The Baby Bird that Came to Visit

Nyan’s bedroom window juts out so that it overlooks the balcony from the side. On the corner of the balcony is a bougainvillea plant whose branches stick out over the railing, near to his bedroom window. Back in March we noticed some weird bunches of sticks on one of the branches. We kept an eye on it and eventually figured it out was a nest being built by a couple of olive-backed sunbirds, little fellas that look kinda like hummingbirds. Cool! We watched them build the (rather ugly) nest:

Eventually they laid some eggs and not long after, we had a couple of baby birds! It was really cool to watch them being fed.

But then… disaster! One of the babies got its food stuck in the thatching and couldn’t get it out. It just sat there, upside down, stuck, for hours, including during a massive thunderstorm. 

We felt bad, so eventually Daddy went out, in the storm, and with a pair of scissors, verrrrry carefully cut the little guy loose from the thatching.

The bird was cold and shivering, and clearly exhausted from hours of struggling to get out.  We gave it a little sugar water and made a little nest out of a towel, out of the rain, so he could rest and recover. 

It wasn’t long before his parents found their little guy and brought him some food.

He stayed there overnight, and the next day we found him back up in the branches of the bougainvillea plant, starting to flap his wings a bit. He looked a little rough for wear but was improving. 

This went on for the next day or so. Then, suddenly, our little friend was gone. We figure he got his wings and flew off to another perch somewhere in the neighborhood. That was a little sad, but we were happy to have helped him out!

Nyan was quite proud too. During one of his daily online meetings with his class, he talked about the whole situation and showed the recovering bird to his teacher and his class.

All in all, it made for a nice diversion during lockdown!

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Posted by on June 16, 2020 in Uncategorized


Lockdown: Keeping Active

It was of course a struggle to make sure we all got enough exercise during lockdown. The pool and gyms were closed; the beach was closed; couldn’t really go outside. So we got creative, with little exercises at home. 

Like slow-motion jumping jacks:

And, at the beach, playing a made-up game involving hitting a seed with a little shovel:

(Okay, that was actually from the day before the lockdown started; hence no mask and no beach restrictions. But the point is the same!)

Slo-mo jumping at the beach:

 (Again, just before, or perhaps the day-of, the lockdown.)

Most days we would just go for a walk around the neighborhood, just to get the blood moving, if not actually pumping hard.

His school helped out by sending links to various exercise programs on Youtube to play along to at home. We did these most days.

And we found weird dance-along videos too:

His music teacher also sent over a video with instructions to dance. So dance he did:

Yeah, it was not a terribly active two months, of course! But we made do the best we could.

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Posted by on June 3, 2020 in Uncategorized


Lockdown: The Beach

During Singapore’s coronavirus lockdown in April and May, we could leave the house for “exercise in the neighborhood.” Lucky us: our neighborhood includes the seashore and a beach, so we made the most of it.

The beach was mostly empty, some of the time:

But we weren’t the only one with this bright idea. Plenty of other kids were there, including sometimes a schoolmate or two. We tried to keep the kids distanced, but kids will be kids.

We went to the beach several times a week — get some fresh air, tire Nyan out a bit. Sadly, the beach was getting too crowded, so after only about two weeks, we showed up one day to find this horror: 

The park’s walking paths stayed open so we could still go for walks, but the sand area and in fact all the grassy parts of the park were sealed off and closed. And lockdown got a little bit worse.

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Posted by on May 21, 2020 in Uncategorized


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In early April, what everyone had feared would happen, happened: the coronavirus started getting out of hand in Singapore, so the government put everyone on a sort of soft lockdown. They didn’t call it a lockdown, and we weren’t exactly restricted to our homes. But everyone was to work or learn from home, and leave home pretty much only to buy food or to exercise in their immediate neighborhood. No socializing, no movies, no bars, no school, no offices. Just… lockdown. (Or, to use the term employed by the local government: Circuit Breaker, or CB – i.e., breaking the circuit of the virus going from person to person.)

Not gonna lie: it wasn’t easy at first, as everyone around the world can relate to! Eventually we found somewhat of a rhythm. But for two long months, we didn’t do a whole lot! Let’s take a look at what litle we did manage to do in that time.

Nyan read! A lot. As always.

Nyan also started reading Game of Thrones on Daddy’s kindle. We indulged him, briefly, just to hear him read. But we didn’t let that continue. The boy is still just a little young for that one… 

There was plenty of time to play with toys too.

Screen time too: zoom calls with friends, watching youtube, even a little online chess. We tried to keep the screen time to a minimum.

We also got in the habit of watching a movie most evenings. Not every evening, but several times a week. We watched all of the cartoon series Avatar: the Last Airbender, and most of the Studio Ghibli films.

And yeah, we slept a lot. And Daddy took a lot of pictures of Nyan sleeping. Because there wasn’t much else to do!

In upcoming posts we’ll look at a few other things we did, like going to the park and getting exercise. Stay tuned.

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Posted by on May 8, 2020 in Uncategorized


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The Last Bits of Fun Before the Lockdown

Just a random sampling of random moments from March 2020, before we all got locked inside.

Fun on a moving sidewalk:

On the scooter, at the park, with Phwa Phwa:

And finally: dancing and boxing while waiting for a car.

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Posted by on April 29, 2020 in Uncategorized


Final Playdates with Friends

We didn’t really know it at the time (though we kinda suspected/feared it), but March 2020 would be the last time for a couple of months that we could hang out with friends. As it turned out, Nyan took full advantage of that, with multiple playdates and casual hang-outs with his pals during the month. (His two-week spring break started midway through the month, which led to many more playdates. Singapore’s coronavirus lockdown started pretty much as soon as his break ended.)

There was, of course, lots of fun with Jayden: 

And hanging out with Jonnie:

He had a playdate with his school pal Arav:

And a playdate with another school pal, Edris:

Not to mention plenty of reading dates with school pal and neighbor Nadia:

Of course, any time with Jayden is not complete if there’s not a lot of wild craziness going on. 

And dancing!

The lockdown wasn’t much fun — more on that later — but at least Nyan had some good times leading up to it…

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Posted by on April 21, 2020 in Uncategorized



Sports Update

Here’s a quick look at some of the sporting activities Nyan got up to in March 2020, just before the lockdown brought everything to a screeching halt.

Saturday afternoon soccer:

Swimming, viewed from 20 floors up:

He also took a couple of tennis lessons, a new sport. A little shaky at first, perhaps, but he had fun:

Getting better!

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Posted by on April 10, 2020 in Uncategorized


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Red Belt! And More February Fun

Nyan moved up yet another level in taekwondo in February 2020, getting the red belt:

Other highlights that month — a month when we were nervously hoping the world wouldn’t collapse under the weight of a viral pandemic (editor’s note: it did!) — included a quick business-trip visit from cousin Hoz, a.k.a. Harold, visiting from Maryland. We met up for a nice lunch.

Other random moments from February 2020:

Some more:

And just a few more pics from the month of Febuary 2020.

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Posted by on March 30, 2020 in Uncategorized


Back to the Singapore Airshow 2020

The Singapore Airshow is held every two years. It’s mostly a way for airline manufacturers and (especially) defense contractors to get together and sell their stuff to companies and governments across Asia. But they also open it up to the public who can come tour some planes, see fighter jets doing acrobatic things, and the like. We went in 2016 and again in 2018 (see here). So of course we were gonna go in 2020.

Or would we? The coronavirus was spreading ahead of the show’s February date, and restrictions were being put in place. There was even talk about canceling the show, but they ended up going ahead but with fewer tickets sold to ensure smaller crowds. We debated whether it was safe to go but correctly decided it would be. So Daddy and Nyan headed there one Saturday afternoon.

It was fun! It definitely wasn’t as big as in past years — several airplane exhibitors pulled out — but we still had a good time.

The Chinese Air Force was on hand, showing off their skills and their fancy planes.

The US military was also there, of course — two superpowers fighting for military and commercial control of Southeast Asia! Or something like that. Here are some of the planes on display — most years this tarmac is packed with aircraft and heaving with people. This year, not so much.

So, a subdued airshow. But still a good time. We’ll surely be back in 2022.

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Posted by on March 24, 2020 in Uncategorized



Celebrating Kyle’s Birthday

Nyan’s long-time friend Kyle turned 9 years old in February. What was going to be a large gathering at an indoor playground place got downgraded (thanks to the coronavirus, just emerging at the time) to an intimate party of mostly family and a few close friends at the Chinese Swimming Club’s bowling alley. We had a great time, as we always do with Kyle and his family.

There was, of course, cake:

And bowling, plus an appearance by the birthday boy in a dinosaur suit:


Mommy and Daddy had fun too; and check out Daddy with the stellar roll!

Finally, Kyle himself, playing with one of the toys Nyan gave him as a birthday gift.

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Posted by on March 18, 2020 in Uncategorized



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