Archive for the ‘botanical gardens’ Category

I was determined to get back to bringing the boys to the park as I used to. The boys have been in some serious need of sunshine and outdoor activity!

For our first outing as Mummy with three kids, I chose the new part of the botanic gardens because parking is easy, it’s fairly flat so the boys can ride quite easily without me worrying about them tumbling, and it’s easy to push a stroller there.

It turned out pretty well!  We weren’t out for long, just about an hour, but the boys and I had a nice time together.  When I had to nurse Alyssa they were free to ride around within sight.  I think they enjoyed the freedom.  But being fairly cautious boys, they never even thought to venture that far away from me anyway.

Definitely something we can do again!

I love this picture of the kids on their first outing together :)

The three musketeers!

The three musketeers!

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Headed to the Botanic Gardens with the girls for a picnic and was surprised to see how much water has evaporated from the lake!  Along with the brown grass and yellowing leaves, this dry spell is really taking it’s toll on the environment.

It’s been a long time since we gathered for a picnic.  The last time there was only 1 kid, some of Shan wasn’t even married yet.  This time around, we had three kids running around, and Obi was a lot bigger.  Janine couldn’t make it because she had just delivered Joseth a few days before, so we were missing her, Desmond and Jovinia.

Pot lucked it, and we were impressed that Alex had gotten up early to cook bee hoon complete with veg and meat.  Though some of us were initially skeptical, her bee hoon was really quite good :)

Had a nice morning chatting, eating, and just chilling.  I was grateful that my friends helped to run after the boys a little so that I could just relax :)

The picnic party

The picnic party

Obi had his own little space in the middle

Obi had his own little space in the middle

Ellery playing soccer with Daokai

Ellery playing soccer with Daokai

Trying to crawl up my back

Trying to crawl up my back

Enjoying Alex's noodles

Enjoying Alex’s noodles

You can see his dead tooth getting darker

You can see his dead tooth getting darker

That same day we met the Cais and Sngs at District 10 for lunch where the kids just played non-stop for almost three hours while we hung out.

Bouncy castles - what a great invention

Bouncy castles – what a great invention

Then immediately after we met my parents for a swim at Temasek Club.  We swam for two hours before adjourning for dinner.

I had assumed the boys would be completely worn out, but they still slept fairly late.  Too much stamina!

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We started the day with a breakfast surprise from McDonalds delivery.  I was really surprised (and you know how hard it is to surprise females) because I thought I was up before Jon, but apparently he had got up to order the treat and promptly went back to bed.  Not sure if it was meant for his pleasure or mine, but I shall take it that it was my treat :)

The cheery flowers that Asher had chosen for me the day before were sitting in our dining area, and definitely lifted my mood!

Flowers for me! Colours chosen by Asher

It was quite a busy Sunday.  We went to church, then headed to a birthday party, then home for a rest (sort of…more on that later), and then to picnic at Botanic Gardens.

We might have a tradition in the making.  Last year we attended the SSO Mother’s Day concert in the park and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  So this year we made it a point to go again.  Initially we were going to go as just our family unit, but it became a big picnic outing for the whole family, which was fun too :)

The place was crazy crowded, just like it was last year.  Thankfully we made sure to reach earlier and got a pretty good spot – big enough to accomodate all 8 adults and 4 kids plus stuff.  Perhaps it was because we were sitting further away this year, I felt that the music was less exciting than last year.  There were a few pieces that were very quiet, and as a result we could hardly hear it.  And I guess we were just preoccupied with entertaining the kids.

For next year, I’m eyeing the spot nearer the stage, on the flat part of the hill…gotta reach even earlier!!

Daddy being much more hands on than usual

My Mum and Ellery

My grantaunt & aunt

I did say crazy crowded right?

SSO on stage

Our little corner of the field

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Brought the boys to Botanic Gardens for a walk today and ventured into the rainforest section of the gardens.  I’ve never been inside before, and was happy to find that it’s quite wild and had interesting features easily visible (stranger figs, giant ratans, etc.).  It’s actually more fun for a kid than the main path of Bukit Timah Hill because there’s more to see.  It also wins on these points – it’s so much more convenient to get to, and there’s no worry of clumsy me tumbling down the steep hill while carrying Ellery.  If Asher ever wants a forest fix, I’ll head to the Botanic Gardens!

We also explored the desert plants and came across an interesting plant I’d never seen before, the pencil cactus.  Turns out it can be quite poisonous though.  Read of some people having severe allergic reactions to the sap and ending up in the emergency room.  Beware if you bring you kids to see the plant!

Our forest walk

Pencil Cactus

Passing of Knowledge. I thought this was a beautiful and evocative sculpture.

At the bandstand


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Austin’s was on school break, so we decided to meet up to let the boys play.  I think the last time they met was actually at Asher’s birthday!  The weather was good for outdoor activities so we brought the kids to the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden for some sand and water play, while Ellery slept throughout in the carrier :)  The boys particularly enjoyed splashing about in the water, covering the spouts with their containers/buckets and letting it go suddenly so the water splashed into their faces :)  The simple joys of life!

Dig dig digging

Splash splash splashing

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Since we were going to catch the play Under the Baobab Tree, thought it’d be fun for Asher to check out the actual Baobab Tree in the Botanic Gardens.  I had stumbled upon it during one of my strolls with Ellery.  It’s a lot smaller than the ones in Africa though.  But it did surprise me that we even had one in the Botanic Gardens in the first place.  Called Del and Anya along, and my parents upon hearing I was headed there, and seeing the good weather, decided to join us too.

The Baobab Tree also called the Dead Rat Tree (apparently cos the pods of the tree look like rats hanging by their tails from the tree), Monkey Bread Tree (the fruit is referred to as monkey bread, apparently rich in Vit C too!), and informally the Upside Down Tree (cos it looks like the roots are sticking up in the air).  Came across a book that told of a legend of how the African Gods made a talking tree, and it complained so much they couldn’t stand it and turned it upside down and stuffed the tree into the ground :O)

Anyway, the weather held up, so it was a good stroll with the grandparents and cousins :)  Bonus: It was one of Asher’s first outing in just underwear and there were no accidents!


Meet the Baobab Tree

Puzzling over the alternate names of the tree

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Celebrated Mother’s Day with an SSO Concert in the Park at Botanic Gardens.  I’ve always enjoyed going there for performances.  When I was a secondary school student I used to buy some bread and ham, or a pack of chips, or even just a box of honey stars and go watch the performance by myself using my haversack as a mat.  Many years on and I’ve a husband and two kids!  Never crossed my mind at the performances all those years ago that one day I’d be sitting on those same slopes with a family of my own.

Asher thought the stage looked like a fish eating the musicians

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Went to the Botanic Gardens with Jane & the boys again.  He lately seems to be more interested in feeding the birds rather than the fish, maybe cos he can get closer to them.  This time he had Kaizer as an ally to lure the birds nearer (partly cos they don’t really fling the bread that far :) ).

I think the part that I thought was the sweetest was when the two older boys were running up and down the hill together.  Initially it was just Kaizer, then Asher followed suit.  Later, they even held hands to run up and down – which also means when one falls, both fall :)  But that’s what little boys do…tumble :)

One of the more gentle falls

Think I also mentioned that Asher’s been quite picky about his eating lately.  But guess what?  Kaizer offered him some pandan bread, and he happily munched on it!  Kaizer was super generous and even gave him another two buns when we were leaving, and those Asher munched on too.  As a result he didn’t eat much dinner, but doesn’t matter, at least I know he ate something!!

But the next day, Asher didn’t want to have any more pandan bread and hasn’t had any since.  Oh well, one hit wonder better than no hit at all!

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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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