Sunday, June 27, 2010

He is four!

Kai is four. He is still as playful. He is still as mischievous.
He still takes an hour or more to fall asleep. He still drinks milk from his bottle.
He is still on diaper when he sleeps.
Not much improvement from a year back. Drats.

Good thing he is still cute.
He likes to act cute by speaking in the most bitchy tone, complete with Singlish, "Why the truck always spoil huh?" He likes to imitate his sister, repeat her words and actions - both good and bad. He must read a book before bedtime just like her. He demands me to laugh when he show me anything funny, just like her. He murmurs and grumbles, word for word after her, and doesn't know what he is sprouting. But one thing unlike his sister, Kai asks for food most of the time. He asks for curry puff whenever he sees po-po and requests for fried rice whenever he sees ma-ma. He is a friendly little chap to selected people. He likes to talk to po-po, ye-ye and ma-ma. He speaks their language when he talks to them, and likes to show and teach them what he knows. He shrieks a funny and comical "Hur-aarhhh!!" when friendly strangers smile at him. He scampers away when he sees the tyrant approaching with the disciplinary rod in her hands.
Nothing positive. Sigh.

But I'm glad there is another thing that still remains.
That is, he still loves mummy.
He likes to hug me and say he loves me...
gives me a kiss and asks me to reciprocate, then naughtily says "yeeee... I don't like... saliva"
He jumps to my defence when Xuan told him "mummy is naughty". Then he wisphers softly into Xuan's ears, complete with the most endearing look, "sshh... don't say that Jie jie, but mummy is good...., mummy is not naughty..."

Kai brings lots of sunshine to the family.
Life will be completely boring without him.
We love him!
And we wish him the best of everything in life, forever healthy and happy.
Happy Birthday Kai!
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Back from Tokyo

We are back from Tokyo in six pieces! (I mean there are six of us!)
So so happy to be home!
So delighted to get back to the mundane.
It takes a fair bit of suffering to be able to appreciate the routine life more.
Oh well...

For the past 9 days (7 days to be exact), we trailed Tokyo on foot, lugging an almost 4-year-old, a seven-year old, two elderly, and backpacks of water and food. We took its JR trains, tried the limousine bus, and experienced the exorbitantly-charged taxi (not on purpose). We explored Shinjuku, Asakusa, Tokyo Disneyland, Ueno, Harajuku, Hakone, Odawara and Shibuya. We tolerated a highly grouchy Kai who "crashed" into commuters like how he crashed his cars.

We were not lucky on most of the days. We paid for the expensive Disneyland tickets only to be greeted by rain. We had to hide under the covered walkway until we gave up and decided to head back to our hotel in the drizzle when the Resort was about to end its day. We did not manage to see any of its attractions.

We wasted our time hunting for elevators in train stations to alleviate the old folks' torment. It took as many as six trains to come and go before we successfully found the right exit elevator to our route, or unsuccessfully declared, "sorry folks, there are not escalators/elevators, we have to climb this flight of stairs!"

Well, Tokyo is not a place for the old folks. Too fast-paced, too many stairs!
And if you are not familiar with the place, you'd better sign up for the tour. This was a precious lesson learnt. The only person who enjoyed the trip thoroughly was Xuan. She was the friendly soul who went around greeting the Japanese with "Ko-ni-chi-wa"!

Konichiwa girl

Shinjuku at night.

Asakusa shopping street.

Tokyo Disneyland. Sigh...

Rainy day.

Camping in the covered walkway all the way till evening.

Hakone. Cooler weather. A pleasant retreat.

Hakone ropeway.

Smoking-prohibited streets.

Japanese toilet with butt-washing function.

Food/meals vending machine.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Upcoming trip to Japan

One of the biggest project for this June holidays is the Free and Easy trip to Tokyo. It's getting more and more "exciting"! Nine more days to go and we'll be off to Japan.

The luggages are already packed. Almost.
Knowing my blur nature, I'm sure to forget this and that if I only pack everything at the eleventh hour. It reminds me of the early packing of hospital bags prior to the delivery of Xuan and Kai few years back. Except that this time, there's no baby to muse about. Well, the feeling is about the same anyway. Bits of happiness and sweetness, but lots of anxiety. Anxious about both the unexpected hiccups and the expected tiresome journey.

This free & easy trip is a big project albeit smaller than the baby project.
The never-ending task-list for this trip is enough to put me off before we even fly.

We've got to prepare the trip itinerary, book the hotels and flight, choose the safest spot* to place our butts on the plane, source out places to settle the hungry tummies while in a faraway land, think of the snacks to bring in case Xuan and Kai are starved for their fussiness, things to bring to distract the kids and to nurse their homesickness.

Planning the itinerary itself is not an easy feat.

You've got to rack your brains on the various places of interests, which will amuse the kids while not bore the old folks, and those that will entertain the old folks while not bore the kids.

You've got to conjure up possible scenarios of rain, tiredness, crankiness from the folks, and think of solutions to the problems.

You've got to hunt remotely for eateries around the places of interest that could satisfy the discerning taste buds of the picky kids and the careful diet of the elders.

You've got to measure the distances between the hotels/train stations and the places of interests to ensure that each destination is within the comfortable reach of the old folks. You've got to really look up into google maps, zoom into the street views, to really really make sure that "Hmmm... yah, this place is just across the road, I think they can walk..."

You've got to work out the travel routes step by step. You need to deliberate on route 1 and route 2, if not route 3 for the ifs, if not, and otherwise.

We are departing on 16 June.
I'm not looking forward to the worn out shoulders from carrying an oversized haversack.
I'm not looking forward to the "Go, mummy GO!" from active Kai while turning back to watch helplessly as the "oh, slow down please"-silent-pleading old folks struggle to keep up with the pace.
I'm not looking forward to Xuan's sulkiness when Japanese food is served upon her.
I'm not looking forward to the crankiness from a nap-deprived Kai.

I'm ONLY looking forward to the break from the daily housework.
But not the washing of the luggages of dirty and smelly laundry when we come back on the 24th!

*Special note: According to research, the safest spot on the plane is the rear part. If the plane suffer any crash and breaks into two (*touch wood*), the tail is still intact. So we've decided to place our bets (buttocks) on its tail! Despite knowing that SQ is rather safe. Arrggghhh!!!
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