Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012...

As we enter the last hour of 2012, I just pen down what a year it has been for me.

2012 was the year I stop exercising, like totally, and got back my tummy. My weight went from 71.8kg to 79.7kg. It was also one of the most difficult phase of parenting for me, having to juggle two young boys. I did became very negative at one stage but I'm glad I'm over that stage.

The boys have also changed over the year. Lucas went from a mummy hogger to a smiley baby you can carry if you bribe him with a french fry. And he can run now, really fast. Xavier has become a big brother mentally. He beams when Lucas calls him kor kor and will sometimes initiate to lead and protect his brother. But he has also became mischievous. Just recently in school, he used his "big brother figure" (as he is one of the older children in his class) to influence his other innocent classmates to do naughty things together, somewhat like a ringleader.

This was also the year Lilian and I had the biggest quarrels, mostly housework and parenting related. But like a priest said during a recent church wedding, occasional quarrels are good. It test the relationship and strengthens the bonding. Thanks for the everything Dear. I do love you, more than when we just married.

Goodbye 2012...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Caroling 2012 - Learning Vision @ Raffles Place

Learning Vision @ Raffles Place did a short Christmas Carol at Marina Bay Link Mall and I think the children did great.

It all started 2 weeks ago when Xavier's teacher told me that they intend to bring the children around the offices of various parents to do Christmas Carols. She asked if my company would welcome such an initiative.

As it would not be possible for my company given the nature of the job, I thought the next best alternative was the building lobby where we have big decorated Christmas trees on both towers. After checking with the building manager, he replied that the use of the building lobby would be for tenant events only. He did however help asked Marina Bay Link Mall if they would be able to host the short event and the mall welcomed the school. And so, this became what would be Learning Vision @ Raffles Place first public event.

I was on leave that day and went to the performance area slightly early. Already, there were a number of parents waiting eagerly for the children's performance. So how did it go?

I think they had fun. Although it was their fourth stop and some children were getting restless (Xavier included), I think they did well. And I just love their expression at the discovery of microphones.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Have been dying to try Saveur since I saw it on Channel U's 我爱公开!Share Something. Finally got a chance to try it during lunch on our block leave. And I forget to bring my camera along. Guess its time to test my iPhone photo skills.

They occupy what looks like two shophouse units along Purvis Street. This place is very popular and the media coverage can be seen from the multiple articles displayed at the door. In fact there are quite a number of blog posts about them. The restaurant's decor is simple and rustic. They do not take reservations so be sure to go early to put your name on the name list.

Their menu is simple with not many dishes but guess that means they can concentrate on what they do best. They do change their menu pretty often. We order the Angel Hair Pasta and Foie Gras as starters.

The Angel Hair Pasta with Sherry Minced Meat and Sakura Ebi ($3.90) is excellent. The flavours are well balanced: not too salty, not too oily, not too dry. It is really yummy and Lilian finish most of it. Well, that's because she is not into the next two dishes.

Pan Fried Foie Gras with Apple Infused Port Wine and Vanilla ($9.90) first as I do not want to have duplicate flavour of Lentils (as I ordered the Roasted Pork Belly with Lentils). This is refreshing. The sweet apple bits adds a dimension to the buttery savoury Foie Gras.

I added the Foie Gras with Lentils and Pickled Onion ($7.90) after I finish the first Foie Gras. There seem to be a strong desire to taste how different both dishes would turn out and which I would prefer. The Lentils seems to enhance the Foie Gras flavour, rich and full. But I still prefer the apple infused one.

I do prefer my Foie Gras a little more cripsy on the outside yet totally melts when you put it in your mouth. These two falls a little short on that part today.

Next comes the mains. Lilian is having the Confit Of Duck With Orange Segment And Sauté Shittake ($9.90) as her main. The duck is crispy on the outside and yet the meat and tender and moist. We do find it a little on the salty side (though my brother who had this dish for dinner that very day thinks otherwise; he gave it full marks). The mash potato is excellent though. It has little tiny lumpy bits in it that adds texture to the usual boring side dish and its yummy creamy.

I ordered the Crispy Pork Belly With Poached Egg and Lentils ($10.90). The roasted skin is so crispy, Lilian would hear the "ka-cha ka-cha" sound as I cut it, yet the meat is very tender. The Lentils seems to do a great job bring out the Pork Belly's flavour too. Poached egg, love. I <3 dish.="dish." p="p" this="this">

Lilian opt for Textures Of Citrus ($6.90) as dessert. I thought the orange bits are Blood Orange but Lilian said its Grapfruit. The dessert is sweet and sour at the same time, mixed with orange ice shaving and crispy cornflasks like bits.

I took the Chocolate and Hazelnut ($7.90). It has raspberry bits and rice pop like texture. Yumz.

I saw the table beside us being served with a similar dessert plate but with nothing both foam in the middle. Puzzled, we ask the waitress. Turn out to be the special dessert "Milk and Cookies". So unique, should have tried it. So look out for special surprises like this.

It give two thumbs up. Although I tasted better, at this price range, this is one of the best you can get. Great French food at affordable price, must come again!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

HFMD Strikes Three

HFMD is back to visit us again. This time it strikes Xavier in a stealth silent manner, compared to the first time he got it and when Lucas got it earlier this year.

I first notice some very small red shots on Xavier's leg on Friday. My first thought was its probably allergy since he didn't have fever and his appetite was normal. Then Saturday the spots became more so we brought him to the doctor. That was when the doctor confirmed that Xavier's got HFMD as he had both red spots on his hands and legs and ulcers in his mouth and throat.

It seems that as long as the child has either red spots on hands and legs with either fever or ulcer, its likely to be HFMD. The strain Xavier got his time seems different from the two others we encountered before. He didn't have fever and was as energetic as before. The spots were mainly at the hands and legs and concentration near the joints. And these spots grew bigger and more blister-like.

In order to reduce the chances of Lucas also contacting HFMD, we put Xavier at my parents place. He is making the most out of the situation by asking my parents to buy toys for him when he gets well. Sneaky boy.

Xavier then recovered and got the clearance from the GP to go back to school the following Thursday. Then we got the double whammy of working parents. Lucas got HFMD on Friday and both boys are out of school again. It seems like he caught it from his brother as the symptoms were similar. We went back to their usual PD this time.

The incubation period is from 3-7 days where you can be infecting and spreading HFMD without any symptoms at all. By the time the symptoms appear, one would have already infected others. Hence Lucas could have already caught the virus from Xavier before we segregated them.

The blessing was both Lilian and I were already on leave this period and my parents were also free to help take care of the boys too. Lilian term this block leave as the "Best Block Leave Ever". :p