We don’t get to take pictures together as a family very often so these pictures are very precious to me. Thanks to Itchyfingers for sending me these photos taken at Mabel’s daughter’s birthday party. LOVE IT!
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So, The Blogfather received an invitation to the launch of The Science Centre Singapore’s latest exciting exhibition, Titan of the Past earlier this month and asked me if Xan would be keen to see some dinosaurs. Prior to this, I already heard about the exhibition WEEKS beforehand and told myself I would go with or without the boys because I knew there were going to be real bones and fossils on display. Real ones leh! Wah! So without hesitation, I told The Husband we will go regardless of Xan’s preference. He can always hold my hand tighter or bury his face in my belly if he gets scared at any point in time. So mean hor? Oh well.
After giving Xan a quick pep talk before entering the exhibition hall, we also tried to make fun of the ferocious T-Rex and its little tiny arms in a bid to make the dinosaurs seem less intimidating. Think the researchers who dedicate their lives to researching dinosaurs will hate folks like me eh?
Ok back to the serious stuff.
The official description is taken from here (because they say it better than me lah):
Titans of the Past is a unique presentation put together for the very first time to form a seamless storyline of travelling through pre-historic times.
The first segment, “The Growth and Behaviour of Dinosaurs” is an exhibition from The Museum of the Rockies (MOR) in Montana, USA, with animatronics from Kokoro in Japan. The exhibition features the work of Dr Jack Horner, one of the world’s leading palaeontologists and consultant for Jurassic Park films, and his research team. It showcases beautiful and valuable real fossils including the largest T-Rex skull ever found, good-quality replicas, state-of-the art animatronics and a controversial story line.
The second segment features life-sized dinosaur skeletal casts of the Argentinosaurus, measuring a majestic 36m in length and 7m in height, a Giganotosaurus and a T-rex.
The final segment, “Ice Age, The Exhibition” showcases animatronic mammals from the Ice Age which includes a mammoth, a mastodon and a saber-toothed tiger among others.
Being the typical suaku city dweller I am, to be able to look at these skulls and fossils up-close was a pretty awesome experience for me. I think I already said so earlier right? Ya, that was how excited I was lah. The Argentinosaurus was so huge, it was almost impossible to take a decent photo of it in full. I lie flat on the floor also cannot take a proper photo leh. One of the downside about the exhibition I didn’t like was the lighting. You need to understand that I’m not young anymore. Eyesight also not as good as last time. The dim lights and small fonts are real killers for people with ‘old flower’ eyesight like me. Didn’t help that I am also a big barrel of a baby oven who can hardly bend over to read the signage without fearing I might not straighten out my back later. I hope the organizers can consider making it a tad bit brighter next time. Ya, I hope there will be a next time PLUS more dinosaurs! I want the flying ones!
Halfway through the exhibition, we improvised our tour with a tiny bit of drama…
What’s an exhibition without some kids’ activities?
Overall, we really enjoyed ourselves tremendously staring at the exhibits and watching the movies. Come see, touch and take pictures with the dinosaurs! After that, you can also roam into Science Centre’s main halls to see their permanent exhibits.
Quick Information about the exhibition:
25 October 2013 to 23 February 2014
Typical time required:
Admission Charges (Inclusive of Science Centre entry)
$25 – Adult
$19 – Child
Have you ever been on board of a warship? No, a cruise ship with many noisy fighting children may seem like a warship to you but it is not. I’ve never been on one and never thought I would ever want to because I have Thalassophobia and Claustrophobia. I used to have nightmares being dragged into the sea by some unknown monster/s and getting trapped in tiny spaces. I’m so ma fan (troublesome) right? As parents, The Husband and I try to expose Xan to as many new experiences as possible because we are sadistic want to be advantageous for his sake. We don’t want him to cop out on an experience just because he THINKS he won’t like it even before giving it a go. That being said, Mummy and Daddy need to practice what we preach and so sometimes have to subject ourselves in situations which we would normally not be caught dead in. Like Mummy boarding an enormous warship which is the fuel for my claustrophobia. *gulp*
Earlier in November, I read that the RSS Endurance would be docked at the Vivocity’s Promenade from 14 to 17 November but admission into the ship was strictly by balloted tickets only so I fast leg fast hand went onto the Singapore Navy Facebook page and tried my luck for some. A couple of days later I received an email confirming that we were successful! We were going on board the RSS ENDURANCE! Wheeee!
What is this ship you may ask. The RSS Endurance is the Republic of Singapore Navy’s largest ship and during the 4 day event, the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s Super Puma Helicopter would also be on the flight deck of the RSS Endurance for visitors to have a chance to see and of course, take pictures of.
Just before we board the ship, the officer reminded us about the Three Point Contact Rule: The Three Point Rule requires three of four points of contact to be maintained at all times – two hands and one foot, or both feet and one hand.
So we huffed and we puffed and we made it on board the RSS Endurance. First thing we saw was the
hamson pilot helicopter. Like a true suaku city-dweller I am, I let out a very loud WAHHHH! and dragged the poor boy to the aircraft to have a closer look. At the helicopter, not the pilot. Xan was in awe of the helicopter. It was the first time he has ever seen one up close and he was a little intimidated. So intimidated that he didn’t realized 5 irritating people cut his line and rushed into the helicopter like true jerks. Poor boy. What can we do? Wait for our turn patiently lor. We eventually got our turns and had a lot of fun posing for pictures anyway.
We made our way into the belly of the ship and explored some of the sections that were made available for public viewing.
We had to miss the ride on the Fast Craft Utility (FCU) this time because pregnant women are not allowed on the craft. What a shame. Nair mind lah. We will definately try it if the opportunity arises again. Perhaps better if Daddy goes with Xan than me since Mummy is afraid of everything. *rolleyes* According to The Husband, it’s really not that fast. He say for example to get to Pulau Ubin normally takes 40 mins, this FCU will take 20 mins. I was like *blink* catch no ball. Not that fast har? Ok lor.
After the grand tour of the warship, we made our way to the exhibition area inside Vivocity hoping to learn more about the Navy. I will admit, I got distracted by the photo booth area and completely bypass most of the exhibits. Nair mind lah. There will be other times and when that happens we will see the exhibits again lor correct? Correct right? Ya, I also say.
Not only did we get a printed copy of the photo, a softcopy of made it available on their Facebook page!While looking for Xan’s photo in their Facebook page, I came across some gems like this poor little fella and this one. You MUST see this precious one! I shouldn’t laugh at their misery but but but! SO CUTE!! SO POOR THING!
For more pictures of the RSS Endurance, do visit the Republic of Singapore Navy’s Facebook page. I was too preoccupied that day with trying to catch my breath while climbing up and down the steep stairs and holding onto Xan to take more pictures. Wah I tell you ah, it took about 3 days to be rid of the thigh and butt aches ah! Those damn stairs are just as effective as the evil stair masters in the gym ah I tell you! *sweat*
As promised. Here they are.
The Husband promised he would dress up for Halloween and so he did. Not bad eh?
Notice the angry Evil Dr. Xan with his bowl of dismembered itchy fingers from naughty children. He was angry with me because I wanted him to bring the stethoscope since the outfit looked too generic for anybody to know he is a dentist. He refused and insisted people will know then looked at me like he wanted to say “Only you dumb dumb don’t know nia…” Ok lor… Xan was very insistent about wearing this garb because it really was from a dental clinic and he was super proud of it. It was given to him during a recent Be a Dentist Day at the National Dental Centre which I will tell you more in a future post. Since he was already upset, he started to whine about his eye makeup. “ONE BLACK EYE ONLY AH!” he insisted. I also dunno why only one side. He wanted the makeup, liked it, then whined about it and wanted to wipe it all off. All in 30mins. Sigh… I hate morning tantrums. I should just rename his character as the Psychotic Dentist who likes to cut off fingers for fun. Maybe then the costume and the food combination will make more sense eh?
Every Halloween morning, he will complain about his costume being too hot, too big, too long, too crazy, too something lah. EVERY HALLOWEEN! Then he would sulk (sometimes cry) all the way to school. By the time he sees his friends in equally ridiculous outfits at the main door, he would have this look that says “Heng ah, I’m not the only one like this today” then walks in with no further protests.
I was very determined not to buy candies for Xan’s school Halloween party this year. Last few times he will bring home a huge bag of candies, eat 2 or 3 pieces and abandon the rest for me to eat/dispose. Such a waste of money me thinks. So I sought help from my friends on Facebook for alternative suggestions. Some say make them do tricks, walk barefoot, give the kids homework, give walnuts, etc. I was like Harlow? I want them to like us, not murder us by pelting the walnuts at our faces leh!
During this time, I stumbled across this and when I showed Xan the pictures, he kept laughing and say “This will freak my friends out! Let’s do it! Must put blood!” Soon after, one kind friend share with me photos of her party food and I got inspired! Popcorn in gloves! Disgusting! PERFECT!
It didn’t take much persuasion to get the boy to help me with the food prep. Hot dogs are his favourite snack and when there are extra bits lying around, he will help to dispose them into his belly. Other than popcorn, we used other munchies we found at Daiso for variety sake. Fingernails were M&Ms. Cute eh?
I can’t wait to see him and hear his stories about the party plus the walkabout with his mates from school later today. Wonder if the PG (playgroup) kids will really ‘freak out’ like he said when they see the fingers. I hope they do. A few tears shed will be nice too. Mwahahaha!
I used to love playing with chalk when I was a kid. There was always some kind of chalk lying around the house back then. My mum used to sew all sorts of stuff. Clothes for my sisters when they were kids, mend her clothes, mend my clothes, make flags, etc. In her sewing kit you will always find triangular chalk meant for marking fabrics. I also made sure I had a nice supply of the white chalk my primary school teachers love to throw at us. I bought the chalks lah, not collected them from being thrown at lah. I was a good girl you know? Naturally, these all became my childhood toys much to their dismay. I drew everywhere and that was how I learnt tailor chalk on mosaic tiles is not easy to wipe off, must scrub. Hard. When my mum needs to burn incense papers during religious occasions, my job was to draw a huge circle around the incense burner or ground to indicate the area we were about to use. I loved my job. Very important to a 6 year old ok?
While catching up on my list of favourite local blogs, I came across one of The Gingerbread Mum’s post about one of her kids’ favourite activity. I never knew Singaporeans can be so yim jim (particular) and boh liao (too free and got nothing better to do). So free until someone used their lousy camera, zoomed in dunnohowmany times to take picture of a suspicious looking family who were having insanely dangerous fun with *gasp* a whole bag of CHALK! Gilah fella said they nair respect the residents and should respect Singapore laws? You angry they nair ask you to join them ah? You is the what I call “eat full nothing to do”. I was totally inspired by it and decided I was going to get us some chalk to commit some criminal acts that weekend too! *rubs hands in with evil glee* Mwahahaha!
I sumpah (swear) that I wasn’t planning to use our friend’s baby’s full month party as the crime scene. It just happened and seemed like a good idea at the time. Initially the three of us weren’t very sure what to do. The 2 adults haven’t touched chalk in years and the little one had never even played with one before. He was wondering why mummy so giam siap (stingy) bought so few colors. “Why no red, no black Mummy?” he asked. I said “Neh! Got pink! Chalk got no red lah. Black is charcoal already, I’ll get that for you another day. Chalk only comes in these few colors lah.” The lies just keeps growing. Note to self: steer him away from art supplies shops where they have rainbow colored artist chalk for sale. No need to be forever, 10 years can already.
I’ll be honest with you. We were very worried to kenah Stomped like that poor criminal family so I packed 2 big bottles of water along so we can wash off the evidence when we were done. Xan was only interested to get the attention of the other children to come play with him. At first it was just us 3, then 4, then 6, then a parent joined us. Boy was I glad it didn’t backfire in my face that day. It got messy real quick too. Hands, arms, pants, skirts, shoes, none of the kids stayed clean for long. A few were shocked to see their hands so dirty and got a bit worried. We had to remind them we had water and the powder can be washed off very easily. See? These kids are also concerned with cleanliness hor? After a while when they saw everyone else were just as messy, they giggled and continued with their masterpieces. While they disappeared midway to finish their lunch, rain came and washed off most of the artwork. That didn’t stop the children, they asked me if they could continue inside the multipurpose hall. The kids had a lot of fun and like Xan, some of them have never even touched chalk before that day. Amazing!
Who would’ve thought chalk could bring so much joy to a group of kids who hardly knew each other? Why would anyone have so much problem with it is beyond my understanding. It is temporary, washable, doesn’t harm anybody’s health. Why so serious lah? I know some of the parents were concerned that their kids were sitting on the floor and getting real dirty by the second but by some strange force, none came to yank the kids away.
We had a lot of fun that day with the kids and plan to do it again soon. Would you like to do the same with your kids too? Or you think it’s too messy and random to amount to anything useful?
I chanced upon this really weird recipe while looking for dunnowhat online. Ice-cream bread! I know right? Madness! Fat die you ah! 肥死你啊! Budden I’m pregnant and I don’t care!
So easy! 2 ingredients nia! Ice-cream and self-raising flour! When you think about it, it makes sense though. The ice-cream already have milk, eggs and sugar so all you need is just flour.
Just to eng siew (entertain) you, here are the list of ingredients and measurements:
Taken from The Hungry Housewife
Makes One 8 x 4 loaf
*No self-raising flour? Nair mind. Can make your own! 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt can liao!
Since this bread was going to be unhealthy so I picked the most unhealthy ice-cream of the lot lor. Then I thought, so simple ah? Get Xan to do this with me! He loves it when I give him baking/food prep chores and always get super excited.
It is a
bad horrible idea to get your child to help you bake anything at 10pm. I forgot that he was already excited to be in the kitchen working with me but double that excitement when it’s past his bedtime. O.M.G…
I asked him to help me to scoop/sift flour, into the mixing bowl thinking what could possibly go wrong. While he was at it, I can take pictures of him in action. Big boy already mah, he should know what to do by now. I was adjusting the settings on my phone when suddenly I heard him say BAM BAM BAM! So I looked up just in time to see a big cloud of flour and a giggly boy using the spatula to stab the mixture in the mixing bowl. *facepalm*
Well, here it is. My ugly, dry brick of ice-cream bread. Not as exciting looking as the original eh? I think I figured out that I should’ve measured the ice-cream based on weight instead of volume. The bread turned out way too dry and not fluffy at all. Sigh. Nair mind lah. At least I can tick this off my list of recipes to try. I doubt I will try this again because I feel ice-cream tastes better the way they were supposed to be served. Cold and wet.
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So, The Husband had been working as a parent volunteer for a primary school near our home for the last few months. One of the biggest event on the school calendar would be the Children’s Day funfair which is typically headed by the Parent Support Group (PSG) and backed up by parent volunteers like The Husband.
Since he had just started his new job the week before, he was not going to be able to help out with the funfair on site as planned. Then how right? Lucky this fella is quite clever and is very nifty with graphics so he volunteered to design all the game stall signage and approach a sponsor for the prizes. We both agreed that I would go and take shots of the event since both our names were registered as parent volunteers and I was able to take time off work that day. I have to confess I am no Annie Leibovitz but I’ll do my best to take as many decent, in focus, photos as I can lah.
I had the opportunity to see both the upper and lower primary students in action that day even though I wasn’t expected to stick around so long because the kids are split into 2 sessions: morning and afternoon. This means I had to stick around from 10 am to 4 pm just to see everybody. The PSG members were really really sweet to make sure I was properly hydrated and not overly exerting myself. “Later Winston will kill me if anything happens to you ah!” they joked.
The concept was really simple. The students were given some coupons to start and if they need more, they can purchase them at the ticket counter. The students will earn stamps from every station they complete and when they accumulate enough stamps, they will be able to redeem prizes from the Redemption Counter.
Around 12pm, the buses transporting the afternoon session to school arrived. As soon as they opened their doors, herds of excited kids came running with their humongous bags on their backs to buy tickets and to check out the game stalls. You would think it their excitement, there will be chaos but there was none! They knew where to line up, how much to pay. I heard some of the students lamenting “I didn’t bring money to buy more tickets today leh” and also saw clusters of kids planning and pooling their coupons together to play certain games during their break time.
My favourite part of the whole experience that day was to watch the kids play the pew pew games. The poses they do ah, you know they learnt from tv. Most chose the safest “2 hands on the gun” whereas there are the hero/gangster style 1 hand stretched out to the max pose. Funny sia!
By the end of 5 hours, I was completely exhausted and slightly sunburnt but very glad I had the opportunity to see for myself that there ARE normal, happy kids in this particular primary school despite the horror stories I had been reading online about the local education and the pressure it has on the kids. I’m sure there are the classic monkeys and class clowns lah just that I didn’t see them that day nia. Nong nong ago I was one of the naughty ones too and mostly kept under close supervision at the principal’s office lor. Which school don’t have right? I kept sending The Husband excited text messages throughout the day talking about running kids, chubby kids, bowing kids (yes, one little Eurasian looking boy BOWED to me before running back to his classroom), etc. Even though this was my 1st parent volunteer experience and I only spent 5 hours in the school, I’m really excited to have Xan possibly study in this school because I think he will be in very good hands.