mardi, décembre 27, 2011

Spectacle at Bercy Village

Just the weekend before christmas, we headed to Bercy Village for a walk. Before having kids, Seb and I used to come here to watch movies with our friends. This place used to be an old warehouse for wine and there is a mini railway track in the middle of the pavement. Now, it has been redevelopped and the 2 rows of warehouses host boutiques and restaurants.

During the month of december, everywhere we went, we came across spectacles and shows. It was lively here as the 4 elfes were trying their best to make their reindeer move forward. They spoke in their elfish language among themselves; they spoke to the reindeer to motivate him to move; they danced; they made music; they bounced around. Finally the reindeer moved.

Everyone was delighted. Children and adults alike.

vendredi, décembre 23, 2011

End year season

In Nov, toddler A2 and I spent 2 weeks in Singapore. We went there for my mum's birthday and though it was a short stay, it was a good trip. I did not tell many friends that I was back because the whole idea was to spend time with my mum. To keep a low profile on that, I shall not put any photos of that trip here.

With christmas coming soon, we had been busy in december. 2 weekends ago, we headed down to Opera area. As a tradition, we brought the kids to view the display windows at Galleries Lafayette. This year's theme was on Rock and Mode. It was not very interesting. Just dolls playing rock instruments in all the display windows. It was so crowded that I left with toddler A2 to shop for christmas gifts. Furthermore, he was in his stroller and could hardly see the window.

We had lunch at the chinese restuarant on the last floor of Galleries Lafayette. After that, we decided to walk around. We crossed the street to avoid the crowd. Printemps was just beside Galleries Lafayette and it was just as crowded.

We walked around the Madeleine area and I dropped by GAP for kids clothes as there was a 30% discount sale that day.

I took pics of chocolates displays during our walk. Christmas is such a big event in France and chocolates are a must. I love the chocolate representation of Santa Claus at the last pic.

dimanche, décembre 11, 2011

How we travel with the kids

In France, car seats for children are mandatory and the law is strictly abided. I rarely see young children not buckled in one.

However, in my short visits in Singapore each time, I saw on many occasions mothers who held their kids on their laps sitting in the front passenger seat. Or even kids not buckled up playing at the back of the car. This is disturbing for me. I had experienced minor car collisions twice in my life and the impact was strong even if there was no big damage done to the cars. Having a seat belt helped. If a child is not properly buckled on, in the event of an accident, he can be seriously injured. I questioned my friends and they said 'Oh, it's just a short distance.' Still, if you don't bang other cars, these other cars might bang yours. We never know.

Recently, a friend put on facebook a video of her 2 year old singing in the car. The father was driving, the mother was in the front taking video of her daughter who was standing in the middle and holding onto the two front headrests as support. I can't imagine how they could allow that.

OK, critics aside. If I had to travel in a car without a car seat (taking a taxi or my mum's car in Sg), I would sit at the back of the car, put my kid on my lap and buckle him with me. That won't replace the car seat but I was doing my best.

The photos below were taken during our trip in Lyon. Toddler A1 was in his comfy car seat. As usual, he did not want his photos to be taken. Toddler A2 was in his baby coque. He used this since birth. Soon, he will be upgraded to a road facing car seat as he is getting too big. We will be getting a bigger car seat for A1 and as usual, A2 will use the hand me down of his brother's.

jeudi, décembre 08, 2011

A1's joke

Yesterday at home, A1 shouted 'caca, caca'. That meant that he pooed. I asked if he did it already in his diaper, he nodded and started to walk like a duck. He seldom walked like that so I had the impression that he did a big one and he was in discomfort. Since it was near bath time, I told Seb to run the water in the bathtub.
I put A1 up on the changing table and started to unchange him. I expected the worse and when I opened his diaper, there was nothing. I said 'but you did not do caca'. He looked at me and started to smile and then laughed. He was pulling my leg. I shouted for Seb to come take a look. It was too comical. Our little boy of 31 months is starting to play jokes on us.
This was not the first time but this was the most beliveable.
Not too long ago at the Chinese supermarket, he told me the same thing. I told him I would change him at home. But when we reached home, there was nothing.
I don't think I will fall for his little trick the third time. Let's see if there will be new joke up his sleeves soon.

dimanche, décembre 04, 2011

Advent calendars

December is already here. Seb was recently in London and I told him to get something for the kids. Among toys, he bought advent calendars.

There are 24 windows on each advent calendar; one for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. Since the first of december, each evening before sleep time, the kids would open a window corresponding to the day. Inside would be a little message and a small chocolate. After eating the first one, A1 asked "Encore." We told him to be patient and that he was allowed only one a day. A2 shared his chocolate with me. Yeah, he had no choice cos I felt that he was still young for chocolate yet I did not want him to miss out the fun. When I broke the chocolate, he would want to take the big piece. So young and already having notion of big and small.

This advent calendar is a fun one for kids. So the messages are like "Is it snowing yet?", "Have you wrap up your gifts?". When they are older, I will get more meaningful advent calendars.

After Christmas eve, I hope the boys won't think that a chocolate before bed time is normal. Maybe the Christmas presents they receive will make them forget about this advent routine.

mardi, novembre 29, 2011


The first of November is All Saints' Day. Since it fell on a tuesday this year, we took a day off on monday and headed for a long weekend. We were in Lyon from Sat to Mon and then drove up to Mâcon region for a night's stay at a bed and breakfast.

At Lyon, we stayed in a service appartment in the uptown. It was conveniently situated and we could walk back anytime for the kids' nap. The kitchenette was well equipped and clean. We walked a lot during these 3 days. A1 wanted to be on his dad's shoulders most of the time. A2 was mostly in his stroller.

This street of resturants was located just a stone's throw away from our service apartment. The bouchon lyonnais is a typical resturant that serves local food but these heavy food like pig's head and big sausages are not my cup of tea. I pass.

On one evening, we had dinner there al fresco style. The boys played beside our table and I made sure they did not venture out into the busy alley.
Ideally, this would be the way A1 travelled. But he preferred very much sitting on his dad's shoulders.
This is Place Bellecour. It is one of the biggest square in Lyon, third biggest in France. In the middle stands the statue of Louis XIV. On the hilltop is the basilique notre-dame de fourvière.

Below is the city hall of Lyon. There is a big fontain just on its right.

These are angry horses as their nostrils are fuming with steam.

Crossing the bridge over the Saône river to get to the old town.

The Cathédrale St Jean in the Old town.

Here is a wooden craved ox at Rue du Boeuf (Cow Street).

Inside a traboule. Covered passage way that brings one from a street to another quickly. Something typical of Lyon old town.

The zoo at the Parc de la Tête d'or. It is a big beautiful park.

Having breakfast at Pignol while A2 was checking out the pastries. The brioche aux pralines was very good.

Inside basilique notre-dame de fourvière.

At the hilltop looking over the city.

On monday, we took the Route de la vin of Burgundy. We passed by hectares and hectares of vineyards and did small stops at Mâcon and Cluny.

It was a great short trip and we enjoyed ourselves a lot.

France heading into a mini recession

Unemployment rate rises again this month. It is the highest since 12 years. There are 2 814 900 jobless people out there.
Still, the situation is not as bad as other parts of Europe like England, Spain or on the other continent, USA.
We are thankful to have work. Each morning over the radio, there are news of organised crimes with casualties on both sides. Robbers are getting equipped with machine guns and policemen are killed or injured. There are news from charity groups asking for donations and reporting an increase of people asking for basic necessities like food and a roof.
The presidential election is coming up next year but I doubt any political party can really improve the situation.
It is just sad news I hear over here. Things are going bad.

vendredi, octobre 28, 2011

Baby A2's room

As promised in my earlier post (the one on toddler A1's new room), I'm showing you baby A2's room.

This used to be toddler A1's room. When baby A2 came along, the two boys shared the room. However, they both woke each other up and we decided to separate them.

The color theme of the room is blue and yellow. The lampshade is blue and the curtain has yellow flowers on it.

This photo was taken by toddler A1. We got the carpet from Ikea. The fire engine truck was a gift from Ah Ma when toddler A1 was in Singapore this april. The drawing board was a gift for baby A2 from friend in Singapore. The orange helmet was from the boys' uncle. Yeah, toys are randomly lying around. And due to limited storage space, I put them as near to the wall as possible.
Baby A2 is walking really well. I have to make sure the toys do not get in the passage of baby A2. In the photo below, the 2 boys were playing with a plastic fan until toddler A1 walked away with it leaving baby A2 staring after him and bursting into tears.

mardi, octobre 18, 2011

A2 is walking by himself

At 10 months old, he was on his two feet. He cruised around the appartment holding onto furnitures or our hands. He was getting more and more confident though often, his butt weighed down on him and he sat down after a few steps.

2 weeks ago, he could walk steadily by holding onto our one finger. He just needed assurance.

Last sunday, we went to the park. While his brother was running around, he took 2, 3 steps all by himself to get his hand on the tennis racket. He then sat down, took a break and when we lifted him up, he took a few steps again.

Today, he walked from the kitchen to the living room. What a joy. He walks at 12.5 months old. Almost 1.5 months earlier than his brother. But that also means we will have other issues to worry.

Already, he could climb up the sofa. Something that toddler A1 never tried until much older. Baby A2 tried to stand on his brother's stool to reach the object on the table which we deliberately put out of his reach.

He is a very determinded boy and we could tell that his brother has a strong influence on him. That just explains why he is doing things at an earlier age than toddler A1. Baby A2 has someone to copy. Just hoping that toddler A1 will be a good example. At 2.5 years old, it is just impossible to make him behave in front of his brother.

mardi, octobre 11, 2011

Already a year

Baby A2 turned one in septembre. Wow. Already. He is an active boy and walks while holding onto our hand. He should be walking by himself soon.

Today, he climbed up the sofa with his brother and the two of them jumped on the sofa happily. Gosh. I can't leave them alone in their room.

Tomorrow, eveil musical (music class) is starting again. This time, I would bring the two boys for 45mins of music and fun. First time for baby A2. I do hope he will enjoy himself.

Tennis racket and a helium balloon

Almost every evening since Seb bought toddler A1 a tennis racket, we played tennis while Seb put baby A2 to bed. I would throw the big bouncing ball at him and he would try his best to hit the ball. He is getting better. Sometime when he managed to hit the ball and I applauded, he would actually bow his head; once to the left and then to the right. Just like a performer at the end of the concert. Too funny.
Another muse of his at the moment is the Barbapapa balloon.

Last sat, we went to Jardin d'Acclimatation. Lukas and his mother joined us and the boys had fun. Seb promised to get toddler A1 a balloon and as we were leaving the park, toddler A1 chose this Barbapapa helium balloon from the boutique. The look on his face was priceless. He was so happy with his balloon that when he woke up the next morning, he came out of his room holding onto his balloon.

jeudi, septembre 29, 2011

Air tickets for Singapore next year

We have to go Singapore next august for a big family event. Since I already know the dates, I thought I check out the air tickets. Yoo hoo! For a family of 2 adults, a 3 year old and a 2 year old kids, it would cost 18 719.48€ on economy class.

OK. I will come back and buy these tickets later. Not because by then I would have save enough to buy them. I just know that the price will drop as the dates get nearer.

Seriously, who would buy them at this price?

lundi, septembre 26, 2011

Shoes for A2

Baby A2 has been cruising around the appartment since a few weeks. It was time to get him a pair of walking shoes. For his first walking shoes, I was told to buy him new shoes. Making him walk with used shoes from his brother might caused him feet problems later. He had to form his own prints on his shoes.

Since baby A2 had many hand-me-downs from his brother, we felt that he deserved new shoes. We went shopping at Jardin de Luxembourg area and got him a pair of mid-season shoes. We both liked the shoes very much. The sales assistant told us that size 20 was just right and size 21 would be more comfortable for baby A2.
However, when we returned home, I realised that the shoes were too big. Baby A2 kept dropping his shoes.

This weekend, when Seb was back from his work trip, we went to buy another pair of shoes for baby A2. Ended up at the usual shop at Usine Center near the airport and got baby A2 a pair of Kickers size 20.

The soles of the shoes were pretty unique. The design was different from that of toddler's A1 first walking shoes.

I really like Kickers shoes for babies and toddlers. Think I will stick to this brand for the moment.

dimanche, septembre 18, 2011

Baby blues

No, I'm not having that kind of baby blues. I'm having baby blue on my nails.
While getting milk for the kids at Monoprix during lunch time, I grabbed a small bottle of nail polish. The last time I bought a nail color was in July and I got a pale beige color that showed no effects on my nails. The color was similar to my natural nail color. Furthermore, I realised that I already had this color nail polish at home. Err.... Once biten, twice still not shy. Got conned into buying the same color that showed no effects. Where is my memory??!

That's why I chose baby blue color this time. Took the photo below while going to work. I was stuck behind a rubbish collector truck. It was a one lane road so I just had to be patience. Now, that's flashy isn't it. I think I will start trying out other colors. Yes, I have more 'me' time since the 2 boys sleep in separate rooms. Yipee.

lundi, septembre 12, 2011

Disney Studio

My ex-neighbour asked if I was interested to bring toddler A1 to Disney Studio as she had a lobang (good deal). She had an annual pass and was able to invite friends to Disney for one third of the usual price during septembre.

We made it to Disney Studio two saturdays ago. As our kids were young, Nadia felt that Disney Studio would be more appropriate than Disneyland Park. Disney park was too big and the boys were too young for most rides.

Our target was to get there early, catched 2 shows and leave. Here we were waiting for the show 'Animagique'.

Toddler A1 was frightened when the lights went out but he got all excited when Mickey and Donald made their apparences.

After the show, we queued up for a ride. But when it was our turn, toddler A1 backed out. He did not want to take the ride. Ended up, we watched our friends took it. Somehow, he loved high slides but had no courage for kiddy rides.

We grabbed a quick lunch. With the limited choice, I ordered a burger and fries with cherry tomatoes and yoghurt drink. But alas, toddler A1 ate everything except the burger. Nadia offered him chicken nuggets but he did not want. He was not a burger person.

At noon, we watched the Disney Playhouse show. It was fun and the boys enjoyed it.

We left Disney Studio by 1pm and the boys dozed off in the car. It was a magical outing for them. I did not take many photos as we did not tour around the place. Our eyes were fixed on our kids as there were too many people around. Oh, lots of little girls in princess costumes. :) Is that every little girl's dream?

vendredi, septembre 02, 2011

The circus room

As you might have read earlier, we put our two boys in the same bedroom. But it was not working out. Each night/early morning, either one would wake up the other. Baby A2 cried at times in the middle of the night and woke up toddler A1. Toddler A1 woke up around 5.30am and started calling for his papa and woke up baby A2.

We decided to put toddler A1 in the 'playroom'. After all, it was easier to just move his bed to the other room. We got rid of the old computer and the computer table to make room for a play tent. The only one I found at Toys 'R Us was a circus tent. Once his bed was moved over and the tent put up, we invited toddler A1 to see the surprise. He took a look and did not even want to go into the tent. He then went back to watch his cartoons on the IPad. Seb and I looked at each other and shook our heads. We were anticipating his excitements at our efforts but I guessed we held too much hopes. Funny parents.
For his afternoon nap, toddler A1 went to bed without any problem in his new room. He checked out his tent and loved it so much that each night, we (toddler A1 and I) read stories in it. He invited his papa to join him but Seb declined. He told his son in french: 'If papa goes in, there won't be any tent left.' Interesting, baby A2 is not allowed into tent by his brother. Each time baby A2 tried to crawl in, his brother would be upset and said 'No, no no!' It is not easy to explain to toddler A1 that he has to share with his brother.

For the bare wall, I looked up internet for some stickers and got a set of circus themed stickers from Berceaumagique. I received them really fast and we as a family had a good time pasting them on the wall. Toddler A1 was all excited and I can tell he likes his room with the funny stickers.
And now, the boys do not wake up each other. Goal achieved. Next up, I will try to take photos of Baby A2's room and do a post for memory sake.

mardi, août 30, 2011

This little fruit

Any idea what is the name of the fruit? I just love it.