Monday, March 29, 2010

~ Jasper's Birthday @ Swensen's ~

This week has been a week full of Birthdays! Just celebrated Hubby's Birthday on Saturday, yesterday we were also being invited to Steven's daughter 1 year old birthday party at Amara and today is Jasper's birthday! BBil also arrived in Singapore early this morning to celebrate Jasper's Birthday and a special treat at Swensen's.
Many Many Yummy Ice-Cream! Hmmm...What should we order??
Here comes our Ice-creams! SLurp... A sweet supper and a sweet birthday treat for our dear Birthday Boy! Happy Birthday Jasper! ^_^

Sunday, March 28, 2010

~ Movies - How To Train Your Dragon ~

This is one of the very few movies that Gladys says she wants to watch! The main reason is ..... DRAGONS! Yes! You heard it right! How To Train Your Dragon is a very entertaining movie suitable for the entire family and definitely one of the best I have seen so far. :p Many recommended that this should be watched in 3D.. but we didn't as Gladys will not be able to enjoy the show with the glasses on.

The story started with Hiccup, a teenager Viking, son of the village leader, who somehow gets into trouble whenever he tries to kill a dragon. He was being look upon as useless but things started to change when he managed to shoot down the dreaded Night Fury-Toothless. Through time and observation, Hiccup learned that Toothless & Dragons are not as dangerous as what they have always thought to be.

I love the interactions between Hiccup and Toothless as well as the training and fighting scenes. It has a good mixture of funny, heart warming and exciting moments. The story content is good which slowly build up to the climate in the final battle scene. Children as well as adults will definitely enjoy this movie! Fantastic!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

~ Hubby's Birthday Dinner @ Bliss Restaurant ~

It's whole day dining out on Hubby's Birthday. Hubby decided to go to Bliss Restaurant which lies within Punggol Park inside where there is an indoor as well as an outdoor dining area. Parking lot is very limited but we are lucky to get a spot. If not, we'll have to park at the carpark opposite the park.

http://www.blissrestaurant.com.sg


At first we intend to dine within the indoor area but the air-condition simply fails to make us feel any cooler. Hence, we make a switch and went to seat by the pond. It was the RIGHT decision as we have a good view of the waterfront and enjoying the breeze. It was cooling and relaxing while waiting for our food to be served.

Food was alright except for my chicken chunk spaghetti where the chicken is too Salty! Service wise is passive but polite. One of the waiter helped to give the kids a cushion each so that they can be seated comfortably.

It has been a nice Dining experience and I love the ambience. Heard from Hubby that the price of the beer is reasonable and it's a popular spot for Happy Hour. A group of friends can just gather by the outdoor waterfront area to drink, chit chat, enjoy the cooling breeze, watching people exercising or strolling with their pets and the sun sets.

After having our dinner, we strolled around the park together. A good way to digest our food too. :p It's nice to have a leisure walk (as a family) to enjoy the nature and it's simplicity out of our usual busy schedule. 其实简单就是美, 平凡就是幸福。

~ Playing in the Dark - Earth Hour 2010 ~

First time we participated in the Earth Hour movement. At around 830pm, we switched off the lights and the television. Only keeping 2 ceiling fans on due to the hot weather.

Daddy kept himself busy in the computer room with his work while the children are bored without the lights because they cannot read, play games and watch cartoon programs. So, I took out their hand-powered torchlight to direct their way around the house and play. At first, Denver said it was scary but it wasn't that bad after all. The siblings started to have fun with their torchlights. Shining it around the house and making shadows.


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The main purpose is to let them experience the night without the lights. Apart from playing, I also asked them to hold on to their torches as my light source to help me do my housework. Example: Keeping, folding and hanging my laundry. They have been very good helpers. ^_^ Gladys was having fun all the time while Denver hopes that the hour ends soon.

Having Black outs in Singapore is very rare and so it has been a good experience. Hopefully, the children will learn to appreciate life better and not to take things for granted. We should be conscious with Energy Conservation and switching off the electricity when not in use.

~ Hubby's Birthday Lunch @ Sakae ~

Happy Birthday Dearest Hubby!! The children sang him a Happy Birthday Song this morning (with Mommy's reminder of course! :p) when they woke up. The children are the happiest lots even though it is not their Birthday. They knew they will have good food and a good time. True enough, we went to Sakae Sushi for lunch to celebrate Daddy's Birthday. (Using the $50 voucher which I won in the previous Sakae Blogger contest.) ^_^


Denver & Gladys browsing through the menu while waiting for the restaurant to open at 1130am.
I just realised that Sakae has a New Menu! Looks so much classier! (Brown and Gold versus the Old Green and White) They have also introduce the new $3.99 Pink Plates with a whole lot of new items to choose from! You can now view the brand new menu online at the Sakae Sushi Official Website too! (http://www.sakaesushi.com.sg/bookflip/bookflip.html)

It's great that Sakae has offered more choices and menu selection. However, a word of caution for the diners is to take an extra look at the food on the plate before picking them up from the belt. As we are frequent patrons of Sakae, I realise the inari sushi ($1.99 - normal coloured plate) are all being placed on the Pink Plates! We browse through the menu again and got confused.. Was there a change in pricing? Or are we colour-blind? Luckily we clarified with the waiter and he made the corrections immediately. If not, we (and other diners) could have been paying more than we should have!

With the red, normal coloured plates and the new Pink plates, Sakae would really need to put in extra caution and effort in ensuring the food being place are served correctly to avoid inconveniences. In addition, Hubby also made another comment that the lighting at the Sakae Sushi outlet at Century Square is too dim. It takes awhile to pick the correct coloured plates and lesser pleasure to see our food. Hence, it will be great if the lighting effects can be improved. ^_^
Opps! Enough of 'complains'. :p Food is great and we filled our tummies. Looking forward to more attractive promotions from Sakae so that we also try a couple of the new pink plates.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

~ Denver's Primary 1 Class Photo ~

Denver got his Primary 1 Class Photos today! One standard pose and one Fun pose! It seems like a tradition that there will be a class photo every year. From Nursery to Kindergarten 1, Kindergarten 2 and throughout each year in Primary, Secondary and Junior Colleage. I don't recall I have that every year during my time. (only got my graduation class photo for Pri 6 and Sec 4.)

Each photo cost a few dollars (about $3-$5) depending on the size. It's not cheap but then again, it will be a good safe keep and memory for Denver throughout his schooling years. ^_^ In addition, Mommy gets to know who are his friends in class and can link a picture to the names he usually mention.

~ Evening at Changi Airport Terminal 2 ~

Earlier, we all went to send Zhen off at the Airport. The children always love to go there and Gladys even thought she is going to board the aeroplane! You can imagine she was confused and disappointed to know that we aren't going on a tour after all. Nevertheless, she had fun hopping on the trolley being wheeled around by Denver and the kiddos had supper at MacDonald.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

~ Multi-Tasking and Striking a Balance ~

Being a mother is not easy.. Being a working mother makes it even tougher. Apart from working during the day, there is never-ending housework and on top of that, I need to spend time with the children studying and playing.

Term 2 started yesterday and Denver's school work starting to pile up. For example, he is having more tests lately. He just finished his Chinese test before the March Holidays, completed his English test today and I am just informed that there will be a Maths test this Friday. He got his Term 2 English spelling list today and spelling starts on Thursday. Then I suddenly remember that he has Chinese spelling this Thursday which I have totally forgotten. Opps!

Hmmm..where did all my time gone to???? By the time we got home from dinner, it's checking through Denver's school bag and reviewing his work. In addition, Gladys also needed attention with her writings and readings. She can write her english name, alphabets (A-Z) and numbers (1-10) already and I'm trying to teach her simple chinese wordings from 一到十. Gladys is an active girl who gets distracted easily and wouldn't pay attention or sit still like Denver. I need greater patience to teach my little girl.

Wednesday nights is always a mad rush for me since I got teleconference with my U.S Team weekly. I'm lucky if I do not have other meetings scheduled on other nights. If there are time to spare, the children will enjoy storytelling time with Mommy. If not, they will be keeping themselves occupied either with cartoons or computer games. (That really helps to give me some time to do part of my housework.) Gladys is pretty good using the mouse and playing the games in Playhouse Disney online. It is her favourite website and once, I happen to see that she can use the keyboard to enter her name. WoW...

Work, housework, schoolwork, playtime, juggling the time between the children, family and not forgetting personal leisure enjoyment is really a lot on every parents' plate. Striking a "Work-Family-Life" balance is not easy but something that I am looking forward to acheive.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

~ Tamago Sushi and Octopus Hotdogs ~

Last week, I tried to make Tamagoyaki and hence following the instructions online, I used 4 eggs, 2 Tbsp of sugar and a little bit of soya sauce for my sweet egg omelet. I did not have a rectangular pan and have to depend on my circular saucepan to make my tamagoyaki. It's kinda difficult to flip the eggs but I managed to make the egg omelet succesfully. ^_^

Cutting the eggs into thin slices and I made my very own Tamago sushi! I also make a few crabstick sushi too. The only downside is I did not manage to master how to make the sushi rice taste just right. Maybe it's because I did not use the tradition Japanese short-grain rice... if not, it could be the mixture that went wrong.
Gladys is very fond of the Octopus hot dogs which I made during our picnic last week. So I made some again on Saturday. I guess she finds it cute and has a bigger appetite to finish them all. :) How the food is displayed is really very important. That is why Japanese Bento are popular, good to look at and appetizing.

~ SwimSafer - Replacing NASSA and LTSP ~

Although Denver just got his Bronze Award in the recent National Survival Swimming Award (NASSA) Test, NASSA and Learn-to-Swim Programme (LTSP) will be replaced by SwimSafer in July 2010.

Reports indicate that SwimSafer will emphasis on teaching Singaporeans (especially children) with the necessary water safety knowledge and a wide range of water survival skills as a safeguard against drowning. The SwimSafer programme comprises of six stages - SwimSafer Stage 1 and progressively, Stage 2, Stage 3, Bronze, Silver and Gold.

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Six Progressive Stages of the SwimSafer Programme

Stage 1: Introduction to Water Skills
The objective is for your child to gain confidence and develop independence in the water, as well as learn general and deep-end water safety. Techniques taught include forward and backward movement, entering and exiting the pool safely, and introduction to personal water survival skills.

Stage 2: Fundamental Water Skills
General skills development will include unassisted step entry into water, sculling, feet-first surface dives, personal water safety skills and water safety awareness in an aquatic environment. Your child will be encouraged to achieve 25 metres of continuous swim.

Stage 3: Personal Water Survival and Stroke Developmental Skills
Principles of personal water survival and basic rescue skills will be taught. Your child will demonstrate proficiency in sculling, underwater skills, and the use of a Personal Floatation Device. Your child will be encouraged to achieve 50 metres of continuous swim.

Bronze: Personal Water Survival and Stroke Improvement Skills
Development of your child?s stroke techniques will be a focus here, along with coordinated breathing in deep water while swimming 100 metres. Principles of water craft safety will be introduced, as well as continual work on rescue and personal water survival skills.

Silver: Intermediate Personal Water Survival and Stroke Refinement Skills
Fundamental of diving will be introduced. Development of rescue skills and personal water survival skills also continue at more advanced levels. Your child will be required to demonstrate efficient stroke techniques to complete the Silver stage before progressing to the Gold stage.

Gold: Advanced Personal Water Survival and Swimming Skills Proficiency
Your child will be required to perform strokes with greater ease, efficiency, power and smoothness over 400 metres. Rescue skills and water safety knowledge will focus on lifesaving readiness. Standing dive and advanced personal water survival skills will continue to be taught.
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SwimSafer will be rolled out at public swimming pools on 5 July 2010 and all instructors teaching at SSC will have to be SwimSafer certified, as well as teaching swimming classes based on the SwimSafer syllabus. Hubby said Denver's instructor (who is a life guard) told him that he too will be going through the induction courses next month to be certified. He also expressed his concern that Denver will need to brush up on his strokes with the new criterias.

For more information, please visit: http://www.ssc.gov.sg/

Looking forward to see how the new improved swimming program will be like.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

~ Movies - Professor Layton & the Eternal Diva ~


Lately we have been watching a lot of movies together. :) Maybe it is due to the Rainy weather that limits the outdoor places that we can go. Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva is based on the popular and award-winning Nintendo DS puzzle game series. The movie is in Japanese with English subtitles and mostly involves Professor Layton solving the puzzles. I asked Denver if he understood the movie since he would have to depend on the subtitles and am glad he can catch the story and of course the puzzles. :) Gladys on the other hand, simply cannot appreciate the content and can't wait for the movie to end. Hehehe.. The best part she enjoys most is munching on her potato chips whenever we are in the cinema.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

~ Jack's Place ~

Denver came home to play with his chess as soon as he got home. There is a compulsory program where all Pri 3 students will learn chess and swimming. I think Denver will enjoy it if the program is still running 2 years later. :)

Dinner was @ Jack's Place using Hubby's redeemed voucher from Citibank. Soup with Garlic bread, Fish & Chips, Chicken Sausage with Fries and Egg, Steak and Ice-cream..... YUMMY and Absolutely FULL!

Denver saw his Kindergarten's best friend, Emmanuel with his Mommy at Jack's Place and he was SOoooo HAPPY! They practically talk and talk... from the restuarant to the Atrium @ Compass Point to the Library. The boys share common interests and had a lot of good time together. It is so good to meet up with a childhood friend and I'm sure today has been wonderful for Denver. ^_^

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

~ Cycling + Preparation for Picnic ~

Had a splitting headache when I woke up today. Hopefully I do not fall sick for tomorrow's outing. Hence, we did not take the children out anywhere this evening. Instead, we stayed home and took the children downstairs to cycle. The children are still amateur cyclists as they did not have enough practice. I still remember my Dad spending every Sunday, teaching my brothers and I cycling. Despite his busy working schedule, Dad was so committed and I vividly remember he bringing us to learn cycling at the court in the old Whampoa Secondary School. Thanks to Dad, we can all cycle well. I hope Hubby & I can also spare more time teaching Denver & Gladys master their cycling too.

For now, it's fun for Gladys and Denver trying to learn and get use to the wobbling bicycle.

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Later in the evening, we went home and prepared the ingredients needed for our picnic tomorrow. Hotdogs, eggs, lettuce, apples etc. Denver is very excited and can't wait for tomorrow to come. It's Bedtime! We all need to rest early and be energetic!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

~ Earth Hour 2010 ~

Earth Hour was initiated in Sydney, Australia back in 2007 where 2.2 million homes and businesses turned off their lights for 1 hour to make their stand against climate change. Now, it has become a yearly event and this year, Earth Hour will takes place on 27th March (Saturday), which also happens to be Hubby's Birthday! ^_^

We haven't make any plans for that day yet, but will definitely keep a conscious mind to switch off the non essential lights or power. ^_^ Please show your support too!

EARTH HOUR
Date: 27th March 2010
Time: 2030H - 2130H
Action: Turn off the Lights(or more if you want)
Websites: http://www.earthhour.org/, http://www.earthhoursingapore.blogspot.com/

Earth Hour - Logo

Monday, March 15, 2010

~ Shabu Shi + Alice in Wonderland ~

Denver got a good treat for passing his swimming test. ^_^ There is a newly opened buffet restaurant - SHABU-SHI at Hougang Mall - Level 2. Instead of the usual sushi, they serve mainly shabu shabu ingredients on the sushi train. Slices of beef, chicken, fish, assorted raw vegetables, mushrooms, eggs, shells, prawns, noodles and many more to choose from... The staff behind the train counter are always busy filling up with the sushi train with more ingredients non-stop.
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If you crave for sushi still, the buffet also includes a smaller variety of assorted sushi. The taste and standard is not comparable to those you would enjoy in Sakae or other resturants. Still, Shabu-shi's buffet spread is good and the price is resonable.

Drinks, desserts & Ice-cream are free-flow. The resturant has a variety of drinks to choose from (waterchestnut, lime, ice-lemon tea etc) but the downside is there is only 1 kind of stick ice-cream and it melted. :(

Each table can serve 2 different selection of broth. There is Tom yum, Chicken and another Sweet base soup to choose from. Children can have their own separate pot while parents can enjoy their food cooked in the spicy Tom Yum broth. :) Only point to note is Shabu-shi have smaller tables and we have to make full use of the limited space. Fortunately, the waiteress were very efficient and are able to clear the plates very fast. They are also constantly helping us to refill our soup. Even the staff behind the sushi train were attentive to our sushi or shabu-shabu orders. Thumbs up for their service!

Shabu-shi is a pretty neat place and we really had a good meal. ^_^
So what's after lunch?? Movie Time! We brought Denver to watch "Alice in Wonderland". This is a classic story which I known since childhood only that many of it was forgotten. This movie shows Alice falling down the rabbit hole and returning to the Wonderland after 13 years... reuniting with her childhood friends. Stretching and shrinking herself with the "Eat Me" cake and "Drink Me" potion. How she finds her destiny, saving Mad Hatter, slaying the dragon where she eventually wins the Red Queen and stop her terror.
Denver finds the movie creepy due to the heavy makeup and effects. After explaining the story to him, he enjoyed it much better especially towards the 2nd half of the show. He said he likes the DorMouse most since it is the cutest among all. hehehe :D

So where is Gladys all this while??? She was at my inlaws house. The movie was too Big and Scary for her age. So to make up to her, we took her out to play too after dinner. She had food and also story telling session with me while Denver went for his Chinese tuition lesson.

~ Denver's passed his Bronze Swimming Test! ~

After learning swimming for 2 years, Denver finally going for his NASSA Bronze Swimming Test today! How confident is he?? :) Daddy took him to the Hougang Swimming Complex since I got to work. Test starts at 930am sharp.
The children gathered around for a briefing by the tester before they start. Below are the testing criterias for NASSA Bronze award.
Testing Criteria:
- Straddle or tuck jump entry from the side of the pool, swim 50m
- Demonstrate ability to "drown-proof" for 1 minute
- Tread water for 3 minutes
- Undress in water and demonstrate ability to make float from attire
- Swim 400 meter using any strokes
- One surface dive must be executed and swim submerged for at least 5m
- Climb out from the deep end of the pool without the use of steps or assistance
A series of test awaits them. :) 加油!
Moving onward for their 400m Swim.

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Denver PASSED! :) Good Job!! A happy and tired looking boy.. hahaha.. Swimming lessons will go on as usual to improve his stamina and his current strokes.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

~ End of Term 1 + Ramsey ~

It's March School Holidays! The children will be having their 1 week vacation break and they are delighted. Denver is still in his 'honeymoon' period where he doesn't seems to have a lot of homework to do. I asked him if he has any work to complete during his holiday? He said: "Nope, I finished them all in school. Teacher said I should spend a few hours a day studying at home." "Ah, I have an English Test on Tuesday after school reopens." Well, nothing was written in his pupil companion book on what/how he would be tested. So it will fall back on his usual daily practice on Mommy's assessment books instead. :)

Gladys also got back her Term 1 worksheets from Nursery. Various papers on English and Chinese writings, colourings and 3 story books. Gladys love to show it to her Gor Gor while Denver enjoys looking through her worksheets and comment on her work.

Denver: "Wa. Only 1 star. Must work harder and write nicer ah. Teacher will give you more stars."
Denver: "Mei Mei, how to read this word?" ^_^

Gladys can't really read or write as well as Denver. Probably it's because I did not spend as much time teaching her compared to her Gor Gor. But she seems to be better with drawings and colouring. Her character is stronger (which also means stubborn and harder to tame.) and never fails to give me surprises.
After lunch, Hubby went to his uncle's house to help him fix up his new Samsung Television. I had a great time taking photos today as I think I got a couple of nice shots of them together. :) Gladys has been copying all the actions Denver is doing while posing. So funny!
The siblings love to visit Uncle's house partly because Ramsey is there. ^_^ Ramsey (Uncle's Dog) has been part of the family for many years now. She is a very timid and tame doggy. Hence, you can imagine how scared Ramsey was when the kiddos got too excited and swamp towards her. Everytime the children try to get near to Ramsey, she will quickly scampered off to seek shelter from Uncle. :p Eventually Ramsey has to hide herself under the table or bed. Actually the kids will just need to sit still and Ramsey will find herself comfortably seated too without too much attention given. :)

So, the children are back to keeping themselves entertained and it was another round of photo taking with the kids making funny actions and faces. :)