jeudi, avril 26, 2012

A new challenge

After many months of hesitation, I had finally decided to take that big step. OK. Seb and I made that decision together. I am going to be a SAHM (stay at home mother)..... for a year and half.
I might shock some SAHM mothers but I enjoyed working and having Ah Yi to take care of the boys. I am doing part time so I do spend 50% of the time with them. At the end of the day at home, I am more tired than at work. Futhermore, Ah Yi takes good care of the boys and the boys are learning chinese from her.
Being a SAHM makes me nervous. Will I turn dull? A few pull factors made me take the big leap. Because the boys are getting cuter and it is such a joy to spend time with them. And we are moving to a house and I want to spend time decorating it and do a vegetable plot in a corner of the garden. I want to learn to sew and bake and cook better. Most of all, the government policy allows me to do so.
ALL women or men who have 2 kids or more can take parental leave until the age of three of the last kid and be given an allowance. There are some conditions like a min work period in the company etc...
I am benefiting a few hundreds euros from the CAF (Caisses d'Allocations Familiales) for working 80%. This means I do not work every wed and alternate friday.
If I do take full leave, I would get half a thousand euros from the CAF. This is what I am going to do. We will miss Ah Yi a lot as we would no longer need her service.
Financially wise, there will be an decrease in income but we will be alright since we won't have to pay Ah Yi. Her salary takes a big chunk out of my pay.
Come June, I will be staying at home with the kids. I will have to crack my mind on what to cook for each meal, where to bring them to to play, what language to talk to them in.
My goal is for the kids and I to enjoy this period. After all, it is temporary. Until the age of 17 months, A1 had 100% attention from us. A2 never had this priviledge.  A1 is starting school in Sept so I can have one to one time with A2.
My company is waiting for my return in Sept 2013 when A2 goes to school. I will have time to decide if I want to be a SAHM forever....
Wish me luck and all advise and tips are welcome!

dimanche, avril 22, 2012

Aquarium de Paris

To celebrate A1's birthday, we headed to Aquarium de Paris to look at fishes. Most tourists do not know or may not be interested to know but there is an aquarium in Paris just in front of Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel tower is taken by the side of the entrance of the aquarium.
The boys went 'oh' and 'ah' when they saw the beautiful fishes. There were all kinds of fishes and even a huge tank with sharks. The tanks were all beautifully decorated with corals, rocks and a mix of colorful fishes. I felt as we were in a submarine looking at nature. 
There was a diver pulling out algaes among the corals. The gardener of the sea.
This aquarium was not big and in about an hour, we finished our visit. We did stay in one mini cinema to watch documentary and kid cartoon about the environment.

This aquarium was a good outing for the kids especially during this early spring where it was windy and rainy. We felt warm in this aquarium and were glad that we dropped our coats at the cloak room. However for Singaporean tourists, this can be a miss. The Underwater World in Singapore at Sentosa is better in terms of variety if my memory does not fail me. The aquarium in Brest is bigger and hopefully we will check that out the next time we go Brittany.

jeudi, avril 19, 2012


Since I last wrote about toddler A1's speech, he had improved a lot. As a mother, I couldn't help being worried that my trilingual kid was on the slow side in talking. Everyone I spoke to assured me that it was normal blah blah blah.
Finally I am assured. Toddler A1 talking skill is still not as good as a typical 3 year old french kid. But he can express himself better and adds new words to his vocabulary each day. He can count one to ten in the three languages and even until fifteen in chinese. We usually give him the start by saying 'one' in either french, english or chinese and he would continue in that language. It helps that he enjoys playing 'cache cache' (hide and seek) and prefers to be the one counting and then seeking while I hide.
He loves to sing the ABC song though we can make out only the starting letters 'ABCDEF' and the last few letters 'XYZ'. The tune is there. In between, 'QRS' can be identified too.

As for toddler A2, he talks too. At 18 months old, he says more words than what toddler A1 did at that age.

samedi, avril 14, 2012

Tulips festival at Saint Denis

Each year in April, there is a tulips festival at the Saint Denis park. We had never been there as each time, we were away for the weekend when the event took place.
This year, we were at home and decided to drop by to take a look. There were not many tulips around. They took up a small portion of the big park. However, there were lots of things organised. Stalls set up promoting activities, selling local and regional wares and food, face painting for children, plays, clowns etc...

Once we arrvied, we headed for the food place. Seb got us white wine and I ordered half a dozen of fresh oysters. I had a craving when I saw them. Not something I expected to find in a park. The queue for the crêpes were too long so we bought fries and shared with the kids.
As usual, there were balloons sellers and Seb bought each of the boys a Barbapapa balloon. A2 was too young to appreciate it.
The boys played at the playground for a while and we viewed the tulips and also saw poneys and horses. Too bad they were still too young to take the rides.

Here was A1 trying to smell the flowers.

I'm glad we visited this festival and park in the 5 years we stayed here. This is the first time and would be the last time since we will be moving out of this area in a few months time.

Lots of exciting things happening at the moment. Will update more as and when it happens.