Christmas is in the Neighbourhood

Is everyone in a Christmasy mood yet?

I've just given out my first few rounds of Christmas pressies. Doing this always puts me in a warm glowy mood.

Roboman and I will be cooking a Christmas dinner for the family this Saturday, and we'll be joining some close friends for a house gathering on Christmas night. I really do look forward to this weekend.

One of our lovely neighbours left adorable Christmas ornaments on the doors of our homes. Each has a personal message written on the back. Isn't this such a simple but sweet idea? Our whole floor looks pretty with this little neighbourly touch. Bubbles says hello to the ornaments each time she sees them, and informs us (almost every single time) that they are still there.

I hope you're having a wonderful couple of days leading up to Christmas, and that it will be a season where you and your family are swath in love of the people most important to you.

We will be remembering the birth of Jesus with thanksgiving for the hope and love brought to this world.

Baby-inspired Conversations

Besides the initial ‘Why the baby cannot come out?’ question, I’ve been enjoying getting to know my little 2-year-old Bubbles more through the questions and comments she has put forth about her upcoming baby sibling. They really make me wonder what else could be stirring in that little brain of hers!

First of all, she used to say that the baby is in ‘Mummy’s stomach’. I’ve since taught her that the baby is in my womb. She has also suddenly developed a keen interest in looking at photos of herself as a baby. As we looked through her baby photos (countless times), I took the opportunity to explain terms like umbilical cord and breastfeeding, and draw attention to fun things like how tiny her toes were. I also introduced the concept of her being an older sister (jie jie), by pointing out other kids she knows who have younger siblings. She seems to have taken very well to the idea of being a jie jie!

Here’re a few memorable things Bubbles has said about Bun, or about babies in general. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed hearing them first-hand!

Mummy, I want to talk to the baby!
Moves my arms away so that my belly is not blocked.
She shouts to my belly. (She always raises her voice when talking directly to my belly)
Holds up her most prized possession to my belly – a squashed little bolster.
She waits a while and asks:
Mummy, what is the baby saying??

Mummy, why babies cannot walk?
That’s because they are not strong enough to walk my dear.
When you were a baby, you couldn’t walk either and had to be carried.

A couple of days later:
Mummy, can you buy a stroller for my baby doll?
Because she is a baby and cannot walk. I NEED a stroller.
(Guess what she’s getting for Christmas?)

Mummy, when the baby comes out I will tickle the baby’s ears.
Then the baby with laugh and laugh.

Mummy, when the baby is born then the baby will sit on your lap then I will play with the baby and the baby will be SOOO happy.

I come home from work one day and she reaches out both hands to stroke my belly.
Hello baby. Sayang, sayang.
Kisses my belly.

She comes to my room one day and sees me lying on my back hugging a big pillow.
Mummy! You are hurting the baby!
Motions for me to remove the pillow from my belly.

In the car, she suddenly said:
Mummy, I want you to breastfeed the baby.
Yes dear, I will when the baby is born.
Now, Mummy, now!
(This led to a lengthy discussion about how Bun is receiving nutrients from me through the umbilical cord.)

2 conversations stood out as most memorable because they happened when I was putting her to bed. I had turned off the lights, and she was already on her side hugging her bolster and sucking her thumb:

Before bed 1:
She suddenly flips over.
Mummy, I want to talk!
Huh? (a tad concerned) Okay, what do you want to talk about?
WHO put the baby in your womb?
Oh (taken aback) God put the baby in my womb, my dear.
Well, God gave me my 1st baby, that is you, and now He is giving us another baby. Just like He gave Por Por 2 babies – Mummy and Yi Yi, and He gave Ah Ma 3 babies – Daddy, Tua Pek and Tua Gor.
she nodded, flips back to her side and sucks her thumb to sleep.

Phew. I’m not ready to talk about birds and the bees with a 2-year-old!

Before bed 2:
She earnestly calls for me in the dark.
Yes? I drearily said, wishing she would just sleep already.
Did you get a Bumbo seat for the baby?
I was immediately alert, surprised that she remembered the Bumbo seat I borrowed for her
and have since returned to a friend.
Erm, no I haven’t. I’ll need to borrow it from someone.
Yes Mummy, you MUST borrow it from someone.
Do you think the baby would like a Bumbo seat?

That’s it for now folks, the conversations that brought smiles and giggles the last few difficult weeks =)

By the way, I'm now 16 weeks into my pregnancy! Am still -1kg from pre-pregnancy weight though, so many people have commented that I look slimmer (when they don't notice my tummy). Pregnancy has by far been my most effective weight loss programme. Ahem.

A Toddler's Reaction to a New Baby

Many people have asked me if Bubbles knows about Bun, and if so, how her reaction has been.

I decided to tell Bubbles really early on about her soon-to-be new sibling. In fact, she was the 2nd person I told after Roboman! She reacted with a question: ‘Why the baby cannot come out, Mummy?!’
She has since asked many questions and talked a lot about Bun. I’m glad I made the decision to share the news with her so early, as this piece of information obviously interests her very much, and thoughts about it are constantly brewing in that little head of hers. I’m hoping this gives her enough time to get used to the idea, and subsequently better accept her new sibling, and the new status of no longer being an only child (and grandchild).

We took her to my very first gynae visit, where Roboman carried her up to see the scan of the foetus. In the 2 weeks that followed, she suddenly became very unfriendly to other younger kids/babies, and acted out violent behaviour on her little baby doll. I was slightly shocked although I understood that she was dealing with feelings that were unfamiliar to her. She would squeeze her baby doll’s head, or poke the eyes, while keeping a lookout for my reaction. Each time she did it, I could sense that she was confused by her own feelings, like she didn’t know why she was doing what she did!

I would ask her: Would you like it if someone squeezes your head/pokes your eyes? She would immediately say No. Sometimes I would ask: How would you feel if someone does that to you? She would pause and reply Sad, or Bad. She would then stop what she was doing.

Once, alarmingly for me, she suddenly poked my stomach and said: I poke poke poke the baby and the baby will cry and cry. Thankfully this only happened that one time.

I suspect her acting out was partly because I couldn’t give her much attention those 2 weeks as well. She was dealing with the uncomfortable new feelings while having to handle Mummy being bed-bound, and unable to carry or entertain her. I was thus very careful never to tell her that I couldn’t do anything because of Bun. I would give other truthful reasons like being dizzy, or having a backache.

We are very thankful now that those ‘violent behaviour’ moments have now dwindled and are few and far in between. Instead, it has been replaced with the most interesting questions, and sometimes really sweet thoughts that she has been sharing regularly with me.

I will write about these in an upcoming post :)

A Threatened Miscarriage

When I found out I was preggers, I was excited to share the news with everyone. 'After my 1st gynae visit and scan' I told myself.

At around 7 weeks, Roboman and Bubbles accompanied me to the gynae. It was a happy occasion as we heard a good, steady heartbeat. The Bun was then only 3.3cm in length.

Unfortunately things went downhill from that very evening, without me quite knowing it. I was spotting before I went to bed. I didn't worry much though, as I also experienced some spotting during my 1st pregnancy. I went to bed, woke up the next day (a Sunday), prepped Bubbles' lunch to take along, and we all headed off to church.

Halfway through service, I felt my tummy area cramp up a couple of times. I thought it strange, and tried to adjust my sitting position. The cramps kept coming, but weren't really painful. Just another pregnancy discomfort, I thought. After service though, I was a little shocked when I went to the toilet. I realised I had bled fresh blood. But would you believe it, as it wasn't a lot of blood, I still told myself that it is ok.

I was starving (my morning sickness had not started then), so we all headed off to lunch. During the meal though, was when I really got worried. The cramps kept coming, and this time they were stronger and actually painful. My lower back hurt as well, which sent alarm bells off in my head, as it reminded me of the labour pains I endured when I was carrying Bubbles.

Roboman immediately sent me to the hospital where my gynae is based, and I was warded that very day. My doctor put me on complete bedrest. Don't walk unless you need to go to the toilet! I was told. I was also put on a hormone pill and monitored a couple of times in a day.
Thinking back, I am incredibly grateful that my little Bun was alright, and shiver at the thought of what could have been. I thank God for protecting the little one. I was on bedrest for around 2 weeks. It was a miserable time, as my morning sickness set in around then, and I suffered from horrible dizzy spells. This dizziness I've been experiencing truly is a mark of this 2nd pregnancy, as I never experienced it with my 1st. This meant that I truly was stuck to my bed almost the entire time, and the feeling of being on a rocking boat didn't go away even when I was lying down! There was no way I could access a computer without feeling sick, although I thankfully could surf the Net a little on my phone for short spans of time.

I am so grateful that my parents, my sis, and a dear friend came by everyday so that I was never alone with the Bubs. I was not able to manage her on my own at all, and the poor girl had to accept a Mummy that was forever lying down and not able to carry her. (She was very sweet though and 'cooked' food for me as I was - in her words - dizzy and had a backache). I felt really helpless.

The weeks that followed were nightmare ones as well. I won't elaborate but basically this is what happened:
- Roboman and I fell really ill with a full-blown flu that took a long time to go away. We had to place Bubbles at my parents' place for an entire week.
- Bubbles had a bad eczema outbreak that I had to help sort out
- Bubbles fell ill with a different bout of flu
- I caught her flu and fell ill again

The Bubs and I are both still recovering. Roboman is trying his best not to fall ill the 2nd time. At one point I counted that we were at the PD 4 times, the gynae and GP one time each, all in a span of 2 weeks. It was horrible.

We're praying that this bout will pass soon enough so that we can all enjoy Christmas with healthy bodies.

For the Bun, I'm thankful again that indeed:
"...children are a gift of the LORD..." Psalm 127:3
We will continue to trust Him!

A Lil' Announcement

Hey, hey, hey :)

Yes folks, you're not seeing things - there is a little bun in the oven. Our second baby, quite a surprise gift. We're very happy and grateful.

We didn't expect this gift to come so soon. In fact, to be honest, I discovered I was expecting through a home pregnancy test kit when I was drafting this post. I couldn't believe that I actually was pregnant when I was thinking about writing the post. Roboman was surprised too as it was a super stressful and busy few weeks for me then. I therefore took the test twice on different days to be sure. 

Things however, hasn't been smooth sailing for me at all the last 2 months or so. I've been warded and gone in and out of doctors' clinics. The past few weeks has been an awful blur of discomfort and pain. It has been really tough on not just me, but on the family - my pillar of support.

I will share more in my next few posts, which will give everyone a better idea why I disappeared from this space.

I must apologise to my blog sponsors for MIA-ing, as I just couldn't muster up energy to properly clear my emails. I will get back to each of you as soon as I can.

Sorry too to some of you who asked about me early on, and I wasn't able to give satisfactory answers. I was just too down during that period, and didn't want to talk about my pregnancy.

Thank you to all who sent me messages to ask how I was doing. I was really touched by every single one, and truly appreciate your thoughts.

I'm back. Slowly but surely :)

Coming Back Soon!

I'm finally back at work after almost 3 crazy weeks away.

I have been ill (and it seems most of Singapore too) and have so much to share!

Now to sort myself out, download countless photographs, and to write a blog post.


Off now to meet a cousin visiting from Saudi Arabia. How exciting :)

A Blog Pause

Hey hey! It has been more than a week since a post appeared on this page. Let's just say I had a crazy couple of weeks work-wise, heating up in the last week or so, and ending with a fun company D&D before things came to a grinding halt. I fell really ill.

The Bub stayed over at my parents' place for 2 nights, allowing me complete rest. And rest I did. I surprised myself just how much I can actually sleep. And sleep. AND sleep. Oh, and watch TV. I can't remember the last time I watched TV like this - lying on the couch endlessly flipping channels and spacing out. Wow, is this how most people spend their time relaxing?! (as opposed to doing 90000 things and getting oneself ill?!)

And you know what? I'm actually quite enjoying this break of sorts. Give me another week and I'll be up and running on this space again!

In the meantime, I have 2 things to share:

1. The winner of the Elmo Giveaway - Dar - *Wave* I still haven't heard from you! Please do contact me by this Sunday 16 Oct at 12 midnight. I will have to select another winner if I don't hear from you by then (which will be such a pity since you won!).

2. Gingerbread Mum recently introduced this awesome little cafe called Cafe in Action at Kim Tian Road to me. It is along a row of shophouses and within a walking distance from Tiong Bahru MRT Station. We've been back several times since. To be honest, this cafe serves primarily average food, with a handful of good dishes (I particularly like their Chicken Fried Rice and Beef Stew). But at the very competitive prices (I would say similar to an upmarket food court), and the awesome play area, this place is a WINNER in terms of kid friendliness. Check out these pics!
Till next week, folks! :)

Making Baby: Prepping for a 2nd child

This is how it goes: You get married and people ask when you're going to have a kid. You have one, and you get questions about when another is coming.

Another question I'm often asked (and I admit I like to ask too as I'm genuinely curious about this as it is something I seriously think about) is how many kids we plan to have. Most people are taken aback when I honestly disclose that I've always wanted 4 kids. Yes, FOUR.

Why FOUR? Well, I think 1-2 are too few. 3 (in my mind) results in one being left out. Therefore, 4 seems the best option. I like the idea of having a big, gregarious family. One that comes together for meals, to share our days, to make messes, to produce happy conversations (and noise).

However, a big BUT to this whole matter is that Roboman only wants 2 kids. 2 is enough, he says. (To which I'll always grin and say: We'll see ;))

I may have to eventually eat my words though. The original plan was to have another child this year, to avoid having a child in the Dragon year (why fight with everyone else?!). I however, was just not ready to go through pregnancy and the works again, just as I was growing to enjoy Bubbles more!

In the past month or so however, both Roboman and I finally felt ready to prepare for a 2nd child. Another addition to our family that we both agree on. We're prayerful about it, and seek God's provision and blessing in this area!

This round, besides preparing ourselves, we need to prepare another little one - our dearest Bubbles. I hope to share over time some of the things we have done (and plan to do) regarding this. This preparation is especially important especially since Bubbles has told me on more than one occasion that she doesn't want a baby but wants a dog!

If you have more than one child, I'm very keen to hear how you prepped your kids for another baby in the family too!

In the meantime, we'll be keeping a look-out (so to speak)!

A Dollop Of My Home: Straight from a Magazine

Thank you for sending in your photos for the A Dollop Of My Home series!
I've received lovely contributions that will be showcased every Friday.
Email me if you would like to send in photos of your home :)

This week's home was featured in Home & Decor October 2010. Some of these photos were taken by Woon-Ng of W2 Design Associates, the interior designer engaged by Lilac Butterfly's family.

I was blown away when I visited Lilac Butterfly's home, and was in awe by how detailed the family was in co-creating this space. They even measured the packaging of the beauty products that they use (eg. hairspray bottles) to make sure that bathroom shelves were built to fit them all!

When doing up their new home, her family consciously wanted to have a kitchen design that would allow them to have groups of friends over regularly. They also wanted their kitchen to have as much natural light as possible. Therefore, the original wall separating the dining, living and kitchen areas was knocked down, and they worked with their interior designer to create a space that allows them to have a dry dining/kitchen area and wet area for the cooking and mess.
What I really like about this design is that people slaving away in the kitchen are not cut off from the party - in fact, they can leave and easily get food in the kitchen and use the long, 2m table for other interesting things like card/board game.

The next 2 photos show Lilac Butterfly's reading table portion of her room. You can see that the chosen colour on the walls clearly reflect her preferences! This is where she goes to have some quiet time and space. In the mornings, with the blinds partially down, diffused light floods into the room, giving it a very rested yet illuminated glow. In the evenings, when the sun has gone down, she pushes the windows open and let the night breeze come in - refreshing in a different way. On not so sunny days, she tells me that it can be breathtaking to sit at the table and gaze at the wonderful painting formed by the cloud patterns.

She also shares with us a shot of her brother's room - the most striking feature of his 'bachelor's pad' within the family home is his table. There's a lot of privacy in this design, through the construction of the extra partition behind his room door. The "seat" for his table is actually the "floor" for his bed/mattress. A clever twist and use of space by the designer.

I personally like the shelves above his table - it maximizes space and is visually interesting with its unequal widths!

Finally, a spot in the home that is usually never featured - The store-room! While most people I know (myself included) would prefer to shut this place out from public view because of the sheer madness in there, this one was a piece of calm oasis. The entire room is neatly arranged, with labeled boxes, drawers and files! I think the only 'messy' part I spotted was the box on the top left - stuffed a little too full for the lid to shut properly. But really - I have the problem of shutting the door of my store-room properly, so this is impressive to me!

Thank you Lilac Butterfly for sharing your beautiful home with us!

I'm on a look-out for more homes to be featured in this series.
Do help to spread the word with your friends and share this on Facebook or Twitter!
 If you enjoyed viewing others' homes, do share yours as well!


More toddler conversations

Conversing with Bubbles has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of parenthood so far. While I am terrible at keeping a neat record of events and conversations, I do remember snippets, some of which I hope to regularly share on this space!

Hope you enjoy reading these!

While looking out the window and seeing someone walk his dog: 
Mummy, can you buy me a REAL dog?
Who is going to bathe and feed the dog?
Bubbles!! she immediately exclaims.
Oh really? Wow. And who is going to clean the dog's bum bum after he poos?
Errr she thinks really hard: I don't know!

On a Tuesday morning, my first work day of the week.
I don't want Mummy to work!
Mummy has to go to work today my dear.
Why Mummy has to work?
Err well, Mummy needs to work to earn money.
I don't want money! I want to throw money on the floor! I want to kick money away!
(said with as much fury and corresponding arm and leg gestures as she could muster)

On the day after her birthday party, our doorbell rings.
She perks up:
Who is coming to give Bubbles presents??
(Oh dear, oh dear!)

My mum serves lady's fingers (okra) for lunch.
She giggles and exclaims: Por Por! I'm eating Lady's Toes!

At bedtime, she suddenly turns to me and strokes my arm.
Because Mummy work so hard!
She then turns and drops off to sleep!

On the baby monitor early one morning.
I hear the pitter patter of her little feet.
She opens her bedroom door and patters over to open our room's door, bolster in her arms.
Who is coming? Who is coming?
She says in a sing-song voice.
I play along and ask: Who is coming?
Bubbles!!  she shouts
With a huge grin on her face, she clamours onto our bed.

I arrive at my parents' place after a long, hard day at work.
Hello Mummy! How was your beautiful day?
(And my awful day suddenly truly becomes beautiful!)

From my sister's FB status:
2-yr old niece is so articulate and funny. She never fails to crack me up.
Came home early from work today...
Niece (chirping loudly): Yi Yi! Haven't seen you for a long time! (x 4)
Me (wearing a mesh top): *walks over grinning* 
Niece (suddenly stares and looks serious): Yi Yi.. why are there holes in your shirt?!

Let's Rock Elmo Giveaway WINNER!

Thank you every one of you who participated in the Let's Rock Elmo giveaway.


A Let's Rock Elmo is going to:

Please contact me about your prize!

Breakfast on a Bench

Happy start of the week!

I spent a lot of today looking at these 2 photos on my phone. They were taken in the morning. The Bub had chosen to buy a Strawberry Cream Bun from the vending machine. She then sat so daintily on a bench munching her breakfast.

Looking at her fills my heart with so much love and joy. I get all fuzzy and warm inside, with a deep protective fierceness that I've never experienced before. It has only been 2 short years, but I can't remember never knowing her.

She gets peppered with kisses from me every single day. Can you blame me?

The Balloons & Bubbles Party: Eats

One thing I felt I could have done better for the Bub's 2nd birthday party was the food and drinks. I really didn't have much time to plan for it at all, with me handling home and facing a very busy time at work. Ideally, I would have liked to bake the cake myself, and serve more interesting homecooked food!

Rather than stressing myself out further as the clocked ticked away, I focused my attention on the party activities and the birthday cake. 2 cakes were finally purchased from our favourite Vicky's. I asked for them plain, and created the 2-tier effect and decorations at home. Doing this saved me a lot of money!

As for the food, I decided on a very simple menu that I felt worked for a tea-party.

First up, I covered a low bench with a sunny yellow tablecloth to go with the red and yellow party colours. This was the kids' food table, as well as a place to hold drinks, cutlery, plates and paper napkins. The kids had a huge bowl of blueberries to dig into, and an assortment of biscuits suitable for a range of age groups, along with the packets of Milo that they were given when they arrived.

Here's the Bub with her best friend :) They are always soooo cute together! (And I just realised Let's Rock Elmo matches the party's colour scheme!)

For the adults, Roboman cooked up a huge pot of pasta and a tomato-based sauce. We chose to do this because it is also kid-friendly, and some kids had early dinners. The women in the family (my mother, mother-in-law, and our sisters) helped make sandwiches with a tuna mixture that I earlier prepared. My mother also arrived with 2 trays of cut fruit - watermelon and dragonfruit.

I ordered the other stuff from Old Chang Kee, as they have a delivery service. We had curry puffs, spring rolls, fishballs and cuttlefish balls. They were thankfully well-received!

For drinks, we served water, fruit juices, Coke, and Guiness Stout (mainly for my father-in-law). When the party started, I suddently remembered we had half bottle of whisky that we unfortunately have not had the time to drink, and asked Roboman to bring it out.

Finally, a little something for those with a sweet tooth: An assortment of mooncakes and (Daily Scoop's) ice-cream! The latter was served right at the end of the party - and I'm glad I made that decision. It was only the mention of ice-cream that the kids agreed to come back up from the bubble fun they were having!

And so, I've come to the final post on Bubbles' 2nd birthday celebrations. We really truly had a blast and feel so thankful for all the love that was showered on her, and on us! It has been a wonderful 2 years with my beloved baby.

The Balloons & Bubbles Party: A Bubbling Good Time!

One can never go wrong bringing bubbles into kids' parties! I thought: why not make it part of the theme? And so I did.

After washing the paint off the kids, and leaving the artwork out to dry, we all headed downstairs for some bubble blowing fun.

We had 3 types of bubble blowing contraptions. First up, the Bubble Saber. It is a long saber-like thing that you can blow through, or swing around for a more saber-y effect ;) It was mostly the older kids/adults using this though, with the kids running around happily catching bubbles.

Next, we had the Bubble Gun! On second thought maybe I should have bought more of these. They were hugely popular and the the kids were impatient at taking turns. It churns out a great many pretty bubbles!

Finally, we had the good old fashioned Bubble Bottles. Each kid was given a bottle (or two). This kept everyone happy! My dear Bubbles was most interested in this simple bubble contraption. Huffing and puffing with all her might. Check out the bubble solution that spilled down her dress!

It was a scorching hot afternoon. Bubbles' favourite doggy friend had to lap up a drink of water, much to her amusement :)

A Dollop Of My Home: Tranquility

Thank you for sending in your photos for the A Dollop Of My Home series!
I've received lovely contributions that will be showcased every Friday.
Email me if you would like to send in photos of your home :)

I'm interrupting the 2nd birthday updates to bring to you this week's A Dollop Of My Home post.

Ruth of Mommy Cafe sent me these shots of her living room. I took a double take when I saw the photos as her room layout is almost identical to mine! We share the same colour scheme, and I even have similar curtains (although mine's hung in the Master bedroom), window seat storage, and that same square woven placement!

One stark constrast though, is that Ruth's place exudes such tranquility and orderliness. She did say that she recently did some decluttering, but still, with a toddler in the house, it is really kudos to her efforts that her home is this beautiful!

I particularly noted the cushions on the sofa - I like the textures and patterns on them, creating interest paired with the solid coloured sofa. Ruth likes reading here, next to the full length windows. She enjoys the pretty diffused colours that come through the curtains, particularly in the late afternoons. When her boy naps, she sometimes like to cuddle up on the sofa to read, with a beverage on hand. Books and magazines will be stacked on the wooden storage boxes lined up against the windows.

At the other end of the room, Ruth placed a tall vase and some artificial flowers with deep red hues that she loves. There's also a small CD player/radio that would be set to play jazz or instrumental music as she reads. The little nifty blue box holds some of her son's books. The handles make the box easily portable, and mother and son and choose to do reading time anywhere at home!

We want to take sneak peeks of your home!
 If you enjoyed viewing others' homes, do share yours as well!


The Balloons & Bubbles Party: Balloon Fun!

The Balloons & Bubbles Party! Starting with the Balloony bits ;)

Bubbles wore a gorgeous dress by Missy Messy that I saved for the party!

First of all, this party was kept a lot smaller than Bubbles' previous ones. We kept it to immediate family and people whom she knows by name and see on a fairly regular basis. I would have loved to invite more people who are special to us, but not having secured a bigger party venue meant that we had to keep the party size modest so that our apartment could accommodate!

I thought hard about how I could have balloon fun without having to include much-loved helium balloons. They would have been a hazard as we have ceiling fans at home.

Here's the result! A little row of 'hot-air balloons'. Each kid got to choose one to call their own! I put in mini Milo packets in every 'basket'. They were a hit with the kiddos too. Unsurprisingly :)

I set up a long, low table at the corridor by joining up 3 big cardboard boxes and covering them up with a checkered plastic sheet. A row of stickers were scattered down the middle.

As our little guests streamed in, they busied themselves decorating their own 'hot-air balloons' with a choice of stickers!

Bubbles' 2-tiered self-decorated cake had some 'balloon treatment' too, with 3 little lollys :) I also made a little scroll that read Happy Birthday Bubbles!

When the cake cutting (and eating) was done, it was time to get messy! I told the parents of our little guests to come prepared with extra sets of clothing. We did balloon painting! Balloons were filled with a little rice for some shakin' good fun, and blown up just a little. The kids then immersed themselves in doing balloon (and the inevitable hand) prints! A few artistically inclined kids were so pleased with their work that they chose to take them home :)

Sticky, gooey, colourful fun!
Most kids ended up with pretty hands like these ;)

Some dear friends brought Bubbles pretty helium balloons too.
They're still holding up strong, and she loves them :)
Next up: The bubbles part of the party!


The Let's Rock Elmo Giveaway ends next Monday.

Birthday Outing to Amazonia

After the happy family celebrations at home, we all trooped to Amazonia. All NINE of us adults accompanying one little Bubbles!

Unfortunately, in our hurry to leave the house, we left our camera behind! We regretfully only have some low-res photographs from our phones. It was a real pity because it is a beautiful place, and would have been perfect for family photos. You can see pics of this lovely new indoor play area from this mother's blog.

We literally had a ball of a time burying ourselves in one of the two ball pits :) Aren't ball pits just so fun?!

The other features that we liked were the restaurant/cafe that had natural light streaming in, and sofas to lounge on. There is also a cool floor 'piano' where kids can step on to make music, and huge slides.

We paid $20 for 2 hours of fun for the Bubs. Adults get to go in free, and were only asked to wear socks.

Lunch was taken there - portions where rather small and they ran out of 1-2 selections (maybe they weren't expecting such a large group of us descending on a weekday and choosing similar dishes!), but I was impressed with the variety they had for a kids' place like this. It was nice to have choice of food beyond the usual nuggets and mini pizzas.

With half a day of fun behind her, the Bubs happily slept in the car on the way home :)

On the Actual Day

Bubbles' birthday fell on a Thursday this year. She woke up early that morning, and while we were waiting for our families to arrive to start the celebrations, I gave her the Let's Rock Elmo as her 1st birthday present. I wanted to wait for everyone to arrive before presenting her with the other gifts from friends that were hidden in a cupboard. One of her presents were from Pixie Threads, a gorgeous T-shirt that she wore that entire day!

After enjoying some play with Elmo, I decided to take out her birthday cake to let her have some fun in doing the decorations. Here she is concentrating hard. Putting sprinkles on her very own birthday cake gave her such a thrill!

Soon, the parentals on both sides came, along with our siblings. It was most hilarious that they each came bearing gifts! Bubbles was really quite overwhelmed. She's always happy when her favourite people come to visit, and now with gifts too?! You could see her eyes grow to wide in amazement as she excitedly (but quietly) accepted the presents one after another before passing them on to me (haha)!

Soon, it was time to sing the birthday song. We always sing 3 versions: The English, Mandarin, and the May the good Lord bless you versions. The candles were blown and the cake cut.

She couldn't wait to taste the cake and promptly licked the knife after the cake cutting! Most amusing. We then let her sit to enjoy her chocolate cake, which she did very, very much, with full concentration once again.

More sweets were presented in the form of macarons that my sister brought back from Zurich. These were from Luxemburgerli, a rather well-known place for light macarons.

True to her chocolate-loving self, the Bubs only wanted the chocolatey flavours! Nom nom nom!

After the feasting, she spent some time playing with one of her favourite presents this year, a baby doll! She fed the baby, asked for her clothes to be changed, imagined the baby crying before comforting it etc etc. It was most entertaining for us to watch.
We then headed out for a special birthday outing, unfortunately leaving our camera behind!

More in the next birthday post...

The 2nd Birthday Party Invitation Card

We had a blast last Saturday!
This was the invite.
More birthday photos to come.
Do enter the Let's Rock Elmo Giveaway if you haven't already!

Let's Rock Elmo Giveaway!

Guess who rocked into our home just in time to celebrate Bubbles' 2nd birthday?
One of her favourite characters: Elmo!
She was SO thrilled :)
Thank you, Hasbro!
Let's Rock Elmo came with his very own microphone and two instruments
- a tambourine and a drum set.
Here's Bubbles giving Elmo a hand with the microphone as he plays his drums :)
We found that we could choose which instrument we would like him to play and he would recognise the one we gave him! Bubbles would 'take turns' with Elmo in using the instruments and we were entertained by the different songs that he sang and played along to.

Amazingly, we're told he's intelligent enough to interacts with other Let's Rock instruments that you can buy separately!
 It was like Elmo came alive in our home.
The way he talks, sings and moves his mouth is exactly like what you'll see on TV!
Let's Rock Elmo will be officially launched in Singapore stores on 21 September.


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Step 1:
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Step 2:
Leave a comment on this post with a Liked! Shared! Followed! or Tweeted!
and who you think would love this gift.

That's it! 2 simple steps :)

Giveaway is open to Singapore addresses only and the contest ends on Monday 26 September 11pm.

All the best!!!

A Dollop Of My Home: On the Walls

Thank you for sending in your photos for the A Dollop Of My Home series!
I've received lovely contributions that will be showcased every Friday.
Email me if you would like to send in photos of your home :)

Oh dear, this week's post is super late! I have been buried in meeting work deadlines that have been brought forward, and organising birthday celebrations for the Bub.

To make up for it, I decided to do a bumper post. I'm always happy to receive more than the requested 2-3 photos as it gives choice of photo selection and a spread of visual delight.

This week's photos are courtesy of Kevin and Yun, a young couple who run Cavallo Media together. I'm impressed with how they've already added lots of personal touches to their home, having moved in only a couple of months ago.

First up, we have a Warhol inspired photo collage - an anniversary gift from Kevin to his wife (how very sweet!). It shows a photo taken during their honeymoon at the main square in Prague.
Look at these lovely shelves. It contains family photos and many precious things that they've picked up on their travels, including books and trinklets. I like arrangement of items on the shelves -with a mix of horizontal versus vertical pieces, and spacing that is visually appealing. It is nice to note too that some thought has been given to colour placement! I know for a fact that not as easy to accomplish nice-looking arrangements as it looks!
Tiles, tiles, tiles. Love! I am really drawn to mosiac tiles in general and these, being rectangular, are more unique. The colours too are really soothing. Great if you are a frazzled cook like I am! If I ever get a new stove-top, I want a flat top one like this!
This is the final photo I selected. An artprint by an San Francisco based artist, Aaron Kraten. Strong lines with a pop of colour.

Thank you Kevin and Yun for sharing your photos!

By the way, if you enjoyed their Letter Buddies Alphabooks App that I reviewed earlier this year, you may want to check out the new ZooZoo Readables.

Readables is a collection of 8 interactive, animal stories based on their Zoozoo characters. The text is carefully crafted to be simple so that young, beginning readers can gain confidence as they become independent readers. There is also light animation that adds some humor and helps to embellish the stories. Do check it out!

Do you have photos of your home that you would like to share too?