Thursday, 26 February 2015

K had her first kids meal today. Everytime we dine out, I would have to share my meal with her. Meaning that I've been assigned to eating mostly fish soup with noodles, fish soup with rice, fishball noodles, you get the drift. 

And since we had our dinner late today, we were quite famished and the hubs decided to order a kids meal set just for K while I 'stole' the cold orange juice and he took away the french fries. When I share with K, she eats about 1/2 my meal and it's 1/2 too little for me. Although she didn't finish off her kids meal, she had a good 3/4 portion of it with a few strings of fries and a little bit of the juice. We still do not believe in giving her cold drinks at this point and she's so used to it that she doesn't even  ask to drink ours when we order soft drinks at the side for ourselves.

And during the CNY long weekend, K went diaperless! Yes, even when we were out visiting! We are so proud of her and feel so blest that she has such a teachable spirit. We started training her whenever she poo poos and then the school started toilet training them towards the end of her playgroup class and we do the same at home. In fact, until recently, I was still letting her tape diapers just before we leave the house and bring along pull-ups for change later, but not for school days. She puts on her panties straight from home and only wears diapers during her nap time. Anyway, wearing tape pants just before we leave the house is a little bit more cost effective and no, it doesn't confuse her between the tape diapers and pull-ups. Yes, it is very brave of us to try her out during the busy festive period but we felt she was ready.

Not wearing diapers during her sleep will take a bit more time though. I've heard of children who still sleep with their diapers on when they enter Primary 1. And I'm not ready to wake up in the middle of the night just to put her on top of the toilet bowl. I can imagine a whole lot of resistance coming from her if I were to wake her up in the middle of her dreams and make her go to the toilet bowl while spoiling the rest of my beauty and restful sleep.

My girl has grown up. In fact, the teachers have been telling us that she hasn't been napping in school! It's been going on since she moved up to Nursery 1. And the hubs and I have to tell her everyday to nap and why it's important to do so. Her main teacher feels that probably K's mind is still very active. Which makes me feel that she's not doing enough. Her mind has not been stretched and she's capable of doing more. I experience the same with her Saturday naps. It takes so much to make her nap! Would enrichment classes help? I think we've come a point where we need to start considering this. Be it enrichment classes or some art, ballet, music classes.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

When the hubs tried to arrange for a site-viewing for a 3rd and hopefully, final, contractor for this Saturday, he was rejected and told by the current owner that they are busy with packing. While we have received a quotation from the first contractor, it felt like we had to keep following up with him. The 2nd is a ID and has yet to revert to us. This 3rd one renovated the 2nd BIL's home and will also be doing up the PIL's. So we're hoping he isn't too expensive and we can stop the stress of looking for another. His company has an impressive website, I must add. So I'm holding my horses until I see his quote.

While we have been window shopping for furniture, we are not too sure what kind of look we want the new place to be. The Nordic look and feel seems to be all the rage now. It's quite nice really. Simple and uncluttered. 

This is what we like and our living area is big enough to fit this:
This would fit the Scandinavian theme. Nice too and easier on the pocket:
We've decided to get a storage bed-frame for our existing bed, likely a solid wood extendable dining table from Ikea and waist-high wall cabinet for the hallway where I can place photo-frames and some decorative items. And a coffee table for the sofa. And maybe a tv console. In other words, we will not be moving over much of our existing furniture to the new place. Other than our mattress, the single bed-frame, mattress and 2 door cabinet in the guest room, an Ikea book shelf and likely the tv console. Not forgetting a whole lot of kitchen utensils, our clothes, toys etc.

And the curious question about M is that she will move back to stay at Jerry's. Since we know that we will be 'homeless' for a short period of time, we didn't know for exactly how long and how arrangements are going to be. So I spoke to Jerry sometime late last year and after discussing it with my 3rd SIL, bless her, they have decided to let M move back and stay with them till her own flat is ready. So when the sellers requested for an extension and then now, with a likely delay to the start of the renovation, I feel that they are a blessing in disguise. Cos technically, we won't have any place to stay, no doubt just for a short period and I'm not lying about having the need to move M back to Jerry's. 

Jerry has said that M can move in with them after the CNY. And I really hope M reins in on her 'dowager' personality so that the 3rd SIL does not regret their decision. A lot of prayers required for this. A lot, indeed.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

We only went to Lynn's house yesterday after lunch. And when we came back home, K took a nap and it was all the way at home for the 3 of us, except for the hubs who had a CNY gathering at a colleague's home. 

After church today, all of us from church trooped over to Jeremy's for Lou-Hei and the usual CNY visitation. Although there's now another toddler to play with who is about 18 months, K prefers to play with the kor-kors and jie-jies. The youngest boy in the group, who is in Primary 1 this year, refused to show her what he's watching on the mobile phone and she chased him but the boy was adamant not to let her watch and K ended up crying.

When the party ended about almost 4pm, Jerry and his family proceeded to our place for dinner. I'm glad I was able to whip up something nice! The hubs and I don't remember Jerry telling  us that they were coming and were not prepared at all! Thankfully, Lynn, who had a party yesterday, insisted that I bring home some chicken rendang which she had bought too much of. I just had to mix a few things together for soup and heat up the pre-made herbal chicken that we had bought during our last shopping trip to the food wholesalers. And M went downstairs to buy a pack of roasted pork.

We've had a great long weekend and how I wish every CNY falls on a Thursday and Friday. Considering how unenthusiastic I was before the Lunar New Year came around, I must say I'm still in the mood of the season! :) Pity it's back to work and school tomorrow.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Jerry kindly hosted reunion dinner for our family of 5 siblings with their other halves, making it 10 of us and 8 others consisting of young adults, teenagers, adolescents and a toddler and 1 matriarch. It was very nice of them to do it at their home despite them travelling up to my 3rd SIL's home town early the next morning and no more maid to clean up. It was pot-luck and I brought a pot of chicken stewy soup. Lol..stewy because it was meant to be but ended up more soup base.

Yesterday, being the first day of the CNY, the hubs and I went to his 2nd BIL's home to 'visit' his parents. This is something I've practiced for the past years. The youngest in-laws are not 'celebrating' the festival this year due to their loss early this month. After lunch at the in-law's, we came back home and K napped while we hosted our guests. In the evening, as were with the past 2 years since M started staying over, my cousins came over but this time, we only has 2 families. Jeremy and his troop came over for the usual dinner on the 1st day so our house was really packed.

And today, we had my ex-colleague Ivy and her family visit us and then the hubs, K and I went off to my godma's for lunch. I only visit my god-brother's home during this season and we missed it last year because of conflicting schedules. Thankfully K now warms up to unfamiliar people a lot faster so she could leave me to enjoy the food while being around older children.

After my god-brother's home, the 3 of us went off to the same relative's house of his where all the rest of his distant relatives from the MIL's side usually gathers. Again, the hubs busied himself in no time to play blackjack. Thankfully, I have K now (how many times I have said that!) and can keep myself occupied with her while she watched Frozen, yet again. I think this must be the 3rd time she has watched Frozen here. 

As the hubs continued his CNY visitation to his friends, he sent us home first before sending the MIL back and she's lucky that the hubs' friend stays near the 2nd BIL. 

That basically sums up our first 2 days of the Lunar New Year.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

A round of drinks to celebrate the sale of our home. 

The hubs and I were at HDB in the afternoon to finalise the sale of our place and are so thankful that everything has proceeded on smoothly. We handover the keys of our matrimonial home in April.

The purchase of our new home is a different story altogether and is making me a little stress. The current owners/sellers keep asking us for an extension, which would mean we can only start renovation later and very possibly move out to some temporary accommodation. Zul told us yesterday not to give in as he has experienced times when it gets extended again upon extension. And because the extension is between the seller and buyer, HDB cannot step in after the official handover date.

As it is, we have yet to confirm the contractor that we are going to go with. Which means we have yet to choose any materials, all of which will take time for delivery and in the worst case scenario, stocks may not be available and we'll have to wait.

I just pray now that the sellers eventually move out as agreed, that is by next month and then we can proceed with another challenge of renovation. Having said that, we've decided not to hold any birthday party for K and instead just let her celebrate it in school with her friends. So it would be a cake and goody bags for her friends, whom she spends most of her time with. There's just too much going on now for another logistical nightmare.

Monday, 16 February 2015

We visited a 3rd childcare centre on Saturday morning and although we were very comfortable with the principal, I think we're going with the first one that we visited. The one that has a public playground in front of it. Although the one we visited on Saturday only required us to buy a standard set of uniform, like K's current school, the distance was a little far. The bus-stop isn't too near either. Having the experience of sending K to school in the morning following the hub's surgery last year, I value nearby proximity. But, we'll have a little more time to mull over it as we'll probably only start her in the new centre in May.

On Saturday evening, the 3 of us went to the 2nd BIL's home for the hubs' side of their family reunion. We had planned to host it initially with a pot-luck gathering but somehow the FIL wanted to include their extended family, that is his sister's family, his SIL with her son and wife. Which is just as well as I can't cope with having too many people at my place and cleaning up after. We all enjoyed ourselves with a steamboat dinner and the hubs was assigned to buy a roast duck with the pre-CNY inflated price. The hubs prepared me mentally by telling me that it will be highly likely that next year's reunion will be held at our new home. As the new 3 room DBSS flat that the PILs have collected the keys to, is tiny.

And yesterday after church, the 3 of us went to Chinatown with Jeremy and Ivy. It was crowded but thankfully, there were pockets of space as well. The jelly flats that I had on, left me with huge blisters which I am still suffering from today.

Somehow, I do not have much of a mood for any CNY celebration this time. I haven't even change any notes yet. But of course like it or not, I'll have to participate in it, in 3 days time.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

We were given a set of 'activity' books by a church member and although, their youngest child is already in Primary 1, the books were kept in very good condition. Most of them seemed untouched although I had to do quite a bit of erasing for 2 of them. But even then, it was only for the first few pages. Otherwise, they are as good as new!
1 of the books stated from ages 3-5 but I'm not too sure whether K is up to it yet. In the books, K can trace the alphabets, do colouring, join the dots by connecting the numbers and so on. But she hasn't quite managed to hold the pencil really well yet. Sure, she loves colouring and has improved from colouring the entire page to within the picture. But I do not want to take the fun away from her by putting my hand round hers while she grips the pencil and colour. At this point in time, I would rather she does her colouring her way and enjoying it while she brings the blank picture to 'life'. I recall Josh not liking to colour at all at K's age. So it's nice to see K asking to be allowed to do her colouring and be left alone at that. Because she shows interest in the on-line colouring pictures that I had printed, the hubs went to buy 4 colouring books for her!

Having said that, K told us last night that she doesn't want to wear her diapers  to sleep anymore! Somehow, her diaper leaked on Monday and Tuesday morning and I'm not sure if that is the reason why she doesn't want to have her diapers on or if she's feeling uncomfortable. Or could she have been upset by what I may have said? So anyhow, I told her we can try to remove her diapers during her afternoon nap first.

Last night, I asked if she wanted to clear her bladder before we slept and she did clear quite a bit. And I told her, we'll start off with this practice every evening now and also before her noon time nap at home on the weekends so eventually, we will get there. Diaperless at night that is. 

Saturday, 7 February 2015

The hubs and I took the day off yesterday and went shopping across the causeway. Both of us sent K to school and she asked us why were we dressed up like we were while we were waiting for the lift at the car park. I tried to contain my giggle as we were going without her. As it is, we headed straight to the causeway after sending her to school and were already trying to pack it all in. We left the last stop at about 4.30pm and managed to pick her up about 6pm. And to think I was hoping that the hubs would relent to my request to leave at about 5pm.

I bought 1 pair of flats but didn't fancy any office heels that I saw. We bought quite a bit of goodies for CNY, 4 pair of pjs for K and 2 water bottles. We also checked out a lighting shop at JB.

And today, we finally managed to drop by the Bird Park! I've bought tickets from Groupon back in December but we didn't have any free Saturday to visit the park until today. We aren't exactly bird enthusiasts so the hubs summed it up by saying 'it's pretty forgettable'. But I think it is good to visit it at least once. There is also a water-play area, just like the zoo. We didn't know about it so we didn't pack anything suitable for K for the water play. 

The bird park is smaller compared to the zoo but still we spent quite a considerable amount of time there. We were there at about 10ish and left at 5pm. I reckon the next time we'll visit the zoo will be at her new location in Mandai. Thankfully the weather is still good so it was quite a nice day out today.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

We're in a bit of a fix now, with a road bump ahead in getting our keys for the new place. The sellers require an extension, which was not made known to us previously. Their agent only brought it up to us slightly before our first HDB appointment. By then, we had already settled the official sale of our place. We had already done an extension to the handing over of our keys to our buyer. On our side, we played our cards well, especially since Zul did the time planning for us.

It looks like we might have to look around for temporary accommodation after we officially hand over our keys till the reno completion of our purchased unit. And it's not easy finding one for probably about 2 months. So, even if the sellers are willing to pay for our short-term accommodation and storage, it's really the availability that's the problem now.

While the seller has told the hubs that they will try their best in search of temporary housing for themselves, we hope they really do. As much as they have 2 school-going children, we too have a toddler. 

Now I understand the importance of having a proper agent to advise you. Theirs was crap and who lied to us that their block underwent a 'House Improvement Project' which was not the case at all and now we have to change the ugly cast iron pipes. Thankfully, they can be changed and another contractor that the hubs arranged to view the unit is able to get it done.

We officially hand over our house keys in April and I guess till then, I will post random pictures of the neighbourhood I love so much. But I'm sure the hubs, K and I will have no problem adjusting to the new location. The landscape at the Lake District has changed so much that other than the distance to work, it will be so much to look forward to.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

K and I had our hair-cut at the salon on Friday. She did hers first and this time, without any struggle. The hubs decided that he has enough of frustration trimming K's hair and so we have been talking to her about going to visit my hair-stylist. On Thursday, we dropped by but she was too busy and so we had to go by on Friday again. While having her cut, K reminded me that I had promised her that she could watch hi-5 while at it. After her hair-cut, I trimmed mine and the hubs and K had to wait for me for a good hour, which they spent a good part of in the library and the newly constructed playground near the salon.

Yesterday morning, the 3 of us hopped down to Woodlands, to a whole stretch of food suppliers. So many people were there too, presumably shopping for CNY. While the hubs drove off in search of a proper parking lot, K and I trooped off for some food testing. We had ice-cream, sorbet and red velvet cakes. We ended up buying 3 packs of Norwegian Cod Fish, 2 packs of salmon collars, 2 packs of frozen prawns, tandoori chicken, pizza base and a whole lot more. We bought so much that we had problems storing them in the fridge! K did her best by allowing us to enjoy the shopping without asking at all to be carried. Going in and out of warehouses and then in and out of the sun isn't all the fun. So we're really thankful the weather's still nice for now.

In the early evening, we went to another warehouse sale. And this time, bought an air-fryer from Meyer. My Manager was telling me on last week about the fried crab-stick she tried and how nice it tasted. And apparently, fried crab-stick seems to be all the rage now amongst the many CNY goodies for sale. 

First it was the Happycall and now we've got a new toy! I can't wait to play with it. :)