The story of the missing dryer

Posted by ~Summer~ on August 17, 2017
in ,

Coming from a humble home and having stayed in a 3-room HDB flat for two decades of my life, there were things that my family couldn't afford and learnt to live without - things like a dishwasher, dryer and air conditioning. Yes, that explains why I still prefer to sleep with just a fan, and I still do now. It's amazing how our childhood experiences shape us and make us into the person we are today, isn't it?

I remember helping my mum to do the laundry when I was just a kid. She would put the clothes into the washer, nag at me if I didn't turn my clothes the right side out, and when the clothes finished spinning, we would hang them onto the bamboo poles, put pegs to make sure they didn't fall off and then use brute force to carry the poles out of the window, aim and slot them into the holders.

Sometimes, a piece of our clothing would come loose and fall down, which could perhaps be due to strong winds or us not pegging them tightly enough. One of us would then rush downstairs - thankfully our HDB was on the second floor - and retrieve it, heaving a sigh of relief and giving out a smile when we do so. Then we would go for breakfast but at the first sign of dark clouds looming overhead or at that first moment when raindrops trickled down from the sky, my mum would exclaim "Our clothes! We gotta go back home!" and we would cycle back at the speed of light, in the hope that we could 'save' our clothes.

Those were the days. My childhood days. 

Those were also the days when I had to learn to wash my own bowls, heat up my own lunch, make my own bed and help to cook dinner - be it simple tasks like washing the rice, mincing the meat, beating the eggs or cutting vegetables. Yup, I was just a primary schooler then. Was it a tough life? No, it didn't make me feel that life was difficult. In fact, it empowered me and being able to help out in the home made me feel strong, independent and responsible. Sure, most of the chores were still done by my mum, my stay-at-home mum, but I guess every little bit helped and I'm actually glad that I started to get involved from a young age.

Seeing how we've become more affluent now, how my kids get to stay in a nice house, how they get to play with nice toys and how they get to eat nice food, I am always wary of the fact that they will start to take life for granted. That they will think this was all meant to be, or that it will always be so. I worry if they will know what it is like to lift a finger, if they realise how fortunate and blessed they are, if they can learn to look after themselves, if they become resilient and responsible people, if they can survive on their own when I'm not around. Yes, this Mama thinks a lot (which explains for the white hair).

That is also the reason why I decided NOT to get a dryer for our new house this year. Why, I even rejected a sponsorship for a high end dryer, one that would cost me nearly two thousand bucks just to buy. Like, seriously? For the first few weeks after we shifted in, the rain wouldn't stop and since our balcony was the only place for me to dry the clothes, I almost knocked my head on the wall and started to regret my decision a little. Why didn't I just get that dryer? Gosh, what was I thinking? When our clothes failed to dry after having been out for a couple of days, I thought about it even more. What was my real reason for not wanting a dryer? Did I make a wrong move?

So I spoke to the hubby about how I wanted to bang my head and he, being the composed and extremely logical one, reassured me on how he doesn't like it too - because it makes the clothes wrinkled, it uses electricity, it shrinks the clothes, it prevents the clothes from being in the sun etc. I nodded and agreed. Having a dryer will also likely make me lazier, because if you have it there, why not use it, right? BUT, that wasn't my main reason in not wanting a dryer, was it?

What I really wanted was just to be like my mum, if not more. I wanted to get my kids involved. I wanted them to be my little helpers. I wanted them to understand how responsibilities start from a young age and how they are capable of doing more than what they think they can.

Yes, that is the real reason why.


Before you go saying "That's child labour!", "Your kids are so young, isn't it too much?", "Why can't you just get a helper or do it yourself?" or "Like that where got time to do homework?" and so on, let me just clarify that this is how we do it and it doesn't mean everyone has to do it like us. It doesn't mean we are right, it doesn't mean we are better and it certainly doesn't mean we are judging anyone. Different strokes for different folks, right? And this is just how we roll.

It's been eight months since we moved in (I know, how can time pass so fast, right?) and let's just say once I got over the rainy season, stopped lamenting about my decision and focused on why I made it in the first place, everything slowly but surely fell into place too. It's already great that we don't have to wash our clothes using washing boards and hands, so I reckon the least we can do is learn to hang, keep and fold them. Yes, we meaning not just me, but the kids too.


The toddler helps to start the wash cycle and passes the laundry to me to hang on the clothes rack.

The preschooler is the one who does most of the pegging - baby clothes, undergarments, socks - and hangs some of the smaller-sized clothing.

The primary schooler helps to hang the bigger-sized clothes and puts them up onto the lower racks.

Yup, we all have our roles to play.

It's not that they don't sometimes whine when I bring in the laundry - which by the way happens every couple of days - or that I force them to do it every single time (sometimes I do it in the wee hours when they are asleep, though I try not to because it's so lonely, haha). But the fact is I've tried my best to teach them, to let them know that this is a load we have to share (not just depend on Mama), to remind them on how it is a blessing to have clean clothes and be able to help your family members, to instill a sense of responsibility and willingness to help from this tender age.

A few months ago, they would try to find reasons not to do it, such as needing to do homework, wanting to play, feeling tired and so on. Well, those were just excuses to me and so we had long talks after long talks on how they need to be able to step up and how they can accomplish if they put their hearts into it.

As for me, instead of keep complaining about how it is tough to keep the house going without a maid or trying to win their sympathy for an overworked Mama, I decided to inject some fun and turn this dreary chore into something worth looking forward to. We would talk about everything under the sun from school and friends to geography and science; we would sing pop songs and talk about our favourite member of One Direction; we would put on some music and shake our booties or do funny actions; we would just try to keep it casual, laugh and have a good time.

Let's not see it as a chore, my dears, but more of family bonding time.

Two days ago, I took the laundry to the balcony and thought I would just quickly get it done so we could all go for an afternoon nap and head out after that. I mean, honestly speaking, I can get most of the chores done faster on my own, isn't it? Which totally defeats the point but anyway, I was feeling energetic and extra chirpy, so I thought I would just give them a break.

Suddenly, I turned around and there were the two girls standing right beside me, with hangers and clothes in their hands.

They had come over when they saw me and taken the initiative to help me out. Without me asking. Yup, seriously I thought I would strike lottery or something because I usually need to at least ask nicely before anyone came over. I looked at my firstborn and said teasingly "Wow, you actually came over yourself to do it? That is pretty amazing."

She looked back at me with that sparkle in eyes and said as a matter-of-factly "Ah huh. Let's do it together, Mama." That touched me and that heartwarming, warm fuzzy feeling actually felt way better than striking the first prize in lottery.

So, I guess that is why we will probably not have a dryer for a long, long time.

******

This post is part of the "A SAHM's Story" series where I share my experiences, tips and reflections of being a stay-at-home mum. It takes a SAHM to truly understand another and while many might assume that we are tai tais or that we get to shake legs all day long, only we know the amount of toil and sweat we put in just to get past each day. Likewise, only we know the true rewards and unparalleled joy that this job has brought us. Being a mum, and one who gets to witness all her children's milestones and spend precious time with them every day, is still the best thing that has ever happened to me. While I gave my kids life, they gave me a reason to live.


Cos' you've got that one thing - Angel is 6

Posted by ~Summer~ on August 11, 2017
in

So we've been watching the little sister's and baby brother's growing up videos quite often recently. Yup, it's mainly due to the boy's love for seeing himself and his jiejies on TV and he gets so fascinated, points to the people he knows and even stands up to dance along too.

Well, the thing is, the big girl has been wondering how come her videos have stopped coming and has been so patiently waiting, and waiting and waiting, when I said that I'm working hard on it. It's true, I have been using up much of my time in the past few months just to go through, edit, select and compile her milestones into this video. One whole year of pictures, videos, experiences and thoughts all summarised into a less than 20-minute clip. It's easy yet tough, you know what I mean?

Better late than never, right? After many nights of sleeping at 4am, I finally finished it for you, my dear. I hope you will still love it like how you always love watching our videos with that smile on your face. Actually, I'm sure you will because you are you. Love you to the moon and back!

******



Dearest Angel,

I know that you've been waiting for this for a long time and I'm sorry that it took me so long! You see, we take so many pictures and videos every week, or is it every day, that it takes me ages to sort them out and put them together. It was easy when I only had you, but now that I have you, meimei and didi and three lists of growing up videos to catch up on, please forgive me for the delay, yeah? I promise I will do them for you by hook or by crook because I know how much you, and I and everyone of us in the family, love watching these videos over and over again.

Remember just before you went to Kindergarten 2, you asked me if you could go to full day school so that you can spend the day with your friends? For a mum who procrastinated about letting her child attend school and has only let her attend at most 3.5 hours of school, that was a huge change for me. On one hand, I was glad that you love school and that you have forged friendships but on the other hand, I just couldn't bear the thought of being separated from you for such a long time each day. Yup, you have an emo mama, and you are just like me too, aren't you? Anyway, I made the hard decision of letting you go and the one good thing that came out of it was that I had more free time for your dear sister and you also gave your pregnant mama more time to rest and relax. Looking back, perhaps it was your way of easing my burden, just like how you always try in your own means to help me, even if I might not be able to sense it right away. So, thank you for that, darling.

Yup, I mentioned the word 'pregnant', right? You know, I think you were most excited when you knew that we were going to have another baby in our family. For some reason, you wanted another baby sister and I hope it was a sign of how much you love Ariel and how you wish to have another girl join our family. Nonetheless, fate decided that you will have a baby brother and you accepted that with grace and ease too. Yes, you are going to have a didi who looks up to you and loves you with his whole heart. Isn't it super exciting that we're going to have an newborn to hold, cuddle and love very soon? You are going to be a big sister, again!

I vividly recall how Papa was the one who would apply anti-stretchmark cream for me when I was carrying you in my tummy. Then when I had meimei, you were the one who did it for me while Papa occasionally chipped in. This time round with didi, you and meimei took up the task and night after night after night, you all did it without fail. Yup, that's how sweet both of you are. I will always remember how both of you spoke to didi from your hearts, how you sang to him, how you assured him of your love for him and how excited you were to count down to the day that you would finally meet him. It's such a joy to have a big family, don't you think so too?

Now that you are going to have not one, but two siblings, I can imagine how happy you are yet how hard it can be to be a role model sister for two younger ones. I just hope you know that you are doing awesome as a big sister and you will be the best sister that they can ever ask for. Yup, I've always known that deep down, even if at times I might chide you or be harsh on you, I've always know how wonderful a child you are. Despite all the bickers or arguments you and meimei might have, the one constant is your unwavering love for each other and how you will go to the end of the world just to protect your sister.

Coming to your milestones, you've achieved a lot this year, haven't you? Let's see. You ran your longest run yet and conquered 1.8km with sheer determination, you went for swimming classes and passed your first swimming test easily, you've also learnt to cycle after a few sessions and I'm so happy that all my backaches paid off! Haha. Remember how I kept chanting "Balance! Balance!", "Steady your bike", "Control it, not let it control you", "Have confidence, you can do it!", "Keep on pedaling, don't give up!", "I'm here right behind you, go on all the way!" and so on. I hope those nagging comments helped you in one way or another. Despite my big tummy, I'm just glad I survived those sessions with you and that you made me feel that all of it paid off when I saw how you had overcome your fears, how you finally held your balance and pedaled away from me. Kudos to you, my dear!

Just so you know, I was so mighty proud of you at your graduation ceremony and if I had shed any tears, they were all tears of joy. Joy from seeing my baby girl blossom into a big girl, from knowing that you had hit one of the biggest milestones as you prepare to go to primary school, from realising how beautiful you looked in your graduation gown and mortarboard, from knowing just how blessed and fortunate I am to be able to have you in my life. 

Things will only get more exciting from here as we embark onto the next phase of your life. You are my first child, so it always feel more special as we celebrate these milestones and unveil what the path in front holds for you. Let's just go one step at a time, not worry so much and enjoy as much as we can every day, okay? I want your childhood to be filled with precious, joyous memories and your happiness, not your academics or achievements, will always be my No.1 priority. I'm feeling just as excited as you are about the coming year, my dear. You'll do fine, I know it, I just do.

Please know that I love you so, so much, and this is one thing that will never, ever change. Happy 6th year, my baby girl.

Love,
Mummy


Creativity 521 #113 - Because it's Singapore!

Posted by ~Summer~ on August 08, 2017
in , ,

It's our nation's 52nd birthday tomorrow! Are you feeling as patriotic as we are? I sure hope so! Although we've watched the National Day preview, we still can't wait to catch the live telecast of NDP tomorrow and we are also gonna have our own mini celebration by hosting a family BBQ gathering too! Woohoo!

So, I know it's been ages since I posted on Creativity 521 because all I could take time out to do with the kids nowadays is more of just painting and doodling. However, National Day is such an important occasion and in wanting to celebrate it while letting the kids learn more about this country we call home, we did some simple National Day activites.

******

I designed our materials with a few objectives in mind and catered for each kid's age group and learning ability. For Angel, she has been showing curiosity in learning and I wanted to let her have the chance to learn about National flags around the world. For Ariel, I wanted something with letters so she can work on her reading and phonics, so I decided to let her learn about Singapore landmarks. As for Asher, well, let's start with the basic and that is to recognise the Singapore flag.

Materials we used:

- Printouts of flags, landmarks and names
- Velcro tape
- Hot glue
- Laminating machine
- Yarn/string
- Scissors
- Sticky tape
- Optional: Paper, pencil, colouring materials


Firsly, I designed my activity sheets on Powerpoint, which is the program I usually like to use. For instance, I did up a table and put in the flags and their names, I searched for pictures of Singapore landmarks and typed out their names, and I did a printout of a high-res Singapore flag.

You have to do a little planning on what you want your child to be able to stick/remove for the learning activity, do the layout and then print accordingly to what you need.


Once the printing was done, I laminated the sheets and cut out the flags, landmarks, stars and crescent accordingly.


Then, it's time to stick! Using velcro lets the child use and re-use the activity sheets for as many times as he/she likes so I'm kind of liking this idea. What  I did was to hot glue small pieces of velcro behind the cutouts and on the positions where they should be, or can be, stuck on.


For Ariel's activity, I pasted strings onto the cutouts of the landmarks so that she could do some pulling and match the landmarks to their names before sticking them with the velcro. To secure them to the activity sheet, I poked holes, inserted the strings and tied knots at the back to secure them.


The gluing took me longer than I expected but here's what I achieved at the end of the day. Yup, you can tell how these simple learning activities work right?

Angel just has to match the flags to their names, Ariel has to read out the names of the landmarks and match accordingly while Asher can just have fun removing and sticking on the cresent and stars of the Singapore flag.


And indeed, they did have at least an hour of fun playing with these new activities! Woohoo!


The boy was happy to keep taking off the cutouts and the fact that the stars are so small makes it harder for him to stick them back - a great chance for him to train his patience, work on his dexterity while learning how our flag looks like.


As for the little sister, she had a little difficulty reading some of the names of the landmarks but that's the thing, you learn as you go along, right?



As for the big girl, she was the one who surprised me most because she could remember and match the flags correctly to their names within a couple of minutes. Eh, was it really so easy to remember all 12 countries' flags? Anyway, she did her own improvisation and she made sure she even remembered the positioning, which is the sequencing of the flags in the table. I guess I will have to print out dozens more flags soon so she can start learning more about the world!


Since we watched the NDP preview, which was a really memorable event for us, I wanted them to capture those memories while they were still fresh in mind. So, I tasked each of the girls to make a drawing of what they remembered from the parade and include their favourite highlights.


I thought it wouldn't take them too long but it ended up that we took days to complete this because they really made an effort to draw the things they liked before colouring their drawings and outlining them too.



It was kind of heartwarming to see them trying to draw the Red Lions, the military display (most memorable for them was when the good guys walked right up to us and shot the bad guys with their guns), the flag flypast and the fireworks too!



The one good thing about having a laminating machine (you can get one at Popular for a low cost) is that I get to laminate all their precious drawings so that we can keep them intact for a long, long time. These drawings will definitely go into our collection and be a part of our fond memories too. Here's a look at their completed work.



Dear Singapore, I hope you feel these little girls' love for you! I love you so, so much too! Proud to have you as my home and here's wishing you a happy 52nd birthday!

Step by Step
Together we’ll build our dreams
Heart to heart
Together we’ll stay as one nation, undivided

Back to back
Together we’ll brave the heat, the cold, the storms
Hand in hand
Together we’ll grow this land that we call home


Nothing in this world compares
It’s our Singaporean Life
Everyone is family, friend and neighbour
Living in harmony


Nothing in this world compares
To this island where it’s home
Where we love and know we’ll never be alone
Because it’s Singapore (Just Believe)


This is Singapore (We Can Be)
Our Singapore (The world will see)
We are Singapore


P.S. The girls have been singing this National Day theme song day in day out. They sing it in the car, at bedtime, in their spare time and even when they are taking a shower. Yup, we don't care about all the criticism people have about this song, we love it and we feel proud to be able to sing it as Singaporeans.

For more crafts and DIY tutorials, visit my gallery here.


Happiness is... cherishing the weekends

Posted by ~Summer~ on August 04, 2017
in ,

Weekends are important to us. Like super important.

That is because weekends usually mean family time and assuming that the hubby is not away for sailing, even if he takes time off to go for his soccer game sometimes, we still have plenty of time to spend together on Saturdays and Sundays. And yup, with him not being around on most weekdays, it means a lot to the kids. And to me, of course.

So, that is why the kids do not have anything planned on weekends and I don't intend to let them take up any more enrichment classes too. We leave those two days a week free for us to do..... whatever we wanna do. It can be exploring a new playground, doing a family sport, catching a movie, going on hikes, or it could simply mean just being at home (which very rarely happens, in our case) and spending time together as one family.

In July's "Happiness is", it's about cherishing the weekends and making the most of every moment.


We are a very outdoorsy family, which you probably know by now. We don't like to laze around much, we love getting up close with nature, and we don't mind getting all wet, dirty, sweaty and sandy. The beach is probably one of our favourite places to be and I'm always very thankful for a husband who doesn't mind getting wet with the kids, who teaches them about marine life and hunts for animals with them, who takes the time to let the kids learn about and appreciate the wonders of life.


While he hunts for animals and insects, I'm usually the one who helps to pick seashells and build sandcastles. Yup, we all have our roles to play, right? The calming sea always reminds me of how I need to slow down my footsteps in life, how it's not always about asking the kids to "Hurry up!", how happiness is often found in the simple, fleeting moments. I totally understand now that while the days might be long when you have kids, the years are short. Too short. So yes, cherish, just cherish.


It's nice to have a sporty hubby too because while he makes me wish that I was more fit and toned at times, he is also the one who strives to build up a healthy lifestyle for the family. See our new running shoes from Skechers, our all time trusted footwear brand? Yup, we are all getting warmed up for Shape Run 2017 which will be happening next week! Stay tuned to this space and our social media for more updates soon.


This is gonna be the first time the boy is participating in a real run (yes, one that he actually has to use his two feet to run, or at least walk) so we are all psyched up about running as a family of five in the 1.8km Family Fun Run. See how cute he looks in his new, toddler sized shoes from Skechers? Yes, while slippers, sandals and pretty shoes are also needed, I think we all feel most comfortable when we are out in our running shoes.


Review of 《小红帽》 by SRT's Little Company

Posted by ~Summer~ on August 01, 2017
in

Over the years, I've always had a lot of faith in productions by SRT's Little Company. I love the original and creative plots, the engaging songs and dance choreography, how they try to inculcate values in our young and the fact that you never quite know what to expect when you enter the theatre. Except that you are in for a treat.

《小红帽》, or Red Riding Hood in Mandarin, was no exception.

This was the very first time that our family was going to watch a theatrical production presented in Mandarin, and being an ex-Chinese teacher in Berries (who was also the main sponsor for the show), I know the importance of instilling a love for the language in our young starting from an early age. So you bet I was full of joy and anticipation to have the chance to expose them to a Mandarin production with a take on one of our most-loved fairy tales.



The show began with a family setting where Red was living happily with her parents, who were doing well in their bakery business. Thing started to go south when the Dad did not return after he went to the forest to gather wood. Business plunged, the Mum sank into depression and in wanting to ask if Grandma had any advice, Red started on her journey into the forest. That was when she met the 'good' Wolf, followed by the Big Bad Wolf and we all know what happened after that....

Or, do we?
 

The thing is this production came with many surprising twists and turns which kept us glued to our seats and we watched on with enthusiasm to find out what happened next. We were entertained by the clever use of props, for instance the flying birds that kept tweeting, the towering trees in the forest, the cosy looking bed in Grandma's house, the Very Important Book which could light up and the mystery 'doors' which could make Grandma vanish or appear in the blink of an eye. What I liked about the show was how it made use of original music and I was full of awe for the composers because the the songs were so well-written, especially the lyrics. While the dance choreography is not much to boast about for this production, I really loved the songs, from the fast-paced, cheery ones to the melancholy, stirring ones.


The cast of a theatrical production can either make or break it, and we would love to applaud Red Riding Hood's cast for a job well done. It's funny that all of us had a different personal favourite, while the girls loved Red Riding Hood (who else do you expect), the hubby was full of praises for the Big Bad Wolf while I really liked the role of the Silly Woodcutter. Oh, can I just mention that this was one of the rare times when the hubby, who isn't really that much of a theatre fan, enjoyed a production from start to end and came out of the theatre giving all thumbs up for it? Yes, he did for Red Riding Hood and I think it says a lot. Like really a lot.



Since this show is recommended for children aged 5 and above, I have to tell you why. Firstly, being produced in Mandarin, many of the lines are spoken fast and some of the younger kids might not be able to catch on or comprehend the story. Secondly, the show makes use of sound and lighting effects which might be a little intimidating for the little ones. Lastly, there are a couple of characters which might not be considered cute or cuddly creatures - think a wolf with pointy ears and sharp teeth, as well as an eerie-looking grape tree. My kids are okay with them but we did hear whimpers in the audience so if you are bringing younger kids, it might be good to just mentally prepare them for what's to come.



All in all, 《小红帽》 is a wonderful theatrical production and with its witty plot, catchy songs, hilarious lines and a strong emphasis on family, we thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. In fact, we are hoping that there will be more Mandarin productions from SRT in the future because I think my kids are going to benefit greatly from them.

Since this is a Mandarin production after all (and you need to be able to understand Mandarin if you watch it, right?), for the first time, I've decided to pen down some of my thoughts in Chinese. Yup, don't laugh. Chinese was one of my favourite subjects in school and I'm actually contemplating if I should write a Chinese post on the blog from time to time. Any thoughts?

******

一路以来,我都对新加坡专业剧场旗下的小剧团所推出的制作感到信心满满。接二连三地观赏了它们的音乐剧,总认为这些音乐剧都非常有创意,构思巧妙,精彩万分的剧情也表现得淋漓尽致。

得知家喻户晓的童话故事 《小红帽》 将以华语来呈现给观众,我雀跃万分。这是一个多么难得,多么珍贵的机会啊!所以,我和孩子们是非常期待观赏这出音乐剧的。果然,我们带着深深的期待入场,也随后带着满满的欢喜离开。

 《小红帽》描述都是有关于勇敢的小红到森林里去探望外婆的故事。她在路途中碰到了邪恶的大灰狼,所以必须想尽办法逃出它的魔掌。故事情节丰富曲折,比如说小红一家开了个蛋糕店,小红的爸爸迷失了,小红和傻樵夫做了好朋友,还有大家如何同心协力打破魔咒,让小红一家团圆。

如果说这是一出老少咸宜的音乐剧,那一点儿都不夸张。孩子们看得投入的当儿,我们大人也被逗得乐不可支。我甚至多次都笑得合不拢嘴呢!老实说,剧中有些幽默的谈话,其实唯有大人才听得懂其中的意思。但是,这也是为什么我们会和小朋友们一样看得这么津津有味,一起笑、一起欣赏、回家后也有无限话题可以一起聊。

我本身很喜欢这部音乐剧的原创音乐,觉得这些曲子不仅悦耳动听,歌词也写得深入民心。演员们费劲苦心地歌唱,只希望能让观众席上的我们有那么一丝的感动。即使未必个个都是天籁之声,但是你们的用心,我听到了; 你们的诚意,我也收到了。我们一家大小都陶醉在你们的歌声里,就连那仅仅一岁半的小弟弟也和你们一起舞动起来了。

唯一让我觉得必须提醒大家的是如果您的小孩对巨响,灯光效果或是长着尖齿的大灰狼感到恐惧的话,那么一定先让他们有充分的心里准备。我觉得最让人毛骨悚然的唯独剧中出现一刹那的葡萄树。这出音乐剧是适合5岁以上的儿童,所以想要带年龄较小的孩童去不是不行,但要确认他们不会感到不安或害怕。

总的来说,我们一家人是非常喜欢、非常享受 《小红帽》 这出音乐剧。孩子们说它很“好笑”,老公对剧情和演员们赞不绝口(尤其是那演得丝丝入扣的大灰狼),而我最喜欢的是那温馨的结尾,以及它如何提醒我们家人是不可或缺的。现在的我们,是迫不及待地期盼小剧团接下来的华语制作了!请再接再厉!


SHOW DETAILS

Event date
Thu, 20 Jul - Fri, 1 Sep 2017
Weekdays: 10am
Weekend & Public Holiday: 11am & 2pm

Venue
KC Arts Centre - Home of SRT

Ticket Pricing (excludes booking fee)
-> Weekdays
Standard: S$28, S$25
Family Package of 4: S$95 for Cat 1 tickets
-> Weekends (Sat & Public Holiday)
Standard: S$48, S$38, S$35
Family Package of 4:
Cat 1 (with photo taking): $163
Cat 2 (no photo taking): $129
To book your tickets, go to SISTIC here.

Duration
65 minutes

Recommended age
This show is recommended for aged 5 years old and above. All children, including infants-in-arms, will be required to purchase a ticket to enter.

Disclosure: We received a media invite from SRT to review The Little Company's 《小红帽》. All opinions are our own.


A luxe yet family-friendly getaway {Review & Giveaway of Radisson Golf & Convention Center Batam}

Posted by ~Summer~ on July 28, 2017
in ,

Do you ever wish that you can whisk the family off for a weekend getaway without the hassle of needing to book air tickets or having to plan for a kid-friendly itinerary? I know I have, and still do. Now, imagine there is a place that is just out of Singapore and accessible by a one-hour ferry ride, a luxurious hotel that makes a perfect haven to rest and relax, a platter of scrumptious food for you to savour, and a place where there are fun activities available for the family, both young and old, to enjoy.

I think we just found this idyllic destination last month and there couldn't have been a better way for us to celebrate the Father's Day weekend. Yes, I'm talking about Radisson Golf & Convention Center Batam and this is the post that many of you have been waiting for. Today, I'll be showing you around the hotel and take you on a tour of its facilities, as well as share with you all the fun-filled, family-friendly activities that we did. I've also done a short video clip at the end so as to give you a better idea of what you can expect from this 4.5-star hotel too.

You know how I always try to share the good stuff with you, right? I've given away not one but two all-inclusive Club Med holidays, theme park tickets to Hong Kong Disneyland and a character dining treat in Disneyland Hotel, and three family packages in HARRIS Batam too. *drum roll* So, the great news is I am doing it again and I have an EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY just for my readers where two of you will get to win a 2D1N family stay in Radisson Batam - which is inclusive of breakfast, spa sessions and dining vouchers too! Sounds awesome, right? Let's get this started!

******

INTRODUCTION

Situated in the upscale Sukajadi area, Radisson Golf & Convention Center Batam is a newly built hotel with 240 rooms and suites which opened doors in the third quarter of 2016. It sits within a walking distance from Kepri Shopping Mall and is 5km away from the Batam Center ferry terminal.

While it boasts vast meeting and event spaces, including a ballroom that can accommodate up to a whopping 1,600 banquet guests, what attracted us was how this plush hotel is family-friendly at the same time, offering facilities such as the Kids' Club, outdoor infinity pool and exciting on-site activities like archery and segway.



I remember how tranquil it felt at a point and the hubby and I both wondered "Are we really in Batam Center?". Yes, Radisson felt like an oasis of serenity amidst the bustling city and it was where we could finally rest and relax (for a while, I mean, we are parents of three after all!) and look forward to having a great family vacation.

A WARM WELCOME

The moment we came out of the ferry terminal, we were greeted by the Radisson staff who was there to pick us up and shuttle us in a private car to the hotel. We felt pampered when we saw that there were wet towel rolls for us to freshen up and mineral water to quench our thirst. In addition, our driver was so affable and we had such a nice conversation about anything under the sun that the 15-min ride felt too short.


Once I stepped into the lobby, I was awed by the tall ceiling, the beautiful hanging pendant lights and the glistening swirls which added to the grandeur of the place.



Besides having a cosy layout, the lobby also provided ample seats for hotel guests to rest their feet after a long travel. The natural light that shone in through the full length windows gave the place a warm ambience and made the whole setting homely and intimate. Other than feeling thankful for the chance to sit down on comfy sofas while waiting to check in, what stole our hearts most was the magnificent view.



Yes, we saw the bright sun, lush greenery and a very inviting outdoor swimming pool! In fact, the kids couldn't wait to go for a splash because the weather was just too hot and a soak in the pool sounded so heavenly.





While waiting to collect our keys, which was a very brief while because the check-in process was swift, we also did a toast with our welcome drinks - a deliciously fresh drink made with lemongrass and basil seeds. It was one of the rare times when we would sip welcome drinks till the very last drop, even the toddler gulped it all down, so you can imagine how much we liked it.



ACCOMMODATION

Now, let's check out the rooms! I always feel this sense of anticipation when I walk into my hotel room for the first time during a holiday. How will the room look like? Will there be enough space for the kids to run around? How many beds do we have? How big are the beds? Is there a balcony? Will we have a nice view?

With Radisson Golf & Convention Center Batam being rated as a 4.5-star hotel, I suppose the expectations were even higher and we were very much looking forward to seeing our room. Or rather, rooms. Yes, we had two connecting rooms! This is a very ideal arrangement for families with kids because while the kids can rest, sleep and watch cartoons in one room, the adults can watch more mature shows and enjoy a little privacy in the other room. Well, that is provided if you don't have a clingy baby (alas, I do) or kids who love to watch HBO movies more than Cartoon Network (I have not one but two of such kids). It turned out that we spent most of our time in the room together as a family but hey, isn't that what this holiday was all about?

Anyway, what impressed us before we even reached our room was the elevator! Nope, it wasn't the fact that you needed to tap your room key before you can access the levels but the fact that the control panel was touch screen! Yes, that was something new to us and the kids were very intrigued by how the numbers would illuminate and give off that nice, blue glow.


As for the rooms, they turned out to be more spacious than we needed and I was glad for that. We had a double bed in one room and twin beds in the other, which more than sufficed for our family of five. You can always combine the twin beds together if you prefer a bigger bed for the kids to share too.




While the rooms might not be designed for kids - you don't see kiddy bedsheets or a toy corner, I actually appreciate the minimal yet sophisticated decor. The earthly tones, clean lines and wooden furniture reminded me of our Scandinavian themed home and since I wanted this vacation to be as relaxed as possible, I reckoned we were off to a great start.




You know, I always try to bring an adaptor when we go on holidays because it might just come in handy and the reception might not always have one on hand. The thing is, I didn't need to for Radisson! Just take a look at the wall sockets and you will know what I mean. Yes, it's an universal multi plug socket which even includes HDMI, USB and Video, so you can basically connect everything you need without any hassle at all. If only all hotels have this, right?


We were also greeted by a basket of fresh fruits when we stepped it, which marked a sweet, juicy start as the kids continued to explore the rooms. If you feel like having in-room dining in the comfort of your room or suite, the room service menu has quite an extensive list of food options to choose from too.



As for the toilet, while the kids were a little disappointed to see that there was no bathtub, this was comforted by the fact that there was a wall mounted rain shower. Yes, how indulging! The shower area is also separated from the toilet and the spacious wash basin has everything you need, from towels to toiletries (which includes a facial soap bar) and even a weighing scale.



For those who like to have a quick drink or snack in the room, the fully equipped minibar offers coffee, tea, soft drinks, fruit juices, beer along with chips, nuts and chocolates too. There is also a bar fridge so you can store items such as milk for the kids to keep it fresh.


Coming to the balconies (yes, there is a balcony in each of our rooms!), we couldn't have possibly asked for a better view. Overlooking the swimming pool and the Sukajadi golf course, the gorgeous panoramic view of the lush landscape was definitely one of the best views we've ever had in a hotel room. We even managed to catch a glimpse of the sunset too on our first day and it made our lovely day feel even more incredible.
 


DINING

Even though we might not be food connoisseurs, it is still true to an extent that the quality of food served in a hotel can make or break the vacation. So, we were very excited to try out the menus in Radisson and see for ourselves just how they live up to standards.

-> Bite Restaurant

This is the main restaurant in the hotel which opens all day from 6:30am to 11pm. Consisting of 152 seats, you can choose to have your meal indoors in the comfort of the air-conditioner or go the al fresco way. I love how the natural light shines in to give the place an airy, bright and cheery vibe, which definitely makes me look forward to my meals even more.






The restaurant offers international cuisine but the main highlights will be Western and Indonesian dishes. The ala-carte menu is tantalising and offers a wide variety of options to satisfy your food cravings. Even though the menu is fixed, we still felt like we were spoilt for choice at every meal and I wished we could have tried out more than we did!

On special occasions or festive celebrations, hotel guests can also get to enjoy a buffet spread during dinner time. We were there at the Ramadan period and were treated to a sumptuous all-you-can-eat buffet dinner too. Yes, lucky us! More pics on that later.


Now, if you have young children, then you know the feeling of how you need to order your little ones' food before you can even sit down to tuck into your own. Yup, I have three little beings to handle, and thankfully they can usually feed themselves. I was initially a little worried if they would take to the cuisine here because these fellas usually eat Chinese food and love noodles, soup, fishballs, rice and so on.

Thankfully, there was a kid's menu at Radisson and even though I didn't think it was an extensive one, it sufficed to keep our kids happy at every meal. The spread was generally Western cuisine and included food items such as nuggets, fish and chips, spaghetti bolognese, burger, sandwich, fries and so on.

What delighted the little ones most of all was that they got to colour on the menu every time they were in the restaurant. Yup, the staff would pass each of them a cup of crayons and they would start colouring away, giving us a little peace and quiet to go through the menu and make our orders.







Now, let's show you some of the dishes we savoured, including the appetisers, main courses and desserts, of course! If I have to pick my personal favourites, it would be the French Style Prawn Bisque, Ribeye steak, Beef Oxtail Soup and Creme Brulee. Out of 10, I would give 8 points to the food we ate because while I can't say it was out of this world, it was definitely high-grade, palatable and kept us satisfied at every meal. Wooo, and I lovvveeee the mocktails (no cocktails because of breastfeeding but at least I could indulge in non-alcoholic ones, right?)













What I appreciated more was the service and the attention to details - for instance, Asher's yoghurt had a smiley face made of fruits. The waiting staff was also very patient and kind as to accede to any need or request that we, or rather, the kids, might have.





For the breakfast and dinner buffet, what we loved best was the live cooking stations! Yup, besides the commonly seen omelette and sunny side up station, we also had waiting staff preparing pancakes, crepes and waffles at breakfast time. Come dinner time, you can either order your own Mee Ayam, Gado Gado or Spaghetti Bolognese and watch on as the waiters prepare your food on the spot. Talk about freshness!







-> T-Lounge

If you need a coffee, tea or just a sweet treat, the T-Lounge will make it very convenient for you. It is located on the ground floor and opens from 7:30am to 10pm. 



FACILITIES

As much as we love a delicious meal, there is only so much time one can spend on eating and drinking, right? For the rest of the day, we prefer to check out the facilities in the hotel and make the most of them. Here are some of the facilities you can expect to see in Radisson.

-> Swimming Pool

Hands up if your kids love to be in the water! Mine do and if they could choose, they would probably just want to stay in the swimming pool all day all night.



The infinity pool here was so nice to soak in and we loved the breathtaking view so much that we came here not once, not twice but thrice during our stay.


I liked that there were a couple of huge sofas by the pool and an abundance of pool loungers too. What amazed me most was how the hotel staff came over to cover up the loungers when it started to drizzle and how they would take the initiative to come by and help us open the pool umbrellas when the hot sun was too much to bear.





When the sun began to set and night time fell, there was this alluring, calming quality about the pool and I can honestly tell you that if not for the kids, I would have loved to come here for a night swim and just enjoy the tranquility of the environment.





-> Kids Club

Some of you have been asking about this, so here's sharing more about the Kid's Club. Now, if you've been to cruises or Club Med and seen how their kid's clubs work, then this is nothing like it. Don't expect an array of carefully planned activities designed to engage your child or think that you can just dump the kids here and go off for a day (the hotel does provide babysitting service if you need, do check with them at the concierge when you check in).


This is how the Kid's Club looks like. Yes, it's basically a huge room filled with toys, books, card and board games, colouring materials, a television and kids' furniture. The good thing about the location is that it sits right beside Bite restaurant so if you would like to have a cuppa after your meal with the hubby, send the kids over and you can get peace for a while. Golden peace.




I know, it might not look like a lot and I personally felt so too when I first stepped in. The ironic thing was that my kids were contented to play here for a couple of hours each day and it even gave us a chance to go for a couple spa session (one of the marketing staff helped us keep an eye on Asher), which was a once in a blue moon treat for the hubby and I. What the kids loved best in this room were the pretend cash registers, wooden kitchen, toy cars and car track carpet.






For those with infants or babies, there is a changing station and baby cot in a separate room inside the Kid's Club for you to make use of. There is also a toilet right within the Kid's Club premises for the little ones to use. The last I checked, it was all clean and there was a stepping stool for the kids to use in washing their hands.





-> Zoysia Spa

A couple spa is the perfect escape for well-deserving parents to unwind and rejuvenate their souls, don't you agree? I knew I was very much looking forward to this spa session because it's very rare for me to find time to spend with the hubby sans kids, plus my back and shoulders were aching like mad recently so I couldn't wait to have a relaxing massage.





While the hubby chose a Swedish massage, I opted for an Aromatherapy body massage - which I was told was stronger than the Swedish one. I actually wanted a traditional Thai massage but that would have meant that I would be in a separate room lying on the floor mattress instead of on a bed in a beautifully decorated room meant for loving couples. So, I decided togetherness was much more important.





It might have been just a short one-hour treat for us but it sure felt heavenly and very much revitalising. Yup, it was really a break I needed and I welcomed it with all my heart without feeling the guilt. As for the hubby, you wanna know how much he enjoyed it? Well, he fell asleep barely halfway through, which I think says it all.

-> Business Lounge and Pop Up Bar

The business lounge is located on Level 12 and guests can look forward to watching a game of football here while chilling out over drinks. On Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30pm to 10:30pm, the Pop Up Bar offers an "All you can eat" menu including cakes, tapas, desserts, pastries and fondue, where you can indulge while enjoying the live saxophone and keyboard music performance. We did wish that there was a live band, though it might have jolly well disrupted the peace and quiet that guests of this hotel have come to appreciate.





If the weather gets bad, there is also an indoor pool located here in the lounge. Just make sure that you keep the little ones in check and don't be surprised if the water is freezing cold too! The good news is there is sauna available in the toilets right outside. Yay!


-> Fitness Centre

The Fitness Centre, which is also on Level 12, is of a decent size and has the typical exercise equipment you can find in a gym. It is, however, out of bounds to guests below 12 years of age so you will need to wait till they sleep or take turns with the partner to go for a workout.



-> Golf course and Driving range

A main highlight of our trip was... playing GOLF! This was a first time for the kids and myself, and out of all of us, only the husband has some knowledge and experience in this luxury sport, thanks to his stint in Sweden. What makes Radisson the ideal place of stay for golf lovers is that it sits right next to the 18-hole Sukajadi championship golf course. Yes, it takes you just a couple of minutes to get there, how quick and easy!





While I think the hubby was contemplating to play all 18 holes, or at least 9, on our second morning, he decided to be the best Papa on this Father's Day and spend time with the kids instead. So, we were very happy to just go on a tour of the golf course in the buggy and we chose to hone our driving and putting skills instead (yup, driving and putting as in golf terms, which I only learnt of during this trip).




It took us merely five minutes to ride in the buggy from the hotel lobby to the Sukajadi Driving Range. It was the first time the kids could sit in a golf buggy and they were very thrilled though they still didn't really know what activities awaited them.





At first, I was all ready to stand by the side and look after the kids while the hubby worked on his swing and driving techniques. However, the staff brought us a bucket of balls and passed us some kids' sized clubs which totally thrilled them and they couldn't wait to start swinging too.



So, each of us received a one-on-one coaching session from the hubby and I must say it was quite incredible that all of us managed to hit the ball at the very least.


After that, we were all psyched up for more golfing fun so we made our way to the putting course. Even though the sun was blazing hot that day, it didn't deter us from putting some balls into the holes! In fact, the hubby saw how my shots went in on the first try and said I had potential, woohoo! I have to say that golf turned out to be more fun than I had expected and I loved it that the kids had the chance to try it out too.





ON-SITE ACTIVITIES

Moving on to the last few highlights of our stay, here are the on-site activities that you can participate in Radisson - Segway, Hoverboard, Smart Skate Board and Archery. The Smart Skate Board didn't really impress us because it's basically a motorised scooter, however, we wanted to try out the rest of the activities and we did!



-> Archery

Even though there were minimum age limits for some of these on-site activities, the recreational staff was very accommodating and he became the guide for the kids so that they could have the chance to try. This wasn't Angel's first archery experience but it was for the little sister so she was thrilled that she finally got a chance to aim for the bull's eye.


I have to say that archery is much more tiring than it seems and my right arm started to ache barely after a couple of rounds of shooting. Yup, maybe it's just me, oh well. It was really fun to try and aim at the target and any time the arrow landed on any part of it, the girls would let out squeals and you could just hear the joy in the air.





-> Segway and Hoverboard

This was what the girls loved most and it was definitely a memorable experience for them - the Segway! Yes, I was wondering if the girls would be able to do this and the guide was so kind as to teach them the basics, let them try controlling while never letting them out of his arm's reach. There was also a set of protective gear (yes, just one set to share) which included a helmet, knee guards and elbow guards.




The big girl actually learnt how to ride the segway in just a few minute and she could make it go forward, backward, left, right or turn one round with ease. Yes, it felt very firm and stable so as long as she didn't accelerate too fast, she had no fear of falling. As for the little sister, she was also very daring to try and she loved every bit of the experience too, so kudos to both of you!



As for the hubby, he hasn't had a chance to try the hoverboard prior to this trip so given that it was Father's Day that day, I guess this was a wonderful gift for him. Being the sporty, fast learner that he is, he didn't even need the guide to give him any instructions and off he went balancing and maneuvering his way on the hoverboard. Right, so easy meh? So I thought I would give it a try and up I went, time and again, and down I came in just a matter of a few seconds. Every time. Oh well, shall leave this job to the man. The whole experience might have been just a swift half an hour or less but I believe that it gave us memories to last for a lifetime.



All in all, we had such a fabulous family getaway in Radisson Golf & Convention Center Batam that the kids have been asking us when we would go back again. This was definitely a peaceful yet fun-filled, homely yet luxurious family holiday for us. Thank you, Radisson!

Radisson Golf & Convention Center Batam 
Jl Jendral Sudirman Batam
29432 Indonesia   
Email: info.batam@radisson.com   
Reservations: +1 (800) 333-3333  
Telephone: +62 778 480 0888  
GPS Coordinates: LAT: 1.103701, LONG: 104.0325   
For more information, visit their website at http://www.radisson.com/batamid
 



******

EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY ON A HAPPY MUM

Here's a video that sums up our experience in Radisson Golf & Convention Centre Batam, watch it to have a tour around the hotel and check out all the fun activities we did!



So, I'm hoping that this video will give you a better idea of Radisson Golf & Convention Center Batam and why it makes a great choice for a family getaway. For those who are keen to try it out for yourselves, I am now giving away:

2D1N Family Stay Packages (inclusive of breakfast, couple spa and F&B voucher) to TWO lucky readers! Here's how you can join!

Terms and Conditions
- Each family stay package is for 2A2C and consists of two connecting rooms
- Each package also includes breakfast, Escape Remedy spa treatment for two and a F&B voucher worth IDR500,000
- Transport to Batam Center is not included. You will need to purchase your own ferry tickets (we took Majestic Fast Ferry, you can also consider Batam Fast or Sindo)
- Booking is subject to room availability and terms and conditions by Radisson

To participate in the giveaway, leave a comment in this blog post with your name, email address and tell me what you look forward to most in Radisson Batam. Indicate in the widget that you have done so and to increase your chances of winning, you can choose to carry out the rest of the options. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: We received a media invite from Radisson Golf & Convention Center Batam for an all-inclusive 3D2N family stay. All photographs and opinions are my own.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...