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Monthly Archives: September 2017

Hot Fun in the Summertime

What a month August turned out to be. New school, a great beach trip, Monster Jam… But of course there were lots of smaller moments too. Let’s take a look.

First, though, let’s look at some art work from the month of August. He’s getting ever more detailed with his drawings. And he decided he wanted to “make his own book” which means copying the pictures and words from one of his books (“The Snail and the Whale”). Did a pretty good job too!

Let’s see some other random fun:

We found an Italian restaurant with a huge play area outside. Including this trampoline:

More pictures:

Bouncing and babbling on the elevator:

And one last batch of photos. What a month, indeed!

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Monster Jam!

Monster Jam, for the unaware, is a touring spectacle of monster trucks and motorcycles that go from arena to arena, doing jumps and stunts and generally making a very loud mess. Kids (and kids-at-heart) seem to absolutely love it, so when the Monster Jam tour came to Singapore’s National Stadium, we decided to take Nyan.

As it turned out, Jayden’s folks decided to take Jayden and his younger brother Jonnie, so we made a night of it. (The respective mommies stayed home.)

It was loud, it was chaotic, it was a blast for the kids.

We got there a few minutes late because we had soccer practice just before, so we were still on the outside of the stadium as the muffler-less trucks started revving. But we found our seats soon enough. Here’s some shots of what we saw, plus our two heroes:

Check out this monster truck:

And this one:

There was a lot of music and foot-stomping to add to the general din:

More foot stomping. And check out that souvenier drinking cup Nyan got. It wasn’t expensive at all, and didn’t fall apart two days later at all. Sure.

Did the kids have a blast? They did. Not just our kids; all of them. In fact, when we returned to school the following Monday morning, just about every kid at the place greeted all their friends with the same words: “Did you go to Monster Jam?” Seems like nearly every kid in Singapore did indeed go.

 

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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New School: Chatsworth East

Nyan is now a student at Chatsworth International School (East Campus), which is conveniently located pretty much across the street from our apartment. It’s where his best pal Jayden goes, and they’re even in the same class! (They’re in Year 2 by the school’s count; that corresponds to 1st Grade in the U.S. and Year 1 (I think that’s the term) in the U.K.) He’s made a ton of friends already and generally taken to the school like a fish to water, or a monkey to the jungle.

Rewind a bit though, to a couple weeks before school started, when Nyan stopped by Chatsworth for orientation on his way to school at MMI. He checked out his classroom, found the peg where he’ll hang his backpack, and goofed around a bit in the music room:

On his first day, we of course took a lot of photos.

That’s his main uniform. A couple days a week he has physical education, so he gets to wear his PE uniform:

Class starts at 9 a.m.; if we get there earlier, Nyan has time to run around the playground with his friends.

Most days after school he walks home with Jayden. And sometimes with Nadia, another classmate who, like Jayden, lives in the same apartment complex as us.

Sometimes he hangs out at Jayden’s for a bit. There’s some sort of recording function on Jayden’s TV, which led to this classic video. Watch the boys playing for a bit, and then realize they’re being recorded (apparently by seeing their image on the TV screen) and responding appropriately.

Finally, some items on display at his school: classroom photos, and some art – a very stylized self portrait, and a drawing they did in class about being happy.

Expect many more pictures and videos from Chatsworth in the weeks and months ahead!

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Soccer Skills

Nyan’s soccer club had a skills competition one day in August. Let’s check in on how our boy’s football/soccer skills are coming along.

Here, he was supposed to do some footwork, some dribbling exercises, some passing, and then grab a pass-back and kick it in the net. He did pretty well!

Here’s a grainy look at Nyan doing some more drills:

Working on his defense with some fancy footwork:

At the end of the session, the coaches gave the kids little paper airplane kits. Nyan put his together and had some fun:

In September he signed up for an after-school soccer club on Monday afternoons, but wanted to stick with this Saturday afternoon club as well. Does that mean his skills will start to improve twice as fast? Who knows. Stay tuned!

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Pool Parties and Abacus

A couple of things Nyan did during the month of August:

One day, he went to his abacus grading exercise. See, he’s been taking an abacus class on Saturday afternoons for about a year, as a way to help him with his math. And in August, it was time for him to be graded, to see about moving on to the next level. Mommy and Daddy couldn’t be with him in the testing room; here are some pictures from outside the testing room, just before. Nervous? Nah.

And not nervous for good reason. Here’s the results:

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That’s right: 100%. Well done, Nyan!

Another afternoon we attended a birthday party for Daniel, Nyan’s playground friend from the apartment complex. There was food, balloons and a clown show:

The big attraction, though, was the kiddie pool. Nyan of course has spent many, many, many afternoons in this pool and always manages to have a good time.

He had such a good time in the pool, in fact, that after he came out, dried off, put his clothes back on and got some cake, he wanted to get back in the pool. But didn’t want to take them time to change back into his swimsuit. No matter; in he went!

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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A Visit to Telunas Beach Resort

Telunas is a laid-back beach resort on a small Indonesian island. There’s not a lot to do there except swim, eat, hike a bit, and relax. That was just what we were looking for as a way to unwind before Nyan started his new school, and to celebrate Mommy’s birthday. We are quite pleased to report the place exceeded our expectations in every way.  Here is a long report on our trip.

It’s pretty close to Singapore, which meant no air travel – just boats. We started with a half-hour ferry ride to the island of Batam, just across the channel from Singapore. Nice views of the Singapore skyline even from Indonesia:

Then we transferred to a small, low-slung traditional Indonesian fishing boat that the resort sent to pick us up. The ride was about 45 minutes through pretty calm waters, passing by untouched islands and the occasional fishing village, with most buildings on stilts above the water.

The resort is also built on stilts, jutting out over the water. The main building was the eating hall, and each individual cabin was connected by wooden pathways high above the water, eventually leading to a long stretch of beach. It was deliberately rustic and low-key, and it was great.

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Here’s the resort:

And our room, a nice-sized place with a queen bed, bunk beds and a little balcony overlooking the sea and the island.

Fun on the Beach

The beach was long and clean, very wide at low tide and pretty narrow at high tide. The whole place was thick with little crabs who would dig holes in the sand and leave little balls of sand everywhere. Great for drawing your name in, actually. We obviously spent the bulk of our time on the beach – swimming, lazing, walking, playing with the other kids at the resort.

Rope Course

The blonde, curly-haired girl you see in some of those beach pictures was Anastasia, a.k.a. Squish. She and Nyan became fast friends, starting with some bonding at the resort’s rope course.

As you can see, it was a clearing on a hill, deep in the jungle, where they had installed a few rope bridges for kids (and adults!) to test their mettle. Nyan was a little nervous but he did a great job!

More Fun in the Water

The resort had some non-motorized water sports equipment to borrow, so one afternoon, Daddy and another parent staying at the resort brought one out into the (pretty shallow) water and threw a bunch of kids on it. A blast was had by all.

The resort also had a couple of platforms for the brave-hearted to jump from and into the water. One was maybe 10 feet, the other more like 30. Both were too high for Nyan, but not for Daddy!

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The resort also offered rudimentary fishing — they’d loan you a plastic spindle with a lot of fishing line on it; you’d put some raw chicken on a hook at the end of the line and lower it down from the platforms. We didn’t catch anything but it was a nice relaxing time.

Relaxing 

Speaking of relaxing, that’s ultimately what we did a lot of at Telunas. Reading, lounging, drawing, exploring, being silly. Good times.

The Night

Every night they had a big bonfire down on the beach. Kids loved it – especially when the marshmallows came out!

One evening we did a special pizza dinner down on the beach, where we all assembled our own pizzas and then had them bake them in a wood-fired oven. And, since it was Mommy’s birthday week, we asked if they could do something special. They sure could!

We were also there during a full moon. Amazing.

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And you know ho the full moon brings out the crazy and/or goofy? Yeah. This:

Time to Go

Sadly, of course, all good things must end. So after a few nights, we had to board the fishing boat that took us back to the ferry that took us home. But we’re already making plans to return to Telunas.

It’s fair to say the trip was an unalloyed success. In case there was any doubt, Nyan started his new school a couple days later. One of the first things the children did was to draw “what I did on my summer vacation” pictures. Here’s what Nyan came up with:

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Posted by on September 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Music and Dance!

You’ve seen many times that Nyan loves music, and loves to dance. Wanna see some more? Here you go!

Watching the Singapore National Day celebrations on TV, dancing along to the music:

He’s become a huge fan of the band Foo Fighters, a song called The Pretender in particular. Nice air-guitar and air-drumming skills on display here:

Same song, different day. Definitely showing some drumming chops:

He even likes to practice his dance moves at his favorite cafe, Batty Fluffy Flaps!

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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