Monthly Archives: October 2014

Animated brothers

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Both boys were such drama kings, they liked to imitate each other so much that they tickled us non stop with their animated expressions.

I wondered if they would always be this close, this happy and this chummy in future.

Cyclist and cycling

We thought ECP was the best place for a beginner cyclist to practise and off we went over 2 Sundays.

We rented a bicycle with baby chair for Mr H to ferry X and a bicycle for myself. We brought Z’s bicycle but found that he had to pedal very hard due to the tiny wheels. He was visibly tired after the first visit.

Hence, for the second visit, we rented a bigger bicycle for him. He was very hesitant and was only game after a lot of persuasion. I was really impressed with the folks at the bicycle rental kiosk for being so patient.

We should be looking to buy a new bicycle for him and pass on his current bicycle to X.

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Farmers’ Market – Singapore edition

When my friend shared with me about a Singapore Farmers’ Market open house over the long weekend (4-5 Oct), I did not know what to really expect. Given that it was at Kranji Countryside and near my parents’ place, we popped down at 5pm. We drove past the Kranji Reservoir enroute to the farm which was located at Neo Tiew Crescent.

At the entrance IMG_7487.JPG

 

We were impressed by the facilities and offerings. It was more than a farm. There were villas, bistro, event space and more!

The actual marketplace was pretty impressive too.

I never knew there was locally made jams! The dragon fruit & lychee jam was fabulous but sold out when we reached. It was $4 for a small jar and $10 for a large jar. We bought a tiny jar of pineapple jam to relieve days of CNY pineapple tarts.IMG_7468.JPG

 

We also came across a locally made nut butter. I was too busy tasting and forgot to snap a shot of the booth but it was by this company called The Hunters’ Kitchenette. They had a flavour “Hazelnut with Cocoa” which was a healthier and less sweet version of Nutella. Z loved this and given that I still had a large jar of Nutella at home, I had to give this a miss for now. You could keep it up to 6 months and had to finish within 3 months’ of opening it.

Cute farming premiums on saleIMG_7485.JPG

Local honey produceIMG_7484.JPG

Wheat grass produce – and there was a wheat grass soy pudding which Z insisted on getting. IMG_7486.JPG

X was touching a frog from Jurong Frog Farm IMG_7464.JPG

We also got to check out the villas inside the farm. It could only sleep 2 persons per villa. There was an event villa and 3 lodging villas. Each costs $350 to book but the folks at Gardenasia mentioned that there would be package prices for group bookings or events. I thought it looked a little like Bali sans the sea.IMG_7489.JPG

All in all, it was a fun event and we did end up buying some locally grown vegetables and mushrooms.IMG_7463.JPG

 

Visiting Jurong Bird Park

Armed with a corporate pass to the Jurong Bird Park, we brought the kids down on a gloomy Saturday afternoon. There were heavy showers but we were lucky that the rain had yet to hit the park.

The boys were enamoured with the Penguins’ exhibit near the entranceIMG_7086.JPG

 

X got very animated whenever the penguins dived in to swim and they did that every other second. I was rather impressed by how up close we got to see the penguins, how active they were and how many penguins there were too!

It started to drizzle so we sought refuge in the owls’ enclave. It was a novel experience for all to walk around in a dark room and trying to spot the owls. Z had a mighty fun time spotting the owls and even X could look out for the owls.

It was time for the live show at the amphitheatre. The performance by the birds was very good and kept the kids glued for the entire 30 minutes. At this juncture, I thought Jurong Bird Park was a really impressive attraction.

Taken before the showIMG_7097.JPG

We commenced our walk around the park and Z was rattling off what macaws were, what toucans were… all thanks to the rainforest module in school. We chanced upon the Lory’s Loft and was amazed by how interactive the whole experience was. The lories were very familiar with human beings and readily perched themselves on Mr H’s hand to help themselves to food.IMG_7108.JPG

It seemed as though we could get really close up and personal with the birds, and it would definitely seem so.

For instance, look how close we could see the ostrich!IMG_7126.JPG

 

Though we had rushed through the park in 2.5 hours’ and given the water playground a miss, there were really good exhibits. My favourite was where the eagles were. We got to see 5-6 species of eagles and the stories behind them too.

Guess we would definitely be back for more!

Children’s Day

A day to celebrate children, to remember their happy smiles, carefree days and how precious they are.

X’s school was opened on Children’s day. I had been hesitant about sending X in but given that there would be a picnic lunch party with his friends, I let X attend school for the morning. He was dressed to the nines and donned a random party hat which I found at home.

The widest grinIMG_7334.JPG

 

The picnic lunch which I haphazardly put togetherIMG_7331.JPG

Unfortunately, he was not sharing the same sentiment when I dropped him off at school. Poor boy did not understand why Z & I were leaving him behind. Thankfully, I heard that he bounced back to his high spirits rather fast.

Meanwhile, I brought Z to my friend’s place who prepared a lot of ingredients for the her children and Z to make prata pizzas and cake pops!IMG_7344.JPG

Cakes, ready for chocolate coatingIMG_7354.JPG

At the same time, the kids got to spread the ingredients on their on ‘prata’ like a pizza. My friend had superbly ingenious ideas.IMG_7345.JPG

Z’s prata pizzaIMG_7349.JPG

After a sumptuous lunch which my friend cooked (of salad, chicken wings, meatballs and more!) and more playing, the cake pops were ready for their secondary layer of coating. They really loved to roll their cake pops in the rainbow bits.IMG_7355.JPG

 

Initially, Z had not been so enthusiastic with making the cake pops but when he got to the last stage of coating with rainbow rice, he was visibly more excited and involved with the process. We had plans to go Polliwogs after the baking session but he was enjoying himself so much that we stayed on.

Subsequently, I also picked X up to join the older kids.

The funny antics they got up to (and mess) when drinking ribenaIMG_7379.JPG

 

We had a dinner date at Great World City to wrap up the day where both boys continued to have crazy fun with their diaper friend. IMG_7395.JPG

 

Being a child was so much fun. It did not have to be children’s day for them to be so happy. Perhaps it was more of a happy day for adults because we got to take leave and spend the day with them.

Healthy eating for kids

Starts with the parents.

It was not without surprise when I saw this news.

While there was a need for responsible marketing, shouldn’t it be the parents’ responsibility not to give in to the kids’ unnecessary demands of junk food.

Well, pun intended… But it was certainly food for thought.

Perhaps more efforts could be spent in educating parents on meal planning for their children and themselves. Self- help was merely a google search away, we could hardly fault others for lack of information or transparency.

Or there would always be information-rich social networks to scour knowledge from. Then it was up to the parents to plan and strategize.

With Z, he was a difficult eater. I had to ensure small meals or milk feeds every two hourly till he moved out of his 25th percentile. He ate so preciously little that it meant my opportunity window for packing nutrients in his meals was tiny.

With X, he was a happy eater with an insatiable appetite. At one point, Mr H was giving him so many Pocky sticks that I stepped in with wholemeal bread, overnight oats, fresh fruits and other healthy snacks.

It was up to us to train them to enjoy and love healthy foods. I really did not think we had to leave it to the government to censor for us.

A party in the works

Two months to Z’s 5th birthday, we had decided that we would hold a party for him. Every year I said I did not want to hold a party for him, every year I relented when I looked into his earnest and excited expression.

The older he got, the more anticipation he held. We had started a terrible trend and habit.

Thankfully, every year we scaled back a little bit. So much so that this year, Z was happy to invite only 5 friends. Mr H explained to me that it was the celebration the boy was keen on, not the scale and complexity of the party. Given so, we would be trying our hand at a DIY party. Rain or shine, it would be held on home ground and we would be capping the number of guests.

We would have to, especially since X’s party would happen 3 weeks after Z’s. If possible, we would like to recycle the theme!