July 30, 2010

[KL weekend]

Last weekend, we drove up to KL to celebrate my grandma's 80th birthday. It took us about half a day to get there, with my dad and V alternating the driving. All in all, the trip was pretty smooth sailing, the girls took it quite well, only getting cranky after we were slightly lost in Malacca and when we arrived in the jam at KL. As my cousins and aunts & uncles are scattered all over Malaysia and Singapore, we decided that KL was an ideal meeting place for everybody to meet. It was indeed an ideal location as we too had to be there for work.
In KL, one of the best things to do had to be eating. We were brought from one good food place to the next, we had satay at a relatives garden, where the satay man arrived in his bike with all the equipment and food, proceeded to cook the satay on the spot and left when the party ended! Talk about fast food on the go! :) Unfortunately, it was pretty dark and we were all pretty tired after all the driving, so I didn't get to take proper photos of Mr satay man.
As the girls are older, we stayed in the Bukit Bintang surrounds, right opposite the latest Pavilion Mall, we spent quite a lot of time there - having breakfast a very good japanese bakery - LOAF; reading at the bookstore; buying lots of toys on sale at ELC (our weekend coincided with the start of the month long annual sale! YAY!)
The surprisingly clean river at Malacca - i always remembered it as a smelly horrible canal like waterbody, but it has since been cleaned up! And there are lots of new establishments too, so much so that we had a hard time locating our old favorites like the chicken rice balls and chendol dessert stall. (btw, do not have the chicken rice balls, it is super touristy now and the quality has dropped dismally! Even G tried the rice ball and said she preferred the singapore version!)
Clowing around at breakfast.
Me and my mum.
K and her kong kong
G perfecting the "snob" look
V and K, this little one is such a daddy's girl, always asking for V to sleep with her
Of course G had to be in the picture too.... can you imagine, she brought along accessories for this trip!!
V and his girls

*Side note : for children between the ages of 3-12, we discovered a brilliant place to while away a good part of the weekend - Petrosains Discovery Centre. It is on the 4th floor of the Suria mall, right at the foot of the Petronas Towers. A huge space, with it's own internal electronic ride, it is full of really interesting things to see and do. It took us about half a day to walk through all the exhibits, and with older children, I'm sure they would be able to last a whole day there! I must say we were really impressed by the exhibits, much much better than the Singapore Science centre! Definately would go again on our next trip to KL with the girls.

For the next leg of our 'work' (ahem!) trip, we stayed at the Hotel Maya. We loved it's location and it's our hotel of choice in KL.
The heated pool and jacuzzi.G dove straight into the pool, whilst K slept on in her pram
They LOVED the big tub as usual..... Although for most of the other days, they also had a huge jacuzzi at their disposal!

All in all, a great trip up north. We'll probably do this again soon as our project will last till the end of the year.

July 12, 2010

[Sleepless nights and playdates]

The past few weeks have been full of sleepless nights for us, while the girls are oblivious to those nocturnal wakefulness. (well, they probably wondered why we were unusually cranky when waking up in the morning!). Work and the world cup contributed to all these nocturnal activity, and as we get older, we realise it is pretty impossible to survive on less than 5 hours of regular sleep, especially not with 2 very active kids!
We managed to meetup with G's favorite friend from Kindie finally, as due to both set of parents work commitments, haven't been able to meetup for quite sometime. G told us before we met - "i don't even remember how Gis looks like now!"
The 2 friends were so excited to see each other again after so long, they played together almost immediately, but as usual, this closeness starts to wane once the first excitement wears off.
We spotted a huge sandcastle built for a certain lucky somebody's birthday party.
The water fountain that never fails to bring out the best in the kids.
They LOVE playing there, it is such a simple yet effective playdate
The younger set of girls didn't really have much affinity playing together, but tolerated each other and shared and had fun making tiny overtures of friendship
It was a good playdate and the 2 Gs have been hard at work planning for the next one!

Some stuff documenting G's creative works now too:
She loves drawing and have started demonstrating lots of tiny details that are very cute. Where she used to just draw straight from her mind, we've started to notice that she's observing how other people are drawing their characters (princesses, castles etc) and often tries to emulate the portions she finds pretty. In this case, she has started to draw the eyes of her princesses with quite a lot of detail - eyelashes, eyeballs and eyebrows. This is how her older cousin E draws them and she thinks it makes the character much more 'princessey'. :)
Accompanying the princess (a caricuture of herself) are her most precious things - from L to R: Ginger miao miao, Cloud bu bu, Bearbino, Softie the blankie.
Another princess drawing

Lately, we have also been quite a number of scale models as part of our work. Of course, once the girls saw the materials etc out, they too had to be a part of this. This is G's own model. She took my scrap pieces and orchestrated this model all by herself! The only help I did was to cut out the doors / windows based on her sketch. She will also define the rooms and spaces herself. (I don't know why 'Perry' is written there though...)
Also, we have recently been gifted a really nice bike by P - Thank you VERY much (check out her blog for the classes that she teaches - her weight loss is amazing and a true inspiration to us all!)!! Even though G loves it and wants to cycle right NOW, with all the packed activities over the weekend, we have not had a chance to do so yet. Soon soon!

It has been quite awhile since I last scrapped, and as I put together the photos, papers and embellishments, I am once again reminded of why I love it sooo much. It is like revisiting a longago friend, lots of memories and fun!
Finally also had a chance to put my first few pages of 2010 into this scrapbook from Paperchase at Border.
The pages are 8x8", a good size to fit into the 9x9" album!

This last is a 2-pager that is not quite completed... will post more when I'm done with them! (Most products are October Afternoon)

Last but not least, G has to wear corrective glasses!!! Boohoo, as most parents in Singapore know, it isn't a question of will she or wouldn't she, but when? I guess with both parents short-sighted from a young age, it wasn't a surprise that she would be a "four eyes". After bringing her to the refraction clinic, and also to a reputable optometrist, she was diagnosed at 100 degress on both eyes, with a slight astimatism on her left eye. The general prescription is based on wearing the glasses only when she requires to view far objects, and the aim these early years will be to ensure that her degree doesn't get worse. Most importantly, for our little bookworm, that means taking many breaks from her reading and to have proper lighting always.

A little video below of the effect of glasses:

July 04, 2010

[kindie days]

I have often blogged about the kindie that both G and K attend. It is one of the best 'coincidental' discoveries that we've made. Ever since G was 2 and a half, she has been attending this kindie and this year, K joined her there. After every term, the teachers painstakingly compile a CD of pictures and videos for the children that go there (no mean feat given that there are more than 50 kids!). Here are my favorite selection from each:

K's first term was a mish-mash of different emotions. It took her about 2 whole weeks to adjust to the 'going to school' routine, with a few days of separation anxiety. We were assured it was very normal, although G didn't go through that at all when she first started!
There were days of fun and play
K loves doing this, she's usually on the phone to her own imaginery friends - usually Cinderella.
Then there were days of inconsolable crying, heartbreaking for us as we try to leave her every morning. Thankfully, the teachers usually manage to distract her.Soon, she became used to the routine of school and her true personality surfaces. She loves making friends and would come back with lots of stories to tell about what she and her friends do in school.
K and her good friend E playing at school. The girls love the make believe tea and party sets at school. It is amazing at this young age, how gender specific the kids are! (K - girls play with girlie things like dress up and princesses, boys play with Ben 10 and guns!)
She looks so cute here! K was thrilled when I went on the school excursions with her
And of course, being daddy's girl, she stuck with daddy the whole time at the end of term party.Our little princess K, you have settled in so well into school this first term! We are so proud of you! Your personality at 2.5 is incredibly sweet, you would be occasionally clingy to us but gradually you are asserting your independence at all fronts. You are such a loving child, your little arms grab us constantly to deliver those spur of the moment hugs and kisses. You will not hesitate to come to us or your sister for reassurances, usually it is no more than an arm hug, but it shows us how much you value us being around. You love and look up to G with the cutest adoration. Whenever there are any gifts or privilages given to you, without fail, you will ask the same for your sister. You are such a careful and conscientious child, you will actually line up all your shoes after taking them off. You have an infectious laughter, collapsing in giggly fits anytime your sister makes a funny face, or if we give you a little tickle. I love sniffing into your warm neck while carrying you, while you grab my neck with your chubby hands. I love watching you articulate yourself in full sentences, deciphering your more and more intelligible conversations that used to be only understood by a select few. Most of all, I love watching your personality emerge, your own brand of humour, your neverending questions.

It is G's 3rd year in the kindie and she has literally grown up there. She was as tiny as K when she first joined, and now she is about twice as tall!
G loves reading and often brings her books for "show and tell"
Concentrating on creating the Mother's day gift - a customised apron.
She loves building things, often engrossed in Lego building at home.
A little photo frameG with her friends from school, most of them have also 'grown up' at the kindieOne of her favorite spots in school, the Kangaroo climber... :)

Dearest G, we have grown as parents with you, being the firstborn, you had all our attention for the first few years, but also had to put up with lots of inconsistencies as we went through Parenting 101. We couldn't have asked for a better first child as you brought with you the most extreme of emotions. You can be very happy and delightful one moment, and the next, a sulky defiant shouty girl, only to snap back into a giggly laughing child if you're able to be distracted from your tantrum. You are a mass of contradictions. You are incredibly matured and aware of emotional nuances in the people around you, and yet will not know how to control your own emotions, usually what we see is what we get with you. Ever since you were little, you have been so great at expressing your emotions, your moods. Whenever we have our little chats, your clarity in analysing the situation humbles us. You read so well and have taken to carrying a little book with you wherever you go. You remind me so much of myself at this age (although I'm sure you are much more advanced in your reading!) We worry not only about your eyesight and your teeth, we worry about the pitfalls and trials that will be ahead, as you grow up so quickly, we worry as only parents will worry. You are incredibly headstrong and determined, so we hope that you will be able to derive fun and happiness no matter what you do. This last term at school, we watched how you are able to put aside your jealous streak towards your little sister, and show her so much love and attention at the kindie, while she adjusts to the momentum of school. We try to understand your behavior towards K, try not to think too much when you display that mean streak, knowing that it is not a personality trait but just a cry for attention. Most of all, G, you are the most unique 5 yr old we know and we hope that we will continue to always see and nurture the positive aspects of your personality.
Trying to find out what K wants to play
Helpful big sister.