Tag Archives: family

Hanging with Phwa Phwa

Phwa Phwa – Mommy’s Mommy – stayed with us for a few months, escaping much of the cold, dark, dreary and damp English winter. It was lovely to have her, and Nyan certainly enjoyed the companionship and attention.

She spoiled him, as grandmothers are wont to do. (To be honest, she somewhat spoiled mommy and daddy too, cooking us delicious meals nearly every night!)

All good things must end, and in late January, she needed to return home. Seeing her off at the airport brought a special treat: a model showing what the place will look like once they build the new, gigantic Terminal Five about a decade from now.

Then it was time to say goodbye, in a lush flower garden they installed inside the airport terminal. We do love Changi Airport.

Farewell, Phwa Phwa, and come back any time!

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Posted by on February 12, 2018 in Uncategorized



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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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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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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To the Zoo with Uncle Oo

In October, Nyan’s Uncle Oo — aka Mommy’s brother Sean — came to Singapore with a friend for about a week, on his way to a wedding in India. His visit coincided with a public holiday, so we were able to have some fun on a weekday. We decided on a trip to the Singapore Zoo, where Nyan hadn’t been in a couple of years.

It turned out that we were visiting on what would prove to be the hottest day of the year (36 degrees Celsius, about 97 Fahrenheit, with the usual equatorial jungle levels of humidity). But no matter: we still had a blast.

We went to a show that featured birds and snakes. At one point Nyan ran up to the front. Not sure why.

Nyan did a lot of animal viewing.

We snacked and ate too.

And check out these various critters, including the gorgeous white tiger, a hungry tapir, and a turtle who looked to be headless (he wasn’t really headless).

A really fun (if hot and sweaty and exhausting) day. We managed to take some other photos with Uncle Oo that week, including a few with Mommy and a goofy little boy.

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Posted by on November 14, 2017 in Uncategorized


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A Picnic in the Park

One pleasant June afternoon, Aunt Maggie announced she wanted to take Nyan on a picnic. So off they went! with Grandma and Grandpa in tow.


The picnic was at a lovely park that was chock full of fun things. Like a sand pit…

And a water play area that almost made us feel like we were back in Singapore:

And plenty of playground equipment to climb on and slide down.

Best of all, maybe, was the simple, the classic, the swing.

What kid doesn’t love to swing?

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Posted by on July 21, 2017 in Uncategorized


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