Friday, August 31, 2012

DIY Octahedron mobile

Here's Rachel with her Octahedron mobile. This is the second in the series of Montessori classic mobiles. This was very easy to make - the hard part was finding the right paper - I needed it to be holographic. After scouring the "professional" art shops, I went to a $2 shop (Daiso) and found it there. Instructions for making the mobile were from here.

In other news, Ryan will be on TV everyday from 1 to 28 September! Remember this post? Well, Ryan was filming a TV commercial for Nestle milk powder and it will be airing on TV (on both Channel 5 and Channel 8) starting tomorrow! I'll try to get a copy of it and post it here. Otherwise, do watch out for it on TV!

We also went into the modelling agency this morning to shoot updated photos for his portfolio - I will show the photos when we get them!

Here's Rachel wishing everyone, "Happy weekend folks!"

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Outing to Gardens by the Bay

Last Saturday, we visited Gardens by the Bay, the latest tourist attraction in Singapore.

Nothing much to write, so I'll just post some photos of our outing. I did take lots of flower photos but there are much more beautiful photographs of the plants, flowers and trees on the internet, so I'm not going to post photo after photo of flower after flower here.

This was taken at the entrance. Baby Rachel is sleeping in the wrap.

First stop was the Cloud Dome. This is my mum, with Richard and Ryan. We brought the stroller along for Ryan because we knew he would be tired (we were there for a total of 4 hours).

Richard. Handsome or not? Handsome lah!

Family photo!

Lunch at the Bistro.

On to the next conservatory - this was the Flower Dome.

Posing with the hibiscus - Malaysia's national flower!

After that, we walked outside the domes, through the various cultural gardens (Malay, Chinese, Indian) until we got to the Supertrees. Here you can see my mother in deep discussion with Ryan (probably about Tom & Jerry cartoons) at the base of the tree.

I was commenting that there didn't seem to be any place for people to play or have picnics or kick a ball about, and Richard said that we hadn't been to most of the gardens yet, eg. the lawn spaces and the more communal/recreational spaces. So we'll be back for those!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DIY Munari mobile

I made Rachel a mobile yesterday (with Richard's help of course). This is the Munari mobile, which is a classic Montessori mobile offered to infants when they are a few weeks old. Yes, I'm late on this - I was hemming and hawing whether to just buy it online (for more than $60!) and in the end I decided to make it (for less than $5!). I followed the instructions from here. I'm working on the rest of the mobiles in the series. Stay tuned to see them here!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Visit from Grandma

I know it's a bit slow on the blog. My mother is visiting this week (she lives in Australia) and I haven't been in the mood to write. Anyway, here are some photos to share, and I will be back with fuller posts soon.

Here's my mother meeting Rachel for the first time at the airport.

Having dim sum breakfast together.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Outing to Jurong Bird Park

Monday was a holiday in Singapore on account of Hari Raya Puasa falling on the Sunday before. Alicia suggested an outing to the bird park in Jurong. We haven't met up with Alicia's and Shann's families for quite a while so we were more than happy to get together.

Ryan was pleased as punch to see Rou Ern and Brayden, as he hadn't seen them for a long time. The children grow up so quickly - both Rou Ern and Brayden seem to be more mature compared to when we saw them last.

It was an excruciatingly hot day and we were there at the hottest time of the day (from 10 am) so we were pretty sluggish and walked very slowly through the park. The park was quite lovely and we saw lots of different types of birds. Here are some shots from Richard's phone.

We managed to watch one of the shows - birds doing tricks, playing with their trainers, etc.

We had a simple buffet lunch at Songbird Terrace inside the bird park, overlooking the flamingo enclosure. There was also a live show with parrots at the restaurant where we had prime seats.

The bird park was a very good experience for Ryan as he was able to see the birds "live" - the penguins swimming, the eagle/vulture swooping down, the flamingo standing on one leg, the parrots talking/singing. Ryan also got up close and personal with some of the birds at certain areas. Here he is, feeding the lories with some nectar at the Lory Loft.

Rachel went with us and suffered through the heat without complaining. Towards the end of the outing, Ryan got a little cranky from tiredness (and the heat!) and, when Richard went to get the car, it got a little hairy trying to handle my two little ones, because Ryan insisted on getting to the boob while I was holding Rachel. Fortunately Shann and Alicia came to my rescue and all was well.

Back home, we did a simple report of the outing. We are trying to encourage Ryan to talk more about his experiences, tell us what happened, what he did during the day, etc, so hopefully the report helps to get some discussion/conversation going. He does enjoy seeing himself in the photos so he's quite interested. Here are some of the pages. The book is just 10 pages long and at the back of the book, I included a (real) feather. Oh, please forgive the atrocious Mandarin characters (written by me).

Monday, August 20, 2012

Outing to Bishan Park

Sunday was Hari Raya Puasa in Singapore so Ryan had no classes. We took the chance to visit Bishan Park for brunch.

Here we are at Canopy Garden Dining and Bar. It was an extremely hot day and we were glad to be in the airconditioning.

We used to go to Bishan Park very often, back when we didn't have children. We would bring our dog, Max, and spend a few hours in the dog run. That was until SKC stopped supervising the area and Max got attacked in the run by a bigger dog. He escaped with minor injuries but we decided not to go there anymore.

The park has undergone a major rejuvenation and we had been waiting for the opportunity to come and take a look. The main element that is new is the natural river that used to be a concrete canal. When the water level is low, like it was on Sunday, you can walk out to the river and wade in it, catch fish, and play in it. Something like a stream in the English countryside, but with tropical greenery instead.  It looks like a nice place for a picnic, when the weather is forgiving.

Rachel fell asleep in the heat while Ryan was running and jumping around, happy to be outside and exploring. We didn't go prepared to play in the river (no towels or extra clothes or shoes) so we'll definitely try to come back (at a cooler time of the day!).

Thursday, August 16, 2012

At home with Ryan

Now that I am on maternity leave, I like to steal a few days here and there from Ryan's nanny and keep him at home with me. Yesterday was one of those days. We hung out together at home, mostly reading books and playing whatever he wanted to play.

I'd say that he likes spending time at home as well, because when he's at home he refuses to nap. That's really saying something because the night before, he slept at 3.30 am. He woke up at around 8 am and refused to sleep until just before 8 pm. I lay down with him for about an hour in the afternoon but he just kept smiling at me with his big eyes twinkling, so I gave up and we went downstairs to play.

Ryan is starting to become very talkative now, although he is still in the "beginner" phase. I love listening to him - it's so strange and amazing to hear him have these "first conversations" with me. If he's not talking to me, he launches into a conversation with himself or he will recite a poem/story (he especially likes to recite "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" from beginning to end (the long version)). I'll try to get a video of it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A short break

Last week, Ryan's nanny went on a short holiday to Thailand so Richard took a few days off and we drove back to Malaysia. We got in on Wednesday evening and stayed till dinner on Saturday, returned to Singapore on Saturday night.

Here are some snippets from the trip.

Baby Rachel modelling her ruffles.

Baby Rachel with her Aunty Margaret.

We popped over to my uncle's house at Desa Park City on Thursday night for dinner. His daughter (my cousin) has a pet hedgehog which she named Duke Bubbles Prickerton I. One of our other cousins has Duke Bubbles Prickerton II.

Our babies.

We did some shopping in the city on Friday (Pavilion and KLCC) - some books and some clothes. Met up with friends at Dome at KLCC - Oi Lin, Yin Yin and Yuen Fun came in from Jakarta, Riyadh and Ipoh respectively. It was a good (although short) reunion.

The next day (Saturday), we met up with Kar Yee and Yuen Fun for lunch at Amcorp Mall, followed by a leisurely shopping spree at Bookxcess, where we bought about RM300 worth of children's books. Terri and Vincent joined us and we topped the outing off with drinks at Sri Melaka.

Here's Rachel with Yuen Fun. Rachel is wearing barefoot sandals which I bought online - too cute to resist!

Dinner was at Out of Africa restaurant at PJ Swimming Club with Richard's side of the family. I have not been to the swimming club for decades but it holds a ton of childhood memories for me - I literally grew up in that place, as well as in A&W and Shah's Village Motel which are (still) next door to the swimming club. The place has changed a lot - there is no longer a diving platform, there isn't even a deep end now.

That diving platform was pretty significant - when I was still in kindergarten, I was doing dives off the platform. There was one occasion when my mother was in the water below holding one of those inflatable round tubes and I would jump off the platform and aim to land inside the tube. On one of my dives, the tube was too close to the side of the pool and, when I jumped, I landed with my chin striking the edge of the pool. I had to get stitches and now I have a small scar on my chin. I have some photos of me in my kindergarten uniform with a white bandage on my chin but I don't remember much else. I continued diving and swimming, so no harm done!

Ryan had a lot of fun in the children's pool with his cousins, Malcolm and Justin. Malcolm is very good with Ryan - he is very careful and very brotherly with him.

We left after dinner and got into Singapore around midnight. Good trip, very fulfilling.

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