Archive for the “Family” Category

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a lot of missing updates here on our blog, since our virtual life is mostly only on instagram these days. but hey team izadnhana is still alive and thriving! erm, i think.

let’s see, what’s happening: the girl lost her SECOND tooth just two days ago, bottom left, next to the first one that dropped 7 weeks ago, a new one grown back in its place practically full size now. (we kept asking her to open up her mouth and marvel at the speed it grew.) still none of her peers in her K1 class have lost their milk teeth yet, which is puzzling. gawd i hope she won’t be, like, the first among her classmates to get her period or something. (because i want her to stay little for a bit longer.) anyway, she was a bit emo on the day she dropped that second tooth at school, for some reason. her teacher rang me up while i was at work and told me she cried “i want my mummy!” when it happened, and when she got on the phone mumbling something incoherent to me, i told her i’d get her ice-cream later, which turned her back into a barrel of sunshine again. see, everything can be solved with ice-cream, i say.

the boy will be in P3 next year, which i’m still in denial about. P3! that’s like… halfway to PSLE, dammit. oh that four-letter acronym, how it sends shivers down my spine. he did average for his “exams” this year (i give that quotation marks because they’re not real exams, now, are they…?) and the feedback we get about him is more or less positive. he also received some “certificate for good progress” (note the quotation marks again), but you know, i’m just relieved he’s made it through another year. another year of blood, sweat and tears (on both my part and his) of spelling, homework, and yes, tuition. i’ve succumbed to the good ol’ singaporean way out of having to teach my own child, because god knows i need my sanity.

i’ll be increasing my work hours to 2/3, and our office is moving to a building somewhere right in TOWN (nooooo! i’ll actually miss Greyville!), so the start of the new year will be one of uncertainties – especially in terms of logistics. the kid’s school bus fees will be increased by 50-friggin-dollars, thanks to parents who are “concerned” about the safety of their kids in the buses and thus, the new 1-child-to-1-seat policy which led to the fee hike. seriously, parents! why spoil market?! anyway, the husband suggested teaching the kid to take the public bus home, but i’m iffy about it, because i know this kid – i don’t trust him! who knows where he’ll end up? probably woodlands one day, jurong another day. i’d fetch him myself but with my move to town, i’d likely be demoted to public transport myself (ha ha, padan muka), plus with my increased hours, my chauffering duties will sadly be cut down. the husband too may be changing work duties and timing, so we really can’t figure out how everybody’s going to get where they’re supposed to come next year, except for auni who thankfully will be in K2 and just across the road from our house.

ugh, trying to figure out logistical solutions gives me brain injury, so let’s not. (maybe i should just eat some ice-cream.) i just have to say, it’s no wonder people think twice about having more children, especially full-time working parents who have none to little family support.

on the yoga front, i’m happy to be progressing, still…

#yogawithhana in #forearmfridays. been working on my #pinchamayurasana this whole month and i'm feeling my #progress! (ps: am SO loving my new @liquidoactive #yogapants and @hipwidth mally tank. thanks for bringing them in @updogstudio! :))

oh those pinchas (forearm balance), they be the death of my elbow skin. but all those ugly black scabs are worth it, it thrills me to get more hangtime in this now. am also still working on those damned handstands without mr paul wall – i’ll get there some day, mark my words!

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how was hari raya? it was okay. not sure why, but i seem to get less and less excited about celebrating raya. also, just got my first back-to-work pay, so tried to avoid buying a whole lot of unnecessary things this year. even made a few raya goodies on my own, which is like, an entirely new level of domesticity for me.

ouh pictures! perhaps the best thing i like about raya haha.

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happy eid to all!

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this yogimummy has the cutest baby bump.

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… this would probably be a typical scene.

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they’re generally gentle and patient with babies and toddlers; they’ll kiss them and make googly eyes at them and laugh at their reactions (and yes, hold their hands while they totter), and go “aww” whenever i show them pictures of their chubby-cheeked little cousins.

i find it fascinating, the way their dynamics change with a younger kid around, it’s like their protective/nurturing nature instinctively turns on.

but nah. if you’re thinking i’d be swayed into actively trying for another, don’t hold your breath.

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will miss calling up my cousin for last-minute lunches and smothering that little botak blob of hers with kisses galore (the kids and i adore him so – see how he looks longingly at me ha ha), for they were off to brisbane till end of the year to support the daddy for his studies.

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i always thought i’d go back to studying some day. although, admittedly, i hated studying back in the days (even if i was moderately good at it, for some freaky reason). at first i thought i’d have liked something to do with early childhood, but i didn’t fancy going to the ground for practice, and doing early childhood is pretty much about being a practitioner first (having two kids of my own do not make me qualified; i’m sure i fail consistently on many counts).

i still don’t know what i’d want to study – if i even could. masters in literature? no use unless i go into teaching (that ship has sailed). information studies? no guarantee i’ll get to become a librarian eventually (i can’t seem to get a reply from the library to take me in, i mean, you CAN imagine me as a librarian, can’t you?!). social work? that requires a certain amount of passion which i’m lacking (i’d have to CARE so much..). communications? hmm.

well. it’s nice to just dream about it. maybe some day, i’ll take it into action. (i’m kind of into slacking for now. :p)

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sky lounge

still having too much fun…

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be back soon…

have a great sunday, people of the world! #hotelmaya #kualalumpur

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been eyeing these cookie cutters online for the longest time but never got round to actually buying them because, well, never thought i’d ever get round to baking in the first place, did i?

but finally, i have them! yes! they represent perfectly the two things that i’ve kinda immersed myself in (and enjoyed) these past few months.

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flip them around for the names of the asanas. cool or what! /yoginerdalert
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thank you for the birthday gift, is! (and for all that yoga retail therapy together to keep our zen haha.)

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we’re quickly running out of ideas where to bring the chilllren… so we ended up pretending to be tourists on the sunny (then rainy) island of sentosa. except that (other than the $8-per-kid entry to the Port of Lost Wonder where we stayed put for three hours) we refused to spend on any of the rides, shows, exhibitions, or even snacks, drinks or food there. “so expensive!” we’d cry out to the kids when they asked for something, and proceeded to shove our containers of homemade sandwiches, curry puffs, jemput-jemputs and nasi lemak under their noses, and promised to come again when we get good deals from groupon (yeah right).

i don’t know about you but we wouldn’t think twice to spend on an overpriced souvenir photo or fancy ride if we were in another country; however, in our own backyard, we’d rather get it at a discounted price, if at all. i mean, it’s just singapore whaaaat, any time also can come again and see the same views and do the same things, right? (unless you’re on a first date or something, then it’s totally justified to splurge and impress the chicks, of course. :p)

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(please pardon my overly-expressive chilllren, they can be a bit drama i’m afraid. i don’t know where they get it from.)

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me and the boy, we may be born in the same month, under the same star sign, but there are times when i feel like we don’t get along so well. the problem is, he takes on a lot of my temperament – the impatient, easily angered, impulsive one. i’d like to believe that’s the side of me that i don’t normally reveal, that’s been beaten down and suppressed for most of my adulthood. but now that i have this… kid, it’s like a beast within has woken from its dormant state. when he riles me up, i get mad, then he gets mad, and… well, yeah it’s a vicious cycle, i know, but it’s just… hard dealing with someone who’s so much like the you that you don’t like, you know? i just hope it’s something that will sort itself out when he’s an adult and won’t rile me up so much anymore.

aniq & mummy
–> this, peacetime.

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i guess God is fair for giving me a partner who has the opposite of my temperament – calm, level-headed, relak-jack, which means he can reason with the kid/s better when i’ve totally lost it.

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anyway, kid, mommy may have reached a milestone at 35 – gawd, MID-30s! – but she still has a lot, A LOT to learn (and change) about herself. and you turning 7… well, i wish for you to hurry up and be a mature, responsible adult so mommy can regain her sanity.

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and to my mommy, a fellow decemberian who just turned 65 (what temperament i got from her is for another day to analyse) – i hope i’ll be that mature, responsible adult soon too. :p

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so we decided to go on an island holiday – again! – because i really like the sun and the sea. (and was to pay for it when i discovered freckles on my face post-holiday – like whuuut, i’ve had plenty of stuff happen on my face before but never freckles!)

“we’re going to thailand,” i told the little ones. “you mean all the people there wear ties? is it mummy?” asked one of them.

the first full day we were in ao nang, krabi, we went on one of their elephant safaris, where we trundled uphill, all four of us plus a guide, on the back of a 50-year-old elephant (yes, we asked its age), through a treacherous trek of mud. elephants are truly amazing creatures, we’re extremely convinced now, because despite our combined weight, the perilous slopes and the slippery, squelchy pools of sludge, our powerful pachyderm steadily and effortlessly navigated its way through the forest with nary a trumpet call of complaint. although the pace was much slower than a roller-coaster ride, we agreed it was just as exciting (we were kept in suspense as to whether the elephant would slide or trip, and we’d all fall and get trampled under – you know, just imagining the worst-case scenario). needless to say, we kept assuring the slightly nervous little girl that elephants are VERY strong and stable, and we had nothing to worry about. (which was true. phew!)

navigating through the muddy path

the kids had some learning opportunities too while riding through the forest – our guide paused to extract a stretch of white latex from one of the rubber trees and gave it to the kids to play with. “a lot of things are made of rubber, you know. what can you think of?” mummy asked. “rubber bands,” cried the boy. “rubber duckies,” cried the girl. (let’s not ask what daddy’s answer was.) our guide paused again to pluck a few leaves from another tree and handed them to us. they smelled of HEAVENLY TOMYAM. of course, we knew we HAD to have more tomyam for dinner again later.

hanging on to dear life on top of an elephant

we were treated to beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. i swear i’ll never really understand how those rocks and cliffs were formed – geography fail! (ok fine i got a B3) – but i seriously love them and am perpetually awed by them.

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here’s the 3-year-old elephant i mentioned in the previous post who not only performed yogic/acrobatic acts, but also kicked a football into a goalpost, twirled a hula hoop with its trunk, played the harmonica AND danced – i tell you, i’d adopt him as a pet if i could but it’d just be an elephant in the room. you know, like the idiom. but literally. ok nevermind. moving on!

3yo elephant can do tricks too

oh did i mention tomyam? YES WE LOVE THE TOMYAM, especially since the seafood is fresh and the portions generous. aniq has grown very fond of this spicy concoction.

our first delicious seafood dinner

most stalls/restaurants offer halal food, so we had no problems at all feeding everyone. even little miss fussy was happy with her daily dose of fried rice with prawns and squids. she even ate almost half my packet of padthai on one of the nights. she also happily gobbled up all the mango pancakes we bought each time.

street hawkers galore
our mango pancake
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so yeah, local food > western food here. hurrah! sawadee kha, mr ronald mcdonald, sir, we no eat your food here, kop khun kha

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the weather improved the day we went island hopping – beautiful skies with no threat of rain at all, perfect for venturing out into the sea, armed with our sunscreen. our speedboat picked up some people from Railay Island, then on to Bamboo Island, Monkey Beach, Maya Bay (you know, that famous island where they filmed leonardo di caprio for The Beach), then a buffet lunch at Phi Phi Don before the real fun part of the trip began – snorkelling in the clear, open waters off Phi Phi Island.

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Maya Bay – OMG the sand was luxuriously soft and the view fantastic, but OMG SO MANY TOURISTS. seriously, look:

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practically every inch of the shore was covered with boats and people in all sorts and manners of beach wear, you can hardly move without bumping into another body.

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impossible to swim here, although the kids definitely tried. also impossible to take a decent shot of us and the scenery in the background without someone indecent photobombing us. (i had to crop them out. sorry, hairy beer-bellied guy and overly-bikini-ed lady.)

Maya Bay aka The Beach
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oh, behold the sights…!

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the little girl was all suited up and set to join her gungho brother in the water, but i think breathing through the snorkel with her mouth instead of through her nose disoriented and discomforted her, plus the strong and unpleasant salt water taste may have been a bit much, so it was a matter of seconds before she wailed to get back on the boat. good attempt, nonetheless, for going in the sea at all, yes? the boy on the other hand, took to the water like a fish, so to speak. i hardly saw him while in there, he was too busy exploring by himself.

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OH WHEE LET’S GET NIBBLED IN THE BUTT BY PRETTY FISHIES.

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while others snorkelled, little miss took over the boat guide’s duty of feeding the fishes with rice, at the same time admiring their brilliant hues in the sparkling waters.

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the tour boat guides kept plying us with refreshments throughout the ride – water, juice, cakes, fruits. we were like starving sharks out there, you know.

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and ouh more sights to behold! (it was a long boat ride.)

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we were lucky that our third night coincided with the Loi Krathong festival, which falls on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the thai lunar calendar. the hotel gave us two floats made of banana leave, decorated with flowers, incense and candles, for us to bring to ao nang beach where we were headed to for dinner and shopping anyway. many tourists bought these large paper lanterns, which when lighted and floated away looked beautiful and ethereal, romantic even, like bright orange stars blazing in the darkened skies.

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a local helped us light our krathongs, but we weren’t very successful in keeping the flames from getting extinguished by the evening breeze. the tradition is to place a coin or even bits of your hair or nails in the float, then make a wish before releasing it into the sea or river. but of course, since we couldn’t believe all that, we just set our floats off into the dark waters for fun. the roads were blocked and there was an air of festivity as locals dressed up in traditional costumes and danced on stage, and the night ended with a celebratory show of fireworks.

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Phu Pi Maan resort, where we stayed in, is muslim-owned and even located next to a mosque. the people were all so friendly and accommodating, even the owner herself, who sometimes personally drives guests to and from town in the resort’s transport.

Phu Pi Maan Resort & Spa
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i guess it’s not hard to find a nice hotel along ao nang with a great view. but with kids, the most important things are: a swimming pool and a bathtub. happy already.

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oh, OH, the view… sigh. wishing i could wake up to this every morning. but if i did, would i even appreciate it anymore then…?
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maybe. how could one not??

(now, let me see what’s outside my window back in tampinesville… sigh.)

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it was supposed to be a nice day out, filling our lungs with fresh air as we move in vinyasa flow for an hour or so at fort canning park, followed by a picnic, to commemorate the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women and raise money for UNIFEM. but it was not meant to be, as the rain (yes, again!) poured down throughout the afternoon, and the event had to be moved indoors, to the (spanking new) h.om studio at orchard central.

post-yoga at h.om to commemorate International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women supposed to be Vinyasa Flow and picnic at Fort Canning but it rained, so indoors it is...

we had a nice time in any case, sweating it out together, my beautiful fellow yoginis (who both insist they don’t like being skinny, tsk!). :)

it’s almost 2pm now, we’re at the airport, i’m using the free wifi, and we’re leaving for our beach holiday. CAN’T WAIT TO TAN, Y’ALL!!!! (if it doesn’t rain half the time, that is.)

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Departing for Krabi! See you soon!

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here’s one for november, the month of the scorpion.

scorpion pose

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the boy got back his report book yesterday. positive words from his teacher on record, but err, we’ll know more tomorrow when we meet her for the parent-teacher conference.

btw, mum proudly announced that my nephew adam was awarded 1st in class – not surprisingly, of course! go nephie-poo, our future scholar! :)

trying to figure out a schedule for the boy that he won’t object to, or find a holiday programme to fill his time now that the long school holiday is looming ahead. you know, so we both don’t kill each other at home, 24/7. seriously, one and half months of idle time, what in the world do kids do during school holidays??

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the boy had the day off from school on friday, so i let the girl off too. she’d been waking herself up the same time as her brother the whole week, just so she could be in school early too – like 7.30am early. which is a big leap from kicking and screaming to stay in bed till past 9am. she says a lot more fun things happen early in the morning in school (her teachers must’ve brainwashed her, yeay!), which works perfectly fine for me, of course (more time for mummy to herself!).

the downside of having the day off from school is the temptation to have the tv on and let them play video games for long stretches of time, which i reaaaaalllyyy hate, because it turns them into monosyllabic zombie kids. they may occupy themselves with something else at first but it won’t be long before they launch themselves on each other in their own version of The Hunger Games, and then plead to have the tv/playstation on. doesn’t help that i’m not very good at coming up with games or crafts for them to do, i’m more of a “use your own imagination and entertain yourself” kind of mum when at home, which is sort of the antithesis of what a stay-at-home-mum should be, i guess? err.

so as much as possible, i’d lure them out for a bit of sun, and away from the ubiquitous technology that i am close to already losing a battle with.

i mean, come on, surely watching a line of industrious marching ants is a much better way to pass the time??

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we’d taken a break at the airport to cool off for a while from the playground, and while lounging around the free slide area, along came a young mother desperately attempting to feed her feisty toddler a thermos of porridge while the little lad thrashed about in his stroller, refusing the scoops of sticky stuff that kept coming to his mouth. i feel you, little lad, i thought, cringing as he swatted and turned his face away from yet another spoonful of sludge, flecks of it flying around, his mother picking them up and promptly putting them into her own mouth (maybe she was the hungry one). so, what does she do next? why, whip out an iPad and turn on the Barney on YouTube, but of course. works like a charm, doesn’t it? next thing you know, little lad has turned into a porridge-eating zombie. (well, beats being an alive-girl-eating zombie anytime, i say. :D although, in this case, i was the one who felt like screaming “nooooooo! fight for your will not to eat when you don’t want to, little one!” ok i’m being dramatic; i know there’s nothing more frustrating than having your fussy kid waste good food, but still, sigh… technology!)

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watching ants and riding on the swings are nice things to do, and so are riding and feeding ponies. unfortunately, at $10 for one round of gentle trotting on a pony and $2 for a small sachet of hay, let’s just stick to discussing insects and the physics of motion, ok kids?

oh fine then! go play your video games now, see if i care!

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me & mini me

me & mini me originally uploaded by izadnhana.

cousins

cousins originally uploaded by izadnhana.

to get little eshan to look at the camera, his big cousin aniq gave instructions to me, “mummy! you go and dance gangnam style!” and so i did, in my kain and ridiculous heels, galloping away behind the photographers, just to keep that squirmy fella’s attention long enough for the cameras to click. (yes go ahead, imagine it.)

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i had yet another ‘fashion’ struggle with the girl while getting ready for the birthday party last weekend. it was a ‘boy’ party and the theme was ‘football’, and as you may know, i take themes quite seriously. the daddies and the denizen of boy cousins had no problem with this, obviously, football jerseys being the number one wardrobe must-haves for every Mat in the universe.

luckily, the girl is currently into jeans, so that was half the battle won. (something about the flowers or glitters on the hems/waists/pockets of the pairs i got her, but still, jeans! when previously she’d want nothing but skirts.)

but, she’d insisted on wearing it with one of her pink t-shirts, in particular, the polka-dotted one. (yes, like mummy, she too is in a polka-phase.) i showed her a blue shirt instead, and she went ball-istic (pardon the pun). it took some reasoning, that it was a boy’s party, and everyone will be wearing boy colours or football shirts, and if it were a girl’s party, she can wear all the pink she wants, and we should respect the party host’s wishes. (ok, so i exaggerated; i just wanted to have it my way.)

anyway, she eventually saw my (admittedly twisted) logic, and allowed herself to be donned in an old football jersey that used to be her brother’s. yeah, that’ll do.

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(meanwhile, i wore a dress. a polka-dotted one. just pretend i adhered to the theme by imagining that’s what a soccer mum would wear, ok? i mean, football jerseys on hana = end of the world as we know it!)

now, please don’t think that i’m always so mean as to oppress the girl in her sartorial preferences. i’m not very good at dressing girls up in the first place, like so many fashionista mummies out there, but i do respect her wishes enough to buy what i know she’ll like. sure, i do sneak in a green shirt or a brown dress among my pink and purple purchases for her, in the hopes of tricking her into them when the occasion arises. i just want to give her… alternatives, you know?

she’s onto me though, so she’s taken to getting ready herself – from showering, to choosing her outfits, to matching her shoes. (well, that last part’s not too hard seeing as her favourite pair IS pink and purple.) and that’s fine; she generally has a good sense of coordination – which is more than i can say for her brother, who incidentally DESPISES jeans, and has a habit of pulling out the first shirt and pair of berms from the pile, never mind that the colours don’t even go together, argghhh).

anyway, there’s this new Olivia book i’d been waiting to get my hands on that i thought we could relate to, and last week, the girl plucked it right out of the library bookshelf, all shiny and new, to show to me. i was SO delighted (she has a knack for picking picture books i’ll like).

titled Olivia and the Fairy Princesses, it features our favourite porcine protagonist pondering over her identity and sense of individualism. it has Olivia’s trademark streaks of red amongst the pages and classical reference to her artistic proclivities (this time, modern dance). and of course, of her being all dramatic (those of you with little girls, you know how it is).

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while the issue of individualism vs conformism may not be something little girls are wont to grapple with (Olivia is quite the precocious example), here it gives them a bit of a think, while at the same time allowing them to marvel at the beautiful and exotic alternatives out there waiting for them, if they only dare to imagine it. (auni’s quite taken by the india and china princesses. i’d googled and showed pictures of tribal african women wearing neck rings and she draws a clear line on that one!)

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(THAT’S WHAT I KEEP SAYING.)

whether she imagines herself to be a princess or pro-footballer or permaisuri-melayu-terakhir (or in this case, eshan’s dayang ha ha – man, check out that iron grip on the Barbie doll; he’s got them all wrapped around his little fingers, literally), i guess the important thing is that she’s using her imagination. hopefully, for bigger things to come.

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the weather in the late afternoon was nice and breezy for a mass outdoor activity, it made us almost want to just lie down on the mat for a shavasana siesta while the host and guest celebrity rambled on and rallied the crowd a little too loudly and un-zen-like onstage.

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well, the “workout” was overall a little too easy for us who relish the more challenging stuff, but i guess they had to cater to the mass, made up of more than 2000 men and women, young and old, the seasoned and the first-timers. there were two sets, each led by about nine different instructors from various studios at 10-minute intervals or so. one of our favourite instructors from the studio we go to, she had the best energy, methinks. you can tell from her funky bright pink top and cowboy hat outfit…

one of our favourite Updog instructors, Chrissy, in bright pink

didn’t stay for the second set because it was turning dusk and parenting duty calls, plus smells of barbecued prawns and other seafood started to waft in, beckoning us to the food centre nearby.

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oh, and we also had ants literally crawling in our pants. sure made for an authentic tree pose! fun! :D

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