Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Mom in Singapore

It's been a month since my Mom left SG. Surprisingly we I have handled it well. I thought I would be bawling at the airport when I dropped her off, but her flight left so early in the morning (we got there at 4:30) so I was too tired to cry. Then I cam home and life has continued on.

We had a wonderful visit together. We got to show her our beautiful island in the sun. She got to experience our life here. It really is the best when you live away from family and they come visit and then they know what you are talking about when you talk to them because they have experienced it. They understand more of what you are experiencing. It was great.

Her visit really helped me get back up on my feet and I am re-energized and ready to take on the world. I have been feeling and functioning so much better since her visit. I could relax with her being here having an extra set of hands, good hands. My Mom has the best hands when you need a helping hand.  It was just nice having someone around. I get lonely sometimes because Lyndon is gone a lot.

We watched Austenland and laughed our heads off. We did a lot of hiking, spent a lot of time in nature here. She was here to celebrate our birthday week with us. We introduced her to chicken rice, durian, Indian food, took her to see Little India briefly, ate authentic sushi one night. I loved spending time with her and the kids. It was low key and no pressure to rush around and do sight seeing. We did enough, everything that she wanted to do. It's really nice having your family come and see where and how you live. They have a greater understanding of what life is like for you. For example, "everyone" speaks English here, but it's not the English we speak in the States and she understands that now. And she totally understand my dislike of monkeys and why I was so jumpy on our hikes. And one more thing, she was able to see the community of friends we have here and can feel better meeting and talking with the people that is our support system here.

I snagged most of these photos off her phone. This is what her trip looked like.

Inside the Sultan Mosque.

Hiking at Bukit Batok Nature Park.

Henry never takes naps ever, so he must have been really really tired. 
Mom practicing her selfie skills. 
Botanic Garden.
Orchid paradise.
On the tree top walk where she almost got pick pocketed by a monkey, and I got smacked in the head by one. It was a crazy hike. I am now taking a whistle with me. Loud noises scare those things off.
The snails here are huge! 

The kids had her read books every day-night as Cosette would say. This picture reminds me of when we were little and my mom would have all of us pile on the couch and read to us while she was nursing one of the boys. There would be a twin on either side of her with Eston, nursing David, and me and Ellen sitting on the back of the couch. Lots and lots of reading like that. And the tradition continues, complete with Henry sitting on the chair arm. 

I miss her like crazy and hope that she can come again while we are here. Keeping my fingers crossed that they win the lottery.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Running Play Date

I have been trying out Instagram's new Instastories gadget lately and captured some video from a morning at Bishan Park. I am still figuring the thing out, and did not realize I had to download all the video from the Instagram app, so I am missing a lot of the footage I took, which makes me sad, because there were some pretty awesome clips of the kids that I would treasure forever that got deleted. So the video is a short one.

I said in my Color Run post, I have been doing a lot of running with the kids because that is the only way I can get a work out in. I got our friends who live close to us to meet us at Bishan Park and have a running play date. It worked out well enough. We got in a couple of miles together and the kids got all their energy out and to be with friends. This friend actually lived in the same neighborhood as we did in NYC a few years before we got there. They were in our same NYC ward and have a lot of NYC friends in common. It's a small world after all! I could sing that over and over and over again after all the places we have been and meeting people who we have friends in common with. It's crazy! But anyway, these friends have been the best. They were so good to us when we first got here, and helped us feel comfortable in Singapore. And Cosette and Maser are kind of best buddies. Grateful for awesome friends who go along with my crazy ideas.

First time in a swing, which you probably heard my annoying baby voice in the video. He loved it.

My scooter gang.
We had to document running with six kids. Henry did not make it into the photo. He was too preoccupied playing. 
I signed up for my September race today! It's a 5.4Km. I am really excited. Having a goal to work towards is really helping motivate me. I love it!

We jumped into the pool with our clothes on when we got home. It was so hot and we were soaked anyway. It was fun. As a mom, who does not get much free time, I am really glad that I can incorporate things that are important to me (like exercise) with my kids. And they enjoy it too. Cosette actually joined me on my swim work out the other week. She put on her fins and off she went. It means I might not get the best work out in, but its something that we are really enjoying together. The kids are excited to go exercise with mom. Hearing them say that makes me happy. 

Friday, 26 August 2016

School Time: Entrepreneurship Day aka School Fair

Tuesday was a big day at school. The kids in Kindergarten 2 (K2) were in charge of organizing the school fair and in charge of all the activities. The theme this year was "A Day in Story Book Land". Each class was given a classic story and had to create products and a booth for their story. Cosette's class was assigned Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Henry's class had Jack and the Beanstalk. Henry has been obsessed with Jack and the Beanstalk lately and it all makes sense now. I love the kid's school. One of the purposes of the fair was to help the children learn how to use and manage their own money. All the proceeds went to . I made a video of the day, so you can experience it first hand. 

Crescent, Cosette, and Henry who has the cutest smile here.
Henry and his teacher.
Shanmukha, Cosette, and Henry. 
Crescent, Lucas, Shanmukha, Cosette. They are buddies. 
 We had a lot of fun. I did not really have any expectations, because I was just trying to get out of the door with the three kiddos, mornings are so crazy no matter how well we prepare ahead. So many things in Singapore exceed my expectations and the school fair was another thing to add to that list. The booths were adorable, the kids had a blast playing with their friends, and it was fun to see everyone in a different environment. I found out one of the moms in Cosette's class is rocking cookie decorator. She made all the royal frosting for their Snow White cookies and did some professional looking decorating. The Jack and the Bean Stalk booth was probably my favorite. There was "golden eggs" for purchase (hard boiled eggs wrapped in foil), different flavors of milk, and mine and Henry's favorite magic beans (aka jelly bellies)! And since becoming a mom seeing my kids happy and having a good time makes my heart fly. There is nothing better. 

They have really assimilated well into their school and have been accepted. They are one of the pack. It makes me happy that we are not pegged as the foreigners. It was a great school event, even if Cosette did not win the mini golf game (which was a big sob fest), we left happy. 

Mhaduri, and Crescent's mom. I know all the kids name and I know which parent they go too. Still learning all the names. There is a HUGE language barrier. 

Lucas going for the gold!
Ke Shih also going in for a win.
Cosette and Xian Shun playing at the end when everything dissolved into a mad run fest.

He puts the best outfits together. Can't leave home with out your fisherman, I mean Cowboy hat (that's what he calls it). 
The stump was too shaky.

Classes were cancelled for the day, so naturally we went to the bird park. Just in time to see participate in the African Penguin feeding. And we also got to see the Birds of Prey bird show, which was pretty amazing. Cosette loves Peregrine Falcons (thanks Wild Kratts). Sadly they did not have any in the show, but we did get to see the biggest Condor in the world. It was a busy busy day. And Henry did not sleep, surprise, surprise. Sleep is for the birds.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Ready to Run

I am crazy and decided and I want to do a marathon in the spring, which means I have a lot of training ahead of me. If I do not do a marathon, I at least want to run a half marathon. I have my sights set on doing the Great Wall Marathon, but we will see. Trying to balance our life and add in things like running that take a lot of time and energy might not be do able. I am just saying that in case I fail and do not even make it to a half marathon, but failure is part of life and trying is important. 

I have been trying to run a few times a week. I am not doing well.... If I do go run I usually have to do it with the kids. So the boys are in the stroller and Cosette is on her scooter and we make our way to the splash pad or play ground. which is about 1.5-2 miles from our place depending on what route I take. So I get in 3-4 maybe more miles in when I run with the kids. I always run Wednesday night while Cosette is at piano. I have an hour to run, so I give Henry the kindle and he gets to watch Paw Patrol. Raphael has a toy and snacks and off we go. I am the crazy Western woman who almost runs everyone over with her giant stroller when I go run. People give me a lot of looks. 

In preparation for this crazy goal I have am going to try and do one race every month. I kicked it off by doing the Color Run in Singapore. It looked fun and no pressure which I thought was a good way to start my running journey. It was on Sentosa, which is a small island just off Singapore (it's part of Singapore). That is where all the good beaches are, Universal Studios, and Resort World. It is the place to go is you want to have some fun. Lyndon and the kids came along to cheer me on. They ended up going to the beach that was right next to the course. It was so hot. The race did not start till 4pm which is the hottest part of the day. That was the only down side. I was already soaked with sweat before I even started running. I went out too hard, but that is me. I kept telling myself it is okay, I am learning how I need to pace myself for future races. I killed the few hills that were on the course. I learned in my high school cross country days that hills are our friend and when I am done I need to pretend to pat it on the head and say "that's a good dog". That is an exact quote from my CC Coach, haha. It has stuck in my head all these years. I am happy to say that I did not die. I kept thinking of all the Olympians and how they had to push themselves to get to the Olympics and I can push myself too. I counted only two women in front of me, which means I was the third woman over all in my race to finish. I finished really strong which I was proud of myself for doing. I was neck and neck with this guy at the very end, but I pull ahead and beat him! Times were not taken, which bummed me out because I wanted to see how I did compared to all the runners overall. There were several races. Two on Saturday and on Sunday. And it is nothing to brag about saying that I was the third woman to finish in my race when most people were walking, but I will take it. I did not get as colorful as I thought I would. I am fine with that. I am just happy that none of the chalk got in my mouth as I was running. 

Artistic selfie.
 I met Lyndon and the kids at the beach afterwards where we hung out for a while. I saw two Hornbills fly over my head while we were there. That is a highlight of my life, to see those birds in the wild. I love Singapore! The beach was gorgeous! I felt like we were back in Bintan because it looked like paradise. There was a shark net up so I did not feel so nervous. I wished I had brought my swim suit and Lyndon's, but we brought the kids and is the most important. The kids were in heaven. Henry was lying in the water being so funny. Raphael loves playing in the sand just like his brother and loves to eat it too (no!!!!). There was a playground and a splash pad next to the beach, so it was kid heaven. I want to go back so bad!


These next photos of Raphael are the cutest! I could not only post one. He is our little dumpling.

Baby yoga.

Those are the details of my first of many races (hopefully). I am hoping to do a 10k next, but I should probably not get to ahead of myself. I have not signed up for a race in September yet, but I am going to start looking. I have a lot of friends who are really inspiring when it comes to running as well as my mother. Hoping to stay motivated and reach this goal. 

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