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Archive for the ‘brothers’ Category

A couple of months ago I read on the internet about how some mums got their kids to choose their outfits for a week. They’d wear whatever the kids chose no matter how whacky. I was immediately taken by the idea and wanted to let the boys have a go at picking my outfits for the day. Just for fun. Just to see what they’d come up with! In the end I learned a thing or two about what they think looks nice on a girl.

I wasn’t so brave as to give each boy an entire week (just in case they went really nuts). Instead I had them take turns to choose my clothes. Initially they were really excited by the prospect, but they completely lost interest after day 6 haha! I should try this again with Alyssa when she’s older just to see what she comes up with, and if her interest is sustained. Maybe it’s a girl/boy thing.

In the end it wasn’t so bad. I psyched myself up to wear whatever they chose, but I didn’t have to be too worried. In fact, after this little exercise, it made me realise that I was sticking to the same old footwear and clothes. They helped me see I could ‘dress up’a bit more rather than just wear the standard stay-home-mum garb of t-shirts and shorts (well, that’s my usual attire anyway). There was only one outfit that Jon vetoed, and insisted on a tweak. Other than that, Jon just gave me weird looks because he was very skeptical about some of the combinations. I was just thankful they didn’t make we wear underwear on the outside or something strange like that!

So, what did they pick? Take a look below. Pictures were taken by the kids so it’s all a bit off.

Day 1 (Asher): T-shirt and jeans, with dangly owl earrings and red & white stripey shoes. A very sensible, practical choice of clothes I thought. I didn’t expect the shoes though. I hadn’t worn those in months!

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Day 2 (Ellery): Black & white skirt, green top (which has a low back, so Jon insisted Ellery add in a tank top), red & white stripey shoes. The boys sure liked those shoes! Ellery always says I look nice when I wear skirts, so I wasn’t surprised he picked a skirt out for me. He liked the green top very much, and he was against the idea of adding a tank top inside and needed quite a bit of coaxing. I would never have thought of this combination of clothes. It was surprisingly comfortable though. I’m generally not a skirt person as I have the impression they are more fussy and troublesome to wear on a day-to-day basis. But this mid-length skirt was actually ok for running around with the kids. Ellery’s choice made me realise that wearing skirts can be as comfortable as wearing shorts sometimes.

Day 3 (Asher): Floral chiffon top, denim shorts, skin-coloured shoes. Asher, it seems, makes very practical choices but with a twist. Whether it’s what he prefers a girl to wear, or it’s what he thinks best suits me I’m not sure. But it was a comfortable and practical outfit for the day.

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Day 4 (Ellery): Blue chiffon dress with a green top over it, and those red & white striped shoes. I totally would not have thought of this outfit. This was probably the strangest outfit of the lot. I had to tell myself to just wear it and not think too much about it. It turned out to be very comfortable because there was nothing cinching at the waist, even though it does look kinda frumpy. And whats up with those shoes??

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Day 5 (Asher): Black top with white bermudas, black & white houndstooth-print pointy-toed shoes. You are starting to see a pattern here right? Asher and practical clothing. I like hahaha. This is most like what I normally wear, except for the shoes. I hadn’t worn those in months too! I really should take them out more often.

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Day 6 (Ellery): And for the finale, a long deep navy blue halter dress. Yes, Ellery picked a skirt again. It felt quite strange wearing this dress when bringing them for their Saturday capoeria class (where everyone else is in shorts), but I was just happy with the thought that Ellery picked it. That, and he kept saying I looked pretty the whole day haha! Actually, he did that on all the days he picked my clothes :) That boy has a sweet tongue.

Anyway, it’s quite clear from their choices that Asher picks sensible clothes with a feminine touch, while Ellery tends towards the all out girly look. I wonder…I wonder if this will be reflected in their choice of girlfriend in future :) Hmmm….

Come to think of it, maybe Alyssa should dress Daddy instead, then I can see what kind of man she tends towards!

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Day 6: Alyssa and I (this was taken a couple of months back so she looks quite a bit younger)

Anyway it was fun, but I was quite happy to go back to wearing my usual stuff. I did consciously make some changes though. I wore my other shoes more often, tried to mix things up a little more with the clothes choices as well. I guess the boys helped me see that I’m really a bit too practical in my dressing, and I could spice things up a little bit :)

Have you tried something similar? What did your kids pick?

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After visiting the LKCNHM, we went to JCube for lunch and ice skating! The boys had been asking to go ice skating over the weekend for some reason, so it was a good opportunity to scratch that itch and bring them for a skating session.

They had so much fun! And it made me happy to see them enjoying themselves so much.

Ellery with a penguin

Ellery with a penguin

Trying to balance on the ice

Trying to balance on the ice

We changed the penguin to a seal so that they could take turns riding on it. It was also more stable for Ellery when using it as a support.

We changed the penguin to a seal so that they could take turns riding on it. It was also more stable for Ellery when using it as a support.

Taking turns

Taking turns

Asher managed to skate on his own :)

Asher managed to skate on his own :)

Skating is fun!

Skating is fun!

And to top of a day filled with fun and activity, the boys got to stay over at my parents place. They love going there for sleepovers. So it was a perfect ending to a fun-filled day :)

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The tarts disappeared so quickly! The boys would bring the container of tarts around and munch wherever they went. Jon and I kept taking a piece every time we walked past too. Before we knew it, there were none left!

So how? No choice but to make more!

We started at 830pm, and at midnight we were still making tarts! Gosh.

And for the first time, Jon helped us! I’ve never ever seen Jon help with baking before, so it was definitely a photoworthy moment.

The tarts continue to disappear. We intended to keep some tarts for our friends to try, but it looks like the jar will be empty by the time we meet them!

Round 2

Round 2

Smiley face!

Smiley face!

Jon helping with baking!!

Jon helping with baking!!

Father-son bonding :)

Father-son bonding :)

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So on my first trip to Parkland Green I walked past Sandbank, a bistro and bar, and immediately knew I had to come back with the boys.

Why?

There’s a pool right next to the dining area! How fun is that? In fact, it’s not just one pool. It’s two! One deeper pool for the adults, and a shallower one for the kids (and adults who wanna sit instead of stand, I suppose).

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Eat. Drink. Plunge.

I was itching to come so on Friday I decided we’d eat out for dinner. Got the boys changed into their swimming gear and we headed there for dinner. While waiting for our orders to arrive the boys hopped into the pool and were so happy! I think a lot of their excitement stemmed from the fact that they were in a pool in a restaurant. It felt like we were in a hotel with a bar in the pool (although you’re not allowed to eat in the pool).

Pool right next to our table

Pool right next to our table

Asher still waiting for his pizza to arrive

Asher still waiting for his pizza to arrive

Ellery waiting for Asher to finish :)

Ellery waiting for Asher to finish :)

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Enjoying the cold water

The water was freezing because it was a windy and chilly night, but that didn’t stop the boys. I chickened out. But they went in, and played until they were warm. After dinner they went back in, but it soon got too cold for Asher who was shivering quite a lot, so I sent him to change into dry clothes. Sandbank is conveniently located right next to the public showers and toilets, so it’s easy to go clean up and change after your dip.

As for the food, we ordered fried oysters, a quesadilla kids meal, a pizza with buffalo mozzarella and rocket, and a mushroom pasta. The oysters were smaller and more crumbly than I expected, but it’s fried food and we were hungry, so it went down well with all of us. I liked the wasabi aioli dip that came with the oysters as it was kept light with just a hint of wasabi in it.

Fried oysters

Fried oysters

All kids meals are served with nuggets, fries, and (a little) fruit on the side. I suppose it’s an attempt to offer a balanced meal with protein, carbs and fibre haha. But it’s certainly kid-pleasing since most kids like nuggets and fries all the time. Ellery sure was happy with his meal. So happy he even ate the grapes, something he hasn’t done in a while! Good job Sandbank!

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The kids meal

Happy kid

A happy kid

The pizzas are all handmade to order so we had to wait a while for ours to come. Asher was starving, but he’s such a pizza monster he decided to wait anyway. I was led to believe it would be quite big since the waiter told me it would be “more than enough” for Asher and I, but when it arrived I thought it looked like a normal individual-sized pizza. Six thin slices. I could have eaten it myself I think. To me, the pizza was just alright. But for those of you who like Skinny Pizza’s crunchy crusts, you’ll like the pizzas here. It’s done in that style – very thin, crisp crusts. I tend to like my crust a little bit chewy.

The pizza

The freshly baked pizza

The mushroom pasta was pretty good though – creamy with a good amount of mushrooms in it. It certainly qualifies as comfort food, especially on a chilly night like that one.

Fungi pasta

Fungi pasta

The food is decent enough and I like the concept of the place, so I can definitely see us coming back, though probably in the day time when it’s less cold. Ellery is already bugging me to bring them back and has been suggesting at every meal that we go there to eat!

And for the men, it’s a great place to watch soccer. You can chill in the pool while watching the game on the TV!

TV near the pool

TV near the pool

Sandbank is located at:
920 East Coast Parkway, #01-28/32
Parkland Green
+65 6247 7988

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Study Buddy

So one morning I walked into the boys room to find Ellery helping Asher with his spelling practice! Ellery was telling Jon how important his job was, and that he couldn’t go and do whatever it was Jon was asking him to do because he needed to help Asher.

Brothers that study together, stay together?

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Ellery dictating, Asher writing out the words

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The Biscuit

This was one of the sweetest things Asher has done for Ellery, in my opinion at least. Asher knew that Ellery wasn’t going for CATS with us, and Ellery had made known his extreme disappointment. So that morning Asher promised that he’d get something special for Ellery.

That evening, he came home and excitedly told Ellery, “I bought something for you during recess!!” And he pulled out this packet of biscuits that he bought with his savings from his allowance :) He told Ellery, “I remembered you during recess, and I bought you this packet of biscuits because I promised to get you something, so I did!”

How sweet!

xxx

Asher’s gesture of love

Unfortunately Ellery was beyond consoling and still cried when we left the house. But the next day, he was very happy to have the biscuits for his teatime snack :)

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We’ve been in our new place for 2 weeks now, but we’re still not quite settled yet. To be honest, it’s been a challenging couple of weeks.

For starters, Alyssa fell ill the night before we moved. She developed a fever in the middle of the night that lasted for the next five days, and a bad cough too. The cough got progressively worse in the morning and we decided that rather than keeping her with me for the move and exposing her to all the dust which aggravated her cough, that my parents would bring her home for a couple of hours.

What a milestone for her. She’s never been taken care of by anyone outside of my home, nor for that many hours. That was the day she was started on formula as well. We had emptied out the freezer, so all the stored expressed breastmilk was finished. I had planned on nursing her during the day. So all of a sudden she had to try formula. Thankfully she took well to it!

What a change. For Asher and Ellery I had planned exactly when they would try formula milk, bought a small tin several days in advance, introduced it slowly with half-and-half breastmilk and formula milk, slowly increasing the amount of formula until it was just formula milk. For Alyssa, we just decided that very morning, told my mum which brand and she hurried to the supermarket to get a tin :) And the best part was, I was totally ok with it. Definitely third child laissez-faire-ness.

The movers were great. We hired Alliance Movers on recommendation from a friend and they were excellent! The guy who came around to give the quote was friendly and reassuring. The movers themselves were super efficient, professional, helpful, and despite all the work, cheerful! I loved seeing the movers chatting and joking with each other even as they worked. It made moving a less stressful affair. And there seemed to be nothing they couldn’t do. They helped to disassemble and reassemble our bed, dismounted then mounted some shelves, wrapped up everything quickly and properly (sofas, tables, computers, etc), provided 2 large clothes rack for moving clothes (fantastic! No need to re-iron Jon’s shirts!) and helped with packing our stray items. And they were so fast. I spent weeks packing, and in just a few hours the entire house was empty. The only things left were some items in the storeroom that we hadn’t had the chance to run through yet so told them to leave it behind.

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Filling the truck with our stuff

 

With Alyssa ill I couldn’t unpack much though. So for days the boxes just sat there. I started to feel stressed and overwhelmed. I don’t like mess. I’m actually quite OCD about cleanliness and having everything in its place (even though I’ve lowered my expectations since the kids came along). When the house is messy, my internal life feels messy. So living in a house full of boxes before moving, and then still living in a house full of boxes after moving, plus the dust that inevitably plagues new houses, and noticing the rectifications missed out by the interior designers, and finding new things that needed rectification, and scuttling back to the old house to clear it out for the new tenant, and a sick baby that was quite literally stuck to me the whole time…all this really drove me crazy. Everything felt grimy and dusty. Everything seemed to be going wrong.

The boys and the husband were perfectly happy though. In fact, the boys settled right in as if they lived here all along! It was a real blessing, but in my stressed state I failed to be more grateful for it. Even though we now have a view to die for outside our window, I was grumpy and focusing on the mess.

Until one afternoon, as I sat glumly staring out the upper windows at the dust encrusted on the outside, cursing to myself at how the interior designers didn’t clean it up as they were supposed to, I found my eyes refocusing from the glass of the window, to the clouds that were framed by the window. Beautiful, white fluffy clouds set against a gorgeous blue sky. And then it hit me that, like my eyes just a moment before, I was focusing on the wrong thing. Instead of looking at the dirt on the window, I should be looking at the clouds outside the window.

I felt lighter. I wouldn’t say completely at ease, but lighter and less stressed. I can do this, I thought. And prayed.

And the change in attitude came not a moment too soon, because the day after, I somehow found myself with a sprained back. I couldn’t stand upright. Walking was painful. Sitting was painful. Sigh. But I’m grateful for the people who prayed for me, and that my back is better now. Not perfect, but better.

And in spite of the back I kept trying to unpack. Now the house is less cluttered even though there are still boxes that need to be unpacked. It’s reaching the point where I can’t see how it’s all going to fit into the cupboards. Might need to do another round of throwing out things. I grumbled to my husband about how we should have made more cabinets. We have planned some things to be built in a second phase to save on costs for now, but I felt we needed it now. But his position is that we should just throw out more stuff. I suppose he’s right too. I probably hang on to too much stuff. Overly sentimental about so many things.

So, the unpacking is not done yet.

In the meantime, the boys have been having a blast here. They love going downstairs to play, they’ve been enjoying playing with boxes, and they’ve been rediscovering a lot of our books. Previously they were kept on a shelf that wasn’t so conducive for browsing. Now they are pulling out all the old books and reading through them. I reminded myself to be thankful that they could entertain themselves this way while I handled Alyssa.

And yes, as for Alyssa, she’s better now. She’s finally not coughing all the time, at night her coughing is much better too (it was worst at night). She’s back to being a smiley, happy baby. For those five days that she was feverish, she barely smiled. It was so unlike her. I had to scramble to find a paediatrician near our house to attend to her after we moved. Thankfully I have some friends with kids in the east who could recommend me their doctor. She hated the nasal spray and didn’t like her medicine. She also lost her appetite and didn’t eat anything, only drank milk, and even then not that much. As a result she lost quite a bit of weight. But she’s regained her appetite again, thankfully.

The bad part is, her routine is completely messed up. I never enforced a routine. She kind of fell into one naturally. She used to nap around 10am, then barely slept, taking maybe 5 to 15 minute naps here and there, before knocking out around 7/730pm. She’d then sleep for several hours without waking up until around midnight or 1am. Now, she sleeps around 8pm and she’s up every hour or so. Less sleep is no fun. Am hoping she somehow falls back into her usual routine again.

So, yes. It’s been a tough 2 weeks.

Hope to make the house look more presentable soon and have some semblance of a Christmassy home before Christmas arrives!

How many boys fit into a box? The boys packing themselves away before we moved

How many boys fit into a box?

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The boys packing themselves away before we moved

Saying goodbye to our first home

Saying goodbye to our first home

Empty!

Empty!

Boxes in our new place

Boxes in our new place

Boxes in our livingroom and the view outside :)

Boxes in our livingroom and the view outside :)

We have a balcony now! Great for messy things like excavating bones

We have a balcony now! Great for messy things like excavating bones

Bookish boys

Bookish boys

Making a tunnel of boxes to race through

Making a tunnel of boxes to race through

It's a tie!

It’s a tie!

 

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