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An Afternoon in an Urban Garden

One weekend in November, Mommy signed up herself and Nyan for an urban gardening workshop, to get back in touch with their green thumbs.

They learned about different types of plants, planting techniques, and more. And it was hands-on! Lots of digging and planting — with several planters full of plants that came home and are now happily growing on our sunny balcony.

The instructors were friendly.

It wasn’t just inside though — there were lessons outside too. And chickens!

(Okay, yes, we know, technically that’s a rooster.)

Regardless, it was a fun and worthwhile way to spend an afternoon!

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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Fun with Friends, Indoors and Out

Nyan had a lot of good times with friends, both indoors and outside, during October 2020.

Such as playing in the pool with Nadia, as seen here from 20 stories up:

We had a playdate with Edris, which included reading at lunch and Lego playing:

Getting some exercise and fun at the playground with Jayden and Lily:

Nyan and Edris also spent some time at a mini soccer camp.

Here they are on a sweaty walk after camp:

And finally, some fun in the pool, and poolside, also with Edris.

Good times! 

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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Family Hikes in the Singapore Jungle

Singapore is a pretty urbanized, built-out, concrete jungle, but there are a few places where the natural, leafy jungle still rules. The local government has done a good job of protecting these places and putting in well-maintained trails for residents to get back to nature. On two Sundays in October, that’s exactly what we did.

Our hero, ready for some outdoor action

First up was a family outing to a place called Dairy Farm Nature Park. It was, in fact, the site of a dairy farm at one point; the first in the tropics, I’m told. Now it’s hilly paved trails leading to an old quarry. It’s quite popular; too much so, I would argue, but that’s life on a densely populated island during a pandemic when no one can fly away!

We digress. Check out these pics from the hike. There were monkeys:

And there was that quarry:

And some family pics and family selfies:

It was a short walk, and very crowded, but still nice.

The following weekend, Nyan and Daddy set off for a more private hike, this time at a place called Thomson Nature Park. They carved it out of the jungle just a couple years ago, and it’s obviously not too popular yet. That was fine by us! We had the hills and trails mostly to ourselves. 

The jungle here was thick:

Some of the leaves grew quite large. Yes, that’s actually a Nyan-sized leaf; it’s not a trick of perspective.

A lovely little stream:

Both hikes were, of course, hot and sweaty, but well worth it. Always nice to get out into wild nature.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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Summer Break: Riding a Bike

We got Nyan a bike with training wheels several years ago, and a while back we took off those training wheels and Daddy tried to teach him to ride down in the basement parking garage. It was not a success. Many months later Daddy thought he’d buy Nyan a real bike and take him to a park where he could ride on the grass — soft in case he crashed. But then the coronavirus came and… yeah. Didn’t happen.

Once Singapore came out of lockdown in June, bike lessons were a top priority for us. But we got smart: we outsourced! Found a local company that does lessons, booked a lesson (actually two lessons, a Saturday morning and a Sunday morning) and off we went.

It was a complete and total success.

First step was learning to balance. Piece of cake.

And then… he was riding. Pretty much just like that – within half an hour of the lesson starting. Impressive! We took a lot of video; here are just a few.

By the way, the lesson was held under a freeway bridge going over the bay. Made for nice views!

We went back for the second day of lessons. Not really necessary, but it made him get even better.

Then it was time to buy his own bike! We stopped by the local sporting goods store where he showed off his chops by riding through the store. (It’s fine; they encourage it.)

In the end, we ordered a bike online as an early birthday present. They delivered it one Sunday evening.

We took it out for a spin around the pool right away:

And many times over the following days and weeks.

It wasn’t long before it became a weekend routine for Daddy and Nyan to take long, leisurely bike rides along the waterfront. Very proud of our boy! 

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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A Slow Return to Normalcy

We started to slowly come out of coronavirus lockdown in June 2020, but in a very restrained way. 

Nyan started to go back to school, in proper protective garb:

But it wasn’t full-time in-class learning. Here he is in mid-June, excitedly playing some sort of on-line quiz in Mandarin class from home:

Toward the end of the month we were allowed to socially mix again, so we quickly put together a sleepover with Jayden. The boys had a blast of course, playing and watching a movie and reading.

We also took a quick trip one Saturday afternoon to Gardens by the Bay. All the indoor gardens were closed, but we could walk around the jungle-park areas outside. Had it almost entirely to ourselves, and it was a great little trip to get some fresh air and exercise.

How empty was it? This is the passageway from the subway to the park. Usually heaving with people.

To be honest, Nyan wasn’t especially thrilled to be there, as you can maybe see from his body language in these pictures. Oh well. It was a good thing to do.

Maybe best of all: our swimming pool reopened in June! We celebrated with a slow-motion jump:

Swimming lessons resumed soon thereafter, as did his usual goofing around with Pang, his instructor.

Nyan also showed off his somersault moves, after some prodding from Daddy: 

Yes, it was good to be back. Things started to really ramp up in July. More on that in upcoming posts!

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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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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Monkeys on a Nature Hike

Off in Western Singapore is a fairly tall hill (by Singapore standards at least) that’s covered in jungle and criss-crossed with some steep, though well-paved, trails. It’s the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, and it’s a popular place for people to go hiking on the weekend. So one hot Saturday afternoon in February 2020, that’s exactly what we did.

It happens to be very close to where BFF Jayden lives, so Jayden and little brother Jonnie came with. And those three boys weren’t the only monkeys on the trail!

It was a good long hike, steep in parts (as mentioned) and very sweaty.

But it was a very nice stroll through the jungle.

Finally we reached the top and celebrated by climbing atop the ceremonial boulder.

Bonus behind-the-scenes material: Nyan and Jayden walking to the subway station on our way to the park:

And dancing as they waited for the subway:

Special bonus: just outside the park was a small cafe. We didn’t go in, but Nyan the sloth-lover absolutely had to get a picture taken with the sign.

An afternoon of sloths and monkeys. Nothing wrong with that! 

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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Christmas in the Maldives!

In mid-December we hopped a Singapore Airlines jet for the Maldives, the low-lying island chain southwest of India. We’d long been fascinated by the place, after seeing pictures of coral atolls and sandy beaches, so we headed to a resort for a week or so, a little bit before Christmas.

It was amazing and we can’t wait to return!

We stayed at a resort called Kurumba, which took up the whole of a small island a short speedboat ride away from the island where the airport was built/ Check out these pictures of the resort and the surrounding beaches and water.

We had a little cabana right on the beach.

The resort offered diving, yoga, swimming… typical beach resort amenities. There wasn’t really all that much to do overall — which was exactly the point. Daddy went diving a lot, but otherwise we dd a lot of hanging out, reading, relaxing.

Nyan on the gorgeous beach that surrounded the entire island:

The lagoon around the beach were very shallow and warm. Sometimes a baby shark would swim by:

Don’t worry, the sharks weren’t dangerous. So Nyan spent a lot of time in the water too.

We took a lot of family pictures too:

Mostly we walked around the resort but one day we indulged Nyan’s desire to get a ride on the golf cart.

Yeah, Nyan spent most of the time being his normal self. Reading, sleeping, just being Nyan.

Including being a goofball from time to time:

Fianlly, some shots from the traveling experience. On the plane, at the airport…

And on the speedboat on the ride to the airport our last morning.  Ahh. Lovely.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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One Magical, Monster-y Night

Sometimes the best evenings are the ones you don’t quite expect. That was a lesson our boy learned one late November evening.

To set the scene: he had been very much looking forward to a return visit to Monster Jam — the monster truck exhibition we had attended a couple years ago. (See our coverage of it here.) There was plenty of marketing, including giant print ads at bus stops, for the show, which was set for early December, a week or so from this particular evening.

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So this one weekday evening in November, we decided on a quick visit to the beach for some digging in the sand at dusk. Always a fun time:

After dinner at a waterfront restaurant, we took a stroll home. Our route happened to take us by the Roxy Square hotel, a popular and good-sized mid-priced hotel in our neighborhood. And lo and behold, what was parked outside the hotel to drum up interest in Monster Jam?

Nyan’s favorite Monster Jam truck — Megalodon!

He was over the moon. It was a dream come true — the answer to his prayers, he said later (he clarified that, were he the praying type, this is exactly what he would have prayed for).

Okay, this wasn’t that big a deal in the grand scheme of things, but it made our boy very happy. What’s not to lover about that?

Stay tuned for more about Monster Jam itself in an upcoming post…

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Happy Birthday to Jayden!

Nyan’s bestie Jayden turned 9 years old in October. To celebrate, he hosted a bunch of friends at this treehouse obstacle course in a park not far from here in November. The kids would put on safety gear including helmets and harnesses, link in to the wire system that would keep them from falling, and do various climbing and ziplining activities at a range of heights.

Here’s Nyan getting geared up, and a shot of some of the climbing structures from the ground.

The boys are set to go! Nyan’s a little nervous at this point and needs a little encouragement but he perseveres.

And here we go…

The first stages were fairly easy and very low to the ground.

But they very quickly got quite high.

They got harder and harder, and kinda scary, but our boy did it!

Some still photos from the action:

After a sweaty morning of climbing and whatnot, it was time for food and drink

And goofing around with the other boys.

Nyan and Jayden had an afternoon playdate after the party, so there was plenty more goofing.

A really fun day! The duo got together several other times over the course of the month; here’s a bit of what they got up to.

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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