =) Already, he's saying she's growing up so quickly.


As for being the runt of the litter, she's clearly showing the boys who's boss. She's been well versed in the world of boy talk so sometimes she gets really cheeky and retorts them when they try to annoy her. Jakey and her have a tighter bond. They get on like a house on fire but at the same time, they fight like cats and dogs too. It's funny to watch. Kayden is really like her big kor kor. He takes her to her classes sometimes and he makes sure she behaves. Funny how family dynamics work, huh?


She loves going to school. I've heard she's a lil bossy in class too but her teacher adores her. And likewise, she always talk about Mrs S at home too. Every day when I drop her in school, she will skip and hop into the compound. D did the school run when I was sick and he mentioned how happy she was when she was there. =)


That's about it, I guess. It's just a summary of the little fiesty one that I love so much. =) I can't believe she's growing up so quickly.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Pleasures - Bacon and Corn Hash


It has been such a lazy long weekend.

I'd wanted to go away but clearly booking last minute tickets was a very very bad idea. So we stayed in town and just pottered around.

It's been rather relaxing, really.

We went on date nights. Caught three movies. (One with the kiddos) Had a glorious steamboat session at Imperial Treasure. Had coffee at the new CSHH Coffee. Watched my kids play hide and seek and catching in the big compound there. Simple pleasures it is these days.

Today I had a bit of time on my hands so I finally tried the bacon and corn hash from Smitten Kitchen. It's been a while since I'd seen it and boy am I glad that I attempted it. It's not exactly the healthiest dish but it is very gratifying and satisfying for Sundays.

All it took was 4 ingredients, a dash of salt and pepper. A couple of minutes. That's it.

My husband tried it and he's declared that life is indeed good, when the first spoonful went into his mouth. =) They ain't wrong when they say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

Ingredients
2 Desiree potatos, sliced to 2cm cubes
6 strips of bacon streaks
1 fresh corn, cut from the cob
4 spring onions - chopped
Salt + Pepper


  1.  Fry the bacon on a pan, medium heat.
  2. Remove bacon from pan.
  3. Leave oil in the pan and pan fry the pototoes for about 3 minutes on each side, till they are brown and cooked through.
  4. Add fresh corn. Stir fry for 5 minutes.
  5. Throw the bacon back into the pan. Then add the spring onions. Mix through.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I've also fried an egg to add to the dish. And I like to serve it with japanese mayonnaise and chilli sauce. =) Just a little bit of personal preference.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hamburger Night!


One of the biggest dinner requests by the kids, especially AngMoh K, is a good hamburger.

It's such an easy dinner, that I don't even mind whipping it up myself.

All I have to do is to prep the patties and dish up a couple of sides and, Viola!, it's dinnertime!

I follow Jamie Oliver's burger recipe with a bit of modification here and there. But, mostly here's what I do.

Ingredients (makes 8 patties)
400g of beef mince, I use organic mince
400g of pork mince
8 sprigs of parsley
9 Jacob's crackers (smashed)
2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
A generous serving of salt and pepper.
An egg

Steps

Mix the Ingredients Up

Shape into Patties. And Put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes to fim.
I pan fry it with butter and oil for about a minute on each side. Serve with sides!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Baking with Kids

It was one of those days where we had nothing on the agenda. Still not 100% from the recent illness, I really wanted to just stay home.

The kids were just pottering around when I decided that we should do something fun.

My kids love projects. Whenever I suggest that we cook or paint, their eyes will light up with an extra sparkle.

This arvo, I decided to bake. We tossed around some ideas and ended up baking chocolate banana muffins.

I measured the different ingredients. The kids did the rest. Mash the bananas, stir the ingredients and pour the mix into the cups.

And it turned out sooo good! Moist chocolatey goodness in a cup.

Good fun! And a brilliant way to spend quality time with the kids.

Space Planning


5 more days till we collect the keys to our new apartment.

We had an opportunity to visit the place two weeks when our valuer came by. Our agent was kind enough to let us spend some time viewing the place. Can you believe that it's our second time there?

Fortunately, we still like it. Very much so, indeed.

I love the light and spaciousness of the place. The big kitchen that we, unfortunately, cannot be modified to be an open one. The rooms are also generous enough for the kids to grow into.

Most of all, I love that it's a big blank canvas for us to weave a little reno magic on.

(Thankfully, D and I came to a consensus (thanks baby!) to remove the ugly marble flooring on the living area. One that I pushed so hard for because I cannot stand the color. =p D kept insisting that it would cost a birkin to redo the floor. )


D has big plans for this space. He's already bought a sound system. (First thing off his checklist! Can you quote Mars and Venus already?) And he's been busy comparing the quotes that we have and compiled them all on Excel so that he knows which route we should take. I'm very glad that he's been taking charge of this because I cannot imagine doing this alone. I am just busy bossing him around with the ideas in my head and he, urh hmm, just has to execute it.

It's all very exciting and, of course, will cost a pretty penny So we are very careful at where we should splurge and where to save.

From the way the timeline works, I think the renovation works will take about 8-10 weeks, with close vigilance.  Which means we kinda need to start work pronto but we still gotta wait for our contractor to finalize his drawings.

But in the meantime, here's some pictures I've been getting inspiration from online.

Via
Via
Via


Friday, August 03, 2012

Kate's First Sports Day

Looking like a little tom boy!

Little Miss K had her very first sports day last Saturday.

It was an annual affair held by their kindergarten which had kids, from prenursery to K,1 participating in all kinds of gym activities. Since the Olympics games are currently on, the theme was incorporated into the event. It was so cute seeing the kids running with the 'torch'

It was rather warm and humid that day. So she was a little grumpy to start the day off. Thankfully, once she found her teacher, she was quite happy to just hang out with them whilst waiting her event to start with.


The kids sang some of their usual assembly songs to kickstart the event, which Miss K wanted nothing to do with. =) She was just really sooky that day. (I suspect it's because it's almost her nap time as well!)

Off the little one goes!

However, when it was her turn to start the race off, this little one was a pocket rocket. She climbed up the ramp, whizzed past her tunnel crawl and was very quick to finish it off with a beanie bag throw. All these with the encouragment of her favourite teacher, Mrs S.

She was grinning from cheek to cheek after. Seeing her pleased as punch was such an amazing feeling. The gal has some agile skills! Mummy here approves of a sporty gal!

What do you mean I can't eat the cup, Mum?

We had to leave before everything finishes because J had a class to attend. But not before she collected her goody bag which consisted of a new cap and some snacks. Of which, she wasted no time in gobbling them all up! Running must be so tiring. =)

Tag Team


So, I took the entire Thursday off on bed rest. Those drugs are seriously the kicks. I cannot believe how fast I knock out after taking them.

I was hoping somehow that I could still go abouts my day because if you know D, he is quite a busy bee at work. Mostly, I try my best to not let him worry about home stuff and let him concentrate at work during the day.

However, without even saying a word, D took over all the school runs for the day. He told me to stay home and rest.

Thursday is usually a busy day. The boys also have overlapping enrichment classes that require a bit of driving around.

I don't give the man enough credit but if anyone can pick up my slack, it would be him.

We have a shared calendar so he can see all the kiddie activities, which makes it easier for us to know each other's schedules.

He dropped the kids off in their respective schools, dashed to work, then hurried off to pick them all up for their respective classes.

In between, he would text me occasionally to ask how I am.

This morning, he recounted how he hasn't had the opportunity to send Kate to school since she started and how she is the one kid that he did the least for. He mentioned that she had a skip in her step the minute she stepped into school and it made him so happy that she loves school so much. =) Little thrills.

Can't say how blessed I am to have him but I'm thankful that I can count on him when I need him. Simple things like that makes me happier than any gift he can buy. =p

A Brown Bear, A Moon and A Caterpillar


We are big fans of Eric Carle's series of books in this household.

In fact, Kate's favourite book of all time is "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear?" She loves the repetition in the book and would often chime in when I'm reading it to her. She's a big fan of the other two books that were performed too.

So, the other weekend, when D was out of town, my girlfriend and I took the kids to the Act 3 International's A Brown Bear, A Moon and a Caterpillar: Treasured Stories of Eric Carle, which was performed by the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia Canada.

I managed to score front row seats for us all back at the pre launch.

The use of 'black light' puppetry made the entire performance rather interesting for the two younger ones. J was busy reading his lines aloud to all three plays and Kate loved the animation of the Hungry Caterpillar. She was just wide eyed and giggling throughout.

My almost seven year old, however, caught on to how the animation was being portrayed and he kept whispering into my ear how each move was being made. =) I had to tell him to keep it down so as not to spoil the performance for the two younger ones.

I love how the puppeteurs would come out at the end of the play to answer questions from the kids. Also, how they encourage the children to chime in if they knew the words to the play as it was performed. Overall, a good live theatrical act for the kids. =)

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Down for the Count

I hate falling ill.

I'm usually quite punctual with my daily dose of probiotics and also I like cooking with organic ingredients.

However, once or twice a year, I would find myself with a fever of scorching temperatures yet I feel like I'm siting on the artic circle.

It's usually from a myriad of germs passed on from the kids. (which all three had when I took them to the doctor the other day.)

So it's 3.39am now.

I've been sporadically waking up every half an hour since 930pm to drink some water and hoping to sweat this fever away. I hate being sick. The combination of drugs makes me very woozy and a sore throat meant that I can't vocalise my thoughts.

Here's hoping this fever will break soon!

Especially since, I've got a full schedule ahead tomorrow. And I'm afraid D would be too busy to help me out.

Fingers crossed.

edit: D took me to the doctor first thing in the morning and I was diagnosed with high fever & upper respiratory tract congestion. The doctor said the only way to get better was to rest so my amazing husband took over the kids for the day whilst my mum came in the evening to babysit. Lucky girl I am. =)
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