A Day Out With Lola (Grandma)

Lola came to visit us in Singapore. While we are shuffling around the days that we are free from school and work, we managed to stroll all the way down to Gardens By The Bay and see the pretty flowers.

Tulipmania is the main attraction at the Flower Dome and this runs from the 12th of April through the 20th of May 2019. We did not get to see it last year, so we brought Lola along to see the Flower Dome play host to the Netherlands. The Flower Dome itself had been home to different varieties of flora from the start. With Tulipmania, it was obvious which flora was at center stage. This year’s Tulipmania brings us to the Dutch countryside with rows upon rows of tulips. We were told that there were about 35 varieties of tulips across the display including the new “Singapura”, a red and white variant to commemorate Singapore’s founding some 200 years ago. The look was definitely ideal with Dutch cottages, a watermill, a windmill and dozens of wooden clogs scattered across the tulip zone. The tulips, of course, are amazing to look at spread far and wide like they were. Having the different varieties under one roof makes you appreciate it’s beauty even more. And if you get hungry, there’s a European Fair happening in the Flower Dome as well. This is where you get stuffed with sausages and pastries from a variety of local European food stalls. It would also be just in time for you to rest your feet by the time you get to the hall so it’s all well and good that the food is good.

After having a snack in the Flower Dome, we decided to use all our available time wisely and headed for the Cloud Dome next. Luckily, we were with a senior citizen and managed to get priority at the lift taking us up to the top of the Cloud Dome. As usual, we went about enjoying the colorful greenery. It also helped that the mist had just started and the Cloud Dome has transformed into this foggy, misty, wonderland. We took our time getting from place to place and reached the foot of the dome just as night time is taking over. It had been a fun and slightly wet day at the Gardens, but we’re glad that Lola enjoyed it. Because we did too.

Video Games Classics with the SSO

What is the SSO?
In this case, it stands for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

Matthew had been drafted to join Military Band for his school’s Co-Curricular Activity at the start of his Freshman year. It was not his first choice, but he did not make an appeal to change it so we didn’t attempt to get it changed. They were given a chance earlier this year to attend a concert and then meet and greet the band that played. He told us that he enjoyed it and that he was happy that he had attended.

The stage for Video Games Classics with the SSO
This is our view while watching the SSO

I am personally not musically inclined because music does not seem to like me. Let me re-phrase that. I like music. Music does not like me. But I won’t let that stop me from taking my family to enjoy the things that make them happy. So, out of the blue, I saw this ad for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra playing Video Games Classics. So we booked seats. That was way back in February with the show scheduled for the 5th of April.

Video Games Classics is a show conducted by Eimear Noone. So, Eimear Noone is known for her work on the music behind the World of Warcraft. Her other achievements include the scores for Starcraft II, Diablo III and Overwatch. And this show, was amazing. I probably knew half of the pieces, and the rest were music that I have heard while playing games or watching videos on YouTube. It was a pleasant surprise, really. But the way that the show went was really quite a surprise because it was lively and it was fun. I didn’t even know you could do that watching an Orchestra. So, yes. My favorite band is now, an Orchestra.

Of course, this show was really about Matthew. After all, he is the person that is in a band. Yes, it is Military Band. But it is a band nonetheless. And in fact, we were told from the very beginning of his secondary school education that this CCA of his would be playing a big role in his overall marks by the time that he graduates. And that is one of the reasons why we brought him to watch Video Game Classics. The second reason was for him to actually have a bit of time to relax from school work. If adults burn themselves out from too much working, it is no different for a child to burn himself out if he cannot find a balanced study life.

Matthew and the SSO Pops programme for Video Games Classics
Matthew’s face whenever he does not want to give us a “nice” picture.

At the end of the night, we all had a good time. Video Game Classics with Eimear Noone was an excellent performance. It was a very enjoyable experience and one that you would look for should other performances come along that will tickle our interests.

Hey, Dad


Matthew Jaeger
Matthew Jaeger

10 years.

It has been 10 years since a little boy was born in the Philippines at Asian Hospital. A little boy shy of two months before he was due to come out of his mother’s womb. He sure was excited to come out into this world. Of course, coming out long before he was expected did bring about quite a few problems.
He weighed only 811 grams and he was a skinny little puppy when he was pulled out. His internal organs had not yet been fully developed and he developed skin jaundice. Luckily, it still wasn’t as bad as other premature births. He didn’t need surfactant which had been a blessing. He did have to stay in his apartment in the NICU for a while though. His incubator kept him warm and allowed him to grow in a womb-like environment. The nurses had to feed and change him regularly while he was there. They looked after him 24 hours a day making sure that he survived until he was ready to live outside on his own. And survive he did thanks to all his guardian angels in the form of those NICU nurses at Asian Hospital.
It took 30 days for that little boy to be ready for the world outside his mother’s womb. And those were the longest 30 days of his parent’s lives. At six months old, he has his first operation.
In the next few years he learned how to crawl, and sit, and walk. He learned how to drink and how to eat. His parents had a hell of a time watching him do all the things that other people expected babies to do. Year after year he learned new things, he explored, he experimented, he blossomed. His parents did practically the same thing, except a little less messy.
His parents made it a point to read him stories every night and talk to him in a native language. No goo-goos and no gaa-gaas. They had always believed that it was the best way for him to understand words and their meaning as he grew. In time, he learned how to read on his own and to speak fluently. In the years that followed after learning how to read, he never stopped reading. And never stopped talking.
Nine years of parenting adventures had passed. Joy, sadness, fear, disgust and anger mixed all throughout. Nine years of experiences like no other, exploration of the unknown, expression of the arts, understanding of sciences and frustrations with maths. It has been an immense ride. Now its time to move forward. Year ten. Let’s bring it!