Saturday, April 11, 2015

a pedal bike, the joss stick man, and egg dying

Last Saturday was a big day in Tatum's life, she got her first "pedal bike". :) She has been asking for one for awhile and to be honest the balance bike does sort of look like a lot more work than just pedaling. For now we have training wheels on it. It took her about 20 minutes to figure out how to pedal. After she gets better at that, we hope to switch back to the balance bike for a refresher on balancing and then hopefully put the two skills together. We'll see how it goes. It's dad's job. :)

We found the bike on craigslist and just picked it up in an HDB neighborhood. There was this perfect wide open area by the playground for her to practice. 

Declan just chased the birds.

And this little boy with a scooter, just followed Tatum everywhere. I did a video call with my dad while we were there to see if he thought the bike was too big, and the little boy just came right over to say hi. haha
She was really wanting a bike with a basket on the front and we lucked out. But handlebar brakes? Really? Seems a little tricky for a kids bike. We're working on it. But a couple nights ago I took the kids out for walk before bed and she rode her bike. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of walking in front of her for a moment and she ran smack into me and tore my heel open. I won't make that mistake again.
She got to break in her new bike with a mile ride to the Joss Stick man. I heard about this guy on Facebook and then when I found this bike in the same neighborhood we just went for it. Tatum is standing in front of his shop with Joss sticks drying outside.
Joss sticks are incense sticks used in China and India. I'm not sure if all Joss sticks are made out of the same material, but he makes his out of wood clay from the wild cinnamon tree. He was the nicest guy and showed us the wood clay in different gradients and different stages. His brother was working on camels for nativities at the same time and it was fascinating to watch. He could make so many, so quickly and they were so intricate! He also makes gingerbread houses and ornaments. They are the fourth generation of their family to run this business and apparently it's the last cinnamon wood business left in Singapore. He also said they will be the last generation. He explained how they were exposed to it at a young age, with their father running the business out of the front of the house. So they always saw him working and learned it quickly. But now that's not how things are done and they have a separate place of business and their kids never see it. Plus, he added, they will get an education and have bigger dreams. Still kind of sad to think an art like this could just be lost.
He showed us how he makes the arm and hand for a figurine, and then the robes and folds too.
He was super nice and made a little heart for Tatum and carved her name in it and put a little paper clip in it to a make a sort of ornament.

A video of him working:

After we got home we got right to work dying Easter eggs. 

Two peas in a pod, these two.

Such concentration.
The traditional hawkeye egg. Every year. :)

This was our first time dying brown eggs instead of white and they kind of make for some cool colors!

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