Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Flowering

#352

We are experiencing extremely warm and hot weather in Singapore this year.  The occasional thundery showers, however, brought much relief to our pleasure and yet with humidity intensified, it is really unbearable. And I have seen some trees flowering in my neighbourhood such as the golden shower, pink/white bougavillea, the flame of the forest. But not as much as we had seen two years ago (2014) where there was sudden bloom when the rain came after a long dry spell.  Hence, this flower bento.  In the box, there were :-
  • Green grapes
  • Boiled cauliflower
  • Boiled flower carrot
  • Yellow/Red cherry tomato
  • Japanese cucumber
  • Five spice meat ball
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Primary two (P2) has been a breeze for my boy just like in his first year (P1).   April was also especially relax for the kids probably, because it was their birthday month. Since there was no streaming for P1 and P2, the school allocated student to their respective classes according to their birth month. And his class 2E has a mix of April and May babies. His form teacher was also busy giving out printed birthday cards and chocolate to the birthday kids. In addition, my boy came home with goodies bags every week and invitations to birthday parties too. 

In one of our everyday conversation during lunch time, he shared with me how he managed a naughty boy who has been (since P1) hitting kids at school.  (I had also enquired with his form teacher if there has been any bullying in class and the latter did not think so. Apparently, the naughty one went for counselling session and detention class but with little improvement.)  His eyes lightened up and was beaming with pride as he described the situation.  If the naughty one punched him, my boy responded with "Thank you for the massage!" instead of hitting back.  My son challenged this naughty one in arm wrestling and won.  Defeated and astounded, the naughty one exclaimed "You are like an incredible hulk!"  After that, this naughty one has been nice to my boy to the extent that my son said that "He has been kind to me."   But a leopard never changed its spot.  The kindness probably last for a week or so and the naughty one was back lashing out at the children again. 

My boy knew retaliating would not stop this naughty one from hitting him.  He knew his strength and capitalised on a game of arm wrestling that unexpectedly turned to his advantage.  Witty and unpretentious!  I was so proud of him.  Bearing in mind,  this is NOT a guidance of how to handle bully but just pure sharing of experiences. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

An 8-xciting birthday

A running/congestsed nose first for about two weeks and followed by a mild cough at night due to phlegm and irritated throat.  And it started right after the end of March that prolonged till close to his birthday.  No thanks, to cold drinks, ice cream and sweets that he had consumed during the one week March school break. 
 
I was pleasantly surprised that he had requested to invite his best friends from class 2E to celebrate his 8th birthday this year.  I obliged on the condition that his cough would not worsen.  Luckily, he was all well with occasional cough.  Hence, we carried on with our plan to have a mini celebration at home.  I did not prepare my much but he was delighted to have his friends over. A simple fair with a non-baked lemon cheesecake, some potato chips, pandan flavoured konnyaku with bites of canned peach, fresh strawberries and a tin of strawberry flavour wafer sticks contributed by Granny.  My lemon cheesecake tasted too creamy and not to their likings. I should have made an oreo cheesecake instead!   He did not want an elaborate cake this year.  Therefore, I made cake bunting topper with washi tape which I found an easy tutorial here. As for the goodie bag, I stuffed it with a few pencils, a coloured folder, oreo biscuits, M&M peanuts, sweets and a lollipop. My boy hand written each 'Thank you' card and pasted it on the brown paper bag which I transformed into a carrier.
 
The mini celebration went well.  The children were enjoying the ipad games as planned.  Then I noticed one boy, Emmanuel appeared grumpy and walked away from the group.  Being concerned, I asked him why he did not join them for the game.  And I was told that my son was not sharing the games with him and pushed him away when he asked for his turn to play.   That would be the last thing I wanted to hear from a child.  I assured him that I would reprimand my boy (which I did) and urged him to re-join the group.   Guilty as charged, my boy immediately shared his ipad.   Perhaps my selfish son had upset Emmanuel or may be, it was because Papa refused to login the wifi connection for Emmanuel to play online games, he casually mentioned it would be more fun if there were more children. I felt like a lousy host :(  Despite the short-lived unhappiness, the kids had fun together in the end.
 
   
Goodies bags

Cake bunting


 
 
 
This year was special.  It was his 8th birthday.  His birthday date was on the 8th day.  And he was born in the year of 2008!  I did not realise it until I was writing this post.   
 
Together with Papa, whose birthday was one day after my son, we went to Sentosa Adventure Cove over the weekend as their birthday treat. Our first visit to the waterpark.  Since my boy loves animals be it on land or in the sea, Papa booked the Dolphin Discovery programme at the Dolphin Island for an up close and personal interaction with a dolphin named Sheng Guo.  It was heart warming to learn that Sheng Guo is striving and have had many babies there.   The session was educational and interactive for the children and adults.  At the end of the session, I liked the fact that they conveyed a green message on how we could do our part in our daily lives to protect marine wildlife.  In particular, plastic waste, human produced, used and dumped into the sea, when reached the ocean marine animals would mistaken it as food which were harmful to them and/or entangled, possibly leading to death.  To reduce plastic waste pollution, we should bring our own bag and stop to use plastic bag when we shopped.  A valuable piece of advice and certainly, nothing beats a great outdoor lesson.
 
We spent our morning at Dolphin Island and lazy river where we went two rounds on the float because of the stingray viewing panel in the midst of it that my boy insisted to see again. 
 
A thunderstorm poured down suddenly around 1pm which the waterpark ceased all activities temporary.  Hence, we headed to the Bay restaurant for lunch and waited for the rain to stop.  And it did stop an hour later, we were relieved that we could continue to play.  We headed for Rainbow Reef where my boy's first snorkelling adventure was more of a tiring and irritating experience because water seeped into his mask and he was not able to keep his head below the water.  But the Riptide Rocket (a water roller coaster) compensated all.  Mummy chickened out and the two dare devils gave a thumbs up.  It was quite a small waterpark but the queue for the rides in the afternoon Saturday was 40 - 50 minutes. 
 
The two birthday boys had a whale of a time at Sentosa Adventure Cove! 
 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

2016 International bento contest - Sweet Tooth Bento

#351

I prepared this bento lunch for my boy with the intention to submit for the International bento contest organised by Bento & Co.  The theme for the year 2016 is 'Sweet Tooth Bento'.  And the criteria is a classic bento preparation with a main dish and a desert or any sweet dish in the bento box.  I have seen many gorgeous creation for the past years' contests but did not have the courage to submit mine.  What caught my eyes was to prepare a classic bento!  A traditional bento holds rice, meat, fish, pickled or cooked vegetables in a box shaped container per Wikipedia.  And I think I can pull it off.   I told my boy that it was a sweet tooth bento.  He commented "There's no sweets.  Just healthy sweets (treats)."  Guess he expected some real candies in the box ;))

My bento box consisted of white rice topped with seaweed furikake, boiled broccoli, teriyaki chicken breast, steamed kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) with mirin and soya sauce, a checker apple wedge, yellow/red cherry tomatoes and lastly, a California prune for the sweet tooth.  

Have you submitted yours? 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cycling and Swimming - a must learn skill

Over the years, my son has rode different size/type of bicycle.  First he had a four wheels bike that passed down from his cousin.  After the old wheels worn out, Papa bought a BMX bicycle (still with the four wheels) which he learned to ride on two wheels without much effort or help from us.  And I have blogged it here.  Last year, Daddy splurged on a 24 inch mountain bike (Trek superfly).  My boy was, of course, overjoyed to receive it and has since cycled to Pasir Ris park and Changi village with it with Papa.
 
I remembered we had a conversation with his Singapore 'pak pak' about what skills must we equip our boys during their childhood stage. Cycling came up top in the list as well as swimming.  And we did instil the interest easily on cycling so much that we would make it as a family outing to the park.  My son enjoys and loves it till today.
 


Year 2010 - He was 2 years++


Year 2011 : He was 3 years++


Year 2015 : He is 7 years++
  
Rode to Pasir Ris Park

Swimming, on the other hand, was not his favourite sport.  My boy started his swimming lessons with Total Swimming at United World College, the East campus, 5 years ago when he was 3 years old.  And he picked up free style, breast stroke, back stroke and butterfly progressively.  It was pretty fun in the beginning,  But this year,  he was less keen and has asked me many times to stop his swimming lesson.  I have persisted a few weeks with lots of encouragement and explanation on the benefits of swimming as well as sending cues to the lady incharge of Total Swimming that my boy have lost the interest.
 
Mommy is reluctant to give up swimming because of a bad experience we had at the wavepool in Darwin, Australia in 2013.  He was 5 years old then.  The wavepool was awesome.  All of us were thrilled and had so much fun riding on the surge of waves one after another on a float.  A terrible thing however happened! A huge wave swept my boy away from us.  Vividly, I remembered that my boy was floating above the water like a rubber toy.  He did not struggle or scream.  My heart was racing.  It was a hair raising moment encountered with near drowning.  I panicked because he seemed drifted much further and faster no matter how hard I swam.  We were thankful that the lifeguard there was alert and saved him.  Where was Daddy?  He was far far away from us.  Honestly, both my hubby and myself were not good at swimming.  Therefore, this incident was the compelling reason that my son must learn to swim well although he did not like it that much.  Hence, I decided to switch to another swimming coach and a change of environment might help to revive his enthusiasm. 
 
 
2011
 
2016

 
 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Crab missing a pair of legs

 
#350

School reopened on Monday.  The boy has difficulty getting out of the bed early in the morning even if the alarm rang incessantly at 6.10am.  He dragged his body to the bathroom after snuggling in the warm bed for another 10 minutes.  Honey oatmeal with poached egg for breakfast and a cup of warm milo to kick start his engine. I had the same minus the egg.  Papa had cereal with milk instead.  Oatmeal was not my boy's favourite food with the exception of cold overnight oats.  Daddy detested oatmeal in any form and literally telling his son "It's yucky" while my boy polished off the remaining oatmeal in his bowl in silence.  I would really appreciate and wish he could keep such comment for discussion at another time and place rather than first thing in the morning at the dining table.  

Lunch was :-
  • Organic brown rice
  • Teriyaki chicken
  • Boiled broccoli/carrots
  • Cherry tomatoes
And he decorated his own lunch with the ingredients. I  love his idea although the crab was missing a pair of legs. 

Weight has been an issue for this young man and his has been hovering at the 'acceptable' level. He would normally put on weight during festive seasons and school holidays because I did not restrict or take away his pleasure of enjoying his lolly pop, chocolates, cakes, soft drinks, fried chicken, burgers and fries...etc that I allowed only that period.  And he knew mummy controlled his diet daily that he would request 'this' and 'that' whenever he had an opportunity during these special days.  It was hard not to give.  And he was wary of being overweight as evidenced in his conversation with me before bedtime lately:-

Chinese New Year period
"If I gain 2kg during Chinese New Year, I will loose the extra kg when back to school."

Health Screening period
"I don't feel like eating during recess time."

Best to stay fit and healthy ^_^

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Battleship playground at Sembawang Park

We have reached the tail-end of school holidays and my boy began lamenting that it was too soon to be over.  We were so pre-occupied for the first time during the one week school break. 
  • Sunday - Stayover at Granny's house
  • Monday - Breakfast at Burger king and played at Battleship playground, Sembawang Park
  • Tuesday - Lunch at Ikea and marketing at Giant Supermarket
  • Wednesday - A visit from Granny and brought her to Guat Hoon Vegetarian Temple at Jalan Senang where we found Grandpa's (ancestral) tablet
  • Thursday - Papa and son had many games of Animal Kaizer (百獸大戰) - at Timezone, City Square shopping mall
  • Friday - A field trip to Bollywood Veggies farm organised by the Parent Support Group from his primary school
Actually, I also planned to bring my boy to meet his pen pal from Switzerland whom has just relocated to Singapore for couple of years.  Squeezing into the schedule would be a mad rush and too tiring for both of us. Therefore, I shelved it for the next school holiday. 
 
The battleship playground has been in our "to-play" list and I have postponed many times purely because I was too lazy to travel from the east where we stayed to the far north of the little red dot.  In order not to disappoint the big boy again, we started our March holidays in the northern part of Singapore.  A stayover at Grandma's house on Sunday night.  Then, a breakfast treat at Burger King together with an old friend/neighbour and her kid/nephew at Sembawang Shopping Center the next morning.  Followed by free play at Sembawang park where the boys had a blast at the battleship playground. The sun was not forgiving.  And they had to forgo the idea of sliding down the slides because it was too hot.  But that did not stop them from playing.  The playground was huge and great workout for these rascals. Plenty of space to run and climb.  Just to be mindful that children need to stay low on top of the battleship as his friend, Xian Xian, accidentally bumped his head against the structure.   And some parts proved to be a challenge for the boys.  The kids dug an unbelievable deep hole in the sandpit where they buried a plastic toy dolphin in the hope to retrieve it on the next visit.  I was amused and felt like a scene in the Chinese drama television show.  
 
It was a beautiful day and great outing.  However, the sight of oil rig nearby marred the sea view.  We left the place close to noon.  I love SG playgrounds.  How about you? 
 
   
 
 





 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wordless Wednesday



We went to Bedok public library last Saturday for the first time.  We were totally at awe with the spacious reading area and adored the picturesque backdrop at the children's section.  We love Sg public libraries!!