Elmo, Big Bird and Cookie Monster

High Teas, Hi-5, Haikus

Lilypie 3rd Birthday Ticker

Monday, October 23, 2006

Bike Tike

In my regular pursuit of activities to keep Alicia occupied, we stumbled upon one that kept everyone amused for almost an hour - hubby, kid and even our helper.

For most people living in Singapore, if you grew up as an eastie, you'll tend to want to live around the east when you get your own place. At least that theory holds true for Ray and I. So despite living in the central (we will move east when the lease is up!) at the moment, we still make our regular jaunts out east for walks with Alicia along East Coast Park and to get some good seafood.

Last Saturday, as we arrived at the East Coast hawker centre, Ray lamented that he wasn't hungry yet so we decided to take a walk around. As I surveyed the the streams of dog walkers, wobbly learner roller bladers and cyclists, I noticed a huge grin on the face of a kid on a child seat strapped to the front of a bike.

That's it! With newfound enthusiasm, I suggested we rent bikes and take Alicia for a ride. Given Alicia's hit-or-miss temperament when it comes to new things, we decided to let Ray take her for a quick spin first to test the waters.

(PS: I blame the haze for the fuzzy pic)

It was a hit! Despite the rather apprehensive look on her face in the photo, Alicia loved tearing along with the wind in her hair, waving to her mummy and ya-ya. When our hour was up, she seemed disappointed that it was over.

Now Ray's all gung-ho about getting a child seat attached to his bike at home and is even willing to turn his posh, rather expensive Trek mountain bike into an Ah-gong bike complete with un-glam rack and kick stand.

Oh, the sacrifices parents make.....:)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Getting an early Rafflesian start

Last Saturday, Ray and I attended a charity gala dinner organised by the Singapore Children's Society where they featured the "Dim Sum Dollies" (yes, Emma was there in her full glory fraternising with the crowd in true "dollie" fashion).

Ray's boss had purchased tickets for two tables and invited us along. So in a bid to check out Singapore's "high society" and to show "face" to Ray's boss, we got all "dolled" (pun totally intended :) up and went along.

I ended up sitting next to his boss' wife who at some point in the conversation commented on how people with kids ALWAYS end up chatting about kids and maids. Sigh....that's so true....

Anyway, I'm digressing...

One of the BIG discussion topics for parents with kids around Alicia's age is which school to put them in. It starts off innocuously with which nursery, then which kindie and progresses up to whether to send them to local or international primary schools! All this planning for someone who can barely string a sentence together!

So as Alicia gets closer to starting Nursery 1 (in 2.5 months), I've been exploring several options to find a school that she likes and that we're comfortable with.

She was in Julia Gabriel for a long time and I must just reiterate how wonderful that school is, especially for the Chinese playgroup. Only problem is, we are now looking for a drop-off program where we can drop her off at 9am and have my parents pick her up at 12pm.

A neighbour recommended
MMI ( Modern Montessori) on Claymore Road. It's a huge school, overpopulated and understaffed. We enrolled Alicia for a two week trial and at the end of it, decided against continuing with them. I just felt that they spent so much time trying to organise the kids and getting them to move from the playground to the classrooms and so little time on actually teaching them anything.

The little area they made into a gym was SO crowded it was like an accident waiting to happen. Guess we were too spoilt by Julia Gabriel where everything ran like clockwork.


I drive past this school all the time but never really gave it much thought till I saw them advertise in "Young Parents" magazine. By this time, I was just trying to find something that had immediate vacancies, was not so overwhelming and had a drop-off programme. The fact that it's called Raffles House Pre-school and the founders are all from Raffles was just a cool coincidence.

So far, Alicia seems to be enjoying herself and I'll probably continue with them after her trial period.

What I thought was a pretty interesting nugget of marketing info was how they justified their choice of name:

"We have chosen to call our school Raffles House Preschool, not only because the founders were all from Raffles Girls' Secondary or Raffles Institution. More importantly, because our vision is to build a premier preschool, in line with the accomplishments and strong heritage that the name has come to be associated with, in the education services"

Auspicium Melioris Aevi!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Dotted Line Originals

Here's my chance to say that I own pieces of the fabulous Dotted Line's very first collection before my friend Dorothy becomes a super hot celeb fashion designer!!

It's great to see people my age doing so well and being so entrepreneurial. Would be nice to start a business of my own as well. Tell that to my fat and lazy, accustomed-to-sitting-on-office-chair butt.

Sigh...so for now, it just living vicariously through friends like Dot.

Attended her launch party on Sunday at MAAD, which is incidentally the same venue where I had my virginal
art jamming experience.

Was great to see everything come to fruition, especially after having followed Dot's trials and tribulations through her

The collection looked great! So much so that I grabbed practically every piece of garment there to try on! These are the ones I just had to have!

Dorothy also designs bag and accessories. She's even promised to include some diaper bags in her next collection. Woo hoo! Can't wait!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Whaddya lookin' at?

Gold Coast, Australia

Back to reality again after two glorious weeks on the Gold Coast where the weather was simply "beautiful one day, perfect the next" (and to make matters worse, we returned to ungodly PSI levels).

Lots of pics to post this time around, starting off with the apartment we stayed at. Located practically on the beach, this 27th floor 3 bdrm place offered breathtaking 180 degree views. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words...

Unfortunately, Alicia is like deathly afraid of getting sand on her feet and the one time we decided to expose her to the beach to try and rid her of this un-McGregor like phobia, she yelled, screamed, hollered, sobbed and convulsed so badly that any sane, loving parent would think twice before subjecting her to that kind of trauma in the near future.

That put a very quick end to any planned beach activities.

Other things though, she was more game to try. We took her to
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary to experience koalas and kangeroos and other indigenous Aussie animals like the echidna. Initally apprehensive, she got coaxed into stroking the koala but was still very wary of the 'roos and was satisfied to just let mum and dad feed them.

We even managed to develop an afternoon routine while we were there. After Alicia's daily nap, we would take a stroll downstairs around the back of the apartment building where there was a large pond with ducks and geese and other assortments of birds (including peacocks!) that roamed freely, waiting patiently for kind visitors to hurl them a bread crumb or two.

Right next to the pond was a playground that really tickled Alicia's fancy when she first noticed it, then she realized that it was based in sand which kind of annoyed her as it meant she couldn't run around in it as she please....not unless she wanted to risk getting sand on her precious soles .....god forbid.

But she had heaps of fun riding in the swing and even learnt to make "wheeee" sound effects to accompany the upswing.

We also took her to Sea World thinking she might be excited about seeing some sea animals but throughout it all, she remained rather nonchalant, nowhere close to the shrieks and squeals that evoked tears of joy when she saw Barney "live". The only thing that seemed to vaguely enthrall her was the dolphin show where she sat still, mesmerized for 20 minutes solid (which for a hyper-active 2 year old is a feat in itself).

The funny thing was, Alicia got the most amusement and entertainment not from the zoos or seaworld but the "cheapest" place for us - Toys 'R' Us. It was cheap in the sense that it did not cost us the bloody AU$63 per adult like it did for Sea World but given the amount of time she spent amusing herself there, it was inevitable that we ended up spending on toys that amused US as well. (Remember the slinky - we had to get that and relive our childhood memories).
Alicia checking out the playhouses at Toys 'R Us

The other big part of this holiday was just catching up with the in-laws again. Here's Alicia spending time with her grandparents and uncles (to whom she got really close as they chased her around the apartment playing "peek a boo").

Sigh....still nursing the holiday bug. Am already checking my calendar to figure out when we can take our next vacation.