Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Oh the joy of having kids

I was on leave from work recently and spent the past few days spending time with the kids. Here's how our week was like.  

Friday: My husband and I went to our first school year-end activity where the kids put on a show for the parents and afterwards got to play in this giant play structure at Explorer Kid in Pasir Ris. The kids went mad running around the tunnels, going up and down the slides and jumping into ball pits. You don't know what 'tired' means until you've chased, climbed and crawled after a child and then been almost run down by a bunch of rugrats in a play tunnel. Or at least that's what my husband told me on the way home.

After our fun-filled energetic morning, we decided to slow it down and brought our daughter to the doctor and went home by bus. It was the first time I realized the reason why I don't see a lot of toddlers in buses is because their parents wisely decided early on that taxis are a much less embarassing mode of transport. That's what I kept thinking as my almost-3-year-old daughter decided to show off her skills by singing 'Willy, Tuck and Ming-ming too...' really loudly and over and over and over again. It's not as if I could just plonk her on a seat away from me. My husband already did that. Good thing I learned a thing or two from Cesar Millan. Wait, what? What could I possibly learn from the Dog Whisperer. It's all about distraction. Must Distract Child...which is how I ended up running commentary on the rain, the trees, oh look shrubbery and leaves... from Orchard Road to Whampoa Drive.     

Saturday: Went to a trial Gymboree class for my younger daughter. Guilt was starting to set in. When my older daughter turned one, we went crazy shopping around for classes and trying out My Little Gym, Kindermusik and Gymboree before signing up for a full package at the latter. Meanwhile my younger daughter was already 14 months and we still haven't signed her up for anything. Have to catch up. Gymboree this week, Our Music Studio next week!   

Monday: Went to Paragon playground with the kids, where the younger daughter got into a shoving match with another baby - twice! And a boy at that. Maybe he thought she was a boy too. Anyway, don't let that sweet, innocent, can't-possibly-do-no-wrong look fool you. This baby can defend herself. Maybe we should sign her up for judo instead of music lessons.

Tuesday: Went back to Paragon playground again. Already instructed nanny on what to do in case the baby gets into a fight again. Nanny: You want me to take a video of your daughter getting into a fight?!? Me: Well, maybe just sneak a quick one before you stop the fight. Okay fine fine. Don't take a video, jeez. Maybe just a picture? Okay, no, I'm kidding. Actually, I'm not. No, just kidding.

And so our play-filled couple of days ends and it's back to work. But the weekend's just around the corner and more baby and toddler adventures await. Though this time we're taking taxis.

Waiting in line for Poulet

The word 'affordable' doesn't usually apply to French restaurants here in Singapore but what with the booming restaurant industry these days with new restaurants opening every month, I would have thought someone would have wised up and started offering good and cheap French food. And I was right. Finally, there's Poulet.
It was Sunday, right in the middle of the peak lunch hour when we went there so to some extent I wasn't surprised that it was fully-packed and there was a queue outside the restaurant. What's surprising though is how people in the queue were willing to wait for a seat rather than go somewhere else. I was especially intrigued by the roast chicken - it looked so soft and tender...juices slowly dripping off its skin...and so I was willing to brave the desperate hungry looks of my family members and sweetly smiled and passed around biscuits for us to eat while waiting. My husband gave me an exasperated look before munching on his biscuit.
Meanwhile, trying to be efficient, I grabbed a menu and started looking through items to order. Hmmm, soup, yes, salad, no...chicken, definitely...what else....sausages, no...pork belly, yes..... dessert...hmmm....I guess we'll go safe and order tiramisu...done and done. By the time we were seated, we straight away ordered.
And it was worth the wait.
 Poulet, where the specialty is poulet roti or roast chicken

 Lexi waiting for the chicken to arrive

 Lexi 'promoting' the poulet roti

Cream of mushroom soup. This was supposed to be for my daughter but it was so good I ended up eating half of it on the pretext of feeding her (Is this soup hot? Let me try. Um yup that's hot. Let me try again).

Pork belly. It looks pretty much like a blob on the picture but oh my goodness it was so rich and sinful my husband said he felt a stroke coming on after he ate it which prompted me to say maybe I should've married someone younger if you can't even handle this itty bitty pork belly.

And the star dish, the roast chicken in all its juicy goodness and swimming in a cream sauce. And yes, it was utterly delicious.
Poulet Restaurant
201 Victoria Street
Level 4 Bugis+, Singapore
Tel: +65 6509 9411
Daily: 11.30am – 9.30pm

Sunday, November 4, 2012


After our recent parent-teacher conference, we realized our daughter was already doing puzzles, and so I thought we'd buy some so she could practice at home. We went to prologue at ION and guess what? They're having an anniversary sale from Nov 2-18. So we brought home a ton of great puzzles from my favorite section at Prologue in ION (the Chinese section) and some pre-school workbooks. I was more excited than Lexi to tear open the puzzles, but when she got them open she just went through them all in a heartbeat. And to think I was thinking maybe we went overboard for buying 4 sets in one go. Apparently not. Children are sponges and we as parents are really just here to help them develop and be the best they can be and be prepared for a fun, fun ride along the way.

Baby puzzles for 3-4 year olds. 5 puzzles in each box. Each puzzle comes in 6-10 pieces. Original price SGD5.90. Discounted price SGD4.50. Different themes available but we took animals, fruits and vehicles.
Fruit puzzles
Young Children's Jigsaw Puzzles. 8 puzzles in each box. Original price SGD9.90. Discounted price SGD7.50. Different themes available but we only took the Home theme. The others were a little bit cutesy.

Home sweet home puzzle
Wipe clean pre-school workbooks for practicing tracing numbers and letters. Original price SGD17. Discounted price SGD13.  

Sample sheet from the letters workbook

A backpack of Dora books. 6 books inside the backpack. Original price SGD19. Discounted price SGD14.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Our First Parent-Teacher Conference

Today was our first parent-teacher conference. My husband and I were so excited, both of us showed up for the meeting...on the first slot and on the first day of the sessions.

We met up with our daughter's teachers who took us through her evaluation forms which were nicely written up in a portfolio binder alongside samples of her schoolwork. Very formal proceedings actually for pre-school. Yes, she's not quite 3 years old and she's already being evaluated on her work. A sign of things to come.

Well in any case, it was good to align with her teachers on her progress in terms of phonics and counting. We also knew she was making good progress learning music and movement because she kept practicing all her nursery rhymes at home and she suddenly made the switch from Dora to Hi-5. Now even her father and I know a couple of Hi-5 songs ourselves ('Oh what a surprise, you open up my eyes, you really are amaaazing, you are amaaaazing ta ta ta'). Although I still prefer watching Princess Holly and the Bubble Guppies.

We also noticed she was quite good now at zipping up and buttoning her own clothes, which we actually found out was covered in her care of self classes in school. One or two surprises though -like we didn't realize she was already doing fine motor movement skills like tracing numbers and doing coloring (reminder to self to buy coloring books). And she was also already doing puzzles. And here I was thinking, maybe I'll wait until after her third birthday before we go that route. She also started asking 'Can I, can I...' before doing anything at home, even though she was already doing whatever it is she wants to do, like watch TV.

All in all, quite a good session. We're very happy with her progress, her teachers are great and she seems to love school. I hope all parent-teacher conferences are as easy as this.

Lexi's School Portfolio

Lexi's evaluation forms

More evaluation forms

Samples of her coloring work