January 27, 2012

[All too quick...]

Can't believe that January is almost over! And Chinese New Year has come and gone... well, not technically, as there is still a few more days left of the traditional 15 day long celebrations. We are still not yet visited out, as there are a few more relatives (older folks) and friends (younger folks) left to cover! All the better to practice our styling on the 2 girls.
The other thing that has been very much a pre-occupation is our coming trip to JAPAN!!! This time around, we'll be travelling up north to Hokkaido, where hopefully there'll be LOADS of snow... The girls are excited, and even better, this trip will be with Popo and Gonggong. V has been doing me proud snapping up snow things for the girls, himself and me on eBay, basically fulfilling his role as family stylist to the T! haha...
So far, the flight tickets have been booked, accomodation sorted and now just the activities of the days that we'll be there to plan out. I will be documenting the various days as per all our previous trips - HERE, HERE and HERE. :)
We have also been experimenting a lot with the camera lately. Instead of just using the default "P" mode, we're venturing into "A" (aperture priority) and the more unpredictable "M" (manual!! Eeps!) So, lots of failed pictures, but here are the ones that I thought were really good...
2nd Day CNY celebrations at New House. Chockablock of cars!
Girls at the entrance.
Styling credits:
G : Top - Gingersnaps, Bottom - Gap, Tights - as before, Shoes - CottonOn
K : Top - Gingersnaps, Bottom - Gap, Shoes - CottonOn

Funny facial expressions - models own....
Me and the girls

G has the funniest and most animated facial expressions. V documented it well here:
a) Listening attentively to what the other person is sayingb) Trying hard to get a word in, and talking really quickly (sometimes TOO quickly!)
c) this is when she finally calms down and talks properly. I think she's agreeing to what E was talking about! Gotta love little friends and playdates :)
Taken with the iPhone and unedited - G and V. Love the spontaneity of this pix!
The weather has been so good in the evenings and it's a great place for the girls to just scooter about and let off steam!
Me and the girls. Love how this picture totally captures the mood of the moment. The laughter and the funny things they do! Love love love them to bits...
Snack after dinner - home made butter cookies and grapes.

January 25, 2012

[Dragon Year 2012]

Happy Chinese New Year!! We ushered in the Year of the Dragon with minimum fanfare but with lots of good food and snacks as usual. 1st day of CNY was a mad rush to visiting, from V's side of the family, to my side of the family. The girls LOVED the visiting - angpows and 'forbidden' snacks - what's not to love about it!! K too had her 1st new year (i don't think she remembered the one 2 years ago) and she was thrilled to be dressed up. You know you're a parent when you love dressing up the kids more than yourself!! Hah!
Our annual family portrait. We love styling the girls, so here's the credits :
G's clothes - Dress - Olive Juice, Tights - Cart at Bukit Timah Plaza, Shoes - Gap
K's clotehs - Dress - Gap, Socks - Cart at Bukit Timah Plaza, Shoes - Cotton On

Traditional AngPow giving to the girls - and our wishes to them for the year.
Arranging the table decor
My first attempt at Chinese New Year goodies! It was fun but so much work!!

My favorite shots of the girls that day. Incredible how much they have grown since the last CNY. We were watching old videos of the girls when we were living at New House before the house was completed, it was utterly adorable!
Love this candid shot too of all the girls :)
A shot of us, in the same chairs which we took our wedding portraits in - 10 years ago!

Go here for more pictures of CNY...

** On a side note - we're going to JAPAN!!! **

January 15, 2012

[what we do in the mornings before school..... etc]

We have been very organised and have drawn up a timetable which we have been following quite religiously for the 1st 2 weeks of school. Let's see how long it lasts! It's been rather loose though, as sometimes we do playdates instead of art or lunch out instead of at home.
G thrives on the 1 on 1 attention and is really such a sweet personality when she is outside of the competitive jealous environment caused by sibling rivalry. She has repeatedly told me these past 2 weeks - thank you for spending so much time with me mummy, i love you very much!! awww....
Playdate with D at Loewen gardens... love the pink decor!
Playdate with L & N while mummy finishes up the site visit checks.

Since I've been cooking a lot more at home, and have stocked up the house with all sorts of food - from a designated weekly marketing day no less! - there's lots of opportunities to have wholesome homemade food, minimal hassle and lots of good nutrition!
This is "almost" fastfood - wholewheat bread, ham slices and fresh lettuce and cheese. The only thing sinful are the chips, but then again, we would have finished our run before indulging!!
The girls after Gym class in their new $5 leotards which we bought for a steal at an obscure shop in Katong Mall....

Brought the girls to Keppel Island off the mainland last weekend, mostly to scooter and also to just work away the post-xmas and new year lethargy! V was trying out the new Aperture priority settings and it turned out quite good.

[1st day of school!]

It's been 2 weeks since G first started her "big girls" education, and we all had to make some pretty major adjustments to our work / life balance! It has been a great 2 weeks though, I get to spend quality 1 on 1 time with her in the mornings, while K gets the undivided attention of her grandparents in the afternoons. Plus 1 day a week, when I have to be overseas for work, V gets to spend 1 on 1 time with his precious daughter. So far it has been working great, except for some last minute adjustments in the morning when we both have to be in meetings.
Here's the pics of her all grownup and sooooo tall in her school uniform:
Taming her unruly hair at lunch.
Having lunch out before schoolAll dressed up!
Putting on her brand new shoes
Thankfully the 1st day was the only day with a super heavy bag. Most of the books are being kept by the teachers at school.
Proud mummy with my super grown up girl
Look at that smile!
Waving goodbye, ready to take on school!
Being cheeky
The first 2 days of school, parents were allowed into the school at recess time (to observe from behind a fence!) how their offsprings were doing. G had a p2 buddy that she really liked and she was happy to follow her around. This is her complaining to me that her sandwich was all dried up!
After school!! Meeting up with friends and munching on snacks... The girls are always famished at the end of a school day and will devour whatever was remaining of their snacks.
Proud daddy posing with his daughter outside school.
A very relieved mummy that the school days went well for G! :)

January 01, 2012

[Happy 2012!!!]

Another year is over and a new year has begun! The girls are oblivious to the fact that it's the New Year's - no presents = no hype = no interest....sigh. That's the hard, commercial reality of the hierarchy of holiday "spirit" for you!!
This year has been a wonderful year for us as a family, we started the year in great spirits and visited Japan on our long long awaited Japan holiday (feels like such a long time ago!).
January - Our first year without a proper Chinese New Year celebration but we still had a good reunion lunch which we all dressed up for.
February - The expressions on the girls faces as they see their first snow was so priceless!
March marked G's last birthday as a kindergarten child, next year she's off to the "big-girls-school", she has been talking about it every since the Kindie organized a P1 excursion.
In April, we went again for a little holiday at the nearby langkawi, it was a great little trip, good to relax and just chill on our private beach.
May - End of term party, prettying up the girls with elaborate hairdos.... we love having little girls to dress up! Also the girls have really progressed in their writing and drawings skills.
June - Lucky girls had 2 trips in this month alone - 1st with my parents to Tumpat on their fav mode of transport, and again a driving trip to Malacca with all of us. We also had a lot of weekends spent cycling, as G just mastered the 2-wheeler.
July - G's new obsession was playing the piano. She keeps bugging us to teach her, this is her handwritten score which she "practiced" quite regularly! Also, their sketches are more and more detailed and super cute!
August - We had a staycation at MBS. Watched the fireworks from a VIP podium and the girls were thrilled!
September - G had her first dance recital. So proud of her!
October - Our sweet little K turned 4 and what a fun celebration we had! Lots of girlie stuff like manicure, face painting and makeup. This little one had a blast!

November, December - All too soon it's the end of the year, and as always, after my birthday in Oct, the rest of the year always seem to fly past so fast!! Characterized by lots of playdates outdoors, lots of crafting, baking and another staycation this time at RWS (while G went on a solo trip with my parents), it was such a lot of days crammed into 2 short months.

So there you have it! 2011 in summary. I loved doing this, and as I looked through the pictures in iphoto, I realised that I should blog much more - the things we did, the funny things the girls say... ok, next year! I'll start also putting up videos of the hilarious games they always play.

For 2012, I'm not really one to make new year's resolutions, but I feel that as we grow older, we should really concentrate on the LIVING of our lives. V and me have had some really in depth conversations about where our lives and careers are going, how we are shaping the girls, the sort of experiences we would like to have in the coming months, years, the sort of lifestyle (and consequently income) we would like to have. Too often, life falls back into cruise control mode, no real challenges or hardships to jumpstart the adrenalin. I think this year, my resolution will definitely be to live in the moment. I'm excited about the new routines (g starts primary school!) our new work ambitions (more on the work blog)... Even though i'm not scrapbooking the memories very much, i do keep up with the other scrapping bloggers... The AE inspired OLW is making it's rounds through the blogosphere.... And after much thought, my OLW for this year will be 'FOCUS'.

So, as we ring in the new year, let me wish my dearest readers and all friends and family a very Happy, Fulfilled and Healthy 2012 ahead! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!