Happiness is... getting used to the mayhem

Posted by ~Summer~ on December 12, 2018
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I know, half of the school holidays has gone by in a flash and we are nearing mid-December already! How can it be, right? That means we only have a few more weeks to enjoy the mayhem and have the luxury of being able to sleep in and going anywhere we want in the day.

It's been hard trying to find time to blog because I've been busy with the trio 24/7 and yes, looking after them day in day out does wear me out. But I hope you've been keeping up with our updates on social media though, especially all the birthday parties we've had and all the fun places to visit during the holidays.

A part of me is looking forward to the new year because that means I will have a couple of hours of free time in the morning to get back my rhythm in blogging as well as catch up on doing all the growing up videos of the kids (I have YEARS of pictures and videos to compile for them). I'm also motivated to have more homecooked meals for the kids and perhaps finally find time to try out more new recipes too - preferably recipes that are fuss-free or one pot meals because I know I will still have dozens of chores to complete each day. #choreshavenoend

But, a bigger part of me says that we simply love the holidays because we have absolute freedom and I get to be with this noisy bunch all the time. Do they drive me crazy? You bet. Are they good all the time? Of course not! Do they bicker? Every day lor. Nonetheless, school holidays is a time where we get to spend so, so much time together and I think that is one big benefit of being a stay-at-home mum. So, even though there might not be a moment's peace and it's constant chaos in my house recently, I'm still really loving this time and cherishing this privilege to be here.

In November's "Happiness is...", it's about getting used to the mayhem. And enjoying it.

Water play is one of the kids' favourite things to do and it's nice to see how the three of them can play together now. The big sister usually takes the lead and the rest of them follow, or sometimes, they just invent their own silly games and ask me to give them some tasks to do - like walking in zigzag lines or doing a silly dance.

It's so heartwarming to see how the sisters take care of their little brother, especially the elder one who rushes to him at his every whimper. Yes, I think they spoil him lots, yet I wouldn't have it any other way. Take for instance at this free bouncy castle we happened to pass by, the boy would ask the big sister to carry or piggyback him every time he came down the slide. She would willingly do it and give up on the chance to slide and instead, kept waiting for him to slide down and then carry him back to the starting point. He can be a bully at times to them but it's also nice to see how much they dote on him and protect him so fiercely too. I guess he's really blessed to have not one, but two older sisters and I hope he realises it.

Talking about this boy, he seems to have grown so much in the past few months and everyone who sees him is amazed by how much he can talk now. Yes, he can even talk back to me already lor. Haha. He's also getting cheekier by the day yet remains the sweetheart who will run over to give me a hug and plant kisses all over my face. It's still hard to totally wean him off because he demands for Mama's milk at bedtime but we're slowly but surely getting there. In a sense, I think I find it hard to let go too because he might jolly well be my last. Awwww.

The girls went for their first ever Spartan race and it was such an awesome and memorable one! Check out our highlights in this video here. I really think it is good for them to get muddy and wet once in a while and more importantly, be in the face of obstacles so that they can build up their grit and be able to overcome them.

I took the girls for a dental check up and wanted the boy to have his first experience too but failed because he insisted that he didn't want to. It seemed like the big girl is not brushing her teeth well and while none of them has any tooth decay for now (I don't too at age 35 and I'm quite proud of that, haha), I'm glad the dentist highlighted the issues to us.

We celebrated my mum's 65th birthday over a steamboat at her favourite place in Golden Mile as well as a homecooked dinner by my in-laws. I'm still very thankful to see how our parents get along so well, they always have so many things to chat about and they still go for karaoke sessions on their own! Amazing, right?

School holidays also mean there are usually a bunch of events we get invited to and we are thankful for every one that comes into our mailbox. It doesn't mean we get a lot of 'freebies' or that these things fall from the sky because bloggers and influencers do need to work behind the scenes to help publicise these events. I think many people still fail to see that and think that blogging is such an easy way to earn. In any case, I just hope to have more good stuff to share with you and I thank all of you for your support in the giveaways too!

Last month, we checked out the beautiful "Poinsettia Wishes featuring Disney Tsum Tsum" Christmas floral display at Gardens by the Bay and I have to say it's one of our favourites so far! The festive blooms are so pretty and the Tsum Tsum make wonderful photo opportunities too. The display runs till 6 Jan so do go catch it if you have not!

We also checked out the newly opened SuperPark which is located in Suntec City (#02-477, Tower 1). With over 40,000 sqft of play space, it is by far the biggest indoor park we have visited and the best thing is the games are suitable for the whole family to play together! Two hours of play was seriously not enough for us to explore everything and we are hoping to make it back again soon. The kids enjoyed the ball games, the pedal cars, the obstacle course, the rock climbing walls, the trampolines and basically every activity!

The kids and I also made it to 4D AdventureLand in Sentosa and they had the chance to try out every single ride! It's been something that we've always wanted to do and I'm glad we did it. Yup, amazingly the boy who is usually scared of rides also made it through everything with us and I think that's a milestone for him! If you are planning to go, do check out the new Haunted Mine ride or the Log Ride because we think these two are the most exciting ones!

It's nice to see how the hubby tries to make time for us despite his super busy work schedule. Yup, I'm very used to his volatile and long busy hours because that's what happens when you are a navy wife. But the kids are not and they always wish to see more of their Papa, especially now that it's the school holidays and they have lots of free time. He took the big girl on a daddy-and-daughter bowling date, thanks to the Dads for Life organising committee, and they even managed to go behind the alley to see how the machinery works. How fun, right? While they were busy, I brought the younger ones for a nice dinner before we made our way to meet them for supper. It was so cute to see how the big sister tried imparting them her new knowledge of bowling techniques right away and here they were, trying to practice their bowling stances.

At nights when the hubby is not around, I still make it a point to bring the kids out and we usually head out to scoot and check out our neighbourhood playgrounds. It's amazing how many we can discover and I bet there are many, many more out there too. School holidays means we can all sleep late, right? So we even have late movie nights in our home - thanks to Netflix - and end up sleeping past at 1am. I know, not very healthy lar, but once in a while, I guess it's okay.

We finally renewed our zoo passes too! Oh wait, it's the 4-park pass so we can visit any of the parks or safaris whenever we want. Woohoo! We made it to the zoo as well as the night safari (which made the big girl very happy as it was her birthday) and the kids were happy to be with all the animals once more.

A big highlight of November for us was the little sister's graduation! Yes I know, I already blogged about it because it deserves a post of its own and there were so many emotions running through my head that I needed to pen them down somewhere. Seeing her shine on stage made me beam with pride and joy and I still find it hard to believe that my baby girl will be turning six just before Christmas. Mummy hopes you know how super proud I am of you and I wish you all the best in your primary school journey, yeah?

November also marks the time of the big girl's birthday and she turned nine! Yeap, just one more year left before hitting the double digits. How fast does a decade fly by and how big this baby of mine has grown! She requested for a spy themed party when I asked her what she would like this year and we had a small party for her and her close friends in the comfort of our home. I love how almost her whole costume came from our wardrobes. Haha. It was such a blast and the games were a hit with all her friends! Just let me find the time to blog about it soon because I have so much I wanna share.

On her actual birthday, we went for art class as usual and had a cake cutting ceremony with her teachers. It's been six years since she started on her art journey with heART Studio and she is still very much in love with it, so we are here to stay. She was so happy that Papa could join us at the last minute and we had a spontaneous trip to Night Safari - something which always thrills and delights her. Happy turning nine, my dearest Angel!

Right, all my babies are year end babies so this time of the year is a truly busy, somewhat chaotic, period for me with all the party planning and festive gatherings. Yet, I've gotten used to it and even enjoy it because I think I do like the freedom of coming up with my own decor, games and favours for these parties. The last day of November marked the little sister's last day of preschool *bring me the tissues* and we celebrated her birthday in advance with her classmates - for the last time. Yup, no more cake cutting in school once she hits Primary One so I am glad we made this extra special with a super yummy chocolate logcake from Eatzi Gourmet Bakery, snacks and farewell gifts for her friends, as well as tokens of appreciation for her teachers to thank them for all their guidance.

We still have a handful of parties coming in the last month of the year and I'll be sharing more about them very soon. Can you even believe that 2018 is coming to an end? Well, let's make the most out of the remaining school holiday period and be thankful for messy houses and noisy kids. Have a great festive month ahead, people!

Don't let the rain dampen your day {The inaugural SKECHERS Friendship Walk 2018}

Posted by ~Summer~ on December 05, 2018
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As the dark clouds loomed above our heads last Saturday afternoon, we remained naively hopeful for the day ahead and wished that the weather would be kind to us since it was a day the kids had been looking forward to.

Clad in our new, eye-catching SKECHERS shoes, we knew that one way or another, we would still be a part of the inaugural SKECHERS Friendship Walk. It was going to be a 5km walk and we had every intent of challenging ourselves by not bringing the stroller or baby carrier, but to instead make the kids walk with us for every step of the journey.

Alas, the downpour started as we were making our way to Gardens by the Bay East and the hubby casually commented "How to walk like that?" I was feeling unsure too but in wanting to keep everyone's spirits high, I told him there would be a way out somehow and we just had to get there first. So we managed to find a parking lot, brought along our umbrellas and made our way to the starting point with hopeful hearts.

So why were we looking so dry despite the rain? Well, that was all thanks to the ideal event venue - Bay East Bridge, which is partially sheltered under Benjamin Sheares Bridge. Not only do you get to escape from the rain, you also get a picturesque view of the waterfront skyline at Bay South. It was a pleasant surprise to see that the place was already crowded with the walk participants and many more were streaming in too, yay! Never let the rain dampen your spirits, right? In fact, a little bit of rain might just make things more fun too. We'll see about that in a while!

Since this was a Friendship Walk after all, we were happy and excited to see some of our friends too. The walk was a perfect opportunity for us to feel thankful for everything in our lives at the moment - family, friends, good healthy, a safe country, a happy home and so much more. I also reminded myself that while family remains at my top priority, I have to make time for friends and do my part to keep the friendship ties going strong too. Nothing ever falls from the sky, right?

The girls were excited to see a handful of inflatable loungers in front of the big screen which would be where the movie screening would be held after the walk. These loungers were surprisingly comfortable and I started to think we should get one for our beach sessions too because they are so easy to set up and nice to sit, or even lie, in too.

Thanks to the thoughtful event organisers, they came up with the idea of a SKECHERS village that incorporated fun games, food trucks, free ice cream, redeemable gifts and pop-up stores to keep the participants busy and entertained while waiting for the run to flag off. While things had to be delayed by half an hour since they had to wait for the skies to clear and make sure there was no lightning alert, no one was complaining because there were so many activities to join in.

First up, we did archery and were ready to queue up even though there was long line of people. The nice surprise came when a staff came up to tell us that kids could join a separate queue so we didn't have to wait long for them to have a go. See, even the toddler was able to join in the fun and he was so proud that he actually shot an arrow all by himself!

Next, we did the cup balancing where each participant had to balance four cups on top of the poles. This was not easy and took a lot of hand-eye coordination and I was happy to see that the kids were patient enough not to give up halfway.

My favourite game was the one-legged race and while the sisters went together and couldn't stop laughing the whole time, the hubby and I went next and we did it while carrying the clingy toddler who refused to get down.

Yup, it was a good reminder that this man is not only my life partner but also my confidant and best friend too. And I honestly wouldn't be where I am today, if not for him.

After we finished three activities and redeemed the free umbrellas, the announcement came and the run was going to start in a few minutes, yippee yay! Our initial plan was to do the walk with our friends over at Life's Tiniest Miracles who have become our good friends over the years but we eventually got separated because our family walked at a much slower pace. Haha. Plus, the kids really wanted to go through every single inflatable obstacle - there were three in total - and we didn't want to discourage or stop them so we ended up doing the walk on our own, which was not a bad idea too because it gave us a couple of hours of deeply cherished family bonding time.

See this very cute photo opportunity at the finishing line? I love how it makes you do, or at least try to do, all the poses. Thankfully, we had a bit of time to take these pictures before the race started because it was all dark when we came back (yes, we literally walked from 天亮到天黑) and quite impossible to take any nice shots.

We have been fans of SKECHERS shoes over the years because they are really pretty to look at and comfortable to wear. I'll share more about our shopping experience below but here's quick look at our newest additions! The kids are super in love with their stylish looking kicks while I am so glad to finally have proper walking shoes that will take me to new places.

The mascots for the run were so strikingly cute this year. See the giant shoes above? Yup, the little girl who loves her Twinkle Toes shoes had to get a photography with them. Do your kids love shoes that can light up too?

Finally, it was time to start our run! We were thankful to SKECHERS for providing the umbrellas (each participant could redeem one after completing three activities at the village) because they came in pretty handy during the long walk. Yes, it was still drizzling but we were not going to let a little rain get in our way, were we?

Shortly after, we arrived at the first obstacle challenge - which was basically an inflatable obstacle course that you had to go through from one end to the other. Most of the participants chose to give this a pass and just continued with the walk because let's face it - wet ground, muddy patches and slippery course don't seem to be the most welcoming thought when you are still trying to shelter yourself and the kids from the rain.

Nonetheless, we didn't waver from our initial resolution and our first line to the kids was "Go and have fun!", which you bet thrilled them to the max. Since it wasn't a competition for the fastest timings and it didn't matter if we were the last to finish the walk, we let them take their time to cross the obstacle and just enjoy every step they took.

That was when we realised we had to make a U-turn and walk back to the starting point and I was like "Really? So fast? They must have cut short the route due to the rain." Yup, that comes from someone who didn't check the route beforehand and made assumptions along the way. The kids were getting dismayed too because they seriously wanted to try out the other two obstacles which were nowhere in sight.

Thankfully, we realised that we had to pass the starting point and walk the other direction now instead. Phew. That means we were probably going to walk the entire 5km, yay! It was such an enjoyable one because of the cool breeze and the beautiful scenic route that we told ourselves to breathe in the fresh, crisp air and take it all in.

Instead of just walking, we stopped a few times to take some family photos, to let the kids spot the bugs in the bushes (one of their favourite pastimes), to smell the blooms and to purely enjoy each other's company. It was a long trek to the next obstacle and we took over 30 minutes just to reach there! I was very proud of the girls for not complaining about being tired and as for the boy, even though he would occasionally ask us to carry him, this was definitely the longest walk he has done on his own too because he walked over half of the 5km journey himself. Not too bad for a soon-to-be three-year-old, right?

Just before we reached the second obstacle, we passed by a friend who told us "It's very muddy" which did make us hesitate a little. Still, it wasn't as bad as we thought (after all, we did the Spartan Race last month) and seeing that there was no one on the obstacle and we would be the only ones there, it was too inviting to reject. We even managed to get a family shot together at the end and the kids bounced around a little longer.

After that, it was time for us to make our way back to the finishing line which was harder than it sounds because it was yet another over 30-minute walk for us. This, coupled with the fact that we were distracted by the picturesque night scene and that the kids took out their flashlights to hunt for bugs, meant that we were one of the last to complete the walk. I wouldn't change any of that though because of what we gained in return, you know what I mean.

By then, it was almost nightfall and we were all getting a little exhausted too. The little brother demanded to be carried but the Daddy and I both rejected him after a few times because we wanted him to push himself to carry on too. Well, I guess he has to be thankful to have elder sisters who dote on him because the firstborn came up to offer to piggyback him and she did that for quite an amazing distance before she switched to carrying him instead. Yes, this lucky boy lor.

I couldn't resist taking a photo with my babies too because come on, just look at our breathtaking, unique Singapore skyline! Nothing quite compares to that, right?

By the time we reached the third obstacle, we could hear announcements and screams coming from the main village and it was probably because they were having the lucky draw and giving out free popcorn and candy floss for the movie screening.

We could have skipped this obstacle because it seemed so dim and there was no one on top (once again) but I guess doing it in the dark meant that the obstacle would seem harder and more fun too, right? So, let's go!

For this course, I tasked the hubby to be the photographer instead so I could do it with the kids. Haha. Yes, I get the hardest obstacle, woohoo! This was the best of the lot because you can to jump over, crawl under, squeeze past the obstacles and finally climb up a ladder before making your way down the slide - which was very fun because it was so slippery!

Woohoo! We finally made it to the finishing line and got our medals! For the determination, grit and camaraderie they displayed, I think the kids truly earned theirs.

Even though being late means we missed the starting of the screening of "Black Panther" and didn't get any leftover popcorn or candy floss, we still managed to find ourselves a good seat on the loungers and settled down for the rest of the show.

The hubby took out our picnic basket from the car in which I packed in drinks and lots of biscuits and snacks, and he also brought the last remaining food from the food trucks to fill up our starving tummies. 

We actually stayed till the very end of this exciting, action-packed movie and caught all the post-credits too. I think I could easily count how many families did it too. Haha. And that was before we decided to head for some supper before we called it a day.

A day that I was thankful for because we had so much fun together and everyone brought home some very precious memories too. This inaugural SKECHERS Friendship Walk was definitely considered a huge success despite the wet weather - which in our view, only upped the fun factor - and we can't wait to come back again next year!


Shopping at SKECHERS

I've had a few queries from some of you asking which outlet we got our SKECHERS shoes from so here's sharing more. We visited the store at ION Orchard (#B4-28) which is one of our favourites because the place is spacious, has good lighting and comfortable benches for you to try on your shoes, plus you can find most of the available shoe designs too.

It was the first time that the hubby and I tried out the GoWalk series and what I love about this Revoluation Ultra design is that it has a soft, stretchable fabric at the top, is lightweight and has good cushioning, features a strap for more precise fit, and the Air Cooled Goga Mat insole makes it airy and breathable, keeping feet nice and dry. We've been wearing ours for long walks and trips to the zoo and so far, they feel really comfortable even if we put them on for long hours.

As for the kids, they've been wearing SKECHERS shoes for a long time and this time, the big girl chose a pair of Ultra Flex shoes in black while the boy went for the Comfy Flex in red. These designs are sporty and stylish looking and the cushioned comfort insole makes a huge difference, making them happy to be wearing these shoes all day long.

And for the little sister, her dreams came true with this pair of pretty white and pink Twinkle Breeze sneakers from Twinkle Toes series. We love the colour combination because they are easy to match and it's awesome that the lights can be turned off too - which we do when we want to save battery or when we visit places like Night Safari. Fashionable kids' shoes are usually not so kind to the feet, but this one does it all by being comfy to wear and good to look at too. Well, it definitely lit up her day for sure.

Thanks to SKECHERS for being the brand that we can trust and will continue to support, year after year. We are so excited to set foot in more places in these new kicks!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with SKECHERS. All photos and opinions are our own.

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