Sometimes I wish…

We visited the Asian Civilisation Museum last Saturday, taking advantage of the free admission (to 7 museums) that citizens and PRs are entitled to. Usually, our weekends are confined to our home or visiting the in-laws since by the end of Friday, both da man and I are kind of exhausted. Boring peeps, I know, so I thought we should just go out for a change.

20140224-143247.jpgTo be honest, sometimes I wish we could have more time for family life. Working parents have little energy left at the end of the day and could only spend that little amount of time with the spouse or children, not to forget that they need some ME time to recharge. Personally, I felt it last week. Da man had been busy at work and we hardly had time to TALK. Weekends are really precious then.

Love the walk along the Singapore River. The weather has been great though I wish at times, that rain will come soon. It’s quite a funny sight to see Faith walking along the path.

20140224-143255.jpgFaith’s enthusiasm was short-lived for she felt asleep soon after. The cool and quiet environment must have been rather conducive!

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Mid-way through, we checked into Madame Patisserie for a coffee break. Faith was sleeping soundly in the pram and it could give both of us some couple, if not, ME time! I couldn’t say much about the service and the food but what we like is the rather quiet environment (yes, in the afternoon!) and beautiful riverside view.

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Faith woke up very soon and decided to wander off to explore Boat Quay! Next to the cafe is a seafood restaurant and they have really HUGE sea creatures! Amazing!

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It can be rather tiring watching out for her! The most endearing sight was seeing da man spend time with her. I wish there are more such opportunities!

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Where shall we go next weekend?

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{FFWD} Butter and Rum Crepes

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So this is my first FFWD post for 2014. Apologies. I’ve been really busy with a string of random stuff that experimenting with French dishes has taken a back seat. This week is rather calm and as I looked at the dish for this week, I was excited. It could well be Faith’s breakfast minus the rum, that is and I set about preparing the batter yesterday. Crepe batter has to rest and chill in the refrigerator to become perfectly blended and to thicken. Two hours is the minimum; 12 hours or more is ideal.

To make the crepe batter,

Rub these ingredients until the sugar is moist and very fragrant.

Rub these ingredients until the sugar is moist and very fragrant.

I thought this can be used when decorating cakes! Idea!

I thought this can be used when decorating cakes! Idea!

Using the food processor and in my case, food chopper,

Add these and blend them well, making sure that the flour is blended but don't overmix the batter.

Add these and blend them well, making sure that the flour is blended but don’t overmix the batter.

Then you pour into a pitcher. For me, I divide the batter into two as I do want some (1 tsp) Grand Marnier in mine.

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Yum!

This morning, the batter was ready and to make the crepes, I rub my nonstick pan with lightly oiled crumpled paper towel and put it over medium heat. I poured about 5 tbsp of the batter each time.

The crepe is ready when the underside is specked with brown spots. Use your finger to flip!

The crepe is ready when the underside is specked with brown spots. Use your finger to flip!

The sauce to match this crepe uses 1/3 cup honey, 1/3 cup fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and 7 tbsp unsalted butter at cool room temperature. After heating the honey, I added the juices and then used a whisk to whisk in the butter, a tbsp at a time. The sauce should be smooth and slightly thickened however mine turned out rather runny. Could it be the type of honey used?

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The little girl was enthusiastic about her breakfast initially until she took a first bite and spit it out! I was so surprised! She didn’t take to the texture well. In the end, I added banana to the crepe. Oh well, perhaps she prefers the crispy version of the crepe. I’ll try it tomorrow!

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I enjoyed mine though, complete with Cafe Au Lait. Love the citrus in the sauce. It definitely helps to perk me up!

20140221-111101.jpgThe little girl soon forgot about the breakfast after a wonderful time at the playground.

This is a weekly attempt at French food via French Fridays with Dorie. If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us?

Faith :: 15 months

Health-wise: You were taken ill after we visited your cousin at the hospital. I guess the virus was everywhere and your immune system wasn’t that strong. Thankfully, this time round, it was not a struggle to get you to consume the medicine.

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A lot of mozzie bites this month!

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Eating habits: You are quite an eater. And I have heard reports that you can eat non-stop and I must say I’m not fond of that idea! The positive side, of course, is that it is really easy to feed you and you finish your meal real fast. However, recently, you spit out your food and I wonder why. Some mummy friends told me that you are exploring the different tastes and textures offered to you and that you don’t really fancy certain stuff now (even though you used to love them). Oh well, the adventures of young {picky} eaters, indeed.

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Lover of animals: You seem to have a liking towards animals and dare to go up to them. Lovely!

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Social: I do think you like meeting people because when we bring you out, you wave to everyone whom you see. And I don’t think you have problem with playing with other kids. At most, you play on your own if your peers ignore you. But, the problem is you still want me to be around you otherwise you will cry out loud. I’m hoping that you can be more independent. Hmm..

Sleeping habits: You seriously don’t like to nap, do you? It really takes a toil on us to make you sleep. While you have no problem falling asleep in the carrier, it’s a chore to get you to fall asleep on your own cot during the day. Thankfully, it is easy to get you to sleep at night. And just when we thought you can sleep through the night, you prove us wrong when you wake up a few times nowadays. We attribute this to teething since your pre-molars are budding. But really, please don’t get up in the middle of the night to play with us? We need the sleep!

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Physical: You can get really active! Where do you get those energy from?? Now, you have started running instead of the usual walking. Climbing up and down is a common activity. I don’t really enjoy bringing you out for shopping now since you will take stuff off the shelves and place them on the floor and then I would have to put them back again. Very tiring!

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You can get rather cheeky at times and purposely want to test us in terms of the boundaries that we have set for you. Thankfully, you get the idea that we are really serious in what we say and No means NO. You get disciplined a lot this month. Does your palm hurt?

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But overall, you are still an obedient child and will do the things that you are asked to. You do understand the instructions though you don’t know how to articulate that. Nods and shaking of head is how you communicate to us now which can be really helpful albeit funny.

You will always be Mama's girl.

You will always be Mama’s girl.

WW | What’s next?

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I spent the morning packing the milk bottles, breast pump and some baby clothes. As I was doing so, two questions came to my mind:

1) Do I want a second child? If so, when should I start planning?

2) Do I place Faith in a preschool or homeschool her? If preschool is the way to go, then which one, knowing full well that there might not be any vacancies left since she is born in the popular year of the dragon (sigh!). If I am to homeschool her, what preparations do I have to make?

For #1, many (relatives) have asked me if I want a second one. I guess it’s about time to think about this since Faith is already more than a year old and we should be planning for it if we do not want the gap to be too big. I’ve asked a few friends who have more than one child and many cited the reason that the second one can be a company to the first. If not, she will be very lonely leh. I guess that’s true but are there any more compelling reasons?

Recently, I met an auntie and she commented that it’s such a waste that I quit my job to look after ONE kid. Go for a second one…it’s about time. Based on her theory, I should maximise my resignation to look after more kids so that it is more worthwhile. That sounds quite right in a way and her statement made me think about our car which we could still possess for another two years. Having a car during pregnancy and when the child is young can be really convenient. Should I maximise the use of it? Heh…

So, I guess it’s time to sit down and discuss with the husband. More importantly, we do need to pray and seek the Lord in this matter.

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What’s your reason for having a second child?

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Night scene in SG

I never knew the night scene in downtown Singapore is so alluring. Had the opportunity to have a most scrumptious Thai dinner and followed by a cruise along the Singapore River. Lovely. If you have the chance to visit this little red dot, do make it a point to go for this activity. S$20 for a 40-minute ride. Not a bad deal. 😉

Dinner at Tom Yum Kungfu. Delish! Think I'm gonna miss this group of wonderful and talented people once this week is over.

Dinner at Tom Yum Kungfu. Delish! Think I’m gonna miss this group of wonderful and talented people once this week is over.

The back alley of the shophouses

The back alley of the shophouses

Night scene. Can you see the flyer?

Night scene. Can you see the flyer?

Skyscrapers

Skyscrapers

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A caking week

So this past week, I have been getting up at half past 5 daily so that I could get ready to walk Faith to Dad’s place. You see, for these two weeks, I am learning from some awesome and talented people on constructing beautiful cakes. So, someone has to take care of Faith.

I miss Faith and my family, to be honest. Much as I am privileged to be able to learn wonderful cake decorating techniques, I find myself not able to fully devote my mind and heart during the session. I would think about Faith and wonder how she is doing. I guess the good Lord knows that I cannot do a good job if I were to be a working mum and thus made me choose the SAHM’s path.

And by the time I reach home each day, there is little time left to interact with the little one. Guilt overtakes. Sadness engulfs the soul.

One more week and I’m back to my full-time mommy duties.

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#CNY2014

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I’m not a great fan of Chinese New Year (CNY). As a child, perhaps, but when I grow older, a lot of stuff that we do don’t hold any meaning to me anymore. But for the sake of the little one…

20140202-161032.jpgCNY is a time of fasting feasting. It all begins on the eve with the reunion dinner and throughout the CNY period. At one point or another, you will do the “Lo Hei” and then you will fill your stomach with calories-laden goodies. We all know this truth but since this only happens once a year, many will just oblige and indulge.

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The reunion dinner is an important meal and we will make it a point to accommodate everyone’s schedule so that every member of the family will be able to make it. This is from my Peranakan in-laws. Scrumptious food, who can resist? My family, on the other hand, will always go for steamboat and mom will open a few cans of abalone. But really, I don’t understand the fascination about it.

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More eating ensues.

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The “Lo Hei” or Yu Sheng (raw fish salad) includes various types of shredded veggies, a red envelope which contains pepper, a green envelope that contains five-spice powder, raw salmon, oil, plum sauce and crackers. There is a meaning behind each item and I’m not a good person to approach if you want to know more. ;p Apparently, we will say some well-wishes as we pour out each of them and as we toss, we shout all the blessings!

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These are the very ‘rich’ new year goodies. They prosper the sellers during this period and of course, the consumers go home a tad poorer.

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CNY is not CNY if there isn’t any home visitation. So everyone should be equipped with two mandarin oranges and have some good verses in mind as you need them to greet the elders. In our household, training starts young. 14 MO Faith learnt to hold two mandarin oranges on the eve and then totally forgot this skill on the actual CNY. Sigh!

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The children get to meet their peers.

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Faith gets all the attention since she is rather young but at times, pets get all the lime light too.

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This is my family, marching to my grandma’s house. Yea, all of us, with kids in tow. What a sight.

Oh yes, during CNY, many take the opportunity to buy new clothes and wear them during this festive period. Folks (I mean women, mostly) will adorned themselves with bling bling. The hubs and I didn’t bother. We just didn’t have the time to buy clothes. For me, I’m just glad to be able to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. Hurray! Faith got herself one new set of clothes though but I think she is much contented with pass-me-downs. Anyway, what does she know, eh?

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CNY is not CNY without red packets. The elders will bless the younger ones with these ‘hongbaos’ that contain $$$. The amount depends on how generous the giver is. Heh…

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To be totally honest, I see little meaning in visiting many homes. I would rather family members gather at one place and BOND. No rush, just chill and have a game of Mahjong!

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Kids can get bored with such visitation. So, bringing them to the playground perks them up!

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It takes a toil on everyone during these few days of visiting. The little one, with her naps all messed up, just K.O. and didn’t wake up even with loud noises. Time to put the structure back again.

20140202-161531.jpgOh yes, during CNY, most families will stock up on food because many foodstalls will not be open during the first few days of CNY. Here we are, stocking up on the third day.

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I’m actually glad that this busy period is going to be over soon. May the year of the horse be good to all!