Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Newsletter 2010

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all of our friends and family.

Here, I find myself at Christmas Eve already. How did that happen? Where has the time gone? My goodness, what a year 2010 has been.

We began the year with Alex starting at the local kindergarten across the road from home 5 mornings per week for 3 hours. This was great for Alex who enjoyed the stimulation and going to ‘school’ with other kids from our condo. He had a lovely teacher Miss Leong and enjoyed learning Mandarin and lots of other bits and pieces. He went to True Way for the whole year and in 2011 will be attending a new pre-school close to our new place called Alphabet Playhouse. He is looking forward to starting again in the new year and hopefully it will be a good environment for him. Tara will also begin in 2011, 3 mornings per week. Hopefully she will enjoy this too.

A month ago, we moved house. We are reasonably settled into our new place now and have met a few other families living in the condo. Our new place seems very family friendly. They actually put on a Christmas party for the condo kids a couple of weeks ago and it was manic!! There were so many kids there.

In February of 2010, we had our first visitor for the year when Roger came over from Malaysia for a few days visit. It was fun to have him stay with us and we enjoyed catching up after many years.

In late February, I decided to dip a toe in the water so to speak and look into the possibility of going back to work. My ideal was to get part time work – but I soon found out this is not very common at all in Singapore. I ended up taking a 6 month contract role that was full time with Diageo. I began work in March and it was a bit of an adjustment (I think more so for me than for the children!) It was great to get back to work, I realized I missed the mental stimulation, but I also missed the kids a lot.

We had a short trip to Bangkok in late March and visited Gary’s uncle & aunt. It was fun taking the kids to visit relatives they hadn’t met yet. It was lovely to catch up with Neville & Ann again too.

In April, we had our first family holiday and went to Bali for 10 days. It’s always insightful travelling with kids and hindsight is a wonderful thing. We had a lovely time, but would probably do things a bit differently next time. However, it was a relaxing break and time away. When we got back to Singapore, we caught up with Nat, Colm and their 2 girls Orla and Niamh who were on their way to Ireland. It was lovely to catch up with friends from Adelaide.

In June, we had our first trip to the emergency room with Alex – he freakishly broke his arm whilst running down the corridor at home on a Friday morning. It was very traumatic, but as nearly 3 year olds do, he really took it in his stride and adjusted to his cast in no time (which was only on for 3 ½ weeks!)

In September, we had a holiday back to Adelaide. Again, a learning experience travelling with children (always pack spare clothes not just for the kids was a big lesson after Tara vomited over me as the plane was landing in Adelaide). It was nice to be home and to be able to catch up with friends and family. It was also nice to cool off a bit and experience some cooler weather!

After we returned from Australia, I started working 4 days per week as my 6 month contract had finished and I managed to negotiate 1 day off per week. It’s really nice having that balance. I don’t know how long it will last, but I am enjoying it while I have it!

In November, we caught up with our friends from London / Australia Karen & Tom and their boys Thomas and James. They are moving to Singapore in the new year and were here taking a look around. It was great to catch up and will be very nice to have some old friends moving over here too.

Gary got a new job at Credit Suisse and started at the beginning of November. He is enjoying being back in the banking world. Aside from work, Gary has been quite active with dragon boating in 2010. He took part in a couple of races and we are both training (me on a much lower scale), but it’s great fun and a good team environment. We are paddling with the Singapore British Dragons – a great bunch of people.

Alex and Tara are doing really well. Tara will be 2 on New Year’s Eve and is talking a lot now. Communication is a great thing and I think she enjoys making herself understood with words! Alex is such a chatterbox and amazes us with some of the stuff he comes out with. He is excited about Christmas this year, much more so than in the past.

This year for Christmas we are joined by both of our mothers. Ann (Gary’s Mum) has been with us for a few weeks now and in January will go to Thailand to visit her brother & sister in law. My Mum arrived yesterday from Adelaide and will be with us till Tara’s birthday.

Sorry this is a short, very abridged version of our 2010. Time has just got away from me completely. I wish you all a safe and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

At the Monkey Temple - Ubud - Bali
Feeling the cold on Glenelg Jetty - Adelaide - September 2010
Why let a broken arm stop you from having fun?
Tara & Alex at Hort Park
Gary performing for Divas Dragonboating comp.
Theo, Alex & Tara at Hazelwood Park - September 2010
Tara waiting for cake on Daddy's Birthday - August 2010