Archive for April, 2012

I Love Bread!

Ellery loves bread.  When I buy bread he always insists on holding it, and sometimes makes sooo much fuss (“bread, bread, brrreeaaaaadddd!”) I have to open it and give him a slice.

Loving the loaf a little too much…squashed bread!

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They say imitation is the highest form of flattery.  Well, at least in this instance I think imitation is the highest form of amusement!  Asher insisted he wanted to carry his baby (one of his soft toys) in the Ergo.  So I tightened the straps as much as possible, and voila!  I had little flash-forwards of what it would be like when he gets married and kids, but those thoughts were fleeting.  Mainly it was lots and lots of amusement :)

Getting ready to bring his baby to school

On the way to the car

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Magic Seashore

Brought Ellery for his first theatre experience at the Esplanade.  I thought The Magic Seashore, part of the PLAYtime! series of performances at the Esplanade, would be a good start for Ellery.  That was where Asher was first exposed to theatre too.  The performances tend to have a simple story line, visually appealing sets, interactive segments, and usually (definitely not always!) have actors who speaking slowly and clearly enough for the kids to follow.

This time around it was a story about Ling and her dog Peppy.  Peppy gets lost and the kids need to help her find him.  In the process they kids are supposed to learn about prepositions like in, on, under, etc.  The story was ok, the preposition bit wasn’t that clearly drawn out, but it might have hindered the flow if they had.

Ellery was super fidgety after the first ten minutes.  It was not that he wasn’t engaged, he just wouldn’t sit still.  He’d stand, causing the kids behind to complain (which I understand) and stand themselves, which got them scolded by their teachers…I of course kept grabbing him and making him sit.  But he’d wriggle free and crawl away….you get the drift.  Definitely much less pliant than Asher was.  But I do think the performance had an effect too.  Asher’s first performance, the Magic Island, was an immersive experience, whereas this still adopted the audience-one-side-stage-one-side setup.  I wish that more PLAYtime! performaces will be like the first Magic Ocean where the performance space was dispersed throughout the audience space.  The kids were even invited on stage to help pick starfish.  Small kids really need that visual impact to hold their attention (and of course it’s really fun for us parents too!)

Hopefully Ellery will be better at his next performance!

Ellery not sure what to expect

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I love duck.

Eating it that is.

So when I read about Saveur in The Straits Times I was keen to try it because who does duck better than the French?

I had previously heard of their Joo Chiat outlet but have never gone there.  I must confess, I’m not that familiar with the east side so it just always seems so far away.  But when the article ran in the papers of their new premises at Purvis Street I thought, “Ah ha!  I’ve been there before!”  Turns out they are occupying what used to be Miss Clarity Cafe, a cafe/bistro that my Mum’s friend started a long time ago before selling off the business.  From what I hear, the people who took over couldn’t maintain the quality of the food.  And you know…the competition on Purvis Street is stiff.

The place was done up in the little bit overused white-and-black style with industrial metal shelves.  The decor was saved from being run-of-the-mill with some interesting accents produced by hacking out parts of the wall.  The name of the restaurant itself was hacked out too.

Queues for lunch

The name was hacked out off the wall!

Lunch crowd

Saveur aims to offer French food at affordable prices, and that it did.  I believe that almost all the items were priced at less than half of what you would normally expect to pay for similar dishes.  Apparently it’s the same pricing as when they were located in a hawker centre!

While rillettes are usually pounded into a paste, their duck rillette was served up as shredded duck in a ramekin.  The texture was heavenly though.  Extremely tender (it falls apart in your mouth), moist, with a rich flavour.  Comfort food.  I could eat that all day long.

Duck rilette & orange juice served in an enamel mug

The mesclun salad with crispy duck accented with orange slices was fresh, and again the duck was well done.  Crisp on the outside, moist and tender on the inside.  Ah, duck.  It was a perfect accompaniment with the salad leaves.

The salad

The starter serving of pasta was exactly what I wanted.  I had ordered the angel hair pasta with sherry minced pork and sakura ebi it for Ellery.  Sounds like a fancy schmancy thing for a little toddler right?  But at $3.90, it’s cheaper than kids meals elsewhere, and sure beats Pastamania hands down any day.  The texture of the noodle was truly al dente.  The pork was not just minced, it was blended into a paste such that when you mix it in, every strand is delicately coated in it.  What a clever way to serve meat!  I should do that for Asher!!!!  The sakura ebi was replaced it with pumpkin seeds because they were running out, which suited me just fine.  I thought it was a healthy substitution, and added a lovely crunch to the pasta.  Maybe they should make it a permanent option.  Ellery liked it so much he practically ate up the entire serving of pasta!

Angel hair pasta with sherry minced pork and pumpkin seeds

Fois gras is something I recently found a taste for after trying it at Shan’s house during her housewarming.  We ordered the small portion to try, and it did not disappoint.  Buttery yet firm.  The review had also waxed lyrical about the lentils, and I have to agree, it was very yummy.  I don’t normally like lentils in any form besides in dhal, but these were done to perfection – tender and tasting of the meat juices they were cooked in, with the pickled onions adding some zest.  Ellery had no complaints whatsoever and readily opened his mouth to eat fork after fork of the stuff.

Fois gras on lentils and pickled onions

That was our first round.  Then we decided to order one more duck rillette and try their other pasta which was cooked with tiger prawn and lumpfish caviar.  We also ordered the barramundi with crab potato and french beans.  I had brought Ellery for a walk outside and when I came back the food was already half decimated, so there are no photos :)  The pasta was good.  I’d be hard-pressed to say which I like better.  And the barramundi was a generous serving for the price ($12.90), and well cooked.  The accompanying crab was sweet and moist, and complemented the potatoes and fish perfectly.  Some might find the french beans a tad soggy, but I like mine very soft, so I was happy.  And so was Ellery.  I had thought he was full and done with his lunch, but he happily lapped up the fish, potatoes, beans, and crab.

Ok, why am I using Ellery as a gauge of how satisfying the food is?  Cos he’s been quite picky lately.  Besides rice, noodles, pasta, bread and cheese, anything else is more often than not rejected.  So, that he was wolfing down the lentils and pasta is a wonderful thing.  It also makes me realise this boy likes flavourful food.  Not just food with flavour…but robust and complex flavour.  Maybe I have a connoisseur in the making.

Jon and I (and Ellery) couldn’t have been more satisfied with our lunch.  Plus, for so many items (3 starters, 1 salad, 2 pastas, 1 main course, drinks), and considering the type and quality of the items, that the damage came up to about $50 is very okay, if you ask me.

We didn’t actually get around to the duck confit, but I think we’ll be back!

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Kiddy Rides

They can now ride together!

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No time to write fully about it, but basically we went to visit Parti and Aunty Shirley who was back on holiday.  The boys had a blast playing with brooms and sweeping up the driveway area, to Parti’s great amusement!  It was wonderful to see her laughing and smiling so much :)  The presence of little children make us younger.

Breakfast at Parti's house. She was amazed that Asher loves his prata

A family picture. Ellery not looking too happy here cos he was crying for me. Been quite sticky lately.

And off they go!

Happy sweeper

Very diligent in his work

Leaving no tile unswept

The boys with Parti, who was very very VERY amused!

Ellery & Parti

Attacked by the giggles

Next plaything - the hose!

On Parti's special rocking chair

Asher's turn


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As usual I’m behind in updating my blog, and it seems to be getting worse.  I don’t think I’ll ever catch up!  Argh.

I’ve been busy with the kids.  Well, busier than usual that is.  They came down with HFMD!

I started monitoring the boys after the mom of one of Asher’s schoolmates whom we had a playdate with told us her daughter was showing symptoms of HFMD.  The incubation period is between 4-7 days.  Day 8 and they were fine, so we went for an outing to Punggul waterside park with my parents, aunts, nephew and niece.

Then Saturday morning on the 31st I noticed Asher had a few spots in his mouth.  On his previous brush with HFMD, it was so mild there were no spots at all, so I wasn’t sure if these were HFMD spots or not.  By the end of the day they had grown in number so I was pretty sure this was the real thing.  Also concluded that he didn’t catch it from his playdate friend, but from someone else in school since it was outside the incubation period.  True enough, come Monday morning we received notices that 2 other classmates also came down with HFMD.

The boys had been sharing food and water the entire time, plus they are almost always together, so I knew it was just a matter of time before Ellery caught it too.  And yepp…he did.  Thankfully his was much milder than Asher’s.

Asher got it bad this time around.  Besides the red spots in his mouth he also had 3 particularly painful sores on his gums.  As a result he couldn’t take solid food for several days.  I ended up boiling soup every day for almost every meal during the week, which thankfully he liked and drank a lot of.  It was a comfort to me to see him drink soup because his fluid intake was otherwise very dismal.  He avoided water and milk.  Every time he tried to eat something more solid he’d cry very badly because of the pain.  Poor boy.  Even yoghurt didn’t work.  I thought it would sooth his sores but it aggravated them instead.

Then we found a miracle food that he just loved and ate big bowls of!  The super silken tau hway!  There’s a stall at Redhill market which sells it in various flavours like durian, mango, almond, strawberry and yam (I can’t remember the name of the stall, will go check).  Asher really liked the durian, and absolutely loved the mango.  It was a perfect food because it provided some protein, and its consistency was like a solid/liquid at the same time.  It was solid enough so it wouldn’t spread all over the mouth and touch his sores, but soft and ‘liquid’ enough to swallow without chewing – it would just slide down your throat.

It was obvious when Asher’s sores started getting better because he would ask to eat this or that and was able to chew it without too much discomfort.  For the first time in his life I saw him asking to try so many things, and bearing with discomfort just to eat.  I think he had had enough of soft food :)

I haven’t been getting much sleep.  Ellery still doesn’t sleep through the night, so that’s quite normal.  But this week was particularly bad.  Ellery’s sleep patterns were improving and he’d often wake up just once before midnight sometimes.  But this past week he’d wake many times.  And when he one night, by some miracle, slept through the night from 830-6am the next day Asher was the one waking all night.  More often than not, when one was sleeping soundly the other would wake.  Like if Ellery woke and I settled him back to sleep, Asher would wake up crying next.  Then after I settled him and am about to try and settle myself back to sleep Ellery would wake up.  Some of the days I really dreaded the night.  I’d lose track of when I actually got to sleep properly.  And before I know it, the kids would be up (nowadays anywhere between 6-7am) and I’d be forced out of bed.

It’s like they are playing tag team to tekan me.  Seriously.

Anyway, I’m just really thankful they are well now.  I’m just looking forward to Ellery sleeping through the night consistently.  I’ve forgotten what it feels like to sleep soundly regularly.  It’s been what, 4 years?  When you’re pregnant you don’t sleep well, then Asher was born, he didn’t sleep through until 18 months, by which time I was pregnant again so no sound sleep still, then Ellery was born, and he’s still not sleeping through.  Soooo…….

Yes.  Sleep.  Uninterrupted sleep.

Ok, I gotta stop dreaming before I get too irritated when the boys wake up tonight.

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