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Archive for September, 2010

Toybox

Brought Asher for a Toybox performance at Loewen Gardens with Del & Anya.  We had just gone there over the weekend for the farmer’s market, and I was looking forward to the outing cos I like the place.  There was a tent set-up over the formerly open area specially for the event, and mats laid on the ground as seating.  Quite a cosy set-up.  And it was packed! 

The duo, Reuben and Mark are animated and funny, and I felt they put up a good performance filled with engaging action songs that really got the kids moving.  Anya was absolutely adorable!  She moves to any beat, and was bouncing and bobbing away to the music :)  Asher was looking for Incy Wincy now and then after the performance, cos the little spider had climbed up to the top of the tent during one of the songs, but there was no mention of it coming back down :)
Think the kids enjoyed it.  Very happy we went!
“The ants go marching one-by-one, HURRAH!”

Checking out the Bob the Builder mat after the show
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Ah, another milestone.  Asher went for his first school excursion!  His school organised an outing to the Jacob Ballas Children’s Gardens one of the mornings, and all the children were decked out in their school ‘PE’ attire.  Asher has never worn the uniform before, and we don’t even own a set!  His school is quite casual and the kids usually just wear their own clothes.  I ended up having to borrow a set from Jane. 

I’ve brought Asher to Jacob Ballas a couple of times.  Am not quite sure what the teachers did there with the children, but from the pictures it looks like they just brought them for a walk around, which is fine.  According to Asher, they played at the playground for a bit (and he remembers some classmates in particular chasing one another).  This version I think I can believe.  He sometimes tells all kinds of stories when I ask him “how was your day?”, some of which are clearly from his imagination and cannot be true in reality.  Really quite amusing to hear :) 

He was very happy in the morning to be in his uniform though :)  Beaming away to himself, especially when Jon and I said how nice he looked.  He insisted on wearing his red cap on the way to school to complete the look.  They were blessed with good weather that morning.  It’s been raining heavily lately, but that morning we prayed for sunny weather in the car, and thank God!  It was perfectly sunny!  The rain only came in the afternoon when the children were all safely back in school, and it poured cats and dogs at that! 

Very happy that morning :)

Some of his friends

Looking at the musical instruments made from fruits and tree pods

Fiddling with the mechanical generator which lights up the flowers

Taking a water break!  Hot morning!


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Asher and I have been going to the Botanic Gardens regularly to feed fishes there, especially since I made an arrangement with the cafeteria at my office to save the ends of the bread loaf for me.  They normally throw away the ends anyway cos they don’t use it to make sandwiches.  So instead of letting it go to waste they agreed to keep the ends for me, and I collect it once or twice a week.  So I now have a steady supply of bread to feed fishes!  Normally there isn’t enough bread available from home.  Afterall, we eat it! 

One of the days I picked up the bread, I happened to bump into Jane at school.  Since it was still quite early, we all trotted over to Botanic Gardens together :)  All the pictures below I took from Jane (thanks!).

The three boys – Asher, Kaizer & Titus
I really like this shot of the three of them.  Next time it’ll be four!
All intently looking at the fishes gobbling up the bread
Asher, me & baby-in-tummy :)
 The older boys moving on to feed the birds…
  …while Titus was content to crawl around for a while.  Think we had a mini scare when Titus came a little too close to the pond for comfort.  Close call!

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To top off our overseas-without-being-overseas weekend, we made a trip to Bollywood Veggies, somewhere we’ve been wanting to check out.  The restaurant was surprisingly un-farm-ish.  Erm…I guess I didn’t expect it to look like a restaurant, rather I thought it’d be more of a shack or a hawker stall.  It was a pleasant surprise :)  We tried their nasi lemak (which interestingly came with banana chips), banana flower curry (which I liked, but wasn’t quite to Jon’s taste), and a Kandy style curry chicken (which was good).

It was a super hot day plus Asher was overdue for a nap so we didn’t walk around as much as we wanted to.  But we’ll definitely head back, and hopefully hit the goat farms and some other farms as well.  It isn’t a bad idea to stay a night at the D’Kranji Farm Resort so you can check out all the farms without having to drive up repeatedly.  Maybe when the boy(s) are older :)

Home of the gentle warrior…
…who shoots you with a cross bow if you don’t turn off your engine…hmmm…

The restaurant
 Mixing drinks for Mummy & Daddy 
Plenty to explore

Cat’s whiskers flower!  I think the name is so appropriate :)

Blackhearts
But Asher kept correcting me and saying “purple”, even though I tried to explain it’s just a name :)

One of the ladies working there gave him an organically grown banana, which tasted very different from the usual bananas we get from the market.  Different type I suppose?

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Who’d have thought there’d be a farmers’ market in Singapore?  Thanks to my cousin, we’ve discovered a new spot to head to for breakfast “overseas”.  Organised by The Pantry Cookery School, the Farmers’ Market is held twice a month on Saturdays.  It’s not quite the Borough Market that I love so much, but it’s as good as it gets in Singapore I guess! 

There are stalls selling French Provencal produce, Spanish jamon & paella, Cornish pasties (I never thought I’d find them in Singapore!), artisan breads, UK beers & ciders (if I weren’t preggers I’d prob pick up a pear cider!), pretty cupcakes, jams & spreads, and tapas-y olives, stuffed tomatoes, and artichoke hearts which I love!

You get the feel of being overseas, but you also pay as if you were overseas.  Things aren’t cheap.  But since we were there to enjoy ourselves and the experience, we just closed one eye :)  

 The stall by Little Provence which imports foodstuff from that area in France.  The tapenades looked great, and I had difficulty choosing just one to buy home.  Will probably go back again sometime to buy home another flavour (or two, or three) :)  The one I got – green olives with sun-dried tomatoes – was heavenly!
 The ‘rib-stickers’!  Didn’t get one that day cos wanted space to try other things :)

Too pretty to eat!

A rare sight here

We bought a box of paella to try, and it was not bad, though I think I’ve tried better.

Yum yum yum
 

Bacon butty.  Can anything with bacon go wrong?
There’s also a little shop called The Childrens Showcase that sold many pretty and unique things.  Not seen many of these products anywhere else, which arguably makes the price-tag worth it.  Lots of colourful melamine ware too (Jane!!  Are you still looking for them?).  I picked up 2 pairs of kid’s chopsticks, and a giant bubble maker – which Asher currently enjoys playing with in a non-bubble-making way (more on this in a next post) :)

If I had a daughter, I think I’d be sooooo tempted to buy this!
 
I particularly liked that the place was very kid friendly.  There were many play areas and play things available – blocks, bead-chasers, riding toys, wire jeeps for pushing around, and a proper playground.  Asher made a new friend there too, a sweet older girl called Chloe.  She took a liking to him, and helped him climb up climbing frames, up the ladder to the slide (which is high and very fun!), and even slid down with him in tandem several times.  And Asher looked so happy, heh.   

Two very sticky children :)
 My breakfast the next morning – organic bread, tapenade, artichoke hearts, and sardines.  What a great way to start the day!

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It’s been a long time since we last did a comparison.  At 22 months Niu Niu has become one of Asher’s favourite toy friends now.  He loves cuddling him, sometimes to sleep, and bringing him for car rides and showing him the sights outside the window.  I guess it’s cos Niu Niu is one of Asher’s biggest soft toys, and he’s really nice to touch.  I like cuddling him myself! 

Here’re a few recent shots of Asher with Niu Niu, in matching shorts to boot :) 

Full length shot to show the height difference :)
Just a random photo cos I like it


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On The Way

So this has been a long time coming. 

I’m sure by now if you’ve been reading the previous few posts you’ll know I’m expecting again :)  This pregnancy has been very different from the first.  For starters, I actually have pregnancy symptoms this time around!  The first time, except for the growing bump, I had no symptoms whatsoever.  No morning sickness, no nausea, no cravings, no aversions, no fatigue, etc. (altho Jon says I’m so greedy all the time it’s hard to tell whether I’m having cravings or not ;) ). 

This time, I experienced some nausea, especially when I was ill.  I hated that wanna-puke feeling!  I also had some aversions.  I normally eat all kinds of veggies and have always loved spinach, but for some reason, I suddenly just couldn’t stomach even the thought of eating the bayam variety.  It made me feel nauseous just thinking about eating it.  And the weirdest thing?  Water made me feel like puking.  Yes, water.  I could drink an entire glass of juice/soft-drink/any flavoured beverage.  But a few sips of water made me feel like throwing up.  At Shan’s wedding I was supposed to deliver a speech and was feeling cold (and nervous), so drank some warm water…which ended up making me feel nauseous.  I was quite worried that I would actually puke on the podium!  Thank goodness that didn’t happen.  It would surely have been a speech to remember.

Then there was the fatigue in the first trimester.  I just felt so tired everyday!  Needed to have a nap each day before picking Asher up from school. 

Thank goodness things have gotten better, and I can give Asher more of my time and energy. 

But I think that among the best things that resulted from this pregnancy was having Asher finally sleep through the night again.  He managed to do so from about 2-4 months old, but suddenly just stopped that good habit and woke up repeatedly every night.  At it’s worst Asher was waking as many as 12 times a night – that’s more than twice an hour.  And I had already gone back to work at that point.  I was frustrated and at a loss over what to do.  I half-guessed it was because Asher was at that time still breastfeeding, and was trying to wean him off his night feedings, which he nutritionally did not need.  It was nursing simply for comfort’s sake.  Even then, when I had managed to get it down to one night feed, and eventuallly just the 530/6am feed, he still woke up that many times a night.  Maybe he was always still hoping for a comforting nurse?  Prayed and prayed, hoping for a miracle. 

Then I found out I was pregnant and had to stop breastfeeding.  And then he started to magically sleep through the night again!  Oh, the joy!  Tempered by the fact that in the first trimester you tend to wake up frequently to head to the loo, but still, I woke up much less often than 12 times a night!!! 

So Asher’s breastfeeding journey went something like this:

  • Nov 08 – May 09: Exclusive breastfeeding (BF)
  • Mar 09: BF + very very occasional expressed breastmilk (EBM) from a cup just to get him used to it (he never took to the bottle)
  • May 09: BF + introduced cereal (used EBM)
  • Jun 09: BF + supplementing with formula milk (FM) when making cereal
  • Jul 09: Back to work.  BF + EBM from sippy cup + FM for 1 milk feed a day at infantcare
  • Sep 09: BF + EBM from straw cup + FM for 1.5 milk feed a day at infantcare (1 feed was mixed with EBM)
  • Oct 09 – Jan 10: BF (gradually reduced feeds to only before sleep, at night, & first feed in morning) + EBM + FM
  • Feb 10 – May 10: BF (before sleep, at night, & first feed in morning, gradually reducing the number of BF feeds starting with the pre-sleep one) + FM (stopped expressing completely)
  • May 10: Stopped breastfeeding completely.  FM only.

So in total breastfed Asher for about 1.5 years.  I have this feeling that with the second kid, I may not breastfeed for quite a long cos it’ll be tough to devote that amount of time to him without neglecting Asher.  I will probably end up expressing earlier too, something I find an absolute chore doing, but I think I may find to be necessary in order to have enough time for both children.

Now we’re in the midst making arrangments for Baby, and trying to prepare Asher for the arrival of his sibling too.  So far he seems to be taking well to the idea in concept, but of course, things will be quite different when reality hits.  I’m just hoping to make it as easy as possible for him. 

In the meantime, I try to continue spending as much time as I can with Asher, to make sure he knows I love him so much, whether in word or in deed.  I hope he feels secure and loved.  I can only try my best. 

At the same time, I do wonder what it will be like to have a second child.  I think that to some extent it will require deliberate attention on our part.  I’m sure we’ll love our child, but as a newborn, he won’t be as responsive and engaging as a toddler.  Just thinking about Asher, the most fun times are now!  We’ll have to make sure to give enough attention to our little baby while not neglecting Asher.  I’m hoping to involve him in caring for Baby, like with getting diapers, sponging Baby in the bath, maybe show Baby pictures in books…not sure what else.  Currently, in concept he is quite keen to hold Baby’s hand in the car, and bring Baby to see the animals in the zoo.  I hope that his good feelings will continue after Baby comes. 

But I am a little worried cos Asher is still very attached to me, so I’m not sure how he’ll take to sharing Mummy when Baby comes.  Again, I can only try my best.

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