Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Funny faces, bento boxes and accessories from Tokyo

Bento No. 315

I was trying out the seaweed puncher Papa bought from Tokyo during his one week business trip last week, on my boy's oatmeal porridge with an egg and honey. He did not like oatmeal and I was surprised he actually asked for it. Besides oatmeal porridge, I also made sure he has his vegetables; broccoli, carrots, corns and fruits; grapes and blueberries.

Some of the loot Papa brought back -  2 bento boxes, 2 sets seaweed punches, 3 belt, stainless steel fork and spoon and chop sticks in nice cases which cost around SGD115.  And they are all made in Japan not China.  I love all of them and used the bear bento box for my son's oatmeal porridge today. 

Bento boxes and accessories from Tokyo

This year's Heritage Festival held in various shopping centres, community and cultural spaces in Singapore from 19th to 28th July 2013.  One of which was at Changi Airport with a theme 'Taking Flight' exhibiting the history of construction and completion of Changi Airport.  It was pure coincidental that I came to know of this festival. I was there for lunch on a week day alone (with a purpose to exchange the faulty sunglass I bought from Sunglass Hut at JEM) and saw the display.  There were also a few personnel playing plane chess then.  Therefore, I brought my son there to check out the exhibition and activities they had on last Saturday after his weekly soccer class.  We watched the live musical performance by the Diversity Trio at the exhibit.  Afterwhich, my son went for two rounds of slide before heading back for the plane chess game.  It was not engaging and interactive for the little ones.  Adults might be able to appreciate it.  That's how we spent our Saturday afternoon without Papa around. 
Heritage Festival 2013 - Taking Flight
Plane Chess

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Panda pancake, Dragon playground

I chanced upon a receipe using butter instead of oil to make pancake and the author claimed it was the most yummy pancake they ever tasted.  Hence, I decided to give it a try.  I made some panda shape pancake for fun :)  Indeed, it was really tasty eating plain alone and my son loves it. 

Last Thursday, we went to Singapore iconic dragon playground at Toa Payoh after school. Cloudy and with a breeze, it was a perfect day at this nostalgic playground in the late afternoon.  I have long wanted to bring my boy to see this old mosaic playground which was popular in the 80s and 90s.    Moreover, he had been asking me to bring him to a sandy playground at Sun Plaza Park, Tampines for the past few days.  And I thought why not we venture out of our neighbourhood for a change.  Another compelling reason to bring him there was because he had visited the National Museum of Singapore on 7 July 2013 which the Island Adventure for kids this year featured this particular playground.  It would be nice to see the real one instead.  The playground was pretty run down and located next to a deserted apartment, Block 28 (which I understand will be demolished at the end of this year).  Nevertheless,, it still has the majestic look of a dragon and my boy thought he found dragon fossil! ;) There were only one little girl playing there when we reached the place. Subsequently, another 2 more families joined in.  They were all accompanied by one parent i.e. the daddies!  I was the odd one out..haha. Whilst the boy was having fun playing and mingling with his new found friends, I observed that there were plenty of litters, cigarettes butts and even some broken glass on grass patch.  Quite an ugly sight to see around children's playground.  My boy has blast there and requested to come back again.  Hopefully, the playground would not be demolished together with the apartments! 

Singapore iconic dragon playground


Blk 28 Toa Payoh Lorong 6 S 310028

The only swing left
National Museum of Singapore -
Children's Season 2013 Island Adventures

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Beetroot chicken wrap

Sorry, this is not exactly a bento by itself.  My boy had his lunch at home most of the time before he goes to school.  Furthermore, he's not interested in charaben anymore.  And I have not thought of how to organise it :P 

I prepared chicken wrap (thinly spread with ketchup first) with pan-fried chicken thigh, green pepper, tomato, Japanese cucumber and roasted beetroot.  Generously topped with mozzarella cheese and drizzled honey mustard sauce before wrapping.  Then toast it in the oven for 5 minutes.  Plus a bowl of beetroot soup which I followed the receipe from here.  Yeah, it's all about beetroot!!  For the leftover beetroot, I made some beetroot pickles (boiled with vinegar and sugar).  I first tasted beetroot pickles during our trip to Darwin Australia. We bought ham and cheese sandwiches with beetroot pickles at Coles supermarket.   I love the bright ruby red hue and the sweetness with a little earthy taste!  Needless to say, I am going to make some ham and beetroot sandwiches next week. :))  As for the soup, it may look scary due to the bloody red colour.  My boy's reaction was - "It's yucky, Mummy!".  With some coaxing, he drank and finished the bowl of soup.  Not too bad after all.

Afterwhich, he cleared the utensils on the table and wiped it clean.  I began to train him to clean up his mess after a meal.  He did a good job! 

I'm a good boy, Mama!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sumo, baked wanton skin basket, school project

Bento No. 314

In this box, my boy has boiled wanton, fried egg with chopped tomatoes in baked wanton skin basket, Japanese cucumber, slice of orange, green kiwi and a sumo pumpkin mantou. The latter's details were made of nori.  I normally used silicon or paper cups to organise food and keep flavours separate inside the box for instance the green kiwi above. For a change, I made an edible cups instead; baked wanton skin basket!  My little man was real fussy that day.  Rejecting all kinds of food I suggested to prepare for him.  I was desperate and cracking my head how to entice him to have his lunch before school and the idea hit me since I had a packet of wanton skin in the refrigerator! :))  The wanton skin was nicely browned only on my second batch.  My boy ate four wanton skin basket filled with fried egg and tomato and finished all the food :)) Yay!! He had his lunch at home and hence, the basket was still crispy.

Baked wonton skin basket
A close up look of the wanton skin basket above.  Below is how I baked these basket.
  1. Brush muffin tray with oil (I used olive oil)
  2. Press the wanton skin inside the muffin cup
  3. Brush on each wanton skin with some oil again. 
  4. Baked at 180 degree Celsius for 5 minutes till lightly golden brown

Every school holiday, my boy's kindergarten will be given a mini home project to do at home. The theme for his June holiday project was 'Uniquely Singapore'.  Kids were to create a scrapbook/poster/story book about the new knowledge they gained through their visit to and/or discovery on Little India, Chinatown, Geylang Serai, Museums, ethnic food, Singapore river and cultures of different races. I decided not to follow the school's suggested areas/places.  Neither did I complete the home project during the June holidays.  Instead, we chose 'Changi Airport' and we did it only when school re-opened. :P 

Materials required :

  • An old book cover or any case (I used CD case)
  • Colour papers (to make the control tower, background green, sky blue and messages in different shapes)
  • Marker, crayons (to draw, write and colour)
  • Colourful pom poms (need a little imagination; green and red to represent Singapore is a garden city) 
  • Blue Pipe cleaner (for the control tower) 
  • Tissue paper crushed (for the clouds)


CD book case

After (the finished product)


Friday, July 19, 2013

Portobello Mushroom Flower, Racial Harmony Day

Bento No.313
Portobello is the only kind of mushroom my boy eats.  I would not have buy it unless it was on sale because Portobello is quite pricey here in Singapore.   Today, I baked it with mozzarella cheese, honey baked ham, chopped garlic and seasoned it with black pepper.  I decorated the shroom flower with green kiwi (for the leaves and stem) and elbow shape pasta. It has the size of my palm and yet, my little man could almost finish it leaving only a quarter, on top of his pasta and one whole green kiwi.  Not his usual kind of lunch but I'm glad he likes it. 
On 17th July 2013, Wednesday, my boy's kindergarten commemorated his first Racial Harmony Day (RHD).  Children were encouraged to wear their ethnic clothes to school.  My son wore a shirt with Chinese character 福 printed on it (gifted by Evelyn and Christine jie jie (s) and a white pants. He didn't plan to wear it in the first place. It all started with a white lie fabricated by my tricky boy.  He told us that it was alright to wear the red T-shirt (which I bought it last year for National Day) and white shorts.  He insisted he got the permission from his teachers.  So, we did not bother to shop for any Chinese costume.  One day before the RHD, he came back from school and requested to wear Chinese costume instead.  I was dumbfounded and questioned him why he said it was alright to put on T-shirt and pants previously.  He confessed that was a lie :(   Probably, the teachers reminded the children to wear ethnic clothes and he felt uneasy about not telling me the truth.   I was angry and literally scolded him till he tears.  Yeah, another white lie....again.   It was not easy to remain calm under such circumstances.  My first reaction was "Why did you lie to me?".  The next day, I regretted the way I reacted.   Telling the truth = scolding from Mommy - that was the last thing I ever wanted to pass such message to my child. 

He enjoyed celebrating RHD with his teachers and children.  It was a pity that parents were not invited for the event as my boy told me that there was a performance by K2 children.  Children also had the opportunity to taste different ethnic groups of food such as Steamed Rice Cake (Chinese), Roti Jala - Net Crepes (Malay) and Muruku snack (Indian).  He also learned that there are four major races in Singapore; Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian.  I was happy that he could also translate these words into Mandarin i.e. 华人, 马来人, 印度人, 欧亚族! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Bento No. 312
The was my second attempt creating Elmo bento for his lunch.  The first time, I remembered, was a couple of years ago when my son was still crazy over the Sesame Street.   I did it using cherry tomatoes.  However, his taste changed later and rejected cherry tomatoes entirely till now.  Hence, I stopped too, making more animals theme bentos instead.  Inspired by bento bloggers, I made Elmo again using hotdogs rolled with omelette, rice and pork floss. :))  Facial details were cheese, carrots and seaweed.  On the sides, my son has blanched broccoli/carrot and green kiwi.  I only told my boy about the ingredients and kept him in the dark that it was Elmo theme charaben.  He is not into cute cute stuff anymore.  What he likes now is the food not charaben.  Very honest of him to tell me so but I felt a little disappointed.  Well, I may have more 'No frill Bento' style to share in my blog space next time.

White lie - my boy has been telling me lies not once but on a few occasion just to get what he want and avoid scolding from Mommy.  Even after explaining to him several times to be honest with Mommy, he did it over and over again.  Looking blank with his big big eyes innocently each time I questioned him.  And, when I took away his 'privileges' like not going to playground, he would tear and hug me apologising that he will not do it again.  The truth is more than I could handle. Most of the times, I over-reacted, lectured and reprimanded him.  I even made him write 5 times of "I will not lie again" in his notebook.  He giggled, smiled and happily practised his writing skill.  It was a challenge to handle a lying child and especially knowing it was harmless now for a 5 years old boy. Consequence reasoning and positive reinforcement may be a solution to it.  I shall try........

Friday, July 12, 2013

Camping in Australia - Darwin, Northern Territory {Part 2}

This is a continuation of camping trip at Darwin, Northern Territory. Previously, we drove from Darwin city to Kakadu National Park.  Spent 2 nights at Cooinda Lodge exploring the wildlife at Yellow River billabong.  Afterwhich, we dropped by Jairu town.  And here, we camped at Mary River Caravan Park before heading back to Darwin city.

Day 5 : 6 June 2013, Jumping Crocodile Cruise/Fogg Dam Conversation Park/Windows of Wetlands
It was a beautiful morning.  My son was elated to spot a few wallabies hopping around the camp toilet and started to follow them.  But they were very sensitive to humans and yet seemingly not aggressive.  As soon as we got too near to them, they sped off.

Our next adventure was to experience the jumping crocodile cruise ran by Adelaide River Queen Cruise.   These dangerous reptiles were enormous!   The cruise member dangled chunky 'pork chop' from the open air canopied upper deck, above the murky water enticing the crocodiles to jump for their meal. This provided those seated at the enclosed air-conditioned lower deck a real close up view at these ferocious crocodiles. At the upper deck was equally exhilarating, we could see these crocodiles jumping in action and also, hand feeding of whistling kites.  The birds of prey grabbed the feed as the cruise member threw chunks of meat in the air. It was awesome!

After a light lunch with sandwiches and toasties at the cafe, we drove to Fogg Dam Conservation Park - a place to experience birdlife.  A visit to Windows of Wetlands visitor centre also enlightened us and identified the species of birds we saw.

Fogg Dam Conservation

Dinner was fried chicken and a bowl of salad we bought from Corroboree Park Tavern.  Papa placed it on the table at the camp kitchen.  Bad idea!  When we returned after a dip in the swimming pool, we discovered lots of tiny black ants feasting on the chicken.  Well, we cleaned the pieces of chicken and eventually ate it :P

Another warm, windless and humid night. 

Day 6 : 7 June 2013, Wetland Cruise at Corroborree/Aquascence fish feeding, Darwin
Last day at Mary River, we were hesitated to take another wetland cruise at Corroboree billabong since we had done it at Yellow Water in Kakadu National Park.  In fact, we were supposed to book the tickets in advance but we did not.  When we reached the boat ramp, the boat has already left five minutes ago.  So we called the ticketing phone line and was not hopeful at all.  To our surprise and unexpectedly, the operator actually arranged for the boat to turn back and pick us up.   Thumps up for the excellent customer service (which we should learn).  And we were glad that we did it.  Saltwater crocodiles were just less than three feet away from our boat.  These reptiles were not as aggressive as those at the Jumping Crocodile Cruise.  They were motionless and sedate.  And at last, we saw the Black Neck Stork (or Jabiru) which we made the paper plate craft prior to this trip.   Magpie geese, Herons and other similar birds (which we had seen at the Yellow Water Cruise) were spotted.  The guide even plucked a piece of lily leave, filled it with water and told us that the aboriginals used it to shelter from rain and serve as a cup for drinking. It was both informative and educational cruise.

Saltwater crocodile less than 3 feet away

Black necked stork

It was lunchtime when we finished the cruise.  Papa suggested we went to Humpty Doo Hotel for its triple burger which consisted of buffalo, crocodile and barramundi - exotic meat! As a matter of fact, the place was recommended by the guide at Jumping Crocodile Cruise.  It was a long journey and we snacked on Uncle's Tobys chocolate chewy bar on the way.   We did not know it was a pub and could get a little rowdy among the drinkers.  We were there for the food and hence, it did not bother us very much.  Just keep a distance.  Burgers were really good! I preferred crocodile and barramundi  over buffalo as the latter was quite tough.  With a happy belly, we headed back to the capital city, Darwin. 

Next on our itinerary was Aquascene fish feeding at Doctor Gully Road.   A must do activity in Darwin.  Fishes would swim to shallow shoreline at high tide for hand feeding.  Each person was to take only two pieces of bread at one time. Children and adults alike absolutely loved it! My boy went for many rounds of feeding and even touched the fishes. There were mostly milk fish and diamond fish.    We even got a glimpse of an gigantic rock cod in the deep water area.

Fish feeding at Aquascene

We were back at Lee Point Caravan Park in the evening.  No more cooking at the camp kitchen.  We treated ourselves to a Japanese restaurant at Casuarina Shopping center.  It was a Saturday night and the place was buzzling with shoppers.

Day 7 : 8 June 2013, Indo Pacific Marine,Wharf Precint/Cullen Bay, Darwin
Indo Pacific Marine - As the name suggested exhibits the natural eco-system of the coral reefs of the Darwin Harbour.  We watched a rather long film about marine life and coral reef in Cairns, Australia.  Then, we were ushered to a large reef tank that was totally self-supporting - no feeding, filtration or water changing. The guide shared his knowledge generously.  My son was intrigued by the boxing shrimp clicking sound and some fishes in the tank.  And the barramundi pool where he hand fed it.  It was educational and informative but can be really bored for young active children.  We had fish and chips, mix of seafood at Darwin Fishman's Wharf Eatery for lunch later.  Yeah, the aussie's style! 

In the afternoon, we explored Darwin wharf/waterfront precinct.  Plenty of fine dining options.   People cooled off the heat in the wavepool and recreational lagoon.  We promised my son we would come back tomorrow morning for the wavepool since we were not prepared.  He was reluctant to go without coaxing.  Boy, he loves waterplay!!

Next, we visited Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.  Excellent exhibits of Aboriginal arts, Cyclone Tracy, the saltwater crocodile known as the 'Sweetheart' and Aussie wildlifes. My son has a great time at the museum and drew kangaroos back home mimicking aboriginal arts.  What do you think?

Kangaroos and Rainbow Serpent by my little man

Lastly, we decided to have dinner at Cullen Bay.  A place for waterside lifestyle living and a host for many fine and casual restaurants. We settled for Seafood on Cullen overlooking the lawn where people brought their picnic mats and chairs to view the beautiful sunset. The restaurant offers a good variety of seafood and Asian dishes in buffet style. The hottest dish was mud crabs cooked with chilli sauce which was quickly snapped up as soon the staff replenished it.  We went to the buffet spread a few rounds and it was still empty. Nonetheless, we did taste crab in the end.   Sunset was magnificient! 

Sunset at Cullen Bay

Day 8, 9 June 2013, Wavepool Darwin/Home sweet home Singapore
As promised, we went back to the wavepool in the morning and we had a blast there. My boy has so much fun riding the wave on a float.   At one point, hubby let go his grip of the float for some thrill and the huge wave literally threw my boy off the balance. (My boy does not know how to swim yet.) He was lucky that a lady/lifeguard grabbed him and passed to me. He struggled a little in the water but did not scarce him to go for it again.  He was calm and did not cry. My heart almost stopped pumping to witness such as frightening scene. 

We ended our trip at the wavepool and took an afternoon flight back to our home in Singapore. 

Despite the misadventure, my boy still loves his first camping trip in the Northern Territory and even wanted more.  It was our second visit, however.  We had visited Darwin when we were in our 20s, a stopover for a few days before heading to Cairns.  The wavepool was not even there yet.  Darwin has developed so much and its façade has changed giving way to several high rise apartments.  A norm as most city grows.  

Crab and Egg Temaki

Bento No. 311
This is my first attempt to make temaki (handroll) for my boy's lunch.  We had it at home.  But later, I realised I did it the wrong way :P  My boy loves egg temaki and he would definitely order one every time we dine in a Japanese restaurant.  Some edamame and leftover tamagoyaki on the side.

Lately, my boy is not keen on those cute bento I have prepared for him previously.  I am not sure if this is a boy thing.  Good thing he is eating well despite having a congested nose.  Now, he snored heavily and has difficult in breathing.  Talks like Donald Duck :(  I have tried giving him some vitamins and honey lemon drink. I see little or no effect on him at the moment.   On top of it, I also rubbed Vicks over his chest, shoulder and feet at night.  And even inhale hot steam in the hope to relieve his nasal congestion.  Just wish he could get well soon..

Friday, July 5, 2013

Minions (Despicable Me)

Bento No. 310

Minions from Despicable Me 2!  Have you watched the movie yet? It appeared on the TV several times that I could hear my son humming the tune all the time.  The Minions are made of tamagoyaki (using one egg and almost burnt ;), seaweed and cheese for the details.  In the box, my boy has teriyaki chicken sushi, edamame, Japanese cucumber and papaya.

It has been a week since the school reopened.  And I begin to follow the news of Primary school registration for 2014.  Because, next year it's our turn to register our son for 2105.  On the other hand, I also start to worry about his Mandarin.  Although he remembers and recognises the Chinese characters, he is still weak in the spoken language.   And often or not, he will pause and tell me that he does not know how to say in Mandarin.  I have designated Thursday and Friday, Mandarin speaking days.  I know the progress has been slow and still not good enough.  And I have an urge to send him for Chinese enrichment class.  It is amazing how much the kids could absorb under a rich Mandarin speaking environment and the ability to recite 三字经 (Three Character Classic or San Zi Jing).  (Kiasu symdrome kicks in....) But then, we do not wish to give him any pressure for fear it may kill his interest.  He learned better through play and of interest to him.  We have never sent him for any enrichment after class except school holidays program. I feel a little distracted and I need to stay focus on what we believe is the best for him. 

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Camping in Australia - Darwin, Northern Territory {Part 1}

Malaysia has been naturally a more economic choice of travel for our family of three.  And we had done it many times enroute back to my hubby's hometown, Kedah.  The last trip we travelled to Australia (Adelaide) was three years ago when my son was only two years old.  The June school holiday, we decided to do a camping trip to The Top End - Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Yes, we packed our own tent, camper's blankets, mattresses, pillows, utensils, pots and pans. I am not kidding! How weird some may ask?  We did it in our younger days where the luxury of staying in a hotel was not an option for us in Western countries due to financial constraint.  Insofar, we had done it Australia, New Zealand and Alaska.  I was apprehended at first because I was not comfortable in sharing toilet, bathroom and kitchen with strangers.   I somewhat grew accustomed to it after visited some of the caravan parks/camp sites which were clean and so well-maintained.  And there was even a chance to spot wild animals nearby.  People generally was more friendly.

Why Darwin?   My son has a soft spot for animals.   When Papa mentioned there would be bird watching and sighting of crocodile, he jumped on the idea obviously!!   Hubby did all the logistic and itinerary planning. A day before departure, I was checking for the list of items to be packed and we realised Papa had forgotten to apply for Visa.  Luckily, the online application saved our day.  Despite the slight hiccup, all went well (we thought so) and next moment, we were jetting off with Silkair.  During mealtime, Papa then mentioned he did not order kid's meal for our son thinking they would 'automatically' give kid's meal for children. :(  Again lucky lady indeed did look after us!  A kid had given up her meal and hence, my boy got his kid's meal .  The air stewardess was also kind enough to arrange the kid's meal for our return flight to Singapore. 

Day 1: 2 June 2013, Lee Point Village Caravan Park
On arrival at Darwin airpot at around 4pm++, we picked our car from Budget operator and drove to Lee Point Village caravan park where we spent a night in a cabin before heading to Kakadu National Park the next morning.  The cabin was simply furnished.  It was equipped with the essential utensils, microwave and kettle. Bathroom and camp kitchen were shared in the common area.  It was Sunday night, we were hungry and headed to the nearest Casuarina shopping center.  However, all the eateries were closed except for the supermarket (which we later bought some cereals and fresh milk for tomorrow's breakfast)   We ended up eating Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).  This would be his first time tasting KFC.

Lee Point Cabin


Day 2: 3 June 2013, Crocodylus Park/Kakadu National Park
We had a simple breakfast; coco pops cereal with fresh milk in the morning.  Stock up some groceries from Coles supermarket Then, we drove to Crocodylus Park at McMillans Road, Berrimah.  Besides crocodiles and hatchlings, Crocodylus Park housed a variety of wildlife such as tiger, primates, birds and reptiles.  It was like a mini zoo. The highlight of the visit was to be able to hold a baby saltwater crocodile! I was quite reluctant to touch this hatchlings.  But I did!  It was cold, soft and fragile.  We later had crocodile meat burger with mango chutney dressing for lunch in the café at the Park.  It was huge! The size was equivalent to two McDonald ham burger.  Honestly, not really tasty though.

Hatchlings at Crocodylus

Next, we hit the road for Kakadu National Park , the UNESCO World heritage site.  We stopped at the Bowali visitors center to buy a park pass before entering the park. By evening, we reached Gagudju Lodge Cooinda where we pitched our tent at the campsite.  For dinner, we decided to dine at the open-air Barra Bar & Bistro as it was late to cook.  We order a grilled barramundi and Hawaii pizza that night.  We had a early night because we need to wake up 5.00 am the next morning to catch sunrise Yellow Water cruise.

Day 3: 4 June 2013, Sunrise Yellow Water Cruise/Nourlangie
At dawn 5 am, as soon as we stepped out of our tent, we could feel the chilling air and were overwhelmed by so many mosquitos waiting for juicy bite at us.  We had been warned at Lee Point and prepared the mosquito spray (it helps but still got bitten somehow).  Quickly, we brushed our teeth, changed and made our way to the shuttle van departure point which fetched us to the boat ramp for the Yellow Water cruise.  Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu's most famous wetland, apparently is the best sighting places for birds species and crocodiles (which I think the Wetland Crusie at Mary River was much better.  Since it was all about wildlife, I guess it depends a lot of the timings and our luck).  Armed with binoculars, we spotted Whistling Ducks, Whistling Kite, Sea Eagle, Darter (Snake bird), Egret, Jacana and freshwater crocodiles.  Sunrise was not that spectacular to my dismay.  At the end of the cruise, we returned to Cooinda lodge for a buffet breakfast which we had paid in advance together with the cruise. 

After shower, we visited the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre.  It was eye opener for the little one to learn about aboriginal cultures.  Watched some short films.   Then we went back to Bowali visitors center again for more short films. 

It would not be complete without visiting the amazing Nourlangie Rock Art Site. It serves as shelter and canvas for thousand years.  Through the seasonal park ranger, we learnt about the complicated relationship of indigenous people, stories of the paintings like the lightning man and the six seasons in the park.  And he also shared the inspiring story about Jeffrey Lee, a hero, who protected his land from uranium mining.  However, my son was only interested in picking up stones and played with it.

To get a view of Nourlangie sunset, the park ranger recommended Nawurlandja lookout which is next to Norlangie Rock.  It was a steep climb and I was out of breath by the time I reached the top.  It was a cloudy day and photographers (including hubby) were quite disappointed not able to capture the natural sunbeam.

Nourlangie rock art site - storytelling by park ranger
Nawurlandja lookout

Back at the camp kitchen, we cooked spaghetti with bottled tomato sauce that we bought from the camp store.  Meatless for the night! :P

Day 4 : 5 June 2013, Jairu Town/Mary River
Time to hit the road again for our next destination, Mary River.  We had butter croissant spread with raspberry jam for our breakfast in the morning.  Before we packed up, we took a picture with our orange tent - our travelling companion for more than 10 years!!

The Orange Tent

We did an easy bushwalk around Bowaii visitor center (can't remember the name).  On the way, we also dropped by Jairu town where we had ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch besides a lake. I also had my first taste of pickle beetroot.  It was yummy! My son would attest to it.  I was curious about Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn and insisted to have a look.  I read that it was designed in the shape of a crocodile which can be clearly visible from the air.  However, we were not staying at the hotel.  Instead we were heading towards Mary River Wilderness Retreat & Caravan Park

We arrived early and swam in the pool.  This family owned resort has beautiful landscape and greenery.  There was a wallabies trail from a distance (that explained why we saw a lot of poo poo in the compound) and birds like ibis wondering around.  And green ants too!  A great discovery for the little man because the common ones we saw back in Singapore was black, brown or red ants.  We cooked spaghetti again for dinner!  With added hardboiled eggs, broccoli and corns.  Still meatless yeah!

It was pretty hot and humid at night especially inside the tent. Dear Papa was fanning my son till he fell asleep. ;)

It's not the end yet.  To be continue at Part 2....stay tune for more exciting adventures at Mary River.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sleepy bear

Bento No. 309
Back to school today and my boy was like the above sleepy bear this morning.  And he has also put on weight (commented by Papa)...haha.  In his lunchbox, my son has black sesame bread with tuna mayo spread, some Japanese cucumber, tomatoes, yellow kiwi and oranges. 

June holidays this year was quite eventful for our family.  First, Papa was away on the second week onwards due to his overseas working trip and family matters in his hometown in Malaysia.  Luckily, we did spent one good week holidaying in Darwin, Australia before hubby posted to Bangkok to work.  Although Daddy was out of town, Mommy managed to plan some outings over that period.

1. Art Garden : Children's Season at the Singapore Art Museum
We have been visiting the Art Garden every year with his old buddy, Xian Xian. It was still his favourite place despite that we did not have Xian Xian with us this time round.  Somewhat, we felt something was amiss without his old friend.

2.  Chinese Theatre holiday camp
It was a one week program organised by his kindergarten.  Our objective was to let him have fun in the Mandarin program and hopefully, improve his spoken Chinese.  And at the end of the program, parents were able to see the children perform on stage.  The theme was "塔巴士" (which translated as boarding bus).  My boy enjoyed the holiday program as much as the food provided during tea time.  But I felt that kids were given too much sugar drinks and sweets.

3.  Explorer kid indoor playground at Downtown East
Coincidentally, Papa was also away in Mexico for business trip when I first brought him to eXplorer kid indoor playground two years ago.  We came back again mainly because the haze condition in Singapore has reached hazardous level exceeding PSI 400 at one point in time.  We would have been suffocated by the acrid burnt smell had we stayed at home without air-conditioning (ours was faulty and due for change).  It was just too hot to stay at home!  Hence, I decided to head out with masks after my son finished his Chinese Drama class.

4.  Sleepover at Mum's place
As I mentioned earlier, weather was really hot and uncomfortable to stay at home without air-conditioning.  So I packed our bags, poo pan and the 'boys' (my son and doggie)  into our car and off we went for our first sleepover at my Mum's small apartment. Nitro, our pet dog, was very well behaved and did not make a mess of the house.  Good dog!

5.  Movie treat - Monster Inc University
Few days before the school opens, my boy began to feel bored, reckless at home and missed Papa. And I just wanted to be lazy for that day. :P  Therefore, we went to watch the movie - Monster Inc University since he had mentioned that he would like to go for a movie in the cinema. And yet my boy was complaining "It was so scary!"  throughout the show. For the records, this was his second movie watched in the cinema insofar.