jeudi, janvier 26, 2012


Saw fresh durian at the chinese supermarket. 13.50€ per kg. They smelled so good that I succumbed to temptation and bought one without knowing how to open it.

The durian was slighly more than 2 kg and it was really good. From the photo below, one can tell how I massacred it. Seb helped out too since he had more force than me. Mum always made it look so easy when she opened durians. Now I knew better. Durian opening is really a profession. I guess I would need more experience but the price is steep. I paid 28€ for this durian and thank God it turned out good. If it had been otherwise, gone were the money and effort in opening it.

Oh, A2 loved it while A1 did not even want to smell it. As for Seb, he told me to eat all up ASAP as the fridge was smelling of durian.

mardi, janvier 24, 2012

Galette des rois

Despite missing Chinese New Year in Singapore, I do enjoy other festive celebrations in France. I love Christmas in France. Right after Christmas and New Year, there is the tradition of having a galette des rois (Kings' cake). Normally, we have the galette on Epiphany which is the 6 January. But we can buy the galette des rois from the bakeries and supermarkets throughout the month of January.

Last Friday, our company organised a galette des rois party. We had cidre with the galette. In each galette, there was a trinket hidden. The person who had that trinket would be the king or the queen of that day and had to wear a crown. We had 5 galettes des rois that day and ended up with 3 kings and 2 queens.

Below are some photos. First, of the whole galette. This one was overburnt. Second photo showing a trinket found. And lastly, the king with his crown.

Come February, there will be another celebration, the Chandeleur. I tried Wikipedia and the english translation was "Presentation of Jesus at the Temple". This time, we would have to eat crepes. I tried to make some last year at home but it was not well received by the family. I think I will give it a pass this year.

Next, I'm looking forward to Easter. The kids will have fun collecting eggs at their grandparents' garden.

lundi, janvier 23, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year

Happy chinese new year to all of you celebrating it.
As Seb left on sunday for a work trip, we had our reunion dinner a day earlier. We had steamboat as usual. The electric stove was used once a year for this occasion. This was the first time in France I spent Chinese New Year without my hubby. Well, at least I had the 2 kids. Chinese New Year season made me missed Singapore. I missed watching fireworks at Marina area. I missed staying up late and visiting Chinatown for last minute deals. I missed collecting Ang Bao and stuffing silly with goodies. I missed the visitings. I missed the chinese music.

This morning, I gave the kids red packets when they woke up. A2 was oblivious to it while A1 was happily waving the 2 red packets and running around with them. I quickly took out the money I put in and gave back the empty red packets to A1. I did not want him to destroy the cash.

Below is a pic of them watching Sesame Street on the laptop yesterday. They are playing togather now and like to run around the apartment. Sometimes A1 would plant kisses on his brother. Still, there are times when they fight over toys. Looking at them, I realised that A2 has grown a lot. He is no longer a baby and I love toddlers at his age now. I told myself to really treasure this moment. Already, he would push our hands away when we try to aid him. He is starting to be a little "independant" boy; just like his brother.

lundi, janvier 16, 2012

One pacifier gone. One more to go.

Since 23 Dec 2011, A1 has stopped using a pacifier. I would not have thought it would be so easy.

Once the boys reached a year old, we would leave the pacifier at home when we went out. They could nap in the car seats without a pacifier. But at home, they were allowed to use their pacifier any time though I prefer to limit the usage to bedtime.

Since toddler A1 had full set of teeth, he had been biting his pacifier. I had to change his broken pacifier so often that I tried to make him stop using it. I explained to him that he was a big boy; his teeth would drop if he uses a pacifier (this worked for a friend's son) etc. But each time, he cried for one. And since there was always spare at home, I would sterilize a new one for him.

Last Nov, I told him that the new red pacifier
was the last one he was going to get. If it was broken, there won't be a new one. I was not sure that he would abide to my rule. On 23 Dec, I discovered a tear on his pacifier and told him that it had to go to the rubbish bin. He obeyed and threw the pacifier into the bin. I told him that he won't get a new one. He was sad but said nothing. And he never asked for a pacifier from me after that. I was apprehensive when it was bed time but he went to bed with his comfort toy "OB" and slept easily. He had asked for a pacifier from his father and the nanny but each of them told him that he did not need it. He had on a few occasions used his brother's pacifier. I guess it was more for memory sake and not a need because he removed it after a short while.

Now, there is only toddler A2 using a pacifier. Hope he will get rid of it once he has his full set of teeth.

mardi, janvier 10, 2012

string Sick_leave = NULL;

I was looking at how many days of leave I have left for the year when I came across the information of our development team days of presence. We are a team of 8. For last year, 5 of us including myself did not take a single medical leave. The 3 others took a day, two and three respectively. I find this quite a record. Of course I did consult the doctor last year but nothing serious enough to be confined at home. I thank God for good health.
I remembered when I first came to France, my mum was worried as I was often sick in Singapore. I think living in a less stressful environment makes me healthier. Working overtime like crazy in Singapore makes one weak. I have friends who are sick now and then in Singapore. They are sometimes "sick" of going to work and I guess the body responds to the mental state.
I just hope that I will continue with this record for this year.

lundi, janvier 09, 2012

New year's day

On new year's day, we ended up in Paris 1st arrondissement as we would like to visit the exposition of Babar. However, the Art and Deco museum was closed like the rest of the museums nearby including the Louvre.

We walked to the nearby courtyard at Palais Royal. Les Deux Plateaux, more commonly known as the Colonnes de Buren, is an art installation in the courtyard of the Palais Royal.

The boys had fun discovering the colonnes and even climbed up on those small ones. We played with them chasing them around and amused ourselves until it started to drizzle. We had to call it a day. Nevertheless, the boys enjoyed themselves.

Below is the entrance of the metro station Palais Royal. It is pretty unique isn't it?

mercredi, janvier 04, 2012

Christmas day is over.

Christmas 2011 was as usual spent at my in-laws'. This time round, toddler A2 was walking and awared of the happenings around him. He was a curious boy and when his grandfather started the fire at the fireplace, he was looking on nearby. Toddler A1 being the wise one stood at a distance. He does know that fire is hot and dangerous.

This was Christmas eve and we had an elaborate apperitif. Champagne with fingerfood. Toddler A2 had his dinner and was still stuffing himself with cheese cubes, cherry tomatoes and crackers after. We were amazed and afraid that he would suffer a tummy upset.

The next day, we prepared for the feast. Rather, the kids' grandparents. As usual, the grandfather opened up the fresh oysters and laid them up nicely on the silver plate. The grandmother prepared a vegetable starter for Seb among other yummies. One relative brought along his homemade foie gras, spice bread and log cake.

Here is a pic of toddler A2 all dressed up and playing with the TV remote control. I got him new clothes for christmas as he often wore hand-me downs. He is really no longer a baby.

And the presents waiting to be opened. In this family, we opened the presents on the afternoon of christmas as that was when everyone got togather. In France, normally, kids would wake up in the morning and rushed down to the christmas tree looking for the gifts that Santa left behind. Well, we would have to find an explaination on why we are different to toddler A1 soon as this year, he was bombarded with so many stories of Santa Claus. I think he is a big fan of that man now though he avoided one at the garden shop the other day. Yeah, Santa with his huge white beard can look scary to young kids.

And this last pic showed toddler A1 playing with his brother's toy. It is SMARTMAX and is a set of magnetic bars and balls. With imagination, one can build lots of things with it. All the kids at the house were playing with it.
The lunch was great except for a hiccup when toddler A1 threw a big tantrum. Seb and I took turns to be with him. Seb was away from the table most of the time and he mentioned that this was the christmas where he drank the least. Poor father cos' great wine was served.

We stayed in Chartres until Boxing day before heading back home and getting on with the usual routine.

Christmas went and a new year is here already. I sincerely wish everyone a happy new year 2012.