Sunday, 28 February 2016

Safari Zoo 5K

So I am the crazy mom that decides to sign herself and her four year old daughter up for a family fun run 5.5k. I saw a sign for a Safari Zoo run back in January looked it up and the Zoo was having some races for individuals, families and kids. I thought it would be fun to do it as a family, put the boys in the stroller and the rest of us run. When I read the rules it said that the kids had to be four and so I just signed me and Cosette up. 
The part of the race where we saw Daddy and the boys. They cheered us on and gave us extra running power to finish the race.
Henry saw me yelled "Mommy!" and ran up and gave me a big hug.
 That was the best part, running through the zoo. The course took us through the Singapore Zoo, around the perimeter of the River Safari, and through the Night Safari. Running through the Night Safari was my favorite part. It doesn't open till 7pm which means it dark so it is completely different during the day. It was so cool seeing the animals during the day there. So many lions. Like eight in one enclosure up close, running around. Three Sloth Bears wandering around their enclosure. The elephants up in our faces. It was awesome. Best family race!
 It was so relaxed. People were stopping and looking at the animals, taking pictures at every km marker. It was a blast. Especially running and passing Orangutans or chimpanzees on the way. We stopped and look at the baby giraffe named Jubilee because Singapore just celebrated their golden jubilee in 2015. 

Cosette did great the first 1km but after that she lost her running powers. I had to keep reminding myself during the run that this was something for us to do together and have a good time. We would walk for a little bit then run for a little bit. I would pick a point and once we passed the sign we would run till we passed this other sign. It worked, and after the 5km mark we ran to the finish line. She wanted to hold hands while we ran together. It was sweet and made my Momma heart almost burst. It was hard for her, but she did it. I am proud of her for finishing and not giving up. Lyndon sneaked into the finishing area and met us at the finish line. For some reason they didn't let people back there, but Lyndon has his ways. He actually just walked to it and no one said anything. Seeing Daddy at the finish line helped give Cosette the extra little push she needed to finish the race
We got these awesome medals for participating. Cosette was really excited to get hers. She has been wearing it proudly around the apartment. She said she had fun, but does not want to do it again. Fair enough. 

Lyndon and the boys during the race.

Clip of us crossing the finish line. I am a dork and we raised our arms up as we cross the finish line in victory.

We did it! There are four different animals on our shirt. Cosette said the elephant was her favorite and was excited to use the elephant mask.

We got to meet some interesting animals as part of the after party.

This bird is native to Singapore. It's called a Brahminy Kite.
Petting a hedgehog. 
Trying to keep Henry from hurting him self and the iguana. You were only supposed to touch it's side, and he was touching it everywhere but. And they only wanted people to touch it's side because it's tail has spikes on it, and he has very long claws on his fingers and toes that Henry thought were cool to play with. Oh Henry....
Taking a picture with our awesome medals. I wanted to do the Olympic thing and bite the medal. Cosette did not thing that was cool. 

I am not sure if this will become a tradition, but I'm glad I got to do this with my girl.  

Thursday, 25 February 2016

School Time: Cosette's Favorite Thing in the World

I asked Cosette what her favorite thing in the world was the other day. She said that it was school. It made me so happy to hear her say that. She is so excited to go everyday and is making stronger friend ships with her classmates. They all say "it's Cosette!" when they see her. We have been out in the community and have seen class mates and they have said hi to her. It's been really great. I am glad that she loves learning. She got out one of her letter books from school about the letter "a" and sat Henry down and started teaching him about the letter "a". She says that when she grows up she wants to be a painting teacher. We will see. She has a while before she gets there. Her teacher sent me a few photos from class. It makes me so happy to look through them. 
Can you find baby Cosette?

The day after Chinese New Year they had a CNY part at school. They were supposed to wear their traditional Chinese clothes and school was in the morning instead of the usual time in the afternoon. Cosette was so excited to wear her cheongsam and for her Chinese birthday party as she kept calling it. She picked up some pineapple tarts when she went to Chinatown with Lyndon to take for her class party. She had a blast.
Cosette the lion dancer!
As part of the lion dance, the lion "eats" and orange and throws it to the audience. I think here they are looking at the orange and talking about its significance.
With her friend Crescent. They wrote the day that their birthday is on. These two are both July babies.

I am so grateful every educational experience she has had has been a positive one. 

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Henry Update

Henry had an accident Monday night and had to go to the ER. He hit head on the glass door on our entertainment center which cracked the glass and cut his head. I had to take him to the emergency room and he had to get stitches and stay the night in the hospital. Thank goodness Lyndon was able to meet us there after a while, and we have a good friend who lives just down the street who took Cosette and Raphael while we were dealing with this. It was scary. I have dreaded my first trip to the ER ever since I had children. I knew it would happen one day, and dreaded it. I dreaded to think what would happen that would cause them to have to be rushed to the hospital. 

Henry walking down the hall with the top of his shirt drenched in blood was scary. I am grateful everything went fine. He cried when it happened and only whimpered instead of cried when we were at the ER. He really was fine. He has so much energy it’s insane! After everything he went through that night he was still running up and down the hallways in the pediatric ward at the hospital acting completely normal. He even told me off when he ran behind the nurse's station and I went to get him. He said "Mommy! Get away from me! I am trying to sit down!". He was feeling fine. He even ran to the operating room. 

Lyndon stayed with him through the procedure and the night. It reminded me of when Joseph Smith had to have his leg cut and asked his father to hold him. I am grateful Lyndon was there because there are some things my Momma heart cannot handle. Henry was fine and I was too, but it was really hard to see him hurt. I carried him like a crazy woman into the ER and he had blood all over his shirt and his head. I had been using a wash cloth to put pressure on the wound, and it was covered in blood. Our poor cab driver was a little shaken up. He was great. He rushed us first to our friends apartment, where she met me by the road and took the other two kids, and then he rushed us off to the closest hospital to our condo. Henry was in no danger. But holding him in my lap on the way to the hospital I was worried. All sorts of crazy thoughts were running through my head. I think that is pretty normal for a parent. They put us into a room right away and got the wound cleaned up. This is probably too much detail for everyone, but I just wanted to keep our loved ones who are far away updated. Henry is fine and came home Tuesday morning and has been wreaking havoc around the apartment.
Life is back to normal. We are counting our blessings for that.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Chinese New Year

Sunday, February 21, was the last day of the Chinese New Year celebrations. We had our last CNY over the weekend at our dear friend's house. When we entered the house we had to present tow Mandarin oranges to the host and wish her an abundance of prosperity in the new year. Plus during the new year it is important that you carry little red packets filled with money and give them to all unmarried people that you visit. So Cosette and Henry received packets too! We partook in the CNY salad, which is unique to Singapore. Other South East Asian countries are starting to adopt the tradition, but it started in Singapore. Our hostess went through all the ingredients that she added to the noodles and green leaf salad. Then when she was done everyone helped toss the salad. Then we feasted! My Singaporean friend told me that this is the time of year that they tend to indulge. All the grocery stores carried a bunch of different traditional CNY treats and snacks. Our favorites were pineapple tarts, sesame crackers, prawn straws, and bak kwa (pork jerky). A friend at the party was helping us sample all the different traditional snacks that were there. She kept saying "today calories don't count". She made me laugh. All the grocery stores at this time carried different kinds of Mandarin oranges to take to family, friends, and anyone else you meet during the holiday. All the CNY goodies and Mandarin stands made the grocery aisles already smaller than they were, but it was so festive.

The whole country was decorated. There was red and gold everywhere. It was like NYC at Christmas! CNY is the biggest holiday of the year in SG. We enjoyed Cosette and Lyndon getting time off from school and work. It is also the biggest migration of people in the world. Everyone is going to visit family. We loved it! Our favorite part of the CNY was seeing all the lion dances. The kids even passed up a play date to see a lion dance at our local mall. In total we saw four, and the one at our local mall was the best. The lion dance troop put on a fantastic lion dance as well as a dragon dance, drum demonstration, another lion dance. The show went on forever. We watched for a long while then went grocery shopping (grocery stores are in basement of malls here) came back up and it was STILL going on. The kids loved it. We would see lion dance troops traveling around the country as we would be out and about. It was really fun to hear the drums as we would be walking. I heard that there is a lion dance competition, and I have to go to it next year. 

Chinatown has a special CNY market that opens in the afternoon and goes throughout the evening. Lyndon and I took turns going. I went with a friend one night. She helped me pick out all of our traditional Chinese outfits. I got Cosette two: one Chinese and one Korean. The Korean outfits were so beautiful I could not resist. The next night Lyndon took the kids to see the lights and the market down there. The kids wore their traditional outfits and Lyndon said they were a hit with everyone. He said people would stop and say how cute they were in their outfits. They brought home some lanterns, a monkey to hang on a door, and a bag full of assorted flavored mochi treats. Mango is currently my favorite.

A video we made of our CNY experience in SG. Lion dances galore!

A few more pictures from our day at the zoo on CNY and other activities. 

Our favorite friend! Marissa has been our angel here in Singapore. She served her mission in NYC around the time Henry was born. She came over all the time in NYC and we became good friends. She has shown us all around Singapore and introduced us to all the local cuisine. She came over our second day in the country and took us out and showed us around. We love her so much!

All the malls had CNY displays and decorations set up. I believe this one was at Gardens down by the Bay.

Henry likes to see how long he can hold his breath under the water. 

Henry made friends with some of the zoo employees. These girls were so nice to him and let him play in the end of one of the slides where he wasn't supposed to. They watched over him and helped him whenever he needed it. 
The kids new friends.
Happy year of the monkey!
Me and my mini Lyndon. He looks just like Lyndon did as a baby in this photo.
We wore our traditional Chinese clothing to church the Sunday over CNY. We had a combined meeting with three other wards and only one hour of church that Sunday. Lyndon gave an excellent talk, I wish I could have heard more of it. He practiced it with me so I knew the subject matter. Even with friends sitting with us to help out with the kids I still ended up in the hallway with the boys. It's the time of life.

We really enjoyed participating in this cultural experience.
Gong xi fa cai!

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