Monthly Archives: January 2018

Ice Hockey in the Heart of Winter

It was a cold, cold time in late December in Iowa; we would routinely wake up to temperatures of -10 degrees F (-25 Celsius). So we decided to celebrate by – what else – going to an ice hockey game!

The city of Cedar Rapids, just up the road from Grandma and Grandpa’s place, has a semi-pro hockey team, and Uncle Scott pulled together a family outing to a game against a team from Chicago one night. It was good turnout: besides Nyan and Daddy, we had Grandma and Grandpa; Scott and Maggie; Mike, Sarah and Mia; and Alycia, Brad and young Kennedy.

The ice arena wasn’t huge, but it was pretty crowded, especially given how painfully cold it was outside.


Nyan spent time sitting on various laps:

(Note: it wasn’t *that* cold inside. Those photos where we’re in winter coats were taken shortly after arrival. The coats came off soon after.)

We had good seats, near the ice and just to the left of the goal. They were also right next to where the Cedar Rapids team came off and on the ice, which gave a chance to steal some high-fives from the players (along with a *very* zealous fan):

For much of the game, Nyan and Kennedy hung out by the glass, watching the action, jumping around, chit-chatting and generally being goofy with each other. These two are about two years apart in age, but have never spent any significant time together, since Nyan lives on the other side of the planet. So it was heartening to see them hanging out and being pals.

Check out that excitement when Cedar Rapids scored a goal!

The game ended with an overtime loss for Cedar Rapids. Bit of a bummer, that, but still a fun evening. Here’s Nyan giving Uncle Scott and thank-you hug in the frigid parking lot after the game:


And finally, here’s Daddy, showing his “ten-below-zero” face. Brr.


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Posted by on January 31, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Another Trip to Chicago

We punctuated our trip to Iowa with a quick roadtrip in to Chicago to see some dear friends. Most notably, Pearl – Nyan’s first canine love.

Of course, whatever continent he’s on, you can always find Nyan with his nose in a book.

Though he did manage to squeeze in some ping-pong.

And he hung out with Pearl in front of a Christmas tree:

And helped Todd and Linda decorate their tree:

Todd and Linda happen to be renovating their house, so we got to take a tour of the very unfinished new master bedroom, and poke around the construction site. Nyan made himself useful by moving handfuls of gravel from one pile to another.

A fun trip, a short trip. But a long drive – which found Nyan doing what he does best on a long drive: dozing.


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Posted by on January 27, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Woodworking with Uncle Scott

Uncle Scott — a.k.a. Nyan’s Daddy’s brother — likes to make things out of wood. (One of Nyan’s oldest toys, in fact, is a rocking horse that Scott made soon after Nyan was born. He’s long since outgrown it, but it still sits proudly in his bedroom. Check it out here.) Scott’s got a lot of saws, drills and other woodworking equipment at his house, and whenever we’re in town, he invites Nyan to come over. This last visit was no different, so on Christmas Eve Day, we drove over to Scott’s and spent a few hours in shop.

Scott had a few projects ongoing, so he had Nyan help out with the drill and some sawing. Proper eye and ear protection gear was worn, and of course Scott made sure no little fingers or hands were anywhere near anything dangerous.

Scott had bought a little kit to make a wooden recycling truck, which basically entailed some hammering and sticker-placing (in other words, no drilling or sawing). It was a fun little thing to put together:

(There was a TV on in the shop, showing an NFL football game, and our woodworkers kept glancing over at it.)

Surely the highlight of the afternoon came when Nyan took a few pieces of scrap wood and started drawing lines on them. He asked Scott to saw them off at the lines, and then started putting them together. Scott quickly figured out what was up, and got out some glue to help Nyan assemble a little table! Really cool design.

We had to leave it in Iowa as it was too big and bulky to fit into our luggage. Still, a really impressive bit of creativity by our young engineer, we thought.

Finally it was time to head back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. But not before Aunt Maggie got Nyan to pose for a few pictures.

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Posted by on January 23, 2018 in Uncategorized



The Best Day of the Year (a.k.a. Christmas Day)

No, Nyan didn’t actually call it that. But he’s a six year old boy; who could blame him if he did?

We got to spend Christmas this year at Grandma and Grandpa’s in Iowa – a rare treat for everyone. The day began as it should: with the tearing-open of presents left by Santa.

Nyan was especially excited that ol’ Kris Kringle brought him a big Lego kit he’d been dreaming of. Here he is after the mayhem, pointing out that Santa ate the cookies he’d left out for him:

We went over the river and through the woods to Great Grandma’s for Christmas lunch; here’s Nyan on the drive:

Then back to Grandma and Grandpa’s for more presents and more food. Here’s a happy young man, practicing his dance moves before the rest of the family arrived:

He also found a little time to record holiday greetings to his cousins in England:

And he hung out with various Iowa cousins too:

Then there were more presents to open:

Nyan was certainly in the spirit of the holiday. Last but not least, here he is “leading” Grandma in a dance to the tune of a holiday classic.


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Posted by on January 19, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Nyan, in the Snow 

We made it to Iowa in mid-December. It was cold, the trees were bare… but there was no snow, much to Nyan’s chagrin. But then… a Christmas Eve miracle! We got a couple inches of light, fluffy snow. Too dry to make snowballs or snowmen, but plenty good for wandering around in and even making a snow angel.

We made sure Nyan was properly outfitted for his alpine excursions, with Star Wars stocking hat, snow pants, sweaters, heavy winter coat and snow boots.

This was actually not his first time in the snow — here he was in Iowa a few years back, and here we are visiting a local indoor snow place in 2016. But the latter doesn’t really count, and he has zero memory of that first brush with snow and extreme cold. And, yes, we had a few light dustings of snow in London, but again, no memory. So we can sort of count this as his first time in snow. So with that, here we go, his first steps in snow:

Some photos of Nyan (and Daddy) in the snow:

He found a stick and decided to go around “whacking” and clearing the snow off of trees and other items.

And he made his first-ever snow angel!

A few days later, it got really cold – like sub-zero Fahrenheit. We didn’t play outside in that, but we did when it was a bit “warmer” (i.e. in the teens Fahrenheit, -10 C). We made sure to be extra bundled up:

It was awfully cold, but pretty. We leave you with a few random scenery shots.

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Posted by on January 15, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Friends and Family 

Nyan got to spend a lot of time around loved ones in the month of December. Let’s look at some of it.

First up, goofing around with his bestie Jayden on the last day of school for the year:

Uncle Jeff came to Singapore in early December, so Nyan got to hang with him a bit, including an afternoon at the Singapore Slingers basketball game.

Nyan really loves his cousin Mia, and when we were in Iowa he got to hang out with her several times, from watching her play a soccer game to building gingerbread houses together to just goofing around the house.

Speaking of that soccer game, here’s Nyan on the sidelines, being an exhausted and jetlagged goofball. (This was about 12 hours after we first arrived in Iowa, so our bodies and brains had no idea what time or day it was. Of course, to be honest, Nyan acts like this all the time…)

He also spent one afternoon with cousin Faith. Here they are at a restaurant, hugging their goodbyes:

And earlier in the day, doing a little skit for the benefit of the adults.

That same evening, Nyan tried his hand at ping pong and foosball with Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Mike and Aunt Sarah in the play area of the restaurant we were at:

We also attended a family get-together, with Grandma Lyon, her kids and various cousins, at Daddy’s cousin Bret’s place.

Bret’s kids showed off their considerable piano chops, which led Nyan to show off his own, not-quite-as-considerable chops:

Mostly, though, Nyan just rolled around on the floor.

Good times!

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Posted by on January 11, 2018 in Uncategorized


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The Holiday Season in Singapore


Artwork by Nyan

We spent the second half of December in Iowa, but that meant we spent the first half in Singapore, wrapping up school and generally getting into the holiday spirit. Grandma and Grandpa did their part to help us with the holiday spirit by sending a box full of little presents for Nyan to open, one each day in December leading up to Christmas Day itself. Yes, it’s blatant spoiling of their grandson, but what can you do? They like it, Nyan likes it. Here’s some of the fun:

He really liked this skeleton:

This is a Lego-esque Iowa Hawkeye thing:

Getting super excited about a Darth Vader toy:

There was more to December than just presents, though. Not much, but some. Like this scene of Nyan and Mommy building a big Lego shark-vehicle thing:

Fnally, just a smattering of random shots from the month:

Stay tuned to upcoming blog posts for a whole lot of pictures from Iowa. And snow.

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Posted by on January 7, 2018 in Uncategorized



Nyan Thomas, Elf!

For much of the autumn, Nyan (and occasionally Jayden) would occasionally and suddenly burst into a song. “I always get, that special glow, when the snow comes falling down… I belong in Christmastown!” It was a bit random, especially in sunny, equatorial Singapore. Come to find out they were learning the song for their school Christmas play/musical. Well, finally, in early December, it was time for the play itself.


It was held at a public school auditorium just up the road, and included all seven grades from Nyan’s school, performing before an audience of parents and grandparents. Here’s Nyan’s class singing a song about having a happy jolly Christmas:

The play itself was a telling of the Will Farrell Christmas movie Elf, which none of us had seen (in fact, we started watching it over the holidays, but Nyan didn’t like it, so we stopped). We won’t bore you with videos of the songs performed by the other classes, but it was actually a fun musical with lots of good performances. There are some talented kids at Nyan’s school.

After the musical, there were some photo shoots, including group shots of Nyan’s class:

Daddy took some close-ups of our hero being silly:

Jayden was there, as was his younger brother Jonnie, who also attends Chatsworth, so we got some candid shots of the three of them goofing around.

It was a nice way to kick off the holiday season, as well as wind down the school semester.

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Posted by on January 3, 2018 in Uncategorized


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