Monday, October 27, 2014

Ready for home

Today the girls were watching "Berenstein Bears"cartoons while eating bear crackers...while Mama gets started on the packing.
Vivi wanted to take a picture of me too...camera is a little heavy for her to hold and push the button at the same time. My expression is not knowing when or if she was going to be able to push the button. lol
Looking a little worse for the wear. My ribs and abs still hurt from being sick so much!
Still can't eat much but I am feeling better!

I saw a bit of actual blue sky today. It was awesome.
It is so hazy here and day after day of gray skies (with or without rain) is so dreary.
Sick of the haze and waking up with a sore throat all the time.

Ready for home!



Saturday, October 25, 2014

Visiting Japan and Chinatown in one mall.

We went to a really big Mall (Jurong Point) the other day.
They have a lot of little Lego stores. The sets are the same as what we have at home...just more expensive.
But they also have lots of displays where they set up the Lego scenes, or create a giant Lego Friends Cat, Dog, and Girl!
The mall has one long aisle that was just Japanese food. Breads, sushi, and restaurants.
It was decorated with ninjas...
Kites...
And (of course) Maneki Neko!
They also had a China town street inside the Mall too.
And yes, the Malls are always crowded like this...on a weekday.
Triple that amount in the evenings. Crazy crowds.

Pretty sure this Mall is where I got food poisoning/stomach flu, But thankfully, one Doctor trip later, and I am finally starting to feel better.
And counting down the days to home!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Malls

We took DH's Mom out to the mall this week.
It was her first time out shopping since she broke her leg, (which happened just before we left to come here).
The Mall was insanely crowded due to "Deepavali" which is an Hindu/Indian and National Holiday here.
We ate at a fancy restaurant there.
These were our drinks. DH drank the barley water...because nobody else liked it, haha.
The girls and I drank the "Sour Plum Sprite" which was just Sprite with lemon slices and two sour plums dropped in.
It makes a sour/sweet combo.
On a different mall trip, we stopped at the Food Court and got a steamboat.
Shi was apprehensive about the flames on the table.
We also had some Korean food and found the girls really like that.
While waiting for DH, the girls and I saw this cute "Sushi Girl" outside of a Japanese restaurant so we had to take a picture.
Vivi wanted to hold her hand. :)

More toys from Kinder Joy eggs.
Vivi got a water squirter, and Shi got this little parrot figurine...he's supposed to be part of some space set that you can collect if you open the right eggs.
This time Vivi only ate half of her candy though and gave the rest to me...so we're definitely in it for the toys now. :)
The chocolate reminds of Ferrero Roche, that Nutella flavor...which makes sense since the Eggs are made by Ferrero.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kinder Joy

 Kinder Joy is (reading from label) Crispy cocoa specialties on milky and cocoa-hazelnut creams plus a surprise. It's made by Ferrero Asia.

When you open the egg you have your treat on one side, a white spoon/spatula stuck to the other side and under the orange foil is your "surprise".
As you can see the candy and the toy are really separated, but I will admit that both of the girls toys were made of tiny pieces that I put together before I took the photo so I definitely would say it's not for kids of a young age.

Shiloh got these 3D glasses with 3D picture. They actually fit/stay really well on her!

Vivian's contained this little alien or ninja dude (?), whose little tuft of hair is supposed to serve as a paintbrush for the two little watercolor pictures that it came with.
How cute it that?!

Of the actual candy, Shiloh gobbled hers down but Vivian thought it was too sweet so she had to take a break before she could finish hers.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Playgrounds and Water parks

They have different play equipment here at the playgrounds.
The girls...and I...didn't know what to do with about half of it.  Do you sit on it?
Rock it? Um...spin it?
Sometimes it was all of the above.

Kinda feel dumb when you can't figure out playground equipment. Honestly our playground stuff blows them away.
It's so hot and muggy though that the kids don't want to play too long anyways.

This was some net ball thing...thankfully we didn't have to rescue anyone from the center of it.
Shiloh and a couple of her cousins
Vivian testing out her cousin's scooter.

Water park

DH and Vivian at the water park

I had to buy the girls some Kinder Joy eggs!
Believe it or not. These are banned in the USA.
Confiscated by the TSA, interrogation, the whole deal.
Dangerous, dangerous little eggs.
Because...they have a little toy inside.
?!?!?!?!?!

Just so you know, I'm not breaking the law! ;-)
 I'll have the girls eat them here...the chocolate, not the toy. It's really not hard to tell the difference. lol
If I can, I will take a picture when they open them.
It's too late here for them to eat them now.



I love you enough to eat your cabbage

In Asia, it is common for everyone to receive a bowl of rice.
Then in the center of the table there are usually a minimum of three dishes, which are meant to put on top of the rice.

The other day those choices were a cauliflower/carrot mixture...which had been sauteed in an oil, then a cabbage/bean sprout mixture, and I don't remember the 3rd option.
Anyways, the girls dishes were piled up with this oily cabbage and cauliflower and I immediately knew this was not going to be good for their stomachs.
So I did what I had to, I scooped most of their cabbage and cauliflower onto my dish and told them to just eat the rice.

Then guess who had the stomachache? :-S

But then they got to sleep so sweetly, so how could I do anything else? ;-)
This is a photo of them helping DH's Mom with preparing the bean sprouts for dinner.
The same prep as we did all Summer for our green beans so the girls were Pros. :)

I found this List of  Local Foods in Singapore.
I have eaten quite possibly everything on the list over the years, and here are some of my thoughts on some of the dishes.

#2 Wanton Mee is very common. We usually eat this several times per visit.
It's quite good.

#3 Fried Carrot Cake - DH's Mom makes this. I was so disappointed the first time they told me we were having carrot cake and I was anticipating a sweet carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
Needless to say this has rather dimmed my appeal to the Singapore version.

#5 Kaya Toast- Very common breakfast though we've only ever had it at a restaurant...never at home.
I actually just bought some Coconut Kaya to bring home and have on toast there.
It's a nice simple breakfast...but I find it not too filling.

#12 Satay - One of Shi's favorite dishes. We often eat this back home too as DH makes it for Shi often in the Summer when we can grill. We don't do the peanut dip at home though as the girls won't eat it.

#14 Tau Huay - Popular dessert. I'm not a fan. Just too much tofu flavor...um, since it's tofu.
Basically tastes like tofu and honey.

#15 Ice Kachang - I am a fan of this! :)

#16 Chwee Kway - pretty good, You usually only get a couple when it's order for a group, so it's more like a side dish. It's a bit oily so I wouldn't eat more than that anyways.

#17 Durian - Ugh. The smell. If I plug my nose and eat it...I can tolerate it.
Then you smell your breath and wish you hadn't unplugged your nose.
It reeks...tons of places around here reek of it. Even famous chefs...like Andrew Zimmerman (Bizarre Foods) couldn't stand it. If that tells you anything.
The guy eats bugs.

#20 Mee Siam - I can't eat very much of this. Too spicy and oily.

#22 Roti Prata - Very good! The girls like it, I like it. It's served with a spicy curry which doesn't seem to go with it to me. I like it sprinkled with sugar....tastes like a thin fried dough then. Yum!
I'd be interested in seeing if I could make this at home. :)

#24 Rojak - It stinks! It's tastes okay. But it stinks. If it's offered to me, I turn it down.
If it's put on my plate, I will eat it.
Fermented sauce just stinks...especially in the heat.

#25 Chicken Rice - Very common, We've already eaten this at least a handful of times this visit alone.
I peel off the skin since I hate eating skin. The people here look at me weird...then they eat the skin I peeled off. Ew!


BTW: We had pizza for a late lunch today.
(Shiloh was bouncing around she was so excited for familiar food!! :-D )
Over $54 for 2 large pizzas, and tiny box of fried seafood.
American food is expensive here! (Though technically the restaurant is called "Canadian Pizza" which is mystifying because who ever heard of Canadian pizza? Aye?) ;-)


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Small spaces, goodness gracious!

You know how "living small" is really "in" right now?
Well, we are staying in a pretty small room right now.
It takes some creative arranging.
I stack the two small mattresses in the day as a make-shift couch/daybed and lay them out at night.
Organization...basically living out of the carry-on luggage and a small part of the closet.
And creative arranging of where everyone is going to lay on the mattresses....'cause Shi kicks everyone! 
Vivian misses her stuffed animals that she cuddles at night, back home. So I gave her a rolled up blanket and it actually works and she cuddles that at night instead. ;-)

So thankful to have such awesome kids.

On another mall trip, we *had* to have an ice kachang.
I always like to have one whenever we are visiting. Though I think every single one has been slightly different.
Shiloh was a big fan, Vivian was not.
She was more pleased with being able to drink an Orange Fanta with her meal, since we normally don't allow sodas. ;-)
We went to IKEA today.
I am not a fan. It's too huge and eventually boring.
Rooms of lights, and Rooms of bedding, and Rooms of furniture but it's not the quality of an actual furniture store.
After all that walking, I think I found one thing in the store that I wanted. :-s
Does not make that a worthwhile trip to me!
My feet still hurt too. boo!

Our turtle has a cousin here. This turtle is bigger than Katie but she has this small set-up.
Katie is spoiled!
Plus our daredevil turtle would have escaped this tank many times over I think.
We saw baby turtles in the pet store here, and the sign said...."imported from the USA". lol

We went to a Giant store today. That's what the store is called "Giant", It's like a very big Super Wal-mart.
They carry just about everything...though I couldn't find any peaches, or very much in the cereal aisle (at least of types that we recognized).
Tons of fish laid out though, including a beautiful one with purple stripes on its head and purple dots on its body!

It was fun to walk around with my 7 yr old niece though and ask her if she tried different foods that I found on the shelves and whether she liked them.
Then she held up a jar of Orange Marmalade and said that it looked so funny and she didn't want to try it. Lol, she gave me such a look when I told her I loved it!

Also, since this country has basically banned chewing gum...she is/was totally fascinated with Shiloh's ability to blow bubbles with her gum.
Ah, so funny!
Shiloh is a Rockstar now. ;-)


Friday, October 10, 2014

Here or there

Four hour of driving....
Two long flights....


And we're here.
All in all, things went smoothly.
The food on the flights wasn't great, and quite small portions also.
Definitely not what we've experienced before on our trips.
Shi slept through one meal...seriously it was served around 11:30pm our time so it wasn't unexpected.
But *was* unexpected was that we couldn't get a sandwich for her when she did wake up.
Just a cup 'o noodle.
Ugh. so full of salt...not the best thing to eat while flying.
DH and most every man on the flight got noodles also since they were still hungry.

Vivian always has a shy, nervous bladder so I wasn't sure what to expect with her.
She didn't manage to use the plane bathroom, despite at least three attempts, but she did use the noisy airport restroom so that was actually a big step for her. 

Our connection was in Hong Kong airport but thankfully there was no sign of the riots or even increased security presence there so that was more calming.

The picture above is my view from this bedroom in my BIL's apartment.
Buildings as far as the eye can see.
We're woken each day by the sounds of diesel trucks, and some annoying squawking bird....must be part rooster since it always starts at the crack of dawn.
At least I am hoping it's a bird.
Could be a monkey.
I saw monkey warning signs in the nearby park.
Makes me regret watching Congo...and any other monkey movie ever made.

We are also near a school which plays music several times a day.
Very noisy.

Anyways I am finally online BUT the electricity is not our standard 120volt.
So even though we have converters to charge our devices...they charge extremely slow.

We bought apple juice at the local store.
It doesn't taste like apple juice, way too sweet.
I had to read the ingredients because I couldn't figure out why apple juice...doesn't taste like apple juice!
They *add* cane sugar to their juice here.
But if you do buy juice from an actual juice vendor...they give you concoctions like apple/orange juice and apple/watermelon and it is just that.
An apple and an orange ground up and the juice poured in your cup.
Pretty tasty. Shi is a fan of that one.
Vivian likes the carrot juice...which comes in a can and has orange and other juices mixed in.