Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Made in Italy

"I think my allergies are acting up..."

"No, I don't see the resemblance."

"What do you think about the dukan diet?"

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Boiled Turkey in Paris

Happy Birthday, little bro!

Just like in the song, I went all the way to Paris to forget the past. I was 21 and everything that could have gone wrong, did. Then again, I was 21. When my little brother came to visit me, in late November, we walked all over the Marais, had banana splits at the Defense, chatted endlessly all over town. Julian took my mind off things, without even trying. I was staying with a French family who lived way out in the suburbs. On our way back home late that night, he commented on how dangerous the train ride was for someone traveling alone at night. When we got out at the small, deserted station and walked along the dark alleyways, he looked even more horrified. You've been doing this for two months? As I nodded, I remember thinking: "So?"
After we reached the house, we looked for the huge turkey my mother had given Julian to bring over so that we could have our own little Thanksgiving. But to our utter surprise, the turkey we hoped to roast for our delicious feast, was now in a huge pot, boiled beyond recognition. After a shocked silence, during which we wondered how anybody could even own such a big pot, we started laughing at the absurdity of it all. As quiet as humanly possible, so as not to wake up our kind, if clueless hosts, we laughed and laughed. I don't ever remember laughing so much. Not like that, barely breathing and with tears running down my eyes. It felt so good to laugh. And to know that it was still possible.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Missing School Holidays: Nostalgic or Masochistic? Your Call.

"Mom, can we check out the phone store later?"
Sometimes I find myself in a post-school holiday funk. I actually find myself missing my kids' school holidays. Not always (I'm not crazy). But there's something to be said about hanging out at a coffee shop with your kid, drinking over priced lattes and catching up on reading. Sometimes, I even get to hear what's really happening at school. Or I can finally get some help setting up my phone so that I can see the weather in the country I'm actually living in. The best part is I don't have to ask the conversation ender: "How was your day?" Because this is their day.

Alexander earning his keep on his day off from school.

If Proust's Madeleines...

If Proust's madeleines had cost as much as cherries cost in Singapore, he probably wouldn't have eaten as many and we wouldn't have that expression. Quel domage.
I especially love how it says 'offer' ends in a week. That's thoughtful. And caring. Especially since this price apparently saves you 24% from the usual price.
When calculating that each cherry costs more or less a dollar, be careful to not choke on the pit.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ready, Get Set, Go!

"I heard there's a sale at Smiggle."

And they're off! Cross country finals at Bedok Reservoir. The kids were all great! The whistle at the starting line did remind me of why I never liked races as a child. The shaky feeling in my legs and the absolute certainty that I would be the child coming in last. And this is why I turned to books...

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Humidity-Defying Runners!

"We can do it!"
Bedok Reservoir Race. The runners...hoping for a win. The parents...hoping to not die of heatstroke.
The school's first ever cross country team, coached tirelessly by Mr. Andrew, displays uncommon courage (considering the humidity), sense of adventure (there is talk of potential cobras lurking in the reservoir on the bus ride over) and team spirit (let's just follow each other) on the 2.2 km course!
Congratulations runners! And for those of you with desert marathons in your future, I say things are looking good!

P.S. One of the runners, Jessica, is mysteriously missing from the photo above. Looking for some shade? Likely...

Monday, October 27, 2014

But Why?

When I was around 8, I had this annoying habit of ending each sentence with a question, "But why?" As you can imagine, my parents loved it. Even when I knew it made no sense to ask, I still had to: "But why?" Over and over again.
A habit that was as difficult to break as biting my nails or looking under my bed for the wicked witch of the west.
In hindsight, it wasn't the answer I really craved but keeping my parents' attention for as long as possible.
I remembered that feeling this morning.
"Are we in space right now?" my daughter asked on our way to school.
"In a way. But we're held to the earth by gravity. "(Score!)
"Where exactly is gravity? " (Darn)
"Good question, Eliot (always answer a question you're not sure about with this comment). I learned this technique my first year as a teacher. Puts students in a good mood and buys you time. Win win.
"And where is heaven?"
"That's easy. You see those clouds? Beyond them."
"Before space or after space?"
"Definitely after space. Or maybe before..."
"And where is God? You know, his home?"
"Hmmm, in heaven."
"How do old people die?"
Oh good. Finally an easy question...
"Well, let's see, they go to sleep after a very nice, long life and wake up in heaven."
"Can people speak to each other in heaven? Can they see us? When you die will you still see me?"
Silence. "Of course, I will always keep my eye on you. And cheer you on."
"Like when I run cross country?"
"I almost forgot, if I go to space will I be cold?"
An easy one, thankfully. "No, you'll have your space suit on."
"Those boots look very heavy. Will I sink into the moon?"
"No, pretty sure you won't. Look at Neil Armstrong how well he did."
"How do people know the sun is so hot if they've only been to the moon?"
I love when space is being studied at school. I really do.
And that's when I remember, it's not the answers that count, it's the time spent answering them.
But just in case, I better brush up on the solar system today.

Not Their Best Look...

Never trust the labels on expensive face creams...HappyHalloween!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

If Only Tuscany Weren't So Darn Unattractive...

Chairs with a View,  July 2014 (creds to Alexander).

The man didn't smile this much on my wedding day. Seriously.

Mothers-in Law Plotting the Next Meal