Under the Slides

Bubbles has found her favourite spot at the playground.

Under the slides.

She brings in twigs and other little bits she finds. Not much persuasion is needed for her to get them off my hands. Not when she has found herself a cozy spot.
There she hangs out. The breeze blowing through her hair.

She kicks off her shoes.

I smile and watch her play :)

Animals in the wrong size

I recently bought a box of these little farm animals. I thought they would make good portable toys to bring out with us.

Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed that the size of the animals are not to scale! The chicken is as tall as the cow.

Not good at all.

Does anyone have any idea where I can get animals that are sized to scale?

2 Different Gifts

I always feel so blessed when I reflect on the generosity of our friends. For no rhyme or reason, we have people around us who shower us with thoughtful gifts at random times.

A friend whom I met up for dinner with recently plonked this on my lap:
For Roboman and his friends, she says. This is one woman who definitely knows her whisky. He was rather pleased to see it! I personally don't know much about whisky, and like wines, I just know if I like or don't like a certain one. Bowmore has never failed! Roboman, on the other hand, comes from a family where all the men are whisky drinkers. Gosh you should see how many bottles lie around in his parents' home during festive seasons.

Last Christmas, I was introduced by his family to Glendronach (don't ask me which year). I thought it was really good too. They tell me it is very smooth. I was thrilled that it healed my sore throat. Haha!

Now looky at this!
How cute is that? :)

Another dear friend presented this book to Bubbles recently. Just in time for Easter she says. Bubbles was so excited and on the way home in the car, she said with anticipation: Mummy go home read book. And then Auntie buy. Present. Now, every time we read the book, she declares knowingly: Auntie give! (or Auntie buy! again)

I just had to photograph the book with a little sheep beanie toy that was also given to Bubbles some time ago. This is from a globe-trotting family friend. She never fails to drop off something for the Bubs each time she lands in Singapore or Malaysia.

We are so grateful to be loved!

The Haircut

I finally took the Bubs for her haircut recently. Till then, we've only ever had her fringe trimmed.

We opted for a $10 cut from one of those chain salons. Happily, they also had a TV screening Tom and Jerry cartoons! Still, the stylist who was in turn to take us on looked a little worried when he saw his young customer. He whispered something to his senior colleague before tentatively asking me in Mandarin: Err, will she cry?

I shared with him that she has never cried nor fussed so far for all her fringe trims at other salons. (some places do fringe trimming for free!) With that assurance, we popped her into a seat and he began his work. Roboman and I were so tickled how Bubbles was SO SERIOUS throughout her haircut! She just sat there quietly with a solemn expression on her face. It was extremely funny for us to watch. She stuck to her serious expression despite us laughing away at her side!

She was either doing her best to be proper about the whole experience, or Tom and Jerry was very unamusing to her. 
Checking out her new look
I couldn't bear to really lop off too much of her hair though, so I opted for just a little trim to neaten the ends. Now her hair still looks longish but less messy. Everyone in the family prefers her new look. I'm not too sure myself, but acknowledge that there will come a time when more will have to be chopped off!

We're off on a beach holiday!

A few weeks ago, Roboman declared that this period will be the only chance he gets off work to go on a holiday with the family for a very long time. I immediately said OK, and yay, it is actually happening!

Truth to be told, we are not without our concerns. The Bubs has been nursing a cough for like FOREVER. The doc now thinks it is due to post-infection allergy (after a bout of mycoplasma infection) :( Thankfully, she seems cheerful, healthy and active otherwise.

This will be our first trip abroad with her (not counting the few trips up North to see family).

We've been talking to her about 'flying on an airplane', staying in a 'new room', and getting to 'play sand everyday'. She has been taking it all in with wide eyes and enthusiastic nods.

I've naturally been tasked to pack her luggage, and oh boy, the packing list now stands at #64 items just for her alone. Call me kiasu, but if we have luggage space, I AM GOING TO BRING THEM ALL. For my peace of mind, and who knows? Maybe our sanity too :) It will after all be 4 whole nights away.

I've decided to use this time as an Internet break for myself too. So, during this period, I will not appear on Facebook nor Twitter. I will not even be going near any computer, and my iPhone will be used only for calls and texts. I hope to spend the time catching up on reading, having uninterrupted conversations with the husband when the Bubs is asleep, and just soaking in some peace and tranquility. I'll probably also enjoy lying on ironed sheets (reflecting on the photo above!).

However, just because, posts will still be appearing (magically. wahah) on this blog. I know I'll be fighting the urge to read all your lovely comments. LOL!

Anyway, I don't think Bubbles will have a problem relaxing by the pool. Just look at her here. I asked her to sit next to me, but she decides to find her own space three deck chairs away! My little teenager!
See you next week people! Hope you have a lovely week ahead!

Eat, Pray, Love for Cheap!

I recently stumbled upon a 2nd-hand bookstore called BookMart. (Sorry if I sound so dated!) It is located at The Central - the shopping mall with escalators that go all over the place =P

It is Singapore's largest Japanese 2nd-hand bookstore, and I was delighted to find that they do have a selection of English books as well.

Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to browse as long as I liked. I did however, pick up a pretty decent copy of Eat, Pray, Love for only S$6.80! It retails for around S$19 brand new.

If you have been to my apartment, you would have noticed that I almost always have a small stack of half-read books on my bedside table. They tend to be of different genres. It is a long-standing habit. I like delving into different 'worlds' that each of these books open up to me.

That said, I looked at my stack today and have the urge to pick up maybe 2-3 more books to take along a trip we're making this week. Holiday reading. Hopefully a pop into the nearby library would yield something! Do give me a shout out if you have something to recommend!

Playground Offerings

I try to take Bubbles to the playground in the mornings whenever I can. Fresh morning air and breezes make for enjoyable companionship.

Lately, Bubbles has been less interested in the play structures at the playground. She prefers to look out for insects or to pick up stuff from the ground to offer to me.

Her current favourite are these dried pod cases. I am not allowed to throw them away while on our walks:
So I just let her fill my hands with them. It delights her to do this. I think: How long more will she delight in simple things like that before life in our hectic country take over?

For her sake, I hope it will be a very long time more. It is a sad day when one loses the sense of wonder. To have to give it up for practicality and routines. May I always encourage and never quell that in her!

God Ran: My Easter Reflections

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him;
he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
Luke 15:20

Are there specific truths in your life that you hang on to? Something that forms the basis of who you are?
I grew up in a Christian family, but while I had always in faith believed the Word, it was only when I was around 15 that I truly began a personal journey with God. I listened to a message about the Parable of the Prodigal Son. I recall that it was titled God Ran. The verse above made me weep uncontrollably for some time. That very day, I was on my knees, and tears were rolling down from my cheeks as I was overwhelmed with the true meaning of what that really meant.

From then, I've always held in my heart that God Ran. He made the move to run to me when I was still a long way off. It is a truth that I hang on to and re-visit from time to time.

I know this is not exactly the Easter Story, but it does remind me why I celebrate Easter:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.
John 3: 16-17

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all,
and therefore all died. And he died for all,
that those who live should no longer live for themselves
but for him who died for them and was raised again.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Happy Easter everyone!

Fresh Milk Guzzler

We introduced fresh milk to the Bubs some time back, but it has only been recently that she takes it on a more regular basis. She absolutely loves it!

You should see her run to the kitchen door when she knows I'm getting it for her. Fresh Milk! She says. Yummy!
Mmmm mmmm
A bib is a must since she's already in her PJs and ready for bed.
 She always end up with stuffed cheeks.
Can't help but fill her little mouth with as much of the yummy stuff as possible.
 Bottoms up!
 More, please?
(Looking at Daddy)
Thank you dear readers for helping spread the word about Project Spare Attire!
The team has been hard at work sorting out the items to sell.
There'll be lovely dresses, tops, skirts and pants -
all going at prices that will not rock your wallets!
I spied some awesome cocktail dresses too.
Woo hoo :)
I'm so excited!

I Am Woman: Dinner out with the girlfriend

I had dinner out with a girlfriend last night. We had planned this a while ago, and I really wanted to make sure I could catch her before she leaves again for one of her gruellingly long work trips.

When I dropped Bubbles off in the morning, I told her that Mummy would be picking her up later that night, after she has had her milk and changed to her PJs. She nodded solemnly in agreement.

Sometime in the evening, I realised with horror that I can't quite remember when was the last time I went out for dinner on my own! This friend, therefore, was the perfect companion to be with, as it was breath of fresh air to talk about everything else other than Mummy-dom matters. (Although talk of Bubbles did creep in =P) I always tell her that I live vicariously through her experiences, given that I now live a relatively structured life that centers around family.

One part of our conversation stuck in my mind: She mentioned that I no longer write about me, my thoughts, experiences etc as a person. Of course I thoroughly disagreed with her (that can't be!) but when I came back to scroll through my entries, I realised she is quite right. It would seem as if I am mother first before anything else, even myself.

There's nothing wrong with that in itself of course, and I am sure this is a phase that many other women go through as well. However, I do think that it will be nice to take a day out each week for me to pen my thoughts about me as a woman. It could be random posts about what I wear, what I think about flowers, photos of my morning, making things like these, or this, or snippets about Roboman and our marriage.

A space for me to indulge in being first a woman. In order to be a better wife and a mother. Perhaps some of you also feel the same way?

This post will kickstart it I guess!

Here are some photos of the evening:
(all photos taken by the girlfriend. I didn't have a camera with me)

How do you like my dress?
I am TERRIBLE at posing.
The girlfriend had to teach me how :)
I think I have some fats to shed,
will work on that after I have all the kids I want :)
Friend rolled eyes when I ordered this hot and sour soup.
I can't seem to go without spicy food.
Sea Perch
Asked for it to be spicy too.
We preferred the asparagus that came with it.
We unceremoniously dunked rice into this to soak up the gravy.
Very nice :)
There was more food, but I am not bothered to post.

I will post her pearl necklace that I tried on for fun though.
I've been wanting to get something like that for the longest time!

Project Spare Attire 2011

I have been involved in something interesting that I realised I haven't shared on this space! Please read on and I hope to meet you in person this coming Saturday :)

In the weeks leading up the Chinese New Year and thereafter, a few of us were busy doing karung guni duties. All for a fabulous cause by Project Spare Attire!
Project Spare Attire was born in January 2011 to honour the good work of the SUN-DAC Centre for the Disabled and to support their Client Welfare Fund through a 2nd hand clothing donation and sale.

Thanks to generous donors, we collected over 90 bags of 2nd hand clothes, which were mostly donated to SUN-DAC's Thift Store.
We have selected ladies clothing and accessories that we personally will pay good money for to sell at the FLEA.FLY.FLO.FUN Flea Market!

The stall is generously sponsored by lovely organisers who run this fabulous Indie Elec-tric Flea Market.

All proceeds go to SUN-DAC Centre for the Disabled's Client Welfare Fund


Date: 23 April (Sat)
Time: 3 - 8pm
Venue: Home Club
20 Upper Circular Road #B1-01/06
The Riverwalk

I hope you'll be able to come down to support this sale and the many other stalls present at the flea event!

Please do help spread the word. Many, many thanks =)

Click here to read more about SUN-DAC Centre for the Disabled:

DIY Fishing Game for Tots

I whipped this up during one of Bubbles' naps recently. I got this idea from a playgroup she goes to - it was such a hit with the kids!

What you need:
Pictures of brightly coloured fish (I Googled)
Large paper clips (the small ones require more hand-eye coordination and stronger magnets)
A magnet
Some string
An Ice-cream stick (or any equivalent)

What you do:
Laminate the fish pictures and cut them out (This is just for durability)
Slip a paper clip onto each of their mouths
Attach one end of string to the ice-cream stick. Use tape to secure.
Attach other end of string to your chosen magnet. Use tape to secure.

Tada! Now your tot can use the 'fishing rod' to 'catch the fishies'! Your very own fishing game :)

A whole lot of different things can be done with this. Have a who-catches-the-most-fish competition (with 2 or more kids). Learn about colours (Only the blue fishes!), numbers, or even types of sea creatures (if you print other stuff besides fish). You can even create a beautiful seabed base with fabric or crepe paper for your fishes to reside in. A whole underwater world.

I was really pleased that this took such little time to make!

Just to share, I did attempt to draw the fishes at first since that was how I saw it being done. Like this: 
Thankfully, I decided pretty quickly these weren't going to cut it, and printed photos off the Internet instead.

And guess what? When Bubbles woke up, she squealed upon seeing the colourful fishes. She then pointed at these red hand-drawn ones and said Not Nice, turned her attention to the colourful photos and said This Nice. She repeated the whole Not Nice - This Nice thing about 5 times.

Okay baby. Mummy agrees :) Thank God for the Internet.

Her little House

This must rank as the most unglamourous shot of me ever on this blog. Please forgive me as I myself try to look beyond those awful legs! I must assure you that those pin-striped pants do look a whole lot better in real life *blink*.

I have to thank for my sister for this photo and just had to post it.

This is Bubbles' very own House, set up by her grandfather whenever she visits. This one is unlike the more make-shift nature of the house she gets at home. It is fitted with plush cushions, and my childhood teddy bear duvet. Often, when I arrive at my parents' place after work, this House is the first place the Bubs leads me to, hand-in-hand. It is in this house she insists I sit in as she serves me concoctions from her little kitchen.

That is me, after a few sleepless nights (thanks first to mine and then to Bubbles' persistent allergy coughs) and a long day at work. I was trying to catch forty-winks as she finished up her milk. She didn't like me being asleep very much and kept saying Mummy, Wake Up in between mouthfuls from her bottle. And of course some body part of hers (in this case her right leg) would be on me.

I thought this photo sums up my evenings after work very well.

Thanks sista, unglamourous shot aside ;)

Happy weekend everyone!

Soju Vase

This is so random.
The little vase in my bathroom broke, so I decided to use the Soju bottle we had.
The dried flower stems are too short for it, but I quite like the look!

Holy Communion

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying,
“This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Luke 22:19

This month is our turn to bake communion bread.
Knead, knead, knead
We used a Soju bottle cap to cut the circles.
I haven't been able to find a small enough dough cutter!
Done :)

Painting for Papa (Mr Fix-It)

I've recently brought painting time into the bathroom. It makes cleaning up a whole lot easier. I dream of setting up a nice space for art and craft activities to be done. But that will have to wait, for now. There are too many projects I'm trying to tackle at the same time, as is!

In the last few weeks, Bubbles has developed a Daddy's girl thing where she always wants to Show Papa her artwork or any other interesting thing about herself (like when she's snugly wrapped up in her bath towel with its hood on her head). 

A few days ago, when my part-time cleaner wanted to help me clear up the bathroom after a painting session, Bubbles got all frantic, thinking that she was going to throw away her paintings. She ran up to her, waved her hand and said: No no, don't touch! Show Papa!

The childish seriousness of her delivery thoroughly amused my cleaner. The kind soul assured her that the paintings will be kept for her to show her beloved Papa.

In Bubbles' eyes, Papa is also the important Mr Fix-it who is admirably able to fix anything. Even stuff on YouTube. When she sees that Elmo's radio 'won't work', she tells me with an index finger in the air and a knowing nod: Papa fix!

I made my baby sad

I really like how she looks with her hair tied up. Her chubby cheeks get nicely displayed and she looks neat with a hint of spunk.

I don't understand why she doesn't like her hair up but as of now, I am totally going to let.her.be.

A few days ago, the weather was hot, and I was persuading her to let me tie up her hair. The heat was already making the both of us a little fussed. As I was bunching up her soft waves, she repeatedly threw her collection of hair-clips and ties all over the place. It happened once, then again, and when she did it the third time, I snapped.

If you don't want your hair ties, Mummy is going to give them to another little girl! I said in a loud tone as I picked up the pieces in a huff.

She stopped what she was doing and looked at me. What she said next really stunned me:

Bubbles sad. she said mournfully.

What did you say?! I couldn't believe what I heard.

Bubbles sad. She repeated, before burying her little face in her hands and leaning her forehead onto the mattress.

I immediately felt pricks in my chest and alarm bells went off in my head. I reached out to hold her close to me and asked Why is Bubbles sad?

Another girl. She said, looking pitifully at me.

What?! My mind was buzzing.
Did I just hurt my baby with what I said? What have I done?

I reached out to hold her. In a gentle voice, I apologised for hurting her, and explained that I was upset with the way she treated her things.

Thankfully, she bounced back fairly quickly and told me firmly that she did not want her hair ties. When asked what I should do with them then, she merrily said Give another girl, before scooting off to play with something else.

My baby. She is not even Two! I really do have a sensitive soul in my hands. May God grant me wisdom to handle my little one with tender loving care. So much learning I have yet to do!

Easy Comfort Meal

I know for a fact that I am not a great cook. (Although I did have illusions about becoming one when I first got my own place. My very own kitchen you know!)

Thankfully, in our household, we do have some comfort meals that are a cinch to make. And when I say a dish is easy to make, I really mean EASY with all the caps it deserves.

We always have cans of sardines (in tomato sauce) and diced tomatoes in our kitchen.

Heat up a pan
Drop in a dot of oil
Empty 1 can each of tomatoes and sardines
Break up each fish into 4 pieces (if you wish to)
Toss in a cut red chilli (I use chilli padi)

The end.

Eat with warm rice and enjoy the tantalising mix of sweet, salty, sour and spicy flavours. Mmm mmm.

A Resorts World Sentosa Pop-in

The past two days felt incredible. After being ill for a while, it was wonderful to re-start our weekend outings again. 

On a whim, we went to Resorts World Sentosa just to walk around and grab lunch. The weather was scorching hot when we arrived, but thankfully we had cloud cover a while later, which made everything a lot more pleasant.

Bubbles was just thrilled with the big open spaces, and spent her time doing these:

Running around while squealing
Stopping for a few relaxing strolls
Playing with her Chili's balloon
(which she thanked the waitress 3 times for)
Dancing with Momma
(There was music and we really did dance for quite a bit!)
Playing hide-and-seek
Chasing the parents
It was a lovely start to the weekend!

Skinny Pizza at Barracks

This is about the belated birthday lunch that I wrote about earlier. The girlfriend picked me up and we plonked ourselves at Barracks.

I was really feeling quite ill that day despite being on a 2-day medical leave just before. In fact, the boss took one look at me and suggested that I go home. Yes, I have nice bosses like that! I gratefully told her I would after lunch.

Feeling queasy, I didn't have much appetite, but surprisingly enjoyed the meal. This friend of mine knows what tickles my tastebuds methinks! Oh, and I'm so not with it these days. I didn't realise that Skinny Pizza is now at the Barracks.

Ahi Taki Salad
I love tuna done this way.
Squid Ink Pizza
I am NOT a pizza fan in general but I loved this!
The savouriness of the seafood shone through.
Chocolate Tart
The girlfriend wanted to order some crumble that she said was very good.
Unfortunately it is no longer on the menu.
This tart was too rich for sickly me.
I only managed 1/3 and packed home the rest!
I have been told their desserts are good in general though.
I'll be back with Roboman in tow, I'm sure.
He's the pizza fan!

Busy Stove

One afternoon, as I was preparing Bubbles' and our dinner, I stopped and took in the beauty of my kitchen stove-top.

3 shiny pots.


Pretty blue flames.

If only I can get my food look as good!

From the Aunt's Perspective

My sister works long hours and unfortunately doesn't get to spend long stretches of time with Bubbles. The two however get along fabulously well, and this aunt of Bubbles spoils her whenever she can.

We know that Bubbles absolutely loves hanging out at my parents' place, where my sister also stays. Still, when I read my sister's Facebook status updates written about Bubbles, I felt like I was getting another glimpse into the beautiful world that my baby belongs to.

Here are 2 recent ones that sis has given a go-ahead to post here:

Came home today and became a fellow airplane passenger with my little niece.
She knew how to sit on her (spare car-)seat, fasten her seatbelt, wear a sleep eyemask and
order coffee and tea from a very willing air steward - my dad.
I think my acting skills are improving with her brilliant imagination.

Felt kinda nostalgic-surreal to see my little niece and my dad watching YouTube videos
of old chinese wayang/opera together on his iPhone
- lovely juxtaposition of old and new, young and old :)

What Dads put up with

The other day, Roboman was driving when I suddenly noticed this:
Fancy, huh ;)
The bub has been enjoying her stickers very much indeed.

I had Winnie the Pooh stickers on my legs one morning as well.
Courtesy of my daughter.

I thought a picture of my husband's watch is more palatable than that of my legs.

Nursing Covers for Japan

I received these lovely nursing covers from Mum in the Making last week. 

A friend who is due for a C-section this Thursday has mentioned that she has been wanting to get one. When I saw that these were being sold with part of the proceeds going to Japan, I immediately ordered two.

They are so prettily packaged that I didn't want to unwrap them. I peeked into the folds to see beautiful handiwork.

I may just keep one for myself or gift it to another mother friend. After all, Baby Number 2 has not been planned for yet. Hmmm.

Yes to Memories, No to Boxes

I have written about doing some de-cluttering at home, and wanting to re-do some areas of our apartment.

Somehow, in a short 1.5 years, things related to Bubbles seem to have magically multiplied many times over. Our home is now full of things stamped "Bubbles". We badly need to re-organise and clear out stuff to make room.

So, after 4 good years of hanging on to these wedding momentos, I have finally decided that they must go. These are the angpow boxes that were lovingly made - two by my sister, and one by my MIL's friend for the wedding in KL.
They hold my wedding invites, cards, church programme etc. Alas, the boxes attract dust, and some parts are already starting to yellow. The crunch came when I found that I could not fit them in the new built-ins under our bed. The contents will be saved in my new chic black boxes (that do fit under the bed), and the angpow boxes will sadly have to go.

Sentimentality can be such a burden, don't you think?

A Drawer for Little Hands

This is a special drawer in our spare room. It is kept specially for Bubbles to put in her clean laundry.

When I am out in the service balcony unpegging her clean clothes, she'll run to take armloads of them to this drawer.

I'll hear the pitter patter of her feet as she repeatedly mumbles Bubbles' clothes, Help Mummy as she goes about this household chore with all her toddler diligence. She usually makes about 4-5 trips (with some help from me) to bring in all her laundry.

At the end of it all, she will close the drawer with a flourish, and wear a very satisfied expression on her face :) I really enjoy these moments of shared responsibilities!