Sunday, January 31, 2010


I am sitting here in a very peaceful apartment. It's 10 to 11 on Sunday morning. Tara has gone for her morning nap. Alex and Gary have gone to the airport to take Ann to her flight home to the UK. I feel I should be tidying up a bit, but that will wait!! We have had a really nice January. When I last wrote, Ann was just coming back from Bangkok. She arrived back in Singapore on Saturday Jan 16th, 2 days after her birthday. For Ann's birthday, we bought her tickets to the musical "Merchants of Bollywood". It was a fabulous show - we went on the Saturday night and we all loved it.

This is Alex helping to blow out the candle on Ann's birthday cake (icing was melting a bit!!)

A couple of nights prior to that, Gary and I went to the Indoor Stadium to see Green Day. It was an excellent concert - we weren't the oldest ones in the crowd and the stadium was a fabulous venue. I have just subscribed to Time Out and look forward to knowing what else is on in town so we can go along!

In the past 2 weeks, Alex has been enjoying his school days. His potty training has come along very well (thank goodness) and we even venture out in taxis now. Yesterday, we went to the zoo. On the way home, around 10 minutes from home, he announced he needed to go to the potty. Aaagggghhhh, Gary and I kept him occupied, and also used bribery (if you do hold on, you'll get a treat when you get home). Thankfully, we made it!! I'm sure the day will come when there will be an accident in a taxi - I hope we have an understanding driver.

Tara is doing really well - developing so quickly. She understands so much, she is very co-operative and will try to get me a tissue or something off the bookshelf when asked. It's lovely to see her understanding as well.

One of Tara's favorite things to do is to climb in the stroller when it's not in use!

Our house has had a little sickness over the last couple of weeks. Gary caught a very bad cold and hasn't yet recovered 100%. Alex is also coughing and sneezing and I have had a sore throat that I can't seem to shake over the last couple of weeks. Fingers crossed, we will all feel much better soon.

We have had a lovely time with Ann whilst she's been here. The kids have loved having their Granny here - Alex has been sharing his room with Ann and has jumped into her bed on most mornings before coming to visit Mummy & Daddy.

Ann and I went to Johor Bahru - just across the water to Malaysia last week for a morning's shopping. Fabulous shopping over there, I managed to get a pair of shoes, a handbag, shorts and a dress! It is a fun day out - especially as this time we didn't take either of the children with us.

We had a lovely dinner at home last night for Ann's last night. Anelen cooked a rack of lamb and we had a 1998 Mildara Cab Sauv. Then I cooked a lemon delicious pudding and we had a glass of sticky with this. Yummm!!

I have managed to fit in 2 climbing courses in the past few weeks. I did the Level 1 toprope system course, and also a course on basic climbing techniques. Loads of fun -I'm really looking forward to going climbing with Gary now. Gary has started to go dragon boat racing with the British team. He has enjoyed it, but says it's pretty physical. I'm looking forward to going out too, but not too sure whether I might be a better spectator rather than participant! I have gradually got back into jogging. I need to find a 10km run to do now so that I have something to work towards. So far, I have run 8km and that felt pretty good - it's great to finally have a base back as I used to love jogging but then didn't do a lot of it in the past 3 years with pregnancy etc. It's great to get back into it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

School Days

We are only 2 weeks into the new year, but it feels like ages. We have had a really good 2 weeks and been very busy! 'School' started on January 4th here in Singapore. We were trying to get Alex enrolled into the local nursery which is just across the road from our condo as a friend of his from the building was going to be attending there. On day 1, they told me they were full but that we could probably get a space, they just needed to wait to see if they had any places that weren't taken by people who enrolled but then decided for one reason or another not to send their kids there. On Thursday I went over to enquire again and found out that Alex could get in, so that was very exciting as he really wanted to go to school with Lilah - his little friend from the condo. So, on Friday, he got dressed in his brand new sports uniform (which is for Fridays and excursion days) and Gary and I took him across to school. As Gary and I were checking to see he was ok, he was firmly engrossed in a project with ice cream sticks, so I'm sure he was fine. He seemed to have a lot of

This week has been his first full week there. He goes at 8:30 in the morning for 3 hours. Every day when I pick Alex up, he is very happy and seems to really like it. I say, "What did you do today Alex?" "I played". "Good, did you learn Chinese?" "Yes" "What did you learn?" "Chinese". OK - he is having fun and likes his class and his teacher - he informed me on Monday that he needed to go to school to see 'all of my friends' so it is really nice that he seems to enjoy it. They do learn Chinese every day as well as English. There is a mix of nationalities in his class, a few of them also live in our building so that is really nice for him.

Tara has gone from crawling a lot of the time and walking some of the time to walking pretty much all of the time. I am still surprised to see her walking - she however is delighted with herself and is learning to move quite quickly. She delights in her brother and yesterday when Alex was asleep and Tara should have been asleep, she went and banged on his door. She has taken to nodding and shaking her head, in answer to all sorts of questions. She has an opinion on everything. I was having a joke with Alex telling him he had to eat vegemite as he's Australian. Now if we ask Tara if she's British - she will shake her head and nod vigourously when asked is she's Australian.

Ann is due back from Bangkok tomorrow - she will be back with us for 2 weeks before heading back to England. Alex and Tara are looking forward to seeing Granny Ann and especially to helping her eat her birthday cake.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's 2010 - Happy New Year

It's Saturday morning - 7:20am - I am sitting here with both kids playing on the lounge room floor. It's been a good new year so far. It was Tara's first birthday on Thursday. She enjoyed the cake and us singing to her. She also enjoyed seeing friends and family on skype - she is quite good at waving and blowing kisses now. Gary had a half day on Thursday so got home around 2pm which was nice.

Sometimes, I find it hard to believe Tara is 1 already. It is a beautiful age, learning to walk and talk. She is very happily walking around 50% of the time now. When Alex started walking within a week, he was walking pretty much all of the time, but I guess as Tara is an earlier walker, she still alternates between crawling and walking. She is very much into climbing now too - she can make it onto the couch which can be an issue and kind of means someone needs to keep an eye on her all the time. When Alex was this age, we had a playpen! She is also learning to talk. She says 'ba' repeatedly (ball) and 'ma' pretty much means food or milk.

Since Monday, we have been attempting potty training with Alex. I have to say it's going better than I expected. He has been happy to hop on his potty for the last few days and gets excited about what goes in to it! Our biggest challenge now is timing. He gives about 2 seconds notice of needing to go. To deal with this, he has been running around naked at home and this works quite well. But as soon as we put pants on, we seem to get accidents again. I'm sure it will work itself out though.

Alex is very into Bob The Builder at the moment. He knows all of the characters and loves putting on the DVD's which we use to help him to sit still when we want him to sit on the potty especially. So, yesterday we were watching a DVD and he says "FARK saves the plane". I said "Pardon?" "Yes Mummy, Fark". "Really?" Hmmm, I am trying to supress my laughter and saying to Gary, have you heard this? "Alex, who saves the plane" "Fark". Very earnestly. Hmmm, not Muck? "No Mummy, Fark". I have to watch this DVD again and work out what he is trying to say and then correct him!! We are very careful with language in front of the kids and I'm pretty sure he is trying to say something else but has got a little confused and struggling with the pronounciation!

New Years for us was a pretty quiet affair. We hung out at home and had a bit of an Indian feast. Anelen and I cooked a couple of things from our "Taste of India" cookbook. We had a glass of champagne (Mumm '99) to toast the New Year, but we were asleep before midnight!!

I love watching the kids interact these days. This morning, Alex and I were up in the lounge room around 6:45. Then Alex heard Tara make a noise and he says very excitedly "That's Tara". We were in the middle of using the potty for the first time today so thankfully Tara was patient and didn't require immediate attention. We then went to get Tara up and Alex says to her, "Sorry Tara, I haven't got your milk yet, I'll just go and get it" and he trots off to the fridge to get Tara's bottle for her. They are just starting to chat and interact a lot more which is just beautiful to watch. As I currently have Tara climbing up on the couch beside me, I think I'd better sign off now. Here's a couple of photos of Granny Ann (Gary's Mum) with the kids. Ann has been visiting for the past few weeks and on Monday went off to Bangkok to see her brother Neville. She is back with us in 2 weeks time for another 2 weeks.