Tuesday, 31 January 2017

A Visit to the President's House

The President of Singapore's mansions, Istana, was open to the public over the weekend for Chinese New Year. It is hardly ever open to the public. There are only five days total this year the public is allowed to come and visit the house and grounds. Kind of amazing that it is even open to the public. We did have to go through security, but it was nothing like the Heathrow airport. 

The path leading up to the mansion was really long. Lyndon and the kids wanted to stop and take a break, but I herded them along. All the activities were through the second set of gates, and I knew that if we stopped we would never make it. 

And we made it just in time to see the lion dance. It is my and the kid's favorite Chinese New Year tradition. We love it! We get excited every time we hear the drums going. Can't wait to see some more before the festivities are over.

President Tan was there at the lion dance. I was really surprised that he would actually be there on the day his residence was open to the public, but he was. We were really close to him. He was in the front welcoming the lions or doing something ceremonial with them. It was really cool. We saw him and his wife one more time while we were on the grounds. It was really refreshing to see the leader of a country among the people. You always see pictures of leaders out and about, kissing babies, looking smart, but this was my first time witnessing it in person. 

Henry only got lost once, and when we asked the security if they could help us locate him, an alert had already gone out to the all the security guards about a missing child, which was Henry. 

The Japanese garden. Ever since I got back from Japan, Henry has been asking to go to Japan, which is adorable. Fingers crossed we can go with everyone. 

Japanese cannon from WWII. Henry's stance cracks me up. 


Fun dad.

My favorite quote of the day, Cosette said "Mommy, I just love you too much". I told her "baby girl, you cannot love me or your family too much". And that is truth. 

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Hiking with my Boyfriends

We took the boys on a little hike at MacRitchie Reservoir last weekend. Cosette was sick and had to stay at home. She is not a fan of hiking, and was completely fine with us going without her (and don't worry, Dewi was here with her).

We live a five minute bus ride from MacRitchie Nature Park, which is great and then odd that we can take a bus to go hiking. It's a combination of city and nature, which does not seems to go together, but it actually does. Cities need green spaces, and Singapore has quite a few of them.

Singapore has a lot of really great nature parks that have a lot of family friendly hikes in them. I have really enjoyed this aspect of Singapore. And it is so close. The wild and plant life here are a highlight for our family. Those two things combined make everyday an adventure. What animals are we going to see, what plants are we going to "discover" (for ourselves).  Our kids are so into animals right now, and who am I kidding I am too, they love seeing all the different animals on a daily basis. The plants are just incredible. Leaves seriously the size of your body. They are so big it is hard to imagine. Plumeria grow wild here, lotus flowers in the ponds, it is pretty dreamy. If only it was slightly less humid.

We did not plan to go on a long hiking excursion because the boys. We just wanted to get out and be active. We saw monkeys before we even got on the trail. We only had water on us, and when I saw them I immediately moved my backpack to my front. There's a little tip for you when hiking with monkeys, always wear your backpack on your front. Learned that from one of the park rangers when hiking on the tree top walk. There was a smallish troop of monkeys hanging out by the out door exercise equipment. We got close enough to them, and they came close enough to us. Our kids have no fear, Rapha would have run after them if he was not in the carrier, and Henry just walked on over to the exercise equipment to play on it. I feel silly because I always want to see monkeys when we go, but then when I do see them I want to run away. You just have to be smart about it just like you would be hiking in the smokies with black bears.

Our hike was short lived because it started raining. We got stuck in a tropical storm and got completely soaked. The boys have fun running around in the rain. Henry ran through every puddle he encountered. It was a cold bus ride home.

It is a sweet little memory that I made with my boys. Never knew I could love these little boys as much as I do. They are my little boyfriends. I am cherishing all the hugs, kisses, flowers, hand holding they will allow me, because one day they won't do those things willingly. Henry picks me little flowers every time we go out. He comes up to me and says "Mommy! I picked this flower for you." It is the sweetest, and I am trying to not take it for granted, because I am starting to expect flowers from him every time we go out. And made me a little sad one time when he did not pick me one, which really surprised me. We have a rule of no taking sticks, plants, or rocks inside the apartment, so the flowers don't make it. That's just because they would end up in the trash, and I don't like the idea of throwing a stick in the trash can.  Both of these litle boys are just sweet hearts. They are so active and crazy it is hard to keep up with them, and when I want to nap they decide they want to do something with me. Not perfect, but the sweetest little boys I could have imagined. I was thinking today that I could never have imagined getting so lucky with the kids that I have been blessed to raise. I know I am their mother, and this has no bearing on what anyone will think of them, but all three of them are just gold. I am planning on taking them hiking more, much to Cosette's delight.

This is an average size leaf here.

Grateful for sweet memories like this to hang on to when there are hard mom days, and especially when Henry will not go to bed. xoxo

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Super Grove'in

Ellen's favorite thing in Singapore was the Super Grove at Gardens by the Bay. It was our first time doing it, and it was totally awesome. The views were fantastic, and the trees are pretty cool. We don't mind heights, so it was fun, fun, fun. We have a pass to GBTB, which includes the Super Grove. You are only allowed to be up there for 15 minutes at a time, which it really only takes like five minutes to walk across the sky bridge, so plenty of time. Really we could have stayed up there longer if we had wanted to, there was no one monitoring our time making sure we got down in 15 minutes. It was fabulous and another Singapore thing we can check off our bucket list.

His smile, makes me go weak at the knees still. 

Sibling dog pile on the sky bridge, why not? Thy had a lot of fun running around like usual.

My pretty sister with the Sands.

She is a good little momma. She tells me every so often that she wants 100 kids. I just tell her if that is what she wants I will be there to help her with them. She is so funny because she says "why do all the babies love me?". Raphael and Henry are usually playing with her and Raphael loves her attention. 

Trying to smile, but not quite making it. 

We walked through some of the other gardens on our way to the MRT. This is the Chinese one.

One of my favorite photos from Ellen's visit. 
Here is a little video with some instastories from the day. Some hilarious stuff in there, especially if you are Pa. xoxo

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The Merlion and Me

For whatever reason I have The Wizard and I stuck in my head when I look through these photos, no complaints here because Wicked is, well, Wicked! But When I think of this outing I just want to belt out the Merlion and Me.?.? Not sure why, but that is why this post is called what it is. 

Ellen and I took Cosette and Raphael down to the Marina Bay Sands so Cosette could do some ice skating. Henry I think was banished, and had to go to work with Dad. Sometimes we I need some space. Love him with all my heart, but when you dump nail polish all over my bed frame, floor, and entertainment center after said nail polish was put away for no one to find ever, some space is required. We made up later at Hamley's by having light saber fight while wearing Kylo and Boba Fett masks. 

Anyway, while we were down there, and after Daddy and Henry met up with us, we went on a walk around the bay and ended up at the Merlion Statue. This statue is awesome. I say I love a lot of things on here, but I do love this statue. I am a water person and this statue speaks to my swimmer heart.  

Doing my best to get Cosette to smile. It didn't work.

However, this kid will smile at the drop of a hat. 

Beautiful girl, beautiful city.

Blessed we get to call this place home. Why is it Lyndon always has to drag me from all the places we have lived when it is time to go? I wanted to shred my passport when we were leaving Paris, and with SG I am going to be kicking and screaming. 

The Art Science Museum exterior. The architecture here is perfection.

Oh Cosette, I love you so much. 

There "Christmas Dinos" reminded me of the American Museum of Natural History Christmas dinosaurs out front. These ones were a little bit more fashionable. 

Cosette had been begging me to take her ice skating. I thought perfect, we will go down to the rink at the Marina Bay Sands Mall, which turned out to be the absolute worst ice skating experience of my life. Number one problem is that the rink was not ice. It was plastic!? It was the absolute worst ice skating experience of my life. Poor Cosette was so excited and then we were both clinging onto the all for dear life because it was impossible to skate on the plastic. We both were wiping out. It was hilarious and painful. We lasted for almost an hour. I was out after five minutes because I could hardly stand. It was so bad people. So bad! Everyone who was skating was wiping out. I am laughing so hard writing this because it was so bad. 

Raphael the Rebel came in with his shoes on for a little bit. He's my little boy friend.

The Last Day of 2106

We spent on Sentosa at Palwan Beach. My Color Run race finished here, and it was so beautiful we wanted to take Ellen back there. We almost didn't go because it's monsoon season and rains a lot right now. It looked like it was going to rain, but we stuck to our plans and went. It turned out to be a gorgeous beach day. It was because we stuck to our plans and went. We would be kicking ourselves if we had not gone and missed this opportunity. 

I love this beach. Every time we go to the beach that day has just been wonderful. Not sure what makes it so great, but I'm not complaining. If all I have to do is go play in the water and sand to have a good day I will do it. 

Everyone's face in this pic!

My spirit animal is a dolphin, and I swear that I must have some mermaid in me. Because I swam so much when I was younger my Mom would jokingly say when I was being sluggish that I just need to add some water. I was getting to dried out. And still there is so something rejuvenating and healing for me being in water. I love the stuff.

These two are such good friends. They are always playing together, sometimes it is not so nice, but they move on and then it becomes nice again. Raphael is starting to engage more with them and their playing is becoming very interesting. I just hope/pray that they will always love each other and stay close. 
We swam out almost all the way to the shark net. Having the net there gave makes me so much less nervous about swimming far out into the ocean. It was really fun swimming out far. There is still wild life out there even with the net up. I found a Star fish when we were in shallower water. It was so cool. I was feeling around for shells and pulled out a star fish!

She has the prettiest smile.

They found this perfect picture spot.

And then they ran over to me and told me they had found another even better picture spot. This is where it was. Those dare devils. But what am I saying? If I wasn't taking the picture I would be out there with them. Possibly standing. 

And they were totally right. Best picture spot. I really love our SG life. 

Raphael is a Plothow through and through. He was dying to join Daddy and Cosette out on the tree. Me and Aunt Ellen, not so much. Too soon Rapha!

Henry made friends with little boy while we were on the island. They played hunting fishes together, collecting rocks, water trucks. Cosette ended up joining them and they played hide and go seek. Cosette is brilliant at making friends wherever she goes. I never have to worry about her. It was a super happy momma moment to see that Henry is picking up on this talent as well, and made his own friend. I love these kids. They may drive me a little nutty, but they are incredible.

We made it to the southernmost point of continental Asia. That is a pretty good place to end the year. Not much further you can go, am I right? We just happened on this place. The sign was just off the bridge we crossed. Pretty amazing hidden gem, or maybe not so hidden if we did more research. 

We ended 2016 that night with us adults playing games and trying to watch fireworks at Marina Bay. Fun way to end the year, but hard way to start 2017. I am an old person and need my sleep, or a baby and I just need to sleep all the time. Not sure if I will make it to midnight next December 31.

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