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Roti Prata

This greedy little girl has eaten roti prata!

Really, I caved cos she was just so persistent! She utterly refused to eat her own breakfast and kept pointing at my prata and asking for it “DER!!”

The third kid…anything goes huh?
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Ellery on 2 Wheels

Ellery has learned to ride a 2 wheeler! Yay!

He has been using the Strider for a long time now and is good at balancing. Transitioning him to a pedal bike took quite a bit of coaxing though. Ellery didn’t want to ride on two wheels using the old rusty bicycle that was given to Asher when he was smaller. Ellery kept thinking he couldn’t balance even though he clearly should be able to.

I decided that we needed to get him a new bike. The other bike was too small for Ellery anyway. We went to the bike shop together and got him a bike that, as a bonus, had a basket!  It is a feature he has asked for on many occasions. He also got to choose the colour. We brought it home, and the next day went to the nearby garden to try it.

Success!

He could do it! He was so pleased with himself. From saying he couldn’t ride a two wheeler, he started to say how fun cycling was. I hope he continues to discover the joy of achieving what he thought he couldn’t achieve at first.

Off he goes!

Off he goes!

Playing

Enjoying the playground with his little sister

So I think I’ve completed my transition to the East. I bought a bike! Cycling is so common here. Much more common than it was at our old place. So many people cycle, and it’s probably because of the flat terrain here. There are all kinds of bikes. Cool, new technology bikes, old uncle bikes, ladies bikes, road bikes, etc.

I got such an orbit (Singlish for gaudy or not very nice looking) bike, but it is growing on me.

I decided I needed a bicycle because I can’t keep up with the boys on foot. They end up having to wait for me, and we can’t go very far in the limited time we have for outings to East Coast park from our home.

I didn’t spend very much time researching bikes or anything like that. I just wanted something that would work. A basket, a baby seat, a back rack, gears, and a low slung front (the ‘ladies’ bike). I went to all of 2 shops before making my purchase. The first visit was before I decided what my criteria was, the second was after. I went to Chin Hong Cycle Co. and basically purchased the only ladies bike they had that had adjustable gears (most don’t have it). It was white with purple accents (including bursts of petals…), and as I cycled off in the bright noon sun I discovered the cables were sparkly! You wouldn’t be wrong to say my bike looks very girlie. Very uncharacteristically girlie for me, I think. But like I said, it’s growing on me.

Bought my bike from this shop at Joo Chiat

Bought my bike from this old school shop at Joo Chiat. The people there are so friendly and helpful! That’s my bike in the middle.

I think I’m going to name it Rarity. Because it looks like Rarity! Who is Rarity? This is Rarity!

Hahahahahaha.

Yes, even I cannot believe I’m doing this.

But really, it’s white, with purple, and has sparkly things…And I kinda like the My Little Pony Series. The boys suggested names like Icicle (too pokey), Snow (too soft), Glacier (too cold). I was at first thinking hard about spray painting over the petals or the words, but I think I’m starting to embrace my bike for who it is. Rarity the pony is concerned about beauty, is particular about not getting dirty, is quite ditsy. Quite unlike me I think, but I think we’ll get along fine.

I’ve taken Alyssa for a spin in the bike and she loves it! And Asher likes that we can now go much further for our outings to East Coast park before school.

I can probably go explore more bits of the area that are less car friendly too.

Now that I have a bike again I realise how much I have missed cycling. Growing up I had a mountain bike that I loved to bits and used very often. I had forgotten just how fun it is to ride. That feeling of freedom. Just coasting along. I love it!

Am itching to ride now…

Remembering LKY

It’s taken a while to pen this down, though the thoughts have been running through my mind this past 2 weeks.

Last week was an emotionally tiring week. I was going to say ‘draining’, but I would think that should really be reserved for the family. But it was tiring.

I first saw the news in the middle of the night when I woke to feed Alyssa. It saddened me, as it did most Singaporeans. I know it’s been said to death, but it’s true that I have always looked at Mr Lee with great admiration. Although there has been much debate about his position on various issues in recent years, I don’t think anyone disputes what he has done for Singapore, how he has shaped this little country into what it is today. I remember sitting in class in secondary school learning about the history of Singapore, and especially in University when I took a module on Singapore’s history. I remember being in admiration of the bold decisions taken in turbulent times. His vision for Singapore, in light of the current world trends, was amazing. Really ahead of his time.

As condolences poured in from around the world, and as different world leaders from countries much larger than ours paid tribute to Mr Lee, it was a clear reminder of how he has raised Singapore’s stature. Who would have cared about the passing of the founder of our nation otherwise? We are so small.

It is my honest hope that my children grow up knowing about him and how important he and his first team were in shaping Singapore to be what it is. I hope that they are not blindly dismissive or ambivalent, but accord him due respect and admiration while appreciating the fragile circumstances within which Singapore was formed.

Apart from his political contributions, I think what stood out for me in the last week, and for many others, was the impact he had on his own family. I suppose all this wasn’t made public sooner in his life as it could be seen as making him look soft? But I really liked learning about the other side of Mr Lee. And what a wonderful love story. What a worthy example of a good marriage to follow! I think many married Singaporean couples would have found themselves thinking about their own marriage and how they could be as loving and supportive of one another like Mr and Mrs Lee.

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Lots of flowers and notes from the public. The video was showing one of my favourite interviews of Mr and Mrs Lee.

Given the long queues and the usual routine of kids, we didn’t manage to go down to pay our respects at Parliament House. Had I known about the how short the wait was at the priority queue I might have made the trip down, but I thought it was all around 8 hours. So I went down to Kembangan CC with Asher, and we spent some time there reading the tributes from Singaporeans, and watching a documentary about Mr Lee. I needed to go. It was the least I could do for someone who has done so much. It is so cliched, but what to do? Cliches do ring true.

Sunday found us gathering at my parents home to watch the funeral procession. I was thinking, poor PM Lee having to perform his role as PM first during this difficult time. The whole week he still had do his public rounds, meet with dignitaries. Even the private ceremony was not really private.

And even though we caught the ceremony from home, at the end of the ceremony I just felt so emotionally spent.

But it is time to move on. Time to continue doing our little part each day for Singapore, whatever that little part may be.

Farewell, Mr Lee. Thank you for all you have done.

No Reason BBQ

We had a barbeque at our place with the Sngs and Cais for no reason other than that one of our friends wanted to eat barbequed food. Actually the barbeque was supposed to take place at East Coast park, but it seems everyone else was also craving barbequed food and all the pits were taken up.

It turned out that even though we were away from the sea, having it at our place was really fun for the kids because they could run around the estate and play at the various playgrounds. They all came to our house to chill out after the BBQ too, and the kids had a blast playing together. If messes are an indication of the amount of fun they had, they had a tremendous time!

Maebe, the Sng’s dog, came for the party too. She was so at home in our house that I really wished we had a dog of our own! Hubby, if you are reading this you know what to do.

Starting up the fire

Starting up the fire

Playing soccer while waiting for the food to cook

Playing soccer while waiting for the food to cook

Maebe!

Maebe!

Kids catching up with one another

Kids catching up with one another

Having fun at the playground

Having fun at the playground!

Toasting marshmallows, and seeing who had the most patience to wait for the marshmallows to develop a nice crust

Toasting marshmallows, and seeing who had the most patience to wait for the marshmallows to develop a nice crust

Mmm yummm

Mmm yummm

Happy messes are always welcome :)

Happy messes :)

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).

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