Pumpkin Season!

What else would we do in Fall and during Halloween season but go check out the pumpkin farms right?? 
OMG! We had such an awesome day!
First, it is always much more fun when you go with friends! We arranged to go with some friends. Fern and Stanley introduced us to a family with 3 lil kids and our kids get along real well. So we all, including auntie Fern and uncle Stanley, came along for a Saturday morning with pumpkins. So the boys really had a lot of fun running around together.
It’s funny that initially Irfan felt conflicted about his new friends. He told me he couldn’t play with these new friends because he already had his cousin Mik as a friend. He was afraid of betraying their frienship I think- everyone say awwwww….I explained to him that Mik wouldn’t mind if he made some new friends…Right Mik???

We had some options to choose from and we chose Krolls Farm, a small family owned farm about 40 mins from where we live. It’s known more for being a more traditional farm with a simpler fall festival. There are a lot of more commercialized farms with more activity, but you know *ka ching* everything needs $$$.

I was given the responsibility of where we would go and I decided that given this is my kid’s first experience at a pumpkin farm, that I should definitely not raise the bar too high. If we went to a flashy farm with bouncy castle, rides, etc. then they”ll expect ALL pumpkin farms to be like that right? So decided for cheaper option. Which really ended up to be a wonderful experience!

There was a small petting zoo, enough to get the boys excited but not too big that they go totally nuts! We also went on a tractor ride (not too expensive) and the tractor was driven by Mr Randy Kroll, the owner of the farm. He was quite amazing, telling us fun facts about pumpkins and gourds and he was funny and entertaining. It was nice to get driven around by the owner of the farm.

Did I mention it was a beautiful day? We were very lucky. The boys already miss the pumpkin farm, and we may go back this season just for fun. =)

2013: A Rough but Wonderful Reminder of our continuing journey of Parenthood.

It’s a New Year.
I spent most of the last few weeks really wondering where the year had gone. Kept asking myself, what had I achieved in 2012?
For awhile I was thinking- yar the boys! The boys were my gift for 2012!  But then it dawned upon me that I was soo mistaken. They were 2011 babies. I pondered on but I still can’t think about anything significant I achieved in 2012. 
Sad, huh?
Well, I was even sadder when I missed the last few hours of 2012 last night. Irfan was throwing a tantrum from early on in the evening…and by the time i got him to sleep at about 10pm or so…I was exhausted and fell asleep alongside him.
Woke up at 12.30am…devastated that I had missed the countdown. 
Went back to sleep only to be awaken by Ihsan at 5.30am, who decided he wasn’t about to be left out of the tantrum throwing and decided to throw one too.
Sigh…
It was like they were trying to remind me that while it may be a New Year and they may just be a little bit older, that my job of parenting them is far from over. My babies may no longer be tiny little things that need to be fed every 2hrs but they need my attention, love and care nonetheless. Maybe even more so now! 
And you know…the odd thing was that they were angels the rest of the day. We went out for brunch at Cedele and they were such a delight there. Eating happily, smiling and being all sunshine and kisses! Sure, Ihsan threw up in the cab on the way back. But he was absolutely pleasant about it, and proudly called out to the taxi Uncle to look at how he had vomited all over the back seat. Hahah! (Taxi uncle was not amused)
So yeah, I guess the rough nights aren’t over. We have yet to see our last tantrum and we’ll definitely be cleaning up more vomit along the way. 
But our hearts will always, at the end of the day, be full of love and happiness.
So here’s to a wonderful 2013 with our loved ones. May we cherish every moment we have with each other!
Ihsan enjoying his breakfast of toast and scrambled eggs. He proceeded to throw everything up in the cab ride home. =(

Hubs with Irfan. Look how they have such cute tiny eyes! 
Ihsan and I. He definitely has my nose. Not to mention the same flair for dramatics!

He’s going to be a heartbreaker, this Irfan. Can’t you see it already? 

The apples won’t fall far from the tree!

Me as kiss at our D&D
If you look closely, you can already see the signs that the apples aren’t going to fall very far from the tree! =)
Irfan on the left, practising his rocker growl!
Malays have a similar saying…Kemana tumpah kuahnya kalau tidak ke nasi? which literally means, where will the gravy fall if not on the rice. (hur hur…i’m a brilliant translator, I tell ya!) 

Ihsan’s got the black lips down pat!

I can only imagine the mayhem they will get into when they are bigger. And really, I only have myself to blame! hehehe…..

Noisy Football Match

We’ve had this book ‘Noisy Football Match’ for quite some time now. It was a gift from our Aunt Marina who is just absolutely awesome at picking really wonderful reads. They boys have always loved this book. Largely because the panel on the very right could be pressed to make sounds of the football match. For example, if you press the picture of the referee blowing the whistle, you’d hear a “peet, peet” whistling sounds. There are cues in the book for when to press which buttons, which makes the book come ALIVE! 
So it was absolutely an adventure, out of the pages of their storybook, when they went for their first ever football match. A good friend invited us to join him to watch the Final day of matches of the Nexx Lions Football Cup, which comprised of Under 19 players from clubs from around the world like Manchester United, Liverpool, Sporting Lisbon and even Singapore fielded an Under 19 team.

 I was stoked to be able to support the u19 Liverpool team play against Sporting Lisbon. Too bad Liverpool didn’t win, but it was still an awesome match. Sporting Lisbon played really well and it was really exciting to think that some of these young boys are going to be football giants like Ronaldo, Nani, Luis Figo in future!

Ihsan looking all handsome in his Man U kit!

We were initially nervous that the twins would be too wriggly and distract everyone else. And you know what, they did. They kept running up and down the grandstand. But everyone thought they were very very cute. At least I kept telling myself that, but who doesn’t love a pair of excitable twins in matching football kits getting excited about football? And since we were in the VIP area, they had loads of places to run to and I could whisk them off to somewhere quiet if they needed a time out!

Of course, we came back to read the ‘Noisy Football Match’ and relived their real life experience! They are still talking about the match today! Can’t wait for our next one! Thanks Uncle Sop!

They had loads of space to run around!

They kept asking to go down to the field! =)  I’m sure they were thinking, “why are we here at a football stadium but not given any access to the football field?

2s company but 3s a crowd…NOT!

Our year end break with our boys was extra special this year because we spent extra time with our lil cuzzin Mik. We came across extra tickets for the SSO Baby Prom, which was awesome by the way, and decided to bring Mik along! We also made a trip to the zoo together!
While it’s awesome to have a twin to hang out with all day, it’s EXTRA awesome when you have a cousin just a year older to join in the fun.
It’s really cute how these three are turning out to be such awesome buddies. Mik comes to my mom’s every Thursday and Friday, and he never fails to ask for the twins. I think he sometimes struggle with waiting for the clock to show it’s 4.30pm, which is when my mom will bring him along to pick the twins up from childcare! Mom says he asks, non-stop, for the twins. =)

And they’ve grown soooo much too. I couldn’t help but look through the photo album to pick out pics of the 3 of them together. I found these adorable ones!

We went through an adorable phase of trying to dress them in matching onesies! 

It’s also always more fun doing stuff together. Makes it more worth our while to go through the labourious work of pumping up the rubber pool and filling it with water!

Sometimes I look at them, and they remind me of the triplets on the movie Brave! They’ve got a book out, by the way. It’s a real simple book with that awesome illustration that was basically the movie.  It focuses more on the triplets this time. Not literary genius, but a nice follow through from the movie if you and your kid have watched it.

I really prefer a newly published book this year- ‘What Brothers do best!’ There’s also a sister’s version which is super cute, with pairs of different animal brothers and sisters. It’s a simple book with beautiful illustrations. And it has that calming sibling effect compared to Brave’s ‘Oh Brother’, which seems to just suggest mayhem aplenty. I really don’t need anymore mayhem in my life!

Check out the book. Don’t think its in our bookshops yet, since it’s so new though. =)

Post Va-cay Catch Up- Shang Rasa Sentosa!

I told myself I would not go anywhere near work emails during my 2 week vacation. I successfully did so. In fact it was so liberating that I stayed away from the laptop and macbook as well. So besides occasional iPad time, I spent almost zero time on the laptop and macbook. Which was awesome!

So now, I’ve got to play catch up!

When planning our end of year break, we thought really hard and decided on a staycation at Sentosa. With the terrible twos having come early, we thought the stress of handling 2 strollers, the massive luggage and their tantrums through custom checks, immigration queues and flight time, would negate any of the happy and relaxed vibes we may get from the holiday.

So we checked into Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa. A tad pricey at $500 plus per night, but it was surely worth it!

Ihsan with our free blow-up ball!

We were a tad disappointed when they told us that the kids pool was closed for renovations. We did pick the hotel because of the kid friendly pool. But we soon found that the adult pool was very kid-friendly too, with lots of shallow areas for the boys to wade in all by themselves. With close supervision from us of course!

Ihsan again!

We brought like a TON of pool toys and they STILL wanted to play with other kids toys! We did nothing all day but swim and nap!

Irfan and me. This was a pre-meltdown photo!

Of course, food is quite expensive in Sentosa. We only ventured out once to a Halal restaurant at Siloso Beach which had decent Asian food at reasonable prices. But, most of the time we depended on room service or the hotel eateries. Largely because the boys would be pooped up their morning and afternoon swims and take really long naps!

Ihsan with his breakfast plate- biscuits, cereal, papaya, sweet corn and scrambled eggs!

I loved the buffet at the Shang. It was very kid friendly, with a special buffet line for kids. My only complain is I don’t understand why kids’ food- must mean sugary cereals, buns etc. I can’t be the only mom that limits her kids sugar intake and prefer whole foods and cereals for their kids?

Irfan with his own breakfast plate!

In fact, I loved the fact that the staff were really friendly with the kids and patient with tantrums and screaming. We had a fair share of meltdowns at the hotel restaurants. It was nice that the staff would offer sweets and chocolates to the kids to try and calm them down, but they should ALWAYS ask the parents if that’s ok first!
One night, at their Middle Eastern restaurant, the boys started crying cos they were starving! The wait staff brought fish fingers out to appease them with MARSHMALLOWS! I almost had a meltdown myself. Luckily for me, my kids have no idea what marshmallows are. So they didn’t make a fuss, when I told the waiter, “No marshmallows, please!”
They were also very nice to ask at the end of our meal whether they could give our kids ice-cream. I thanked them for their generosity but said next time!
All in it was a great relaxing stay there. We’ll definitely return for a visit!

Baking with the Twins!

I’ve learnt that with multiples there are 2 things that are key to keeping my wits about me.
First, routine, routine, routine is my best friend!
Unlike a mom of a singleton, I can’t just go with the flow of my child. Because 2 children means 2 different flows…2 different needs…2 different wants…and all at different times. You could go mad. So settling them into a routine is critical! So they nap at the same time, eat at the same time, etc. I can also start planning my day around their schedule, rather than be held hostage by it.
The second lesson I learnt recently is that i have to plan my weekends, which is the when I have large pockets of time with my kids, really well. I need to plan activities to fill up the time between routine activities like meals and naps. 
If there are no structured activities that keep the boys busy and engaged, it’s likely that they get bored and then the chances of tantrums being thrown are upped. 
And tantrums, my friends, are a Multiple Mommy’s worse enemy!
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies!
But sometimes I get lazy and I absolutely forget to do any planning. So a couple of Sundays ago, I realised I had nothing up my sleeve to keep the boys occupied. They had been just playing together and had started getting into little tussles. The alarm bells went off..and I knew..I KNEW I had to plan something quick! 
Luckily for me, I had recently asked Corsage for her recipe for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. And I knew I had all the ingredients in my kitchen. So I practically yelled at the hubby, telling him to brace himself for an hour of baking!

Since this was unplanned, I found myself quite unorganised. I don’t remember why I didn’t just use the big plastic sheet we have for the boys activities instead of lining the table with old newspapers. But ah well, it served its purpose!

Daddy’s help to supervise the boys was critical to the success of this activity. 
Note to self: Don’t attempt to do this without Hubby around to help!

Yeah, well sometimes us moms like to think the kid was 100% involved in the activity, when really the parents were doing most of the work while the kid was like in la la land!  Here, Ihsan is just playing with an IKEA clip while Hubs and I were hard at work!

But they did some work of course!

This little boy has my blood coursing through his vein! He kept dipping his fingers into the batter, saying, “Ihsan want cookie!” Just like his mommy, he loves his cookies and is terribly impatient 
about it!

We had the cookies in the oven while the boys played. And after they had their lunch, they each had 1 cookie each. Yeah right, more like 2 or 3… =)

Irfan ignored me when I asked him whether the cookies were nice! =)
(Note to self: Good to have hubby around for such activities, especially when he does the washing up!)

YUMZ!!!!!
Thanks Corsage for the wonderful recipe! We’re definitely going to bake them again!

Snapshots

I’ve had a busy few weeks. Mostly work taking up a lot of mental bandwidth that all I want to do is sleep or veg out in front of the tv before bed. Didn’t help that I’ve been feeling flu-ey for close to 2 months. I keep falling ill! When i start feeling better, I fall ill again. A horrid bug is being passed around in the workplace.
 So I haven’t had much energy to blog about life outside of work and this is kinda catch-up!

Hubby went deep-sea fishing over one Sunday. He does a good job of replenishing our fish supplies. The boys were tickled when he showed them all the fish he was busy cleaning in the bathroom. This big fish looks like our favourite Rainbow Fish book!

We signed up for a parenting seminar organised by the Child Development Network ( a Ministry of Family and Social Development initiative) a couple of weeks ago. We signed up for sessions on Music for Development and Story-telling. It turned out to be a wonderful Saturday morning for us both. Hubby and I have such different interests and early childhood development is one of the few things we both are passionate about! It was like being on date, as we giggled, played music games, etc. It was Sooo much fun!

I unpacked a bunch of toys that my mom-in-law had brought along for the boys. We’ve kept them for over a year as I didn’t think they were developmentally ready for toys like this. But they’re out now! It turns out these were the toys that my brother-in-laws had kept for themselves. I think my mom-in-law did some spring-cleaning and just brought it all over for the twins! Their loss is our gain! Hur hur!

The boys have discovered lollipops! Started when my dad used it as bait to get them into the barber shop chair! Since then they keep associating the barber with lollipops. Its such a treat for them cos they hardly get ANY sweets. In fact, when doctors or other people offer them sweets, they just look at the sweets in confusion. They don’t know what sweets are and I hope it stays this way!

My team at work got split on 01 November 2012. Some of my staff are now part of another team. It was a sad day for me, cos I love each one of them tremendously! Commemorated it with cards for each, those that are still in my team, and those who aren’t. I love these locally produced cards, with phrases like- Without you my life Tombalek, I want to have a Shiok time with you, For one heck of a Chio-Bu, Pao Kah Leow card, Tolong tolong please forgive me…Funny in front, but full of feelings inside… =(

More painting! Ihsan i think has the potential to be an Oscar Winning Make-up Artist. I think his head looks like a gash from the Walking Dead!

Irfan has started to loosen up with paints. Now he likes to paint himself too! Unlike his brother, his face paints have an ethereal quality. He looks like a flower fairy compared to his brother’s Zombie look!

Cookie cookie cookie! We spent one Sunday making cookies from scratch at home. The twins made them for their favourite Aunt- Mama Dada’s birthday!

Hubs dressed up as Hang Tuah for his Dinner and Dance. I made the tanjak (Royal head-fress for him). I love this pic, cos Ihsan and his seahorse just don’t fit into the rugged Malay warrior look.

LOL!

And that’s all for now I suppose….see ya soon!

The Smiley One that went Missing!

Here’s Mister Smiley.

I always thought Ihsan would be the shy, introverted one. But he’s not. He’s very friendly, he loves to sing and dance, always says hello to people he meets on walks or in the elevator.

He loves the playground. I can see a glimmer of excitement in his eyes when he looks down at the playground from our living room. And it almost always quickly follows with a sing-song request, “Mama, playgrnnnnd?”

He loves to swim and always tries to pull on his swimsuit over his head when he finds it in my wardrobe.

And he smiles on cue, whenever I ask.

But he’s also starting to challenge us much more. Just the other day, he refused to go down for his nap and cried himself to sleep by his room door, while his brother, hubby and myself fell asleep just metres away. We were exhausted and had given up on trying to pacify him. He DID NOT want to nap!

I have to reason with him every morning, explaining why he needs to wear clothes. If given a choice, he’d love to run around in only his diapers. Well, I’m sure he’d love to run around naked if he could. =P

When I tell him to stop doing something, when I give him one last warning, he looks me in the eye, grins and then does it anyway.

And after his 2 minutes are up in his time out corner, and when I walk in to ‘lecture him’ before picking him up, he tilts his head sideways and smiles so sweetly, that I just melt. He knows that he just needs to raise his arms, say the cutest… “Sorry Mama” ever….and I am on my knees just begging for a hug and for his kisses…

Was I surprised when my mom-in-Law said that they almost lost him when he was with them over the weekend? Not really. The parents-in-law were distracted by his brother for a second, before they turned to find that Ihsan was nowhere to be seen. They were at the playground.

Apparently, mom-in-law fled towards the carpark with Irfan in her arms, calling out for Ihsan. And dad-in-law ran in the opposite direction. They found him later at the void deck of ANOTHER block!

I can imagine, how he looked as the ran after him. He would shriek in excitement and start running away, delighted that someone was engaging in a game of ‘catching’ with him!

My heart stopped for awhile when mom-in-law shared this story later that night when they dropped them off. She mentioned it like it was….. nothing. They knew better than to call me to tell me he was missing. I think if she had called, I would have dropped dead of shock!

Thank goodness they found him. I can’t imagine it, if they hadn’t! This cheeky Mr Smiley…that sigh…I can’t deny…..I think…takes after me. =P

School Sucks?

This was a photo I snapped of the boys after school last week. 
Poor exhausted looking boys!
My brother laughed when he saw the picture. 
He said that a perfect caption for the picture was – SCHOOL SUCKS!
Photo taken on my iphone 4
But I’m glad to report that, despite the picture, they’re settling in well in school.They still cry when they realise that we are leaving the centre but I think are generally ok after that.
I do feel that leaving them from 7.30 to 6pm is just way too long. So i’ve enlisted the help of my mom to pick them up at about 4.30pm. She brings them home with her for some quality playtime her and my dad. I’m sure going from 5 full days a week with the twins to none at all would be a traumatising change for them, so I think this works out quite well. She has more of the day to do her own stuff but still has some time with the boys.
And it works for me especially as the boys aren’t exposed to any Malay language during the day. They do Mandarin, which is great. But i do want them to understand and speak Malay too! So that’s grandma’s assignment!
Here’s another cute picture of Ihsan with his school bag, which is obviously WAY too heavy for him. He insisted on carrying it, so we had to help him a little bit along the way! Tooo CUTE!

Photo taken with my iphone 4