Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Piano lessons for the little boy

The little boy, who is now four and a half years old, seems very keen and interested in musical instruments and I finally got my act together and found him not one but two piano teachers!

Both teacher conducts one-on-one lessons with the little boy.  One comes to the home and is more casual while the other is at a music school, Forte Musicademy and is very strict about techniques, e.g posture, hands and fingers positioning and even the angle of the elbow from keyboard.  During the lesson at the school, due to the fact that they focused so strongly on techniques, class seemed boring for the little one as it is repetitive but it's only 30 minutes so it is still bearable.  There are instances though when he seemed a little tired and spaced out but this is due to the fact that he just finished a whole day of school (leaving home at 7.15am and coming back at 4pm!) 

The lesson at home is a little more casual. The teacher more motherly or rather, grandmotherly! The teacher who comes to our home is my niece's teacher. At the present moment, he seemed ok with both and we will see how he progresses. 

In addition, one is on an electronic piano at home and the other on a baby grand in the school so he gets a feel of different types of piano and I do like the variety.

Here a shot of today's lesson time with his teacher correcting his hand's shape on the keys.  

Maybe one day, he will compose music pieces for his sister to dance to. :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dance Appreciation Series @ The Esplanade

Today, I took my aspiring prima ballerina to the Esplanade for the Dance Appreciation Series where the Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT) had a one hour session about The Nutcracker, the show they will be performing this coming December.

Last year we went for the same dance appreciation series on Sleeping Beauty and the girl thoroughly enjoyed herself. These short sessions allowed even the littlest ones to sit through a ballet performance without too much protest. It also gives them and possibly us adults, a better understanding of some of the pantomime gesture, some background to the story and some other details about the performance, e.g the music, the costumes.  At today's session, we saw kids as young as 18-24 months in attendance. 

The fun part for kids is that at the end of the hour preview of The Nutcracker, the audience was allowed to have photos taken with some of the dancers. This was one of the highlights for the girl. 

By coincidence, she wore matching colours with the dancers, white and purple (as per the sugar plum fairy character).

At the end of it, we went to the box office at the Esplanade and bought tickets for the full length dance on 6 December!  There are still very good seats left and if your child (age above 7 years old) is interested in ballet, I totally recommend going for it. There's a 1pm show on the weekends too if 8pm is too late.  Check it out here.

SDT does other dance education series catered to kids too. For more information, check out their website. :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Four hours on a private yacht

As the husband's birthday is fast approaching, I thought about doing something different and when I found a deal for a yacht rental which included food and BBQ, I made a booking for it immediately.  The husband used to spend a month or so during summer sailing with my inlaws from the age of 4 to 20! And I thought it would be something he would enjoy!  And the kids obviously would too. And sure enough, we were all glad I made the booking!

Yesterday was horribly hot and I was saying that I hoped today would not be that bad.  And guess what, when we woke up at 6am, it was pouring! The husband then told me he prayed for the rain to stop by noon. Lo and behold, the weather was perfect when we started to sail out of the marina.  It was still drizzling as we drove into the carpark at Sentosa Cove Village but stopped immediately after.  The skies were cloudy, with not too much sun.  It was just perfect!  We thanked God for His mighty and gracious blessings upon us and this outing! 

The kids were thrilled! The yacht was a comfortable size for our party of seven. Our family of four plus our helper, a friend and her son. Our friend's husband, unfortunately, could not take time off work. 

And off we went on the boat to Lazarus island. :)

The four of us!

The husband having fun!

The boys !

Husband and his princess.

Us again! 

The boy and I having fun.

The beautiful beach at Lazarus island. The water was clear, the beach was lovely, almost pristine at certain points but there was a problem. The beach stunk!  There was a rotting seaweed smell that was disgusting!  The saving grace was that we do not smell it as strongly when we are closer to the water.   Well, in the end we managed to spend some lovely time close to the water and even inside the water. The girl and our helper swam a little and had a splashing good time!

Kids having fun playing with sand.

After all that time spent by the beach, we went back to the jetty area where we had a lovely meal with food already barbecued for us.  We had a nice relaxing time eating, interrupted on and off by a few island cats hoping that we would feed them! 

And then it was time to head home!

Look at who our our captain is this time! 
Loic the captain getting us back!

We all had a fabulous time.  The company we used was White Sails and the boat was StarGrazer.  Mr. Mutalip, our captain was very friendly and kind.  Our skipper was Roger and they both made the trip extremely enjoyable. We took an extension to cruise the skylines and it was well worth the money too. The view was awesome.  

Finally it was time to say bye to Stargrazer and the crew! Thanks for the good time! 

Hope to be on board the Stargrazer again! :)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Mid autumn festival at Gardens by the Bay

Since I do not work on Fridays, I try my best to bring the kids to some kind of fun activities on that day and this week, seeing that it's still considered mid autumn festivals period, off we went to Gardens by the Bay.

I love the luscious city garden.  It's huge and frankly quite a windy and pretty spot. The super trees are awesome and I find the skyway bridge not too scary and yet sufficiently impressive for kids. 

So off we went. We drive there and parking was easy since we arrive around 6:30pm before the crazy crowd came in. We managed to walk around the gardens and took some silly photos.

After which we went straight for the skyway bridge.  We loved the view up there and since it was F1 weekend in Singapore, we could even caught a tiny glimpse of the cars racing by. 

The boy acting silly as usual

Showing us how strong he is. 

Well, right after the bridge we walked to the Meadow Gardens area where the lantern festival activities were.

There were beautifully lit fixtures everywhere. 

It looked even more amazing after night fall. 

By the time we finished walking around and had some dinner from the stalls that sold food, it was close to 8pm. Normally the kids sleep at 8pm except on Fridays and Saturdays when I allow them a little more leeway.  Anyway, it was late so we made our way back to the carpark. 

At the entrance of the Flower Dome was a big backdrop so we took some obligatory photos. 

The kids had a wonderful time but we were all exhausted by the time we got home.

When I was putting the boy to bed, I told him I would only stay for a short while as I'm tired and needed to go to bed and he say "you can go now if you really need to sleep!" Ohhhh. :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

We attended a fun and beautiful wedding as a family

I personally love weddings! And surprising, the kids too. When I told them that we were going to a wedding, they got all excited, especially the girl.  Being the girly girl that she is, she asked if she could wear the Christmas dress I had bought for her. Well, since Christmas is still so far away and I might end up buying a couple more dresses before its December, I agreed.  She was absolutely delighted.  As for the boy, he was all happy to be in a shirt.

The colour theme was yellow and green but unfortunately neither the kids nor the husband had those colors in their closet so it was up to me! The bride has specifically requested that I wear a particular yellow/orange dress I have and of course I obliged. 

The wedding party was a light hearted relaxed fun! The couple are young and fun-loving and the wedding totally reflected that. 

Us as a family, having fun with the props.

Kids having fun with Anne, one of my ex-colleagues at the wedding.  She is amazing with the kids and they love her too. 

Kids having fun in the little garden area with Anne.  

We had such a wonderful time. We wish the wedding couple years of happiness and love! May they seek to love, understand and care for each other for the rest of their wonderful life as a marriage couple. And of course, have lovely kids too!  :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Trip to the dentist

It's time again for the children's annual visit to the dentist. We go to the Kids Dentist at Camden Medical Centre and the two little ones never have any complains or fear of the dentist. In fact, they both adore their dentist, Dr. Rashid and his team of dental assistants.

Today, Laetitia was first to have her teeth checked. Well, a number of her adult teeth are out and we learnt about the things to be careful about. We are also reminded that it is better for an adult to help with the brushing as much as possible. It is also important to make sure that when we brush, we should focus on ensure contact on the tooth to properly remove the plaque. And at the same time, we were also recommended not to use children's tooth paste as there is insufficient fluoride to protect the teeth. The dentist recommended Elgydium.

So here's Laetitia getting her teeth cleaned. 

And now it's Loic's turn. It is his first time going for teeth cleaning! And he was totally well behaved, he did not even move or flinch one but during the cleaning. :) I was told to be careful and check Loic's teeth as his teeth are tight together and there isn't much space between so we are unable to tell if there's any decay there.  We would have to floss his teeth regularly as well. 

Well, all is good for now and we be back next year!  :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sandcastles by the beach

We were going for dinner at ManaMana beach club and while walking along the beach, we came across these beautifully made sandcastles.

The kids were amazed at the extensively made sandcastles.  It was really quite well done in my amateur opinion.  I would be glad if I can achieve even a small segment of what was presented on the beach that day.

Check out how nice they are.... while ignoring the silly face that the boy was making.  I cannot believe how he would pull a face everytime when I ask him to take a photo now. 

The kids asked how those sandcastles were made and requested to go to the beach one day to build some of their own. Well, I'm not sure if we could even build one anywhere similar to those we saw, but we'll try! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rentrée 2013

Yay! The two months of summer holiday is finally over and the kids are going back to school.

This year their school implemented a new rule, uniforms are now required! Finally! This makes life so much simpler for me. I don't have to go around looking to buy suitable clothes for them all the time as it gets worn out.  

The boy has rather sensitive skin and I'm pleased that the school actually selected "Chateau de Sable" as their supplier for the school uniforms.  When I went to buy the uniforms for the kids, I was glad that they had selected one Chateau de Sable's well know "softest cotton" range.   And I really liked the designs too.  It looked good for both the girl and the boy.  There were also options for a skort and top or a dress for the girl and cargo or normal bermuda for the boy. 

Here's the kids on the first day of school (la rentrée)!

Have fun in school kids!  :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Laetitia's first ballet audition

I recently changed Laetitia's ballet school.  As she is very serious about her ballet and had been saying that she wants to be a ballerina, I thought it would be good to help her achieve her dreams by sending her to a more serious and professional ballet school. After much research, I decided on Singapore Ballet Academy (SBA).

She went for an assessment class and was admitted to the school. After a couple of lessons, I received a call from the school that she was recommended by the teacher to go for an audition for a public performance by a Barcelona Dance group.  The dance performance was called "The Praying Mantis" and it's a visual display coupled with dance.  Knowing her passion for dance and love for performance, I agreed to let her go for the audition.

Before we went for the audition, I spoke to Laetitia about how it was wonderful that she was selected to go for the audition and should she not get the part, it would also be a good learning experience.  On the audition day, we realized that only eight students were invited to be present. She didn't get the part in the end but I'm very proud of her nonetheless.  To me, it's an incredible achievement to be recognized as a good and highly motivated student by her ballet teacher in less than a month in the school.  

Here's my little girl all ready for her audition. 

On my part, I will continue to support her by being her chauffeur and cheerleader! In the meantime, I also started some
Adult ballet lessons so that I could speak the same lingo. :)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Scary moments for a mum

I recently had a scare. One of the terrifying moments of being a mum  was receiving a message that said "Loic had an accident, go home now!"

And I saw the message after a secretary of a CEO of a company interrupted a meeting the CEO was having with me to tell me that my office was trying to reach me urgently. I pulled out my cell phone to see 17 missed calls and numerous messages with one prominently displaying "Loic had an accident..."! That just set my heart racing. I immediately excused myself and called my husband while waiting for the lift. I was almost hysterical!  Luckily, E was home before me and was trying to calm me down. 

By the time I received the news , it was 45mins after the accident and E had reached home and everything was under control.

The boy was climbing up to sit on the sofa, lost his balance, fell backwards and hit his head hard on our glass coffee table. The glass was very thick and jot sharp but the impact was so great that it cut open his head! 

My helper tried to call me but didn't manage to get me (on hindsight, it was a good thing that she reached my husband first because he is a much calmer person).  

In any case, the cut was not life threatening so they waited for me to reach home and we went off to the hospital. I decided on the one closest to home as it was peak hour by then and I did not want to spend ages waiting at KK children's hospital which is the best for little ones. I reckon now that I could have done better going to KKH. 

At the hospital we went to, Loic was seen by the doctor, an X-ray was taken and then the doctor proceeded to glue up the wound.  However, the doctor and staff seemed so inexperienced in dealing with young children that we noticed their incompetences. Firstly, there was no proper pillow for the little boy so when they had to hold his head down , they pressed him down so much that when he finally had some leeway, he cried out that he could not breath! Poor boy. Secondly, the doctor while shaving some hair from the wound area, apparently dropped some hair into the wound and then tried to pick it out of the wound with a plastic tweezers which did not hold well!  The poor little one was screaming in pain when the doctor tried to tweezer the hair from the open wound! All these with no pain relief medication or local anesthesia! 

Finally all was over and the boy's wound was glued close.  

Here's my poor boy right after the ordeal.

Look at that sad face.  It broke my heart.

This was him after when papa distracted him with some food. :)  This boy is really a trooper. 

The aftermath though is that he is now terrified of the idea of going to the hospital or of anyone touching the back of his head where the wound is. :( 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Escaping from the haze... To Phuket

Recently (last week), the haze in Singapore was really bad, hitting the highest ever PSI at 401 (on 21 June 2013)!  Being the panicky mummy, I quickly looked into all options to take the kids out of Singapore.  

The earliest reasonably priced flight I managed to find was early Sunday morning and so I made booking immediately after consulting with the hubby. 

So on Sunday, the kids and I left Singapore for Phuket!  And what a fun and tiring trip it was for me and them!  Here's some wonderful memories we brought back! 

At the airport

In the plane on the way to Phuket.

On the elephant treking ride. A first for all of us!

Going down the slide in the swimming pool in our hotel, Centara Karon.

Island hopping... Visiting the three Khais. It was a little tiring with the kids wanting to do separate activities. 

On the slide in the second hotel we stayed in, Swissotel Phuket. 

All in all, the kids had fun while I was a little exhausted trying to keep up with them while working remotely at the same time.  However, even though the haze improved during the time we were away, I'm glad I took them out of the country. One thing I would not risk is my children's health. At the same time, all things aside, we did enjoy the quality and quantity time spent together. :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Family photos 2013

As usual, once a year, we would take some family photos and this year is no exception.  

These are some of the photos I really liked of our family and of me and E.

We really enjoyed this year's photo session. I find the colors fun as well. I'm glad I decide to get the balloons as well since it added a fun touch to this years pictures. Looking forward to next year's!