Pink Army

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Tis stunning scene marked the start of a superb Sunday morning in March.

It was also my first 5km for 2013. The venue, Marina Barrage prompted me to sign up without a second thought. And I wasn’t disappointed!

With good company, serene scenery amidst the new park by the city and that slope (!), I was assured of a most enjoyable time. Really need to revisit that park for another leisurely run.

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Learning Journey to Chinatown

Finally I got the chance to accompany the lil one for his school learning journey (what we used to call ‘excursion’ during our days in primary school ;)) the trip to Chinatown made me feel like a tourist in my own country (not an unfamiliar sensation 😉 and it was tiring afternoon keeping up with the small group of boys. The interesting sights and time spent with my son and his friends made the effort so worthwhile!

Lil one and his friends

Lil one and his friends

The trip was just before the Chinese New Year, thus we saw plenty of auspicious symbols used to usher in the year of Water Snake …

Pomelos- one of the auspicious symbols of Chinese New Year

Pomelos- one of the auspicious symbols of Chinese New Year

Glutinous Rice cakes- the round shape symbolises unity and is believed to bring good luck to one's career

Glutinous Rice cakes- the round shape symbolises unity and is believed to bring good luck to one’s career

Food galore- perfect reason to go back!

Food galore- perfect reason to go back!

Decorations

Decorations

Dried food galore

Dried food galore

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Never seen so much cured meats at such long stretch!

Never seen so much cured meats at such long stretch!

Premium cured ham

Premium cured ham

Waxed duck

Waxed duck

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After walking through the crowded and meandering streets, the class visited the Chinatown Heritage Centre. Sights outside the centre and within-

A lone figure by the bustling walkway

A lone figure by the bustling walkway

Another lonely and hidden figure...

Another lonely and hidden figure…

doors- old and modern side by side

doors- old and modern side by side

washing area from the past

washing area from the past

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABoys were too busy discovering ‘secret stairways’ to observe the squalid living conditions  of our migrant ancestors. Oh well… it was an eye-opener that tis Oriental corner of Singapore sure needs repeated visits!

Racing away to his 8th Birthday

Found an awesome place and idea to celebrate Sunshine’s 8th birthday. Inspired by Hot Wheels theme (click to visit my inspiring Pinboard), we added our own touches to a gathering friends and family.

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The above set the theme, where birthday boy and friends will build their own scooters in teams and race against one another.

Oh can I show off the cool invites we made…? 😛

Flag Invite as scratch-card

Flag Invite as scratch-card

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Scratch the gold section to reveal birthday details

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BBQ plans had to be put on hold with the wet weekend but thankfully the skies held until we were done… Yummy food spread-

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Fun with friends-

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Choosing the birthday cake was such tug of war… from a cool cake which got mummy more excited than the birthday boy, who remembered this train cake he had been wanting since he was 3(?) Finally we settled for homemade muffins (ya, go figure ;p)

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While the bigger boys were playing engineers and drivers, lil ones had their bubble fun-

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Presents galore, … but i think we are learning the lesson about looking beyond material gifts

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So, that set the birthday mood for this year… next is (another) potluck picnic, so says the soon-to-be 14 year old ;D

First of many more…

The oh-so happy news was such a pleasant surprise and welcome reprieve during the year-end holidays… This letter bore the wonderful news-

 

Letter dated 27 November 2012

Letter dated 27 November 2012

So the 2nd Saturday of 2013 saw us make our way to the award ceremony (me rushing after the 4pm class)… Princess made a very modest estimate of the award value, while I was not surprised.

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She is spurred to move on to the faster stream next year… while I pray this motivates to work hard for more such awards to fund her future studies especially if she’s serious about her overseas dreams (or are they mine? ;))

Current and future recipients with the smiling family and presenting VIPs

Current and future recipients with the smiling family and presenting VIPs

Me & Me Boys…

Sons are truly every mom’s unique fan clubs! While my teen daughter and I are navigating new fields of friendship and retain the parent-child bond, my boys are still at the age when I am still allowed to cuddle them.

I love chatting with me boys… They are so observant, perceptive and intelligent! They often ask for tales of their younger days, and so thankfully, the old posts from this blogs make up for this momma’s forgetfulness ;p

Both are planning to grow their savings- BIG! Since i try to match their savings with my paltry income, I told them I need to work more often and longer to keep up with their growing piggy-bank. My elder son declared- ONLY in the early mornings… cos I want to be with you after school! – awwww! and that too with a tight hug! Ahh, such moments so make up for the crazy moments ;P

Both have taken to going down by themselves to take the school bus. The lil Sunshine started tis in the very first week of school- 2nd day? I will stand outside my door to watch him wait (at least 10mins!- wonder why he wants to leave so early! ;o) and board the bus. The older boy needs to leave by 6.15am (yes such unearthly hours are so norm here, arent they ;)) and of course I prefer to wait with him. But when he too asked to go down by himself, this protective momma so had to restrain herself from clipping their growing wings…

Planning to make the weekday frisbee session with the older boy a regular affair… And hoping their Friday late-night football sessions continue as long as possible

FDFW…

So the first week back in school- apparently known as Week 0- has not been totally smooth sailing. For which I am most thankful cos a smooth start tends to get me into complacent mode. The teething issues were easily resolved- just getting the right books, meeting teacher’s (high?) expectations and the usual getting into school mode…

 

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The above show the product of the boys’ first evening after school… as usual, I am glad that they had chosen to turn off the TV.

First weekend- slow/ hectic/ fun… Hope to make Sunday outings a regular affair. And next two weekends will bring forth happy celebrations for us. Hope I wont ‘get too busy’ to share and blog about the exciting events coming up.

Have a fabulous week ahead!

 

Be awesome! Be …

Be awesome! Be a Book Nut!Dr Seuss

Something inexplicable triggered the hunger to read more, read continuously, read widely…

 

And 2012 saw me borrowing more books for myself than the brood (*gasp*) I joined GoodReads last year, and followed several book bloggers on Twitter.

As 2013 neared, I came across reading challenges and few more in the first week- surely a sign! Not that I need additional incentive to read but its just so fun to have reading company…

So the last weekend of 2012 saw me hauling favourite authors and books from the past to welcome 2013. Here’s the precious stash from the local library-

PG Wodehouse, Agatha Christie and Alexander McCall Smith (top to bottom)

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This especially made me so so happy! I had been looking forward to revisiting this timeless tale…

When I ‘remember’ to get off Twitter and other social media, I immerse myself between the pages especially when children are in school. Books are awesome company when I commute… one reason why I have been resisting smartphones. Do we really need to be that connected on the go? I rather get lost among pages of book…

So this year, I have committed to completing 30 books – a modest number but one I am very comfortable with. After all,  I need to be realistic about the time for magazines and social media ;p , among other priorities.

l will compile and post my list of to-read titles from GoodReads and elsewhere- this list is likely to have more than 30 titles. That is my way of keeping options open since I dont buy books, but mostly borrow them from the library. May look out for more on Freecycle or the local website for pre-loved books.

These are the places I will be sharing my read books-

LifeYourWay’s Weekly Reads Book Club (soon to be launched)

2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

GoodReads’ 2013 Reading Challenge – (really need to update the books I read here- my last year count of 8 books read is far from reality! 😉

Before I sign off, many wonder how I ‘find’ time to read amidst the usual ‘busy’ schedule. As they say, if its a priority and important enough, making time is not so difficult. It helps that all my children are much bigger and are in school longer. Not working full-time is another boon and commuting on public trains and buses is another blessing as I spend the traveling time reading. I now ensure my bag always has a book after a few disappointing solo and boring outings without one.

While the quote above describes me to a T, it also sets a fabulous tone for 2013. 

Hope you too make time read more…