Happiness is... making the days count

Posted by ~Summer~ on July 05, 2017
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So the school holidays came and went in a flash. Yup, just like that. I was very much looking forward to it because other than meaning that we could get to sleep in instead of having to wake at 6:30am every weekday morning, it also meant that I would have so much free time to be with the kids and just do what we wanna do and go where we wanna go.

I didn't sign them up for any holiday enrichment classes and if there was one thing I was trying to remind myself, it was that I needn't be stressed over holidays or keep wanting to fill up every day with activities. Sometimes, it was okay for them to be bored so they could be creative and come up with their own kind of entertainment; and at other times, we would just let fate decide and be spontaneous about what we could do when the day came.

It turned out that we did do a whole bunch of things last month and looking back, I don't know how we managed it but I'm just glad that we did all we did and made the most of every bit of the holidays. In June's "Happiness is...", it's not about counting the days, it's about making the days count.


I brought the kids to FutureWorld (again!) and they had such a blast! This time, the baby brother was able to join in many of the activities including playing on the slide, colouring and interacting with the exhibits. Their favourite of all was, not surprisingly, the slippery and very fun slide! Yup, even though the toddler slipped and fell a couple of times, the trio were unstoppable and they must have gone on the slide near 50 times. Not exaggerating.

This was my favourite photo for the day because to me, it spoke volumes about the love between the two sisters. Yes, they may snatch toys from each other, fight or squabble over little things, but the truth remains that they love and care for each other deeply.

After seeing so much of the Children's Biennale on social media, we decided to make our way to the National Gallery one Friday. It was our first time there and honestly, I didn't expect such huge crowds and long queues! Nonetheless, we didn't give up and I have to say it was worth the wait because the kids enjoyed themselves tremendously. You know what was one thing that made me a proud mum this holidays? Well, we practically travelled to all these places by public transport and never wasted money on cabs. Yes! Be it to museums, to Science Centre or just to town, the kids and I went via MRT and buses and it might not mean much when I say it like that, but surviving with three kids not once but umpteen times definitely makes it an achievement for me.

Speaking of Science Centre, yes, despite the 3-hour travelling time to and fro, we had a fun-filled day and the kids had the rare opportunity to make snow angels, ride on snow sleighs and come up close with beautiful butterflies too. I recently started a series on A SAHM's Story, right? Being able to go for outings like this with my kids makes me feel so thankful that I am a stay-at-home mum. Really. I get the freedom and luxury of time to do things with the kids, even if it means ditching the chores for a while. Of course, we're also very thankful for such media invites and that probably means it's worthwhile staying up every night just to blog (guess what time I slept last night? 4:30am!).

Since it's the holidays after all, we decided to bring the kids for movie treats and watched not one, not two but three shows in total! Pirates of Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge, Wonder Woman, Transformers: The Last Knight - we watched them all (and survived!). I must say I'm getting better at timing the toddler's nap with the movie timing so that he gets to sleep snugly in my arms while the hubby and I get to enjoy the show in peace with our girls. Not always easy, but yes, we still try to do it from time to time.

I've always been attracted by pasar malams and find myself walking towards it whenever I see one. Even if my initial plan is just to see see look look and buy some (oily) food to eat, I usually end up giving in to the kids and letting them play on a couple of rides or games. After all, this will be what childhood memories are made of, right? Still, these Uncle Ringo rides and games are getting wayyyy too expensive and priced at $5 each, the girls could only choose two activities to participate in. They were super duper thrilled when they each won a Shopkins stuffed toy at the fishing game stall! Woohoo!

It was a spontaneous decision made after I lugged the kids to ICA to collect Ariel's passport, that we should make it a melodious day by spending it at Manekineko. Yes, all of us love singing! You should take a look at the list of pop songs the girls can sing now - Closer, Fight Song, What makes you beautiful, Perfect, Thinking out loud, Just give me a reason, Roar, Fireworks, Just the way you are, Shake it off and more! I'm serious. They can now officially sing more pop songs than their mummy. I loved how the room had a kids corner with some Lego-like blocks and of course, the free flow of drinks, titbits and soft serve!

The hubby says he doesn't understand why the kids love balloons so much and sometimes forbids them to take them home. How sad, right? I mean, who doesn't love balloons as a kid? Yup, my hubby. So he dreads it when the kids bring balloons to his car or leaves them lying around the house. I, for one, totally support it though because I know the amount of joy a single balloon can bring. In fact, I brought home three huge (and free!) helium balloons and travelled on the MRT with the kids and all our bulky belongings for the sole reason that it would make the kids happy. Silly or smart? Don't tell me.

VivoCity is one of the best and kid-friendly shopping malls to visit so we made our way there a couple of times last month. The revamped outdoor playground has many features that the kids love, including a steep slide, trampolines and a water fountain. On our most recent visit, the kids wanted to get themselves all wet and though we didn't bring enough clothes for all of them, the hubby and I just went "Why not?" and so while he kept an eye on them as they got soaked, I grabbed a couple of dresses from Cotton On which were on sale and going at $10 each for the girls. We continued on with dinner and the kids went home, probably loving us more than ever. Haha.

Having stayed in Scandinavia for five years and with a firstborn who was born in Sweden, I couldn't possibly miss out on paying Nordic Adventures in Changi Airport a visit. Seeing the Aurora Borealis on screen, the memorable Dala horses, the picturesque Stockholm Old Town, they all evoked a sense of nostalgia and I know that no matter how many years have passed us by, Sweden will always hold that special place in my heart. P.S. It was hilarious when the kids were playing pretend picnic and the baby boy assumed that all the fruits were real! He tried to eat the banana and even plucked off a grape thinking that he could gobble them all up. Ahhh, my little fruit lover.

Which kid doesn't love ice cream? We were thrilled to join in the Paddle Pop KidzFest which was held at Waterway Point and not only did the girls manage to play games and eat FREE ice cream, they also took part in the Kidzania Paddle Pop station which was exactly like what they did in the real Kidzania. It was also an opportunity for me to encourage the girls to overcome their stage fright and although they needed a whole lot of persuasion, they eventually took the leap of faith and went up on stage to try their luck. It's never about winning, my dears, it's about trying your very best.

The Singapore Zoo has always been one of our favourite places to visit and the kids never get tired of coming up close with their animal friends. In June, we attended a ST Marine event and took part in a terrarium making contest. It was very fun and creative in that we needed to come up with our own concept according to the theme "The Perfect Family Holiday Destination". We designed what we call the Rainbow Island (inspired by our matching shirts), where you can only reach by taking a submarine and you get to live in a sparkly glass house, be surrounded by colourful animals, get to play on zipcords and even own a floating garden. The kids did a lot of the work, from making the clay and painting animals to taking part in quizzes and games to win extra figurines. We weren't expecting it but we ended up walking away with the third prize and $200 Taka vouchers. Woohoo!

Of course, we couldn't go home without exploring the Zoo first and so the girls were excited to be able to join in the Reptopia quest and they got to play games, do hand painting and crafting, win prizes and even dress up as crocodiles and alligators. Haha.

When we don't know where to go, the beach is always a safe bet. Provided it is not raining. The girls love hunting for animals and picking seashells while the boy is contented with playing with sand whole day long.

Guess who is in town? It's... Spider-Man! Or rather, Spider-Men. Haha. The girls dressed up as Spidey for the first time in the Spider-Man: Homecoming event held in NEX and couldn't stop trying to shoot their webs. Even the baby brother now knows who is Spidey and he makes the iconic pose (with the Pssstt Psstt sound somemore) when we say the superhero's name!

We went to Botanic Gardens in search of an elusive orchid, Dendrobium Singapore Navy Golden Jubilee, that was dubbed to celebrate Singapore Navy's 50th anniversary. Alas after a long walk, we still couldn't locate it. Nonetheless, we stopped by the swan lake and stayed there for over an hour to stay with the swans, pigeons, sparrows, catfish, koi and turtles, which really made our day.

After reading so much about the Megafun carnival in Sentosa, I wanted us to catch it before it ended and so we were that on the very last day! Yeap, despite the initial rain, it turned out that the weather became nice and cooling and we didn't have to endure the hot sun for the first two hours at least. While the boy bonded with Papa over beer and sandcastles, I took the girls to play on the slides, bouncy castles and got ourselves all foamy too!

You can probably tell that we've been trying to be more matchy matchy in terms of our outfits last month. Yup, while the kids (and the hubby) are still willing to wear the same thing, I'm going to make the most of it. Haha. Don't the kids just look cute wearing the same top?

One evening, when we were all worn out after a whole day in Legoland Water Park and then travelling back home across the jammed causeway, we went to NTU for dinner since it was on the way. Yup, the place where the hubby and I first met. Even though it was already 9 plus when we finished, we still decided to take a walk to Hall 6 and if that is not crazy enough, we then decided to run on the track and then have sprinting contests. Yes, the kids too. Gosh, energy come from where???!! And hor, I almost lost to the two girls who are getting faster, better and have more stamina than their aging mummy. Arghh. We were surprised to see this new building right behind the track and it is a reminder to us that time just seems to fly past. How many years has it been since we came a couple right here in Hall 6? Oh well, 14 long years.

Talking about Legoland, yes, we visited it again and renewed our annual passes! The kids were super thrilled to try out the new Ninjago ride and did it not once but thrice! So fun to pretend to be a ninja! As for my highlight, it would be going on the adrenaline pumping Project X ride with the big girl, twice consecutively just because she wanted to. Gosh, I was screaming when we went down at the speed of light while this girl was just laughing all the way. Well, at least I did it and I will do it again next time!

It was a 4D3N stay for us and I can't wait to share with you more on the serviced apartment we stayed in, which is just a stone's throw from Legoland. Yes, a much cheaper alternative for those who wish to stay for longer periods but find the Legoland Hotel pricing too much to bear. We also spent our last day in the Water Park and had fun taking the elder two on the fun rides (yes, Meimei has reached a few of the minimum height restrictions and she was so thrilled!) while the baby was contented to play in the Wave Pool and Duplo Splashing Safari.

Besides Legoland, we also made it to Hello Kitty Town and Thomas Town (SAFRA members can enjoy a discount!) too! Yup, this was after a yummy lunch at Kenny Rogers which is located at Puteri Harbour. You see, we might not have travelled very far from Singapore but the girls were sure very contented and happy to be going on this holiday. So many things to see, so many things to play, so many things to do!

Last but not least, we also went for a 3D2N stay in Radisson Golf and Convention Center in Batam, which happened just slightly more than a day after we came back home from Malaysia. Yesh, a little mad in terms of logistics but hey, we made it. It was the only week the hubby had time off work so we really wanted to make the most of it. Plus, Radisson has been so generous to have invited us since last year and now that we finally made our way there, they were so kind as to have sponsored us everything from accommodation and activities to couple spa and all our F&B too. Yes, we were VIPs for that couple of days and I must say, shiok ah! I will be sharing my review and all the things we did very soon, so stay tuned, okay?

So there you go, this was our very busy but fun-filled and happy month of June. It wasn't without the usual tantrums, whines or sibling fights and yes, even when we were on holiday, I had to keep nagging at the kids which isn't new to any mum, right? But, I'm just very thankful that we accomplished all we did this school holidays and that the kids managed to get some quality time with their Daddy whom they have been seeing less of since the year began. We are all looking forward to the second half of 2017!


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