Friday, December 7, 2012


Playgrounds - this is one of the inexpensive and absolutely free play I love bringing my boy.  We have couple of playgrounds within walking distance from our home but my son particularly fond of the sandplay at Sun Plaza Park, Tampines.  This park, however, is neither near or very far from my house.  By foot, it would take about 20 minutes.  Today, I decided to cycle to the park together with my son and doggie since he is proficient in his two wheels (apart from the scary experience earlier).  Before I set off in the morning, I put Nitro in the shopping bag that was secured on our foldable bike.  I have walked Nitro to the park previously and he was panting heavily due to the heat and distance. In order not to stress my toybreed dog, this would be the first time I gave him a 'lift' to the park on my bike.  And I also reminded my son on traffic rules and directions. 

It was a smooth trip there despite worrying that my furball would fall out of the shopping bag or my son would veer off the route again.  A large group of older kids from a student care center were seen playing but they left shortly after we arrived.  My boy enjoyed himself although he played pretty much on his own.  But later, a boy of his age came to join in the fun.  While my son was busy with his sandplay, I walked my dog before tied him on a bench to cool off. 

A great outdoor fun for both my son and doggie!

Linking up with The Gingerbread Mum :-

Looking bored being tied up

Building sandcastles


Rope climbing

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A belated birthday present from my 4 years old son

A belated birthday from my son!
School holidays have since started but my son just began his.  So, I will not be preparing his lunchbox for him till next year. 

December is a holiday month and also birthdays month for myself and my Mom coincidentally.  How does your little ones celebrate your birthday?  Mine did a piece of art painting for me after I nagged at him for a few days ;P  Pink, rabbit and my name were his ideas and I helped him with the rest of details.   He associated pink and rabbit are for girls though.  Materials for the art simply include a piece of drawing paper, watercolours, colour paper for the rabbit (white), carrot and grass (orange and green), cotton wool and marker.  I absolutely love it!  It is priceless.  My other half was quiet and probably completely forgotten my birthday :((   We do not celebrate our anniversary and it is hard to accept the reality that he do not want to celebrate birthdays as well! Foul mood, perhaps.  The feel good factor and joy that celebrations bring........I am really missing it!!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thank U note to Teachers, a 3-eye monster

Bento No. 280
My son started playgroup with his current preschool and continued with the same kindergarten till now.  He is now 4 years++.  Fort the past years, I have been shuttling between school and home by buses and trains initially until the preschool shifted to a new premises. Because the new location was nowhere near the MRT station,  I began to drive to/from school.  I love the school because of the lower kid-teacher ratio, great programmes and fantastic outings.  There was this personal touch and warmth back in the old premises at Devonshire. Teachers were caring, responsive and constantly providing me feedback not only on his progress but also behaviour/action that amused them.  I appreciate the effort they took photos during lessons and playtimes and forwarded it to us.  These pictures were precious and definitely keepsakes for us!  Non-teaching staff and aunties - they were great and I even engaged small talks with some at times.  At the new location, Tanglin, it is refreshing with bigger space, brand new furnitures/fittings along with a rooftop garden. However, we decided to change to another kindergarten that is nearer to our home. 

To express my gratitude, I carved a 'Thank U' on the apple wedges (not so clearly visible in the picture above).  And a three-eye monster which I mixed steamed soft pumpkin into the white rice to form the onigiri (my boy's request).  Green peas/nori were used to create the eyes before attaching to the onigiri with angel hair pasta.   At the bottom, he has pork bulgogi that I bought the marinated meat from Cold Storage because I still do not know how to prepare this dish yet.  On the sides, he has steamed pumpkin, green peas and black grapes.

Unfortunately, he came down with fever on Thursday and therefore, unable to bid farewell to all the teachers and classmates on Friday, the last day of school.

Thank you teachers for the guidance and love!

Back in Jan 2010, pre-nursery with his diapers still on

Now Dec 2012 in Nursery 2, a little man

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Santa Claus!

Bento No. 279
It's Santa!  I finally made it with fishballs and crabstick.  But my son could not recognise it :(  Pine tree shaped and cut from broccoli stem as well as star carrots.  His main was organic soba noodles drizzled with little bit of soya sauce/shallot oil.  On the sides, he has apples/black grapes for fruits.

In conjunction with the festive season, we has also set up our Christmas tree.  It was done over last Sunday afternoon and Mommy was sweating over how to fix it up because she was no Handy Manny.  Last year, the tree was wobbly because Mommy has got it all wrong and Papa came to the rescue.  But I did it this year!  We decorated it with gold and silver colours balls and ornaments as that was my son's choice of colours.  And a special request too - lots of acorns!  At the same time, I also realised my boy is a perfectionist or rather, fussy one because he re-arranged the decorations commenting this was not nice, not in the right place...blah, blah.

Chinese flash cards on the Christmas tree??  Nay,  just for fun and making use of the tree for teaching Chinese.   My boy learned better on a play based setting at home (with me).  He loved the game I created 'Hide and Seek the cards'.  We pretended to hide the cards in the tree (still partially visible).  Then, I would command him to look for a chinese character.  Prior to that, I had already gone through the chinese characters with him. 

Merry Christmas to everyone out there!

Christmas tree with Chinese flash cards!

Angry bird and pigs

Bento No. 278
Staying in the East brought us closer to airport and has also become our favourite family outing.  How is that so?  Firstly, it is a short drive from our home.  Secondly, there are plenty of eateries and restaurants for dining.  Thirdly, large space for the kids to ran freely.  Last but not least, it is sheltered from the rain. These are the main reasons but of course, there are more to do at the airport.  Last year, we were at the 'Animal Safari' play area put up by Changi Airport after sending Papa's off for work.  This year, it is the 'Space Angry Birds'.  My kid loves it to every bits and even got our Papa to spend to redeem a angry bird plush toy for him.  His other collections were given by Christein jie jie and my sister as presents.
Even his lunchbox on Monday was inspired by angry birds! They were made of carrot and spinch toast for the orange bird and green pigs respectively.   On the sides, he has hotdogs (supposed to look like the brick ;P), apples wedges carved with a catapult and black grapes.


Collection of angry birds softtoy

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Brown rice porridge, Beatrix Dino Backpack

Bento No. 277

Porridge was packed in this hot flask but my boy insisted me to
 take a picture of his minifigure instead

My boy is still nursing his running nose and cough.  Hence, we had stopped his weekly activities such as soccer and swimming lessons.  He could also sleep better through the night because of the medication.  He loves the sweet and colourful medicine so much that he actually looking forward to it.  His lunch on Friday was brown rice porridge in meat stock with stir-fried loin strips with star carrots, snow peas and onions as well as strawberries and dragonfruits. 

We bought him a new big kid Beatrix Dino backpack from Changi Airport hoping he could double up as a school bag and lunch bag for another good 2-3 years or more;P

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Smiling danboard, turtle, panda

Bento No. 274

Bento No. 275
Bento No. 276

My boy has not been sleeping well throughout the nights for the last 2 weeks because of his persistent cough and running nose.  He would wake up in the wee hours and come into our bedroom looking for Mommy. Back in his room, he tossed and turned swinging his hands in full 'elephant' force due to the stuffing nose and nasty cough.  I was hit many times on my face and stomach when I tried to sooth him back to sleep.   Hope he could recover soon as there are lines of programs awaiting for him during the December school holidays.

Does it look like a danboard for the first bento?  I have no idea what I was making in the first place but the finished product reminded me of a danboard.  His lunch consisted of beanstick noodles, meatballs, crabstick, blanched carrots and Japanese greens and apples.

The second bento was a turtle with its shell made of brown rice, snow peas for the flippers, carrot for the head. On top of its shell were some chinese almonds.  On the sides, he has stir-fried cauliflower, snow peas, carrots and loin strips as well as apples.

Last bento, his usual baked salmon sushi with Japanese cucumber, edamame, apples and a strawberry.

Since he is not well, he has apples for the whole week.  Also to remind him - An apple a day keeps the doctor away! To make it interesting and encourage him to eat (since this is not his favourite fruit), I carved
some patterns and attempted a crocky the other day. ;) 

Linking up with Creativity 521 by A Happy Mum :-

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Gingerbread man, stars

Bento No. 272
Bento No. 273
Christmas is coming and the weather here in Singapore is wet and cold.  The orchard shopping belt has started decorating with Christmas ornaments and lights.  Festive cookies and cakes are also beautifully and prominently displayed at the bakeries.  I also began with cheese Gingerbear bread man and stars in conjunction with the festive mood.  First bento, my boy has spaghetti with meat/tomato sauce, blanched broccoli and carrots, apples and kiws.  Second bento, he got brown rice, homemade char siu, stir-fried nai bai with carrots and the same kind of fruits.

We had a little adventure on Tuesday.  It started when we decided to go to the rustic and laid-back Changi Village for our dim sum fix since it was a public holday - Deepavali day.  On arrival, we saw buzzing crowds at Le Xuan Dim Sum. (乐轩港式点心) that we had to queue, self-collect for our kopi (coffee) and even getting the cutlery ourselves instead of being served in a normal day.  My son also commented that the uncles were washing the utensils at top speed.  Amazingly, we did not wait for too long for the piping hot dim sum.  They were so efficient!  I love their fluffy char siu bao that burst open like a flower which you normally get in the restaurant.  After filling up our stomach, we took a stroll down the boardwalk towards the beach.  Lots of fishes, crabs, lobsters were sighted off loaded from fisherman's boat at Changi Jetty.  As we watched people boarding the bumboats, my boy asked if we could take a ride to Pulau Ubin.  I was totally unprepared; no sunblock, no mosqito repellant, no sunhat, no extra clothes.  However, it was such a nice, cool and breezy weather that day and my boy got us all excited! The next moment, we were seated inside the bumboat all set to go armed with two bottles of mineral water, an umbrella and a kiddie's raincoat.  It was his first trip and experience to ride on bumboat!  Thrilling for this little man when it went up and down and certainly mesmerized by the splashing waves against the bumboat. 

The bumboat operator collected $2.50 per person as soon as we reached Pulau Ubin.  Being a true blue Singaporean, I was embarrassed to say that this was my second trip there.  I visited the island when I was in my 20s.  It was a family outing organised by hubby's company. After so many years, this nostalgic village still holds its charm with rows of old shophouses and mongrels pacing up and down the streets.  Bicycles! That was the best way to move around the island.  Many bike operators there.  We rented a tandem with a child seat behind for $12 instead of cycling separately on our own bike mainly because this was totally unplanned and, no research on the condition of the trail, only to know from the bike shop that it was hilly and wet on the journey to Chek Jawa wetlands.  Secondly, it was about 3km and I was sure my boy could not make it. Thirdly, for safety reasons since we did not bring our helmets. 

Wild boars!  Yes, the animals greeted us when we reached the destination before dismounting for the boardwalk.  Apparently, they were shoving and pushing one of the bikes.  According to the onlooker, they were looking for biscuits in the basket.  I was tempted to take pictures but too afraid to get closer.  As for the journey, it was difficult and tiring with rocky roads and steep slopes.  There were moments where I did not have the energy to paddle uphill but to dismount and push.  Whereas our little prince was seated comfortably in his child seat cheering "go faster, go, go, go"... We were relieved upon reaching the boardwalk.  It was high tide then and could not spot any sea creatures.  Nevertheless, we did see some yellow tail fish, mudskippers, clams on the mangroves, attap seeds tree and birds along the way.  Climbed to the top of Jejawi observation towers (about seven storey high) for a bird-eye view of the island.  We had to keep walking non-stop to avoid becoming the feast of mosqitos.


View from the observation tower

Trying to relax under the glaring sun

On the way back, we passed by the quarry lake and by noon, we ended our half day excusion.  Smelly, sweaty, sore muscles, mosqito bites, tiring but a fullfilling day for the whole family.   We also discovered a Singapore secret i.e. you can pick up a durian for free if you have the time and patience to wait for the fruit to fall off from the trees.

We hope to come back for the guided tour at Chek Jawa wetlands :))  
Quarry Lake

Bumboat home

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Bento No. 271
Octopus made from tamagoyaki and a party hat all ready for Christmas!  Imitation crabstick sushi, blanched edamame and green kiwis for his lunch. 

One night, I popped the question to my son whether Mommy should go back to work only over the weekends.  The next moment, he was sobbing...and mumbling..... :

"I don't want you to go to work."
"Nobody play with me.." and
"I want everybody, Papa and Mama to play with me."

Then, he drifted off to sleep.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Oyakodon, sandwiches, craft from egg boxes

Bento No. 269

Bento No. 270

Above was Oyakodon topped with some finely chopped cooked grean long beans and spring onion which the receipe can be found here.  I tweaked the receipe using chicken breast and brown rice instead.  I sustituted sake with water since I do not have it in the house and I added instant dashi stock I bought previously from Isetan.  On the sides, he has black grapes and apples.  Below was his all time favourite - ham and cheese sandwiches (wholemeal) together with some carrot sticks, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples and grapes. Lately, I am hooked in carving images, word and letters on the apples :)) 

We also did a fair bit of art and craft.  Thanks to Mister Maker which is currently showing in Okto TV channel every morning at 9.30am.   This is our second piece of craft inspired by Mister Maker.  I was about to throw away the red plastic egg boxes today but the boy stopped me!  He said he could make an 'Ant' with the egg boxes just like Mister Maker.  I absolutely have no clue how Mister Maker did it.  But he worked on it immediately by cutting out the shape first.  Then, he explained the rest of the details and together, we created the 'Ant'.  And, we made a 'robot' and a 'sail' as well.  Robot was my idea and the sail was his.  In the midst of the process, I suggested we could add more colours.  However, he rebutted my recommendation!   My little man has shown a lot of assertive and being defiant recently. More than often, he wanted to do his own way.  He had passed the stage of terrible two where everything was No, No, No.  Now, he is more vocal and has a mind of his own.  If I remind him or tell him what he is supposed to do, he will say "Don't tell me, I know what to do."  I guess I have to take a back seat and give him the space to make his choice or decision.  Gosh! He has grown up too fast.

Red Ant

He said it's a robot


Friday, November 2, 2012

Crab, blow paint alien

Bento No.268
This is a cute crab with four claws which I did not realise until it was pointed out by one fellow bento blogger.  A deformed one, perhaps. ;P  It was made of pumpkin mash, the eyes and mouth were cheese and seaweed.  Cucumber for the claws. Slices of lotus root to represent the perforated rocks.  And at the bottom was fried rice with light and dark soya sauce, dried shrimp, shallots and chinese mushroom.  On the top tier of the lunchbox, I packed his favourite grapes and kiwis.

After watching the Mister Maker creating his own blow paint monster, I decided to let my boy to give it a try on Wednesday afternoon.  Simply using a straw, some colourful paint, drawing paper, wiggles eyes and marker.    Drop a dollop of paint onto the paper and blow!  It sound easy but the little boy huffed and puffed many times that we got extra gooey stuff on the paper i.e. saliva.  He tried really hard to spread the paint as far as possible to form the limbs and tentacles.  He had fun making it!  After the paint has dried, he drew the eyes and mouth.  Some with wiggles eyes glued on it.  He preferred to name it 'alien' over 'monster'. 

What caught my attention was, he wrote his last name backwards as well as the reversed of 'Z'.  And it occurred more frequently sometime in October onwards when he practised writing his name at home.  Previously, we noted there were letters reversals of 'd' for 'b' or vice-versa and, he would read numbers like 72 as 27 which we brought it up during the parent meeting session at his preschool in August.  We were then assured by the principal that the brain has not fully developed to recognise it and there was no cause of concern or any learning disability.  Hopefully, this phenomenon is temporary and just part of his learning process. 

Linking up with Adora of The Gingerbread Mum Parenting Hits and Misses on her 'Fun for Free' activity :-

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Bento No. 267

This is what I did when I am not feeling creative.  Get a doggie cookie cutter to press out the shape and decorate it with punched-out seaweed.  Then, place on a grass baran.  Mission completed! :P  His lunch consisted of macaroni, blanched mixed vegetables/cauliflower with tomato and meat sauce for his pasta.  On the sides, he got black grapes, green kiwi, blueberries and pumpkin soup which I packed it separately in another tupperware.

Time flies, my boy has grown up so much. 

4 years old
4 months at Ah Ma's house