In the average week, Nyan is busy at school for the five weekdays, then busy with various classes on Saturday. We try to keep Sunday loose and unscheduled, so that we can sleep in and be lazy, and maybe go to a museum or a hike or a swim. Family day.
But sometimes, there’s something more structured to do. We had a couple such Sundays in July. One of them involved Adriana coming over for another playdate:
Another day, Daddy was running an early morning 5k, and Nyan and Mommy came down to cheer him on. (Well, to be precise, a certain almost-six-year-old was feeling groggy and tired and grumpy and dragging his feet, so he didn’t get down to the race site until after the race was over. But Daddy still appreciated the gesture!
Some pics from the race (actually lining up waiting for it to start):
And here’s Nyan, proudly showing off the medal that “he” won after “he” finished the run.
Afterwards, we walked around downtown a bit, finding some food and just relaxing. Nyan was captivated by this giant metal waterwheel that an office building has as a piece of public art:
And on the way home, he showed off a combination of taekwondo and modern dance:
The month of July was Nyan’s last full month at Modern Montessori International, or MMI — the Montessori preschool he went to for three-plus years. We’ll have a full retrospective in a few weeks, but for now, let’s take a look at some random school-related photos from the closing weeks.
Some silliness in the elevator on the way to school:
One drizzly morning we bumped into Jayden, who walked with us to school:
And here we are at the school itself. Just a few random moments:
Of course, one of the highlights of every school day was playtime in the indoor playground at the end of the day. Here’s another look at the fun (including a little boy who doesn’t like it when he realizes Daddy is filming him):
As we prepared for the transition to his new school, we bought new uniforms, and Nyan proudly modeled them:
And finally, a bit of praise from his teacher, written for our parent-teacher conference in June. Good job, Nyan!
Eva is a girl a year below Nyan at his Montessori school. She was turning five in July, and invited a bunch of schoolmates – including Nyan and several others from his class – to a party, held at an indoor playground called Waka Waka. Same place, in fact, where Kyle had his party back in February, and where Nyan conquered the rope course (see here).
The rope course wasn’t available this time, but Nyan still managed a personal first, and had a great time as well.
There were games and songs and cake:
And they did the limbo:
Also a pinata. Nyan got a few whacks at it. Nice hits!
Finally, the payoff:
After the organized party bits, the kids went buck wild at the playground portion.
One popular spot was a little house where the kids could put up foam bricks to build walls.
It’s all well and good until a younger kid tears down the wall:
The highlight, though, was surely the gigantic vinyl volcano. It’s got some rope and footholds for kids to climb up, but it’s tough as it’s steep and the vinyl is slippery. Nyan tried but didn’t make it when Kyle had his party here five months earlier. But this time, Nyan was a fearless mountain climber:
So proud of our boy! He remains a bit skittish and shy when it comes to trying new things – especially if they are a little challenging, like this – but he does get there eventually. Just gotta be patient with him at times.
Besides all this fun, Nyan also got to hang with his pals – especially Adriana, Kyra and Chrysa. We’ll close with some lovely pictures of all the kiddos.
With Nyan turning six in July, he moved out of the introductory ‘kinder’ class at his taekwondo studio, and into the true first level. There are a range of kids there, from about his age to maybe 10 or so. Everyone is very nice and Nyan has fit in quite well.
It wasn’t an easy transition though: after a successful first class with his new friends, the little dude flat-out refused to go for the next 2 or 3 classes. Lots of tears and bawling and general stubbornness. It was pretty rough. And totally expected, the staff nicely told us: lots of kids have these issues when transitioning to a new class. (Whether that’s true, or they were just being nice, we appreciated them saying it!)
But we persevered. And we broke through, and now? he’s back to loving it.
Here he is, not long after he went back to having fun, with Mr Lee still giving him extra attention:
A few weeks later, during warm ups:
Practicing his moves. He’s getting good!
And his kicking. Still some work to be done, but definitely making improvements.
He’s still a white belt, but he’s getting better and better, and hopefully before long he’ll qualify to take the test to get a yellow belt. That will, we think, make him even more excited to continue with taekwondo.
Nyan’s life is often a moveable feast, with lots of different dishes for him to try every day. Places to travel, museums to visit, friends to hang out with, books to read, sometimes even actual new food dishes to try! Here’s a look at a few dishes from his daily feast.
Let’s start with an actual dish. At school one day, they made Spanish omelettes (egg, cheese, potato, onion) and Nyan ate and enjoyed it! This is a very positive development, given how he claims to dislike eggs (truth is, he never would try them prior to this). Of course, he still won’t eat eggs even after this breakthrough. But, whatever: baby steps.
Our hero, eating eggs!
Shall we check in again on Lego robotics class? He’s in a Saturday morning class now (rather than Saturday afternoon) with a few more kids. Still enjoying it. Here he is showing off his recent creations, including an X-wing fighter from Star Wars, and a model of the Solar System, with the planets spinning around the sun. Sure, he follows instructions to build these, but still pretty amazing, we think.
He’s creative when he’s just freestyling, too: check out these drawings. To reuse a phrase: pretty amazing. (Click on the pics to enlarge. It’s worth it, we think.)
Finally, amazing in a different sort of way: our hero, dancing machine.
To continue (and wrap up) Nyan’s birthday events this year: we took him, Jayden and Kyle to Universal Studios Singapore, our local theme park. Kyle’s parents and sister came along too, so it was a great group of people. Jayden had been to Universal Studios many times before; it was a maiden voyage for the rest of us. And in spite of the heat and the crowds, we managed to have a great, super-fun, super-exhausting and super-sweaty day.
There was so much to do, so many rides to go on. Let’s start with a random assortment of shots of the boys (and some of the others) just hanging out:
Can’t keep Nyan from dancing, no matter where he is:
(In that last video, there was a moment, about 14 seconds in, when Kyle accidently bumps Nyan’s knee. No big deal, except he happened to have a scab on there from a recent tumble, so it was tender and hurting. That’s why the dance paused for a moment and Nyan sort of whined momentarily. I love, though, that Kyle – one of the sweetest-natured kids you’ll ever meet – immediately got down to inspect it and make sure Nyan was okay! He was just fine, of course, and the dance resumed.)
It was a big day for both Mommy and Nyan: their first roller coaster ride! Mommy and Daddy went on the adult one, which uses mag-lev technology to get going really fast, really quickly. She did great! Nyan was a bit skittish about his own first roller coaster – a more tame ride, though still relatively fast and twisty. But he passed the test with flying colors. His verdict at the end, said with a huge smile: “It was scary!”
Here he is, with Daddy, just before the ride started.
There was a ride in the Jurrasic Park section that involved pyterodactyls spinning around, and going up and down. Considerably more mellow than a roller coaster, but the kids seemed to enjoy it. Videos by Mommy:
Not far away was a giant T Rex head that the kids had fun playing around. So did Mommy and Daddy, actually.
Inside the Shrek’s Castle exhibit was this pretty cool indoor ferris wheel. If you look closely you can see the birthday boy peeking out.
Here are some nice (and silly) photos of Kyle with Kara, Sara and Bryan:
And finally, at the very end of the day, we happened upon the boys’ hero, Optimus Prime. (He’s one of the Transformers.) The big guy was just about done with his day’s work of posing with little boys and girls, and it so happened that Nyan, Jayden and Kyle were the final three guests of the day. They insisted that Daddy join them for a meet-n-greet.
(By the way, those glasses were for the 3-D Transformers ride. The boys loved it.)
So overall, was the birthday outing to Universal Studios Singapore a success? Yep. Exhausting though, as we mentioned. Check out this snapshot from the taxi ride home:
We couldn’t quite believe it, but the calendar didn’t seem to be lying: on July 26, our boy turned six years old. Where does the time go, and all that. But there wasn’t much time to ponder the sifting sands of time, because we had a birthday to celebrate!
His birthday this year fell on a Wednesday, which means a school day. So we did what we did last year: ordered a special cake and brought it in to share with all his classmates. Here’s the cake:
There were candles of course. And songs.
As Mommy cut the cake, Nyan played the gracious host, passing out napkins to his friends.
Then everyone patiently lined up and got cake. Nyan helped here, too.
Here are all the kids, enjoying the cake and the party.
Of course, it’s not a birthday without presents! Nyan was quite happy as he opened his various gifts. When he saw that he was getting a Lego Batwing, he exclaimed, “Yes! All my dreams are coming true!”
Coming soon: a look at a very special Sunday with Nyan’s besties to celebrate his birthday.
Every so often – too often for Mommy and Daddy, to be frank – we treat Nyan to a meal at his favorite-ever cafe, a place down the road called Batter Fluffy Flaps. He’s always loved the place. Not sure why, but probably part of it is because the staff are lovely and friendly and let him run around all he wants. There’s also a chalkboard where he can draw, a couch to hang out on, a small bar areas where he likes to eat, and cool post-industrial decor combined with cute Japanese cartoon characters. It’s an odd but charming little place.
It also happens to be just down from another restaurant that has a disabled motorcycle on display out front; on our way home from BFF, Nyan often loves to climb aboard and pretend to be riding.
Oh, and there’s ice cream. Sometimes they give him a little taste for free; sometimes he gets a full scoop or even a cone. No matter what though, a sticky mess is guaranteed.
Bonus: in writing this blog post, the author learned the real name of the place (Battery Fluffy Flaps). We’ve been calling it Batty Flappy Flaps for three-plus years now. Live and learn.
We had long heard of how wonderful the animal-free Canadian circus called Cirque du Soleil is. So when they launched a six-week run here in Singapore, we made sure to get tickets for a late-Sunday-afternoon performance. We were definitely not disappointed.
Here we are outside the tent, pre-show. It was a *very* bright and hot afternoon.
In our seats:
And the circus itself. It’s hard to describe, really. There are some traditional circus acts, like contortionists and tightrope walkers (also tightrope bike riders). And there’s things like a dude stacking chairs to 40 feet in the air, then doing handstands from atop that stack. And the Wheel of Death – two giant hamster wheel-type things that spin independently and also spin around a central point between them, with two guys running and jumping inside the wheels and then climbing on top, running in place as the wheels spin, jumping and flying for a moment as the wheels rotate away from them. You can find examples on Youtube, and it’s well worth checking out. Just spectacular.
We were all quite impressed overall. Afterwards, we snapped some pictures of the Singapore skyline at dusk:
And then had dinner at the nearby Marina Bay Sands mall. Our hero was pooped and started to fall asleep in mommy’s arms at the table:
But by the time we’d paid the bill and headed for home, he perked up more than enough to toss some coins into the black marble fountains to make a wish or two.