Monday 28 February 2011

Saturday a.m. stroll

Jo and Brooke, on our walk from Repulse Bay to Deep Water Bay
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Felix and Ross

Watching the ccdc performance of DELT in Hong Kong park
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Education, education, education

Activities this month have mostly revolved around education.

First off, we have:
Visit to Hillside, the ESF Kindergarten on Stubbs Road.

Ross and I went to visit the kindergarten on a very rainy, cold, un-Hong Kongy day a few weeks ago. We felt like complete frauds, because several people were there with their 2 or 3 year old kids, who actually might be coming to the school in the near future. I hoped that we could just keep quiet about how old our boys are....Anyway, we had a tour around, the headmaster talked extensively about the potential for morning plus afternoon sessions (at the moment it's either or, he's raised it to his supervisors, they're not interested, perhaps if you wrote to them something would happen. But no, at the moment it's either morning or afternoon, I suppose you could pay for both...but then your child will be repeating the session. I've raised it to my superiors. I suppose it's a possibility. Perhaps if you write to them....etc) The kids seemed happy, there was what looked like a fairly racially mixed group of kids, the facilities were spotless and seem brand new. Of course the mission statement sounded perfect, what's not to like?! well the chances of getting in for one thing...They had over 550 applications last year for 170 places. I'm wondering how we can wangle the sibling priority thing...maybe if we apply for Felix two days before we apply for Josh? I suspect that wouldn't work. Hmm.

Aberdeen Marina Club playroom (sorry, I mean Adventure Zone)
This was AWESOME. The boys had a fantasitc time. Another of the MOMS who's a member very kindly invited people to go along, so Vergenia and I took J&F. The playroom is huge, and just as well equipped as you'd expect.

Rolly Pollies Causeway Bay
We went here for a trial class. The boys were kind of scared of the guy who was running it, which was unfortunate. We sang some songs, then did an obstacle course. Josh was fine, but Felix's lack of crawling held him back somewhat...but he did start crawling properly after this class - apparently crawling up a slope makes them crawl properly, because they can't commando crawl up the slope. Anyway, I don't think we'll be going back.

Friday 25 February 2011

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Thursday 24 February 2011

At Millie's house

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felix on a swing in Victoria park

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Wednesday 23 February 2011

J and F at the Aberdeen Marina Club

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Sunday 20 February 2011

Sunday morning

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Wednesday 16 February 2011

Interesting ...

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Happy Birthday Vergenia!

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Felix (chillin') and Auntie Ada in the Mousepad

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Daddy and the boys

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First Day At Work

So I had my first entire day away from the boys on Monday. I started at HK Ballet, which went really well. The people seem nice, the atmosphere of the office is relaxed (although like most HK offices, it's completely silent!) I did a fair bit of proof-reading, editing, and writing on a huge variety of stuff, from House Programmes to Sponsorship proposals.

It was good, I really enjoyed it. And I didn't mind being away from the boys too much - I texted Verginia at lunchtime, and she called me back so I could hear the boys squeaking as they played. I think it was not too hard because I knew that I would see them the next day (I'm working Monday Wednesday Friday, with Wednesday from home). So far so good!

Twins at 9 1/2 months

The boys are growing up so fast! They have been invited to two First Birthday Parties already, and we are planning a Three Little Piggies themed party for This One, That One and Holly Polly. Watch this space!

In the last few days they have both begun to show a lot more interest in the That's Not My Tiger and That's Not My Pirate books that Uncle Hairy gave them. They like to reach out and feel the furry ears on the tiger, and the bumpy eye patch on the pirate.

Felix has been renamed Muffin - it's an anglicization of the Cantonese "ma fan", meaning troublesome. He's very screechy at the moment. I think it's mostly due to frustration because he still can't move around like Josh. He can wriggle on his tummy, but has not quite got the hang of proper crawling. So no AV set-up destruction for Felix!

A favourite game at the moment is to sit them both in their highchairs, and throw a big muslin over their heads, then they race to get out first, it's very sweet. They always look very proud of themselves once they manage it.

Josh has started saying "mamamama", and Felix now has a top tooth. It's just broken through the gum, but once it is fully emerged I think it'll make him look quite different. His fave habit is wrinkling his nose, and once that reveals a new fang he'll look very grown-up.

Monday 14 February 2011

Josh can clap

BP clapped his hands for the first time yesterday, at 9 1/2 months. When I got home from work today he was already practised enough to do it on demand!
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Thursday 10 February 2011

Gainful employment once more

HK Happy Valley Blue Pool Road 60 UNICEF n The HK Ballet

Well to be honest it's not terribly gainful, but one makes sacrifices when one works in The Arts. It's not quite like Media.

I have started doing a bit of part-time work for the Hong Kong Ballet, with my lovely boss from Disney. It's just proof-reading and copy-writing at the moment, and might only last a couple of months, but at least I am earning a bit of pocket money, and doing something that I genuinely enjoy. What could be more "Me" than copywriting for the HK Ballet?! Too good an opportunity to miss.

I went to the office yesterday which is in Happy Valley. It's an old (OLD) Jockey Club building, which was donated to HK Ballet in the 50's and I'm pretty confident that it has barely been touched since. It is exactly how I imagined it would be - pretty rundown, rather sad-looking, and sporting those strange features that are characteristic of buildings all over HK - there's no consistency in design or layout, rooms are subdivided into smaller rooms with "wooden" panelling, the bathrooms are, um, authentic, and every available surface is crammed with stuff. I love it. It's just exactly the sort of tumbledown, ramshackle labyrinth that a ballet company's offices should inhabit. And what's more, the Education & Outreach office has mirrors and a double barre all the way round the outside of the room. Awesome.

Safety Precaution

Remember folks, use children only under adult supervision.
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Wednesday 9 February 2011

Babies babies everywhere

As my doctor told me not long ago, Hong Kong has a very high pregnant population, relatively speaking. I was reminded of this fact while I was waiting to see said doctor yesterday, so she could double my thyroxine meds (here's hoping I don't become as hyperactive as Felix as a result). The clinic, a certain Westerner-favoured clinic in Central which shall remain unnamed, was chock a block full of pregnant ladies, couples coming to see the fertility specialist for whom the place is renowned, and a variety of newborn-to-toddler aged muchkins.

It was weird. I was there alone, since J&F have recently had contact with a little person who has hand, foot and mouth disease; although they are totally fine, I didn't want to further the outbreak. I was torn between two very odd emotions.

On one hand...
I felt like I wanted to tell everyone there that I AM A MOTHER TOO, I felt so left out. And God knows it took me long enough to feel that that statement was true. And of course, none of the kids there was as completely adorable and unspeakably cute as my boys, so essentially I just wanted to show off. This is very reminiscent of every time I hear someone speaking French in the street, I just desperately want to go and tell them that I speak French. WTF? Ridickerous. What a strange impulse.

On the other hand....
I felt like a total sheep. I realised that I was wearing trailing spouse uniform, looking utterly predictable. Dark jeans, a top that I never would have bought in the real world (ie the UK) because it needs ironing, big ray ban sunnies that Bink and I would have called goggles back in the day, a big tan leather handbag, discreetly feminine flats. As I sat there brandishing my smartphone, arranging playdates and updating my Facebook status, I felt distinctly uncomfortable. Everyone's at it. And I wanted to be different. But I also want to fit in, just a little bit. One of the reasons I love living here is that I am the same, but different. We still pay the rent, Ross works (as do I - more on that later), we get drunk, we go out for dinner, we try to save money, we watch crap TV...but we do all those things in Hong Kong. Which somehow makes everything so much better. I wonder how long I will think that? I suspect it'll last approximately as long as we have a live-in helper.

Sunday 6 February 2011


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Wednesday 2 February 2011

Tuesday 1 February 2011

Biting & Balancing

Joshemy seems, so far, unable to tackle any sort of food that's more challenging than goo. All the books encourage giving your baby "finger food" and of course there are lots of (over-priced) products on the market to choose from. Toast, soft carrot sticks and bits of apple all work well too. The thing is, Josh is rather over-ambitious, and he always ends up with too much in his mouth, so he gags, then spews everything all over the place.

Felix is a bit more skilled in this department; he knows how to bite, so if you hold out a piece of toast to him, he'll chomp down with his two little gnashers, then move his head back, so that the piece comes off in his mouth. Joshy just sort of chews on the toast without ever actually biting a piece off and chewing that inside his mouth.

Now that they have mastered the art of pulling themselves up from sitting to standing, they are happy to do that all day. Josh started moving just 2 weeks ago, and since then he has already learnt to pull himself up, stand, balance with only one hand on the window sill, and today both boys were standing side on to the window sill, holding a toy in each hand, leaning slightly against the window sill for support. Also Josh was standing in the middle of the baby cage for a while, just holding onto Verginia's tshirt with one hand. He has better balance than his parents....