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Alyssa 10 Months

She’s started crawling good and proper now. She’s pulling up at the cot and wherever there’s anything to grab. She’s also able to sit back down, though occasionally she topples over, so we still need to watch her like a hawk. She needs close supervision when playing because she stuffs everything into her mouth. Sometimes she stuffs things in without us noticing because the boys call away my attention, and we only realise when she coughs. Thankfully it’s not been anything that chokes her! Small things like bits of tissue paper, paper, or plastic wrappers from a mineral water bottle. We need to be much more vigilant with her, something we are not used to since neither of the boys were like that.

She’s entered the phase where she doesn’t want to sit still, so changing diapers can be a real challenge. She’s squirming, flipping, crawling away. I think we’ve gotta move to pull-ups soon.

Here is Alyssa with Je M’appelle for the growth comparison, but Je M’appelle has been usurped by another bear! It’s a cuddly bear my aunt gave me a few years ago that I pulled out of one of our boxes (yes, I’m still not done unpacking) and Alyssa grabbed for herself. She gives air kisses to it! She’s learnt how to make kissing sounds, so she’ll look at the bear, smile, and air kiss it.

Hard to keep still

Je M’appelle being usurped by another bear

Speaking of air kisses, it’s so cute to see/hear her make the kissing sound, and she does as it a sign of affection. Her other sign of affection is to give you a big, sloppy kiss. Almost like she’s eating you up. She likes snuggling her head into my neck/shoulder too.

She is trés greedy. She always wants something from the main table now and we usually let her have it. Bits of bread, grains of rice, bits of veg. She is soooo unbelievably greedy. “DER!!” She’ll loudly exclaim while pointing at our food (and simultaneously avoiding the spoon with baby food).

She does this when she gets very excited by something

She does this when she gets very excited by something

Super happy baby!

Super happy baby!

Ellery skipped school (shh!), and together with Asher and Alyssa we trotted off to catch 金发姑娘和三只熊, otherwise known as Goldilocks and the Three Bears in Mandarin by The Little Company. This Mandarin version is adapted by well-known radio and TV personality, Danny Yeo, and Zhang Lesheng, an award-winning lyricist who has written theme and sub-theme songs for over 90 MediaCorp TV drama serials.

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We had watched the English version a while back, but the kids didn’t seem to remember much about it as they were quite a bit younger then. I was curious to see how this show would play out in Mandarin, and whether the songs and story would work as well when translated from English.

To my surprise I enjoyed it more than the English version! Interestingly, different songs stood out. In the English version, our favourite song was the ‘porridge song’. In Mandarin, we liked the ‘itchy song’ the most, followed by the ‘bear song’ and the ‘beware song’. These songs took on more life when sung in Mandarin, somehow. The songs were much more memorable in Mandarin and I occasionally still have the songs running through my head.

Papa, Mama, and Baby bears

Papa, Mama, and Baby bears (Photo taken from SRT’s Facebook page)

Bears enjoying their porridge (Photo taken from SRT's Facebook page)

Bears enjoying their porridge (Photo taken from SRT’s Facebook page)

I loved the Mandarin puns and thought it was a wonderful opportunity to show the children how Mandarin can enrich a show and make things more interesting. When Goldilocks first saw the bears she was freaking out and kept saying “x-x-x-x-xiong”. Papa Bear then clarified that they were “熊” (xióng – bears) not “凶” (xiōng – fierce). They played on this pun a few times so that the kids could catch it – “熊爸爸” (bear papa) and not “凶爸爸” (fierce papa). It was also funny when Mama Bear wanted to calm Goldilocks down and told Papa Bear, “把小熊给她!” He then tried to pick up Baby Bear to give to Goldilocks! She actually meant the teddy bear, which can also be called 小熊! I pointed out to the boys that these jokes would not have been possible in English. Teddy Bear and Baby Bear wouldn’t have been interchangeable, neither would there have been a fierce daddy/bear daddy pun. They were quite tickled by this and went to ask Jon if he was a 凶 or 熊 daddy at night.

Goldilocks

Goldilocks (Photo taken from SRT’s Facebook page)

There was very good chemistry among the actors, and they really brought the show together. The best part was the entire segment where the bears suspected someone had intruded into their house and found Goldilocks asleep. It was hilarious, not just because of the puns, but because Mama and Papa bear looked so terribly annoyed. You feel like they are convinced that the intruder, by eating their porridge, sitting in their chairs, and lying in the beds, has committed an absolutely unforgivable act and must be severely punished!

Discovering Goldilocks asleep in Baby Bear's bed! (Photo taken from SRT's Facebook page)

Discovering Goldilocks asleep in Baby Bear’s bed! (Photo taken from SRT’s Facebook page)

The only bit that didn’t quite work with the audience was when Goldilocks was singing about girls being capable and independent. I remember this didn’t quite work in the English version either. It’s a good message but I think the language is a bit too sophisticated for many of the young kids attending the show. That was just a very small part of the show though. Overall, it’s a very good production.

Asher, who was at first a bit reluctant to watch a show in Mandarin, declared afterwards that he really liked the show! I think that’s good endorsement :)

Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Mandarin) runs until 29 Mar 2015 at the DBS Arts Centre. You can get your tickets from the SISTIC website or call the ticketing hotline (63485555).

Carnivore

What is scarier, more fearsome, more ferocious than the giant T-Rex?

An Alyssa!!!

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She goes, “Rarr!” Then eats him.

We went to catch Aesop’s Fables by iTheatre with Ellery and Alyssa. I’m so glad we did because it was a thoroughly enjoyable show!

There are 8 stories and it was a good selection of familiar and less familiar tales, all with good morals that children should learn about. It led to some meaningful discussions on why “a bird is more than it’s feathers (in the Jay and the Peacock) and what it means, and why you shouldn’t give up your friends for your enemies (The Sheep and the Wolf).

I thought it was a good idea to use the context of a travelling performance company as it gave scope for the actors to take on many different characters (as would need be the case since they are telling many fables…). I also liked how the actors subtly brought home the message of using your imagination. In the show, the person in charge of the travelling company’s costumes misplaced them, and so for some characters the actors had to use everyday objects as props and costumes. The boys are familiar with this concept. Our dress up box filled with random things is one of the most popular ‘toys’ in the house. With my old white shirt they have become doctors, astronauts, dragons, kings, knights, Daddy, etc. But it’s always interesting to see new ways to create costumes – like with the sheep! It was so funny! Gloves and yarn on the head! :)

Docile sheep

Docile sheep

There was some audience interaction in the middle which Ellery loved. He wanted very much to go up on stage to be the Wind in the story of The North Wind and the Sun but wasn’t chosen. At the end of the show he asked to try being the Wind and the actors were so kind to oblige :) He was soo happy he declared The North Wing and the Sun his favourite story from the show and was blowing and blowing on the ride home.

So happy to be able to press the horn and be the Wind. Unfortunately covering his face here!

So happy to be able to press the horn and be the Wind. Unfortunately the horn is blocking his face here!

The actors put up good performances, transforming themselves into each new character with ease. I was keen to watch Darren Guo’s performance because I thought he did well in Hop & Honk and was interested to see how he’d do this time. His acting did not disappoint, and he continues to be a versatile actor capable of playing with his voice and manner. Actually, I thought all of them (Darren, Alecia Kim Chua, Elizabeth Loh, Erwin Shah Ismail and Ghazali Musakir ) did well individually and together.

The songs are great (till now I still have the Aesop’s Fable song stuck in my head) and I thought the choreography was good too (gotta love those Sheep!).

Donkey has had enough!

Donkey has had enough!

Androcles and the Lion

Androcles and the Lion

I left the theatre thinking, “iTheatre is getting better”. The last couple of performances have been really good, and Aesop’s Fables, with its timeless stories and lovely songs, is a great show to catch with the children.

Aesop’s Fables run until 21 Mar 2015. Grab your tickets and go support local theatre!

Aesops’ Fables is show at the Jubilee Hall at Raffles Hotel. Ticket are available via SISTIC.

————————————————–

I received three complementary tickets for the show. All opinions are my own.

 

 

There were some books I remember reading over and over again as a kid, and my two small books containing a selection of Aesop’s Fables were definitely among them. There are about 665 fables in total, dating back 2,600 years. I haven’t read them all, but am well acquainted with the more popular stories.

I think my mum gave away those books, but we now still have two thin copies of Aesop’s Fables in our house. These were Jon’s copies from when he was younger and my late mother-in-law kept them, along with some other books, specially for her future grandkids! She would be very happy to know the books have been read repeatedly by the boys.

If you love Aesop’s stories too, you should check out iTheatre’s performance of Aesop’s Fables from 26 Feb to 21 Mar. They show and tell a selection of Aesop’s most famous stories, along with some lesser known ones, using puppetry, live action and song. The selection will include “The Jay and The Peacock”, “Androcles and The Lion”, “The Lion and The Mouse”, and “The Goose that Laid The Golden Eggs”.

AEF015 landscape

Their 2009 production of Aesop’s Fables played to sold-out audiences, so be sure not to miss it this time around. We really enjoyed iTheatre’s last show, Hop & Honk, and I hope that they’ll put on a good performance again!

Tickets are available from SISTIC.

*** Giveaway ***

iTheatre has kindly sponsored 2 sets of 2 tickets to Aesop’s Fables on Saturday, 7th March 2015 (2.30pm). If you need more than 2 tickets, iTheatre has offered to sell adjacent seats at a discounted rate to the winners.

To qualify for the giveaway, please do these 2 things by 2 Mar 2359hrs (not a lot of time, so don’t put it off till later!):
1. Leave a comment below on which of Aesop’s Fables is your favourite and why
2. Share this Facebook post with at least one other person.

Don’t forget to leave me your email address so I can contact you if you win!

The winning entries will be selected at random from all qualifying entries. The winners will be announced here in the comments section of this post, and will be contacted via email.  They will have 24 hours to respond, failing which another winner will be selected. Tickets will be available for collection on the day itself at the performance venue 30 minutes before showtime. 

Tarty for Tarts

The tarts disappeared so quickly! The boys would bring the container of tarts around and munch wherever they went. Jon and I kept taking a piece every time we walked past too. Before we knew it, there were none left!

So how? No choice but to make more!

We started at 830pm, and at midnight we were still making tarts! Gosh.

And for the first time, Jon helped us! I’ve never ever seen Jon help with baking before, so it was definitely a photoworthy moment.

The tarts continue to disappear. We intended to keep some tarts for our friends to try, but it looks like the jar will be empty by the time we meet them!

Round 2

Round 2

Smiley face!

Smiley face!

Jon helping with baking!!

Jon helping with baking!!

Father-son bonding :)

Father-son bonding :)

Pineapple Tart Factory

After last year’s successful pineapple tart baking session which yielded what is, purely in my opinion, the best pineapple tarts around, my Mum and aunts decided to assemble for a pineapple tart session this year too! I was already planning to bake them again this year anyway since I couldn’t bear the thought of eating any other pineapple tarts ;O)

It took a really really really long time to bake 3 batches. The tarts are not difficult to make, just time consuming. We joked that we can’t make a business of this because it’s just too much effort for too little money! After about 9 hours of work, we made only slightly over 300 tarts – enough to fill 7-9 containers. After deducting for costs and manpower, there’s really no point. BUT. For personal consumption, it’s so worth it.

We started from after lunch, and carried on till after dinner. It was a multi-generational effort. My grandaunt, mum, aunt, me, Asher and Ellery all at one point helped to make tarts. A fun day of bonding!

Mummy rolling out the dough

Mummy rolling out the dough

Tried to let Alyssa play with flour but...

Tried to let Alyssa play with flour but…

She ended up eating it so that was the end of that plan

She ended up eating it so that was the end of that plan

The neat tarts my mum and aunts made

The neat tarts my mum and aunts made

The messy tarts the kids made :)

The messy tarts the kids made :)

My mum even made a dragon for Ellery!

My mum even made a dragon for Ellery!

It was actually very crisp and yummy!

It was actually very crisp and yummy!

Baking with Por Por!

Baking with Por Por!

The underpaid workers

9hours later but still happy as tarts!

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