Family fun at Shape Run 2017

Posted by ~Summer~ on August 24, 2017
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We had been looking forward to this day for quite some time. It was going to be the first time we could run as a family of five and this was going to take place in Shape Run 2017. Woohoo!

Even though the little brother had participated in a run earlier this year, he was strapped to his stroller the whole time because, well, he couldn't walk yet at that point in time. So, since he can now walk, jump and run, we were very excited to have him join in for the first time.

The hubby and I divided our roles quite clearly - I would be running alongside the two girls since I am the one in a dire need of a good workout, while he would accompany the toddler, take it slow and have some father-and-son bonding time together.


It was a bright, breezy Sunday morning and I was feeling thankful for the cool weather instead of a sweltering one. I woke the kids up one by one and though we took quite some time to get ourselves ready, we arrived at the Kallang Practice Track in good timing and went in search of the starting point for the run.

Unlike previous years, we actually took some time to locate the starting point and made our way to it, climbing over a fence in the process. Just minutes before the flag off, we did a quick warm up and that was when the girls got to see the giant Skechers shoe mascot, again! Yup, his big, bright eyes and flamboyant pink made us feel more awake and we couldn't wait to get started!



Once the horn sounded, the girls and I picked up a steady pace and began our 1.8km family run. Yes. 1.8km might not sound too long but for a 4-year-old and 7-year-old, it would still be a challenge for them to run without stopping.

You know how I always like to chant or cheer when I go running with the kids, right? This time round, it was no different. I just kept saying the words "You can do it!", "Come on, my dear!", "加油,你行的!" and of course, my favourite line "DON'T GIVE UP!"


The only thing was, this time round, I only had to cheer for ONE kid. Yup, no guessing which one. Why oh why, then?

Well, not surprisingly, the big sister overtook all of us and made her way to the finishing line with her strong, constant strides. Usually, I could still see her even if she was well ahead of us but this time, I couldn't even see her trail. I guess it does mean that my first child is all grown up now and for the first time in a family run, she doesn't need Mama to be beside her anymore. That means that next year onward, she can start to take part in individual runs and races already. Why do I say that with mixed feelings of exhilaration and trepidation, knowing that my kids won't need me as much very soon?


So, while the big sister was doing mighty fine on her own, I had to constantly encourage the little sister, who still had a tendency of wanting to dash for a while and then stop, dash again and then stop again. Together, side by side, we soon managed to find a good pace less than halfway into the run and amazingly, she could keep up with this pace for the remaining of the race. Yup, and she didn't stop till we reached the finishing line.





I still remember it was the big girl who fell down and scraped her knee last year but this year, it was the little one who fell not once, but twice. Thankfully, she was strong about it and not only did she not whine, she got up to brush her knees and off she went again. Kudos to you, my girl! Always remember that we will all fall down in life at one point or another, what matters more is whether we get back up on our feet and have the courage to keep going.



As for the toddler, alas things didn't go as well as planned and I think he was a little overwhelmed by the crowd and that Mummy wasn't there beside him. So he wanted to be carried for most of the journey instead. Let's just say it turned out to be a good weightlifting workout for the hubby, who didn't give up and made it all the way from the start to the end. Yes, at least they finished the run in style!


Even though we might already have a stash of medals from all our runs throughout the years, it never fails to diminish the joy and the pride we get from receiving a new one. The hard work, the sweat, the determination, the memories, the joy, the family bonding all woven into one medal makes it so unique and so precious to us each time.



Yeap, now we have more medals to add to our collection and we are still looking forward to more family runs in the future!





After the run, the kids miraculously still had a lot of energy left and they were elated to see these mini trampolines near the Skechers booth. Yup, what do you expect, they couldn't wait to jump away! You know, sometimes they just make me feel like I wish to be a kid all over again, when life was simple, worries were non-existent and fears were lacking.


What made this year's Shape Run extra special was that the kids got to run with their dear cousins (lovely kids of Christy who blogs at Kids R Simple) too, which was no doubt a motivation for them to all keep going together. We ended off the fun morning with a hearty breakfast at the Old Airport Road hawker centre and everyone went home feeling tired but happy. After all, family runs are not just about keeping fit but more of strengthening family ties, right?

Woohoo! We managed to wake at 6:30am and make it in time for the Family Fun Run at Shape Run 2017! The girls have been looking forward to this for a long time and they did a mighty good job too. Angel ran at a constant pace and didn't stop at all for the whole 1.8km, I couldn't even catch up with this girl. On the other hand, while Ariel slowed down at times and even fell twice, she got up, brushed her knees, didn't shed a tear and continued running till we got to the finishing line. So well done, girls! P.S. As for the toddler, well, he just wanted Papa to carry him the whole time, who did so since I was at the front with the sisters. Haha. It was definitely a good try on his part and a good workout for the hubby. Kudos to ya both too! A big thanks to @skecherssg for the comfy shoes and @shape_sg for having us at this wonderful family bonding event! #ahappymum #skecherssg #skechers #skechersperformance #shaperun #shaperun2017 #skechersxshaperun #familytime #weloverunning
A post shared by Summer Goh 🌞 (@ahappymum) on

So yes, we are definitely looking forward to next year's Shape Run already! I hope our love for running as a family will never cease and I hope you will share the same enthusiasm that we have too!

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Our new kicks from Skechers 

When it comes to running shoes, Skechers has become our trusted brand through the years. We are in love with how comfortable the shoes feel and it makes me more motivated to bring the kids out for long walks or outdoor activities. Yes, I always make sure they are clad in sports shoes if we are heading out far or staying out for long. So far, our shoes have lived up to, and even surpassed, our expectations.



Here's a quick glance at our latest shoes from Skechers. I must say it's the first time some of us are going for black and even though I initially thought they may look somewhat dull since I'm used to their striking colours, it turned out that the black ones look just as pretty too and the good thing is they don't get dirty so easily. Haha. But, I still prefer my shoes in a distinct colour so I think we made quite a good combination in the end. See what I mean?


I love the range of designs and sizes you can find for the kids because there's surely something to suit our needs and preferences. Angel wears the Skechers GOwalk 4 - Exceed, Ariel wears the Dream N Dash - Whimsy Girl while Asher wears the Skech-Lite - Comfy Stepz.

So far, the kids have been in love with their shoes from Skechers and I haven't gotten a single complaint yet (you should hear about those shoes that they don't like because of poor fit and painful blisters). The soft fabric shoe lining, cushioned comfort insole and natural expansion makes these shoes fit comfortably on those little feet. I've also observed that there isn't much of an odour in the shoes even when we wear them out for long hours, which is definitely a good piece of news because my kids tend to perspire a lot.


As for the hubby and myself, we picked out the GOrun Ride 6 which provide a strong support, secure fit and even comes with a Quick-Fit pull on heel feature for ease of wear. The shoes are breathable, flexible and really lightweight - which is something that I appreciate considering how much load I have to bring out with me. The last thing I want is to feel like I have to drag my heavy feet just to get past each day.


Since Skechers offers various designs of shoes to choose from and they serve different functions for different activities and terrains, it would be best to let their staff attend to your needs when you visit the store so that you find a pair of shoes that will suit you best.

Well, I'm looking forward to our next outdoor activity as a family already!

Disclosure: We received a media invite to participate in Shape Run 2017 and all our running shoes are kindly provided by Skechers Singapore. All opinions and pictures are my own.


The story of the missing dryer

Posted by ~Summer~ on August 17, 2017
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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!

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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
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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.

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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
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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
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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.


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