Our family blog is 3 years old - rename to www.TheKamFamily.com

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Our family blog turns 3 years old this week!

I have been blogging fairly regularly and I reckon that I will continue to blog for as long as I can still find time to. So I have decided to change the name of our blog from .blogspot to a .com, and to better reflect our family blog, as I named it babyhaore without thinking that we would be having more than one kid. 

Our blog is now www.TheKamFamily.com. Please re-bookmark or re-link the URL if you wish to. Don't worry if you are not, as you will be automatically redirect to this new URL from http://www.babyhaore.blogspot.com/.

Hope you have enjoyed reading our family blog, and hope you will continue to visit us often. Thank you!!!

(A note to fellow blogger - I have been diligently reading on your blog posts, but I often just don't have enough time to leave a decent comment, and so I decided not to leave any. I enjoy reading blogs and I am reading up every single of your blog posts!)
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A great Saturday afternoon at the Botanical Garden!

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Today has been a great day. The kids were in good mood, played well together on their own, be it at home or at the park, tired themselves out and knocked off earlier than usual. Except that if hub had to go back to office and couldn't be with us :-(

Xi Yu asked to take a nap after lunch. We arrived at the Botanical Garden at around 4pm. The kids were very excited with the bubbles gun. They refused to accompany their grandparents to the Orchid Garden. So my parents have to go there on their own while we played near to symphony lake. After finishing off all he bubble solution I have bought along, after running and sweating for almost an hour, we went to have a walk to feed the fishes and turtles. Then we came back to the symphony lake to enjoy the outdoor music by the Greenbridge Secondary School Symphony Band and met up with the grandparents.

Left the park with happy mood after about 3 hours of fun, without a single bit of whining (except a short time when Xi Yu insisted to be carried). Had dinner on the way home. Reached home around 830pm, bathed them, watched TV and have their milk feed, and they knocked out in about 10 minutes, and started to snore loudly shortly after :-)

A wonderful day! Have taken quite a lot of photos of the two of them, here to share some!

Yeah! We are finally, after staying home for the whole day, going out for fun!!!



Very happy with the bubble fun, which they hadn't been playing for a couple of months already.



Hubby decided to get them mechanical "gun" bubble instead of using the blowing type, as it's easier for them to handle, and most importantly, if the kids ask us to make bubbles, we need not blow till head's spinning :-)



They like to do this - run to each other and then hug each other. It's good that Xi Yu is a heavy weight, only 2 kg lighter than Hao Re, that way, we don't have to worry Hao Re would knock her down :-)



Oh, but today, they decided a hug is not enough, they kissed and I was just right there to take these down. So loving, so precious photos!!!



Went to the other side of the park to feed fishes and turtles. So nice to have a big brother or a little sister to be with, all the time!



Quieten down. Having biscuits while enjoying the symphony. Nice! They only sat for a while though. Then stood up and danced/moved to the music and then ran around, again.



Dragged grandpa to join in their fun!


My parents will be going back to Malaysia tomorrow morning :-( So my "honeymoon" period is over. No more help given for the cooking, laundry, ironing and light housework. My relaxing month had gone passed so quickly. Time to go to the kitchen to cook, time to do the laundry myself, time to do ironing (which I hate the most), and expect the kids to be more sticky to me again :-) Not a bad thing, just that I need time to get used to.  
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Xi Yu is 23 months old today!

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So happy that I can do this post today, without delaying it to the next day or the day after. This will be the last monthly development post that I am going to do. I stopped doing that for Hao Re when he turned 2 years, so same will be for Xi Yu.

23 months already. So fast. Just exactly one more month and she will be 2 years old already!

Xi Yu adapted to the childcare very well, as we expected, because Hao Re is always there for her, and she has quite a strong personality, she like to socialise, no problem with group activities and she is fairly independent. Also have to thank her principle and teachers who made necessarily arrangement for Hao Re to accompany her and to comfort her when necessarily. Cried quite a lot in the first week and cannot/don't want to take nap. No more crying during classes on the second week, only cried during non-lesson time like nap time, meal time and shower time. Third week, which is this week, already no more crying, take long nap, eat a lot, and she enjoys learning according to her teachers. All went really well! Her nanny is still thinking of her a lot, so she walks pass the childcare every morning when she goes for morning, peeps on Xi Yu from the outside. How sweet of her :-)

One of the great things must be that we don't let her bring her pacifier to childcare. She had been sucking pacifier to sleep for her nap and bedtime at night. We thought that she would definitely cry in the first 1-2 weeks, might as well let her cut the pacifier at the same time. And it works!!! She can fall asleep easily and take long nap at the childcare without the pacifier (also explained why she couldn't sleep well at first). But I am still too lazy to totally cut off the pacifier at night time also, as she still stirs at times on most nights, so it's for my convenience sake and for me to catch more sleep, I just shove the pacifier into her mouth whenever she stirs. Bad me. Another few more months bah.

First time in her uniform! Luckily we asked for a bigger size, think this suit just nice, the smaller size one maybe a bit tight on her. She is bigger than her schoolmates, who are a few months to one year older than her!!! She has big feet too. Still weighing at 14+kg.


Her temper tantrum is, luckily, still manageable, not full blown yet. Maybe once a week. So far so good. We are enjoying playing with her a lot. Same as her lovely big brother. When they play together well, no fighting and with lots of laughing, that's gonna be the best thing for a mum :-)

She develops well, nothing to note. She is still at the pink of health (**touch wood touch wood**) despite after attending childcare for 3 weeks already, hope she has gotten use to the bugs at the childcare already. Think this childcare is really on the right track to keep bugs away from the children, hope I am right to say this.

She totally enjoys the time spent with her grandparents. So grateful that my parents came to stay with us this month, it's such a great help, especially for Xi Yu, to ease her into this big change. She didn't eat dinner well in the first few days, think she was too tired because of skipping the nap and too much running around and so lost her appetite. But as soon as she got use to the new routine, she is eating pretty well again, though she is a more picky eater than Hao Re. All vegetables must cut into small pieces, else she would just reject right away, except broccoli, which she wants to be served in big pieces and can eat lots of it. She likes meat more than vegetable for sure. Her nanny was doing so much for her, including laundry and cutting her nails. Yes, I have never cut her nails, except the first 2 months, till now.

Her speech development continues to improve, tremendously. First she showed us she can recite a full Chinese poem. Then when we thought that she may not take singing well, she decided to proof us wrong by singing a few nursery rhymes, in both English and Chinese, the full songs without missing a word (Chinese ones). She is still exposed to more Chinese than English at this point of time, but think more and more English soon as her teacher is from the Philippines, so she sure catches up with English, which we don't worry at all.

So, here are the videos of her singing and reciting Chinese poems. Very lucky to capture these 2 videos that is loud enough to hear and she was very cooperative to put on a show :-)



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The weekend - Hort Park and Jurong Bird Park

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Phew, finally have energy left after putting the kids to bed to write a blog post.

The work trip went pretty well, I have rested very well for the past week as I have nothing to do but to surf net and sleep after work in a nice hotel. But the flying in trip was pretty bad. It departed from the airport at closed to midnight, the journey was just under 4 hours, and touched down at the Changi Airport at about 630am, meaning I hardly slept throughout the night! All the extra battery that I had recharged from the few days of good sleeps had totally gone :-(

Hubby was so sweet to wake up early in the morning and drove all the way to the airport to fetch me, so touched :-) Arrived home and the kids just woke up. They were very happy to see me, giving me lots of hugs and kisses as I expected. When we were having breakfast, my eyes were closing and I felt totally blur. Wanted to take a short nap but the kid won't let me go to the bedroom. So I have to rest on the sofa and they were happily playing around me.

Though I was still tired, but I decided to bring the kids and the grandparents out for some fresh air. Poor them have been stuck within the four walls for the past week, didn't get to go anywhere. Fetched hubby from work and we went to Hort Park. It's a really nice place that it's not crowded, with lots of greenery, and nice playground for the kids, and nice gardening stuff for my parents. While me and hub sat there chatting and resting. What a perfect afternoon :-)

Have our dinner at the famous Holland XO fish noodle, which is now at Dover. That's my dad's favourite and we quite like it too. The kids ate a bigger than usual portion of the fried Hor Fun and fish slices (三捞鱼片河粉). What a surprise! Reached home late. After putting the kids to bed, I couldn't drag myself out of the bed though I really, really wanted to.

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Hao Re has been asking to go to the Jurong Bird Park since our last visit a few weeks ago (hmm, wonder why I didn't write a post on it? I thought I have). Anyway, we enjoyed the trip very much! We started to like Jurong Bird Park more now, while we previously didn't have good impression on it. We think that the fact that the park is small is a good thing. Not too tiring for us to walk around and that we can explore the whole park. Hao Re likes to read map, he would open and "read" the map many times to make sure we have seen all birds. There are many interesting birds to see, lots of interesting things to learn, and we realised that we had actually missed out a lot of things during our previous visit. One good news is there are doing up a waterplay area, think would be similar size to the one at the Zoo, it'll certainly become a family hot spot when it opens (don't know when though).

The not-so-good things though, I found, are that the tram service is not really helpful because you can only travel 1 round. If you want to make use of the tram, then you have to miss out a lot of animals, can only see those displays that are close to the station, or you would have to miss a station or two (they have 4 or 5 stations in total only) if you decided to walk from one station to the next to see more animals. Also, to get a proper lunch is quite challenging. You can only get it at the entrance. The one in the middle of the park only serves buffet or finger food. With my parents around, they have to have proper lunch, cannot be just hotdog or such. We were a bit late for lunch also, so we only managed to reach the restaurant 10 minutes before they closed for buffet. Good that they were so kind to extend the closing time for another 20 minutes for us, the buffet spread was not good though .

We will sure be back, maybe after the waterplay is ready, if Hao Re doesn't request to go again till then.

Here are the photos to share:

The first thing when we reached is to get a map for Hao Re! See how happy he is to get his wish fulfilled - visit Bird Park! Oh, the fireman hat was a gift from aunty Viv when we visited the Central Fire Station a few months, he insisted to put on the hat all day, don't know why, suddenly likes this hat that much.



All 3 generations enjoying the park very much! But I think it's too much walking for all of us at the end of the day. We spent almost 6 hours there, no tram, on our feet all day!



Having lunch. The kids are enjoying the "junk". Hao Re's favourite is sausage while Xi Yu's french fries. Hao Re doesn't like fries and XI Yu doesn't like sausage. So no fighting at all. Hao Re even feed Xi Yu fries :-)



The map again. Lost count how many times he reads it. See the artist impression of the new playground at bottom left, looks like a really exciting playground, Hao Re is greatly attracted by it already! Xi Yu took a short nap of maybe 15minutes on Baba super comfy shoulder (poor daddy has to carry a 14kg load to walk around). Hao Re didn't sleep for the entire day despite all the walking!



Okay. These are the un-glamour photos of Xi Yu. I thought she's really cute in these. But hub may protest :-)
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Drawings of a 3.5 years old

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We are very grateful of the Japanese author 鸟居昭美, who has written a wonderful book, 《走进孩子的涂鸦世界》, on what drawing means to a kid, how we should and should not guide/influence him on drawing, how to relate early childhood education with drawing, what's the progress should be or how they would be drawing at different age and how to interpret it, and a whole lot of interesting and useful parenting information, as the author is not only an artist, but also an expert in early childhood education. Hubby was the one who picked up this book from the Popular bookshop at Tebrau City some months back, one of his best picks!

As a results of reading the book and following some of his advise for the past few months (though we can't control what he does in the childcare), on the Friday before last week, i.e., on the 1st July, out of a sudden, Hao Re started to use drawing to express himself!! Below are some of my favourites of Hao Re's drawing so far, and they are more to come as he starts to draw pretty frequently now.

He said this is a turtle, which I think is a very impressive drawing for a 3.5 yo.


This is a drawing that tells a story. I loved it so much as he told me the story while he was drawing. First he drew the castle and told me there is a castle up on a mountain. He then described to me that it's a very tall castle, almost 100 storeys, that each storey is different and there is a flag at the top of the castle. Then he add a crocodile and said there is a very long crocodile lives under the mountain. The crocodile cannot get out of the mountain. He thus drew a policeman and told how the policeman came to help the crocodile escape!


这个是坏蛋来的!He said this is a bad guy! It's a typical human drawing of a 3-4 years old according to the author.


This is a little boy and an igloo?? I didn't know when he drew this and so I missed the chance of asking him what he wanted to tell. I am just guessing. It's certainly a boy/girl on the left but not quite sure what's that thing on the right.


If it's not because of this book, we would have done a lot of mistakes and misled Hao Re. These may not seem to be good drawings to some, but to us, it's more than what we would have thought he could do at this age, so we are extremely delighted to see these! We also noticed that he is calmer after a long drawing session.

As my previous post, I am away from home now and I do not have the book with me, I can only share with what I can remember.

~ Drawing is a way for the kid to express themselves, to express their feeling, to express what/how are the people and things they have seen or observed around them. It's a not a skill that they can or they should learn from art/drawing classes, not until when they are at least 7-9 years old.

~ Water  play and sand play is absolutely important for young children. They should be encouraged to mess with and have fun with water and sand, as often as possible.

~ Do not should them how a certain thing should be drawn. Don't teach them how to draw. You can ask him question and guide him along. And don't judge their drawing on adult's perspective (e.g., don't tell them why the little boy doesn't have ears, you should have drawn ears here and here). We should rather ask why you draw this, what you want to tell.

~ Activities like colouring within lines and tracing the dots (to form a picture) should be discouraged or avoided totally.

~ Colouring is not necessarily until the age of 5-7. Give them a ball pen or a marker pen, or a good quality crayon/pastel, that's all what he needs. If he asks for colour pen/pencils, give him 3-5 colours at the most. Do not question why sky is not blue and why the grass is not green.

~ He should be allowed to draw at any time and for any length of time. Do not disturb him when he draws. Don't ask him questions when he is drawing, but to leave it to when he has finished drawing.

The best thing you should do now, is, get a copy of the book! It's written in Japanese, obviously, but have been translated to many other languages. The one I have is in Chinese, and I am not sure if an English version is available.

p/s: I do not have any link with the author/publisher. It's simply sharing of a parenting book that we as a parents and the kids have benefited tremendously!
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The week when Mama is away.....

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I am travelling for work this week. It's one of the big changes and challenges that our family have to face when we decided that I should take on this job about 2 months back. Luckily, it's not very frequent, and it is, only, a 4-hour flight away from Singapore. Many of my friends told me that business travel is almost unavoidable nowadays, I should be real grateful that I don't have to travel to further countries, like to the U.S. at the worst (I hate flying by the way), and only need to travel once every 1-2 months. So yes, I headed to their advise and be grateful for the new job, which I enjoy a lot!

Because that Xi Yu started childcare on the 1st July 2011, my parents are here in Singapore to help us, hoping that it's easier for Xi Yu to adjust, especially for the dinner. They are indeed of great great great help! The kids are so happy to have grandparents around everyday to play with them. Xi Yu is adjusting to the childcare very well. She has more or less stopped crying starting this week (I still sent and fetched them on Monday as I only flew out at night) according to her teacher.

But they have to take school bus for the rest of this week it's quite difficult for hubby to rush back to pick them before the childcare closes at 7pm. Since the grandparents are around, we let them take school bus. When I talked to hubby just now, he didn't mention anything about the school bus so I guess it's all good.

On Monday evening when I left the house, Hao Re cried very badly. Xi Yu followed him. And when I reached the airport and called, he was still crying, making me feeling so bad :-( But the next morning, hubby told me as soon as he stepped into the house, the two of them didn't cry at all and went to bed obediently at the usual timing! Kids adapt so fast, and probably they felt a lot more secure when they see their Baba.

I definitely miss them. Lots. But I am also very glad to know that they are adapting well to the routine without Mama, though I know they do miss me dearly! And that hubby is forced to leave office on time to release my mum from the two kids as early as possible, and to put them to bed, so it's a ultimate precious bonding week for the daddy with the kids too!

Hubby taught Hao Re to come down to the day I will be back. He told me "3 more days and I will see you. When I wake up tomorrow morning, it will be 2 more days". See, daddy is doing such a great job, learning maths at the same time, haha :-)

Oh, and, forgot to mention that it's such a rare chance that I am having totally free time after work! Not interested in TV, don't want to work on the working stuff till I get back to Singapore, so so much time to spend, hehehe :-P
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On baking..... something that I am pretty dumb of :-)

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I was very enthusiastic when I bought the oven a few months back, and imagining of myself taking on baking very well. It shouldn't be that difficult, I thought. It's just finding a recipe, getting the ingredients, following the instructions and that's it, is it not?

True, it's actually not difficult. I have got myself a few books and printed a few recipes from the websites. Got all the necessarily basis baking tools, and I did bake for several times. But, all this while, I was only using the same old cupcake recipe from the Annabel Karmel recipe book for babies and toddlers. Well, it's a simple recipe, healthy enough for the kids, tasted quite nice, and Hao Re doesn't seem to get bored of it (because that's the only chance he is allowed to have marshmellow :-)).

After this few rounds of baking, I have concluded that baking is really not something I would enjoy (well, at least I have tried!). Firstly, I am very bad in following the recipe, when it says add 100g of flour, I usually add more or less of that, don't really care, like why it needs such precise measurement, it's not like when doing experiments that you a different of 1g would ruin your whole day of effort, got what I mean, so I anyhow add, or let Hao Re add. Secondly, both me and hubby are not cake kind of person. So some of the cakes ended up in the bin often. Hao Re likes to eat only because of the marshmellow on it. Thirdly, nothing really make me happy, not during the process, not when all the nice smell comes from the kitchen, not when it comes out nicely (though I did pretend to be excited). Lastly, I wanted to start baking all because of the kids. So that they can have fun.

And you know what? They did have fun. So I would continue to bake with them whenever they want to. Maybe try a different recipe next time :-)

We baked the cupcake again (think it must be the 5th or 6th times already, though I only blogged about it twice) on Monday night, upon Hao Re's request.

Hao Re does like and enjoy the whole process. From getting the ingredients out of the drawer, measuring, beating the eggs, mixing up the ingredients, scooping up the mixture. He, as always, has very good attention span and he is very patient.


While for Xi Yu, sometimes she wants to join us. Sometimes she doesn't. This time round, she didn't even bother to know what we were doing. She was happily playing with the toys, books, puzzles, alone, at the other end of the room. But when we were ready to put on the decorative stuff, she ran to us so fast and climbed on the chair and said "I want, I want, meimei want!"

Yup, that's the part the two of them enjoy the most, esp to put some into their mouth from time to time :-) Guess if I even try a different recipe, I should look for one that has this similar step.


After all were done, Hao Re ate 2 big ones and Xi Yu ate 2 small ones on that same night, and finished all of them the following nights. Not bad, ya, this time round :-)

Oh, by the way, I actually did try baking of the sesame crisp over the weekend, which I took from a very nice children food blog - food-4tots, click here to find the recipe. It's very simple to make and it's tasted great (especially for sesame lover like me :-)). My mum helped me with this as she likes sesame me too. We used a mixture of black and white sesame instead of just the white. The black makes it tastes more strongly, it may indeed taste better with just the white. But I like how it look. And we were very lazy to lay it nicely to make thin crisp. So it ended up became thick-and-not-so-crispy :-) I think it still tastes nice. Hao Re and Xi Yu ate some. My hubby only ate one and said no thanks, haha. They would all go into my tummy, eventually :-)

Don't they look nice :-)


The conclusion - yes, I would still bake, but it's more for the bonding with the kids, and not to turn into a hobby. I am just not make for baking :-)
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Toys and Books - new addition!

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Since my last post about toys and books at our household 2 months plus ago, we haven't been buying more, since the kids seem to be happy and it seems that we have enough to get them entertained.

However, I couldn't resist the temptation on buying more books for them, especially it's such a good bargain to get from an online shop from China, Dangdang. So here they are, the new books that I got for the kids (plus 2 books for myself :-)).

The whole lot plus my 2 books costs less than $50 including all postage! The one on the right is a hardcover set.


I have read one book each from each series, and Hao Re likes them! Pretty good I would say, in term of the content and the quality of the print. Happy. Except that the set on top left is quite a busy book, lots of pictures and not arranged nicely on each page. To finish going through one book would easily take 1 hour! Just like the “100 层的房子”that I got last round. It's a very interesting book and it's Hao Re's favourite by far. But to read it would take a long time, and we usually only read books before bedtime. And Hao Re must make sure I tell the story the same like the last time, and I cannot skip either storey, so to finish 100 storeys, it takes, a long time :-) Hope he likes these books as much.

In the past few months, we only bought 1 toy for time. It's a Lego Thomas train set (Mega block). Hao Re insisted to buy this. We made him agreed to earn some good boy stars then we would go back and buy. We bought for him after he earned 3 good boy stars. It's an expensive set. But good thing is he enjoys playing with it pretty much. Hope he and Xi Yu would continue to play with this set for a long time.
The kids with their new toy, which they only get once in a few months, or even longer.
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Great beach fun at the Siloso Beach, Sentosa

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I always wonder what's so nice about a tiny little man-made beach at the Sentosa. Why it's able to attract so many people there every weekend year after year.

Just last Saturday, we ran out of places to go, kinda, and also because we needed to bring Hao Re to a "Build A Bear" shop to get his Brownie (which we got for him as his 3rd birthday present) mended. We chose the shop at the Harbourfront as it's the most convenient for us. Brought the grandparents along, had our lunch at the Sushi Tei at Vivo City and then we made our way to Sentosa. The very first time we stepped onto the sand of the Silosa Beach.
Okay. It's really nothing that nice at this beach. It has very find sand, cleaner than other beaches in Singapore, and the water is also cleaner. It is, to me, still a tiny little man-made beach.

But, mind you, most importantly, the kids were having lots of fun!!! And that matters most to us, at this stage. So yes, we might be coming back again, to this tiny beach of this tiny island :-) It's a very hot there, and we were there from 3pm to 5.30pm-ish. As you can see from the pictures below, we were hiding below the shade of the coconut trees, so not too bad. We again, forgot to bring sunblock :-P

Xi Yu was dressed with her nice green skirt. But not long after she started with sandplay, we took it off so it's more comfortable for her.



There was no other activity but to play with sand with very limited pieces of tools for almost 2 hours! Hao Re got on pretty well with his imaginative play. He made "ice-cream" for us, and also offered different flavours. Xi Yu almost licked the "ice-cream" :-)



Xi Yu enjoyed the sandplay so much! She self entertained most of the time and we so we just watched her (and took photos of her and Hao Re).



So glad that we have this pail ($2 from Daiso, keke). Really helpful to keep the kids happy, when we took turns to bring them to scoop some water.



Finally, after 2 hours of sandplay and many rounds of scooping water, the kids cannot resist the water anymore. They both decided it's time for waterplay! Xi Yu said "衣服,脱掉!". As so wished, we took out her shirt and her diaper. The kids played/swam happily!


We have to call it a day when they have played for almost 30min or so. It's OMG, that Hao Re threw such a big tantrum!!! He refused to leave the water, we dragged him out and got him washed. He then refused to get dressed. We let him go naked for some times while many by passers stared at him and at us. He finally allowed me to dress him. But then he wanted me to carry him, and that's another OMG, 16kg leh!

During the car ride, we talked him out of his unhappiness and he was all bubbly and talkative again when we have our dinner at Bukit Timah Plaza and then did our groceries shopping.

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Sunday we stayed at home most of the time. Except went to Jurong Point at late afternoon, to get new shoes for both of them and a new bag for Xi Yu. Had dinner and came home, nothing special, except that Hao Re threw another BIG tantrum, as we didn't want to buy the Thomas the Train set for him. Told him he has to earn enough good boy stars before we buy one for him. He kinda agreed but still wailed and wailed till he was too tired out and fell asleep when we were having dinner.

Hao Re requested to buy durians. So we stopped at Jurong West Street 25 to grab some. Because he skipped his dinner, he ate SEVEN seends of (bitter) durians!!!
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