Monday 31 January 2011

Little Cyclist

Talia has been turning heads wherever she rides cos our neighbors haven't seen such a small girl balancing on a 2 wheeler before. She is just so cute in her helmet and bike. Even though Ethan whizzes by and is very handsome on his bike, Talia still grabs more attention as she scoots along trying catch her brother.

Saturday 29 January 2011

Chip off the Old Block

It was quite some time ago that we dressed Ethan up in his snazzy "Comme Ca" shirt. It even had a tie and pullover interacts into the shirt. We chose Sunday so he looked just like daddy! As you can see, we love each other very much!

Friday 28 January 2011

It's Just Lunch

It was one of those last minute decisions that turned an ordinary moment into a great memory. It was our day off, so Daddy was at home and Ethan and Talia were about to have their mid-day meal. Why don't we bring the kids' lunch downstairs for a no-fuss picnic?

They rode their toy scooter and tricycle down and we brought a picnic basket and towel for a mat. It was a cool and windy day. "Mmmm... yummy!" They exclaimed as they ate their ordinary porridge and sipped their everyday water bottles. Things always taste better al-fresco! It all lasted only 30 wonderful minutes, but it was the best and simplest lunch-time picnic ever!

Oh yeah, it was a nice change and a sort of mini-lunch-date-with-kids for Mum and Dad!

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Better When Smiling

My two boys have lots in common. They both love using their computer and they have furrowed brows ridged with much intensity when concentrating!

When they do look up and smile they look much better! It's hard to figure out how much Ethan copies from his Daddy and how much is just naturally him!

Tuesday 25 January 2011

The Urban Playground

Pockets of fun can be had if you are creative and easy going. The kids know no difference between cheap and expensive outings as they just like being together and having fun.

We took our bikes (Daddy's included) and cycled to get a haircut the other day at our friendly neighborhood hair dresser. At the increased $10/adult Chinese New Year price it is still a bargain. While waiting our turn Ethan and Talia frolicked on the not so clean toy outside. I've been teaching Ethan that these can be just as much fun without putting coins in if we make up our own sounds and actions, and Talia is getting in the act too. I think it's much healthier than hankering for coins whenever we come across these ubiquitous playthings.

Monday 24 January 2011

The Little Traffic Light

There's a unique little traffic light at the bottom of Pearl's Hill that Ethan liked the look of. It only allows cars one of either direction at any one time since the single road going up is so narrow. We parked here on the way home from school to eat our favorite La Mien from northern China, located at a one-man-show, hole-in-the-wall, corner shop in the more easily accessible Pearl's Centre. Ethan eats 2/3 of a bowl while Daddy happily gobbles 1 1/3 bowls!

Saturday 22 January 2011

Marina Bay City Park

Today was a rare Sat morning that we didn't have to work on so we took the kids out for a fun bike ride on Marina Bay! Weather was great and it's such a beautiful bay to explore.... Plus parking at Marina Link Mall is now free for 4 hrs on weekends with any purchase from the mall!

Ethan is now very agile on his bike and Talia surprised us by balancing for about 4-5 secs on a downhill slope! She loves her little bike and is impossible to keep her off it when she sees Ethan riding.

We had a great time cooling off in the air-conditioned comfort of the Marina Bay City Gallery where they loved playing with the interactive display model of the whole Marina Bay area! Here they are sitting below a huge touchscreen which we dubbed the Giant iPhone! There was even a large contingent of design students from Kuala Lumpur who eagerly snapped pictures of Talia on her little bike, cooed "How cute!" and asked me where I got the balance bike from.

Thursday 6 January 2011

Talia's Brompton Bike Seat

I have been having such joy with my Brompton folding bike that I wanted Talia to be able to join me in the fun. After some Internet research I discovered that there were no child seats available for a compact folding bike like mine, but there were some references to people who modified seats to fit on to the front luggage rack!

First, a proof of concept was done my strapping a portable high chair to my front luggage frame. This is an alloy frame that normally holds a bag securely and locks it to a special holder on the bicycle frame. Instead of my normal luggage, I attached my daughter! Talia enjoyed the short ride downstairs very much but this "fabric only" seat was only suitable for a short test. It showed that leg clearance was adequate, Talia sits low and in front in such a way that the centre of gravity makes for very stable riding, and her position does not impede my cycling leg stroke.

I then went to purchase a proper child seat. I settled on an inexpensive $35 seat that suited itself to modification and installation on my Brompton. We did a longer test at East Coast Park (with Talia's helmet - she just doesn't have it on here before the ride) and it was a success!

From a folding bike about which shop owners say, "You can't put a bike seat on that!" to the best bike seat position available! No standard bike could have the benefits of mass distribution, stability of ride, quick seat removal, view of child by adult rider, and excellent view by child that this has! And at less than $40 including modifications! Plus, the seat can even stays on when the bike is folded...amazing Brompton design! It's been so good that I am continuing to improve it with further modifications so more pics and cycling escapades with Talia coming soon! This could be a good Daddy-Daughter activity to do together...

Monday 3 January 2011

Little Chef

One of Ethan's all time favourite pastimes is cooking! He has an extensive collection of toy salads, meats, breads, desserts, fruits and even ice-creams! The innovative chef also improvises as he goes along, using transparent containers as 'blenders', drawers for 'ovens' and socks as 'oven gloves'! We've slowly been enlisting his & Talia's help for some simple dishes like Chawan Mushi, bread and pizza but we are looking forward to the day he can cook us dinner one night a week!

Good Boy Progress

It's now about 2 months since we put up the Good Boy & Good Girl Chart and we are happy to report significant progress on the toilet training situation! There are still some spills and setbacks during periods of illness or intense concentration, but Ethan really has become a lot better at peeing in the toilet regularly. Ironically he is better at this when we are out of the house! Having a nice new set of handsome underwear also helps as well. However, he still needs adult reminders to go every few hours or after a big we still need the chart around!

Sunday 2 January 2011

Talia's New Bed

It's not entirely new but Talia's bed has been reconfigured to a child bed with some drilling work. It's now just nice for her to climb in and out of. Ethan and Talia love the new look and they love napping and bedtime together now too.