Wednesday, 26 October 2011
Talia enjoys the trains but she REALLY enjoyed her "Cashier" toy from Gu Ma (especially after watching Ethan get all the presents before this!).....
a home cooked Pavlova from Grandma (which Ethan helped to decorate!).....
And a Baby Chiffon cake that Daddy found for Talia's Birthday breakfast! What an amazing birthday season its been for us this year!
Thursday, 15 September 2011
We just got a second seat for our Brompton! This one is much larger and excellent quality with 5 point harness, reclining seat, and head rest with space for helmet.
This video is the very first time that Ethan and Talia rode on the Brompton at the same time. Listen for squeals of joy! It makes it all worthwhile...
Tech note: Total weight < 110kg, front bracket = 15kg, rear seat 20kg with mounting point < 5cm to seat clamp minimizing moment loading. I wouldn't ride the bike daily like this, but for the occasional outing it seems well within Brompton tolerances.
Sunday, 28 August 2011
After playing in the sand and splashing in the waves, Talia got a bit bored cos there were no other kids around. Unfortunately the water feature was closed for cleaning so we went off cycling and stopped to see the birds at Animal Encounters.
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Talia had another minor conk on her head in a wobbly moment and I decided to give her an ice pack for her head. Caring and concerned brother immediately came along and lovingly looked at the bumped head. Very sweet when he pulled back her hair for her and spoke very soothingly to her. Eventually I let him feel more involved by letting him hold the ice pack on her....a responsibility which he took quite seriously-- see pics below!
She- of course-- was revelling in all the love n attention and lapping up the attention by being a good patient.... See the face!
Needless to say the recovery was a speedy and happy one after all that TLC!!
Friday, 22 July 2011
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Friday, 15 July 2011
Thursday, 14 July 2011
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
Friday, 8 July 2011
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
I had the grand idea of making "mini burgers" for the kids the other day. They can't eat burgers like we usually do cos their mouths are too small! So I bought soft dinner rolls for buns and made home-made mini beef patties with rosemary, grilled with melted cheese, sauteed mushrooms and onions, and topped with Daddy's special home-made tomato sauce.
"Wow!" said Ethan when he first saw his dinner waiting him. He promptly stacked the lettuce and mushrooms into his burger and took a big bite. When I gave him his second burger an audible "Ooooh!" and a clap of hands was all the appreciation a chef ever needed. Talia was less verbal about the food but I think that was because she was concentrating very hard as she was enthusiastically eating her baby burger. She has announcing her love for Daddy several times a day recently...which makes it very hard to leave the house to go to work! :)
Sunday, 3 July 2011
We did it! Another Father and Son trip and this time... an epic adventure. Daddy gave Ethan a huge surprise by taking him on an overnight train from Singapore to Kelantan then back again on the next day to arrive at 10pm 30 June 2011... the LAST train to arrive at Tanjong Pagar Railway Staiton before closing and ending it's long history.
I was a bit worried that only upper bunks were available for our trip. It made eating dinner a little more difficult but we still had a very happy and full meal of nasi lemak and Ethan absolutely loved his top bunk. I asked him if he needed me to cuddle him to sleep but he said, "No daddy, you go into your bed over there!" and he promptly closed the curtains and figured out the velcro closures for himself. He slept all the way through the night while I read my Kindle, and woke up several times worrying whether we would miss our 6.20am stop in a tiny town called Dabong in Kelantan, just south of the Thai border.
The next morning saw a sleepy Ethan and Daddy get off the train in the dark in Dabong. Ethan wondered why we were getting off when it was still "night time." Soon the day brightened up and we got ourselves tea-tarik, roti cenai, iced milo and fried eggs.
Daddy chose this stop because it gave us 3 hours to "hang around" before we got on the return train to Singapore at 9.30am. We had considered bringing our Brompton with child seat, but the unfamiliarities and chance of rain dissuaded us so we went simple instead and walked around the town seeing the school, the different looking houses, and Daddy teaching Ethan little by little what it means that things are "different but still nice" and why we sometimes go to different places to tell others that Jesus loves them! There were still some smells that Ethan didn't like though!
We made friends with Wan, the Gemas station master who invited us back to stay with him next time (no need hotel!) and visit the waterfall. His wife works at the coffeeshop next to the train station from whom we ordered more delicious nasi lemak to eat for lunch on the way home.
Wan showed Ethan and I the antique token machines that were still functioning. He operates them using morse code and removes the giant keys to exchange them with the train driver. This gives the train the "license" to run on a certain part of the track.
Where and how else would Ethan have gotten to play with 100+ year old token machines at a real train station! Amazing...
It was a 13 hour journey on the way back. Some may think it's a crazy thing to do with a toddler! We spent 13 hours overnight going up, then immediately came back 13 hours again. But it's totally different on a train than in a car or aeroplane. Ethan loved the whole experience. He did colouring activities, jumped off when train stopped to buy drinks and snacks, and of course played "Angry Birds" but Daddy tried to keep this to a minimum
One moment he was colouring, and the next I felt a little head slumped onto my shoulder. The colouring pencil was still clutched in his left hand. I laid him down flat on the chairs and took an empty seat behind him. With children, 2nd Class is better than first class cos there is no armrest in between the seats! He had a glorious 2 hour snooze while Daddy had his own quiet time, Kindle time, thinking time, and thankfulness time.
By the time we pulled into Singapore it was dark and things were getting festive on the train. Another carriage was a standing party while ours was quiet with various people chatting. An elderly Sri Lankan gentleman was telling a photo-journalist about how when he first took the KTM trains it was a luxury experience and there was a carriage with a bar and a restaurant which cooked whatever you wanted! We were witnessing the end of an era with the closing of Tanjong Pagar. As the train whizzed by, we could see people standing in their apartments watching the last train go by and waving to us! We stopped at Bukit Timah station and there was another train waiting for us to say "farewell" as they were heading up to Malaysia. Throngs of people were at the normally deserted station taking pictures. We got off the station and Ethan had his hand at "changing tracks!"
Mummy waited for us to congratulate the boys on our highly succesful epic adventure. Daddy's pocket was very pleased because the whole trip including food cost us only $90! It was certainly the most memorable, historic, cheapest, and intensive Father-Son trip ever!
Thursday, 30 June 2011
Here is the happy boy waiting for his swimming class to start. The classes continue even after we get home, when he then takes over Teacher Sam's role and patiently teaches his sister and bath toys the same excercises he learnt in the pool earlier!
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
The impending closure of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station motivated us to do what we had been talking about for a long time... take a family train ride into Malaysia! We booked a 5 hour ride into the small town of Gemas and had a great time with the kids who absolutely loved the whole experience.
Hotel Tropicana is a small, simple, and very clean hotel just 3 minutes walk from the train station. It's the perfect place to stay a night while you eat local food (oooh...the prata was so good!). There is even an air-conditioned KFC near the train station if you really need something kid friendly and safe. Ethan and Talia are great travellers and have fun doing and seeing new things. In the morning, Talia wanted to be in Ethan's bed so we tucked them in like the loving brother and sister they are.
The train ride back was neither too short nor too long. They watched TV, coloured books, looked at the window, and enjoyed eating snacks. "Mmmmm.... train food is yummy!" is something we kept hearing over and over again.
The train is a great place for kids and a bonding holiday cos you slow down and spend lots of time talking with each other. There were times when even Mummy and Daddy got time "alone" as Ethan and Talia happily played together on their own two seats. Other times it was Mummy-Daughter cuddle time... this was certainly how our nap time went.
All in all, it was such a great (and cheap) trip that Daddy thought perhaps he should even do it next week with Ethan just one more time before Tanjong Pagar closes...
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
So far we have been pleasantly surprised with quite a few dry diapers and only a couple of 'spillovers'! Well done son!