Archive for January, 2010

Got Asher a new ball from the Pasar Malam and was keen to break it in at the Botanical Gardens. The last time I went there with Asher he was eyeing the other kids’ colourful toy balls, so I promised him I would get him one for our next trip there.

His new bright yellow soccer ball!

So we trotted over to the gardens on Sunday morning before church, and as a bonus, made new friends! We met a French couple, C & A, and their very cute kid, G, who is such a pro at dribbling the ball. Think he’ll be a good soccer player when he grows up! Anyway, true to their kid natures, Asher immediately eyed G’s BIG bright red balloon, while G went for Asher’s yellow soccer ball :) So it was a happy exchange. G went running off down the valley dribbling the way expertly, while Asher gleefully hugged the big balloon and ran around.

Then an impromptu children’s party took place! And it was a theme party too – potluck your own ball!

Happily kicking the balloon around. Isn’t it huge!

It was starting to get overcast and the wind picked up, and took the balloon with it! As it bounced away it must have hit a stone or snagged a twig, cos it burst! C & A were really nice about it though, and we brought the burst balloon with us to throw away. Well, that was the intention. Asher still somehow really liked holding onto the burst balloon and kept playing with it in the car ride home and later on to church :)

Anyway, many people were bringing their dogs for a walk as well, and Asher and I saw the sweetest thing. A Golden Retriver and a Yorkshire Terrier kissing and making friends :)

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Birthday @ Spruce

Was so pleased that Asher was extremely cooperative today, and I could settle him to bed without any fuss at all by 730pm! I had a birthday gathering to head to and didn’t want to be too late and miss all the fun :)

Janine chose Spruce as her birthday dinner spot. I’ve been there for breakfast, but not for dinner, so was keen to see how their other dishes were.

The Spruce Signature Pasta was all green…and strange looking. We were making fun of Alex’s meal, but she ignored us and ate her dinner anyway :)

I had the blue cheese burger, which was competently done and I quite enjoyed it.

These were the other dishes the girls order – Fish & Chips (not too bad), Kurobuta Pork Loin (didn’t try), and mushroom risotto (didn’t try either).

For dessert I order the beet root chocolate cake which quite interesting and tasty, but I didn’t like the icing they used. Think it would be gone down better if they had used a cream cheese icing on top instead.

The rest of the desserts were okay too. Panna cotta quite yummy, cheesecake ok, sorbet ok. I guess most things, including the mains, were ok, but wasn’t anything to shout about.

As usual we were catching up, poking fun at each other, etc. Key question of the night…why are we still friends after so long when we jibe each other so much?? :O) What can we say, it’s a love-hate thing? Haha :) Anyway, I was happy that night, and remember that I’m blessed to have such old friends in my life :) We were speculating whether 40 years down the road we’d still be jibing each other like this…and you know what? I hope we do! ;)

PS was trying to feed Janine a morsel of something :)

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These were his previous comparisons: after birth, about one month old, and four months old. I had actually taken more pics in between…I’ll see if I can dig them up.

At five months: 14 Apr 09

This is the most recent one at 14 months: 19 Jan 10. Niu Niu is looking smaller and smaller :)

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Just thought I’d share some interesting things we’ve noticed about Asher over the last few months. Are habits/interests heriditary? In our little boy’s case, maybe!

For the longest time, we’ve noticed that Asher likes to keep things away nicely. He quite early on was able to put balls into containers and stack rings. Later on, we heard from the teachers that after a paper-tearing activity in school he likes to pick up all the stray bits of paper and put them into a container. In church too, I notice that he enjoys holding a plastic container and walking around the playroom picking up all the crayons that have been strewn across the floor. He’d even walk all the way across the room (by passing many attractive toys) just to pick up a small crayon! More recently he started pulling up tissue and then wiping the floor/wall/table! He also understands when you ask him to help you put something back on the table, or to help put a piece of laundry into the basket.

Jon blames me for all these :) If you know me, I like to have things in their proper places. I don’t like mess. I can be a clean freak as well. But I must confess that since becoming a Mum my standards have dropped – it is quite impossible to be mess free with a baby in the house! So maybe, just maybe, while my standards have dropped, Asher has made up for it!

Then, there is Asher’s love of soccer and rugby. I’m not kidding. The first time he sat on Jon’s lap to watch a soccer match, he sat there quietly, riveted, for one half of the match! The first time he saw a rugby match, he seemed to instinctively know when the action was getting good! He would stand up and lean forward with a huge smile on his face. And when something exciting happened, like a ruck or a tackle, he’d start pointing and saying random things (like how we go ‘hey!’, ‘oh!’, or ‘ah!’ during a match). It’s consistent. If the TV is on, he usually ignores it. But somehow when a soccer or rugby match is on, he becomes totally engrossed in the play. He has to watch it.

There was once he woke up from his sleep and as I was carrying him and settling him, he caught sight of a soccer match on TV and kept pointing to it and insisting I take him out to the living room. Thank goodness there was just about 5 minutes left of game time, so we let him watch the rest of the match before going back to bed :)

After such instances, I always tell Jon, “He’s really your son!”

What do you think? Nature or nurture? :)

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Kaiho Sushi

Jon brought me to a new Jap restaurant, Kaiho Sushi, to try their blowtorch sushi. It’s located on the 3rd floor of the dodgy looking Cuppage Plaza, which has several other good Jap restaurants as well. He had gone there for an office function and came back raving about the food. So we trotted over there for lunch with Asher in tow. Asher busied himself with the wooden chopsticks, using them to like drumsticks on the table. I had also brought a generous stash of biscuits which I slowly drew down on to keep him satisfied while we ate.

MMMMM…….Jon was not kidding when he said the sushi was good. It was wonderful! The fish was fresh and succulent, the flavours were subtle yet rich. We each had a sushi set, which came with what you see below, miso soup, excellent chawanmushi, and a very good tamago.

I was happy to see uni (sea urchin) on the plate as it was something I tried for the first time a few months ago and was keen to have again. I love it’s fresh taste. Salty…slightly sweetish, tangy…it actually just tastes like the sea! Because of it’s mushy texture and unusual flavour, I guess it’s somewhat of an acquired taste – one of those love or hate things.
The rest of the plate was fantastic as well and I was extrememly satisfied with the meal! Kudos to Chef Bernard Tang for this wonderful cooking!
It was an ideal Saturday lunch, and we left knowing we’d be heading back again soon.

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Laughter & Going on Display

Went to visit JJSB and Epoh to see how they’re getting along. Asher had a ton of fun playing with his Tai Epoh, and was so ticklish the entire time we were there :)

Playing peekaboo!

Can’t remember what he found funny, but he was rolling about on the sofa laughing away :)

We headed to IKEA after that to pick up a few things, then popped over to Cold Storage to grab some groceries. While there Asher wouldn’t stop pointing at the oranges and indicating he wanted some. So I got him two, and he clung on so tightly to them all the way back to IKEA…and then home! Mind you, they were not very light!

IKEA had a CNY display up, and Asher gamely became part of it, and brought the display to life :)

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This was Asher’s Christmas hat escapade, but here’s another unexpected one!

He may have heard several Michael Jackson songs, but I really don’t think he’s seen a picture of MJ. Nevertheless seems to know of the MJ-style :)

Asher picked up the plastic container which he normally pretends is a steering wheel, and decided today that it was a hat! We find that with Asher, we’re always asking ourselves, “Why bother buying toys?” :)

That’s something I’ve been noticing lately – he’s able to generalise and extend his knowledge of something to other objects. Anything round became a steering wheel (this container, a coaster). Then later on, anything at all could be a steering wheel (a square container cover, a toy chair even!). A ball can become an apple (he’d pretend to eat it), and he can ‘eat’ the pictures from his books (‘grab’ the picture and ‘eat’ it, very cute to watch) :)

I think this is something I appreciate, cos I often feel that the newer toys sometimes limit children in that it dictates to them what this or that button must do, the keys of the piano must play a tune instead of just a note (this one I really don’t get), etc. I like the toys that leave room for imagination, and everyday home objects fall into this category :) I’ve noticed Asher seems to prefer (maybe cos that’s what he’s mainly been supplied with), toys that allow him to decide how he wants to employ it, instead of being rigid in its use.

Having said that, some commercial toys are really good. Case in point, the evergreen, and always wonderful LEGO! I remember spending hours playing with those when I was younger. Am super keen to get Asher started on Duplo sometime, and eventually move on to Lego when he’s older. All in good time :)

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Bolivian Baroque

It was meant as a treat for Jon & I. I booked tickets to Bolivian Baroque: Music from the Missions of Chiquitos and Moxos Indians concert in Singapore at the Esplanade Concert Hall. It was performed by Britain’s period classical group Florilegium and several Bolivian Soloists.

I had heard on the radio that the music was as stirring as some of the ‘greats’ in the classicial music world, so was interested to go and listen to them. It was a one night only show, and I was surprised to see that the ticket sales were so poor. When we got there we were told by the ushers that they were ‘dressing down’ the house, so we got a ticket upgrade! Great for us! And the first time I’ve experienced such a thing in Singapore. I remember in London we regularly got pushed up whenever there were empty seats in front. But it really was very empty. The attendees filled up mainly the stall and a few of the circle 1 seats. Which is also okay for us, cos it made the performance more intimate, but I wondered how the performers felt.

Anyway, the music was spritely and as they played I had scenes of ladies and gentlemen in their elaborate costumes dancing in a castle somewhere in England in the 17th Century. I particularly enjoyed their pastoral pieces (can’t rem the title right now, will go dig it up), and absolutely loved their encore piece which was a rendition of a traditional Bolivian song. That tune stuck in my head of most of the night after the concert.

Besides the music, I loved watching the musicians perform. The other concerts I’ve been to usually had a conductor directing the orchestra. But this was a small group with no conductor. Instead, through nods of their heads, or just looking at each other’s eyes they’d coordinate and play together. They were animated too! Almost like watching a dance (but of course much less feet movement). It was music and passion mixed into one. There has to be passion for them to decide to devote their life to the study of period music. The violinists (Bojan Cicic and Jennifer Morsches) in particular were wonderful to watch. They really had chemistry on stage. And Ashley Solomon (the Director of Florilegium) truly brought the recorder to life! I remember playing the recorder in primary school, and I could never make it sound like that! He was such a beautiful flute player too, handling the instrument with a light and expert touch.

The Bolivian singers were varied in their styles, but complemented one another well. The complexity of some of the vocal arrangements made the singers very much a part of the orchestra. It’s was really a case of their voices being an instrument.

I’m glad we went and had a sneak peak into the world of Bolivian baroque music that was lost to the world for such a long time, and has now be resurrected for the enjoyment of all!

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Don’t Eat the Towel!

Who would have thought that statement would make Asher chuckle non-stop? :)

JJSB took this video last night after dinner of Asher laughing away as I tried to take away the towel he was chewing. It wasn’t exactly the cleanest towel in the world, but he insisted on chewing it anyway.


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Giggling Rampage

Jane passed me some pictures from infantcare when she went to pic up Titus the other day, and she snapped some pics for me of Asher giggling away as the teachers and her played catching with him :) In her words, he apparently went on a “giggling rampage” around the play area :)

Whew…tired out

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