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Kids @ 17mm, 25mm etc. – Part 18

Amidst the torrent of blog posts on our Minton home renovation project, it’s been a while since I wrote a post on our kids, so here’s one. Of the big changes in the last month or so, we experienced a one in the form of a change of the children’s nanny. It wasn’t an easy change as we weren’t given much time for both parents and kids to make the change, but we were fortunate (and definitely very blessed!) to find one at short notice who’d be able to take care of both kids, and whom is also a Christian too. The new nanny’s home is also situated at both our work places’ general vicinity – which has both pros and cons. Good because picking up the children after work is easy, bad because it means Hannah has to wake up even earlier now to make the time for her daily school-bus pick-up (the school bus needs to travel further from the new nanny’s place to her school).

Peter has also just started teething, which he’s – thankfully – been able to ease into, alongside an increasing acceptance of solid foods that both nanny and Ling has been continuing for him. Unfortunately, he’s also been experiencing a bout of gastric flu, which – operationally – means that about five to six times a day, he’ll unload big time baby-style into his diapers! Each unloading has required a quick shower of his bottom, an exercise he initially wailed loudly about but seems to have gotten used to the routine.

The experience between Peter’s first year has been very different from Hannah’s. We only now realized how true is that old mommys’ observations of how much stronger baby boys are compared to baby girls. Peter baby punches, pinches, kicks, squirms, and scratches – and the both of us have our battle scars to show for it LOL.

Peter looks like another truck is about to him him! He doesn't drool as much now though, something we're thankful for.

Peter looks like another truck is about to hit him! He doesn’t drool as much now too, something we’re thankful for.

Hannah at a very precocious 4 years 9 months old. I think she looks tall for her age, though Ling says she only seems that way - until she's standing beside her peers.

Hannah at a very precocious 4 years 9 months old. I think she looks tall for her age, though Ling says she only seems that way – until she’s standing beside her peers.

Parents at Lentor have been very helpful this few months when we're madly running around over the weekends shopping for furniture and checking on the progress of our Minton home renovation and the like.

Parents at Lentor have been very helpful this few months when we’re madly running around over the weekends shopping for furniture and checking on the progress of our Minton home renovation and the like.

Hannah in her school uniform and waiting at her new nanny's place. Our morning routine involves us driving to the new nanny's place, and waiting for her bus pick-up. That's meant at least 5-10 minutes more of bonding time each morning while waiting for her ride.

Hannah in her school uniform and waiting at her new nanny’s place. Our morning routine involves us driving to the new nanny’s place, and waiting for her bus pick-up. That’s meant at least 5-10 minutes more of bonding time each morning while waiting for her ride.

Girls in green, and on another morning while waiting for Hannnah's ride; she's out of uniform as it's Friday - which occasionally is home clothes day for the kids.

Girls in green, and on another morning while waiting for Hannnah’s ride; she’s out of uniform as it’s Friday – which occasionally is home clothes day for the kids.

Work-in-Progress – Part 24

We were pretty lucky that I’d already applied for paternity leave the latter part of this week, what with our confinement helper having to head home earlier than originally planned for. Daddies can be really helpful around the house during these periods – i.e. menial labor, taking care of the other children, and generally doing the little things, odds and ends to make sure that Mommies keep their sanity with a just-born baby.

I got to sneak out during lunch time though after Hannah fell asleep after her late morning feed for a quick visit to The Minton condo site to see how things were. Lots of little improvements made, especially in road tiling and such.

The base of the Amazonian Lily pond looks done. Just waiting for water and lilies.

The base of the Amazonian Lily pond looks done. Just waiting for water and lilies.

The wood decks at the Library Patio looks nearly done too.

The wood decks at the Library Patio looks nearly done too.

The themed croquet lawn has got fitted with lawn patches.

The themed croquet lawn has got fitted with lawn patches.

The Dining Cabana still looks kind of odd. I suppose the dining table itself will be right in the center where the wood decks will be installed later.

The Dining Cabana still looks kind of odd. I suppose the dining table itself will be right in the center where the wood decks will be installed later.

The pedestrian path just outside the compound has been fitted with decorative wave patterns. Nice!

The pedestrian path just outside the compound has been fitted with decorative wave patterns. Nice!

National Day's just around the corner too!

National Day’s just around the corner too!

The roundabout driveway has been fitted with cobblestones.

The roundabout driveway has been fitted with cobblestones.

Likewise for the car bays. Amazing how quickly they've worked since the last visit over the weekend.

Likewise for the car bays. Amazing how quickly they’ve worked since the last visit over the weekend.

Panels have been installed at the entrance lobby of the Grand Clubhouse. These should be the support structures for the vertical garden later.

Panels have been installed at the entrance lobby of the Grand Clubhouse. These should be the support structures for the vertical garden later.

Work-in-Progress – Part 23

Our next visit to the ongoing construction of The Minton condo, and a look at the exteriors again. There’s still a lot of discussion and predictions on when residents are going to be receiving keys to their units for their inspection and handover. The optimistic fellows believe it’s impending (as in mid-August), but I still think September to October is more likely. Not that it matters that much to us anyway, since we’re not in a hurry to move.=)

Veranda of the library looks great, though wood floor decking is still yet to complete.

Veranda of the library looks great, though wood floor decking is still yet to complete.

The cascading waterfall at Tranquil World.

The cascading waterfall at Tranquil World.

According to the map, this is supposed to be the Dining Cabana - but say what...? =)

According to the map, this is supposed to be the Dining Cabana – but say what…? =)

Deck flooring work has begun at one end of the Contemporary Bridge.

Deck flooring work has begun at one end of the Contemporary Bridge.

Nearly 2 years ago, we consciously chose a unit that was facing Tranquil instead of Fun World.

Nearly 2 years ago, we consciously chose a unit that was facing Tranquil instead of Fun World.

Fun World amenities look like they are nearing completion.

Fun World amenities look like they are nearing completion.

Outdoor fitness fixtures in front of Block 14A.

Outdoor fitness fixtures in front of Block 14A.

Sleek modern-looking apartment lines against a bright morning sun.

Sleek modern-looking apartment lines against a bright morning sun.

Fitness facilities at the opposite end of the compound, and in front of Block 12.

Fitness facilities at the opposite end of the compound, and in front of Block 12.

The roundabout right in front of the Grand Clubhouse.

The roundabout right in front of the Grand Clubhouse.

Work-in-Progress – Part 22

For several weeks now, the FB group has also been seeing a lot of residents making visits into apartment units still in construction at The Minton condo. Visitations when construction is still going on is obviously dangerous unless you’re dressed in the appropriate protection gear and wear, so visits have largely been on the weekends after construction has ceased for the day. Even then, there were still concerns expressed that visitations into units that are ready for inspection might result in accidental damage, though I wonder how that can realistically happen. It’s not as though the units are made of paper, nor are the curious visitors going in with hacksaws and hammers to vandalize the place. Ling was sharing with me too that years ago when her family home at Bedok was nearing completion and before inspection and handover, her family also walked in for visits without a care.

Still, the general feeling is that visitors should exercise caution in these visits so that they don’t accidentally damage anything – so I kept my time looking into the units to an absolutely minimal. As in popped in for a minute, took pictures, went right back out. This will also be my one and only visit into units before handover – it was only to satisfy my curiosity!

8 July update: apparently some residents who visited recently during work hours were warned off by the contractor. Not sure what happened there, but visiting during work hours can not only be dangerous, the workers themselves have to also look out for visitors while they work. I won’t be checking out interiors anymore myself until handover given how much attention is being heaped on it. Hope the pictures here don’t inspire anyone else to do something dangerous!

The Dry kitchen in some of the more expensive units.

The Dry kitchen in some of the more expensive units.

This will pose a security risk for units with the backyard. It's easy for someone to climb over the wall at the lift lobby, and into a unit via the backyard.

This will pose a security risk for units with the backyard. It’s easy for someone to climb over the wall at the lift lobby, and into a unit via the backyard.

Lift Lobby of our unit still very much in construction.

Lift Lobby of our unit still very much in construction.

This is a Stack 36 unit - a 4 bedroom unit. The unit seems nearly complete, though possibly still not ready for inspection (the door was left wide-open).

This is a Stack 36 unit – a 4 bedroom unit. The unit seems nearly complete, though possibly still not ready for inspection (the door was left wide-open).

Pretty sizable living and dining area.

Pretty sizable living and dining area.

Full-height glass windows.

Full-height glass windows.

The Dry Kitchen, alongside storage compartments and also a space for a fridge.

The Dry Kitchen, alongside storage compartments and also a space for a fridge.

Looking from the living room and into the bedrooms.

Looking from the living room and into the bedrooms.

Electrolux stove and oven in the kitchen.

Electrolux stove and oven in the kitchen.

The toilet adjacent to the kitchen.

The toilet adjacent to the kitchen.

Appliance switches in the kitchen.

Appliance switches in the kitchen.

Planter areas in the balcony.

Planter areas in the balcony.

Bedroom. It's become quite common for bay windows in most of these new apartment projects, but many people also think it's wasted space.

Bedroom. It’s become quite common for bay windows in most of these new apartment projects, but many people also think it’s wasted space.

The master bedroom toilet.

Bedroom toilet.

Master bedroom.

Master bedroom.

Work-in-Progress – Part 21

It’s been a fortnight since our last visit to The Minton condo’s construction. The last weekend was a terrifically busy one with Peter’s birth, our return from the hospital, and setting up the confinement nanny at home. There’s been several residents at the Facebook group who’ve been visiting inside the compound on weekends after construction has stopped for the day; so on a humid Sunday late afternoon, I went by for the same on top of the usual long and wide shots from the neighboring HDB blocks.

Tranquil World is almost done.

Tranquil World is almost done.

Blocks 10 in the late afternoon. Our block is right in the center.

Blocks 10 in the late afternoon. Our block is right in the center.

The library pavilion still very much looks in-development.

The library pavilion still very much looks in-development.

The cascading waterfall at Tranquil World.

The cascading waterfall at Tranquil World.

Hannah will love the children's carousel at Fun World.

Hannah will love the children’s carousel at Fun World.

The Tennis Court looks ready to be used.

The Tennis Court looks ready to be used.

The Retail Block outlet from ground level.

The Retail Block outlet from ground level.

The 50m lap pool.

The 50m lap pool.

Fun World.

Fun World.

Tranquil World as seen from the front of Block 10A.

Tranquil World as seen from the front of Block 10A.

Hougang Street 11 - with our new place at the backdrop.

Hougang Street 11 – with our new place at the backdrop.

Our new home from next year onwards.

Our new home from next year onwards.

The next series of photos are shots of inside units.

Work-in-Progress – Part 20

After an absolutely horrendous week of smog, the sky started clearing up from yesterday afternoon. The air is still by no means in the healthy range, and the health agencies monitoring the haze have warned that the somewhat clear skies these two days is a very temporary respite. But many are out of doors to take the opportunity to get out of the house, breathe some (relatively) fresh air albeit still with the slight smoky stink and enjoy whatever bit of clear skies we can before the smog welcomes us back from tomorrow onwards.

There weren’t many workers about the The Minton condo compound. Perhaps it was a slow start to a weekend day, or that construction temporarily halted when the haze breached into hazardous levels on Thursday and Friday.

Potted plants ready for relocation into the compound.

Potted plants ready for relocation into the compound.

The cascading waterfall has been planted too.

The cascading waterfall has been planted too.

No idea what it is. Perhaps a stone fortress for kids to lob water bombs at unsuspecting residents?

No idea what it is. Perhaps a stone fortress for kids to lob water bombs at unsuspecting residents?

The planted areas are really looking very nice.

The planted areas are really looking very nice.

Animal topiaries installed. Heads not included yet though.

Animal topiaries installed. Heads not included yet though.

Pool scrubbers. The pool should be filled with its first water cycle soon.

Pool scrubbers. The pool should be filled with its first water cycle soon.

Another 3 by 3 tree cluster in the compound, with the timber decks surrounding it to be installed soon.

Another 3 by 3 tree cluster in the compound, with the timber decks surrounding it to be installed soon.

Planter areas on the top of the Retail Outlet block.

Planter areas on the top of the Retail Outlet block.

The Grand Clubhouse has its own little rooftop garden too.

The Grand Clubhouse has its own little rooftop garden too.

Blocks 10 on a hazy morning.

Blocks 10 on a hazy morning.

The balconies of the sky terraces have been painted a Superman-underwear red.

The balconies of the sky terraces have been painted a Superman-underwear red.

Glass panels have been installed at the Grand Clubhouse.

Glass panels have been installed at the Grand Clubhouse.

Trees have been planted just behind the heated pool; otherwise the HDB residents opposite will get uninhibited free shows.

Trees have been planted just behind the heated pool; otherwise the HDB residents opposite will get uninhibited free shows.

The Grand Clubhouse.

The Grand Clubhouse.

The Minton, to be TOPed in July, or September, or November, or next year, or whenever.

The Minton, to be TOPed in July, or September, or November, or next year, or whenever.

This will very likely be the last visit to The Minton construction site before Ling goes into labor, after which we’ll probably be out of our regular reporting on the ongoing work of their new home for a couple of weeks until – maybe – late July or so. Everyone on the Facebook group is still guessing when TOP-completion will be though, with the optimistic fellows still believing it to be end of this month, and the pessimistic ones, well, sometime next year.

Work-in-Progress – Part 16

Yeah it’s been just 2 weeks from our last visit to The Minton condo, but with many residents keeping their fingers cross (or hopes high) that completion is just a month away now, I decided to really pick up the pace of our visits. It’ll be real fun in the years to come later to look at these old pictures of our new home while it was still in construction!

The weather here has been quite humid and unpleasantly hot, but at least the bright sunny blue skies did make for nicely contrasting colors in the pictures. Most of the changes since the last visit were in the many tree and plant saplings that have sprouted up, removal of work fences in several areas giving us the first good solid look of the place from the front and at ground level, and also internal furnishings.

The 50m lap pool, one of three pools in the project.

The 50m lap pool, one of three pools in the project.

The 20m heated pool. Not sure how useful that's going to be in this kind of tropic weather.

The 20m heated pool. Not sure how useful that’s going to be in this kind of tropic weather.

Newly planted tree saplings near the Contemporary Bridge.

Newly planted tree saplings near the Contemporary Bridge.

Straight lines against a blue morning sky.

Straight lines against a blue morning sky.

Blocks 2 and 6 from Hougang Street 11.

Blocks 2 and 6 from Hougang Street 11.

Blocks 2 and 6 as seen along the pedestrian pavement at Lorong Ah Soo.

Blocks 2 and 6 as seen along the pedestrian pavement at Lorong Ah Soo.

Where we're at; Block 10. Tranquil World, the large landscape portion in front of the block still seems very much in-progress.

Where we’re at; Block 10. Tranquil World, the large landscape portion in front of the block still seems very much in-progress.

Several residents are already starting to talk to Interior Designers to propose plans for their dream home.

Several residents are already starting to talk to Interior Designers to propose plans for their dream home.

I wonder what the residents think of our monthly visits and going all photo-paparazzi at our home from their block!

I wonder what the residents think of our monthly visits and going all photo-paparazzi at our home from their block!

Any one knows any good interior designers? =)

 

Work-in-Progress – Part 15

There’s been lots of excited discussion in our new home’s The Minton FB group about when the project will complete. A couple of residents are confident it’d be done by June, though every time we go by for a photo-visit, the project still seems at least several more months before it’d be ready for us to begin interior renovation work. Either way, it’s highly likely we’ll be moving by the end of the year, so we’ll be increasing just slightly our frequency of visits.

There are lots of condominium apartment projects everywhere we look right now, with at least 4-5 in the immediate vicinity of our home already. Funnily, it seems from our casual observations that the building pace of those projects are a lot quicker than The Minton. Then again, while our forthcoming new home is solidly a ‘mass-market’ project, there are benefits to the sheer number of resident units and size of the project. What one loses in exclusivity, one gets lots of nice amenities that aren’t typical of projects with this level of cost per square feet: an air-conditioned badminton dome, several swimming pools, a sizable landscape garden, spa facilities – not that we’d likely ever going to use a lot of these facilities anyway though.

Our usual selection of pictures below, with the E-M5 + Olympus 75-300mm and LX7 pulling photographic duties.

Condo tree saplings starting to bloom flowers.

Condo tree saplings starting to bloom flowers.

A worker aligning the plastic sheets covering the badminton dome.

A worker aligning the plastic sheets covering the badminton dome.

A fellow resident remarked that the workers are testing the air conditioning unit's compressor for gas pressure,

A fellow resident remarked that the workers are testing the air conditioning unit’s compressor for gas pressure,

Workers at the Tiger Orchid Pavilion @ Tranquil World.

Workers at the Tiger Orchid Pavilion @ Tranquil World.

The plastic tiling half done for the Badminton Dome at this point.

The plastic tiling half done for the Badminton Dome at this point.

Crates of cobblestone ready to line the driveway.

Crates of cobblestone ready to line the driveway.

Block 14 and 14A. The sidelining plants and bushes are growing along nicely now.

Block 14 and 14A. The sidelining plants and bushes are growing along nicely now.

Blocks 8, 6 and 2.

Blocks 8, 6 and 2.

 Blocks 14 and 12.


Blocks 14 and 12.

Blocks 10, 10A and 10B from mid-floor.

Blocks 10, 10A and 10B from mid-floor.

Tranquil World as seen from about the top-floor from an opposite block. Had to stick my hand with the LX7 out of a small slit to take this pictue.

Tranquil World as seen from about the top-floor from an opposite block. Had to stick my hand with the LX7 out of a small slit to take this pictue.

The Contemporary Bridge.

The Contemporary Bridge.

The Grand Clubhouse.

The Grand Clubhouse.

Hannah having the run of the sidewalk adjacent to the project.

Hannah having the run of the sidewalk adjacent to the project.

Honestly, it really doesn't look like it'll be done in June. We're keeping an eye for September.

Honestly, it really doesn’t look like it’ll be done in June. We’re keeping an eye for September.

Work-in-Progress – Part 14

Our April-month visit to the construction site of our new upcoming home at The Minton condo, and also an opportunity to bring out the recently acquired Olympus 75-300mm II for a spin. This is a pretty low-price consumer lens that I got for cheap here, and I didn’t expect miracles from the comparatively slow aperture speeds the lens operates with. On the m4/3s camera system, the lens’ focal length is the equivalent of 600mm on a full-frame, and yep the longest I’ve ever shot at.

Thankfully, lighting was all good on a bright and humid Saturday mid-morning, so the pictures were all shot at a pretty quick 1/1000s shutter speeds. The wide-angle shots were all taken again on the LX7.:)

On every occasion we've shot from the stretch of pavement that's between the site and HDB blocks, Hannah enjoys running up and down the stretch.

On every occasion we’ve shot from the stretch of pavement that’s between the site and HDB blocks, Hannah enjoys running up and down the stretch.

A long 600mm shot into the Master bedroom toilet of a unit at Stack 30 Block 10.

A long 600mm shot into the Master bedroom toilet of a unit at Stack 30 Block 10.

The rear balcony of a Stack 30 Block 10 unit. This shot was previously possible using the Panasonic 45-200mm.

The rear balcony of a Stack 30 Block 10 unit. This shot was previously impossible using the Panasonic 45-200mm.

The contemporary bridge that connects to Blocks 12C and 14.

The contemporary bridge that connects to Blocks 12C and 14.

Ling on camcorder duties again.:)

Ling on camcorder duties again.:)

The first glass panels of the Badminton dome have been installed.

The first glass panels of the Badminton dome have been installed.

The side-gate located in front of Block 14.

The side-gate located in front of Block 14.

Signature look of the apartment project!

Signature look of the apartment project!

Block 12A's front facade all done up.

Block 12A’s front facade all done up.

Another view of the contemporary bridge. Ling was wondering if the bridge was going to be covered, but I doubt so.

Another view of the contemporary bridge. Ling was wondering if the bridge was going to be covered, but I doubt so.

Our block. Can't really see visible changes since our last visit.

Our block. Can’t really see visible changes since our last visit.

The front of the apartment site. The HDR picture coming out of the LX7 didn't work so well this time, and colors look quite odd.

The front of the apartment site. The HDR picture coming out of the LX7 didn’t work so well this time, and colors look quite odd.

The Grand Clubhouse has received its first coat of paint.

The Grand Clubhouse has received its first coat of paint.

Work-in-Progress – Part 13

Another month and our thirteen visit to the site of the on-going construction of our new home @ The Minton condo. From the looks of progress, it seems now extremely unlikely that the place will be ready for residents to move in come June. My best estimate now is in September – if we’re lucky and there are no delays! Ling has been looking at bunk beds for Hannah and her little brother and just chanced across a furniture shop situated in Funan Center that she’ll want to check out soon. The gear along for the visit was again the LX7 and E-M5 + 55-200mm lens for the long shots.

Tennis court coming along nicely.

The tennis court coming along nicely.

asdas

A similar unit to ours; this is the master bedroom and its adjourning toilet.

Our yard balcony will be looking like this one here.

Our yard balcony will be looking like this one here.

The swimming pool has been cemented though still missing tiling.

The swimming pool has been cemented though still missing tiling.

Peering in at stack 31 of Block 10.

Peering in at stack 31 of Block 10.

Blocks 10.

Blocks 10; our unit again is in the center block.

Blocks 14.

Blocks 14. This one was a tricky shot from the opposite HDB block – I stuck my hand out of a slit on the wall with the LX7 and snapped away LOL.

Blocks 2, 6 and 8.

Blocks 2, 6 and 8.