20. October 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: All Posts, New Home · Tags: , ,

Another visit to the ongoing construction of our new home @ The Minton condo. We headed out earlier than usual this Saturday morning, and fitted enough time to visit the site from three different locations: Blocks 143, 142 and finally 158. We’d not checked out the view from Block 143 before, and you do get a long corridor that gives an uninterrupted wide view of the project, especially Blocks 2, 6 and 8 and the iconic badminton dome. The pictures this time were taken with the D7000, and the Sigma 18-250mm lens. Some of the worker shots were taken at the longest focal length.

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Minton blocks 8, 6 and 2 as seen from Block 143.

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The iconic badminton dome’s steel frame is up.

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Close-up of workers at the dome.

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The main pool and water playground not evident from the picture yet.

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No record of a Minton visit is complete without a Hannah picture. This new home project was for her afterall.

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Our block coming along very nicely, and further along in development than the others. Ling chuckled that that’s because ours is the guinea pig block LOL.

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Our unit – at the moment indistinguishable from all the other units.

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View from Block 142.

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Looks like they’ve prefilled the 50m lap pool.

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Workers going at it.

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A look at the project’s main entrance and what will be the clubhouse area; viewing from Block 158.

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Long shot of the badminton dome.

Another monthly check-up on The Minton condo, and this time the 10th and 11th floor of Block 158. The place is now about 15 months away from estimated completion. The Sigma 18-250mm lens came along for the check-out this time, and that enabled a couple of zoomed-in pictures to see the construction of the property’s facilities.

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Panoramic stitch from the corner of Blk 158 level 11.

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This should be the Grand Clubhouse.

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Entrance and driveway into the property.

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Construction men working on the air-conditioning balconies.

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Close-up look at the unit balconies reveal that the planter areas are pretty deep.

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Tennis court.:)

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Hannah still in a somewhat grouchy mood! :)

The Chinese New Year festive season is just a few days away and we’ve been starting to prepare our home in our little ways. One of the most common decorations for the occasion is the Pussy Willow plant, with its fluffy white blossoms that represent growth and prosperity. At about this time, the plant is readily available at supermarkets, wet markets and nurseries too. Nope, we’re not normally superstitious, but what the heck – might as well get in with the rest of the crowd over here!

Our version of the plant comes courtesy of Ikea. Ling didn’t want the separate stalk versions as that would have necessitate plantation into a water vase and the usual risks of unwanted insects breeding. The Ikea version comes planted and slightly higher-priced. Here’s our girl helping us de-shell and prepare the plant for us to hang ornaments around the plant.

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And oh yeah; taken on the new D7000. I’m missing the lever for spot-focusing. Lazily kept it at area AF and about 10% of the shots ended up focusing on one of the numerous background objects in the kitchen. At least the rest turned out quite nice.=)

19. December 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: All Posts, At Home, Baby Blues · Tags: ,

We’ve been reading to Hannah every night before bed but just today decided to try varying the activities a bit. Ling got her an activity book and glue from Popular Book Store (Ling quips that the Popular Membership card is super worth it, given the ton of stationary and children materials she buys from the book store!), and has been giving it a go.

The series of pictures tells the story. Our girl still can’t fully handle the picture sticking on her own, but with some help from Mommy can just about do one or two.=)

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What the pictures here don’t tell though is that just earlier on in that very day, Hannah had super-stressed out Ling with her continued bawling. i.e. she cried over lunch, over her bath time, over her nap, over when Ling was trying to prepare dinner etc.

I got back home from work to find a very red-eyed Hannah and a weary looking Mommy. For the next half-hour had to sit our girl down and ‘psycho’ her to give Ling an easier time. Hannah at least went up to Ling thereafter, said “Sorry Mommy, no more cry-cry’”, and actually sounded very sincere.=)

It wasn’t long after checking into Capella Singapore @ Sentosa that we both arrived at the same conclusion; that given how luxurious the place was (and that I paid a hefty bill for the stay), we both felt that we would rather spend more time in the hotel than in Sentosa itself! I don’t think this will be the last time we’ll visit Sentosa, especially since Hannah’s at such a young age she couldn’t appreciate the sights on the tourist-y island anyway.

So, a few more pictures of our little outing.=)

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At the garden-pool area of Capella Singapore. There was a back gate at the hotel which exited right at Palawan beach. There was a mosquito or two though in the 10 minute walk down, so we had to speed-carry Hannah on the walk down and back up later in the return journey.

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Singapore really doesn't have a lot of nice beaches, so this is about as good as it gets. We'd brought Hannah's beach toys, but ended up not really spending too much time on the beach.

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Didn't take long before Hannah had to stop, and prompted Ling about sand in her shoes.

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The suspension bridge linking Palawan Beach to the southern-most point of continental Asia.

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Hannah takes a good look at the sea at the top of the four storey tower. Guess who carried her up? Hint: Not Mommy. =)

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She's getting real heavy!

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On the walk down, which she manages fine with support from the railings and one of us.

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We take turns to carry her, and not unexpectedly, I have an easier time carrying Hannah.

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Thought this was a cute photo. Hannah standing on a make-up room stool to brush her teeth.=)

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More iPad pictures! This was at The Soup Spoon restaurant where we had lunch on the second day.

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Dinner in Vivocity at the absolutely fabulous Go India restaurant. The restaurant whips out a North Indian buffet for SGD25 a head. Amazingly good stuff. Ling complimented the wait staff several times. The only camera I had on hand was the Samsung Galaxy S, so apologies for the pretty crappy pictures here.

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The food was so good that Hannah kept asking for more. We were very surprised at how easily she adapted to North Indian cuisine. =)

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The family photo! Taken on the timer (didn't bring the wireless remote). Come to think of it; the photo looks weird! We both have unglam legs, so we were trying to hide them with cushios.=)

More pictures of Hannah adapting to the room and surroundings.=)

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Hannah loved the three meter long couch, and spent a lot of her time lazing along it.

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Just woke up on the second day morning.

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Striking a lady-like pose. Below: Breakfast on the couch.=)

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Walking out to the Lobby for the late morning hotel shuttle bus to Vivocity - we availed ourselves of this service frequently!

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We arrived early, so we sat her down at the large lawn in front of the hotel to play about.

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Bus-ride to Vivocity for brunch. Had a fabulous meal; will blog about that separately.

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Back at the hotel's library in the mid-afternoon. We had afternoon tea on what Ling called really expensive bone china tea sets.

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Hannah wanted to go back to her usual routine; emptying out a library shelf off books and bringing them back to Mommy. We stopped her and had her settle with just three books!

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Walking down the stairs from the library back to the Lobby.

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We were greeted warmly everywhere by the hotel staff. Hannah was a little too shy to reciprocate though!

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Our girl has re-discovered the joy of being carried everywhere. Both of our arms ached.

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At the pool for an afternoon swim. We brought her to the young adult's swim area, which I think is the deepest she's tried so far. And nope, she didn't have problems.=)

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Settling in for an afternoon nap. She adjusted quite well on the overall, though she did her usual fidgeting throughout the night, and seemed very alert to any kind of noise. We had to tip-toe around the room while she slept.

Hands down; the best hotel or resort we’ve both stayed yet.

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Capella Singapore @ Sentosa

This is one property where (nearly – see below) everything’s just perfect. We got to the resort pretty speedily in on the early yesterday Saturday afternoon, got the car parked, and found our way to the reception. One thing that struck us immediately was how idyllic Capella felt. It’s strange considering that the hotel was supposed to be at near full occupancy, but hardly anyone was about.

It’s amazing too that every staff we ran into greeted us warmly, with the reception staff even knowing us by name already upon arrival. Interestingly, most of the reception staff weren’t local.

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A personal assistant brought us to our room - no. 422.

There was a welcome card in the room. Handwritten, and signed off by the General Manager – not typed-out. I’m sure it’s done for every guest arrival and I’m not sure if the card was written by the GM himself, but it was nonetheless a very nice and warm gesture.

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The Welcome Card.

The room was massive – and this was the lowest-priced room even. The size at 77 square meters was about more than half the size of our Rivervale apartment! There was plenty of space for Hannah to move about, and she took joy in simply walking round and round the room, touching and exploring.

Warm earth and traditional colors throughout too, but yet the room was driven by high tech gadgets. Including a full LCD-equipped telephone, power board boxes, ceiling mounted speakers with a Bose CD player, a 42 inch LCD rotatable wall-mounted screen, electrically controlled light settings, curtains and blinds, with mood settings too.

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The room, and balcony just yonder.

Most of the wall comprises a large glass window that gave us a view of the garden below, and also Palawan Beach further beyond.

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Hannah was fascinated with the room, and in the first 30 minutes walked circles round and round!

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Hannah approves of the fantastic view of Sentosa from the three meter long couch.=)

We were glad to see that a baby crib had been laid out too in the room, though it creaked a little as Hannah adjusted herself to it at night. Strangely; crib pillows were not included, though Ling had earlier specifically asked if crib pillows would be included and the answer was yes. When she called the reception to inquire about it again, the final answer came back in the negative. That necessitated a trip back home to pick up Hannah’s pillows (Ling had also forgotten if she’d switch off the living room fan LOL). The one downer in our stay.

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The Tub.

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Double sinks.

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Baby toiletries too.

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A large suite of hot and cold beverages, an expresso machine - all in the package.=)

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The room was scented; Ling's guess - sandal wood.

We mused that the relatively high price tag for the room – at SGD550+ lowest – might had been instrumental in keeping away most stayers. Plus the relatively low number of rooms versus the very large physical land space the resort is spread out mean that the resort never felt crowded.

Continued in a next post. =)

18. June 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: All Posts, At Home, Baby Blues · Tags: , ,

Our dear girl has become quite attached to a jigsaw puzzle application I bought for her on the iPad. The application – My Jigsaw Puzzles HD – was another one of those USD0.99 apps, but the kind of engagement it has brought to Hannah far surpasses its very low price. The application uses pictures of cutesy animals that she recognizes from flash cards, and puzzles can comprise between 4 to 49 pieces.

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My Jigsaw Puzzles HD

Hannah’s learned how to easily work out the 4 piece puzzles in just a few days, and navigate around the program, and can do the 9 piece puzzles with some Daddy assistance. Just incredible how toddlers pick up and learn new things!

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A picture of concentration!

22. April 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: All Posts, Baby Blues · Tags: ,

Hannah has been able to easily recognize animals from the set of picture cards she has for months now, and I’ve also created a Folder for her on the computer storing online pictures from a range of animals to help her in animal recognition. We decided it was time to let her see the real thing. So, it was a trip to the zoo this holiday morning.

Well, one trip later, mixed results. Great weather, and the trip was accident free. However, with the exception of the elephant and giraffe enclosures, and the ponies at the kid’s zoo, she seemed hard pressed to recognize most of the animals elsewhere or even demonstrate much of an interest in them.

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Mommy had this idea of renting a kiddie’s cart, but our girl had little interest in it after the first 10 minutes.
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There was a kangaroo lying less than a meter from the exhibit fence at the Outback enclosure.

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Having fun with elephants above. The one animal she recognized instantly! There were lots of visitors at the giraffe enclosure, but she got a pretty good look at them.

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The obligatory family picture!

The highlight was in the walk-in aviary when Hannah ran after and probably terrorize a few duck. =)

We just learned one of the probable reasons why we’ve been having an infestation of mosquitoes around our home in the last few weeks. National Environment Agency officers started their visitations to the blocks in the area – which we’re guessing was because other residents had prompted them to do so – and after checks, determined that our neighbors downstairs had potted plants which had turned into little mosquito breeding areas. No wonder!

We’re glad though that the mosquito net has blocked off most mosquitoes from Hannah overnight, though from the two bedtime pictures below taken just now, she still gets the occasional bite from day time.

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Diaper changed, in her bed clothes, finished saying prayers, and ready for a final cuddle with Daddy.

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She'll only sleep with her 'dog dog' stuff animal toy.:)