Monday, August 3, 2015

part 4

When we got home from the Botanic Gardens Thursday night we hit the pool. Swimming was awesome while they were here because for some reason Declan would actually get in the water and jump in from the edge and such when they were around. He used to do that all the time but for the past couple of months, pretty much ever since our trip to Thailand, he has been a big wuss about the water and only likes the kiddie pool. So I thought maybe the phase had finally passed but, no. It was just a grandma and papa thing. I have taken the kids swimming since they left and he screams bloody murder if I pull him away from the edge. Darn.

Tatum loved having dad and Papa throw her back and forth in the pool.

Friday morning I took my parents to see the Joss Stick man (or the cinnamon man, as we call him). We have been there before to check out his work. He makes things out of clay made from the cinnamon tree. It's a dying art. These two brothers learned from their father but it doesn't sound like they have any children who will be continuing the trade and they are the only ones left in Singapore. This time the other brother was the one who answered questions and showed us around. They are both very nice but I thought he was a little more animated and easier to talk to.

Watching him make an arm.

Some of the things he makes. That's a nativity in the back left, and then gingerbread houses.
A gingerbread family.

He let Tatum play with some of the clay and then pulled out a box of cookie cutters and let her make it into an ornament. She even got to decorate it.

It was a fun visit. When we were done we headed, by way of bus and train, to the National Museum of Singapore. I made a stupid mistake and we got off the bus way too early and had a bit of a walk to the train. It was annoying. But we made it.

 The museum had an exhibit on 700 years of Singapore. It was actually really interesting to learn more about this country and its past. It was probably extra enjoyable because my mom pretty much took care of the kids so I could actually, you know, read something in a museum for once. After the exhibit we took the kids upstairs to the kids area that they have. There wasn't much to it but the kids still loved it. Plus it was air conditioned, there was somewhere to sit and the doors were closed so Declan couldn't escape. I could have stayed for a long time. :)

Tatum at the paper embossing station.
This little living room and merry-go-round were actually part of the 700 years of Singapore exhibit.

Back in the kids area, putting on a puppet show. 

 She convinced Papa to join her.

Declan's favorite part was definitely stirring the eggs. He was so sad when it was time to go. He got mad first, and then as soon as I picked him he just sadly said "bye eggs". Hahaha.

We took my parents to the Basil Inn for dinner that night. It's a nearby Thai restaurant that we have enjoyed. 

We had a hard time deciding how to spend our last day together. But in the end we decided to just keep it low key. We played tennis in the morning which was hot but a lot of fun. We immediately went swimming to cool off. Then we got cleaned up and mom and I went to Tampines (a nearby mall) for a little shopping while the guys stayed home with the kids. It was fun to have some time just the two of us.

We met them at a different mall for dinner when we were finished. And dad got his seafood. We really wanted to take him to try chili crab even though we have never had it. We thought we had a restaurant picked out and then made the mistake of reading reviews. There was no way we were going to go so far out of our way for a restaurant with reviews like that. So he had to settle for this fish. Sorry dad.
After dinner it was a movie and popcorn night.

You're welcome, mom. :)

 Tatum was being a HUGE sass that night. She kept wanting me to do everything instead of grandma. I kept telling her it was grandma's last night and she was just acting like a brat about it. I was pretty sure she just wasn't understanding what that meant so I kept trying to emphasize it and explain it. Finally at one point when I told her Grandma and Papa would be leaving I asked "won't that make you sad?" and she just laughed and said "no it won't make me sad". I was getting so furious! Then she whispered to me "because I'm going with them" with this little grin on her face. When I told her she wouldn't be she just started sobbing. She was completely convinced there was nothing to be sad about because she would be going back with them! Near the beginning of the trip my mom made some off handed comment about how she would have to bring Tatum back with her in her suitcase and I think it just stuck with her. Anyway, it was really sad. And I sort of felt like a jerk for continuing to reiterate the fact that they would be leaving like I was trying to make her sad. I just didn't want her to act rude and sassy!

Here they are reading a book together that last night. Both of them crying. It's just too much!
 After we got the kids in bed we played Hand and Foot, one last chance for the ladies to beat the gentlemen. But alas, we failed. We chatted for a bit and then my crazy parents decided to leave at midnight for their 7 am flight. They were pretty sure they wouldn't sleep any better at our house than at the airport. I think they ended up regretting that decision (I told them they would, so maybe I was a little glad that was the outcome. I'm not a very good person. ).

It was so much fun having them here and sharing our life with them! I love my mom and dad and I'm so grateful for all they've ever taught me and done for me. I couldn't ask for better parents. And there's just something special about watching your kids with your parents and seeing their love for each other. I'm so glad my kids get to know them and have a very real, very personal relationship with them. There was also something really validating about having someone from back home experience our life here. I'm just so grateful that they sacrificed the time and money, endured the long flights and hot weather, to come and spend some time here with us on the red dot. Thanks mom and dad! We all love and miss you!

The Monday after they left, the kids and I stayed in all day. They played exceptionally well together and allowed me to do a lot of deep cleaning I hadn't had time for in awhile. And then during quiet time I found this:

Tatum made herself a little bed on the floor in her room and fell right to sleep. She never falls asleep during quiet time anymore. Never. We had an amazing 6 weeks! Four in the United States (Utah, Colorado, and Iowa) with lots of family and friends, and two busy weeks here in Singapore with mom and dad. But I think we all felt like Tatum by the end, ready for a nap. :)

part 3

Wednesday morning we hung around home. I can't remember if we went swimming, but we probably did. :) After lunch we walked to the train, on our way to Chinatown. Even the train is better with Grandma and Papa. :)
Really though, Declan almost never gets to be free from his stroller on the train. Not the case with these two around. So spoiled!
Shopping in Chinatown.

Three generations shopping together.
Mom feeling hot while we wait for Tatum and Papa to look inside a temple.

Inside the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.
And outside.

The workers at the Buddha Tooth Relic were so so so nice. Almost too nice. :) They loved the kids and gave them candy, crackers. and Buddhist books. It was kind of hilarious.

Mom posing with Buddha.
Dad showing her how it's "supposed" to be done. :)

After we finished shopping in Chinatown we got back on the train headed for Marina Bay Sands. This picture makes me laugh.

This was the best look they got of the merlion. See the little spray of water to the right of dad? That's it. See how mom and Tatum are both looking away? Photographing these four was nearly an impossible task.
Declan was ready to be the hulk and bust out of his stroller.

This snack break was brought to you by Grandma.
And didn't go completely smoothly. But what ever does with kids, right?
Dad, my ever willing photo subject.

Mom, doing what she does best, people watching. hahahaha
Declan checking out his body. Oh dear.

Dinner at Satay by the Bay.
Declan never eats dinner. And when I say never I am not exaggerating at all. So when he voluntarily took this meat on a stick it was a momentous occasion.

After dinner mom and dad walked up to the barrage while the kids played in the second splash pad of the day. They are those two little heads poking out.

Crazy Tatum.
Give Declan a few inches of water and he is good to go.
Point at Grandma and Papa.
Their view of Declan.
We had a bit of a mishap when we headed to the Garden Rhapsody. We lost each other and it was a little stressful and no one was super happy. But everyone seemed to enjoy the show and luckily the moment passed relatively quickly.

At the last minute we decided to try to see the lights and fountains show at MBS. It was a little waiting but we figured since we were already right there we might as well. Declan just about drove us all crazy with his crazy stair climbing and running around the boardwalk.
Somehow we lasted until the show and Brennan got to meet us there after the work dinner he had across the bay. These are rather horrible pictures but the show was pretty cool.

We caught a taxi home at that point. As you can see everyone was good and tired.
Thursday morning brought us to the train yet again, this time we were on our way to the Botanic Gardens.
They had an orchid exhibition that was very beautiful.

Tatum loves to read maps and boss us all around about where to go.
A pretty red dragonfly.
More map reading. And bossing.

The swings were a hit.

A big iguana we saw near the swings.

The rainforest walk. I think this must have been where I got eaten alive. No one else ended up any bites but my legs were covered in them!
We made the trek to the children's gardens. Lucky kids.

We cooled off at the splash pad before heading home.

We walk by this exercise park every time we got to the train. So a lot. And every time Tatum asks if we can stop and play at it. And almost every time I tell her no. My dad stopped at the store for a few things so we let her stop and play. Hopefully that will fulfill her need to play at this park for some time to come haha.