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Archive for January, 2015

It almost went by without us singing him a birthday song!

There were grand plans. Ellery had been asking to go to the zoo for a long time, but for various reasons we didn’t get to go. There was Legoland, which we were supposed to bring the boys to as a combined treat, but that did not materialise after our move as we got so tied up with house things (rectifications and all that).

In the end, everything was kept simple.

On Christmas day itself we had a special breakfast of pancakes cooked at the table, just like at Slappy Cakes. The boys had loved it when we ate there and my aunt had so generously bought us a crepe maker last Christmas so that we could do that same thing at home. In the end we only used it for pancakes one year later! We had became addicted to crepes and often had those for breakfast instead :)

Home style slappy cakes!

Home style slappy cakes!

Christmas pancakes!

Christmas pancakes!

After breakfast we made logcakes for our neighbours as a way to say hello. The boys had fun delivering them, and we discovered a couple of neighbours celebrate Christmas in a big way. Some others we discovered were vegetarian and couldn’t accept our cake because we used eggs. Need to look for eggless cake recipes!

Sprinkling on the snow

Sprinkling on the snow

As always we were double booked for Christmas lunch, so we did house-hopping and lots of eating! Usually people at these two homes would greet Ellery a happy birthday, and at the first home we’d sing a birthday song. But somehow this year all that didn’t happen. Thankfully Ellery was patient and didn’t demand or expect anything.

Being cheeky in the car and not wanting to stay still for a picture :)

Being cheeky in the car and not wanting to stay still for a picture :)

Lounging in our friend's house

Lounging in our friend’s house

We left the second house in the late evening and went to Toys R Us so that the boys could choose their own presents. But Ellery fell asleep in the car! We thought he’d wake up in the noise of Toys R Us but he didn’t. We headed for dinner and tried to wake him but he was just too tired. We were joking about how we were celebrating a birthday without the birthday boy! But just as we were finishing our meal he woke up! Just in time to eat something and enjoy some dessert :)

Birthday boy sound asleep

Birthday boy sound asleep

Finally up!

Finally up and being squished

It was back to Toys R Us again, and Ellery chose a bow and arrow set because he had played with a set in one of the houses earlier in the day and loved it!

Home, bathed, bedtime story, in bed. Then Ellery said he wanted to have a birthday song and cake cutting. Throughout the day I had wanted to do it, but there just wasn’t the opportunity. So although it was already 10pm, we pulled out a logcake that we had saved for Ellery, decorated it and sang him a song.

He loved it! Especially when we found that one of the candles was a trick candle that kept lighting up again. The boys had such a good time trying to blow it out :) I think in the end the cake was quite covered in saliva…hmm…

I was really happy to see Ellery beaming :) A simple birthday song and cake at home can be so special :)

An over decorated cake haha!

An over decorated cake haha!

Happy Birthday!!

Happy Birthday!!

Blowing out the candles

Blowing out the candles

Finally blew out the trick candle!

Finally blew out the trick candle!

Cut cut cut

Cut cut cut

Brothers :)

Playful brothers

Loving brothers :)

Loving brothers

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My dear Ellery, you have certainly grown. You have leaned out and are starting to lose your baby fat. Many people say you look thinner.

You still say the funniest things, and I have a long list of quotes from you that are just hilarious :) I laugh out loud everytime I re-read them! I must save them for you so that you can read what you said as a little boy.

You continue to be independent minded and like doing things in your own way, which is a good thing, but that same quality also makes you rather stubborn and difficult to discipline. Oh, what fights we have had this year. I have had a tough time reminding myself to model kindness and gentleness for you this year. But you can also be extremely charming and loving. You spout sweet nothings at random moments, and that always warms my heart. Whenever you say, “Mummy, I love you soooo much!” I can’t help but squeeze you tight, kiss your head, and all irritations of the day are dissolved.

It’s been a tough year for you too. On the one hand, you’ve become a very sweet and loving older brother to Alyssa. You were so happy when Alyssa was born you ran through school yelling, “I’m a Kor Kor now!!!” You play with her, hug and kiss her (even with dirty hands and oily mouth). On the other hand, I think you unconsciously feel the reduction in attention given to you and have been very whiny since your sister arrived. I have heard that middle children either become very independent, or very whiny. I think you’ve gone the whiny route. I’m hoping it’s a phase, and I’m hoping it ends soon. I try to pull out special moments with you, but it’s tough. I hope you know Mummy is trying her very best.

A new challenge has appeared this year too. One that I was anxious would come, and it did. You were an early reader and many people said to you or within hearing how “clever” they thought you were, and they praised you a lot. Too much. At that time I was thinking to myself that they really should hold back on excessive praise because it might negatively affect Asher, and more so, it might negatively affect you. Now it appears that you are only keen to try things that are easy. Anything that you think you’ll not be good at you immediately say, before even trying, that you can’t do it. I really pray that this is also a phase that will pass quickly. I pray that we’ll be able to build up your confidence to try things that at first seem difficult, and that you’ll realise you actually can do many things if you put your mind to it. Also, that we don’t expect you to be super at everything, but that you at least give things your best effort.

Mummy hasn’t had much time and attention for you this year, unfortunately. Mummy has been very stretched, but I hope you know how much I love you, how special you are to me! You are so unique, and I love you deeply!

 

 

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Even though our house is messy, my friends and I decided to have the yearly gathering at our place. It was a happy little crowd of adults and children bonding over pizza and presents. Nice :)

It has taken us this long to have a bunch of kids born in the same year! It’s also the first time we’ve attempted a group shot with all of us. Even then we were missing one cos Alex went off earlier.

The youngest set

The youngest set

Alex the baby whisperer

Alex the baby whisperer

All except Alex!

All except Alex!

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If 2013 was rushed, I’d say 2014 was just scattered. That seems to be the word that pops into my mind when I think back on the year.

Scattered because there were some big things going on that needed a lot of attention to small details. And a lot of little things that needed attending to as well. I found myself being quite scattered mentally. It felt like there were always a lot of loose ends that I hadn’t tied up. Possibly it could be the lack of sleep, unrealiable technology, and/or over-stretching to achieve too many things. Whatever it was, I often felt like I had something weighing on my mind unsettled.

Start of 2014 there was my technology nightmare, which led to a long backlog of unbacked up data. I started making blankets to sell but I have yet to launch it properly – it was put on the back burner because of Alyssa. I’m hoping I can get that off the ground this year! There was baby and lack of sleep, and just being a mummy to a small child while settling the needs of the older two. There was looking for a new school for Ellery in the east. There was the massive task of doing up our new house, many meetings with the interior designers and doing house related things. There was the move! There was settling our old home. There was getting ready for Primary 1. In the midst of all this, there were the inevitable strains placed on a marriage. It was a tiring year, but there was hope that things will get better.

The best thing of 2014 has to be the arrival of Alyssa, of course. What a darling little girl she is! She can be quite the charmer with her sweet smile, and even her brothers (Asher in particular) gets a real kick out of making her laugh and smile.

I’m grateful for our new home. I felt displaced at first, but I’m getting used to the locale. I am saying things I never thought I’d say in a million years (“Bedok South is quite nice!” – for background, Bedok was in my mind just very very far away and I didn’t have any reason to venture there anyway.)

For 2015, I hope it’ll feel less scattered. I pray that with God’s help, I’ll be able to hold things together for the kids (both in new schools) and husband. I pray for good health for the entire family. I pray for love, laughter and fun even as Asher starts formal schooling, and Ellery attends a more serious kindergarten (as opposed to childcare). I pray they adjust well, and mature in their ways. I pray for God’s care over Alyssa and for her to hit her milestones because, honestly, I have no idea what she should be doing!

May you have a good year ahead too!

 

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New Year’s Eve was rushed yet relaxed. I had one main thing to do – finish my photobook from our Hong Kong holiday. I had a Groupon voucher which had it’s validity extended, then further extended and was expiring on 31 Dec. Yes, I’ve been making sure that I create a photobook for every single holiday we’ve taken since my technology troubles last January. It takes a lot of effort to hammer out the photobooks – several nights of sleeping at 3am or 4am and feeling terrible the next day, but when I hold the finished product in my hands it feels so worth it. I’m always very happy whenever I leaf through the books. I never got around to printing pictures for all the key events, only some, but I thought I’d at least capture our holidays in hardcopy.

The boys had a blast. From the moment they were up, right until they went to bed at 1230am on 1 Jan, they were playing and playing and playing. We did not interfere nor interrupt their play except for meals, we didn’t drag them anywhere, and didn’t stop them from creating a giant mess in their bedroom and at the play area. It was wonderful to hear all the happy sounds! No fighting! The wonders of rest. Just the day before Ellery was a complete grouch and whinier than ever from morning to night. He went to bed several hours earlier than usual and was a thoroughly cheery person on New Year’s Eve. He was like a different person, a different child altogether!

My family had invited themselves over (which was fine by us) because my father told us about how at the stroke of midnight, ships all over the world sound their horns and some shoot flares! We were really excited! The boys too forced themselves to stay awake until midnight in order to hear the ships. In the end it was softer than we had expected, though we were aren’t that close to the ships I suppose. I’m sure on the ship it’s really loud. So at the turn of the new year a low blares slowly rippled across the water, and after a while, red flares were fired into the night sky by quite a lot of ships. Not all at one go, but a few at a time such that there was at least one red glow in the sky for the next 30 mins. It’s really beautiful to see.

We were treated to a double sighting of these flares. When Indonesia welcomed in the new year the ships in Batam fired up their flares too, and we could even see fireworks twinkling in the distance at many spots on the island.

I think this is something I’d definitely stay up for every year!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

 

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