Friday, 28 December 2018

I solemnly swear I'm up to no good

Today, we journeyed to the east for the Harry Potter setup at the airport!

Hogsmeade at T3!

Above is also a game of "can you spot Kai and Yang?" :p They ran forward ahead of us.

There they are!

And us!

Staring at Hogwarts LEGO castle

Staring at merchandise - the shop wasn't opened yet when we first got there

We were lucky to be there early coz there was no need to take selfies and post on social media etc - just show our IC! With two adults, we could choose two of three things - we chose the two activities instead of the gift. The staff was really nice - he told the boys there would be only one gift but there were two of them!

Quidditch time!

The kids didn't get any quaffle in but I made them sit on the broom to pose :p

I was so happy!!!

Sito got on with a quaffle, all ready to throw!

Next was to fight for their side to tilt over first

In the end, the lady's mistake made the thing tilt over to the kids' side and they won! I had no idea what character this was until I saw that they had fantastic beasts as well.

Then we went on to wands and spells!

They had to say the right spell and flick the wands correctly to make a sound and the screen light up

Though the staff told me by the side that the light was controlled by him :p But Kai remembered that scene where Ron mocked Hermione for how she corrected others' way of saying wingardium leviosa so he was quite excited about it!

With robes next!

Doesn't Yang look like a baby Harry Potter?! Kai looks studious in glasses, and the parents look like anything but students!

Yang had a meltdown after that coz he wanted to do the activities again. But one adult could only gain access once a day. I even got a staff to tell him that but he kept tugging at me and crying. Eventually, Sito found him a naughty corner while I brought Kai away. We loitered near the merchandise area until Sito and Yang joined us.

Staring at rotating blades along the way to lunch

We had lunch at the basement area and hit the slide on the same floor. Kai could go on easily but we let Yang join the queue only after we saw the lady let in a girl who was not quite at the minimum height. Kai wanted to try the longer slide but that had a much higher minimum height.

Kai in the queue

Yang in the queue

Kai playing TTT with a random boy at the playground opposite the slide

Think we went back to the shop for a while. Told the boys in advance we were only looking, not buying. They always wanted to buy everything but not everything was something they really wanted.

The kinetic rain structure at T1 was fascinating!

Next was the Whomping Willow at T2 - a bit underwhelming...

Had some Krispy Kreme!

Found the amazing clock!

By then Kai started whining big time. So we hit Marine Cove! But after we took a side trip to Still Road coz I missed a left turn :p

It might not look like it but it was very hot!

Kai had no issue climbing all the way up

Yang took a longer way

We were there for less than 30 min coz it was so hot. The boys fell asleep on the way home. Just as well coz I took yet another wrong turn, oops :p

You might notice that Yu was not with us. Yup, we left him in school!! He doesn't appreciate Harry Potter much and it would be so difficult to chase after him that we would probably be home in two hours :p Anyway, we had to carry both Kai and Yang out of the car. Can't imagine having to carry three!!

The boys woke on the way up and were sent to the shower before they opened their Christmas present from their grandparents who left it in the car before they went to Nepal - it was a quidditch LEGO set! The boys were asking us to buy at the shop - lucky we didn't!

Holding on to precious while looking at the words on the wrapper

Told them to open it and work on it tomorrow but when we checked the camera during our foot massage, we found them on the floor. Couldn't see what they were doing but it was definitely LEGO! Confirmed when we got back with baby Yu...

There could only be one thing that they were doing on the floor, heads bent over...

And baby Yu had a nice goodie bag from his friend! 

"Oooh, no, that can't be eaten..."

Everyone's happy! Mischief managed :p

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Our reading journey

The kiasu parent in me is stirring.

I saw friends' kids ranging from four to six who can read a whole book without pictures and/or write a passage in perfect English. Granted, these parents probably put in a lot of effort at home when we didn't.

Sometimes I thought I shouldn't worry too much coz hello, yours truly I didn't speak or read English until primary school. But then again, I could read Mother's pregnancy books in Chinese!

Kai wrote: Mama don't forget anything - in his words

I think the underlying issue is that Kai doesn't read much. I also don't read to him regularly enough. I hope it's not too late to start now.

So we started the books-for-stars thingy on 13 Dec 2018. For every book they read, they get a star. For every five stars, they get some kind of goodies. There are some T&Cs, like a parent must read with them, or they must do show-&-tell or answer comprehension questions, or no repeated books for Kai. And each library card expires in 14 days so they have to read at least one book every three days.

With this incentive, Kai is reading more now.  Hopefully, he will grow to enjoy reading so that reading is itself an incentive. At some point, I might have to change to chapters for Kai so he won't choose baby books to read.

Yang is reading more too. I can tell he is reading from memory but it's a good start. For those that he is not familiar with, he gets me to read line by line so that he can repeat after me.

Yu has always been reading, this dear boy. He comes to me with his fave two or three books each time. At one point, he read more than Kai! But the past weekend, he has been distracted so I'll try to pick up with him tomorrow.

So I have to prepare library cards every few days. When I was a child, I loved to take library books - we used to borrow 20 books every three weeks! - and pretend to scan the barcode using a covered pen or something, topped with a loud CHOP! with some random tool, just like how the librarians did it back then. Now, I really have to be a librarian!

Their first completed library cards

Christmas presents galore!

This year, there are many presents for the kids.

The first two to arrive were the football and the bikes. We meant to get them anyway but procrastinated until now so not technically Christmas presents... Don't think the kids saw them that way too but well, they are presents!

The football came flat. It took Kai, Yang and me a lot of effort to inflate it coz I made the mistake of not plunging the needles fully :(

The bikes arrived, nine days after ordering online! But the delivery guy got stuck at level 4 lobby for ages coz only one of the three lifts were working and it was peak period. I had to get the security guard to go rescue him! It was very near bedtime but of course the kids had to ride a bit in the house!

Give me a thumbs-up, boys!

Of course they couldn't do it together...

White and blue for Kai, blue for Yang and orange for Yu :) And we headed downstairs for a ride the first Saturday which happened to be the weekend before Christmas.

Kai and Yang were happily riding

Yu was peddling backwards - path of least resistance - and we took turns to help him until we three all gave up!

That Saturday, we also started opening up the intended presents. First of all, a LEGO roller coaster set meant for all to play with. Yang chose it with Sito on their day out.

Don't know what they were discussing about while building the roller coaster

Kai built 90% of it

His brothers had fun playing mostly

Yang snapped random pictures like this!

Oh, I received a Christmas hamper! From Sito's company!

On Sunday, we opened up the Pororo bow-and-arrow set

Sito found a great spot for them to aim the suction arrows at - the balcony door!

On Christmas eve, they brought back gifts from their gift exchange so nothing from us :p Kai was happy with his candy dispenser which came with many refill packs. It was from his K2 friend who came back for the party though she had withdrawn early; Kai is the only K2 now! Yang received an activity book which he took a look at here and there. Yu got a miniso watch, which I thought of getting for their gift exchange.

Today, I brought out their presents and arranged them around our Daiso tree! :p

Can't wait to open!

Yang and Yu were happy with their PJ Masks Gecko watch and toy car ("police car!") but Kai was disappointed with his 3-in-1 dinosaur LEGO set coz he could only look at it and not play with it! Lesson on manners here... When he started to assemble the dinosaur, he began to like it and we played with it for a while :)

Besides presents, our Christmas was also about dressing up and food!

Santa babies for school party

Holding on to his gift exchange item - toy cars for all!

And I was told by his teacher that Yang cried at gift exchange coz he didn't want to give away his present! Someone didn't quite understand gift exchange... I always think gift exchange is meaningless - there's no name at the "to" field! And for kids, well, they don't get it.

The Christmas tree at NTUC downstairs has curiously given way to a 梅花 tree on Christmas eve!

Our lunch today! Baked fusilli bolognese and honey glazed drumsticks!

I had wanted to roast a whole chicken but (a) it may be dry and tough, (b) the breast isn't too yummy, and (c) I could find only kampung chicken when I needed a big fat chicken. In fact, I couldn't even find drumsticks until my second try. I'm happy to report that lunch was well received :)

Kai had a drumstick each plus pasta less the broccoli; Yu had a bit more drumstick than Kai

Yang had a drumstick and a bit more, plus pasta, also less broccoli

Yu wanted a selfie after seeing me in action above - I think he thinks he's cute... :p

So overall - both Yang and Yu ate more than Kai! Can tell from their girth... But Kai ate a lot more at dinner coz it was his fave fried rice from the coffeeshop. Picky!

Second trip to the playground and coffeeshop in three days

And just like that, Christmas is over. LNY is coming up in just over one month's time. Shall wait a bit more to lose weight!
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