Teaching Baby1 programming

Several months ago, I had a few hours with just Baby1 at a Subway restaurant while waiting for Dear2 and Baby2 (they were at a gathering with Dear2’s friends). So, Baby1 and I sat down and began our first programming session.

I had always viewed programming languages, math and music as another form of communication, just like English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc. Therefore, I want Baby1 and Baby2 to have an appreciation of programming languages.

Programming is something I do on a daily basis, so there’s no need to send the children to programming classes. I will teach them myself. :D

Rather than using popular child friendly starter languages such as Scratch, I thought I would jump right in with an easy to understand language. And we would build a simple game of math so that it would help Baby1 in her Primary 1 & 2 as well. To this end, I chose the LÖVE framework which is based on Lua.

I started by teaching Baby1 basic concepts of strings, numbers and variables, and simple if-then-else control flows. Then, we got down to designing the look and feel of the game. While doing that, I taught her general concepts as such the coordinate systems, what are pixels, RGB values, how a circle is defined by its radius, etc.

Meanwhile, Baby1 had to type quite a bit on the keyboard, so she is picking up keyboard skills and spelling and reading skills as the same time.

We’ve had 3 sessions so far, here are the results at the end of each session.

End of session 1


End of session 2


End of session 3

Looking forward to continuing building this game with Baby1. Jiayou!



Jacky Cheung Concert 2017

Dear1 and I attended Jacky Cheung’s 2017 Singapore “A Classic Tour” concert 2 weeks back, and oh boy, what an eye-opener for the both of us!

This was my birthday present to Dear1, and his present to me, heehee, but we were still too stingy and are only willing to splurge on the balcony seats.  Despite being high up and far away, we thought that the show was still pretty good from where we were seated!

  • The Songs

It was supposed to be “A Classic Tour”, but Jacky defined his version of “Classic”.  Many of us came with the expectation of hearing all his classics, but halfway through the show, Jacky explained that he wanted this concert to go down in the entertainment history as a “Classic”, and not as a showcase of his “classics” songs.  Wow, what a revelation and amazing twist!

Neither Dear1 and I were familiar with most of the Cantonese songs presented on the night, but Jacky beautifully round up the evening with a medley of his most popular Mandarin hits.  That really created an out of the world concert experience for us all audience!

  • The Dancers

Not only did we get to hear Jacky’s awesome singing, his troupe of beautiful and athletic dancers performed multiple awe-inspiring dances throughout the show.  The ladies with great figures in their bunny suits, the men performed hops and walked on stilts; it must have been really a privilege to be part of Jacky’s dance entourage, and I bet they are paid loads for being the best in their class!

  • His Moves

I worried constantly for Jacky throughout the 3 hour show.  How can one’s vocal cords sing for 3 hours straight, on top of having to walk and dance and move up and down and round and round the 4-stage stage?  And at 50+ years old!?  Jacky is truly a professional, and an amazing one at that!

  • The Light Effects

Dear1 and I have not been to many concerts, but concerts/events/theme parks are usually a show case of the latest technology, or the lack of it.  Jacky’s concert definitely brought “Lights” to a different level.  Light dances with colored hanging lights are the passe now.  Floor lights, stage lights, minute hanging lights that dances round and round and up and down, big screens, floor screens, in fact each of the individual platform pieces are screens on their own; these different light effects created such amazing pieces to create such beautiful visual impact.

  • The Stage Effects

Did I mention that the platform is made up of individual pieces?  Yes, platforms that merely raise up and down seems to be the passe too.  The entire floor seems to be able to rotate, as a platform on it’s own, or as individual pieces on their own.  Wow.  And what’s with the lift off?  Can platforms even flange off like that  Where are the supports!?

  • The Fire Effects (and Smell Effects?)

As if indulging in your sense of hearing and sense of sight are not enough, there was real fire (sense of heat) and sense of smell (was it real smoke or not?).  Wah, was that really real fire in the middle of the stage!?

  • The Heart-Warming Contest

Despite all that excitement, Jacky held a heart-warming contest.  He first made all the couples do loving acts in order to win a mystery prize.  And this was awarded to a lucky couple.  It’s actually a simple portrait of the couple’s kissing moment on screen, signed off with the star’s autograph.  But Jacky’s accompanying message was, “If in times of arguments, take this portrait out and remember this moment when the two of you kissed passionately.”  Awe, so sweet….

  • The 1 Hour Encore

And I loved how Jacky ended his concert in an almost 1 hour encore. He said that there’ll be not 1, or 2 encore songs, but 3, but the encore turned out to be a long continuous medley of all our favourite hits.  I totally lost count of the total number of songs he sang in the encore.

It was a very entertaining concert, and Dear1 and I rounded off the evening with a food exploration to Rocher Beancurd House at Geylang for beancurd.  Surprisingly, the beancurd’s not bad, and we subsequently brought the kids there last week too.

I think Jacky had achieved his intention, so when x years have gone by, we’ll remember this as “Jacky’s Classic Tour” which Dear1 and I gave to each other as one of our birthday present.  Happy Birthday Dear1!

– Dear2

Garfield Run 2014

In June, Dear1 and I did the Jurong Lake Run. In July, I did the Garfield Run with Baby1.  It was fun!!

As usual, 1 week before the Run, we collected the Race Pack from Orchard Central. The running tees looked too big for Baby1 and me, so I went to exchange for 1 size smaller.  Alas, both adult and kid’s tees were OOS, and we ended up with 2 sizes smaller.  The length was ok, but the width was just right – let’s hope Baby1 don’t outgrow it too soon, and let’s hope mummy don’t get too fat again!

Actual run day on 19 July, it was a NDP rehearsal day too.  Means there’ll be fireworks!  We reached the Promontory@Marina Bay exactly 15 mins before the Kids Run flag off at 4.30pm.  If we thought that it’s crowded, wait till you see the Family Fun Run crowd – it’s at least 10 times bigger!

At exactly 4.30pm, the Run was flagged off with us waving to Garfield and Odie mascots on the stage.  Omg, Baby1 do not know who is Garfield, much less Odie!

Jog, run, jog, tired, jog, encourage to go on, jog, tired, walk, encourage further that running is not easy but we persevere, jog, oh there’s a U turn point ahead, jog, cheer leaders around, jog, tired, see we’ve past the U turn point, less than halfway to go, walk, encourage see can enjoy the beautiful scenery while jogging, jog, walk, oh I can see the Start Point, means End Point should be coming in view soon, jog, walk, yeah, there’s the End Point, walk, yeah we’ve past the Start Point, last 100m, jog, sprint, Yeah we did it!  Pant pant!

Sooooo proud of Baby1 for completing the 1.5km run all by herself.  Thought we were definitely the less 10 percentile of the pack, but she completed it all on her own!  After checking the time with Papa, we realised that it was barely 20mins!

By then it was only 5pm, and we had to wait till 8pm for the fireworks, oh gosh.  Ate our packed bento ricebox which Papa decorated beautifully, along the Bayfront at the Promontory, and we decided to head over the MBS Shoppes for some air con and shopping,

Oh, there’s a Marina City Gallery along the way. Wow, there’s going to be more developments out at the Marina Bay area, amazing.  Oh, there’s a DBS free movie screening at 7.3opm right outside MBS Shoppes.  Ohhhh, MBS is so big and quiet.  And thank god for the air con!

At 7.45pm, we headed outside to get a good spot.  By then, the Promontory though recommended for fireworks watching, should be packed full of all the runners from the Garfield Run, so we stationed ourselves on the waterfront outside MBS Shoppes.

At 8.10pm, the display of fireworks was amazing!  Those at the Floating Platform were partially blocked, but those from the water was in full view right in front of us.  As Baby1 and I were seated on the floor, I ended up having slight strained neck from all that head raising! Baby2 was interested in watching the fireworks but was equally frightened by the loud Booms.

The scenery at the Garfield Run was definitely fantastic.  We even went back to the Promontory for more fireworks watching the following Saturday, and contemplated to go back again this Saturday!

Will we join he Garfield Run again next year?  Hmm, if they are giving out another Garfield plush toy next year, then I’ll have to seriously consider -we don’t have the space for more plush toys!  Btw, the plush toys were only available from this week on, means we actually have to go down to Orchard Central twice! And we bought the Jumbo Garretts popcorn twice!

– Dear2

2014 New Year Resolutions

Dear1 and Dear2 reviewed our 2013 resolutions, and set our 2014 new year resolutions during a ‘date’ at JEM. We took leave that day, and spend the afternoon at the newly opened JEM grocery shopping, shopping for a replacement for Dear1’s broken wallet, and did our resolutions over a Starbucks mocha frappe and mudpie. There was some discounts using Citibank Credit Card at Starbucks, and some vouchers + gift wrap from JEM. Not bad a deal!

Anyway, for 2013 resolutions, we did pretty well, about 75% accomplished. Dear1 finally changed his job, (though I didn’t get poached anywhere), I slimmed to 53kg long time ago, Dear1 (sorta) quit facebook and pelt away from being glued to his smart phone, we went to Kitty Land and Legoland a long time ago in last December and March, and we bought a couple of dividend paying unit trusts. Not a bad year for us.

So for 2014, here we go again:

– 70kg
– Do daily planks

– Waist 27 inch
– Do daily abs or arms exercise
– Do 1 face mask every month
– Talk to at least 5 people (not including Dear1, Baby1 and Baby2) every day
– Speak slowly

– Kiss dear Good Morning AND Good Night every day
– 1 date every month
– Weekly talk/ beer time
– Write 1 post every month (each)
– Join 3 events (1 half marathon, 1 full and 1 others)
– Monthly place of interest (somewhere new)
– 1 Batam and 1 Cruise trip
– Be patient with the kids. Read, play and listen to them.
– Maximise our cash
– Organise monthly get-together/gaming with friends, relatives, kids or dear

According to 2 fengshui masters, the year of the Horse will see Monkeys travelling to optimise opportunities. Couples also need to exercise lots of tolerance towards each other as tempers will flare easily. Wonder will it be Dear1 or Dear2 who will get to travel (dun worry, if Dear1 has to travel, then all of us will go bunk in Granny’s house; if Dear2 has to travel, then everybody go to Ah Ma’s house, relax………). Tolerance, yes, lots of it I need. Stay chill, as we work hand in hand together to create and maintain a happy family for our family.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

– Dear2

September 2013

What an eventful September!

As if Baby2’s birthday and the much anticipated Mid Autumn Festival during this month are not enough, it had been a busy busy month this past month.

The August festive mood spilled over to September.  Had the first ever chalet with my cousins over the National Day and Hari Raya long weekend, and after that Baby1 started to fall sick and mummy and her had to sleep in the study room to isolate away from Baby2.  Slept on the sofa bed all the way past the lunar seventh month, and we entered September with no signs of her recovery. 

Early September, Baby1’s childcare centre was closed for 2 days for staff retreat so we brought her ice skating on the first day and baked muffins on the second day.  Then Mummy fell terribly sick the next week, and was down for the next 2 days.  Down, really down, did nothing at all except to get well.  And alas, Baby2 caught the germs too and fell sick too.  Mummy lost count of the number of times that she, Baby1 and Baby2 visited the doctor just this month alone.  And better forget about the medical bills incurred too, urgh!!!!!!  Anti-biotics x2 for mummy, flu + fever medicine for Baby2 x?, (flu + cough + fever + stomach flu + constipation + nebuliser) x??? for Baby1. It was a horrible horrible month.

19 September was mid autumn festival, and we had wanted to bring the kids for some lantern experience.  But with everyone’s sick, the full moon came and passed.  And 20 September was Dear1 and Dear2’s wedding anniversary, but we ended up sleeping the day away cos Dear1 falling sick too.  Haiz.

Finally it was the eventful weekend during the last weekend.  Supposed to have a staycation in MBS, but last minute we decided to revise it to a day trip instead.  Mummy woke up at 5.50am to bake Baby2’s banana birthday cake.  By 12 noon, set off to MBS and Baby1 had her afternoon nap in the room while mummy and papa took the chance to explore the place pushing Baby2 along to make her nap.  Finally went up to the skygarden cum pool, and on schedule walked over the Gardens and Satay by the Bay for dinner and cake cutting.  Everyone finally slept at 10pm and mummy legs were so super tired.

On Sunday, went to a wedding lunch, and back to Jurong for ballet class and Pioneer Road Run race pack collection. Baby1 got super bloated from her 3 glasses of Coke and milk combination.  Ruyi Oil and lots of farting saved the day for her, poor Baby1.

30 September.  Baby2’s birthday. Last year mummy delivered her via C-section, and was so relieved to have her out.  She’s now a growing toddler, getting fussier and more demanding to get what she wants.  Mummy and Papa are so tired handling 2 naughty girls, but we loved them nonetheless.

Hoping that everyone recovers and germs to stay away from us.  It’s gonna be the last quarter of the year, time for reflections, or consolidations, or ambitions, or maybe even just a breather from the past month’s hectic, and to bask in the year end festive mood again.


– Dear2

Hello Kitty and Little Big Club Land

We planned a Legoland trip last Sunday, but it started to rain even before we stepped out of the house in the morning, so we changed to the wet weather plan to Hello Kitty and ‘Barney’ Land instead.  What a brilliant plan!

We wanted to avoid the crowd and aimed to reach at 10 am sharp when the gates open, but by the time we board our car, it was already 9.30am.  Fetched the grand parents at Taman Jurong, crossed the customs, tried to follow the posters on the road, ended up in Legoland instead, and we finally reached Hello Kitty and Barney Land at 10.30.  Though it was only officially opened one week earlier, the morning was already packed with lots of people!  Dear1 wanted to look at both the lands, so we purchased the tickets at RM110 per pax.  A single Land would cost RM65 each. In the end, a Malaysian auntie offered to purchase the both lands tickets for us at a discounted RM85 while Baby1 and Baby2 got in for free.

At the ticketing entrance.

At the ticketing entrance.

Took the escalator up and we were stunned by the crowd at Hello Kitty Land.  “Up first”, I said, so we went into Barney Land on level 3.  A very wise choice indeed.  Most people would go to the first Land first if they have tickets to both, so Barney which was on the higher floor was pretty empty earlier in the morning.

Map of Little Big Club land.

Map of Little Big Club land.

On the first floor of Barney Land, there’s a Pingu Room with some arcade machines, a Barney House with some slides and stuff, and an Angelina Ballerina Room where Baby1 had so much fun ‘dancing’ on the stage in the tutu and mouse ears.  We even had to drag her out of this room so that we can explore the upper floor.

Tidmouth Sheds leads to an outdoor dining area.

Upper floor was even more exciting.  There’s a Windmill (ferris wheel), Helicopter, Train, Bus, Bumper Car and Cradle Drop rides, all of which Baby1 was just eligible except for the Bumper Car which she is not old/tall enough to ride.  We had a go at all of them when the queues were not very long yet, haha, that’s the strategy of going early cos most families are usually out from late mornings onwards.

After lunch and the mini Barney show which again Baby1 enjoyed tremondously singing and doing the actions together with the cast on stage, we went to check out Hello Kitty Land.  It was already 2+pm and the clock is ticking down.  It’s nap time for Baby1 and she’s showing signs of tiredness.

The Barney show - similar standard to those frequently held at shopping centres.

The Barney show – similar standard to those frequently held at shopping centres.

Alas, Hello Kitty Land was very disappointing (luckily).   Though most of the crowd had adjourned to Barney Land (which was very very crowded when we left – oh my, look at the queues for the rides!) now, the snaking queues at Hello Kitty Land looked very bad – they were not moving at all!  Jewellery Making, Cookie Something, Nail Art…  No wonder the queues hardly move.  We didn’t even want to try the queue at all, and proceeded right for the Teacups ride instead.  There’s no queue at the Hello Kitty House, either, so we went in.  Hmm… Very lame.

Inside Hello Kitty Black Wonder - looks fun but we didn't play, just took a quick tour and left.

Inside Hello Kitty Black Wonder – looks fun but we didn’t play, just took a quick tour and left.

Baby1 had some fun in the Indoor Playground structure while waiting for the mini Hello Kitty Show which she didn’t finish watching.  “Not exciting”, she said.  There’s also a Black Wonder room where you’ll be given a lamp to follow some clues but we skipped that as it was really time to go home.

The Hello Kitty Show - quite boring actually.

The Hello Kitty Show – quite boring actually.

Overall, the trip was really fun.  It was our first self drive trip (Dear1 has always wanted to do one, and we finally did it!).  The Second Link was fairly empty though it still took us 1 hour from Puteri Harbour, Malaysia to Bukit Batok.  We had the grandparents with us too so the all-Malay road names and signs did not pose a problem, otherwise we might have panicked without any GPS or Malaysia’s road maps.  I also learnt that driving to Malaysia is not just about a passport – you will need a Touch and Go card for the tolls, and maybe a Malaysia’s cashcard for the carpark charges.  There wasn’t an ‘ERP’ at the Little Red Cube building so we are not sure if parking is free, or just that the system is not ready yet, like some of the lifts there.  The Baby Room is commendable too – 2 spacious and clean rooms on each level with tables and chairs – just right for our little Baby2 who pooed twice during the time there.

The diaper changing room. Baby2 is in the picture! :)

The diaper changing room. Baby2 is in the picture! :)

It’s a great place for a day’s family outing – all the rides, activities and shows are free, and you can play all day from 10am to 6pm.  For families like us, I’ll recommend Barney Land only as Hello Kitty Land is really very over rated – small, un-interesting and more adults than kids there.  At Hello Kitty Land, you can only do each activity once (except for the Teacups), huh.

I’m still targeting to go Legoland soon, but probably after the December holidays.

– Dear2

Collecting board games was fun

I can’t remember when I was first introduced to board games. I seemed to recall it was during my holidays at the end of my third year in undergrad, at my internship company. I recalled a discussion where one colleague was trying to tell us how fun Settlers of Catan was. But I didn’t have the interest to find out more.

The next time was probably during my postgrad years. One of my lab-mate was a close relative to the owner of one of those board game cafes. And so we spend a few happy hour afternoons over the years at the board game cafe playing games. Board games were indeed fun, I thought. But the prices were just too expensive.

Some time later, I would come across this website that sold board games online, typically at 20% off those prices in the brick and mortar stores. Now, that got me excited, and I made my first 2 purchases, Citadels and Pandemic.

When I buy board games, my first consideration was always Dear2, because she would be my most preferred gaming partner. And Dear2 did enjoy playing. She picked up the rules very easily and was able to quickly develop strategies for the games that we were playing. I found it very fun pitting our wits together and having an intellectual tug-o-war.

My “network” of board gaming sites increased, and I discovered many more online board game stores. I even found an active board game meetup group locally where there are tons of discussions going on, not to mention a buy/sell section on the forum.

My little collection started becoming bigger, taking up more and more shelf space. But it also meant that each game got played less and less, and many of them just sat on the shelf for an extended period of time. Not only that, my initial criteria for choosing games expanded. I was not only buying games that I think Dear2 and I will enjoy playing, but I was also buying games I think other people will enjoy playing when they have a chance to play them (<-convoluted logic). And then the whole idea of collecting games became a game in itself. Collecting!

My collection grew to a size of 36, counting only distinct titles, and 50 something if I counted all the expansions too. It was getting out of hand. Our shelf space was quickly diminishing, and some games were still in shrink, waiting to be played. My interest in board games evolved from playing to collecting. Also, I started to have high expectations in my choices of games. Some games that I thought Dear2 will enjoy playing, she did not. And I would be disappointed.

Thinking back, it wasn’t like this when I started. I would have no expectations and just enjoyed playing. But as my collection grew, I too grew overly attached to them, making me more defensive. Dear2 and I had a few fights over this growing hobby/collection of mine.

Well, it has gotten to the point which I feel is out of hand. For me, personally, I am spending too much time, energy and money on board games. For us, it has become a source of conflict in our relationship. Playing board games with Dear2 used to be fun. Not anymore.

So, I am going to put a stop to it. I am not going to buy new board games. And, I will be selling off my collection (if I’m able to find sellers at reasonable prices).

I am released. Cheers to more shelf space, an open mind and an open heart.


P.S. Just wanted to share a video here.