To the movies

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last Saturday marked the first cinema visit for my two boys.

We were given tickets to watch Transformers – Revenge of the Fallen last Saturday and since the men in my family are crazy over Transformers, I thought it would make a great family outing. On the other hand, I had my apprehensions too.

I had heard that the movie was a marathon 2½ hours long and was in fact wondering if the kids would be able to sit in the cinema for that length of time. Would they fidget, stand on the seats or talk loudly and disturb the other patrons or clamor to be let out? Would they be frightened by the loud sounds or the darkness of the cinema and end up with nightmares at night? Oh my, such a long list of considerations you may say until you know my boys.

Big Buddy is fearful even of Tom and Jerry cartoons when it turns a tad violent. You will never catch him watching thrillers, he heads for a hiding place when suspenseful music comes on to up the ante. Little Buddy is braver but he can be unpredictable. While he usually has no issues with watching suspense thrillers, he refused to sit in for a 5-minute show when we were at the Army Museum two weeks ago because it had gunfire.

Well, I decided to throw caution to the wind and just go for it. In the worse case, we will just leave the cinema should the children get too difficult to handle.

And I am glad we went for the movie, the kids thoroughly enjoyed the whole movie experience. As for the loud noises…Little Buddy slept through the last 30 minutes of the movie ;-)

28Jun09 - First Movie (Transformers Revenge of the Fallen)

New toys again

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The boys were recently given a box of Kid Knex constructors by their Grandfather and I secretly love this new toy myself. Many stores sell the Knex for older children but not Kid Knex for the really young kids.

A lot of thought has been put into making this range of toys because the pieces are of excellent quality, well-built with no sharp edges which may pose some danger to young children. They are easily joined together with simple yet secure connectors, colours are bright and vivid and the end-results, simply too cute for words.

Here are the boys with some of their creations on an early Sunday morning.

Knex Dragon Fish

Knex Bird

Boys with their Knex Creations

Is there school today?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Big Buddy would ask me this everyday till he finally understood that school is out. The mid-year school holidays will come to end in a day’s time when school officially starts on Monday.

It had been a whole four weeks of fun and play for both boys. Little Buddy enjoyed having his elder brother at home to play with and at Big Buddy’s instigation, gets into a whole lot more mischief than usual. To balance out, I try to set some semblance of routine with time set aside for some holiday work, otherwise it will be tough for Big Buddy to settle in to school when term resumes.

Due to the quick and rampant spread of the H1N1 pandemic, we decided not to travel overseas for a vacation. While it is not really deadly for most, we will definitely not court it. Moreover, it is a hassle to have to declare our travel itinerary to schools and offices on our return. We also limited mall shopping, preferring time spent outdoors and at less crowded places.

School Holiday Adventure

It had been a great break for Big Buddy but I think he looks forward to seeing his friends again. This past week, he had been counting down to next Monday and I daresay, I too, will be glad when school reopens : )

Shepherd’s Pie

Sunday, June 21, 2009

We are celebrating Little Buddy's birthday today and I made this as one of the dishes. It will be the first time I am cooking something for a major celebratory affair.

Shepherd's Pie Tray

Shepherd's Pie Portion

Shepherd’s Pie


6 big potatoes, cubed
½ big white onion, chopped
1 tbsp chopped garlic
300 gm minced chicken or beef
1 small can of button mushroom
1 cup of mixed vegetable
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
some milk
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp of plain flour mixed with 3 tbsp of water


1. Stir fry onion and garlic until onion is soft. Add in minced chicken/beef, button mushroom and fry until it is cooked.

2. Add in whole can of cream of mushroom soup and add one can of water and mix well. Add in mixed vegetable. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the prepared flour mixture a little at a time to thicken the fillings to a texture you like. Discard the unused flour mixture. Leave the fillings aside for later use.

3. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add in all the cubed potatoes and boil until it is soft. Drain the water and pour soft potatoes into a big mixing bowl.

4. Mash potatoes quickly while it is hot. After mashing, add in the whole cup of cheddar cheese and mix well. The heat of the potatoes will melt the cheese. Add in some salt and pepper to taste. Add in some milk to the mashed potatoes but not too much as the mashed potatoes will turn slightly wet and soft during baking.

5. Pour the fillings into a glass baking tray or metal baking tray. Level the fillings and top it off with the mashed potatoes. Spread evenly.

6. Sprinkle more shredded chedder cheese on top of the mashed potates and baked it in a preheated oven at 200°C until the top is brown and crispy.

Reference : Baking Mum