Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Update on growth

Kieran finally crossed the 17kg mark!! I remember that it took very long for him to go from 15kg to 16kg. I think almost 2 years! I think he was in the 16kg range for closing a year or a year and a half.

Here are the stats:
Height: 117 cm (75th percentile)
Weight: 17.1 kg (5th percentile)

Height: 104 cm (closing 90th percentile)
Weight: 15.8 kg (about 50th percentile)

Kieran came down with a slight fever the next day (27 June 2012) and now he's back to 16.8kg again. So much for the excitement. :(

Monday, June 18, 2012

Reading programme (or not..)

We aren't the most "on-the-ball" type of parents when it comes to academic pursuits. We didn't really do flashcards (tried for maybe 2 days and we gave up). We are also not the most consistent bedtime readers. We'll go through phases of reading every night to periods where we hardly read to them. We do believe in loads of unstructured time for the boys to play and thus to learn independence. Most of the time, they'll be playing with their Legos (Kieran) or having some imaginary play (Kiefer) by themselves.

Having said that, we do understand and believe in the importance of reading. I was a reader when I was small. I love Enid Blyton and I'm sure I've read most (if not all,) of her books. Thus with our boys, we do attempt to get them to learn to read.

We've been using Ladybird's Peter and Jane series. As boring as the books are, the repetition in the books really helped the boys to pick up words. We have been taking it slowly and Kieran has just completed Book 5b (I'm not sure what the standard pace is, but I know he's not the fastest reader around). Considering we only really started him on the P&J books last year, he now recognises many words by sight, though he still has a lot of work to do in the area of spelling.

He has gained much confidence in his reading that he was comfortable enough to help Kiefer read his Book 2a. He even helped Kiefer sound out the words. A very big step taken indeed.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


This is how Kiefer says "yellow" when he talks and does not conscientiously remember his pronunciations.

Lair-lo = Yellow
When you ask him to say it properly, he'll go "hair-lo", then when you ask him to do the 'y' sound, then he'll properly do "ye-llow".

didlit = did it
When reminded, he'll say, "it's not didlit? didlit (delete) means no more? Like delete the show (from the iPad)?"

Fi-ow-nd = Found

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Meals are only meals if they are eaten, seated down at a restaurant etc. Small meals or snacks throughout the day are not meals.

If you don't give the children dinner (i.e. by 7pm), you are starving them, even though they have been eating throughout the day.

You'll have to eat at 12 noon even though you had breakfast at 11am.

You are getting skinnier. Eat. (Of cos, they are growing so much taller).

Let me give you another bowl of colouring intense, sugar filled jellies.

The children drink their milk too slowly from the cup. (So? I don't get that problem).

You'll have to eat rice for dinner. A bowl of grapes doesn't count.

Can you put your dirty laundry into the laundry bin if you can? (Yes we do. It's someone else who doesn't. Takes them off the kids, leave them on the floor and walks away. So go complain to the right person.)

On my Tuscan Bean soup: Of cos the soup is watery.  You added too much water. (Obviously) You should add mushrooms (it's bean soup. not mushroom). Of cos not nice. The canned campbell's are better (of cos! full of flavouring and msg, oh yes (sarcastic tone).. canned always beats wholesome, made from scratched stuff).

Friends of the zoo, again!

Brought the boys to the zoo on Tuesday and with both the boys at a paying age, it definitely made more sense for us to buy the zoo pass. Tickets for the 4 of us for a single day pass would come up to $82 (including the tram ride). The annual pass for just the zoo is $180 (excl gst) and this means that we'll break even in about 2 visits.

This zoo visit feels a little different from how we used to visit the zoo in the past. For one, we didn't have to bring the stroller anymore! The boys walked the entire time we were at the zoo. We didn't really check the show times and we really missed most of the shows. Only caught the last 10 minutes of the Splash Safari.
What a mischievous face!

The highlight of the day would have to be the water park at the children's world. The park is amazing. There are slides, water shooters and there is this huge bucket that would empty whenever it got filled up. Kiefer didn't like that one. On the other hand, Kieran would go sit under the bucket, waiting for it to tip.

Paid $6 for the pony ride. It was a very short ride. I don't think it even lasted 3 mins! Here's Kiefer going Yee-Ha!

We went into the fragile forest and saw this magnificent  iguana. It looked like a wise, old man sitting at the top of the stairs. I didn't really dare to go near it but the boys did. There was a young man there that encouraged them and held their hands as they stroked the iguana's belly. It even turned around and looked at Kiefer. At that moment, I was a little scared that it would snap at Kiefer. But then again, iguanas are vegetarians aren't they?
Ain't it a gorgeous creature?

I'm looking at you boy!

I'd like to move it, move it!
With our zoo pass, we'll definitely be visiting the zoo loads this year. We may just pop in for a tram ride or just for the water park!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Kieran is 6!

Just realised I didn't post Kieran's year in review picture. So here it is!

To the beach!

It's the holidays and since we are not out of the country, we decided to take this opportunity to bring the boys out into the sun a little more. It's been some time since we last went to Tanjong Beach at Sentosa and so that's where we went!

Funny little poser!

We were all suited up this time, knowing that it was going to be a really sunny day. Loads of sunblock, caps and long sleeved rashguards, off they went into the water.

We even caught the NDP flypast rehearsal. We first saw 2 groups of F16s flying in the V formation and a little while later, we saw the chinook flying the huge Singapore flag across the sky! It was a really nice sight to see.

We really like Tanjong Beach at Sentosa because it is usually not very crowded there. The water the sand there is fairly clean (other than the many rusty bottle caps we find in the sand because of Tanjong Beach Club). And because there's Tanjong Beach Club is there, we can also easily grab a bite if we want to and use their day beds to lounge. Food's rather expensive there though. We usually order a side of fries and a soda and that comes up to $22 already! Still a rather nice place for the boys to play. The crowd usually start coming in after 12pm and that's when we start packing up to leave. :) In any case, there are usually not many people on weekdays.

There's a little lap pool at Tanjong Beach Club. We didn't allow the kids to go in the last couple of times because it is usually very crowded. (It's only a small lap pool.) Also, their daddy always thinks that we are at the beach to play with the sand and the sea and not the pool. :P We allowed them to get in for a splash that day and they had quite a bit of fun. It was a 1.1m deep pool and so even Kieran couldn't reach the bottom of the pool without having water over his head.

Last activity that day was to bury Kieran in the sand! Kiefer dutifully patted the sand down on his brother so that he would be nicely packed in. :P

Going back into the water the wash off all the sand before we leave.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hong Kong!

Took a short trip to Hong Kong with the family. Our last trip to Hong Kong was in 2010 and thus it was nice to revisit. And it is a familiar enough place to bring the old folks to as we already know where we could go and there was no need to hunt for new places to eat/ shop/ sight-see.

We stayed at the Marco Polo Gateway Hotel this time (vs Marco Polo Prince in 2010) because of its convenient location. It is about 5 min walk from Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station and it sits amidst the Habour City Mall. Lots of food and shopping within walking distance. The room we stayed in was not very large, looked a little old, but it was clean. (MP Prince was much nicer, but of cos more expensive too!) We were given a king-sized bed in the room plus an added single bed. The boys slept on the single while we had the king all to ourselves!

We actually had to wait for the rooms to be ready as we were a little early. So we went off to have lunch while we wait. First stop for lunch definitely had to be at Cafe de Coral (where else??!) It was Pork Chop Baked Rice for the husband and Char Siew Rice for the children again. That's like our must-eat place in HK. Having said that, we seem to have cured this addiction to Cafe de Coral after this trip. No more craving for it anymore. We used to have to have 1 last baked rice at the airport before we leave, but not this time!! 

After we were done with check in, we still had an afternoon to go somewhere. We decided to go up to Victoria Peak. The boys were excited that they got to sit on the Star Ferry to Hong Kong Island. That is like the one cheap activity that they love every time. 

To get to Victoria Peak, we had to go on the tram ride up the very steep mountain (or hill). It is always a very fun ride as the tram goes up (and back down) at probably more than 45 degree incline! But there is really nothing up at the top of the peak. Some shopping and some sight seeing and that's about it. 

See how tall Kieran has grown! He barely reached the top of the bus the last time we were here!

Dinner was at Fuk Yuen. They didn't have the roasted duck that night, and so we ordered the roasted goose. Think duck is nicer than goose. The funny think with this place is that, each time we go, the ordering process changes! The first time we went, it was with my aunt and uncle. there was not much problem in ordering then. Then 2nd time we went, in 2010, they had some set menu that we could order from and it was great. This time around, there was no set menus, and we ended up ordering like a vegetarian steamboat (cos we couldn't really understand the menu). Not sure if we'd try it again the next time we head to HK!

Frankly, I couldn't really tell if it was duck or goose. But I thought it was a little "smelly".

The next day was Disneyland day. Set off early and did all the usual rides. The only difference was that the weather was too darn hot! Kiefer was tired by the time we REACHED the park! I felt that too! It was just too darn warm to really enjoy ourselves. Note to self: Cannot do theme parks in summer!! It was so warm that we actually gave the 3pm parade a miss. Just walked by as the parade started and went on into the air-conditioned Golden Mickey Show. Kiefer missed half of the Golden Mickey Show again. We went for the 330pm show and by that time, he was ready for a nap and so he dozed off halfway through the show (just like the last time. :P)

HK DL had a new park area, the Toy Story Land. There were 3 rides there, Toy Story Parachute Drop, Slinky Dog Spin and RC Racer. The boys had a lot of fun with the Parachute Drop and Slinky Dog Spin. We went on the Slinky Dog Spin 3/4 times back to back. RC Racer was kinda scary. Only the Daddy went on it. 

HK DL closes at 8pm (early eh?) and so we'd "chiong" till closing time. The kids snacked the entire day and thus, we only had "dinner" when we got back to the hotel and that was 10pm! No one's complaining (definitely not the kids) as they had fun. The old folks were  upset that we didn't feed the kids though. :{ Oh well...

For the record, we finally got to go on Space Mountain. Despite going DL so many times, we somehow never got the chance to ride it. It is usually closed for some reason or something. We all went up on it and we loved it. I love rides that have hard turns. As long as they do not loop and no high drops. :) The flashing lights did make us quite dizzy though.

Next day, we went Ngong Ping. Other than the cable car ride itself, there isn't anything that's really of interest there. Once we got there, we just found a table outside Starbucks and sat there, while we waited for the rest of the folks to finish their "exploration" of the place. The kids munched on cereal and subway cookies. Hubby and I enjoyed a cold Snapple. Not a bad way to spend the morning I would say. 

View of HK International Airport from the cable car.

Lunch was at a sushi buffet at the Republic Food Court upstairs. Wanted to do to Federal Court Restaurant initially but it was jammed packed with people at lunch and it was just too hard to get seats for 12 people. The sushi buffet was quite cheap. Only HK$68 per person. And we could order as many salmon sushi as we wanted. Pretty good deal. Kiefer slurped up 3 bowls of cold soba!

Kiefer really picked up his chopsticks skills on this trip! He uses the choppies fairly well now!

After lunch was just shopping at the Tung Chung outlets. Shopping wasn't fantastic. I only came away with a pair of Esprit shorts, husband, a pair of Columbia pants and a tank top for Kiefer. Shopping in HK this time around wasn't fantastic. I ended up getting all my stuff from Uniqlo and H&M. We saved a little because of conversion and stuff at Uniqlo were priced a little cheaper than that in Singapore. And as for H&M, I just don't usually walk into one in Singapore. Don't go town much in Sg. :P

Dinner was at The Sweet Dynasty (糖朝). It was just a 5 minute walk from the hotel. Wasn't too expensive, food was quite food and portions were large. Will definitely go back there again.

Didn't do much on our final day. Had a dim sum breakfast at Red Star Restaurant (at Harbour City itself), which was pricey and not fantastic. Should have returned to the other one that we went, across from the hotel the last round. Some more shopping at Harbour City, ventured out onto the streets (nothing much) and we left the hotel for Kowloon Station at about 430pm. Last bit of walking around at Elements and we left for the airport. 

Had our dinner at the airport. Didn't eat Pork Chop Baked Rice again, :P and we discovered a nice Japanese restaurant Saboten. I just found out that we have that in Singapore too! The Katsu was really crispy and what fascinated me was the self-ground sesame seeds that they gave, even though we were eating at the airport food court!

Flight back by Jetstar was delayed by 1.5 hours. We just sat on the plane waiting for the engineers to sort out a problem with some indicator. And so we just sat there for 1.5 hours. Other than that, it was pretty uneventful and we landed at Changi safe and sound at about 1.30am.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Chuggington Ride @ Downtown East

Had some free tickets to the preview of the Chuggington Ride at Downtown East. I think I wouldn't have brought the kids if I had to pay for the tickets. The boys had fun though. However, I don't think it was very well organised. The ride consist of 3 stations where the children have to pass through. At each station, they get to do some small activities and have their photo taken. Each turnover (to pick up a load of 10 children) took at least 0.5 hour. And there was only 1 train running. The ride was not in an enclosed area, and so as the kids hop onto the rides, most parents would walk along with the train as  the train takes them to another location about maybe 5 minutes train ride away. They do have assistants (very polite and helpful, I must say) helping the kids out, but half the time, I don't think they recognise the kids on the train, thus it is very easy for the children to run astray. So it would be safer if the parents follow along.

Station 1 (Downtown East Station)
It was just waiting for the trains. It was a preview of the ride and we waited more than an hour to get onto the train. While waiting, the boys got their arms painted tho'. The waiting area was not airconditioned and it was really warm even though we were there in the evening.

Station 2 (Safari Station)
Here, the boys had their photos taken against a green background. And they played a game of Simon Mtamba says. It was quite messy, and then suddenly, one of the helpers asked "who's wants to go to the bathroom?" and moved the kids away without informing the parents!! Lucky we chased Kieran down and told him that he shouldn't have followed (cos it felt like it was a structured activity) and that he should have asked us first. Tsk.

Station 3 (Round House Station)
Eddie was there to entertain the kids. Nothing much. Another game of Simon Says and some monkeying around and that was it. I was just a little urgh that they made the kids sit on the yucky floor.

Photo souvenirs that the boys brought back. I think this wouldn't be free when the ride opens to the public today.

Don't know who taught this fella to pose like this!
Unless you have a lot of time to spare that is... the kids will like it, can't say the same for the adults waiting around for the kiddos!

The holidays have begun!

The June holidays have started. Instead of being cooped up in the house, we've been taking the opportunity to go out quite a bit!

Universal Studios Singapore
 First stop was definitely the Transformers ride. It was only a 15 minutes wait and so it was good! We did the ride again at the end of the day, and gosh, I can't believe that we actually waited 90 minutes then! The boys were good. They really wanted to do the ride again and so they were quite patient in waiting out the 1.5 hours!

Kieran was brave enough to go up the Jurassic Park ride this time (without whining). Kiefer originally whined about going up the ride, however, at the entrance, he somehow didn't make the height requirement (which we were really puzzled) and then he got upset because he couldn't go on the ride. :{

It was also the first time that we got to go on the Madagascar ride. Very much like It's a Small World at Disneyland. Pretty alright. We went on it twice and the boys enjoyed it.

Hubby went on the Human Cylon (the dangly legs one) on his own while we waited. I didn't get to watch my favourite Shrek 4D though cos the boys somehow didn't want to do it that day. :{

It was overall a really fun day. We stayed till about 7pm? before we left the park. It would have been nicer if it were a little cooler tho'. We got pretty tanned even after slathering on sunblock and I think we suffered from a little heat stroke the next day!

Singapore Science Center

We haven't been to the Science Center in a long time. And since hubby is at work, I thought I would bring the kids. It's the easiest place to get to and there's free parking! Kieran remembered some of the exhibits that he saw when he came to the Science Center on a school excursion. Once we entered, he immediately brought Kiefer to the optical illusion setup where it looked as though their heads were served on a platter of fruits.

We managed to catch the Tesla coil demo. That has always been my favourite demonstration at the Science Center. It's just pure wonder how electricity could be generated. It both amazing and frightening at the same time!

There were also some Discover-it-Yourself stations set up and the boys could set up simple experiments to discover magnetism and static electricity. Fun!

Kieran wanted to watch an IMAX movie and so we bought tickets to Macgillvray Freeman's Coral Reef Adventure. Kiefer, however, was tired out by then (the movie was at 1pm) and fell asleep halfway through the movie. Kinda waste money eh.

I guess the highlight of the entire outing was probably the MacD's lunch we had after. We were so hungry after the show that we ate so much! Between the 3 of us, we ate 8 nuggets, 1 cheeseburger, a pack of fries, 4 McWings and an apple pie! Yum Yum! :P

We got home at only about 4pm. It was a day well-spent.

Science Center Mall Exhibition - X-ploring Dinosaurs!

I found out that there was a dinosaur exhibit at Plaza Singapura. It was a Mall Exhibition by the Science Center as well. There were a few life-sized dinosaur models on display, and for $20, each kid could go through 4 stations to either dig up some dino bones or to create some dino crafts. The 4 stations take about 1.5h to complete. And what do the parents do? Just wait around.

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