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On Sunday we headed out to the NY Hall of Science in Queens for the festive Gingerbread Lane exhibit. Being on the road bright and earl meant not having to deal with cross town traffic in Manhattan. And guess what? Since we arrived before 11am, entry AND parking were free.

The outside of the building were marked by 2 rockets donated by NASA for the Rocket Park. Next to it was a mini golf area. Despite a blue-sky-sunny-day, it was way too chilly for C to explore either.

Rockets outside the NY Hall of Science

Rockets outside the NY Hall of Science

 

Honestly, the Gingerbread Lane was kind of meh; it was a lot smaller than I expected. It took us all of 10 minutes to walk around it. The rest of the museum was fortunately a lot more interesting. It being a science museum meant interactive exhibits which are great for kids and the young at heart.

We had to leave early to take C swimming, but we will definitely be back in Spring / Summer to properly enjoy all its offerings.

Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread Houses

IMG_4479

No one is looking at Mummy #photofail

This is better

This is better

Someone ate the candy off the roof!

Someone ate the candy off the roof!

Having fun with the wind machine

Having fun with the wind machine

Crazy hair

Crazy hair

 

We have hit the 2 year mark in the States and settled into a home we own. There are currently no plans to relocate or move anywhere and so I really want to take time to finally enjoy the holiday offerings of New York City. Plus with the sister here while I am on the last weeks of my maternity, there is no better time to play tourist.

1. Disney on Ice presents Frozen

Mr. P took Clover for the 11am show on Thanksgiving while I hung out with my Sister (and baby A). Clover enjoyed the show very much and we are now proud owners of the movie soundtrack courtesy of Mr. P. Which means I now have to listen to ALL THE SONGS DURING THE SCHOOL RUNS!

Oh.Joy.

At Disney on Ice presents Frozen

At Disney on Ice presents Frozen

2. Santaland @ Macy’s Herald Square + Build-a-Bear pop up

As a treat, we pulled Clover out of school on Tuesday and took her to Santaland at Macy’s Herald Square. I registered for the fastpass; I am not sure Clover would have the patience to go through the entire North Pole Village. She got to sit on Santa’s lap and asked for a train set for Christmas.

The ladies and Santa at Santaland

The ladies and Santa at Santaland

My sister, who has to fly back before Christmas, then took her to Build-a-Bear Workshop for Clover to choose her Christmas present. Guess what? There was a Frozen themed Elsa bear which, according to the sales assistant, came out about a month ago. I cannot believe how popular Frozen still is, more than a year after it came out.

With Elsa bear and her loving aunt

With Elsa bear and her loving aunt

Here are some of the other activities I plan on doing this or next weekend with the kids and Mr. P.

3. Gingerbread Lane at the New York Hall of Science (likely this Sunday)

4. Holiday Train Show at The New York Botanical Gardens (possibly the last weekend before Christmas)

Since Mr. P took Clover to Frozen on Ice, he suggested I take her for a Mummy & Clover afternoon at The Grinch Who Stole Christmas Musical. Thanks to the Cyber Monday sale, I purchase tickets using a BOGO offer. We will be watching the Dec 14th show, the day after her ballet Winter Recital.

And when the sister and BIL gets back from their week in Boston and D.C., we are heading to the Food Hall at Plaza Hotel,  more Christmas markets (we did the Bryant Park one on Monday) and more holiday window displays (along 5th and Madison Avenues).

12 weeks - 1 week shy of 3 months

12 weeks – 1 week shy of 3 months

A week late but here it is….

:: Eating :: 

This month we spent countless of hours battling bottle rejection in preparation for daycare. The worst day has to be Thanksgiving; Ava went on a food strike and would rather go hungry than drink from the bottle. Between 7am and 6pm when I caved (Ava 1 Mummy 0), she had only 3 oz!! I was so stressed and worried given that she was starting daycare the following Monday.

Mr. P joked that she was finally showing some personality with all the screaming, crying and grumbling. So.Not.Funny.

It’s a different story on the boob; we are down to 5-6 feeds a day (7.30am, 10.30am, 2pm, 5.30pm, 7pm and once between 8pm to 7am).  I really hope she wises up and take the bottle in daycare. It would be so sad to lose all those yummy, chubby folds on her thighs!

Baby Burrito

Baby Burrito

:: Sleeping :: 

Ava naps half the time in the crib, the other half on the couch. I suppose with her night sleep way better than Clover’s, I don’t actually mind where she naps. And I hope I don’t jinx it by writing this now. She is doing awesome stretches at night, going down between 7-8 p.m. and waking up once for a quick feed mostly between 3-5 a.m. before going back down again until 6.30-7 a.m.

The aim for next month is to have her sleep through from 7.30-8 p.m. till 6.45 a.m..

:: Physical Development ::  

Our littlest “talks” a lot, especially in the mornings. It’s so lovely to hear her voice and when we speak with her, we are rewarded with more coos and lots of smiles. She is now able hold her head upright for longer stretches and is able to turn her head smoothly from side to side. Ava loves being held in a standing position; she places weight nicely on her feet and enjoys stepping around. She has a death grip pretty much like her sister.

A beautiful smile for Yiyi

A beautiful smile for Yiyi who has taken to calling you her pork chops!

At 10 weeks

At 10 weeks

With her loving sister (even if the picture seems to suggest the contrary)

With her loving sister (even if the picture seems to suggest the contrary)

Sisters BFF

Sisters BFF

Out shopping at Woodbury

Out shopping at Woodbury

The dreaded tummy time

The dreaded tummy time

"Ma I think I just pooped!"

“Ma I think I just pooped!”

… a mother of two on maternity leave.

Obviously only when all the stars are aligned and it all goes well.

6 a.m. Time to get up, hopefully both kids are still asleep, get the kettle on, prep breakfast for C and a snack for preschool

6.30 a.m. Wake the husband. Ava is usually wakes at this time, I pull her out of the crib, change her nappy and leave her on the couch to kick about. C wakes soon after and whines for me (200% mummy’s girl). I give her a cuddle, she asks for Ava and I bring her out to the couch.

7.15 a.m. Mr. P leaves for work while I nag at C to finish her breakfast, nurse (trying to bottle her lately) Ava and feed myself.

8 a.m. Drive C to school with Ava in tow.

8.30 a.m. Back home with A. She naps on the couch for 1-1.5 hours if I manage to transfer her successfully without waking her from the car seat to home to couch. Else I have to nurse / rock her back to sleep. It’s a bad habit I know but someone else can deal with it when she starts daycare. I spend this time pumping milk, washing all the bottles and feeding myself if I hadn’t managed to do so before school.

10 a.m. Ava is awake, I let her stretch and kick on the play mat before feeding her again around 10.30 a.m.. I am usually famished by this time so I get my lunch ready; breastfeeding is calorie consuming work!  Ava gets a wipe down. Sometimes I take her out to run some errands in the neighbourhood and hope she doesn’t fall asleep in the pram or carrier.

Noon Nap time. I take this time to feed myself, catch up on chores or blog once she goes down. I also have to pump again if I didn’t nurse her and prepare stuff for Clover’s dinner.

2 or 2.30 p.m. Ava wakes up, she does tummy time, more kicking about, more listening to my singing and story telling. I feed her (AGAIN) and wash her if we miss the earlier wipe down.

3.30 or 4 p.m. School pick up. Depending on days, Clover has her after school activities, so I will usually pick her up after and hope Ava takes a catnap on route.

4.30 p.m. I get dinner ready while Ava is either napping or gets entertained by Clover. Clover also works on colouring, tracing or writing.

5.30 p.m. I nag at Clover to eat her dinner while I nurse Ava and change her into her PJs after.

6.30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Clover gets some TV time followed by Dada time when Mr. P gets home from work. Ava goes down anytime between 6.30 to 7.30 p.m. She has this habit of waking up after the first put down in her crib. I usually nurse her or Mr. P cuddles her and puts her down again.

8 – 9 p.m. I spend some mummy time with C and then it’s bedtime for Clover and I.

9  p.m. to 6 a.m. Mr. P chills out,  feeds Ava if she wakes up before 1 a.m and it’s lights out for him. I will wake to feed Ava and pump if she wakes up for milk after 1 a.m.

Rinse and repeat!!

:: Bubba :: Halloween 2014

Growing up I never really bothered with Halloween; neither did Mr. P. As previously mentioned, October 31st has now become a big deal.

Last year C went as Dorothy the Dinosaur (from The Wiggles). This year, she couldn’t decide so she went as Anna for her school Halloween Parade in the morning.

Performing outside her school

Performing outside her school

After our lovely anniversary lunch, Mr. P and I brought her 2nd outfit to school for her to become a yellow wiggle before we went trick or treating down Washington Street. Unfortunately it was such a cold day, we left Ava (Red Wiggle) at home. C still had lots of fun though.

The Wiggles (sans Miss Red)

The Wiggles (sans Miss Red)

 

With her teacher in school

With her teacher in school

Look who we bumped into?

Look who we bumped into?

 

Grabbing candy

Grabbing candy

Hopefully Ava will be toddling by next year and I should really plan our outfits earlier!

I drove the kids to school today!!!

Okay it’s nothing big to shout about for most, it’s a major accomplishment for me. Growing up in Singapore (back in those days) there was never a need for a car. I attempted to obtain my driver’s licence while in university but didn’t get further than passing the basic theory test (didn’t even bother to sit for the advance theory test).

For some reason I thought it’d be a fantastic idea to tackle the hilly Hong Kong roads and get my licence there! Well that was 7.5 years ago.

Th last time I drove was back in 2009 when we were in NZ which has more sheep than cars on the road. It wasn’t by choice; Mr. P was caught speeding by an unmarked police car (hidden in the shrubs I reckon) passing the only car we saw in 2 hours of driving down a straight and seemingly infinite road. His licence was immediately suspended for going 30km over the speed limit.

I still remember the officer asking if I had a licence!

That was over 2 years since passing my driving test and I had to drive across NZ to Christchurch along winding mountain roads, narrow bridges and railroad crossings; all of which I had no experience with. We managed to get to Christchurch scaring Mr. P and scarring me for life!

Anyway fast forward to having 2 kids who go to school uptown (Ava starts in December) and winter approaching, I had to get my act together and convert my HK licence to a U.S. one. While the route from home to school is lovely 20 minute walk with 2 parks along the way, it’s not something I want to do in the dead of winter!

With my mum here, I went to the MVC early one morning to take the knowledge test and thankfully there was no need for a road test. Unfortunately I procrastinated for too long and couldn’t get in any driving practice (I need it especially I now have to drive on the other side of the road) before she left.

Mr. P watched the kids for 2 hours for the last 2 Sundays while I went for my much needed lesson. Yesterday I was finally brave comfortable enough to take to the roads with everyone in tow. I drove us to the Asian supermarket along an NJ state route. Mr. P thankfully wasn’t as vocal about close-shaves as he was 5 years ago hah!

This morning I did my first solo drive and we all survived! Another time later today for school pick up, I hope it goes smoothly as well!

:: NYC Eats :: ABC Kitchen

For our 5th anniversary, I decided on lunch instead of dinner as I didn’t want to stress about the girls’ bedtime. Plus, I love the idea of a weekday lunch at a good restaurant. You get to savour good food at decent prices (lunch menus are always a fraction of dinner prices) while everyone is at work. We headed into the city after Clover’s Halloween Party at school and enjoyed a 5-hour long stretch of quality couple time (we’ll take what we can get!!),

This year we went to ABC Kitchen for lunch based on recommendations by a few people at work; one of them a big foodie. Given my food preferences – nothing raw, no foie gras, no cavier, no funky parts (cheeks, tongues, intestines, privates lol) – often times French restaurants are a no-go; it’s a complete waste of money to be eating rabbit food at exorbitant prices. (E.g. Per Se would have been a complete waste on my palette.)

ABC Kitchen is by Jean-Gorges; we had a lovely meal and warm service without paying an arm and a leg for it. And it’s the first time in ages I had wine with a meal!

 

ABC Kitchen

ABC Kitchen

 

Mr. P started with a tuna sashimi in a ginger, soy marinate and I had the day’s special – a cauliflower soup with warmed manchego cheese and sourdough croutons, finished with chili oil. Both were simple fares but oh so tasty. I love that they didn’t dumb down the spice of the chili oil.

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

 

Tuna Sashimi

Tuna Sashimi

 

For mains, Mr. P went with a ricotta and egg raviolo (yes ONE) on a bed of pulled pork with freshly grated parmesan. Again, really well done except the parmesan was slightly overpowering the delicate flavour of the runny egg and ricotta. I had a lobster main done with lemon-butter and chili. This is one of the best lobster I’ve had. So simple and perfectly cooked; the meat was so sweet.

Mr. P's raviolo

Mr. P’s raviolo

IMG_4066

Lobster

 We finished the meal with a plate of cookies and an expresso for Mr. P along with a nice touch from the restaurant; they sent over a couple of cupcakes for our anniversary.

Happy anniversary to us!

Happy anniversary to us!

Happy Anniversary Mr. P

Happy Anniversary Mr. P

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