August 30, 2011

Selamat Hari Raya

Today was Hari Raya Puasa and we had lunch with the in-laws at Traders Hotel. There was a wide variety but with all the binging of late, I wasn’t really into trying everything. Plus had 2 active toddlers to feed and we didn’t bring Wendy so I couldn’t really eat in peace.

We bumped into my ex-boss Stephen and his family, they were seated at the very next table! Mildred knows them too from church, and Nick was pretty chatty with the elder son because they were from same youth group in church, plus of course from his SES days.

After lunch, we dropped the kids at home with Ma and went car window-shopping. ‘Angan-angan’ stepped into Audi and Volvo, don’t think we’re getting anything from there, although the V60 is LOVELY.

The cousins came over for dinner, I made mee goreng and Kavi also tapaued some food. It was ‘Spicymonium’ with 6 screaming little girls, but Nat had a ball, and so did Sasha who insisted on joining the action!

We cut an ice-cream cake from Ice Cream Gallery for Gigi, it was actually leftover from Swana’s birthday. Cookies and cream – yums!

August 29, 2011

Cowboy Nick comes home

The boy came home this morning and for once I received a gift I actually liked! And I wasn’t even expecting anything, so this brown Coach wristlet was a pleasant surprise. He was given an iPad over there so we have a new toy too.

The kids were mightily excited to see their daddy, Nat has been pretty well-behaved i.e. sleeping in her own bed, walking on her own etc while he was away but regressed to being a clingy koala bear the moment he stepped in, insisting she wants to sleep next to him, be carried etc.

And he lets her get away with it so he can only blame himself when at 3am in the morning she kicks him out of his own bed and he ends up on the sofa.

I made him a Laksa La Mian for lunch, courtesy of Prima. It was not too bad, but the noodles take ages to cook and I prefer chor bee hoon for my laksa.

August 28, 2011

Dinner with a different Nicolas

It’s been a looooong day. It was polling day for the Presidential Elections, I cast my vote for the first time, but alas, Dr Tan Cheng Bock came in a very close second, a difference of less than 0.5 % from Dr Tony Tan, whom I don’t mind being our head of state lah.

Voting was ‘bawah blok’, at Blk 105 so that was convenient. The whole process took less than 5 mins from queuing to checking my name against the electoral roll and casting my ballot.

I joined Swana, Rachel, Monica and Yvonne for dinner at Nicolas le Restaurant. It’s been on my list of places to try and it was an excellent meal I must say, although service could have been more attentive.

They only serve a set menu which changes every 2 weeks priced at 98++ each for around 6 courses. We had:

Organic Hen Egg ‘A La Coque’ with Crunchy Pastilla of Blue Prawn and Light Orange Reduction

Confit Hokkaido Scallop with Ravioli of Chuka Wakame, Light Crustacean Consomme and Scallop Chips

Wild Catch Atlantic Cod Fish, Crusted with Masago, Spanish Iberico Chorizo, Asari Clams Bouillon

Homemade Tagliolini Pasta, Ragout of Organic Vine Tomato, Piment D’Espelette and Quail

For my main, I opted for a Slow Roasted Tasmanian Rack of Lamb with Warm Quinoa and Lamb Jus infused with Rosemary and dessert was a trio of raspberry parfait, chocolate gelato and pistachio panna cotta.

Everything was tasty, I especially liked the crustacean soup which didn’t look appetizing with its greenish gray colour but the tiny shrimp lent a nice crunch.

During dinner we kept using our phones to check on election results, TT and TCB were neck and neck and all 5 of us were rooting for TCB.

After dinner, we walked down Keong Saik and decided to head to Clarke Quay on foot. Ended up at Madama Butterfly, no crowd but music was decent. Seems to be a hangout for escorts and ladyboys though, we had a good view of a tranny trying to pick up an ang moh, don’t think the guy could tell the difference!

August 26, 2011

Sick bubs

Joanne and Ray are in town, and we managed to meet for lunch yesterday, along with Germs and Aunty Susan. Ray was a tad quiet though, he's been having stomach flu.

Pigged out at Skinny Pizza, as usual we over-ordered! Am a little sick of their food now!

Worked from home today, Nat and Gigi are both hacking away.

When will they stop falling sick? It feels like every 2 weeks they come down with something! I bought Nat vitamins but she refuses to take them, though she does give in to the cod liver oil. Need to constantly remember to give her fresh OJ.

August 24, 2011

Happy birthday Swana!

The darling sister turned 35 today and it called for a celebration or two. There were impromptu drinks at No.5 last night with the cousin gang followed by a family celebration at Membina this evening.

I should have felt guilty leaving Nat behind when she was sick, brought her to the doctor before heading to Emerald Hilll but I didn’t. The clinic was super packed and we waited more than an hr for our turn.

She screamed the house down when the doc tried to get a nasal swab to check if she had the same Type A flu as Gigi. It wore down my patience trying to calm her down while waiting for the results...on an empty stomach too. Anyway the results were negative but I’m not sure if enough sample was collected.

As soon as we ate some dinner, I was out of the house with Kevin and Swana. It was a good turnout despite being a Tuesday night, Ajen even relented to leave Diya with his MIL for the first time after our jibing in Bintan.

Copious amounts of alcohol was consumed, especially by the birthday girl. Germaine and Ginny happened to come to No.5 that evening with their friends and bought Swana additional drinks. Before we left, we went to check out Ajen’s new toy...nice!

For this evening’s family celebration, I bought a champagne cake from Swiss Bake and Ma made thosai. Swana’s in-laws also came over and me and the girls spent a second night at Membina.
Gigi and Nat were quick to blow the candles, next up is Gigi’s turn!

August 21, 2011

Curry fever

Somehow it’s quite peaceful without Nick in town, he’s always on edge especially when the kids are around, keeping a constant watch on them and stressing himself unnecessarily that when he goes out of town, we all get some respite!

I know it’s mean of me to say that of him, but he seriously needs to loosen up a little. He’s gone to Arizona and will be visiting the Grand Canyon, lucky bum.

Me and Wendy had a quiet day at home, I baked Gingerbread men with Nat and I also whipped up a pot of curry as part of the movement ‘Cook and Share a Pot of Curry’ which evolved from a seemingly harmless article about mediation between neighbours that turned into a national debate about tolerance.

Essentially some local Indian family agreed not to cook curry when their PRC neighbours were in, they could not stand the smell. Most Singaporeans did not see why the Indian family had to compromise on cooking curry within their personal space, me included.

The in-laws and Dopes came over for dinner to share in my curry, Ma also made some mee goreng.

I bought a new smartphone on Friday, a HTC Salsa which cost me nothing with my contract renewal. Swana had to give me a tutorial on how to use it! Am so technologically-behind!

August 19, 2011

Eeny, meenie, miney, Tan

The presidential election campaign is in full swing and I’ve just received my voter card in the exciting. For the first time in 33 years, I get to vote for something in Singapore!

Conveniently for me, the polling station is just the next block!

There are 4 Tans to choose from, Tan Cheng Bock, Tony Tan, Tan Jee Say and Tan Kin Lian. I have more or less decided on whom I’m voting for, I don’t think the campaigning will really change my mind although I have a back-up choice.

Posters have been hung up all around the island, just walking from my bus-stop to my office I get 3 candidate posters. But there aren’t that many Tan Cheng Bock ones, he has a different strategy and actually mailed a flyer to all eligible households.

I actually want my president to be ceremonial and custodial, am not looking for someone to challenge the government, plus the first lady has to look first lady-ish to me and only 2 qualify in my book!

Unfortunately the boy won't get to vote, he just left for the States this morning, lucky bum will be gallivanting around Arizona and the Grand Canyon!

August 18, 2011

So long Sher Vin!

One of my past lunch kakis is leaving the company and a few of us treated him to lunch today at a little cafe called Vanilla along Boon Tat Street. It’s kind of a Japanese-Western bistro and I ordered the fish and chips, but it was mediocre.

I was curious about their Vanilla Dirt dessert though and ordered one to try, and we were surprised when the waitress dumped a little flower pot on the table. We wondered why they belatedly gave us a centrepiece only to realise it was the dessert I ordered!

Cute eh? Unfortunately it wasn’t a great dessert, sort of like a cookies and cream parfait. But top marks for presentation!

August 13, 2011

Cooling Off Day

Me and the boy caught a play today, pretty last minutely as I only bought tickets on a whim yesterday after reading a positive review.

The play was called 'Cooling Off Day' and is a portrayal of interviews conducted by the scriptwriter during the last General Elections.

Singapore is experiencing another kind of election-fever with the upcoming Presidential Elections and since the boy does some grassroots work, I thought he might be interested in the play, but I was wrong, it was wasted on him!

He has no appreciation for arty-farty stuff, it's all very pretentious to him, especially since the play was presented verbatim theatre-style.

I on the other hand enjoyed it for the most part, especially the spoof skit between a bakchor mee and Teochew-mui stall courtesy of a Mr Brown podcast re-enactment. There were some thought-provoking moments, with regards to ISA detentions and media bias but generally it was light-hearted and fairly objective.

August 12, 2011

Girl talk

Was supposed to meet Chris, Puni and Kannaki for dinner last night but because Nick had to spend a night in KL, I invited them over instead because I knew Mummy would nag if I went out and left my bubs, not to mention the logistics and lateness of bringing them home from Membina after dinner etc.

Kannaki tapau-ed Popeye's for everyone...mashed potato, mmmm,

Kevin dropped the kids off at about 8.30pm, the Dopes just got back from Myanmar in the afternoon. Nat was super shy as expected but Sasha was a bit more sociable, showing off her 'nemo' and vocabulary.

Puni was glowing I feel, nothing beats the radiance of a mum-to-be! Yup, she's preggers and so are a few other good friends so a baby boom is coming!

Wendy helped me put the kids to bed so I could play host, not that I was any good at it. They stayed and chatted till 2am, nothing like a good catch-up over session of gossip and girl talk. Vig, you were missed!

August 9, 2011

Majulah Singapura

Today marked Singapore's 46th birthday as an independent nation, so happy birthday Singapore!

As much as we complain about the lack of democracy, the high cost of living, the influx of foreigners and the stressful education system, I think the pros of being a Singaporean outweigh the cons. Every time I travel, I certainly feel there's no place like home.

Spent the morning with Sasha while Nick brought Nat out to Vivo to buy toys. Sasha is fascinated with the new pet fish we have, she calls them 'nemo'. I keep telling her they're called fish!

We went over to Komathi's place for a late lunch, Aunty Sabrina is in town. Nat was scared of the dog Ashley, and became braver only just when we were leaving. Sasha was fine with the dog and had a ball playing with Mika.

For some reason, so many of us were dressed in purple when we should have been wearing red. Here's me and Anju in purple tops and denim shorts!

Mildred came over in the afternoon and as usual had an opinion on something. She bought a new pail to bathe Sasha the old-fashioned way instead of using the shower head, claims our heater setting at number 1 is too cold and that she will catch a chill. (Even though she's been bathing in the shower for the past 4 months with no side effects!).

She also didn't think it right to give Sasha a whole bottle of Yakult, that it wasn't safe. (It is safe for toddlers, I googled. Besides, after her bout of diarrhea I wanted to give her good bacteria not from a packet, and just for a few days to settle her stomach.)

Anyway, she and Nick now think Wendy is rebellious because she did not follow her instructions. (My fault, I vetoed. Sigh.)

On a separate note, thanks to Uncle Ben and Aunty Nana's gadgets, Nat knows what Angry Birds is and the other day asked why the SingTel reseller shop we were in didn't have an iPad for her to buy and play the game! Here's her Angry Bird face!

Whilst we were watching the NDP parade and flags flying past our window, she claimed she wanted to see the fireworks in person so at the last minute, Nick and I brought her to a carpark at SGH to catch some of the action, we didn't want to grapple with the crowds at Marina.

She was happy enough to see the tops of some of the skyscrapers 'explode', and so was I!