Happiness is... cherishing the short days

Posted by ~Summer~ on November 18, 2022
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They say that when it comes to motherhood, the days are long but years are short. Judging by how nearly 13 years have passed me by yet I still remember the very first day I became a mum, I can see the truth in that saying and sometimes, I do wish I have the power to make time slow down.

You see, even the days feel short to me and 24 hours just doesn't seem enough for me to achieve all that I want to. The days, weeks and years seem to fly past me and every time I look back, I wonder where they had all gone to. I guess I will never know but all I hope for is that I had done my best to cherish time while time was still by my side.

This kind of stay-at-home mum life that I love so much won't last forever, I know. One day, which is sooner than I know, the kids will be moving out of this home to start families of their own. I will be looking through photo albums and our videos filled with baby laughter, kiddy activities and family moments, and I will be missing those times so badly that my heart aches. Yup, I am a very emotional mum but it's not something I wanna change.

So while the four kids still call "Mama" a dozen times a day, I am more than happy to attend to every of their needs and let them know that I am always here for them. As we busy ourselves with daily chores, school work, play time and enrichment classes, we are also making time for family and building up a bank of memories so that years down the road, we will have tonnes of these happy moments to look back on. In this "Happiness is.." post, it's about treasuring the short days and making sure each of them count.

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I've been cooking a little less because it can get very tiring and cumbersome on some days, especially with all the washing up to do. So whenever I whip up a home cooked meal, there is an immense sense of achievement and the kids are very happy to know that Mama made the effort to cook for them too. These are the flavours, the smells, the moments that stay in our growing up years, right? I still remember what my mum cooked for me as a kid and I hold those memories tight.


We also like to dine out and one of the kids' favourite eatery is Genki Sushi! We love the food here and of course, the moving train just makes everything so much more fun for them. I saw the four of them talking and playing before the food came and this scene of them placing them hands together to do a whoooosh - you know, like how we cheer before a game - warmed my heart so much, especially when Ansel smiled widely and asked to do it again and again. You are a good team and will always be, my dears, must remember to love, protect and support one another, okay?


Desserts are also very much welcome and the kids can never get enough of frozen yoghurt at Yole. We love to buy two medium cups to share and they always enjoy every mouthful of it. See, even Ansel is starting to like it too! We will just find an empty bench to sit around and these kind of family moments are so simple yet so full of joy, don't you think so?

All of us are very accustomed at taking public transport and the kids love being in a double decker bus, especially if they can get the front seats in the upper deck, they will be very happy because it is like a mini roller coaster ride. Haha. Yup, being 知足常乐 will take us far and fill our lives with joy, 懂吗? I love taking the bus with you all too, kiddos, even though sometimes I have to stay at the bottom deck alone because of the pram. Seeing, and hearing, you happy makes Mama very happy too.



Being a mum of four is awesome because I get to witness all the sweet sibling moments. Sure, there are fights and bickers too but if you see beyond that, the bond they form and build up since young will hopefully be something that will last them for life. I see how the three older ones dote on the toddler with all their hearts and it's really something I cherish deeply. This boy also makes us laugh every day with his silly antics and new tricks. It's like, even if we're having a bad day, seeing his happy face just makes everything better. He is our sunshine baby, our light at the end of the tunnel and our rainbow after the rain.

We found this cute Tigger hand-me-down for him and thought he looked so adorable in it! Yup, we are biased, I know. We always say he is the cutest and sweetest baby boy in the world even though other babies are just as adorable too. Haha. Well, 那是因为他是我们的宝贝 and nothing will ever change that. He is growing so much taller now and getting heavier by the day, so I keep telling the elder ones to carry him more before they can't do it anymore.


The kids were having a swim when suddenly they kept laughing and then I realised it was because Ariel looked like incredible Hulk when the air got into her swimming top and inflated it. It was a funny sight and they just kept doing it again and again just to make everyone laugh, and I couldn't help but chuckle too. Awwww, these moments, I heart them so much. Life feels so simple and carefree at this very moment and whatever that comes after, we will deal with it together.


We love exploring new playgrounds too and this was one that we had never been to before. It's lovely that they can form a team and play catching together and I usually don't even need to follow the little one because they will help to lift him, carry him, slide with him or play see-saw with him. Yup, Ansel darling, 你很幸福, 有这么多人宠爱你



If you know me, you will know that I treasure family gatherings a lot and we make it a point to hang out with our parents regularly. We celebrated National Day and watched the parade on TV together - even though we already brought them for the NDP preview previously - and even though the house was rowdy, I guess that is better than being quiet and lonely, right? Celebrations are always so much fun and I cherish these opportunities very much because you never know how many more you can have. I sincerely hope my in-laws and parents will be 长命百岁 and we can continue our gatherings for many more years.

I cherish my one-on-one time with the kids very much and now that the toddler will be turning two in a few month's time, I especially treasure this very cute and very sweet phase before it's over. He is a joy to be with and I love that we spend some quality mother-and-son time on weekdays when the siblings are all in school. Awwww, I'm gonna miss you so much when you go to nursery, dear Angel, but let's just wait a couple more years before we let that happen, shall we?

One of our highlights this month was visiting River Wonders to celebrate Le Le's first birthday! There were many fun-filled activities and we got to interactive with animals and see the panda mascots too. It's a different experience visiting the park at night and we totally enjoyed the cool night breeze and each other's company.





We love the hands-on activities and this included terrarium making, tote bag stamping and creating a one-of-a-kind lightbox. The kids drew Kai Kai, Jia Jia and Le Le to put inside the lightbox and this happy family portrait speaks volumes to my heart.

Movies are very much enjoyed by everyone in our family and the kids have been avid moviegoers since a very young age. We love going for movie previews and are thankful for every opportunity that comes our way. Even though it is easy and convenient to watch movies on Netflix on Disney+ these days, I still love bringing the kids to the cinema every once in a while because it just feels different this way and every movie outing is greatly cherished.


With Teacher's Day round the corner, we also started designing, printing, cutting and laminating our own DIY bookmarks. Ariel took charge of this project and spent hours on it, including drawing pictures of her teachers and coaches which really made their day. It's so easy to buy gifts these days but a handmade one can never be replaced and the meaning, love and sincerity it carries is unlike any other.



I hope our family dance sessions will continue going strong even though it's seemingly harder to find time to do it as the kids get older. It's still something we enjoy and it's a form of bonding for us so I'm reminding myself to make time for this no matter how busy life gets. Well, I highly doubt the kids will still wanna do this when they are all grown up so while they are loving it, let's just dance on!


Yup, my kids have eaten cup noodles before and they actually love it and see it as a rare treat! Haha. That is because they probably only get to eat once or twice in an entire year and it's usually when we go out for events till near midnight and come home feeling hungry and in the mood for supper. We went to the petrol kiosk to let them take their pick and just check out their big, wide smiles here. I guess it's okay to just close one eye every once in a while, right?

I also like to take my kids to the pasar malam because I used to love it as a kid! The yummy food, the loud music, the carnival games - these are things that form a part of my growing up years and I'm happy to see that the kids are loving our visits too. We ate 卤肉饭,Ramly burger, kebab, orh ah mee sua, Taiwanese sausages, tutu kuehs and more!






Well, we couldn't resist but play a few carnival games too because these are always so much fun - if only they can be cheaper, haha. We had a go at the seemingly impossible ring toss, we played ball games and the younger ones and I even went on a 'jet ski' ride which was so much fun!






When the kids are all grown up and look back someday, I hope they felt my presence and know that Mama was very involved in many of their fun moments. Instead of just watching or filming them like I always do to keep for memories, I also make sure I join them because something tells me that there won't be many more years for me to keep doing this. My kids are gonna grow up into adults before I know it. That is when we will bid farewell to kiddy rides and games and hopefully, the memories we have left behind will last for a lifetime and the joy will always be felt when we reminisce these good old days.

Cherish, just cherish, while we still can.

Till the next update on my simple take on happiness. Have a great school holiday, people!



"A Night at the Airport" Family Camp in Changi Experience Studio

Posted by ~Summer~ on November 09, 2022
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The airport has always been one of our favourite hangouts because of all the diverse, fun and family-friendly activities you can find there. Ever since Jewel opened in 2019, we visit it regularly because we love admiring the majestic Rain Vortex, the kids like the food options available (A&W, anyone?), and we love that there are many things to see, play and learn as a family.

One of our most-loved attractions in Jewel is Changi Experience Studio (read our review here) even though we've been there umpteen times already. The kids never fail to have lots of fun and learn a thing or two about the airport as they laugh, play and relax. So when they heard that we were going to have a whole day of fun at the airport and even have a stayover in Changi Experience Studio, you bet they jumped for joy and looked forward to it with much excitement.

The highly popular "A Night at the Airport" camp returns for the third year and will take place from 19 November to 23 December. This year, the theme is sustainability which we really love because it teaches the kids the importance of being eco-friendly and recycling whenever we can. Here's a sneak peek into what you can expect at the camp and I've also shared more happenings on my IG reel and highlights so hop over to see more.


Amazing Sustainable Family Quest

Go on a fun and educational quest around the airport and learn about its sustainability efforts to go green! By downloading an app and solving the clues one by one, we made our way around T3 and Jewel and were awed by the facts we learnt. For instance, did you know that old raintrees from the former T1 carpark have been recycled and made into benches? 



There are also missions to complete and these include fun tasks like taking a selfie of you drinking water from the Rain Vortex or going on a scavenger hunt to gather colours of the rainbow. We spent a good two hours travelling around, answering questions, picking up new knowledge, and taking photos of the picturesque scenery along the way. It was a truly amazing mum-and-kids quest for us and I know we will remember this unique first experience for a long time.


Sustainable Festive Ornament Workshop

With Christmas just around the corner, how about making a one-of-a-kind recycled Christmas tree to decorate your home? We were appalled to learn about the millions of trees that are cut down every Christmas even though we've never had a real tree in our house. The kids were thrilled at the notion of making a DIY tree and seeing the variety of craft supplies laid out on our table made all of us eager to begin.


I was impressed by the different samples of trees crafted out of cardboard, paper and egg cartons and gave my thumbs up to the staff's creativity. We decided on one that we loved most of all and got to work straight away. The kids and I took turns to cut, glue, stick, paint and decorate and seeing the finished product gave us an immense sense of satisfaction.

With Christmas carols playing in the background and the festive mood in the air, we let our creative juices flow as we work on our tree. This was such a wonderful bonding activity for the three older kids and myself and I appreciate this crafting opportunity very much.

Games and Rides at T3 Underground Carnival 

Everyone loves carnival games, right? Well, it's time to get moving and head out for more fun after the winding down craft session. In case you don't know, T3 has been transformed into a huge underground carnival comprising of three main zones - The Great World, The Modern World and The Future World. There are over 30 fun games and rides waiting the kids to play, including bumper car, viking, ring toss, shooting, basketball, balloon darts, fishing, spinning teacup, carousel, train rides and more.


Some of these games, especially the ones at Great World, are nostalgic, and they evoked so many fun memories of my growing up years. I am glad to see that they brought so many smiles to the kids too and they simply couldn't get enough of all the fun. The games start from $5 and each child will be given $10 credits as part of the camp. You can get extra carnival credits by purchasing on iChangi app or buying a physical card from the ticketing booths.

Important note: The "A Night at the Airport Camp" is recommended for kids aged 5 to 12 and those below the age of 4 will not be accepted. However, the carnival is open to kids of all ages so feel free to let the whole family have some fun together.


Magical Stayover at Changi Experience Studio

Now for the highlight of the camp - the stayover, of course! We love that we got to stay in tents which were nicely set up in the Changi Experience Studio when we got back from dinner. Oh, by the way, food is not provided in the camp but there are countless eateries in Jewel that you can head to for lunch, dinner and next day's breakfast.

Our tent were randomly allocated and we were lucky to be given the ones with an awesome view of the Rain Vortex. I initially assumed that the floor might be quite hard to sleep on but we were given air mattresses that provided cushioning and there was also a rug beneath the tent so that we wouldn't feel cold. We were given instructions to bring along sleeping bags, pillows and comforters and these came in handy too.

At 10pm, we caught the last Rain Vortex Light and Sound Show which was beautiful beyond words. JJ Lin's song "As I Believe" was playing and along with the myriad of pretty colours and majestic waterfall, the sight was simply breathtaking. For that moment, we were totally mesmerised.


There was this handicraft corner which showcased various recycled Christmas decorations, including a reindeer sleigh, a snowman and Santa Claus, made lovingly by the staff at Changi Experience Studio and I thought these art pieces were creative and brilliant. We put our own Christmas tree right beside our tent that night and it made everything feel extra warm and cosy.


 > Amenities

- Shower

For those who are wondering, we bathed and washed up right inside Changi Experience Studio which has a a spacious and clean toilet. There are two shower cubicles in each of the gents and ladies. After you arrive for the camp, you will be asked to choose and book your 30-min slot. Father and son can share one cubicle while mum and daughter takes another, or if you have more kids, simply just book more slots. If you miss your timing, not to worry, the cubicles are free for use after 10pm so you can still take a shower before bedtime. Do remember to bring along your own towel and toiletries as these are not provided.



> Board games

For the kids who are still energetic and in the mood for play after dinner, board games are available and you can take your pick. We were so thankful to have the company of Life's Tiny Miracles and the kids were happy to play and catch up with one another after not meeting up for so long. Friends can make a world of difference, right? They chose to play Monopoly, Twister and tried out Scrabble for the first time too.



Single day tickets to Canopy Park and Changi Experience Studio

Tickets to Canopy Park and Changi Experience Studio are provided as part of the camp package. These are valid for the day itself only so do make your way to either of these two places to have some fun during your free pockets of time. Canopy Park closes at 10pm while Changi Experience Studio closes at 8pm to public. However, campers are free to play within Changi Experience Studio till the machines shut down at slightly after 10pm.



Additional Perks

Wait, that's not all! You will also get to receive the below when you book the "A Night at the Airport" camp.

> Tickets to Singapore Zoo upon completion of quest

Each member will receive a ticket (worth $48) to the Singapore Zoo after you finish the Amazing Quest. I don't know about you but we love the zoo and thus this is a fabulous prize in our view.

> Premium for every child 

Each kid will also receive a premium when you arrive which will totally make them feel welcome.

> Free parking coupon 

Each group can receive a complimentary parking coupon which is valid till noon the next day.

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All in all, this was an amazing experience and we are thankful to have the chance to do it as a family. The kids enjoyed the different activities thoroughly and each brought us much fun and joy. If there is anything we have to nitpick, it will be that there were some renovation works going on till past midnight and we also heard children laughing downstairs in the wee hours. That said, this was out of the organisers' control and we understand that the airport is after all a public space. 

Well, at least my kids didn't seem to be affected as they slept through the night after all that exhaustion. We woke at 7am the next day and went to have toast for breakfast after packing up our stuff and brought home lots of happy, precious memories.

Will we want to do this again next year? The answer is, without hesitation, YES! I know my kids will be thrilled to spend a night at the airport again for sure. We totally recommend this activity to all families who are looking for some fun this year end holiday.

Have a wonderful start of the holidays, people!

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"A Night at the Airport" Family Camp

Location: Changi Experience Studio, Jewel

Period: 19 November –23 December 2022

Timing: 9:00am – 8:00am the following day (meals are not provided)

Pricing: S$78 (Adult) | S$88 (Child) 

Recommended Age: Families with kids aged 5-12. Children and babies below 4yo will not be accepted.

Get S$5 Changi Pay e-Voucher when you book 'A Night at the Airport' camp from 10 November 2022 onwards. T&Cs apply. 

To book, visit https://www.changiairport.com/en/changifestivevillage/stay/a-night-at-the-airport.html.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration between A Happy Mum and Changi Experience Studio. We were invited to the media preview and stayed over for a night in writing this review. All photographs and opinions are our own.
 


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