Saturday, 27 December 2014

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Hong Kong Day 1

Hong Kong, here we come!!!!

We bought the air tickets in July for our trip in November due to the promo fares on Singapore Airlines.  When the protests began in September, we panicked.  Fortunately, we bought travel insurance way before the protests began and should it get worse, we will forgo the trip and might be able receive some form of compensation.  

After consulting friends who went before us and those staying there, we did not have to forgo the trip.  The boys are the happiest, no doubt!

It is always difficult to wake the boys up in the morning but when it comes to going to the airport for our flights, it is never difficult!  Why ah……

Happy to be on his Trunki for the first time.  
Trunki is the original ride on suitcase which can be hand carried onto the airplane (make sure it's not over the carry on allowance though).  

Guess what will be in E's Trunki?

His baby bear, pillow, spare clothes and a book.

The Trunki is perfect for beating boredom suffered by travelling tots.  Sometimes they attract the attention of other passengers, both young and old, sometimes they irritate passengers as they have to make sure they do not bump into these luggage-pulling kids.  :P

My Superboy-Wannabe
But I am not too sure if the Trunki is a great idea for the parents.  :P

But if you were to ask me, the advantages surpass the disadvantages:

- when the kids are too tired to walk, I can pull them while they ride on their luggages - means lesser whining and tantrums throwing;
- it entertains them while they pull, push, get on, get off, play with the luggages during the waiting time after check-in and before boarding;
- they can pack what they need or want and be responsible for them;
- durable - same type of plastic as adult suitcases

Kids have this thing for the safety brochure in airplanes...

See you in Hong Kong!!!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

We're going to the zoo zoo zoo, how about you, you, you?

One morning after constant bugging from D the night before, we went to the Singapore Zoo.  No strangers to the zoo as we have been going there pretty often.  However, this time, the zoo is having the  Zoo Hoo! Wildlife Warriors event!  How glad we were to be there at the right time!

Every weekend in December, one can pick up a Wildlife Warrior Trail Booklet at the Registration Counter and be on their way to complete the tasks at the 5 game stations to earn a stamp. 

The 5 stations:
1. Polar jumper which is located right outside the Frozen Tundra.  Just like a game of snake and ladder, we need to roll a huge dice and make our way to the end of the mat.

2. Pin the rhino horn which D had to turn a few rounds blindfolded and try pinning the rhino horn onto the rhino.  It was so funny as we direct him to where he should pin the rhino horn.

3. Fragile forest.  One needs to toss the correct trash into the different recycling bins.
4. Hang on for hope is a game that seems too difficult for the boys.  In order to help the orang utans reunite with their forest home, they need to throw the orange utan craft with a hook onto the strings across the trees.  B manage to do it, by aiming and throwing it in a certain angle. 

5. Eye of the tiger where the boys took a ball and throw at the incorrect things tigers are being used for.

We spent a lot of time at the Wildlife Craft Corner which I later came to know was conducted by Lollibox.

Making their own animal stickers… The area was catered for kids, with kids chairs and tables and there were friendly people around to help.  

You know he enjoyed when you see such a happy expression!

When 2 boys get into the #partnersincrime mood.

Look at that glee after they finish all 5 stations and get to decorate their own medals for Wildlife Warriors!

Though the weather was hot and sunny one moment and wet and humid the next, we enjoyed our zoo trip.  On top of what we usually do like watching the different shows, feeding the animals and watching the animals in action, this event is one that my boys will talk for a quite a while, with their bragging rights of their unique medals.  :)

Sunday, 30 November 2014


November has been a very busy month.  Partly because we were away to the Happiest Place on Earth…

Monday, 27 October 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday E!

As you grow a year older, we wish that you grow up healthy, happy and with a kind heart .

E took a pamplet from Bengawan Solo and insisted he wanted that Toy Story cake he saw on it.  That is easy, we thought!  No need to vex on which baker and the design this year - which we do on some years.  

Big brothers will always be big brothers.  See how D decided to help E hold the cake-cutting knife first.  :p

Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favourites

The kids, especially D got very excited when we told them that The Very Hungry Caterpillar is coming to Singapore in October.  We bought tickets in September and he started asking every other day if it's October.

The lovely display
Presented by Act 3 and produced by the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, the hour-long production lets us get up close with three favourite classics of Eric Carle - The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Little Cloud and The Mixed-Up Chameleon.  

Through theatre, these 3 stories were presented against back-lighted background and fanciful puppets.  It's like a storytelling session comes alive!

At the end of the play, there will be an interactive session whereby the performers will show how the puppets were handled and answer any questions you might have. 

One of the pictures taken in 2012
Both boys love the stories.  So when they were presented through theatre, it was like their favourite books and characters come to live.  The use of the puppets against the back-lighted background, the little actions of each character (like the caterpillar walking and "kicking" off it's food after chomping through them) kept them very amused.

It goes to show how much both D, and now E, enjoyed the plays as we have been going to each of their play since 2011 (except in 2013 when they were not here).  We, as adults, enjoyed them too!

In 2011:

In 2012, when they had A Brown Bear, A Moon and A Caterpillar:

We hope they do come again in 2015!  In the meantime, more books and other plays!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Hospitalisation and Pain

Sometime back, D was hospitalized with severe gastroenteritis (layman term: stomach flu).  It all started with me, then B and E.  Just when we thought D would be spared, it hit him so hard that he got dehydrated and a 1-night stay at the hospital for intravenous drip (IV drip).

At 5 year old, all he could tell was that he has a "knocking" pain in his tummy.  He could not rate how painful it was, unlike us adults where we could use associations.  So, I was pretty surprised with the use of a similar pain chart:

He could relate to the faces and let the nurses and doctor know how much it hurts.  Though it might not be a 100% fit, well, it never will  unless we use a pain detection device, I thought it was a pretty cool idea.

So the next time the kids complain of pain, this chart will be useful.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Happy Anniversary!

Hello!  September is a happy month because we got married in September many years ago!  Haha!

For this year's anniversary, we went for dinner at a very special place.  A one-of-a-kind dining experience.  What's more, it's by a renowned celebrity chef.  Both B and I are fans of Masterchef and some other cooking shows, so imagine our excitement when we decided to dine at Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora, the first female Iron Chef.

We wanted a seat just next to the aquarium but guess we made our reservations too late, 1 day in advance, and thus got the second row seats which were good too!

Our dinner items for the night…

Tasting of oysters (warmed oyster tartare, bean sprout & sago; chilled ham cream & smoked paprika; yuzu-soy reduction & purple shiso ice)

 42°C Sous Vide Salmon (salmon mousse, citrus minestrone, ikura & shaved fennel salad)

The highlights of the dinner have got to be the mains. 

Seared Hokkaido Scallop (pumpkin bulgur wheat, sea urchin cream, pickled baby fennel, crackling pork skin & apple slaw)

Brine Cured Magret of Duck (yuzu puree, king oyster mushroom, sauteed wakame & pomegranate molasses)

We ended the night with some desserts.

And a must-take photo ;)

Although there are many photo opportunities, to upload on Facebook, sending them to your friends on WatsApp, it's the company that counts.  Take some photos, keep your mobiles and enjoy the lunch or dinner with your dining partner(s).  #firstworldproblems

This dinner at Ocean Restaurant was made possible partly because we had $200 dining vouchers from joining the RWS Invites.  They have different welcome packages  with a $150 annual membership fee. The initial reason why we got the membership was because of the hotel promotions.   However, now that we are pass holders to Universal Studios Singapore, the Invites card is so important because of the privilege of redeeming all day parking with Invites$1.50.  Invites$ are rebates earned at participating outlets.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

E's Own Lego Creation

At less than 3 years old, this fellow creates what he calls a two-storey jail for the crook.  Will you be pleased?  I am, of course!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Reading…. Barefoot Books

There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island 
- Walt Disney

Promoting reading since young has always been a priority.  Our wishes are that the boys grow up loving books.  Books not only makes one think and imagine, they sometimes bring you to places you have never been to at the comfort of your reading corner, learning and discovering new stuff.

We were first introduced to one of the titles from Barefoot Books by one of the teachers in the boys' childcare and our collection of books from Barefoot Books have since multiplied.  You may be able to either borrow them from the library, or  purchase them from Amazon.
Some of the books we have

Why do we like them?

  1. Colourful, eye-catching illustrations

  2. Some sentences are repetitive (kids learn through repetition) 
  3. Association with things the kids can relate to or indirectly exposing them to new words and themes.  For example:
  4. For some of the books, there are CDs so that we can watch, listen and sing along.  We play a lot of these CDs in the car and the whole family will start singing to these catchy songs

At the end of some of the books, there will be explanations of certain items relating to the theme of the story.  Some have music scores too!

An explanation of the different machines used in farms in "Driving my Tractor"

They have singalongs on Youtube too!  These days, many kids are being entertained on TV.  I am no exception.  Sometimes I have the singalongs running while I do some chores.

These are easy books to start off with for pre-schoolers.  The colorful illustrations will attract their attention, and so do the songs.  At the same time, they provide us with a lot of discussion opportunities and this in turn lead to new learning opportunities for both the kids and adults.

We have been reading each book continuously every night for weeks.  This shows how much the boys love them!  Till the extend that E can memorize the sentences.  :)

Disclosure:  This is NOT a sponsored post.  However the post contains affiliate links to Amazon but they are of no added cost to you.  :)

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Saturday, 24 May 2014

Happy 5th Birthday, D!

Lately, when my elder boy turned 5, I stopped receiving monthly email updates from Baby Centre.  It suddenly dawns on me that he is no longer a toddler and soon, he will no longer be called a pre-schooler too.

I like this Baby Centre website which I look at for information and use some of their tools frequently from the first day I knew I was pregnant.

It has a due date calculator, a pregnancy week by week, baby week by week, toddler month by month.

Heaps of information that educated me as a first-time preggie to a first-time mother and then when I have my number 2 too.  It's always the case of I never ever feel I am well prepared, well informed.

So what should my 5 year-old be doing now?  According to Baby Centre, he may be doing the following:

  • separating from you comfortably, maybe even eagerly, especially if she's going to play at a friend's house
  • feeling more secure when she's away from you
  • learning the value of friends
  • being more willing to help around the house, doing chores like setting the table - Yes, yes!  He does!

Happy Birthday, my dear son.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Staycation at Conrad Centennial Singapore

We had an awesome staycation over the weekend in early April.  There are reasons why some families prefer a staycation to traveling abroad - it totally feels like we were on holiday, just in familiar settings, minus the hassle of remembering the passports and packing enough.

What makes a staycation different from simply staying at home and having the aircon on throughout I used to wonder.

  • Without the availability of one's gadgets like the laptop, computer, game console, TV, cable TV, the time spent together as a couple or family is so much more.  
  • For families like us with small children, we will be in the same room, we have to watch the same TV program… proximity makes interaction more often, communication more frequent.
  • We feel like we are on holiday!  And that makes us happy (no housework to think of, no mess to clear up)!
The happy boy with his Monkey luggage!

Conrad Centennial Singapore is an award-winning hotel.  Located at the Marina area, people usually associate Conrad as a business hotel.  There are indeed many business travelers staying there, prominently seen during weekdays.  However, they are quite family friendly I would say, thus my second stay with them!

These beds make me not want to leave the room although they can be a tad too high for some kids.  The boys love the plush bed though.

Cots are available (subject to availability) upon request for the young ones.

Like a boss!  Conrad provides in-room slippers for the little ones!

If you have not read about it, each time you stay in Conrad, you will find a country specific Conrad bear and rubber duckie.  E loves the baby Conrad bear, one that he holds dearly to sleep every night.

Can you spot the soon-to-be-worn-out baby bear?

Who doesn't like bath tubs?  What's more with bubbles compliments of Mummy dearest.  LOL

Will I stay in Conrad again?  Why not?!