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Archive for July, 2010

Jon and I took a short break with his friends at Phuket for 2 nights.  It was a really short trip cos we only arrived there around 10pm on the first night.  His other friends had left for Phuket early that morning, but we didn’t want to have to spend quite so much time away from Asher.  As it is, it was already be the longest that he’d been away from us. 

You probably won’t understand, but I’ve been dreaming of eating cup noodles on a plane since my last KLM flight in 2007.  I have fond memories of my LON-SIN-LON flights via KLM when I got to watch movies the entire way and snack on steaming hot cups of noodles in the cold airplane in the dark while everyone else was sleeping.  It was just something that I really really enjoyed :)

My parents, aunt and grandaunt eagerly made an event of our being away cos they’ve always wanted to have Asher stay with them for a long stretch.  Two days isn’t very long, but since it was the longest ever, they quickly took the opportunity to plan a staycation :)  Aidan came along too, so it was a ton of fun for the grandies to have both grandchildren around for the ‘trip’ at the same time.  And, the two boys get along spectacularly, so it’s always lots of fun and very entertaining to watch them together.  They just feed off each other’s antics and utterances.  Very adorable :)

They arranged a two night stay at Fairmont Hotel cos that weekend coincided nicely with the NDP rehearsals.  They managed to get a room facing the Padang so the boys got to watch the fly past, helicopters, parachutes, and of course, fireworks!  I’ll have to get some of the pics that they took that weekend :)

What about Phuket?  Well, I was ill from start to finish of the trip.  In fact, I just got worse and worse.  I was also unable to enjoy all the spa treats cos of the pregnancy.  So I found myself sitting around while everyone else spent hours being kneaded and stretched.  BUT!  That was exactly how I liked it, cos I got to read to my heart’s content!  I did exactly as I planned.  Read.  I brought along my cousin’s copy of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.  She had lent it to be a few months after Asher was born, but I never got around to reading it.  So I thought I’d start on it during this trip.  I targeted to finish the book by the end of the two days, which for me – a slow reader – was going to be a challenge. 

But I did it!  Stayed up late at night, woke up early in the morning.  Was utterly antisocial with Jon during breakfast cos I’d just read and eat (altho he didn’t mind cos he had his newspapers, and then in his words, he had “quiet”…tsk).  Didn’t really get much chance to be antisocial with his friends cos most of them weren’t even up that early anyway haha.  It’s a hazard of parenthood I tell you.  No matter how late you sleep, you still end up waking up at 7am Singapore time and find you can’t go back to sleep.  We had a good 2-3 hours before everyone was finally up, so we even had time to squeeze in a swim on the first morning before meeting them back at the breakfast hall. 

I also read through all those hours sitting at the spa waiting for everyone to be done with their massages, and was done just before we boarded the bus for the airport on the last day. 

I love the book!  I never watched the movie, and hadn’t heard what the story was about.  My impression was that it was some action packed book cos the movie adverts showed vampires chasing each other.  But it was completely different!  It was not at all what I expected, and so much more compelling and engaging.   To me, it’s not a book about vampires and werewolves and all that lore, it’s a love story.  It’s really a story about their relationship and it’s development.  Ok, it’s not a book to read to enjoy beautiful literature.  For that, stick to the classics.  But, somehow, despite all the cheesy lines, she manages to capture your imagination and pull you deep into the story.  Yes, there are plenty of cheesy lines.  How Edward is like a model/god/too good to be true, how he makes Bella hyperventilate/forget what she was thinking/lose her balance, etc.  And these lines are peppered throughout the book.  But, because of the way Edward is portrayed, I can believe that you would really think that of him, and you would react that way.  Oh, Edward!  ;)

Ya, I know many people think of it as a teenager’s book.  But actually, the many adults I know who’ve read it love it too!  But admittedly, it’s more of a girl’s book.  To the skeptics, and especially the romantics at heart, put aside your preconceived notions and give the book a chance! 

At the end of the trip I had only done a teeny bit of shopping for 2 pieces of kids clothing, had Thai food when we could (we managed to make our way to one of the back alleys where locals eat which we discovered the last time we came), and made a discovery about crepes. 

There are plenty of street-side stalls selling crepes in Phuket, and Jon and I found that there really is a difference in quality of crepes, even though they may be located side by side.  We thought that since their menus all boasted approximately the same range of crepes, it probably didn’t matter which stall you bought it from.  But on our last night there, we tried the chocolate & banana crepe.  The first one we had was made by a popular stallholder, and the queue was quite long.  I managed to study her method and found that she flipped the crepe before spreading the nutella.  She then let the chocolate bubble for a while before slicing the banana on top, folding the edges over, then pouring chocolate sauce on top.  It was a heavenly crepe.  Crispy on the outside, gooey goodness on the inside.  It was so good we decided to have another, but had walked while eating and decided to order the same crepe from a different stallholder.  Bad choice.  It was nothing like the first one, and I’m certain it has to do with the method.  This lady put blobs of nutella on the moist batter without having first flipped it.  She also cut the bananas straightaway onto the chocolate before folding the edges in and pouring the chocolate sauce over.  As a result, it was not crispy, more like man chiang kueh.  And the insides were too thick and jelak – not cos it was our second one for the night, but it was just too cloying to be enjoyable.  We didn’t finish that crepe.

So anyway, back to the Twilight Saga.  When we got back to Singapore around 1am, I was still quite awake and straightaway started on New Moon.  Within a week from the time I first started Twilight, I was done with the series.  I couldn’t put the book down!  I just kept wanting to go on and on, from book to book.  I was so energised!  It’s been a very long time since I’d read a book that really captured my imagination, that filled my mind with images of places and settings I knew every detail about. 

I found myself digging deeper into the Twilight Saga after I’d finished the third and fourth books, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.  To my delight I discovered there was an unfinished book called Midnight Sun, which was Twilight written from Edward’s perspective.  After that, I rented the videos for Twilight and New Moon and made Jon watch them with me.  He had refused to read the books but promised to humour me and watch together with me :)  However, the movies were a let down.  If I hadn’t read the book I really wouldn’t understand why Bella loves Edward so much and why she feels so strongly for him.  They fall in love too quickly.  I had my reservations about the movie before watching it because a lot of the important story telling parts of the book have to do with narration and internal thoughts – how do you put that into a movie?  And as expected, it was no where as good as what my own imagination had cooked up.  Told Jon that the movie probably only captures like 25% of whatever you can think up on your own. 

The the worst bit (well almost the worst…it’s a toss up between the failure to live up the story and this), Robert Pattinson is so not my kind of Edward!  He seems just all wrong!  And what’s with that weird hair?!  Edward’s hair isn’t described like that!  I saw from internet articles that he’s apparently quite the acclaimed actor, and perhaps in other movies he really does do a good job, but in Twilight, he so bombed.  And it was clear, at least to me, that in the movie New Moon, Taylor Lautner who played Jacob was so much more convincing!   

The other bits that the movie was unable to capture properly were the portrayals of the other characters which I thought were quite central to the story, especially Alice. 

But I decided I liked the music from Twilight, especially after seeing the MTVs of Muse and Paramore from the DVDs, and went to get the soundtrack.  What a great buy!  I love the soundtrack!  It’s one of those CDs I can put on repeat and not get tired of quickly. 

 Now, I’m waiting for VideoEzy to stock Eclipse.  I didn’t catch it in theatres cos I hadn’t read the books then.  Didn’t want to spoil my reading experience.  And even though I know it won’t live up to what’s in my head, I still want to watch it anyway.

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It was a sunny Sunday.  Clear blue skies.  We decided to bring Asher to see aeroplanes take off from Changi Airport.  He’s seen aeroplanes ascending in the distance when we are at East Coast Park, but I wanted to show him aeroplanes taking off, and what better place than from the runway itself? 

So together with my parents we first stopped by the sailing club opposite SAFRA to see some planes from there.  Then, we drove to the side of the runway and watched the airplanes take off right in front of us!  We observed that for the more established airlines, the sound the engines of the planes made when taking off was much richer and nicer than for the less established airlines.  SIA planes really make nicer take-off sounds. 

Asher was eagerly watching the planes take off one after the other.  Big planes, and bigger planes – cos from there, they were all big!  And then of course we had to all imitate how planes fly, and Asher followed, particular enjoying being ‘flown’ around by Jon :) 

We managed to stay there watching the planes for a good while before we got hungry and headed for dinner at Charlie’s Corner at Changi Village.  The food there is great!  My Mum loved the pork chops which were thick and juicy.  Many places serve their pork chops too dry.  The grilled fish that I shared with Asher was also well done (generous portions, not charred, very flavourful), as was the fish and chips my Dad had, and the hot dog Jon ate.  And as my Dad ordered a beer, he initiated the clinking of glasses while saying “cheers” just for fun.  Then, Asher picked up on it, and for the rest of the night kept on wanting to clink his waterbottle with us while saying “cheers” too.  Haha…oh dear.  What have we taught him? :)

At the sailing club

By the runway

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And another happy occasion – another good friend got married!  A day of double joy!  We had to scuttle between the two weddings in the afternoon, and only got to Eu’s after the ceremony had ended, but it was still well worth it.  I think it’s important try to be part of your friend’s weddings, even if it’s just to be there for a while :)

The wedding was a very cosy affair held at Eu’s home, and mostly her close friends were invited.  Eu was radiant, and I had the honour of taking some family pictures for her cos their photographer had left by the time we came :)

It was fun to sit and chat with Eu the jie meis.  I liked that we felt at home and comfortable there.  We’ve all been to Eu’s place more than a few times, and we just help ourselves to drinks from the fridge, food from the table, as if it’s our own place.  A nice casual way to end the formal part of the wedding day :) 

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So the happy day came!  Shan got married!  And a wonderful match in my opinion :)  This was a highly anticipated wedding, and it turned out splendidly.  Stunning bride, gorgeous gown, and the flowers were some of the most beautiful I’ve seen at any wedding.  It was literally overflowing with flowers at the wedding ceremony, reception and dinner.  Absolutely beautiful orchids!  I wish I could fill my house with all those flowers! 

The zhuang men was great fun.  I mean, how can it not be fun to tekan other people, especially the groomsmen!  We had to get creative to overcome the problem of her house not actually having a gate.  So we created a spider web for the brothers to carry the groom through.  Then they had to show their dancing prowess by following the moves from Beyonce’s Single Ladies.  And Ben proved himself by knowing most of the answers to the Q&A we had prepared for him. 

I think it’s easier to let pictures capture the wedding then to actually describe it.  So when I get around to uploading them, you can take a look for yourself :)

 

 As an aside, we dressed Asher in a tux we borrowed from Aidan just for fun.  We had a trial session the night before and quickly decided that we should dispense with the bow-tie.  Asher kept pulling it and letting it snap back on himself, so we thought we’d let him go for the “cool-casual” look, open collar and no tie…more for safety than for anything else :) 

I wanna be like Daddy
Ok, time for a break!
Whew, Daddy’s work sure is tiring!
Time to go to work!
Always carry tissue, especially if you drool like me.
Or at least have Daddy on hand to wipe it away ;)
Checking out the rain
A little matador
Playing with the fans given out for the ceremony.  Peekaboo!
Oh, and one funny (and gross) thing that happened.  Asher had a MAJOR poo disaster at the luncheon.  As I carried him I could smell something, and my arm felt a bit moist.  Concluded that he had a poo, and went to change him.  Little did I realise what was waiting for me.  Er…without describing every detail, his pants were completely soiled and so were his shoes…  I literally stripped him down and showered him in the basin.  Thank goodness we had extra clothes and sandals!  This is him after the shower :)

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Toddler Class

Haven’t updated much on Asher’s childcare.  He’s been transferred to the Toddler Class since he was 18 months old and though the initial transition had its share of hurdles, he now thoroughly enjoys school.  I think it really helps that he had four other friends who transferred at the same time – the largest batch to transfer together I think.  One of them has since left, but he still remembers her and often mentions her name.  Guess they do make friends young! 

He gets more outdoor time now – once a day when the weather is fine – and water play on Wednesday.  Then there’s more story time and art, two activities he really enjoys.  But there’s still plenty of free play for the kids to just be themselves.  Sometimes I literally have to drag him away from school to go home.  But, it’s comforting for me to know that he’s having a good time even though I’m unable to be with him.  And he really likes his friends.  At home he sometimes picks up my mobile phone and pretends to call them to ask them to go outdoors or just say hello.  It’s very cute to watch :)

And this boy, don’t know whether its cos he’s generally quite observant, or cos his mummy loves shoes so much, but he can recognise all his friends’ shoes when they’re on the shoe rack (there are names, but he can’t read, I don’t think).  I think he really knows which shoe belongs to which friend because when the shoes are sometimes placed in the wrong cubby, he still knows who it belongs to (I have started to recognise them too).  Quite entertaining.

Anyway, just some pics I snapped the other day.

Happy at tea time

Changing tables to sit next to his good friend, Charlotte, who told him “Asher, eat!”
He actually listened!  He didn’t want to eat it before when he was sitting at the other table.  Or maybe it was just the sociable thing to do?  Who knows what he’s thinking.
Evidence of his snacking
Doing a spontaneous dance
More dancing.  Looks like he was trying to do a grand battement (ballet high kick)!
Milk break at the carpark downstairs
Off to the supermarket for a spot of grocery shopping.  My little helper, or “Captain” as I call him when he’s in the trolley.  He likes to help put (or throw) stuff into the trolley.  I find that when he’s helped to buy the food (fruit especially), he’s more likely to want to eat it.

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