Friday, November 30, 2012

Bring on December!

As usual, I'm signing off for the weekend! We have a playdate planned for Ryan on Saturday, which he is eagerly awaiting. Christmas shopping will continue - four weekends left till Christmas - and I'm hoping to put up the rest of the Christmas decorations around the house (the tree is already up). We need one more stocking this year for our babydoll - it's her first Christmas!

I have been busy this week with some assignments which are due tomorrow. I can't wait to finish up and dive into December! Our December is fast filling up with lots of goodness - meet ups and gatherings with friends, birthday and Christmas parties, company events, events at school for Ryan, maybe a short trip somewhere, plus a film shoot for Ryan. Oh, and babydoll Rachel will turn six months old in December!

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Surprise birthday party!


Yesterday was Shann's birthday. Alicia and I planned a surprise birthday dinner for her. Shann didn't suspect at all, so it was really fun.


Shann's hubby, Ee Fann, decided on Casa Verde at Gardens by the Bay. The place was relatively deserted on a weekday evening (plus the soggy weather helped to keep people away). It drizzled a little but, on the whole, the weather was kind and it didn't rain.


Chris bought the birthday cake - yam cake from Angie the Choice!


The kids really enjoyed being together. I had been telling Ryan that we were going to meet up with his pals on Wednesday and he told me it should be Friday (the last time we met up with them, it was Friday), so he was pretty pleased that he didn't have to wait another two days!


I only got in one photo of myself! Rachel spent most of the evening asleep with Richard in the carrier, so you can just see a tiny bit of her tutu skirt peeking out from the carrier.


Happy Birthday Shann!


Alicia made a lovely birthday card to go along with the birthday gift. Here she is with her lovely family.


Happiest of all were the kids, of course, but it was a good outing for the adults too. Wonderful night, great way to lift the mid-week blues!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Just for Fun

There are a few exciting things happening this week in our little household, including a casting for Ryan. I'll update soon and, in the meantime, here's one of my "Just for Fun" posts. This time I'm sharing some Youtube videos which I found interesting.

First up, these two sisters, Lennon and Maisy. An old video but a good one. They have inspired many people to attempt to replicate their moves but I think theirs is still the best. They have also released some other covers but mostly with guitar accompaniment. This video is about 2 minutes long.




Another oldie but goodie. A 4-year old from China dancing hip-hop. This little boy (his name is Wang Yiming) later made an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show where he danced to a Michael Jackson song. This video is a little over a minute long.




A friend sent this next video to me. "This is the way to launch a car", he said. This is about 6 minutes long.




Have you tried this method for separating egg yolks from egg whites? My cousin showed me the original video. This one is a video response to the original one. This video is a little over a minute long.




Obama singing "Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer. Lots more videos of Obama singing, but I think this is the best one. This video is about a minute long, if you ignore the advertisements at the end.




For car-lovers only. Recently, we've noticed an orange McLaren MP4-12C zipping around our neighbourhood. Just for kicks, here's a video showing these beauties going head to head: Bugatti Veyron vs Lamborghini Aventador vs Lexus LFA vs McLaren MP4-12C. I still drool everytime I watch this. This is a little over 7 minutes long.



Ok, funtime is over! Back to work!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What Ryan Wore


Shirt is from Poney
Jeans are from DKNY Kids
Lace-up sneakers are from Keds

I think this outfit has a cool retro vibe. Obviously Ryan felt the vibe too - here he is showing off some disco moves!




Monday, November 26, 2012

Weekend update

Ryan started his weekend with violin class. We were happy to hear from his teacher that he is doing really well. Half of his class are not able to catch on (or is it more than half? I'm not sure how many students are in his class) and one student has even dropped out. Either they are not ready or violin is not their thing. Ryan's teacher has identified three students whom he says can make it and Ryan is one of them. The next six weeks will be crucial though, as they will be moving on to tougher stuff.

Ryan finally got the chance to try out this painting thing. He has been asking for a go every time we pass the booth but we never had the time. We didn't really have the time again this time, but I decided, what the heck, so we made a stop and he was so excited and grinned non-stop. We were late for our next appointment but it was totally worth it. 


On Saturday, Richard and I attended our 20th year junior college reunion. Everyone was recognisable.

Ryan tried out his new swimming suit on Sunday! I asked him to pose and this is what I got.


Shopping at Ngee Ann City to pass the time before Shichida class. Ryan spent a good few minutes lovingly caressing these letters outside the Candylicious shop.


After Shichida, we drove over to Changi Airport T3 for a satisfying meal at Gurney Drive. Ryan has been asking to go to the playground at Singkids so that's where we headed after that. These photos were taken en route at the Angry Birds set up. We stuck around for the show but I would advise you not to bother if you are there. No Angry Birds showed up, just a lot of dry ice and an astronaut on a pole.


Hope you had a good weekend!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Liebster award



I received a Liebster award! The beautiful Janice over at BikBik & RoRo sent the award over to me more than two months ago. I was delighted! From what I understand, "liebster" is a German word meaning sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Apparently the Liebster Award is granted to up and coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers who deserve some recognition and support to keep on blogging.

I hadn't posted about it till now because there's quite a lot of stuff involved and I needed to give it a bit (a lot?) of thought. It involves sharing 11 things about myself and then answering 11 questions posed by the person who gave me the award, and then passing the award on to 11 other bloggers. I know it sounds like a huge chain-letter. I normally don't participate in chain-letters, but this one seems like a really nice way to spread the bloggy love around.

I decided to do things a little differently. As I'm not the star of this show and this blog is mainly a diary for our family, I don't want to hog the limelight. So here are 11 things about... Richard and me!

1. I happen to be fairly knowledgeable about football. However, Richard refuses to discuss football with me. Richard is a Liverpool FC supporter, if you're curious.

2. I love cars and am also fairly knowledgeable about them. Richard isn't too fussed about cars.

3. Richard never throws things away. Example: The dog recently chewed up Richard's wallet. Unperturbed, Richard went to his bedside table where there was a paper bag with a box inside (yes, this is the original shopping bag and the original box that the wallet was purchased in). He took out the box out of the bag and, from the box, took out his previous wallet to use (yes, he kept his old wallet in there). Then he put the chewed up wallet back in the box, put the box back inside the bag and PUT THE BAG BACK ON HIS BEDSIDE TABLE.

4. Richard and I used to go to the gym together. Yes, unbelievable but true.

5. Richard and I have been a couple for 20 years and married for 11. This year, we forgot our wedding anniversary until two days after.

6. Richard can identify ANY 80s pop song (song title and artist) from the first one or two notes of the song. He is hopeless at songs from the 70s whereas I know quite a number of 70s songs.

7. Back when we were courting, we sang and recorded a song - "Wonderful Tonight". It was in a small sound booth set up in Takashimaya. The name of our "duo" was "Lovebirds", which we chose and had printed on the cassette tape plastic cover. We chose "Wonderful Tonight" because it was the first song we slow-danced to.

8. Richard and I used to write love letters to each other whenever we were apart. We started in our first days of courtship (in school) and continued through to our university days and then kept writing during our postgraduate days (when Richard was doing postgraduate studies in Sydney and I was doing mine in Singapore) and yes, we continued to write when we started working, especially when Richard was working in Malaysia for some time. Richard has compiled some of our loveletters and bound them into a hardcover book.

9. We have more than 10 cameras (I've lost count).

10. We used to have a vinyl record player (we gave it away about two years ago). Richard insisted that only music that was no newer than 70s music would be played on it. He bought a "Boney M" record for me as our first vinyl.

11.  By some fluke, I was one of Singapore's top 16 women pool players many years ago. Richard introduced me to the sport (he captained the men's snooker and billiards team when we were in university). We played lots of pool and snooker after work and on weekends (I was hopeless at billiards, though).

Phew! That was a lot, huh? Ok, now comes the part where I answer 11 questions posed by Janice. I've answered them from Ryan's perspective!

1. What do you spend the most money on?
All of Ryan's money is stashed away by us, his parents. We're hoping that women will love him for his body and not his money. Heh heh.

2. What is your least favourite food?
Ryan doesn't like food in general. He does love french fries, noodles and rice with soup.

3. Where would you like to live?
Ryan is pretty adaptable and is happy anywhere as long as we are with him.

4. The last time you said "I love you" was ... ?
Last night, before he fell asleep. Ryan said, "I love you, mama".

5. Do you believe in reincarnation and, if so, what do you think you'd come back as?
I don't think Ryan knows what reincarnation is.

6. The last thing you do at night is ... ?
Chat with mama and listen to lullabies while nursing.

7. What is one of your greatest achievements?
Learning to walk.

8. Who was your first celebrity crush?
Elmo.

9. What are you reading now, and is it any good?
One Potato: A Counting book of Potato Prints by Diana Polmeroy. Ryan enjoys it and likes to read it super super fast.

10. You think insects are ... ?
Ryan probably thinks that insects are musically inspiring because they each have a theme song. Spiders have "Incy Wincy Spider". Ladybugs have "Ladybugs' picnic". Butterflies have "Fly Fly Butterfly".

11. What's your idea of the perfect breakfast?
Ryan doesn't take breakfast on most days - he normally nurses with me in bed before waking up.

We're almost done... please bear with me. Now, I'm going to pass on the bloggy love. I don't have a list of 11 blogs so I decided to present the award to just one. Without further ado, may I present the Liebster award to ...


My 11 questions for Shann are:

1. What was your first thought when you delivered your children and saw them for the first time?
2. What is your favourite movie?
3. What do you think of when you see a rainbow?
4. "Friendship is ..."
5. What do you think is the most significant difference between males and females?
6. Who inspires you, and how/why?
7. What is your favourite ice-cream flavour?
8. Which 5 words would you choose to describe yourself?
9. Has motherhood turned out to be what you expected it to be?
10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years' time?
11. What do you consider to be your greatest strength?

So, Shann, the rules are as follows: you have to link back to my blog (to thank me, har har), you are to answer the 11 questions posed by me, choose 11 people to whom you will pass on this honour, and then make up 11 more questions which the new recipients must answer. I know it sounds like a lot of work, so please ignore if you don't have the time/inclination - this is just to let you know that you have a cool blog and you should keep on blogging!

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A reunion in KL


We went back to KL on Thursday night and stayed till Sunday. One of my cousins was getting married on Saturday so the family gathered together for the occasion.

Tea ceremony

In addition to us coming in from Singapore, there were relatives who came in from Ipoh, England and Australia. My cousin put some of them up in serviced apartments in Shah Alam and we spent most of Friday hanging out there with them. Ryan was in good spirits and very chatty. His mood improved even more when we popped by Richard's sister's house after dinner and he could play with his cousins.

Ryan collecting his red packet

Rachel collecting her red packet
The wedding was on Saturday and it was a fun and rowdy occasion because there are a lot of gregarious relatives on our side. My grandmother has nine children (see this photo below of the nine of them plus my grandma) and from her nine children, she has twenty grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Which means that I have 17 cousins on this side. Ryan and Rachel have 7 cousins on this side (ie. not counting their cousins on Richard's side) and this number is going to increase. I am very close to some of my uncles and aunts, as they looked after me in my teenage years, and I adore all of them.


The tea ceremony was in the morning and, after lunch, we were left to our own devices. Richard and I left Ryan and Rachel with Richard's sister, Margaret, for about two hours while we went shopping at 1 Utama - we bought some clothes (for me and for the children), accessories, magazines, etc. 

For the wedding dinner, the bride's older sister made cake pops (200 of them!) as wedding favours, in addition to the wedding favours provided by the restaurant. I helped to tie some of the labels on!


Rachel was passed around from arm to arm - like a ladies' handbag, hahaha! I'm joking, she was completely adored and everyone was so enamoured by her. She stayed awake the whole time and didn't fuss at all. Everyone kept commenting how smile-y she was! Someone told me that I must have been very happy during my pregnancy because Rachel was such a happy and smile-y baby. Come to think of it, I was indeed very happy when I was carrying her.

Rachel with Uncle Jim and Aunty Ping Kee
Rachel with her grandma
Here's Ryan and me, with his great-grandma!


 
Photos of me with my cousins! Not all the cousins are in the photos unfortunately ...



The next day, my relatives went up to Genting Highlands. We didn't join them though. We met up with Richard's side for lunch at Tropicana City Mall and squeezed in a little more shopping - some books, some clothes for the children, a jigsaw puzzle for Ryan, some videos, etc.

After that, we left the two littles with Richard's sister and paid a visit to Terri's family who recently suffered a bereavement. Picked up my mum and brother for dinner and drove back to Margaret's place to pick up the littles - they were attending a big party at a neighbour's house! The road outside the house was crammed with cars, there were something like ten dining tables on the house lawn and there was even a satay-man grilling satay for the guests! Went inside to hunt for our children and found Ryan happily eating at the table with the rest of the family. We picked up Rachel, went for dinner and came back for Ryan. Left KL at about 10.30 pm and arrived in Singapore at about 1.30 am.

Some more photos to share.

Ryan in the bathtub. Rub-a-dub-dub! He's playing with his new boat. It has a few different magnetic parts which you can stick on the deck to form different types of boats.

Ryan checking out my cousin's sugar glider.

Ryan with his cousins, Malcolm and Justin.

Rachel and her grandma (Richard's mum).

As always, it was a good trip. Wonderful to see everyone and the two littles got to spend some quality time with their grandparents and their cousins.

Monday, November 19, 2012

What Rachel Wore


We are back from KL after three days of catching up with relatives and friends. The main purpose of the trip was to attend my cousin's wedding on Saturday and we were happy to be reunited with relatives from England and Australia whom we had not seen for years.

This was what Rachel wore to the wedding dinner. The dress is from Chateau de Sable's current winter collection. It's quite lovely - puff sleeves with a tulle peter pan collar and a diamante pearl trim around the chest. The shoes are from Monnalisa.


Rachel turned 5 months old on Sunday and in honour of the occasion, her hair was standing up tall and proud. :)

I will share photos from the trip once I have downloaded and edited them. Hope you had a great weekend.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Kid Pants and easing off on screentime ban


As promised, here is the pair of pants I sewed up for Ryan a couple of days ago. I like them a lot - the seersucker fabric drapes well, the colour is cheerful and the fit is perfect. I made them using the popular Kid Pants pattern from dana-MADE-it.com.


They look like pajama bottoms here and they are actually comfortable enough to be pajama bottoms. Nevertheless, I intend to style them for wearing out. I'm thinking a white T-shirt and sneakers? Very casual, very cool, very hip.


And yes, that's an iPhone you see in Ryan's hands. We have eased off on the zero-tolerance ban on screens so he gets the iPhone off and on plus a video here and there. Mostly when he is with Richard, hahaha! I guess men and boys think the same way, right? Richard mainly lets Ryan use the phone when they are in Richard's car, to distract Ryan from playing with the controls on the dashboard and other stuff (Ryan sits in front when in Richard's car). Ryan also gets some iPhone love in the mornings if he is awake before Richard - Richard shoves him the phone and they cuddle up together while Richard snatches a few more precious minutes of sleep.



Apart from that, the ban is still in effect and it has shown great results. The other night, Ryan was playing with his friends when one of them picked up a parent's phone. Ryan shook his head and told his friend, "No playing." That was great to witness - that he is not a slave to the iPhone. I guess that's why we've relaxed and eased off a little.



In other news, we are travelling back to Malaysia for a relative's wedding so I won't be posting until next week. Our relatives are all looking forward to seeing Ryan and Rachel. Ryan's Nestle commercial is now screening in Malaysia, so who knows, he may dish out some autographs eh? Hahaha!


Here's the back of the pants.  I was particularly relieved that I managed to align the stripes on the fabric properly. 


Have a good Friday and a great weekend, everyone!






Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fine motor skills

Dug up some old photos to share of Ryan doing some transferring exercises using a pair of tongs.

This includes practising carrying a tray.



He has no preference for either hand so he usually does the exercise with alternate hands.



These are pom-pom balls. A little trickier than the plastic crystals in the photos above, because the pom-pom tend to stick together.



Ryan got a little OCD here and decided that the pom-pom balls should go into the tails of the fish.


We also do pouring. This requires a lot more concentration. Ryan loves this a lot - I think he just loves anything to do with water!


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