Sunday, 9 December 2018

Middle child syndrome :(

Yesterday, Sito brought Kai out to a colleague's party for her kid. He asked Yang too but he didn't want to go. At the same time, I had to get lunch for the rest of us so I brought Yu coz I brought Yang last week. But I guess Yang forgot cos he was very upset to be left at home - he was still crying when we got back!

I told him we would go out in the evening. But he said that I could only bring him out later in the evening coz Kai and Yu had had their turn, awww... :(

When Yu went down for a nap, I whipped out the laptop to find out more about music lessons. Yang sat with me and decided (again!) that he wanted to learn the piano.

I was thinking of going downstairs to Cristofori to as when they would start the class for his age group - supposed to be January but the sign was take down and no one had called me. But I thought about the middle child syndrome and figured that it might be better if he could get some alone time with me and/or Sito. So I picked up the phone and called Yamaha at CCK.

And then we were on our way to register him!

He wasn't unhappy; I missed his smile! He insisted on bringing a bag carrying only his water bottle. We took the bus to get to a HDB shopping mall. I couldn't find the school so he told me to look at my phone!

When we were done registering, I realised they took only NETS and I didn't have my NETS card with me! Ended up meeting the lady downstairs this morning to pass her a cheque.

Anyway, we took a bus home right after that. When we were removing our shoes, he happily told me that he had now gone out with me, just like how Yu and Kai had gone out with me and Papa. So cute and so poor thing!!

I still wonder what I have got myself into with this music class - I knew it would require a parent to accompany the child, but I only learnt about homework at the point of registration. But when I think of poor little Yang who is the middle child, I think it is something I must do. Like Sito said, I wanted to learn anyway! Jia you, Mama and middle pup!

Can you feel Christmas coming?

What a tiring weekend it has been! I was out quite late Thursday for a year-end reunion with ex-colleagues. Got home past 11 pm. I think I never fully recovered from that!

While I was out

Going by our new routine, the boys didn't go to school on Saturday. Did I say why? Three friends knocked sense into me within a short span of a couple of weeks. And anyway, Kai would have no child care to go to from next year so it would be difficult to send the two in too.

So I baked some oatmeal flapjacks! Discovered we were out of eggs after cutting up the butter so I had to run down to get some - after a diversion playing memory game with Kai. Then someone pulled out the box of play dough.

Yang's birthday cake!

Played hide and seek too!

We had wanted to go to the library but it was raining. So Sito went to return the books while I brought the three to the atrium to play more games. But a band was playing Christmas songs so they watched that quite happily before playing the games. Today when we passed by, they had the "Christmas workout" led by elves and Santarinas again. Like the festive feel around here. Our lift lobby also shared the piped in music from the mall.

And then they must go into the snow globe again..

After dinner, we went back for more games haha! One set of games for every receipt :p Anyway, Yang didn't win anything just now.

My baby leaning on my leg while watching our usual "funny" videos

Kai's note to me this morning

Got it? He was telling me: don't forget anything. It sparked a flashcard frenzy for me!!! Think I need to read more to him...

Brought Yu out for brunch while his brothers went swimming


My baby!

We had two changes today - swimming lesson was in the morning, and N switched her off day to today. So we were on our own today. But we made it! Tired but we made it!

Headed out to Orchard yeah!

But the smiles ended there; the boys were super troublesome; the streets were crowded; Sito had black face! But the boys were still cute, how???

A tuk tuk in the middle of the road is always fun

Mickey mouse!

Do we form a similar isoceles trapeze with the topless tree? :)

We never saw the lights though - we left Orchard before it was dark! :( But glad the kids had their shot with Mickey Mouse - coz it would be some years before we could get to Disney!

Just now at bedtime, Yu seemed to be singing some Hallelujah song - so cute :) He can also sing Jingle Bells. I suddenly thought of Yang singing Santa Claus is Coming to Town - that was super cute! But I didn't manage to capture the part where he sang "he's checking it TWICE!" :p

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Records of mf

Found an old draft about good old mf!

Wearing Sito's screen glasses

I couldn't recognise myself if I had walked right up to myself! Hoho! My eyesight isn't too good now. Might need glasses at some point... 老花眼镜?!

My 10yo running shoes

And my old PE shorts!

Kept so well right? Coz never used much haha!! I started jogging right after our Legoland trip in June, and stopped right after our Legoland trip in September!! So sad. I don't particularly like jogging but it was good sweating it sometimes! And I enjoyed my solo trips to the supermarket etc after the gym. But it was also stressful coz I had to leave Kai and Yang while they were awake, and when I got back, I had to rush work.

I had ulcers and a cold when we got back from Legoland in September. I thought I would hit the pause button for a while but the illness did not go away - I had ulcers in October again and the cold was recurring every few days! After Yu turned two in October, I also started sending him to bed at the same time as his brothers, which meant I could no longer leave the boys awake! Ah well...

Yesterday, I had multiple violent multiple sneezes - the repeated word was no mistake, if you know what I mean! - in the morning at work, despite wearing a jacket. Around noon, I found myself sneezing and sweating at the same time! I couldn't take it and went home to see a doctor. I hope this bad bout of cold marks the peak and the end of this terrible recurrent cold!

Sito and mf sing!

Wow that was some time ago. We found these neat little machines downstairs and went in to sing for 15 min! We sang 菊花台 - it's like our song, our movie :)

Below is a series of photos of my black eye! I dozed off the night of the awards ceremony, 27 Nov, and was rudely awakened by Yu's head falling on my brow bone! He cried for less than a minute while I screamed out in pain for a few seconds!

Right after

Next morning

That evening - the blood was draining downwards!

Three days after impact - super painful brow bone!

It still hurts when I touch my brow bone. Need to be super careful...

9 = 3 squared

9 - my favourite number :)

We forgot where we were last year. I just found out that we have been in the Suntec-Marina Square-Millenia Walk area for the past three celebrations!

3 - another of my favourite number :)

But we shall go somewhere else next year :p

Us, at Hai Tien Lo for dim sum

We only found out that it was on the third floor just before we reached the hotel. Wasn't it on a high floor when we were last there? Sito asked, and was told they were high up seven years ago!

It was a good, long lunch. We seldom have long meals like this, thanks to the three monkeys! Then we went to Uniqlo and got all of our Lunar New Year clothes! Well, except mine, coz I bought mine months back at IMM. Yu likes his :) His brothers didn't show as much excitement...

Went to Toy R Us too. We already got something for Kai months back, so we found something for Yang and later at BP bought Yu's present too.

It was raining when we were done. It was not raining at BP but we went home to drop our stuff and get a brolly before heading for a foot massage. And lucky we did coz it was raining when we were done!

Just like that, our day is - almost - over. I'm typing away now at the desk while Sito is working behind me at the dining table. Good to be with each other like this too :)

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Three monkeys in Taiwan

We planned to go to Taiwan before Kai goes to primary school as a last-ditch attempt to immerse him in the Chinese language. That aside, I wonder what made us think we could do this on our own - two low-energy adults against three monkeys?? Well, somehow, we had Mum and Dad on the trip as well - seemed to recall they had wanted to go somewhere nearer over the Deepavali holiday but not sure what happened.

And how lucky we were that we were not alone - I had major downtime on the third day and had to stay in on the fourth. I had been having alternating recurring cold and recurring ulcers since we returned from Legoland in September so I said I would rather have the former than the latter just so I could eat in Taiwan. Ended up with a major stomachache - Sito said, ya, I had the recurring cold!!

Saturday, 2 Nov

Our flight was early in the morning so I took leave on Friday to pack in the morning; there was P1 orientation in the afternoon.

So much to pack!

Breakfast time!

Staring at planes

First time Yu had his own seat! Looking tiny there..

Having a lolly for take-up

Yang with AhYe - divide and conquer!

No picture of Kai coz he was sitting with AhMa on my far side. But he was doing well there. I later heard from Mum that he said grace before food!

Drinking his cereal

How did people fly with kids without entertainment??

Other than a troublesome kid, it was an uneventful flight. At the airport, we had to take a transfer bus to get to our car for some weird reason. When it looked like someone was going to take the van and leave us waiting for a second time, I was ready to fight with them! But luckily, we could all fit in the end.

Our room at Click Hotel Ximending! So kid-friendly!

The kids practically flew to the tent and knocked it over *.* There were also free snacks which I had to hide every day after the first day when the kids had to have them. There was a water dispenser at the lobby so I didn't need to use my kettle in the end.

View from other side

And coffee machine too! The buns are for breakfast. They offer cup noodles at night hoho!

Our first meal was at Ding Tai Fung!

We waited for some 45 min for a table but not bad, considering that there were seven of us, it was a Saturday and it was closer to dinner time than we had planned. Yu had xiao long bao - very happy!

We took a train to and from there. We didn't go anywhere else that day coz it was late and we should really rest after a long day of travelling.

Yang being curious while waiting for the train

But Sito went out to pack some A Zong mee sua and bubble tea!

Sunday, 3 Nov

Itinerary of the day: Hsinchu

Yang posing around while we got ready

His brothers were barely five metres away...

We had breakfast vouchers for booking online - it was a nice sandwich place we chose!

But a bit small for big groups - we had to split up..

Yu puked a little in the car. No extra clothes, too bad! And he fell asleep so he was asleep while we got to our first stop - 小人国 which somehow got translated into Window on China. Weird name but it's mini world and a theme park combined.

Yu sleeping in stroller

Kai posing near entrance

We walked through the mini worlds, starting with China, Taiwan. Then we took a little train to Europe and US, and found a theme park!

Yu woke on the train

Passed by this sign - love the 80s feel of it!

It was such good weather!

Yang can be such a poser

Kai too :p

Yu had a go at it too!

The boys then went to a big play structure. We had to use ice cream to get them off it! And then we went on a boat ride around mini Europe.

What's with the face, baby?

At the head of the boat are my two big boys

Went on a ferris wheel in mini US - and look at the cool dude!

Then it was time to go... We didn't expect to spend so much time here!

Yu walking through the places he slept through

Kai and Yu happily ate a simple lunch while Yang was cranky from just waking up

Our next stop was Republic of Chocolate. We couldn't wait for the DIY workshop so decided to just grab some chocolatey thing and go. But the take-away shop had only cakes and ice cream, no hot chocolate for the grandparents. So we went to the cafe instead. Ate so much cakes! Yu also spilled cold chocolate drink on my pants, argh!

Kai wrote his Chinese name on a blackboard

Yang was talking about a triangle having three sides

And Yu was just messing around

Our tea cakes!

We skipped a stop at the Green World Ecological Farm due to lack of time and overlap with the next step - 福田花园农场 where the kids had great fun feeding animals.

Grass for the horses

They look more like ponies??

Yu wanted a turn too!

They spent the most time feeding goats - I never bought so much carrots in my life! I even bought milk for piglets...

They boys went to get carrots on their own and got some for free!

There were some really beautiful cats roaming around too - how can a farm cat be so white?!

"No fighting! No milk if you fight!"

We walked around Ximending scouting for dinner. Passed by a bubble tea shop and got a brown sugar milk drink for the kids (and me) to share. Think we ate an assortment of food that night.

So pretty!

Fried chicken - almost gone, thanks to the kids!


Spotted such cuteness as the kids were winding down :)

I think I must have jinxed it when I said that Yu didn't seem to have much of the terrible twos. For the whole trip, he was struggling to get free of the baby carrier; he was needy for me; only to want to walk the moment he got me. But he was also super cute! I was really tired carrying him this night but I think I'll always remember that he bit my ear with plenty of laughs coz I was biting his as we walked along!

Monday, 5 Nov

Itinerary of the day: Yilan

We decided to bring all our our-of-town trips together in four consecutive days given that the weather was expected to turn cold after Wednesday and it would be easier to stay in Taipei on rainy days.

Took our breakfast vouchers to the real Yong He only to realise they were for another shop with Yong He in the name too. But I decided to just order from Yong He anyway - must try!

Waiting for our breakfast to take away coz few seats available

We ended up with loads of food coz Dad used up the vouchers at the other shop! Anyway, this day marked the first of most of our remaining days where we ate breakfast in the hotel.

Just before he puked a little again!

First stop: 蜡艺蜡笔城堡

We started with making windmills by painting on cut-outs first

Then we made markers and compacted a small crayon, before doing some body painting. Somewhere along the way, I started feeling unwell.

Yang with his bat and windmill

I woke with massive aches that morning. At first, I thought it was due to carrying Yu the previous day. And I was in an awkward position with Yu on our bed. So I took some panadol. Also had difficulties in the toilet. At the crayon factory, I went to the toilet two or three times while they played.

Finally, when we were approaching our next stop, 梅花湖, I asked to stop to go to the toilet. But I didn't make it down the car - I puked in the car instead, and then had no energy to move. Eventually, I had to go to a toilet where I puked a second time. Then I lied down to rest in the car with Sito accompanying me while the rest went to do some sightseeing. The guide got someone to go with them so I felt better - can't have the two grandparents chasing after three kids!

I felt better just as they were coming back. Think there was a discussion on whether they should send me to the hospital but I was ok to continue.

So next stop: I think it's 三星蔥仔寮體驗農場

As it was raining a bit, we skipped the part where we dress up to pick spring onions from the farm! Mum, Kai and Yang had some hands-on spring onion pancake session instead.

Roll roll roll!

Kai was very pleased with his effort and he ate half of it!

Yang also ate most of his - I was very surprised!

Mum gave some of hers to Yu, who loved it!

Cool enough to pop into his mouth!

That was effectively lunch. I have a soft spot for these pancakes but couldn't eat coz too oily for my weak stomach! :( So I had no food. Not that I was hungry anyway. I just sat around watching them eat. And somehow scored a massage by a sweet Kai :)

Next stop was 宜农牧场 where the kids fed animals again! They really enjoyed this activity.

Yu shied away from feeding the piglets

Yang spent a lot of time with the fowls

Kai wanted to feed the bunnies but I didn't think he found it fun after all!

The final stop was supposed to be 罗东夜市 in the vicinity but it was still early for dinner and I wasn't well, so we returned to Taipei instead and had dinner at 欣叶 which is a traditional porridge restaurant. It was nice and I managed to stomach some food. But my stomach started to cramp on the way back to the hotel..

That night, I had no bubble tea! :(

Tuesday, 6 Nov

My stomach was still not stable. Had to go to the toilet a few times. I had cramps at 8.00 am and 8.30 am while waiting for them to return. Only Kai, Yang and I were in the room; they were watching TV, leaving me to my misery.

They came back after having breakfast and got them some sandwiches and me some bananas. Kai offered me a bite of his sandwich even though he had this saliva aversion thing going on... I told the boys that I had to stay in. Yu didn't want me to stay until I told him he could see lions and bunnies at the zoo!

After they left, I had more cramps but less frequent - 9.45 am, 11 plus (coz I was dozing in and out of sleep) and 1 plus.

I eventually went out at 2.00 pm to grab a sandwich and soy milk coz I was not sure about eating bananas when I felt like having the runs. The receptionist was quite nice - advised me to have plain sandwich coz local porridge would still be oily. She even put a can of Pocari Sweat on the table for me when I returned, to help replenish H2O.

I took a little walk around the hotel. Checked out a drugstore. Passed by a massage place - so tempted but I didn't feel like being touched. Then I headed for 7-11, got the plainest sandwich I could find, and went to Yong He for a cup of warm soy milk.

Took a shower and settled down to have my meal of the day in tiny bites. So happy to find Harry Potter on TV! I think it was the Prisoner of Azkaban. The housekeeper came in along the way and I just lay there in my PJs...

Had a couple more cramps before the rest came back. They came back quite early actually. And I forgot what dinner we/they eventually had!

Some photos from their day out - they went to the zoo!

And then took the Maokong gondola

They got the clear bottom one!

The boys seem to be having fun!

This was taken in front of a picture - hence the quality!

They also played in a sandpit

I wish I were there with them!

Wednesday, 7 Nov

Couldn't say I was 100% but I was ready to go out!

We took our vouchers to the nearest Macs only to find that the Macs that would accept the vouchers was further away. Oh well. We ate there anyway. I pinched the kids' hotcakes :p

Yu fell asleep on the way again

Went to the nearer 深坑老街 instead of 金山老街

On a drain at the beginning of the short street

We spent quite some time at this pretty street partly coz Yu was sleeping!

A shop of knick-knacks

Thought this was funny!

Another knick-knack shop - with hopscotch on the floor!

Kai was whining about how boring everything was so when we passed by the first knick-knack shop, I told him and Yang to pick out a toy each, on the conditions that it should be nothing too big and that they would not get any more new toys for the rest of the trip. They happily went about picking out toys while we also spent some peaceful time looking at random interesting but useless stuff. Eventually, they both picked a top of some sort, and I got a wooden rattle for sleeping Yu.

That's cai po on the right - whole, not chopped!

Haha! Please let me pay!

We bought drinks here - some healthy drink

An amazing looking shop full of glass jars - now decorated by my smiley husband!

Sito trying out a cane... We bought one!

Next was Shifen. I had to go to the toilet just as we arrived. But I couldn't find one! Anyway, walked enough and the feeling went away *.*

The driver took us to a shop - the price is the same for all shops; you go to the one whose carpark you use - and we bought three lanterns. They clipped them up for us to write on two sides, let them dry and flipped to let us write on the other two sides. We then went to the tracks in turn to take photos with each side and released the lanterns.

The one for the kids :)

And for us :)

And then this train came along! You meant the tracks were in use?! :p

Yang went to kaypoh with the grandparents :)

We ended this hot segment with ice cream!

Next stop was the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology. Which was big. Which had no fish. Which was good for kids - older kids. Ah well.

But Yu had to poop :p

So we got really near the next iMax show time. Bought the tickets and played some laser light games nearby. Somehow, Kai scratched Yang. Yang cried a little but I didn't realise how serious it was until a short while later when I saw blood!

Poor Yang :(

So after the iMax show - which was on sharks and showed a horrifying scene of a female shark being torn to bits by many male sharks trying to mate with her! Can't blame Yu for not wanting to watch! - Sito had Kai open up his new toy and bin it himself. He did as instructed, quietly. I stepped away to get Yu into the car. When I turned back, I saw Kai rubbing tears off his eyes. Unfortunately, we are quite sure the lesson was not learnt coz he was swiftly presented with another toy the very next day...

Finally, we arrived at 九份! The last time Sito and I were there, it was raining and I had gastric so we didn't quite enjoy it... This time, the weather was beautiful! And I felt like I needed to eat something!

We parked near the temple and walked up

We just kept walking. It wasn't too crowded except at one junction. We had yam cake, fried squid and sat down for yam balls. Also bought grape extract - we've been sipping grape juice on Saturday afternoons - and a 九阳神功 notebook :p

Sunset by the time we got to one end

Dinner was 八方云集!

Yang enjoyed the various dumplings too :)

Thursday, 8 Nov

This was the beginning of our free-and-easy.

We tried to have breakfast at this sandwich place but it was small and there were no seats for us all. So we turned the other direction and had noodles for breakfast instead, much to Kai's annoyance - "Noodles? They are not for breakfast!"

The kids loved to just hit these machines along the way!

Baby with baby face on Mama, awww...

Eventually we made our way to Taipei 101!

See ice cream, eat ice cream

"Hey, you didn't wait for me to look at the camera!"

I need to do this, haha!

Not sure if they were fascinated or scared!

Damper and baby? :p

Playing with a dancing robot outside DTF - XLB again!

Next was shopping time at Mitsukoshi - Sito bought a pair of shoes with Kai's assistance :p

The kids were a handful during the shopping!

Found a big bear!

And Johnnie Walker - "What are GeGes doing??"

We had a difficult time with Yu at this point. He was being troublesome and stubborn and running about everywhere. Sito tried to put him in a naughty corner but this boy wouldn't stay still. In the end, the sobbing boy let me carry him.

饶河夜市 for dinner!

Unfortunately, everyone was tired by then. We packed some food, got a chocolate drink along the way to shut the kids up, and scooted back to the hotel. In the end, Mum and Dad left to get other dinner so we had plenty of food for five of us. Nonetheless, we had supper :p

Original Koi

Super yummy mochi stick!

Friday, 9 Nov

This was like a bonus day - free to do anything! And we took it easy.

Finally got to eat the sandwich - it was yummy!!

Decided to walk to Taipei Main Station. The weather took a definite change by then and it was drizzling slightly but not enough to need an umbrella - the boys had their hoods and I had a scarf which I gave up to cover Yu when he fell asleep.

My sweet baby

Changed away some old Taiwan money at a bank along the way. They were like 50 years old?! And the teller didn't bat an eyelid and just gave us new notes.

Yang fell asleep near arrival too but the stroller was occupied!

We walked about a bit, bought Mister Donut and went back to the hotel to rest. Due to the yummy sandwich, we weren't hungry enough for lunch.

Boys having their donuts before taking the train back

Yu woke so he had his donut too. But both Yang and Yu didn't finish their donut. Later, Yu would eat Yang's and Kai would eat Yu's!

Catching a basker on the way back to the hotel

We had a super early steamboat dinner!

Yu ate very well - rice with fish and broccoli

Sito peeling prawns for everyone!

This was a great steamboat place! Granted, we didn't know half of what we were ordering but there was a lot of variety and we were happy with what we ordered. They also had some 16 (?!) flavours of Haagen Dazs ice cream!

They even had beer!!!

Brought the kids in search of tikam after that. They got themselve a little toy each and we went back to the hotel. While Sito was in the bathroom, a couple of toys got tossed under our bed. We were trying to spot the toys and fish them out with the cane.

Mama: Hmmm, I can't see the toy..
Yang: You don't eat enough carrots? Your eyes are not bright!

I could only look sad when faced with such an earnest exclamation!

Mum offered to babysit so that Sito and I could catch a breather. We were so grateful! I settled Yu soonish and Yang fell asleep soon enough. Kai was drowsy by the time we were ready to go.

We decided on a foot massage place quickly, having been around the neighbourhood enough. The foot massage was good - they even had pants for us to change into coz we were wearing long pants. Then we got milk tea and went back.

So good to indulge in this

Saturday, 10 Nov

It's time to go back to Singapore when my iPhone could no longer detect my thumb print - fingers turning dry!

We did nothing apart from having the yummy sandwich again :) The only eventful thing was a 4 am nosebleeding accusation from Yang - I briefly heard him complain to Kai about leaving blood on the bed. In the morning, we figured out that Yang was the one who had nosebleeding, evidenced by blood in the finger that dug the culprit nostril!

Thought we would go to the airport early since there was nothing for us to do in the city but we ended up being too early for check-in. We waited some 30 min for the crew to set up the check-in rows and open up for check-ins. No early check-in or bag drop available for SQ :(

Hello Kitty check-in kiosks for EVA

Godiva ice cream at the food court!

I had 卤肉饭 - how could I leave Taiwan without eating this?!

Yang sat with Sito, Yu and me while Kai sat with Mum; Dad changed his flight to return with us instead of flying back earlier so we couldn't get adjacent seats.

Watching random shows

Eating lolly!

Finally a photo of Kai on the flight! So guai right...

Yu ate some food on his own

Yang didn't like it much *.*

We decided to go straight home instead of having dinner at the airport since we were not hungry. We were very tired instead!!

I think it was in the taxi that a strange conversation happened. Somehow, Yang asked for a sister! *.* Sito and I froze.  你以为要就有啊?!


So this Taiwan trip had been a failure for a Taiwan trip, seeing that we had so little street food and practically missed out on the night markets. But it was also a success for the original objective coz Kai volunteered Mandarin on multiple occasions. Sito and I would look at each other whenever that happened :)

But we decided that it was just too much work for a holiday - we took leave, accumulated work back home just so to do child care overseas??? Might as well spend meaningful weekends back home.

So it's back to Legoland and perhaps staycations for the next year at least!
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