Archive | August 2009

We’ve only got 10 minutes to save the world!

Yesterday, we hosted a boardgames geeky geek reunion at our place, after the longest time as one of our friends was back in Singapore on a holiday.
Check out the table full of board games!!

Gaming weekend

After some deliberating, we decided to try out a new game that our friend had acquired only just within the week, called Space Alert.

Space Alert

Space Alert is a cooperative type of team survival game. Players are crew members of a spaceship scanning dangerous sectors of galaxy. The task is to protect the ship. After appointing a captain and a communications officer, players have to work out who will move where on the ship, fire weapons, set up shields, replenish energy resources, etc etc. A CD with ten minute long soundtracks gives out these central computer announcements that alert the crew to threats varying from space battleships, interstellar monsters, malfunctions, and intruders who can directly appear on the ship just like that and basically all of the bad news that you can think of hitting your way in the ten most depressingly stressful minutes of your life.

We had such a laugh! It was just crazy from the word go! And here we were only doing the trial run and first mission. We didn’t even get round to attempting the more complex missions yet and already the ten minute soundtrack was driving us nuts going, “Incoming data download…intruder T+4 on white deck something something…data transfer…20 seconds to end of data transfer…teh teh teh…end of data transfer…intruder T+1…” Gaaaah.  Everytime we started the timer for a new round, the atmosphere was like that of a futures trading pit in the old SIMEX!

In the thick of the game...

Assessing the damage...

After the ten minutes is over, and you finish setting down all your action cards on your deck in all that frenzy, it’s time to sit down,  check the phase tracker to see how the team performed, and what’s the damage at the end of the day, and if you managed to hyperjump back to your space station with your team intact. We barely made it back, our dignity hanging in threads the first time around.  We did improve on the subsequent rounds – fired a lot less empty gun salutes to wave hopeless fists at the enemy, lesser instances of replenishing energy guns with resources that weren’t there, hung around less at the pantry, and learnt to set up shields to block the attacks! 

Phew. 😛 So stressful! But so fun! I wanna play it again! 😉

Alphabet Wall: Making O for Owl

DH said that DD has been telling him that she wants to see an owl for the past couple of days. I don’t know of anywhere we can find owls for her to see around here (maybe Jurong Bird Park, but wouldn’t they be sleeping in the day?), but at least we can attempt to make one! 🙂

After we completed the craft today, DD happily declared “This is my owl!” Ah, satisfaction! 😉

To make your very own owl, you will need the following materials: An artblock sheet, marker, some old magazines, scissors, glue, crayons or colour pencils.

O is for Owl - materials

1. On the artblock sheet, draw out an O.

O is for Owl - drawing the O

2. From the old magazines, cut out the shapes you will need to make the owl’s eyes, beak, tufts of feathers, wings and claws. I took this opportunity to also try to introduce an additional concept of O is for Oval, so you will see except for the beak and feather tufts, the rest of the pieces are oval-shaped.

O is for Owl - shapes

3. Have your child colour the O. DD decided that Brown would like to colour as well. “Good job, Brown!” 🙂 [Yes, she really said that!]

O is for Owl - colouring

4. After she was done colouring, I wrote O W L in capital letters at the top. If you look closely to the left of the word on the completed picture, you will see DD’s first try at writing the letter O.  And at the top right hand corner, you will see a little scribble of all three letters O W L attempted by DD of her own accord. *grin* *beam* *puff with parental pride* 😀

5. Apply the glue and let your child stick on the various parts of the owl.

O is for Owl - pasting

DD found a leftover circle cutout in the art bureau from a previous project, so she stuck it on as well – explaining that it was like an O because of the silver circled lines around the purple centre.

O is for Owl - pasting2

We didn’t get round to the oval concept because the clock was ticking close to bedtime but nevertheless, I am very very proud of the connections she made and the skills development she demonstrated in completing this project! 😀

O is for Owl - completed

Therapeutic

Sandplay

After 3 hours of back-to-back conference calls, a half hour of digging sand in the park is super therapeutic. ‘Course, the company makes all the difference too! (my daughter, not my workplace ;-))

No rest for the weary

When I was pregnant with DS, a lot of people I talked to said that I needed to work in the reality that we might end up doing less for our second child than the first, just on account that there would be less time and less of me distributed between the two of them. Because the first one would have had the benefit of having her parents all to herself, whereas subsequent children would have to live with divided attention and maybe even the lesser portion of the pie of that attention, because the older child naturally commands more by virtue of requiring more active disciplining.

I figured, okay I’ll work in the reality (to numerous cynical snorts from DH), but if I could help it I’m also going to work in invincibility (to numerous resigned sighs from DH).
I made up my mind that I would be as fair as much as I could manage to do it. That whatever I did for DD, I would also do for DS. And improve on it. Beat the previous goals. Reach for the stars, the moon and Mars. After all, that’s what second time rounds are all about, right? 😉 [A familiar mantra DH’s already gotten used to everytime I embark on something!]

Where that’s gotten us to, a year on? Two really tired parents. But also two really happy ones. Over the moon and trying not to eat too many Mars bars such that we’d end up with ulcers from overheatiness. Heh!

I don’t know how long we’ll continue to operate fuelled on this “adrenaline”. But the sense that it can be done, and the high we get from pulling it off each time is so much fun, I don’t think I’ll ever stop. No sir-ree, no rest for the crazy weary.

Home is where the heart should be

This past week has been a crazily busy one at work. I hardly have time to breathe or eat, before it’s time to get crunching again on the keyboard.

The saving grace for days like these….
The homebound journey on the MRT, going through pictures on my phone, looking forward to seeing DH and the children.
Arriving home to welcoming arms and greetings from DD who runs out to meet us as we get out from the car, and DS calling out for Mummy and Daddy.
Scooping them up in our arms, swinging them up high just the way they love it and listening to their infectious laughter rising on the evening breeze.
Going inside to the kitchen where they play nearby and run over once in a while for some extra “dinner” off our plates while we catch up on the day’s events over a nice home-cooked meal.

At the end of the day in a transient and ever changing, competitive environment where things can go pear-shaped as fast and fleeting as the taste of success, I’ve learnt that only God and family are the constants that root us down to what really matters in the eternal.

Home is where honesty and truth trample out hidden agendas and selfish ambitions.
Home is where genuine joy flows and meaningful conversations take place.
Home is where unconditional love and acceptance can be found.
Home is truly where the heart should be.

Celebrate/commiserate

This morning I sailed into office, plonked my handbag on the desk and fired up my computer. Then I reached into my bag in a well-rehearsed routine move…only to find that there was no ice pack to put into the office refrigerator’s freezer, and no funnels and bottles to put into the pump bag.
Hm. Feels funny.

Not having to pump the afternoon session anymore is liberating.
I know I looked forward to this day, and rejoiced that I could soon resume our favourite chill out wine-and-cheese sessions with DH again after a long long while since I had to forego a beautiful bottle of Moscato we’d bought two days before finding out I was pregnant with DD. (Yes, it has been that long!!)
And my favourite kopitiam “teh peng kau” *
And that I wouldn’t have to be glued to the pump for a twenty-minute forever when I’d rather be with DH and the kids playing in the living room, or having some fun in the park.
Or have to duck out midway through cell group bible study, leaving DH to lead the study and manage two kids at the same time.
Go shopping in the afternoon without needing to worry about rushing home or finding a room to express.

But there’s also a little sadness accompanied with each pump session I cut down.
I’ve gotten so used to my pumping routine and everything associated with it.
Sigh. Nursing. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.

Who’s up for commiserating with me over a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and brie? 😉

red_wine_cheese

* “teh peng kau” – local coffee shop brewed iced milk tea

There are days

And there are good days…
And then there are very very good days.

And today was one of them. 😀
DD and DS were in a fantastic mood when we drove to church, which made for a very fun car ride.

We had a great time chatting with the parents in the cradle roll room whilst each of us were feeding our kids their lunches.

We enjoyed some different scenery on a leisurely drive after church through the rolling greens of Bukit Batok to get to our friend’s baby’s full month celebration party. The change of scene was refreshing, and DS got a good nap on the way.

We caught up with our university friends and their kids which we hadn’t met since DS’s full month celebration. There was good conversation and good food. We made plans to meet up a month later.

The kids were on their most impressive behaviour. A very sociable DS charmed the socks off everyone, and DD was a most reliable big sister, watching over her little brother and keeping him occupied while we ate and chatted with the other adults.

DD had a very long nap in the afternoon which gave DH and I time to complete some work on the computer and for me to get a good nap too!

We had lots of fun shooting hoops into the toy basketball net stand with the kids.  And chasing each other around the living room.  And collapsing in a heap of laughter on the sofa. 

Dinner was done in a very jovial 30 minutes with a very hungry DS polishing everything off in 15 minutes and DD declaring that everything was her favourite food (Although it was the regular fare. A fellow parent would understand why I thought this blogworthy ;-)).

Everyone was bathed and changed by 7:35pm.

When DH brought DS to the kitchen for his last milk feed before bedtime, DD voluntarily picked up and kept all the toys and books back into the right shelves, leaving a completely spick and span room.

It was a very very good day indeed. 🙂