Monthly Archives: January 2015

Happy Family Paper Cutting

I finally got a Chinese paper cutting (剪纸) of the family! I’d been wanting to get one since I spotted it in Chinatown 2 years ago before Chinese New Year but it was too crowded then. Last CNY, I was stuck at home (since it was my confinement period after delivering the baby) and couldn’t make the trip down to Chinatown. There’s less than a month to go before CNY but it’s not too crowded in Chinatown at the moment so it’s a good time to get the paper cutting done.

The stall I went to is near Pagoda St. After coming out from Exit A of Chinatown MRT, I walked straight then turned right into the first small lane. You choose the characters you like from the samples and give the man the names you want him to cut into the picture. You can have the name in English if you prefer. It’s $10 per family member and another $10 for the plain black frame. I didn’t have to wait very long, just about 15 minutes. I love the finished product!

choose the characters from the samples

choose the characters from the samples

cutting the names

cutting the names

a simple message about family

‘a harmonious family will prosper’

final product!

final product!

Oh, Help! Oh, No! It’s A Gruffalo!

The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo

A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood. He meets a fox, an owl, and a snake and they each want to take a bite out of him, but he scares them all off by namedropping the Gruffalo, a creature with terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws!

The Gruffalo is based on the book of the same name by Julia Donaldson and the kids love the story of how a tiny little mouse manages to outwit several creatures who are all unquestionably bigger and scarier than he is. It’s definitely one of the most-read books in our household and it’s hard to imagine anyone improving upon this charming tale.

his eyes are orange, his tongue is black

his eyes are orange, his tongue is black

The Gruffalo does just that; bringing the story to life with engaging audience interaction, energetic acting, and lively, catchy songs. With a cast of just three people, The Gruffalo manages to give each character in the book a distinct appearance and personality. I love that the fox, the owl and the snake are not dressed up to look like their respective animals and that their costumes are interpreted in a creative manner.

For example, Snake is a flamboyant maracas-shaking narcissist dressed in a sparkly golden bandanna and a pompom-studded bolero. The kids laughed hysterically at his over-the-top antics and declared that he was their favourite character in the show. I am inclined to agree with them!

The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo

To be perfectly honest, there were some moments where I laughed louder than the kids! I didn’t expect to be so tickled by a children’s production but the impeccable comic timing, the witty dialogue, the impromptu jokes, and the physical comedy make this play a must-see for both kids and adults who love the story of The Gruffalo.

The kids enjoyed every moment of it and I loved seeing them so completely absorbed by the performance and giggling away at all the funny bits. They also had a great time roaring like the Gruffalo to scare away the poor Fox. It was a very enjoyable 55 minutes indeed.

The Gruffalo

our favourite character: the snake!

There are just 6 shows left so grab your tickets while you can! If you have watched the show, don’t forget to take a look at the fun Gruffalo stuff available for kids to do. You may wish to check out the Kidsfest 2015 website and Facebook page to find out more about all the other awesome upcoming performances for kids (and kids-at-heart). We are particularly excited about The Snail & The Whale and The Princess & The Pea!

What are you waiting for? Make a date with The Gruffalo before it’s too late!

with the Gruffalo himself!

with the Gruffalo himself!

Disclaimer: We received complimentary tickets to watch this performance. All opinions are my own.

Fisher-Price Musical Lion Walker

David’s current favourite toy is the Fisher-Price Musical Lion Walker. He’s currently standing well on his own but hasn’t starting walking yet so this toy gives him the mobility that he craves while providing the stability that he needs. He’s fond of fiddling around with all the interactive bits on the lion and is quite a speed demon when walking around with the lion.

The Musical Lion Walker is pretty easy to set up (you will need a Philips head screwdriver) and requires 2 AA batteries. There’s a peek-a-boo mirror that David loves to look into, rollerball ears & clacker-bead toes to spin, a light-up nose for visual appeal, and musical piano keys to make noise with. All these little bits combine to help strengthen fine motor skills, stimulate developing senses, and helps develop balance and coordination.

what is this exciting new toy?

what is this exciting new toy?

playing with the musical piano keys

playing with the musical piano keys

discovering the slider butterfly

discovering the slider butterfly

hey it supports my weight!

hey it supports my weight!

the roller ears are fun to touch

the roller ears are fun to touch, and the nose lights up!

passes the taste test too!

passed the taste test too!

stomping around

stomping around

followed closely by his adoring sister

followed closely by his adoring sister

As walkers go, I really like the Fisher-Price Musical Lion Walker because it looks cute and is multi-functional. David makes a beeline for it when it’s time to play and the walker clearly serves its purpose of encouraging baby to walk.  

Disclaimer: We received the toy from Fisher-Price for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

A Night of Magic at Raffles with Joe Labero

A Night of Magic at Raffles

A Night of Magic at Raffles

Four-time Merlin Award Winner JOE LABERO is back in Singapore with a fiery new show after the spectacular success of INCANTO. Assisted by guest performers and fire artistes Burnt Out Punks, the charismatic Joe Labero will dazzle you with awe-inspiring and mind-blowing illusions in A Night of Magic at Raffles. You won’t believe your eyes!

To be honest, t’s been a while since a sceptical grown-up such as myself was blown away by magic. I’m naturally quite cynical and usually able to spot the tedious technical bits behind the smoke and mirrors of an illusion. While a few of the acts during A Night of Magic could be readily attributed to sleight of hand and smooth execution, I was left gawking in wonderment at most of the illusions from the moment Joe Labero appeared dramatically on stage.

Many magicians choose to perform their illusions from the safe distance of the stage, but Joe Labero came down to the audience and right up close to the camera. He kept up an easy banter with the audience the entire evening and and invited several members of the audience to be part of his illusions. I was there with the husband and Anya and several times we just stared at each other in amazement, simply dying to know: “How on earth did he do that??”

what's going to happen to him?

what’s going to happen to him?

be amazed!

be amazed!

don't miss this!

don’t miss this!

A Night of Magic at Raffles is truly spectacular and will impress even the most jaded grown-ups. We were wowed by the performance and Anya couldn’t stop talking about the show for the rest of the evening. Definitely something that the whole family will enjoy.

TICKETING DETAILS
Event Name: A Night of Magic at Raffles
Date: 16 January to 22 February 2015
Venue: Jubilee Hall, Raffles Hotel
Time: Weekdays – 7.30pm
Saturdays – 3.00pm, 7.30pm
Sundays – 3.00pm
Prices: VIP Reserve (Meet & Greet) – Adults: $230, Children: $215
VIP Box Seats (4 seats) Balcony with drinks – $920
Standard – Adults: $125, Children: $60
Restricted View – Adults: $75, Children: $50

GIVEAWAY
I have 3 sets of 4 ‘A Night of Magic at Raffles’ tickets (for 2 adults and 2 children) to be won by three lucky readers! Each set of tickets is worth $370. The date of performance will be arranged with the organiser after the winners have been selected. Tickets can be collected an hour in advance at the venue on show day. Please note that kids below 5 years of age are not allowed.

To qualify, simply do the following by Thursday, 22 January 2015, 1200H (Singapore time):
1. Like the ‘In the Wee HoursFacebook page.
2. Like and comment on this Facebook post telling me what your favourite magic trick is! Tag a friend in your comment.

Terms & Conditions: This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only. Winners will be contacted through Facebook message and will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. All incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries will be verified before the winners are announced. To be fair to our sponsors, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (e.g. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or very few real friends) will also be ineligible to win.

Disclaimer: We received complimentary tickets to watch this performance. All opinions are my own.

Adam’s 1st Swimming Class!

Adam had his first swimming lesson with Teacher Eugene (Anya’s former swimming instructor) last week but it was a very short session because they got rained out. He seemed quite happy during class which is a stark contrast to Anya who cried (and sometimes vomited) every lesson for about a month before becoming resigned to her fate.

three happy kids

three happy kids

sitting by the pool

sitting by the pool

blowing bubbles

blowing bubbles

going for a spin in the water

going for a spin in the water

the rain is too heavy!

the rain is too heavy!

The sun was blazing hot for the second lesson a week later so they managed to do a lot more. Adam was clearly very stressed throughout the lesson but still followed instructions. They did some kicking, some floating, some blowing of bubbles and some swishing around in the water.

keeping legs straight

keeping legs straight

holding onto the board

holding onto the board

demonstrating the right way to float

demonstrating the right way to float

Adam giving it a shot

Adam giving it a shot

going underwater

going underwater

flying through the water

flying through the water

Let the Memory Live Again – CATS

CATS

When I was younger, I watched CATS for the first time and was spellbound by the catchy music and the energetic feline dancing and capering. About 20 years later, I watched Cats again at Marina Bay Sands and the memories of my very first Broadway musical came flooding back.

CATS is a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, and produced by Cameron Mackintosh. The musical tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make ‘the Jellicle choice’ and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.

Jellicle Cats

Jellicle Cats

Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy and the Jellicle Ball

CATS has been presented in over thirty countries and over three hundred cities. It was the recipient of two Olivier awards in 1981; Musical of the Year and Outstanding Achievement of the Year in a Musical. In 1983 the Broadway production became the recipient of seven Tony awards including Best Musical and Best Original Score

Rum Tum Tugger

Rum Tum Tugger

?

Meow

The quality of the performance I watched at Marina Bay Sands on Tuesday night was top-notch. The cast is clearly very talented and the singing and dancing was superb. The cats also interacted frequently with the audience which added to the magic of the performance.

Certain scenes and characters that stood out for me: the flamboyant and over-the-top Rum Tum Tugger with leopard spots on his chest, the wilted Grizabella who has fallen so far from grace, the mischievous and acrobatic cat burglars Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, and the magical Mr Mistoffelees.

electrifying!

electrifying!

Disclaimer: We received two complimentary tickets to watch this performance. All opinions are my own.

CATS

I enjoyed the fast-paced second half of the show more than the first which had one or two scenes that I found a wee bit draggy, especially when inserted between the very exciting scenes. The applause from the audience was loudest for Mr Mistoffelees’ amazing dance solo and Grizabella’s heartbreaking but hopeful rendition of Memory. Overall, CATS is an outstanding musical and it’s no wonder that CATS is one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history.

TICKETING AND SHOW INFORMATION

SEASON: 9 Jan – 1 Feb 2015
PERFORMANCE TIMES: Tue – Fri 8pm; Sat 2pm & 8pm; Sun 1pm & 6pm
TICKET PRICE: From $65 (Excludes the booking fee of $3 per ticket)
THROUGH INTERNET: Marina Bay Sands Ticketing or SISTIC
BY PHONE: 6688 8826
IN PERSON AT: Marina Bay Sands Box Offices (Museum, Theatres, SkyPark, Retail Mall and Hotel Tower 1 Lobby)

Disclaimer: We received two complimentary tickets to watch this performance. All opinions are my own. All photos used are from Base Entertainment Facebook page and CATS website.

Happy 1st Birthday, David!

David is ONE!

David is ONE!

I’ve been really busy and tired but it’s David’s first birthday today and I just had to take some time to pen down my thoughts. I never expected to have a third child but I’m so glad that God decided that I needed one. It wasn’t the smoothest of pregnancies and he gave us a few things to worry about. The delivery went well but there were some complications afterwards. He’s without a doubt my most difficult baby and very tiring to look after but he’s better-behaved now and gets away with almost anything anyway because he’s so cute.

His siblings adore him and love to play with him even though he can be quite a grouch and likes to pull his sister’s hair and smack his brother. He behaves like a cat and enjoys sitting in boxes, head-bumping people to show affection, destroying newspapers, and hiding under tables. He likes to eat plain white rice and bread but doesn’t care for durian! He has an incredibly, comically flat face with a little nose that barely sticks out of his face. Although he has hardly any hair, he often gets mistaken for a girl because he is so fair.

He has 5 little teeth at the moment with another one on its way out so he’s always chewing on things. His default look is one of great seriousness with a furrowed brow and he is not easily amused by strangers trying to coax a smile from him. He doesn’t like to be carried by anyone except for a select group of about 6 people. Apart from that particular group, he regards every one else as potential kidnappers and screams bloody murder if they attempt to carry him. He can stand on his own for quite a long time but doesn’t want to walk yet but I think it will happen soon.

Happy birthday, my little Onigiri. You are such an adorable baby and you are mine!