最幸福的事

Posted by ~Summer~ on February 22, 2018
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时光飞逝,随着狗年的到来,我开始体会到何谓岁月不留人。三十五年的人生就这样过去了,有时想问问自己,如果能够让时光倒流,我会改变什么吗?现在的我,过着的是我梦寐以求的生活吗?我儿时所拥有的抱负和理想,都实现了吗?遥望未来,我是否仍然要坚持走这条路?

或许是中年危机来的早,又或许只是杞人忧天,但是总觉得自己在新的这一年里的思绪特别多,尤其是到了夜深人静,想睡却又睡不着的时候。

今年到外婆家拜年的时候,年老八十的她,已经不认得我是谁了。小时候,每当学校放假的时候,我都会到外婆家住上一段日子。我们一起打麻将、吃肯德基、帮狗狗冲凉、包云吞、
打电动、逛街、买菜, 这些都是和外婆一起共享的美好回忆。如今的她老了,病了,不认得我们了,这些点滴的回忆,还会在她心中荡漾吗?

我每次都说回忆是一辈子的,但是,这是真的吗?有一天,轮到我老了,病了,我还能记得我想记得的一切吗?我好希望我能够。但是,我们始终不是输给病魔,就是输给岁月。前阵子,有位生性活泼开朗的朋友败给了癌症,离开了这个世界。最近,一位我非常在乎的朋友也在和病魔搏斗。上个月,有位读者写电邮来告诉我她因为一场病痛失去了四岁的孩子。生命,原来真的好脆弱。

我抬头看看在床上呼呼大睡的宝贝儿子,想想在卧房睡着了的两个女儿,我能拥有他们,是我人生中最大的收获。别人常常不理解为什么我能拥有赚大钱的机会,却选择过着必须依赖丈夫的零收入生活。你们不懂,这些孩子就是我最大的财富。即使如此,我又怎么舍得让别人带大他们呢?

朋友常说我的生活烦闷,二十四小时面对孩子,是所谓的 “没生活”。你们不懂,正是因为他们,我才真真正正的活着,他们使得我的人生多姿多彩,使得生命更有意义。

路人说我一个带三个,肯定很辛苦。他们得知我们家中没有女佣,更是觉得不可思议,甚至可能觉得我在吹牛,因为在现代的社会,这听起来不太可能。你们不懂,这一切的辛苦,比起孩子带给我的欢乐和满足感,是微不足道的。


能够做全职妈妈不是一种牺牲,而是我的特权。(Read my post on how being a SAHM is a privilege, not a sacrifice here)

如今的我,只想好好珍惜每一天。虽然不能说我不会发飙,不会骂人,不会啰里啰唆 (怎么可能?),可是,至少我希望每晚临睡前,能坦然告诉自己,我已经把握了今天,把想做的都做了。


我想多多告诉孩子我有多爱他们,而不是把这些话藏在心中,认为他们理所当然能感受到。不管是大宝,二宝,三宝,我要他们知道他们每一个在我心中的分量是同样的,我对他们的爱,是公平的,是无私的,是永恒的。 

我要保持健康的生活,多运动,多注意饮食习惯。这一切,不是因为我怕死,而是因为我怕我不在了,没有人照顾我的孩子。我要看着他们长大成人, 我要分享他们的心路历程, 我要陪伴他们每一天,直到他们展翅高飞。我有预感,要我这个做妈妈的学会放手,学会告别,即将是一件比登天还难的事。

我想要做个好妈妈。也许在某种程度上,我做到了,因为两个女儿都说自己的志愿是要成为一名母亲。是啊,不是医生,不是护士,不是老师,她们说她们也想做个好妈妈。无论如何,我心中肚明自己的缺点,希望自己在新的一年里,能更好的控制自己的情绪,拥有更多耐心,认真聆听孩子们所说的每一件事。

怀胎十个月,生孩子一刹那,教育孩子却是一辈子的事。我,还有很长远的路要走。

再想想,倘若时光真的能够倒流,我想我不会去改变任何一件事。因为这一切的一切,我才能走到这一天,我才能是现在的我。这个我,很感恩,很知足,很快乐。能够过着这样忙忙碌碌,不被他人理解的全职妈妈生活,这比什么都珍贵。 我过着的一天,就是梦想又实现的一天。我小时候想当妈妈,当老师,当女强人,当作者,现在的我,什么都是,早已实现儿时的心愿了。哦,还有,我当时只觉得自己顶多生两个,所以现在身为三个孩子的妈,更是超出了自己的想象。

未来永远是个未知数,但是我知道,自己选择抛开一切,走上这条人生道路是我一生中最幸福的事。孩子们,是你们让我体会到活着的意义, 是你们带给我前所未有的快乐。所以,我不会回头,我不会退缩,我只会更勇敢、更自信、更昂首阔步地走下这条幸福之路。



祝愿大家在狗年合家欢乐,过个“旺得福”的一年。


A perfect getaway for the whole family {Review and Giveaway of Radisson Golf & Convention Center Batam Part II}

Posted by ~Summer~ on February 14, 2018
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Remember I shared with you all about Radisson Golf & Convention Centre last year and how it makes for a luxurious yet family-friendly getaway? If you missed it, you can read all about it here. That post became one of the most popular travel posts on the blog and I'm so glad I managed to share all about this fun-filled haven which is just a one-hour ferry ride away.

At the end of last year, we were deeply honoured to be invited back to Radisson for a second visit. I mean, if I were the client, I would probably want to get different bloggers every time so that they can cover different perspectives and reach out to a wider mass. To be able to receive multiple invites from places like Club Med, HARRIS, LEGOLAND and now Radisson, it validates what I do and makes me feel assured that my work on the blog is being valued. So, thank you very much for motivating me to keep writing.

In this post, I will be sharing with you more about the revamps at Radisson and how it is now more family-friendly than ever. My kids enjoyed themselves tremendously at our last visit and even up till now, they still talk about it from time to time and wish that they can go back again. What's more, once again, I will be hosting an exclusive giveaway and two of you will win a 2D1N family stay in Radisson Batam - which includes breakfast, spa sessions and dining vouchers too! Read on to find out more.

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MEET MISMI

The first time we came, we were awestruck by the grandeur of the hotel lobby which came complete with gorgeous hanging pendant lights and golden swirls. This time, we still felt very much welcome, thanks to the friendly staff and cosy reception lounge. To make it even better, we were greeted by a very adorable monkey called Mismi, who is now the mascot of Radisson Batam. He was so nice as to spend time occupying the kids while we got ourselves checked in, even giving them friendly hugs and high fives too.



Besides the warm welcome by Mismi and the staff, the kids also indulged in what they loved since the first time they came - the addictive welcome lemongrass drink with basil seeds! Yums! It's definitely a good way to get everyone settled down and we were looking forward to what was lying in store for us.



A TOUR OF THE EXECUTIVE SUITE

Rated as a 4.5 star luxurious hotel, Radisson Golf & Convention Center boasts 207 rooms and suites, as well as 33 one-bedroom accommodations. For both times we were there, the housekeeping service was top-notch and we were impressed by the professionalism, efficiency and politeness of the staff.

For our visit this time round, we stayed in the Executive suite and a connecting Deluxe room for the kids. Sitting on a high floor, the Executive suite occupies an area of 90 sqm and offers a splendid view of the Sukajadi golf course and the swimming pool. Ideal for business professionals, families with kids or couples who like to indulge, the suite comes with a working desk and workstation, two LED 40" televisions, rain shower shower cubicle, separate bathtub, in-room complimentary mini bar, complimentary WiFi, bar counter, refrigerator, dining table and chairs.

Yes, it has a nice bathtub, a huge fridge and a homely dining table too! These are perfect for families with young kids so we were very thrilled to be staying here for three nights. The last I checked, a one-night stay in the Executive suite costs about SGD190-240 and prices vary depending on the period of stay, how far in advance you book and the demand during that time. Nonetheless, I thought it sounded pretty reasonable for such a comfortable and luxe hotel. I will be taking you on a short tour in the video below but here are some pictures taken of the suite so you can have a better idea.





See the inviting queen-sized bed and enormous living room? The space was so huge that the 40" TV looked kind of small in it. How huge does it feel? Let's just say we played hide and seek for a good half an hour and still managed to find a handful of good hiding spots, which totally delighted the kids.


Inside the bathroom, you can find toiletries which come in handy travel sized bottles and these are from Ritual, a well-known body care brand from Netherlands which strives to make use of organic ingredients to create high quality, luxurious products.




This is one of the things I love most in the suite - the bar counter! It was so inviting that we decided to have in-room dining not just once, but twice. Being able to dine in the comfort of the suite made it feel much more relaxing for us as parents. This was mainly because the kids were free to run around after they had finished while being confined in a safe space and therefore the hubby and I could tuck into our food and sipped our wines. Yay!


Even though the suite was huge, it only had one bed so we were glad to have a connecting Deluxe room for the kids which came with twin beds. What impressed us was how the room was nicely set up and waiting for us to step in. There was a tray of yummy chocolates and candies that the kids couldn't get enough of (it was near Christmas when we were there), the baby cot was already set up properly, and there were even three helium balloons - two pink and one blue - to greet the kids when they came into the room. No wonder they were very excited to be sleeping in this kids' room! Okay, I admit the hubby and I eventually had to split up to sleep with the kids so it was a relief that we had such nice beds to sleep in. Is it just me or do you love hotel beds too?


Having a spacious balcony with an awesome view meant that the kids could spend some time here gazing at the golf course or swimming pool, or just playing with bubbles and among themselves. We wanted this holiday to be as chilled and as relaxed as can be, so instead of taking it at a hurried pace, we just wanted to take things slow and easy this time round.


INTRODUCING "TUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE"

In my previous post, I shared with you about the Kids' Club and mentioned that while my kids loved playing there, it didn't look like there were too many toys or activities and I kind of wished that they had more to offer, given the huge space available.

I think my wish kind of came true because within the short span of six months, the entire Kids' Club was revamped and it now boasts a new name called "Tumble in the Jungle", is filled with beautiful jungle themed wallpapers and tree vines hanging from the ceiling, has a big, lovely tree house with cute animal plushies in the middle, a table soccer game, a ball toss game, hopscotch and more!













I saw this noticeboard in the Kids' Club that talked about animal conservation efforts but what caught my eye was this notice that stated that by taking a picture in Kids' Club and emailing it to Radisson, the hotel will award the family with a complimentary Saturday buffet dinner if the picture gets used on their Facebook page. Not a bad way to encourage people to start snapping away!





The girls were happy to get the chance to play puzzle games at the computer station because Mama hasn't started on letting them play computer games at home and we don't own an iPad too. Haha. That kept them occupied and happy for a good half an hour while the hubby and I went for our much deserved spa session. More on that later!



Moving onto the two new and most exciting highlights of the Kids' Club which take place every weekend, these are 1) Face Painting and 2) Meet the Animals sessions.

My kids are always very excited whenever they get to paint their hands or faces so it was nice to see them become a tiger and a butterfly as they tumbled in the jungle. What fascinated me was that the face painter was one of the hotel staff but I must say she had the patience and really made an effort to paint every stroke and detail nicely. Thanks for making the kids so happy!





The best part of the trip, according to the kids, had to be this - the chance to come up close and interact with animals! By animals, I actually mean reptiles in our case. We did hear that there are usually sugar gliders too but alas it was their mating season and we didn't get a chance to see them. Instead, we did come up close with a few geckos, iguanas and even pythons.




See how fearless these two girls are? They actually surprised some of the hotel staff because they didn't inch away from the animals but instead requested to hold them in their palms, put them over their shoulders and kept stroking them as if they had been our pets for a long time. Like seriously, where do they get this kind of courage from? Definitely not from me because you should have seen how long I hesitated before I was brave enough to hold the snakes.








An incident happened to Ariel and that was when one of the geckos she was holding bit her forearm and left bite marks and a little blood. We presumed it was because of the hot weather and how everyone was trying to hold it and keep it from running away. She was the only unlucky one who got bitten and so I wasn't surprised when she started to cry. In fact, I told her it was okay to take a rest since we had already been with the animals for, I think, a good half an hour already? While other hotel guests came and went briefly, we were the only family who stayed there from start to end and that was only because my kids refused to leave.

Yes, even though she was once bitten, this brave little 5-year-old wasn't twice shy and she wanted to go again after a few minutes! Not only did she hold the geckos again, she also went for the pythons and was so plucky to have them wrapped over her shoulders and placed on her forearms too. I was indeed very amazed at her resilience and it was good to see that she could overcome the fear too.

As for Angel, well, she was the most patient and loving one of the lot who treated each and every animal as if they were hers, especially the baby iguanas who seemed to love her so much and wouldn't let go of her when other kids wanted to have a try too. We ended up spending over one and half hours just being up close with these animals but seeing how the kids truly enjoyed every bit of it, I was glad we managed to make the most of this rare opportunity too.







THE NEW ZOYSIA SPA

Now that the spa is taken over by the hotel management instead of being run by a third party vendor, it was easy for us to spot the differences on our second visit. For starters, the whole place now uses blackout blinds and while it was brightly lit previously, the new spa looks much darker and dimmer. I personally prefer this new ambience because it seemed so soothing and calming the moment I stepped in.




As parents of three with no help, it's almost impossible for the hubby and I to even go on a date, much less indulge in a couple spa session. So this was definitely a once in a blue moon treat for us and you bet we relished every minute of it. If you require babysitting service during your stay, you can request for it at the concierge too.

I chose to go for a Indonesian traditional massage while the hubby took up the Swedish massage. It was one of the rare times that I felt honestly relaxed and I realised how much tension was in my body, even though theoretically I don't have a job other than being a SAHM. For those 60 minutes, I told myself to let go of all my worries and just enjoy that truly deserving massage. It was really good to have the hubby beside me because he honestly needed to take a break too! Yay for couple time!



FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES

I've shared about this in detail in the previous post but just so you know, here are some other family-friendly activities that you can do during your stay in Radisson Batam.

-> Swimming 

We love the outdoor infinity pool at Level 1 which has a breathtaking view of the golf course. There is also a wading pool beside the main pool which is good if you have toddlers and a Jacuzzi pool for the older ones too.






What I did this time was to take the two younger ones for a swim while the hubby slept in with the eldest. We brought some breakfast over from the restaurant, which is right behind the pool, and I must say it felt heavenly to be able to bask in the sun and tuck into the spread while keeping an eye on the kids at the same time.




-> Golf

My kids tried out golf for the first time at our previous visit and they loved the experience! So, since this was a rare treat for them and probably one that won't happen when we got back to Singapore, we took them to the Sukajadi driving range again for some family golfing fun. I think they enjoyed the buggy ride just as much too!






Obviously, the majority of us were amateurs and couldn't really swing the club well, much less hit the ball far. Haha. Oh, they have kid-sized clubs available for the little ones which was really a thoughtful and kid-friendly initiative too. Nonetheless, it was a good learning experience once again and a great way for us to bond too. For the semi-pro golfer aka the hubby, he conquered his 9-hole one morning and did it in 56 strokes, which according to him was not a bad result. I was happy to take the kids to breakfast myself and give him some time off to enjoy the sport too! It is so convenient that the Sukajadi golf course is located right next to the hotel because you don't need more than five minutes to get there which saves a lot of travelling time.





-> Archery

We tried out archery again since it was conveniently located below the hotel and I think my kids started to get the hang of it. Yippee! Thanks to the friendly staff who were patient in guiding them, they had the opportunity to learn and then to try it all on their own too. Catch Ariel in action in the video later! 








-> Pool

A new addition to the hotel would be the Pool Bar which comes with a pool table and sits outside the hotel near the swimming pool. Well, it's not often that mums and dads get to enjoy a drink or two while letting the kids have a go at pool, right? I remember I used to like playing the sport when I was in Secondary school with my friends too so why not cherish every opportunity I get to do it with my kids now? You need to insert a coin into the machine for the game and each game costs IDR10,000 which is not even equivalent to one Singapore dollar. Cheap, right?







SIGHTSEEING

We didn't get a chance to do this the last time round as our stay was too rushed so this time, we made sure we had ample time to go out of the hotel and do some sightseeing. In fact, we dedicated a whole day for it and visited places like the Vietnam Camp, the famous Barelung bridge, a dragonfruit farm, the new Viovio Beach and along the journey, we also saw monkeys, geese and even deer too!










For our lunch, we specially requested to visit a kelong seafood restaurant and with recommendations by the Radisson staff, we made our way to Tanjong Piayu. What was most impressive was that the hubby was given the chance to catch our own fish (to eat for lunch, yes)! And he did it not once, but twice. We followed him all the way on the wobbly wooden platforms and it was yet another kind of rustic experience for the kids.


Wanna guess how much this meal cost? We had four (small) crabs, one seabass, one grouper, shrimps, chicken, two plates of kangkong and coconuts too.




And the answer? SGD60. Yup, totally amazing and absolutely worthwhile.



FEAST LIKE ROYALTY

One of the things we enjoy most at Radisson is the... FOOD! Yes, we think Bite restaurant is one of the better restaurants we've been to overseas and we were once again quite impressed with some of their signature dishes. Our favourites are the Ikan Bakar, Tom Yum soup, lamb loin and beef ribeye.

On the weekend that we were there, the restaurant was fully packed and it was plain to see that their business has prospered from our last visit. And I'm not in the least surprised considering the new array of activities that the hotel management has come up with.







When it comes to the buffet breakfast and weekend buffet dinner, guests will be spoiled for choice because there are just so many stations to choose from. For instance, I couldn't even finish tasting all the desserts that I wanted because there were too many of them. Such a pity!






As for the kids, they were always happy to dine here. Even though the selection in the Kid's Menu was not wide, it had some of my kids' favourites such as carbonara, fish and chips, burgers and chicken nuggets. They were more than delighted to have desserts after a full meal too and it usually consisted of yummy ice cream. After all, we were on holiday and it is okay to indulge, right?







While it felt great to be able to dine in the restaurant which opens all the way till 11pm (we came here late one evening because of a late lunch and the kids wanted to have a swim first), what we enjoyed most this time round was the in-room dining. Oh, but just so you know, the restaurant is right beside the Kid's Club so if your kids are okay to go and play by themselves, you can indulge in a peaceful meal with your other half. Awesome, right?




Unlike the previous visit when we made our way to the restaurant for every meal, this time round, we decided on in-door dining, which is available 24 hours, because the toddler was still sleeping and I thought it would be nice to make use of the dining table and chairs in our suite too. All I had to do was browse through the menu which can be found in the room and make a call to order our food. Easy peasy!




The food arrived promptly in about half an hour as promised and we were all very impressed by how the staff unwrapped the dishes and laid them out neatly on the table. What was even more impressive was that the food was still served hot, the fries were still crispy and the ice cream still hadn't melted! Fwah! That totally deserved our thumbs up.

Having tried out both dining in the restaurant and in-room, I have to say the taste of the food doesn't differ much so if given the choice, I would gladly do choose in-room dining if it means my kids are safe to run around after their meal and we can enjoy our desserts while watching a movie.




Thanks to Radisson Golf & Convention Center for going above and beyond in caring for our needs. It isn't easy to be a luxury hotel that is family-friendly at the same time but you've achieved it with ease and style - and with lots of effort behind the scene. We hope to be back again next time and let the kids have a blast on a getaway that doesn't require us to venture too far from Singapore!


Before you get to the end, watch this video (make sure you do) to see more snippets from our stay!



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Giveaway on A Happy Mum
Good things must share! With the March school holidays fast approaching, for those of you who wish to win a family stay at Radisson Golf & Convention Center, 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. Head over to my Facebook post or Instagram post, or BOTH, and follow the steps there. I will be picking a winner from Facebook and another from Instagram, and you are free to join both to double your chances. This giveaway ends on 25 February 2359hrs and the winners will be announced here and on my social media. The winners will have 48 hours to respond or new ones will be picked. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook or Instagram. Good luck, people!

Disclosure: We were invited and hosted by Radisson Golf and Convention Center for a 4D3N stay in writing this review. All pictures and opinions are our own.


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