Swim trial with AquaDucks

It is a known fact that Elliott loves the water. He absolutely adores being at the swimming pool and bathtime is possibly one of the highlight of his day. He loves splashing and kicking his legs about whenever he’s in the pool and hearing his unbridled chuckles make my heart soar.

So I thought we should go check out a baby swim class. Just for the fun of it and to see if he takes to it. He is currently attending music class on Sundays and the last thing I want to do is to sign him for another “formal” class. He’s only a year old!

I contacted AquaDucks and after a couple of emails, we booked ourselves a (free) trial class at Turf City on a Sunday afternoon.

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Please note that they are not at Grandstand. Instead, they have a standalone facility just before the carpark entrance at Grandstand. There were drawn carpark lots but everyone just parked neatly side by side.

We informed the staff that we were there for the trial class and were told to get changed. There were many shower cubicles available (very good) and a long sturdy ledge where you can change your baby/toddler.

Swim trial - Elliott

We were a little early so we stood by the side watching the previous class. I like that the pools are shielded from our merciless sun. We were going to use the same pool on the left of the picture which is apparently heated.

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While watching the other class, Elliott looked really happy and excited. I love this picture as it captured him grinning and then looking at his Daddy as if saying: This looks like fun! I can’t wait to jump in, Daddy! 

So cute lah.

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Elliott and the boy got into the pool soon after just to ‘warm up’. They sat the sides and Elliott was splashing water and squealing with joy. Ah, a good start. Here, they are in the water, swishing around just to get familiarised with the environment. There were 3 other little ones who were there for the trial as well. One girl looked older than Elliott while the other girl was just a couple of months old.

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The entire trial took about 30 minutes and it was made up of little exercises to get the little ones used to the water. The lady instructor also made use of little toys to get the kids interested, i.e. by getting them to “swim” to the toys to retrieve them before placing them into a plastic basket. Elliott took a liking to a rubber duck and simply refused to let it go.

They were also taught simple safety moves such as placing their (little) hands on the ledge before pulling themselves up to dry land. This is in the event of accidental slips into the pool. Of course, Elliott was too tiny to pull himself out of the water but he was helped by Daddy.

They also had water poured gently over their faces to see their reactions. Before the class, we were told to practise this at home, i.e. letting water run down Elliott’s face after a count of 1-2-3 so that he will be conditioned to expect water coming down his face.

This bit of the class got me a little nervous because each kid was made to go underwater momentarily. Watch how Elliott did:

I like how he smiled at me and before he knew it, he was underwater. Ooooops. I was so so proud of him for not bursting into tears! Ah, my brave little bubu.

They also did this ‘wash your ears’ activity where you basically let the kid feel the water close to their ears:

Elliott looked like he enjoyed the class but he was grouchy towards the end because it was way past his naptime. After his feed, he passed out in the baby carrier (yeay!).

Verdict? I don’t think we’d be signing him up for another (formal) class at this point but swimming is a life skill so perhaps one day when he’s older.

6 years and counting

Because I have a goldfish memory, I have to blog about it so that one year down the road, I will remember what happened. And maybe one day, if I suffer from amnesia, I can look back and go: Oh so this happened!

So here goes.

Last Friday, we celebrated our 6th year of marriage. A couple of days before, the boy sent me an invitation to a dinner date – just the two of us. On the day itself, he sent me this Whatsapp message:

“I think there’s something for you at the General Office”.

That was so cute, can? It’s like he cannot wait to tell me so he blurted it out. Hur hur. It was a particularly crazy day at work and I could only collect my ‘something’ at about 1pm.

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And what a gorgeous bunch of ‘something’ it was. Apparently, he did not know where to buy nice flowers from but went to stalk my Instagram account and noticed that I ‘like’ the flowers from The Bloom Room so he decided to order from them. Awwww. The gorgeous bunch was accompanied by a hand-written card with this message in it. It may be mere words but they mean so much.

I snapped a million pictures because we all know that flowers wilt and die in our heat. It is now sitting in a vase on our dining table and it makes the house smell and look wonderful. There’s just something about fresh flowers and a home.

Anyway, that evening, we headed to Shelter in the Woods  at Greenwood Avenue. Can I just add that traffic at Bukit Timah is horrendous?! Took me such a long time just to get there. I was so glad when I actually found a parking lot, I think I heaved an audible sigh of relief.

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I was early so I had time to study the menu. Apparently, the boy told me that he picked the restaurant because he noted that they served ‘suckling pig’ as a starter. Ah, my husband knows me very well indeed :)

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The restaurant wasn’t full when I first arrived but it soon filled up quickly. Due to its popularity (it being a Friday evening), they have 2 seatings and ours was the first. We had to be done by 8.45 pm which was very reasonable. Besides, we had parenting duties to return to :)

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This is the boy trying hard to decide what to order from the menu. In the end, he went with the Rack of Lamb while I had the day’s special of Spare Ribs. We also shared a starter of Suckling Pig (but of course) and Duck Rillette.

Rotisserie Sucking Pig
Duck Rillette
Duck Rillette

I devoured the Suckling Pig because it was soooo good. It was insanely crispy and flavourful. I would totally order a large portion the next time we are there (this was a small portion). I wasn’t a big fan of the duck because it’s (1) cold (2) like pate. And me no like pate.

The mains arrived and I was a little floored. Check out the size of the ribs.

Spare Ribs
Spare Ribs
Rotisserie Rack of Lamb
Rotisserie Rack of Lamb

Here’s a picture for scale:

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It was delicious though! Succulent, juicy ribs. All for me. But erm, it was so huge, I had to doggy bag half of it. Hur hur. The boy also enjoyed the lamb chops and declared it YUMS.

We were so full, there wasn’t any room left for dessert. Boo.

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Happy 6th anniversary to my best friend, lover, confidante, cheerleader, food taster, handyman, expert clothes washer, and everything else that I am not. To quote Yann, I am not the perfect wife (only at version 1.0) but will continue to work hard to become a version 2.0, with extra RAM because I am very lacking in memory space. 

And in case anyone’s wondering, the terrible wife here did not get the boy any present (the horrors!) but I did pay for our dinner :)

Toto.

I just received news that my sister’s fiance’s dog, Toto, passed on this morning. He was about 12 years old. They do not know his actual age because he was rescued from the streets.

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Despite his size, Toto was, possibly, one of the gentlest giants I know. He was always wagging his tail and would try to nuzzle/lick you when you give him attention. When I was at the sister’s place once, I remember him sitting close to my feet with an audible plop and that made me laugh.

I also remember how he would turn his head to look at you whenever you call his name. “Toto!”, I’d say, and he’d try and lumber towards me. Just because I called his name.

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These photos were taken at Moon’s last birthday when we celebrated it at Happenstance Cafe. Check out how fast his tail was wagging in the left pic. It is obvious that Toto adores his master.

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He always struck me as being really calm and well-mannered, like a gentleman. I’m sure he would look great in a suit and a top hat.Even when given treats, he would wait calmly but excitedly (cue crazy tail wags). His size intimidates and most people would shun away but if you get to know this old boy, he is more well behaved than many (smaller) dogs that I know.

‘There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.

When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. All the animals who have been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. Her bright eyes are intent; her eager body begins to quiver. Suddenly she begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, her legs carrying her faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.’

Run free, Toto. You’d be missed but never forgotten. Sending love and hugs to Jon and Jen too. May time heal your broken hearts.

We’re coming back, Sydney!

This is a bit of a belated news but I am so excited, I have to share it. We finally booked our first real holiday with Elliott to…..Sydney! Whoop whoop! Singapore Airlines was having some awesome fare deals and we have very dear friends in Sydney so we decided that it is time to revisit Sydney!

We will be travelling in September (so. far. away…!) and Elliott will be about 18 months then. Hopefully, he would have learnt how to walk/run by then which means we can let him loose at wide open green spaces.

We will also be doing a couple of days in Hunter Valley and can’t wait to check out The Storybook Garden. Nursery rhyme characters coming alive! Can hardly wait. It will also be our first time with Elliott on a plane so I am a tad nervous about that. Might have to bring a brown paper bag to place over my head if he decides to go into full-on meltdown mode. Technically it isn’t his first trip overseas. He did travel by ferry to the exciting city of Batam which I meant to blog about but obviously, life took over (again).

This isn’t our first trip to Sydney (my entries on our last trip here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 & 4 and Day 5 – we were there for more than 5 days but erm, I gave up blogging after that), but I have a sneaky feeling that the places we will be checking out will be quite different from the ones we went to as a couple. On our last trip, we went on a hotair balloon trip!! Meant to blog about it but erm, 3 years have passed.

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If you have any suggestions/recommendations for must-see places in Sydney with a cannot-keep-still toddler (other than the usuals like the Sydney Zoo), please send them my way!