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Be seeing you
Please go to the new site at http://moresanityisfortheweak.wordpress.com as the blog hosting service on Blogsome will be closing.
Be seeing you
I lost a treasured friend today
The little dog who used to lay
His gentle head upon my knee
And shared his silent thoughts with me.
He’ll come no longer to my call
Retrieve no more his favourite ball
A voice far greater than my own
Has called him to His golden throne.
Although my eyes are filled with tears
I thank him for the happy years
He let him spend down here with me
And for his love and loyalty.
When it is time for me to go
And join him there, this much I know
I shall not fear the transient dark
For he will greet me with a bark.
- Author Unknown
Stanley has been with us for the last seven years, and before that, he was a champion show dog from Australia.
In his life after he retired from the show ring, he was my closest shadow, always with a goofy grin and ever ready to pounce on food that dropped from the table. We loved him, muddy paws, gassy stomach, scrappy personality and all. He was laid back, comfortable to be anywhere we were and was always ready for a hug. He was a most handsome dog who always drew attention from the graceful way he moved, and he was an unholy terror to the cats in the neighborhood.
We are very glad that he was around to witness the birth of both our sons, and though we are saddened at his passing, he will be remembered by the happy times he brought us, the long rambling exploring walks around the neighborhood he led us, and always, his great personality to love all unconditionally and equally.
So good bye Stanley, and thank you for sharing the golden years of your life with us. We wish you godspeed to the Rainbow Bridge, where the sun always shines, plenty of food to eat and there are lots of cats to chase.
Grief is not an ocean, but a bottle that can be drained.
Ian has been home with us for almost six weeks now, and we’ve kind of settled into a predictable routine. With both parents shambling about in a zombie fugue, he’s starting to make his demands known more insistently. Just like his big brother, he doesn’t really like the pacifier, spitting it right out after a few sucks and yelling (only not as loud as Sion used to do). Also, he’s no longer shy about yelling (a little) louder for feeds - still nowhere as ear-shattering as big bro, but it gets attention.
Building a House, Building a Home
Things have been going at full speed at the construction site, and ther workers are now getting the place liveable and putting in the final touches. We’ve had the inspectors coming in, and we should be getting our TOP soon.
Sion certainly seems to like the new house, if this reaction is anything to go by:
All that’s left is to finish up the wiring, lights, and the kitchen, final polish on the wooden floors, exertior shades, final coat of paint and landscaping. We’re looking forward to moving back somewhere in Nov (hopefully).
… that’s good enough for me!
Now that Sion’s almost two, we’ve been exposing him more and more to TV to supplement the stuff he picks up at school. And by TV, I mean educational programmes and shows which teach rather than just entertain. However, given recent reports of how certain children’s shows do more harm than good *coughspongsbobcough*, we’ve been rather selective on what we do allow him to watch.
Strangely enough though, the shows that we used to know and love, like Sesame Street and Electric Company seemed to hold the best learning opportunities for the little one. Ever since I discovered that Sesame Street has video podcasts for free on iTunes, I’ve been downloading them religiously - and it’s been great blast for the eldest as he’s quickly picking up letters and numbers through short 5-10 minute segments rather than staying glued to the TV the whole day (not to mention it keeps him entertained and quiet for some peace and quiet for mummy and daddy).
Hello World. Please welcome little Ian.
The newest addition to our family was born at 2.22pm on 17 Sep 2011. After just a few days, we could see a marked difference between Ian and when Sion was a baby - Ian seems quieter and better behaved; we have yet to hear him yelling for a feed, whereas when we were in the hospital with Sion, we could always tell when the baby was coming… he’d be yelling from all the way down the corridor!
Big Bro Sion came by for a visit, and he doesn’t seem too put off by the idea that he now has someone else to vie for mommy’s attention. Time will tell I guess, as we head home and mommy has to spend more time feeding and taking care of the youngest. In the meantime, we hope the toys that we prepared and handed to him at the hospital saying that it’s a gift from his lil’ brother will keep him occupied and happy.
In the meantime, it’s back to midnight watches and nappy changes.
With the baby due anytime next month, and the fact that Sion’s getting tall enough to climb out of his cot, we decided to “upgrade” Sion to a larger kids’ bed and recycle the cot for No.2. This of course meant a trip to the local Swedish Furniture Porn Shop. This decision to do so was also highly influenced in that the original baby cot did not have collapsible sides, so it was getting harder and harder for mummy to attend to Sion, especially since he insists on having only mummy feed him his milk at night.
And people wonder how he grows so tall….
Building a House, Building a Home
Separately, while we were shopping for his cot, we were also keeping an eye out for new furniture for when we move back to the completed house, probably some time in November. This week should see the paint work going in, as well as the floor and bathroom tiles delivered.
Strangely enough, it seem that we were impacted by the Japan Quake in April, as the suppliers informed us that the deliver of air-con compressors would be delayed by about two weeks due to shortages of parts in Japan.
Oh well. Adapt, React, and Overcome.
We’ll be looking at lights, as well as door handles next…
As the in-laws are away for these two weeks for a holiday, I’ve gone back to cooking our meals like before.
Last night’s dinner was a simple affair, rice with sides of grilled stuffed Portabello Mushroom with some pan-fried Spam and stir-fried Baby Corn and Lady’s Fingers with Miso sauce.
Of the lot, the mushrooms turned out the best, and it’s a relatively simple thing to make. Just finely chopped tomatoes placed on top of an overturned portabello mushrom cap that’s been rubbed with olive oil and topped with some grated Parmesan cheese and grilled in an oven at 240 deg C for about 10-15mins. Some herbs added into the chopped tomatoes would add flavor, but is not really needed.
The house is coming along nicely, with the workers finally adding the roof after torrential rain delayed works for a few weeks.
This week will be plumbing, electrical work and plastering the walls, in addition to finishing up the tiling on the roof. We’ll swing by later in the afternoon to check up on the work.
Wow… haven’t done one of these in a long time. Time seems to fly by after the little one came along, and our priorities just seemed to change, and with the second baby coming in another two months this looks to be a trend to continue. But it’s a choice we made, it’s not a “better” or “worse” than before kind of comparison - just different.
For one thing, our weekend plans now need more planning, right down to where to to go for lunch, and be back home before bedtime. Also, travel plans had been shelved till he was old enough to travel, and it looks like our next vacation will be in another 18 months’ time.
In the DVD:
+The Adjustment Bureau
+花咲くいろは (Hanasaku Iroha)
Movies to Catch - ‘11:
+Space Battleship Yamato - We dropped the baby at my mom’s and snuck out for this!
+Sucker Punch - Went to catch this after the little one fell asleep!
+Transformers: Dark of the Moon
+Cowboys and Aliens
+The Green Lantern
+Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Missed this
+Pathfinder: Advanced Player’s Guide
Running and Screaming… In the Library
Speaking of books, we brought the little one to the library after lunch at CA*California with the intention of getting him interested in reading, but he seemed more interested in playing hide-and-seek among the shelves. Oh well. At least we borrowed some interesting picture books; hopefully he’ll sit still long enough for us to read to him.
Interestingly though, one of the kid’s chairs at the library caught our eye - the Trioli children’s chair. It’s a chair with two different heights, and it doubles as a rocking horse as well. I wonder where could we get a couple of these locally? It’s high price aside (and how did the library manage to afford so many of these!?), it seems that there are no local shops that carry this design…
Taking the car for some TLC on this well-earned rest day.
Imma gonna go Volcano at Kamurocho for some Pachinko later…
After a little hunting around, we’ve managed to get the little one into a daycare that’s reasonably nearby and one that gave us pretty good vibes on inspection. Certainly, Sion seems to be enjoying himself if the first day’s photographs are anything to go by:
If nothing else, we experienced none of the horror stories of kids throwing tantrums and refusing to go to school - he promptly forgot about us the moment we stepped into the grounds and ran off to find friends and toys.
Hopefully this love of school will carry on and stay with him all life long.
We went on a family vacation last week for the very first time. After considering the various pros and cons of travelling overseas, particularly the prospect of having a cranky baby on a long flight, as well as the logistical needs to support said 17 month old baby, we settled on a five day cruise to Port Kulang and Phuket. Of course, the fact that the liner was offering a “kids cruise for free” package was also a powerful incentive, but we like the fact that there’s lots to do onboard to distract the little one.
And a good thing too, for it looked like the little one enjoyed himself throughly:
Separately, Sion appears to have taken a liking to golf when he found the mini course onboard.
You know, when I said I’ll teach you to swing metal bits around, I meant swords and not golf clubs. Also, when I said we’ll play games together, I meant board games and RPGs, and nothing about being your caddy!
Found a job for the little one during the weekly gaming sessions.
Ladies and gentlemen of the gaming table, meet my official dice roller:
Unfortunately, his first session at the table resulted in nothing but misses for the old man. Oh well. Eveyone’s got to start at level 1 somewhere…
I saw this, and just had to share:
Mahatma Gandhi walked barefoot everywhere, to the point that his feet became quite thick and hard. He also was quite a spiritual person.
Even when he was not on a hunger strike, he did not eat much and became quite thin and frail. Due to this diet, he wound up with very bad breath. Therefore, he came to be known as a . . .
Super calloused fragile mystic plagued with halitosis.
After weeks not not much happening, the ground floor and bomb shelter suddenly went up at the worksite like mushrooms after a storm.
Two weeks later, we went back again and saw that the construction company was getting ready to build the second floor:
Last weekend was spent looking at sanitary fittings: basins, taps, toilets, shower etc. Who knew that the shiny ones would cost a bomb? But on the upside, I picked out a very nice kitchen sink and a funky tap with a pull-out nozzle. Happiness.
It’s getting exciting, as we see visible progress on the house. And the speed at which the place is going up could mean that it might actually be ready to move in by the time the second baby comes along!
Along the way, we dropped into Marina Bay Sands resort to have a look, and grabbed lunch at Mozza Pizzeria.
Interestingly enough, the entire menu is in Italian - which we had a little trouble with, but being cosmopolitan Singaporeans we are, we managed to get by with what little we knew. I liked the way they presented the cutlery in a brown envelope with a little card which you can use to write your friends.
Lunch was a shared antipasti of grilled calamari, with a shared fungi pizza. We were too hungry for shots - the food disappeared almost as soon as it came. Highlight for me was that they serve beer from Brewerks:
As the pizzas are hand-crafted and wood fired, a process which takes about 45mins, I recommend ordering more appetizers to ease hunger pangs while you wait. But believe me, the pizzas are worth the wait. Each is about 10″ across, just about enough for one to two to share if not overly hungry.
We went out to Rider’s Cafe for lunch, and as usual the place did not disappoint. Strangely though, it seemed that the charmant petit café, as one reviewer puts it, is rather more packed during lunch compared to brunch the last few times we came by.
I recommend the Banger and Mash on the lunch menu, but for those with a penchant of of waking up late, they do serve the breakfast menu till 3pm on weekends.
I’m not sure at this time if the sight or smell of horses just outside the breezy cafe have awakened some ancestral memories in the little Mongol, but he certainly seemed to be fascinated by Jinglebob the horse above - he refused to move from the spot. Given his reactions from his exposure to swords earlier, I won’t be surprised if he starts running amok at home soon, and trying to ride the dogs.
We’ll come by again for pony rides when he’s a little older, and if he likes it, I guess we could always go ask Aunt LinZ and the other horsemen in the society how to go about learning to ride.
I brought the little one to hang out with the society the other day, and it seemed to make an impression on him:
He seemed to have a talent for the broadsword or saber - the guys found the old foam sword I contributed to the society long ago, and the little boy had lots of fun bopping his old man on the head. Certainly he wasn’t too fazed when a challenger stepped up:
Knowing through experience how useful it is to know how to gain the enemy’s sword, I have not wanted to fail to describe the manner which one must adopt in going to stringer and gain the same, and first, wanting to go to stringer the adversary’s sword, on the inside as on the outside, according to the occasion, you will first have to stringer the same at a distance of about one palmo from the point; if it occurs that you have to stringer on the inside, you will make the point of the sword aim at the adversary’s right shoulder; and if on the outside, at the left shoulder. Having done so, you will go walking towards the adversary’s sword; if it occurs that he disengages, in that instant you will counterdisengage with a return of your sword to its place, or with the same counterdisengage you will strike him in the tempo of his disengage. Moreover, if it occurs that the adversary approaches in order to stringer your sword, on the inside as well as the outside, which is lying level in the straight line with your arm extended, in that instant you will disengage and stringer, walking forward; and if it occurs that you have to disengage in order to stringer on the inside, you will carry your right foot forward during the disengage, bending your body toward your right side, holding your left hand near your right, and then passing with your left foot, you will strike him with a thrust in the breast in quarta; and if you have to disengage in order to stringer on the outside, you will in a similar manner carry your right foot forward with a bending of your body to your left side, and passing with the left foot, strike the chest in seconda. Moreover, be aware that the following figures demonstrate stringering the sword on the outside in terza; however you must follow the rule of gaining the sword of the adversary as stated above.
Welcome to the society, son.
Happy New Year of the Rabbit, everyone!
Wishing all our friends and family a healthy and prosperous year ahead.
Look what I found!
We managed to dig this up during the packing up to move to the current place.
What a lot of memories!
And so, with the beginning of the new year, work finally started on rebuilding the house so as to house all of us comfortably.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to move back in by the end of the year.
Round and round we go, when it ends we’ll never know.
Many changes have taken place, the most exciting of which is that we have moved, not once, but for a second time this year. We moved for the first time to stay with the in-laws so that the little one has someone to look after while mummy and daddy goes out to earn money for his diapers and milk. We moved for a second time so that we could tear down the old house and have it rebuilt bigger than before to house everybody comfortably - it should be ready in a year or so - we’ll have a picture diary of the project as it progresses.
Also, with a too-young kid in tow, we’ve had to give up going to the movies and travelling for a while, as life seems to revolve around the little one. Also, the weekly gaming sessions and sword classes have had to take a back seat to the little one, though things have settled down somewhat, for me to start thinking about going back to these. In fact, I managed to kick off the new year with a game of Shadowrun with the regular group - a very good sign indeed.
Here’s hoping for more good years ahead.
Happy New Year everyone!
2010 New Year’s Resolutions
+ Continue learning to be a great dad! - Getting better at it day by day
+ Exercise, exercise, exercise - err…. I think I gained a few more kilos this year.
2011 New Year’s Resolutions
+ Exercise, exercise, exercise
+ Back to regular gaming
+ Start swinging the sword again!
It’s been a week since we’ve moved and I think the whole family has settled in nicely, just in time for Christmas. The good thing about the new place? It’s got lots of room for the little one to run around and play with the furry kids:
So here’s wishing everyone a joyous and blessed Christmas, and a Happy New Year !
For the second time this year, we packed up everything and moved, this time for a one year stay while the house is pulled down and rebuilt to a bigger version. Strangely, the new place seems to be built in a open plan concept,with a corridor running right through the house. Sion seems to have a thing for running right into the kitchen, either because he’s got a thing for cooking like his dad, or because there’s lots of shiny things to play with.
Perhaps when he’s older, I’ll teach him to cook…
The first two minutes of the new Space Battleship Yamato movie.
Stylistically, it seems to draw heavily from recent western sci-fi shows - the most obvious being Battlestar Galatica and Babylon 5, with the massive dogfight/beam spam/bullet hell opening sequence, as well as the 70’s interiors styling, although it might be argued that the original Yamato series probably inspired the original BSG way back then.
It should be noted though, conceptually Yamato is very different from the typical western sci-fi plot. As a friend remarked, Yamato is very much more in line with the typical Japanese console RPG. Get ship (gather party members), journey to a distant planet to get technology (dungeon crawl) come and save the Earth, along the way beat up the bad guys (grind for XP and kill Final Boss). Best description of BSG that I’ve heard was “刘备bringing a couple of cities’ worth of civilians along with him while running away from 曹操”.
Now I’m really chuffed - actually highly tempted to go get plane tickets to Tokyo, watch the movie, get merchandise and fly back the next day, though the fact that it original movie website now has an English version probably means that there’s a possibility that one of the US distributors has probably picked up the rights for the movie.
Hmmm… decisions, decisions…
Time flies, and in a blink of an eye, Sion is now one year old.
As a treat we brought him out to the Singapore Flyer for his birthday, and unlike his old man, the little boy doesn’t seem to have a fear of heights - happily toddling about in the cabin and checking out the views. He was quite upset when the ride was over!
It doesn’t seem all that very long ago when he’s still a helpless babe in the arms, and 12 months just went zooming by in midnight feeds and soiled nappies. Now, he suddenly as tall as the dinner table and he’s happily walking everywhere under his own power. He’s beginning to form words, and has a firm opnion of when his bedtime ought to be (no earlier than 10pm, so it seems)
It’s a joy to watch our little boy grow and learn, and terrifying to realise how much responsibility and influence we will have on his life and contributing to what he may become.
In the meantime, Gaming and Combat training shall commence shortly.