Thursday, July 31, 2008

Supposedly hitched @ 3

Finally! My feeble attempt to experiment with paint and get back into the grove to scrap after months and months of not doing any layouts for myself !

This one details my little girl's absolutely cute and hilarious 'relationship' with her friend. They've 'decided' they will marry, but recently had a tiff and cancelled their 'marriage-ment' as they called it. They've since made up of course !
How can I not capture this precious story ??!!

Journaling reads:
"You two met in Nursery 1 @ the tender age of 2+ and hit if off straight away. Ash, the ever amorous one, is always sneaking a peck and holding your hand. Discounting the little squabble over the venue of your Wedding (HE wanted a treehouse event; SHE, one in a hot-air balloon), you two have been the best of pals and I hope this friendship would last a lifetime !! "

This picture was taken on a playdate to Lilliputt on HIS birthday :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Old at Four

It was C's sports day today - and i witnessed undeniably the sheer delight of independence. This, for some reason, put me in a reflective mood.

A year ago, C clung to me like a koala, and I had to participate with her in all the various games. Today, she had such a blast ! From the warm up exercise with all the bootie-shaking done with aplomp and accompanied by the huge grin on her face; to the serious concentration of making sure the ping pong ball did not fall off the spoon, or the bean bag from her head - she was so into it all ! Making sure she did what she had to, with nary a worry whether mommy was around.

I guess i should be glad she's got here. Steady, independent, and capable of enjoying the deal of the day. Perhaps, i should even give myself a pat on the back that i had played a part in nurturing this growth towards greater maturity. Yet, a part of my heart just ached. Haiz, they all grow up far too soon. I thought i did spend most of my waking and sleeping moments (yes, C still sneaks into my bed at unearthly hours like 2am) with her, yet i can't seem to remember all of it, and in a blink, she's all grown.

For me, this realisation was a bitter sweet moment. In a couple of months, C will turn 4 and to be honest, i'm not looking forward to it. It's like an empty-nest syndrome that has come too soon. I can only take heart in the knowledge that i was there through her growing moments, and i can continue to savour the more challenging (and no doubt as heartwarming) years to come :P

here's the cute warm-up boogie that the kids did to open the Sports Day. Enjoy !

20% discount Borders coupon

For those intending to buy some books this weekend, remember to print your 20% off coupons here. One for each book :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The gift of music

I started the girls 3 months ago on formal music lessons. For the longest time (R is already 6.5yrs) i have resisted letting R take up piano even though we have a beautiful piano at home (i play the piano myself), because i hadn't been convinced she wanted it enough to be disciplined and practice without me nagging. And then i stumbled upon the Suzuki method.

I was totally sold, and am convinced this is the way to go, particularly for young children. I didn't want my kids to go through the rigours of boring, tuneless, traditional methods of piano learning. The Suzuki method emphasizes a lot more on the tone of music created, the posture, and the playing technique. It's so clear to the kids from the start that what is important is not so much getting the notes right, but creating a beautiful sound, and playing it with the right heart and manner. And to me, that's really what music's about. It's about feeling it, and being immersed in it. And best of all (well, to me, that is), no exams !!! Suzuki believes in playing the music pieces well, so there are selected pieces chosen for 'grading', such that if you perform the piece well, you move to the next level. Simple ! Just enjoying music for what it is.

It also emphasizes more on listening than on reading notes, another aspect i really liked. I, trained the traditional way, can't play tunes i like without having music scores in front of me, and that's just so frustrating. Suzuki teaches them to listen, figure out the notes, and hear the sounds they play. Only after they master this, they learn how to read notes. You can read more about how they teach the Suzuki Method here

After a month of lasting just 5-10mins each session, C (my 3.5yr old) is able to sit through the full 30mins now, visibly enjoying herself, actually hearing a tune being played, (ok... she's still at the first song "Twinkle Twinkle".. ), but still, fingers are all beautifully positioned, and rhythm, perfect. R on the other hand has done some 9 songs and has started playing with both hands ! And all this, from memory ! I'm over the moon.

As a result, i've been inspired and have started jazz piano lessons too, and can play a tune or two from Michael Buble !! Finally, some beautiful 'live' music from our home :)
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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bento #2

(jam sandwich rolls, sausages, fried noodles and longans)

A quick fun one for R last week that i had no time to post earlier
Think it was the mix of colours - came back clean !

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Shadow Box scrap gift

It was the sheer wonder in his eyes just playing with something simple like a balloon that caught my breath.

Made this as gift for a friend whose son just turned two and is simply in love with Thomas and the 'gang'. Didn't manage to have a small enough Thomas to fit into the shadow box, but managed to squeeze James and Percy into it! Beads and felt ric-rak completed (i hope) the train tracks. TFL !

my National Library book sale stash!

My wonderful productive morning !! All at $2 apiece !! This allowed me to pick up books that I won't usually buy if at full cost - like Mesopotamia, Ancient Rome, Rocks and Minerals - which was really awesome !! I felt slightly embarressed lugging a market trolley behind me. Then i saw this man with 2 large green trolley suitcases - And I felt loads better :)

Couldn't find that many good fiction books but nonetheless managed to get some really good ones like "Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel"; Roald Dahl's "Twits"; "Bread and Jam for Frances", "Wind in the Willows - a Treasury" and "Mole Music". The Malay recipe books for my wonderful Indonesian help, at $1 each was also such a steal !

I'm happy :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Timelessness of Ballerinas

I just returned from the Singapore Ballet Academy's 50th anniversary gala concert, and I was struck at how time has seemed to make no impact on poise and beauty. It was a really significant moment watching the Alumni of SBA, some already in their 60s and 70s, take the stage and perform an item in all the grace and poise that appeared to not have lapsed at all. Dance, in its nature and artform, i guess, calls one to take pride in oneself, and this becomes so much a part of who you are that invariably, one just blooms so beautifully. I am inspired. I would be grateful if i can be just a measure of what these beautiful women i've seen today, 30 years from now. Thankfully, i've started my girls on dance :) :)

Bento #1

k.. donch laugh ya... My feeble attempt at trying to make a Hello Kitty shaped rice patty :o
Instead of white rice, i had mixed the rice with minced chicken, potato and mushrooms -- guess that's why the details weren't as clear, but anyhow, glad my Small One enjoyed it. Sides include brocoolli florets and shaped carrots with prawns, and diced apples.

haiz - think cannot make it la ...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I appreciate ...

What started out as a showcase of my scrap works for well meaning friends who were keen to see, has now become a little piece of me and my life. In the process, I have discovered that i very much enjoy penning down my thoughts and aspirations, and sharing the nuggets of information i come across daily.

I just wanted to say a huge Thank You to all of you out there who have been so very kind in posting your comments (very reassuring that at least i've got an audience, ha ha !!), and to all my dear friends who have told me how much they love stopping by 'Memory Trove' - thank you...

Now i am all inspired to continue to put up meaningful posts :)

Hugs !

Monday, July 14, 2008

National Library Book Sale starts 18 July 9.30am

Grab your trolleys, luggage bags and GO GO GO !!
Everything will go at $1-$5 .
So if you have no problems jostling with crowds, head down to Expo this fri at 9.30 am. It will run up to Sun, and they would replenish the wagons as they deplete, so they say.

Some tips :
  1. Have an idea the genre (type of books) and authors you are looking for and just dash for that particular area
  2. Wear heels so if anyone dares cut into your path, you can trod on their toes
  3. Bring helper (S) !!! :) :) :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bento Stash

My entire stash of bento boxes, belts, food picks, food shapers, disposable and silicon containers, and utensils.

Close-ups of the bento box belts, food picks, super-cute utensils, and even star/flower shaped sauce bottles !
The various disposable and silicon containers which would hold the food in the bento boxes

It's official - i've become a 'bento' convert. For the clueless few, bento is essentially packaging food to the level of an 'artform'. I've decided that i would TRY really hard. My excuse is that my P1 daughter only eats from the same stall every day, so why not get some fun out of preparing food for her. The real reason of cos' is the fact that i couldn't resist all these cute cute cute stuff from Daiso ! All at $2 apiece ONLY. And so i just Grabbed - and didn't realise this could still cost me a small fortune :P Guess the Japs really know how to package their products for gullible consumers like me. Now that the fun of shopping is over - i've got to get down to actually preparing the food :) Stay tuned !

Monday, July 7, 2008

the New Explorer Kids @ Downtown East

For those of you who have been to the older Xplorer Kids, this new one - housed in the new building just next to the multi-storey carpark at Downtown East, is triple the size. It comes complete with the mega-play area - which is really the main maze-and-slide contraption -; new gated (ie. you have to pay to get in) areas, a rock climbing wall, a cafe and even a skating rink.

But it was such a ripoff !! $22 to be exact - per child for 1 hour !! The place seemed to meet everyone's needs - toddlers, grandparents - there was a gated area filled with massage chairs for those with aching muscles to lounge, and an internet area and cafe for us from the age of 'wireless' dependents. All of course came with a price. Other 'fun' stuff included a 'tree-top' adventure walk (for those more than 1.2m tall), where they actually harness you so you are walking on rope-bridges about 2m off the ground. Again, this costs like $5.50 for one circuit.

It would thus make sense to purchase the membership for each kid, wherein you fork out a flat $8.50 which caters til the kid turns 12yrs, and then just pay $11 everytime you come to play. And pay some more if you decide to enter any of the gated zones.

To be honest, my kiddos had fun but were overwhelmed. By sheer size and the sheer crowd that started crashing in by 11am. So plan well, go on weekdays and early, and prep your kid to be brave - then take the plunge. It's probably worth a go.

Oh yes, not to mention all the eateries and cafes that fill this new complex to the brim that would likely meet every tastebud around!

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It's so heartwarming to see the girls play together and even more, when R takes on her sisterly role. I can't help but peep and steal a shot. Tired out without a nap the entire day (check out the earlier pic with Girls high on choc fondue at "Hagan Daazs" :P ), C collapsed into bed at 630pm, and Jie Jie took it upon herself to do the bedtime ritual - reading to C. Just wonderful... haiz... i must have done something right :)
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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

a Journey Together (anniversary mini album)

We recently celebrated our anniversary of more than a decade, and my did we congratulate ourselves on a job well done !!

To me, anniversaries are so much more in need of celebrating as compared to birthdays, mothers' day or fathers' day. Making a marriage work, and work well, is so much hard work ! And to date, i don't think we can claim we've got the formula right. While many would say it is all about giving, i feel that one can only give so much, and at some point, that buried tinge of resentment could surface like a volcano and explode in all messiness right up our alley.

Yes, we've hit rock bottom on that account, and it is only now, so many years on, with 2 kiddos in tow, that i feel a certain serenity and quiet confidence in our marriage, a relationship i know that will stand the test in whatever is strewn our way, one that has deep seated respect such that whatever the disagreements - no matter how sensitive, we know we can sort out (in time, with some sulking in between), and most importantly, one that is founded on a certain fondness and chemistry that i never thought could exist after so many years together, but that unequivocally does.

And it is this that will guide us through our coming years and ride whatever mega blow-ups we most certainly would have.

I made a little anniversary album as a momento tracing our journey together from singlehood, to being a couple, and then having No.1, and No. 2. Guess i'll have to add more pages, if no. 3 ever comes along ! haha ! Enjoy, and thanks for looking : )