The little bubs is growing up

It seems like just yesterday when I was still expecting Ezra. And he just turned 18 months this month! Kids really do grow up so quickly, especially at this early stage of their life. It’s like they don’t stay the same way they are for long and are constantly growing and changing. One moment they can’t walk yet and a few weeks later you are chasing after them. So thankful that with the camera and videos, their growing moments can be captured and remembered. Some lovely pics and memories of the bubs growing up this past one and a half years.

  

Swimming

First bites

Bumbo and toilet seat

Outdoor playIndoor playground fun

Celebrating birthdays

Nov 2016: Celebrating Ezra’s 1st birthday and Daniel’s 5th birthday. My babies are growing up so quickly!


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18 month old Ezra. So thankful to God for watching over him and that the baby is growing well!

 

 

 

 

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Art and Craft

Art and craft has never been one of my strengths. On the other hand, I have always struggled with it and really admire people who can draw effortlessly and create all sorts of creative craft pieces. However, when you have kids, art and craft is unavoidable as this seems to be one of the key ways they learn. In Children’s Church, many of the lessons include craft work too. Thankfully, now with the internet, a lot of ideas can be googled.

In the past few months, Daniel seems to have developed quite an interest for art and craft activities. This could have been delayed possibly due to my lack of interest in art and craft and have never developed him much in this area. But recently, Daniel has been doodling and drawing a lot. We started sending him for simple art lessons at the CC so that he can develop his interest in art. So he has been exploring with paint, markers, crayons etc. Interestingly, he likes drawing with a ruler for some reason. I also gave him a sketchbook to draw in so that he would not be drawing on bits and pieces of paper.

Besides drawing, he also had this origami craze the last few weeks. He could spend hours just folding paper stuff. He can even follow the instructions and attempt on his own for some of the simple origami.

Last week, I bought a box of beads from Ikea for him to do fusion bead craft. So happened that he was down with high fever this week and could not go to school and this has been keeping him busy at home!

I really do so enjoy seeing him find something that he loves to do. And I am also learning to enjoy doing  them. I must say they can be a lot of fun and helps to develop creativity and a range of interests. Craft can aid in learning as well. So now, I am on a look out for more craft activities for kids to enjoy!

 

Big Brother Daniel

This is another long belated post.

One of the things that I am really thankful and grateful for is that Daniel adapted quite well to being a big brother. Have heard many instances of kids not taking well to younger siblings and this was something I was worried about. Perhaps it is the bigger age gap of 4 years or more likely due to the Lord’s grace.

Having a good and loving relationship with siblings is something which I appreciate in my family. Hence it is one of my desires for my kids to be able to enjoy this blessing too. And I believe it really starts when they are young. When I was expecting Ezra, we made it a point to get Daniel to pray for his baby brother in the womb everyday. We also included him when we were choosing a name for the baby. Ezra was Ivan’s choice. I had another choice name. We could not decide and so we asked Daniel which he preferred. Daniel chose Ezra (much to my disappointment!) and so we went with it! When the baby was born, we also gave him a present.

He took pretty well to Ezra from the start. Perhaps it also helped that the baby seemed to naturally like Daniel right from the start. Today, Daniel is quite confident that he is one of Ezra’s top favourite people! And I think he is quite right about that. Ezra seemed to adore Daniel even as a little babe. I was amazed at how Daniel was one of the few able to make the baby chuckle when the babe was a few months old. As Ezra grew older, his face always seems to lit up when Daniel is around, and he often wants go look for Daniel now that he is able to walk.

Of course they have their bad times too. Daniel hates it when Ezra ‘destroys’ whatever he is playing with and often gets quite mad when that happens. He is not the best baby sitter too – he is easily distracted and often more interested in whatever he is doing. But on the whole, I am thankful that there are more good times than bad and am happy that Daniel seems to be quite comfortable in his role as a big brother. Sometimes, he does try to share his stuff and food with his brother which is very heartwarming to see. He also loves kissing and hugging the baby goodnight.

Transiting from being only child to having to share attention and everything else may not be easy for a child to adapt to. As parents, we do try to manage this sensitively. But there are times where we fall into the trap of asking him to ‘give way’ to his didi and to be more ‘sensible’ when daddy and mummy are busy with didi. These could possibly cause a child to become resentful towards the younger sibling and I am glad that Daniel did not.
  
  
     

Cycling!

Cycling is our latest family hobby. At the end of last year, Daniel learnt to cycle on his own 2 wheeler bike. At the same time, we decided to invest in foldies. Thought it would be a fun way to keep fit too. It has been about 5 months since we have gotten the bikes. So far, we have gone on less cycling trips than we would have loved too. Life can get busy and weekends are so precious. Weekends are usually taken up by church, ministry, Daniel’s art lesson, getting Daniel to do some learning activities/practise his piano, catching up with chores, meeting up with friends for a meal, family celebrations…..and if there is nothing on that weekend, we do try to bring the kids out for some kind of outing – one of which could be cycling 🙂

Daniel is really riding quite well now and is able to keep up with us mostly. Am so proud of him! He learnt how to cycle quite quickly 🙂 So Daniel will ride his own bike. Ivan takes Ezra with him on the childseat on his bike. I tried but not skillful enough, cannot ride with a baby!

So far, we have not been to many places. Sometimes, we go to Changi beach and my sister, Adora joins us. She is our main cycling kaki! Once, we also joined the kids’ godpa and godma, and our dear friends Jian Quan and Angeline for their regular Sunday cycling/walking exercise at East Coast.

However, it can be quite tiring and time-consuming loading up 3 bikes and kids onto car and drive out somewhere to cycle. So sometimes, it is easier to just cycle around our neighbourhood. However, during weekends, even though our Tampines is bicycle town, it can get quite crowded and we have to navigate through a lot of pedestrians who share the pavements/path too. Our latest trip, with my sister was cycling to Bedok Reservoir from our home. We made it to Bedok Reservoir, but had to turn back as we started off a bit too late and it was getting dark and approaching dinner.

Hope to be able to explore more places on our bikes! One of the places I hope to go is Coney Island!

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Daniel’s reward after working hard at learning to cycle!


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The kids looking adorable in their cycling gear!

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Managed to cycle from Fort Rd all the way to Gardens by the Bay!


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Chillaxing evening at Pris’s

13 March 2016

We had a hotpot dinner at Pris’ place to celebrate Lee Lee’s birthday.

It has been such a busy year. Things have been busy on the work and home front. Felt super tired as the boys had just recovered from a bout of viral fever. Exhausting!! So it was a nice way to start the short March holiday break.

We had a nice time catching up with each other over Japanese hot pot. It was indeed such warm fellowship and sense of just being at home with people whom you are comfortable with. I felt as if time stood still for a while in the midst of the busyness and I had time to just rest and enjoy the moment. Wish there were more of such times! I always feel like I am in a rush and so don’t like the feeling! Need to learn how to slow down especially so in the midst of busyness.

The Birthday girl 🙂


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Birthday bakes – Banana chocolate muffin


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Ice-cream to go with muffin. Yumz!


Recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip muffin (Courtesy of my friend Lynette Yeo)

Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 1 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4.  1 cup ripe bananas, mashed
  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 2 tablespoons hot water
  7. 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and bananas.
  2. Mix baking soda with hot water and pour into the butter mixture
  3. Fold in flour and salt. Stir in chocolate chips
  4. Spoon the batter into greased muffin cups. Top each muffin with two chunks of banana and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes.

 

Sentosa Staycation CNY 2016

We did a staycation at Sentosa (again!). The last time we were here was during my last trimester when I was expecting Ezra in 2014. So it has been some time! It was quite a last minute one. Happened to see Hotel Michael going for quite a good rate the week before CNY, so just booked immediately! Something to look forward to for CNY! Those who know me will know that CNY is one of my least favourite times of the year!

This is our first time staying at Hotel Michael. The hotel is quite nice and comfortable and it was quite a pleasant stay. Since it was part of Resorts World, we also took the chance to visit the Hard Rock pool. First time too …..and it’s quite nice.

We had dinner at Slappy Cakes at Resorts World. Daniel had fun making his own pancakes of different shapes.

We planned to go USS the next day. Unfortunately, it was raining heavily and we had to change our plans. Daniel was really disappointed. Me too actually. We had already gotten to the Resorts World Invites membership and would be getting the USS 6 month pass. After doing our sums, figured this would be most worthwhile cos a one-time ticket is so costly, might as well top a bit to make it a 6 month pass which gives you unlimited excess for 6 months to USS. We plan to go at least 3-4 times to make our money worthwhile.

Anyway, we spent the day checking out the CNY festivities at Sentosa and also headed to Vivocity for lunch and Daniel did paddle boat at Vivocity too.

The rain was a bit of a let down, but as always, we enjoy our Sentosa staycations 🙂

   
    
   

   
    
   

   
    
    
 

Belated post on Vietnam trip

December 2015: Vietnam – Hanoi – Halong Bay

Horrors! Realised that my last post was 9 months ago! Does time really pass that quickly. Certainly time seems to fly by when you are busy. Life with 2 kids has been quite crazy hectic! This blog is almost being abandoned. But I am determined to keep it going nonetheless …..at the very least, to chronicle precious memories.

Will start the backlog of posts with this belated post of the trip to Hanoi with our cell group last Dec.

It was our first time travelling together with our cell group (apart from church camps!) To be frank, I half regretted the trip on my first day in Hanoi. The traffic on the streets were frightening and there seemed to be no order whatsoever. I wondered if it was the right decision to come here with a baby and 5 year old in tow. After a while, we learnt how to navigate through the traffic. One tour guide said to us, in Vietnam, when you want to cross the road, just close your eyes and walk! And I realised it was quite true in some ways! There is some system in the chaos and somehow, there are hardly any accidents. By the second day, I was more or less used to the traffic and starting to take in the sights of the city of Hanoi.

I have always wanted to visit Vietnam since my university days when I did my honours thesis on Vietnam. Finally I am here! The people are really warm and nice. We stayed in Hotel Legacy and the staff were really warm, hospitable and helpful.

I was really surprised at how many shops there were in the city. It really is a good place for shopping! There are streets lined with shops and different streets sell different merchandise. The street our hotel was on had a lot of shops selling silver. Unfortunately, with 2 kids in tow, I found it difficult to shop on top of having to navigate the traffic with stroller and baby. One of my cell members who loved shopping was raving about the fashionable clothes that were in the shops in Hanoi! I did mainly ‘window shopping’. It wasn’t until the last day that I realised I was running out of time to shop. As such, we really did not buy much on this trip. Had barely enough souvenirs to bring back for family and friends and had to buy some from the airport …..which was more expensive for the same product than at the street shops.

Despite some of us (including me) coming down with a sore throat and flu, it was really a great trip. Enjoyed travelling with my cell family. We managed to spend some precious time together worshipping and praying. They were a great help to us in helping with the kids wherever possible. One of my cell members always held on to Daniel’s hand while we were walking on the streets of Hanoi.

One of the highlights of our trip has to be the Halong Bay cruise. We spent 2 days, 1 night on the cruise, saw the renowned beautiful Halong Bay and also explored a cave.

Food was good too. We ate well! Some of our meals include Vietnamese food, French fine dining and Western. A pity we didn’t managed to eat a good bowl of Pho, other than those at the hotel breakfast spread and on the cruise.

All in, a really great trip and wonderful first taste of Vietnam!

 

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Arriving safely in Hanoi

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Our first meal at an atas Vietnamese restaurant overlooking the lake. 


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