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Back in Singapore for Good

We’ve been back in Singapore for slightly more than a month now, and I think we have settled into a routine of sorts, especially now that the kids have all started school.

C and I both took videos of our home in Jakarta before we left, and we took a few photos in our living room and balcony too. It was tough saying goodbye to our helper and driver on our last morning in Jakarta, because they have been such good help to us. I cried as I hugged our helper, and again when she thanked us and told us how much she had enjoyed spending time with the twins.

Family photo at the balcony before we left

Our driver’s wife and youngest daughter came to wish us well too, which was really sweet of them. Our driver has had a really special relationship with Didi ever since we arrived in Jakarta, so he wanted to carry Didi for our group photo, and we could tell that he was really sad, especially when he discreetly wiped his tears away when he dropped us at the airport for the last time.

Group photo with our helper, driver, as well as his wife and daughter

C with our driver

Boys on the plane

The girls

And we’re back for good!

Our new helper arrived in Singapore a few days before us, which was great, as she could help my parents to clean up our place thoroughly. Our shipment arrived four days after we did, but my helper and I managed to finish unpacking all 41 boxes in one day. I still can’t find some of the items that we shipped back from Jakarta, but I guess they’ll reappear when I least expect them to.

Chaos

We also got our car four days after we arrived, and the kids are getting used to sitting in car seats. Initially, Didi kept asking, “Why is Daddy a Pak?” because he has never seen C drive before, and we called our driver “Pak” in Jakarta. They were even more confused when I started driving them around, but I think they’re used to it now, even though they do fuss and request to listen to their favourite stories. Oh they were also puzzled about why our new car didn’t have a “tv” for them to watch videos on, since our car in Jakarta did, but hello, that’s such a first world problem okay.

Three in a row

The nights have been the toughest, as the twins struggle to fall asleep, and keep asking to “go home” and saying that they didn’t want this “Singapore house”, because “this (is) not home”. I felt really sad for them, as they grew up in our Jakarta home, and are not as familiar with our Singapore home as N is. Didi wakes up every night to climb back into our bed, and Meimei wakes up quite frequently to be nursed, even though she had already stopped doing that quite some time ago. (Read about what C called them in this post HERE.)

Sleeping in our bed again

N has been really into insects for a while now, so he was extremely stoked to adopt a praying mantis that our friends caught on our walk together at Ang Mo Kio West Park. He even named it Calvin, after his favourite comic book character (from Calvin and Hobbes), and has been diligently catching moths and grasshoppers for it to eat. We’ve also looked after two common mime caterpillars and one lime caterpillar, and just released all three gorgeous butterflies.

The kids before releasing the common mime butterfly

Common mime butterfly

Lime butterfly

N and his praying mantis

The biggest change since our return is that the kids all started school on the 1st of July! N is adjusting to the Singapore education system, ie having homework daily, spelling tests, and Chinese lessons, but he has made some new friends, and has been playing with them (even though he doesn’t know their names). *rolls eyes*

The twins started drop-off classes for the first time (they attended a parent-accompanied class twice a week in Jakarta), and as expected, there were plenty of tears on the first day. Didi cried for almost the entire four hours that day, then only at drop-off on the second to fourth days, before being extremely brave on the fifth day (TODAY!), and didn’t cry at all! Meimei has been a real star, and didn’t cry at all since the very first day. She held Didi’s hand whenever he cried, and told him that he didn’t have to cry because he had her, which really made my heart melt. I’m so proud of them, and I really hope they will enjoy school as much as they did in Jakarta.

Life in Singapore is different from what we were used to in Jakarta, but different can be good too. Please keep us all in prayer as we continue to settle down here in Singapore!

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