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Archive for November, 2010

Bob the Builder

Brought Asher to see Bob at West Coast Plaza.  He loves the series and I think it’s pretty good too.  The stories are always short, simple, and memorable.  The characters are fun too!  The session was disappointing though.  There was no performance of any sort.  Bob just appeared for a photo session with the crowd.

I think Asher had more fun with the vehicles, especially with Muck.  He was actually a little wary of Bob, and would only hold Bob’s hand if I held his.  But with Muck he went all around touching it, climbing on it, and pretending he was Bob by hanging onto the side like how Bob does in the show :)

Holding hands with Bob

Meeting Roley 

Being Bob on Muck 

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Turning 2 at Changi

These were the last pics I managed to squeeze onto my blog. 

We celebrated Asher birthday with family at Charlie’s Corner in Changi Village.  Our Changi stay was planned to coincide with his birthday, so we thought it’d be convenient to celebrate it somewhere in the area.  Plus, my Mum really likes the pork chops there :) 

The highlight for Asher and Aidan were the car/bike rides available just next to our dinner spot.  They started on the individual bikes, and later shared a car ride.  It amazed me how quickly they both got the hang of riding the bikes.  And the uncle operating the rides said that almost all parents were surprised!  The kids he sees all apparently take to the rides really quickly.  He kept repeating in Mandarin how you must just give them a chance to do it, and they will amaze you.  They did!  After just a short while they were both independently biking around the circuit.  But, there was one thing that highlighted that they were still just very young toddlers – they were easily distracted.  When an aeroplane flew by they’d go, “AEROPLANE!”, forgetting to watch where they were going.  That’s when we had to step in to prevent them from crashing into the curb/cones :)  Anyway, the uncle said that some of the older kids he sees can probably reverse park better than their parents! :) 

Happily biking on his own
Going for a spin in the car.  Aidan is really good with machines.  After a while he figured out how to steer the car and brake too!  Asher just enjoyed his joy ride :)
A small blackforest cake.  Predicted (rightly) that we’d all be too full after dinner :)

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I had been prepping Asher for a while by repeatedly telling him about the event, so he knew that he was having a party that day.  
It was held at The Pantry @ Loewen Gardens, and the invite list was the same as last year :)  Besides his very dear cousins, there were the playmates he meets more often who are basically the second generation of Mummy and Daddy’s long-time friends.  It was nice that more of the kids (and parents) could come this time around :) 
Think The Pantry suited our needs very well. We wanted somewhere fun for the kids, somewhere with nice food (good coffee was a bonus!), and somewhere not too far from our place. It worked out well, I think, with the children occupying themselves at the many play spaces, the adults seemed to enjoy the food, the cake which the cafe made was delicious, and we even had an impromptu post-party of sorts at the trampoline. And at the end of all that, no cleaning up to do!! Yippie!

Didn’t really deliberately set out to have a whaley theme.  It kind of just fell into place.  Whales are one of the creatures that Asher really likes, and basically his party centred around what he liked.  He liked the place the last time we went there, he likes whales (among other things), and whatever was in the party pack he also personally liked.  Yes, he really liked what was in the party packs.  After packing them the night before, I had put them in bags on the floor all ready to be picked up and brought along.  In the morning, Asher didn’t come to wake me as usual, but I awoke to the sound of rustling plastic bags and realised he was rummaging through the party packs!  He wanted to take everything!!  He wanted to keep the water squirters, to play with the aeroplanes, to blow the bubbles….he didn’t get around to seeing the cookies or he’d ask to eat them I’m sure, and if he saw the stickers, he’d probably have peeled them off already. 
I extracted him from the treasure and told him it was for his friends, but he didn’t want to accept that.  Somehow in the end, I can’t remember how, we managed to distract him, and at the party we covered the party packs in case he refused to have them be given away :)  Yes, like I said.  He really really likes the stuff in there. 
Prepared some noise makers or ‘shakers’ for the kids to decorate.  It was quite a hilarious process to make them though.  I had put some beans inside the folded paper plates to help create the noise, then glued it close.  After making the first one I happily beamed at Jon and said, “Ta Da!” while shaking it.  It make noise for two shakes…then silence….the glue hadn’t dried…my beans got stuck to the side!!! So I had to quickly pry open the plate again and try to stuff in more beans.  But cos it was half glued shut, I had a little bit of difficulty holding the plate flat, with the result of having more beans get stuck to the side!  But in the end managed to get some in the middle.  Then I left it alone to dry :) 
The second try, I thought I left the plate long enough to dry, but again, after two to three shakes…silence!!  Scrambled to get more beans inside again.  Decided to not shake any of the rest until the next morning, just to be sure! :)) 
All ready for the guests to arrive.  Those yellow balloons didn’t last beyond 30mins.  Either cos some burst, or cos they were hijacked by the kids.   But that was the whole intention anyway, for the kids to play with the balloons, and not just be decor :)
Lots of spaces for playing

Checking out the Christmas decor
The giant cake.  The owner of the cafe, Jane, told me that it was a 12 inch cake.  But she didn’t say how high!   I generally like savory food more so I found the icing much too sweet for me, but the chocolate sponge was really good, and by the end of the day I had eaten wayyy too many slices of cake.

Gathered the kids together in the hope of getting a group shot, but in the end could only get 6 of the 7 on the sofa

More play spaces

The start of the post-party trampoline fun

Fun with adults

Even more fun with no adults!

Group hug!

Tao pok!

Getting tired
This was super fun.  Emma’s Dad went under the trampoline and pushed the kids up with his legs, making them fly!  The kids had no idea what was happening and why they were flying cos the bottom of the trampoline was opaque, but they absolutely LOVED it! :)

Taking a break
Post post-party!
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Asher, I love you more than you know.  You bring me so much joy, and I feel so blessed to have you in my life.  You have taught me many many things by what you notice, what you say, and I have loved all our little excursions together.  You enjoy going to the zoo, to the beach, to the Botanic Gardens.  You absolutely adore running through fountains.  You love the playground – in school when it’s time to go to the playground you always eagerly shout “outdoor!”.  You are very observant, and often spot little things that I don’t even notice, like the way some animals move and tiny aeroplanes in the night-time sky.  You love books, and you enjoy reading together very much.  Your memory also often amazes me, like how you rememered what the fat penguins did on Philips Island, how the rhino in the zoo looked at you, what characters are in your books, etc.  You are also getting cheekier and chattier, and I love getting an insight into what goes through your mind.
You are such great company, lots of fun, very sweet, sensitive, and loving.  Caring for you has not been without it’s difficulties, but the love and happiness you bring more than out-weigh all that.  I love you for who you are.  I am so amazed by how much you’ve grown, how much you’ve changed, how much you’ve developed, and I can only thank God for all this.  Happy Birthday Sweetie! 
  

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We celebrated Asher’s birthday in school two days early since his birthday fell on a Sunday.  Got some small party favours for his classmates which he happily shared out one-by-one, then had a simple cake cutting session at their tea time. 

I ordered an agar-agar cake because some of his classmates can’t take dairy.  With a regular cake, they’d miss out on the fun.  Thought the cake was really cute and I was a little bit afraid that Asher may not want to cut it.  He sometimes gets upset when something gets cut up or broken, and he will keep asking for it to be put back together, even though sometimes it’s utterly impossible, e.g., if you broke a cookie in half, or already sliced a fruit…how do you put it back together?  A new cookie will not do.  That broken cookie must be put back together.  Having had several run-ins with this idiosyncracy, which hits at the most unexpected times, I really was a little concerned that it’d surface in school.

BUT

Thank goodness that wasn’t the case at all.  In fact, he acted completely different from what I expected.  He happily slashed away at poor Cookie Monster!  Hacking and slashing and cutting!  I had to stop him after a while to make sure we could actually cut the cake into proper pieces to give out.  I guess the feeling of cutting agar-agar can be quite interesting – firm yet soft, smooth, and not messy at all.  And after cutting, the line seems to disappear somewhat. 

Anyway, the cake was yummy.  Not the mushy type of agar-agar.  It was firm with a slight crunch.  And very fragrant too.  Will definitely order from this lady again :) 

 C is for Cookie!
Slashing away

Not the most flattering photo for me, but it was our only family pic

Think this is the school’s usual birthday set-up.  Thought it was grand for a little boy to sit at the head of such a large table!

After everyone had their (second, third, and even fourth!) serving of cake, Asher asked to cut Cookie Monster again.  I relented and let him have a go, which resulted in Cookie Monster’s very injured eye.  My friend commented that it looked like Cookie Monster got into a gang fight!

It was simple and enjoyable.  I’m glad we did it for him :)

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Josiah’s birthdays continue to be well thought out with lots of effort put into the theme.  Kudos to Jo for all her effort!  Last year it was Superman, this year, it’s Sesame Street :) 

Aren’t these just great?
Jo even baked muffins and decorated them the Sesame Street characters
Asher decided to come as Cookie Monster (he chose from Elmo, Ernie and Cookie Monster), so I helped him make a prop of a half-eaten cookie.  He went on to make a few more cookies with colourful chocolate chips.  They were meant for Josiah, who very politely used the plate for his cookie even though it was really meant for playing with :)

Ernie & Cookie Monster munching on cookies together
We were the earliest to arrive and the two boys had a good time playing.  It’s great watching kids this age play together cos they interact so much more, and I especially love when their adorable antics rub-off on one another.  Whether it’s climbing up and down the stairs while making some funny noise, tap-tap-tapping their feet as quickly as they can on the steps, or playing catching through the tunnel, it’s just so so fun and heart-warming to watch.
The twos may be terrible, but they are also terrific!
Roaarrr!!
Playing at the stairs

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This is totally drool worthy.  Just saw this stroller yesterday and I can’t stop thinking how clever it is!!  I love how the back seat is higher than the front!  The best part, the infant car seat can fit on it too so I can push both boys around at the same time :)  Seems cheaper on US websites, but don’t think they ship here.  The store I saw it at sold it for a very steep price.  Sigh…will probably just end up drooling, that’s all :(

Check out the specs here, and esp the review about how much can fit into that basket below!!  Shocking!

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Once Upon A Milkshake

Jon brought me to try this fairly new milkshake place called Once Upon A Milkshake at Maxwell Chambers.  He had heard lots of good reviews about it, and since he knows I like milkshakes, brought me there on Deepavali.

We headed there after lunch at a nearby Japanese-style Korean restaurant called Bukang Tuna which sells the strangest looking fish I’ve ever seen, the Flatfish.  Honestly, it looks like the entire species have some kind of deformity, but that’s just how they are.  Look at how the fish develops! 

And as it turns out, many so-called food fish are a kind of Flatfish too, like flounder, plaice, halibut, and sole.  Find out more from wiki!

Anyhow, the fish must be the specialty of the restaurant cos they had lots and lots of Flatfish in the fish tanks.  None of them were moving at all though, which made me wonder how they swim given one fin is on top (facing the sky) and one below (facing the bottom of the tank).

We didn’t try the Flatfish that day, but the lunch sets we
had were good and value for money.  The service is good too.  They even on their own initiative brought a small bowl of beef porridge for Asher.  Gratis!  Definitely scored points with me on that count.

But anyway back to the milkshake.

It’s a simple setting with the decor du jour of mismatched chairs.  Not quite so ecclectic since the chairs were mass-produced pieces rather than unique one-of-a-kind ones.  But again, I digress.

The shakes were good!  I am absolutely of the opinion that milkshakes must be thick, otherwise it’s just milk.  Milkshake that’s thin in consistency is a waste of time.  So far the closest to a proper milkshake has been good ol’ McDonald’s.  It’s thick, it doesn’t melt too quickly, and cheap haha.

The milkshakes sold here are of a thick consistency as well, but are much smoother than the McDonald’s ones.  Mac’s shakes can sometimes be too powdery/grainy.  There’s a wider range of flavours to choose from too.  I had Cerious Maple which was exactly what I was looking for that day – something simple with a twist.  It’s essentially vanilla with some maple syrup and sprinkled with crunchy maple cereal flakes.  Jon had the Vanilla Pot, which was basic vanilla – a good way to test the quality of a shake. 

Their other flavours sound quite exciting too and there are a few I’m already eyeing for our next visit there, such as Chocolate Truffle Castle, Litchi Otokonoko, Grumbling Raisins..er…actually, I think I most of their flavours sound quite good, and would suit different moods/weathers. 

Cerious Maple

Enjoying big gulps of our shakes before nodding off contentedly for his nap

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