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Thursday, December 26, 2013

About time

Time.  It's what we don't have alot of control over in our sunny, as-good-as-full-employment island. But it's also what our children craves from us.  Unfortunately, this sneaky little thing called time absolutely flies.  I guess sometimes, we just have to put our work down and say, it's about time.  It's about time to go home and see your child (not over Facetime), about time to teach your child how to read (not using the iPad), about time to do silly things like get excited over Barney and the Teletubbies (again).  Er... it's also about time the Teletubbies upgraded their CRT tummies to LEDs???

Little Big Club All Stars Show
Manly stuff - steak, cars, sleep. And icecream. And colouring. And selfies.
Teletubbies still look the same after almost 20 years. Same old CRT technology.
December is a time when we reflect upon the year that was, and I'm glad I made the conscious effort in the past two months to spend as much time with Aiden alone as possible.  With the addition of Ava to our family and Aiden having to share our time with his sister, every little moment I have with Aiden is both an opportunity to minimise his jealousy as well as a way to strengthen our daddy-and-son bond.

December also saw my two-cents worth being published in the Mother & Baby Magazine, thanks to Kelvin Ang, a fellow daddy blogger at Cheekiemonkies (

Can't believe Christmas is already over and 2014 is already upon us.  I have not even gotten myself a new calendar for the office. I hope in December 2014, I can say that I have practised what I preached!
Thursday, December 12, 2013

Making A List...

Of things to do after my confinement:

1) Have a cold drink!
It is not so unbearable nowadays with the cooler weather setting in, but an ice cold drink is always welcome. As much as it may not be good for me, I do need this.

2) A refreshing new hair color
Leaving this to the good hands of my hairstylist. 

3) A pampering pedicure
Some me time & pretty feet to look at (now that I can see them again).

4) Go swimming with my boy
Once given the go ahead by my gynae. Miss our weekly swims. Pray for good weather.

5) Indulge in non home-cooked food
This is another list I am making. I wonder why the cravings come now, after pregnancy.

6) Shopping
Some new clothes and christmas gifts. Online shopping meanwhile.

7) Start working out regularly
Swim, gym and strolls with the baby.

8) Watch a movie in the theatres
Have been contemplating to go during confinement.

9) Go out as a family
Can't wait to do so with our new family of four.

10) Plan a holiday
With our boy. Any tips or recommendations on places to visit with a 3 year old in Australia?
Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The joy a newborn brings

I can see it in his eyes.

How he'd come over to my place, rain or shine, bringing me lovingly boiled bird's nest, helping with marketing for my confinement meals and running errands for me. How he'd walk towards baby's room and watch closely as she sleeps. Once she stirs, he'd gently pick her up and starts speaking to her. How his eyes lit up as he shares with us when she finally opens her eyes and looks into his. How pleased he is when she drinks contently as he bottle feeds and burps her. How contented he is, just to hold her in his arms, gently stroking her with his hands. Those arms which held me, and those hands, have weathered over the years.

Dad's first meeting with little Ava
I may not remember but I am sure this is how my father sees me when I was a baby.

My dad & I (around 18 months old)
In comparison to what he's done for our family, for me, I am really ashamed of myself. I am happy that bringing my two lovely kids into this world have brightened and enriched his life and how he is such a proud and doting grandfather today. I can't express how thankful I am to have him in my life and how lucky I am. I love you so much Papa.

Same same but different - his favourite boy
Thursday, December 5, 2013

Baking With My Boy

Baking with a two year old does have its challenges and yet I really look forward to baking with Aiden as it provides him with opportunities to display his creativity, allow him to get hands on with the ingredients & mixer, and learn about ingredients & measurements.

Although it will take a longer time and create a bigger mess in the kitchen, nothing beats seeing his wide smiles when he gets involved in the process and finally tasting his own creations.

We have tried our hands at a few different cookie recipes and also a Betty Crocker's Muffin Mix. 

Here's Aiden having fun at baking the muffins. Totally fuss free and just takes minutes and a 2 year old to do it. We do not recommend this, as the taste of the blueberry mix is pretty artificial and it doesn't taste good. I am going to get my hands on the RedMan Golden Muffin Mix which are much yummier and bake away with Aiden after my confinement.

Just add water, stir and spoon them into your muffin cases.
Pop them into the oven and tadah!
We would also like to share this simple cookie recipe that we both enjoy (baking & eating).
First we lay out all the ingredients we need.
I will read aloud the ingredients we need, and lay them out on the kitchen top. At our 3rd baking session, Aiden can shout out a few ingredients before me. He also enjoys watching me measure out the flour and sugar, learning to read the scale.

 What You Need:

220g plain flour
50g corn flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
150g butter
100g sugar
30g brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Chocolate chips or any other dried fruits/ chocolate rice you have at home (as much as you like)

Mixing the ingredients together
I let Aiden control the mixer, which he very much enjoys as he seldom gets his hands on the electrical appliances at home.
Into the mixer
What To Do:

  1. Sieve the plain flour, corn flour and baking soda together and set this aside
  2. Cream the butter with sugar and brown sugar until creamy
  3. Add in the egg and mix well
  4. Add in the salt and vanilla essence and mix well
  5. Fold in the sieved flour in a few portions until it forms a dough
  6. Mix in the chocolate chips and shape the dough onto a baking tray
  7. Bake them in your preheated oven at 170 degree celsius for 20 minutes (adjust accordingly, bake till golden brown)
    Creating the shapes he desires

    Adding in the chocolate rice. This boy would pause and ask me
    if  it's enough and I will tell him as much as you like :)
    Love watching these small hands at work
    Our little baker at work, creating heart shapes & stars
    We are done! Yummy cookies.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Our Visit to River Safari Singapore

With my dad & Aiden, we paid Kai Kai & Jia Jia a visit at River Safari Singapore in October. There was much hype about this relatively new attraction in Singapore, being Asia's first river-themed wildlife park and here's our review.

1) Easy to navigate layout
The River Safari is divided into 3 main areas:
Rivers of the World which features wildlife species, fishes and aquatic life from 7 rivers, Wild Amazonia which features the Amazon River Quest (scheduled to open this year end) & Squirrel Monkey Forest and the highlight of the attraction, Giant Panda Forest.

We went with a stroller and the park was friendly enough for us to go everywhere with the stroller & the exhibits were well laid out for our discovery and exploration. Ideal for families with young kids.

2) Easy to read signages which are kids friendly
Most of the signages were very attractive and simple to read, with some interactive signages with sound effects, good for independent discovery for kids.

Add caption
3) Educational discovery on the Rivers of the World
At the beginning of each river, there will be a unique signage sharing interesting facts about each river & the species found in each, a great teaching tool for parents with kids.

4) Air conditioned Giant Panda Forest
Each visitor is restricted to 15 minutes in this area, and reminded to keep very quiet. We were lucky to catch more than a glimpse of both Kai Kai and Jia Jia as both of them were in action. The air conditioned enclosure is a welcome escape from the humidity outside.

Look at my paw mummy!
Where's my boy?
5) Interactive Squirrel Monkey Forest
Aiden's favourite memory of the River Safari has to be this Squirrel Monkey Forest. The very sociable monkeys were free to swing around and came very close to the visitors. One mischievous monkey even jumped onto a stroller, scaring the parents of the young child. The squirrel monkey is the most abundant monkey species of the Amazon rainforest, observe how they leap from tree to tree hunting for fruits and insects and hear them call out to the rest of their troop.

We took about 2 hours to complete exploring the River Safari, and did not think it was very worth visiting compared to the Singapore Zoo or the SEA Aquarium.

Lastly, a tip would be to bring your own water and snacks as the dining options are pretty limited. The Mama Panda Kitchen can be very packed, unless you would like to try the much hyped panda buns, or the River Safari Tea House located near the entrance for local food. There are also kiosks along the way selling drinks and snacks at exorbitant prices.

Getting to River Safari:
Address: 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826 
You can either self drive or get there via pubic transport, carpark is the same as the Singapore Zoo.
The entrance is at the same location as the zoo, on the other side of the ticketing booth.

On our way, a 40 min drive from the east
Admission Tickets:
$25 per adult, $16 per child (3 - 12 years old) and $12.50 per senior citizen (aged 60 and above)
Or save more by purchasing the Park Hoppers including entry tickets to the Zoo, Night Safari, Bird Park and River Safari.
My mama panda

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