Happiness is.... going on epic adventures

Posted by ~Summer~ on March 30, 2023
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2022 ended with a big bang for us as we went on fun-filled outings, celebrated milestones and finally travelled as a family. Yes, it has been years since we stepped out of our sunny island and despite owning a passport since he was a couple of months old, Ansel had not had the chance to go on a holiday with us. So can you imagine my excitement when we drove through the customs and he got his first ever stamp? Woohoo!

Well, we didn't travel far or take the airplane but instead visited our neighbouring countries only. But that sufficed to make all of us super happy! I kept our trip to Legoland Malaysia as a surprise for the kids so they didn't have a clue about it till the day itself. They didn't think that a vacation was possible - we told them travelling as a family of six is very costly - so they were truly over the moon. Moreover, we celebrated Ariel and Asher's birthdays there and made the trip so memorable. Stay tuned for more on that soon.

Woooo, and I also brought the kids on our first mum-and-kids vacation and it was soooooo awesome! Yup, I took a leap of faith, chose to believe that I could handle it, planned another surprise trip just before the year ended and brought the kids to Club Med Bintan all on my own. And.... we had a blast! You know what the kids said? They hope we can do this every year! Haha. I guess we can always dream, right?

In this last post of "Happiness is..." for 2022, it's about going on epic adventures and making memories that last.


We had a freezing cold but fun time in Ice Magic Asia! In case you are wondering why most of us were in shorts, well, it was because we were there on a media invite to Great Bay Fiesta and I thought we were just going to watch the circus and play some carnival rides.

The icy snow was a surprise bonus for us but the kids were very excited because, well, when do you get to see so much ice and snow in sunny Singapore? So with our bare hands and legs, we braved the cold and tried ice bowling, ice cycling and had an adrenaline rush as we whizzed down slippery, steep slopes on sleds and rubber donuts. I scraped my hand in the process and is now left with a forever scar, but it was all still worthwhile to see their smiles.

See how cute is this penguin pancake? The kids loved it and they liked watching the creation process too. Now that it is the school holidays, I like to take them to try new things, eat new food, see new sights and just bond and have fun. We can never get tired of carnivals and they enjoyed the Uncle Ringo funfair even though they only went on a couple or rides - yes, it can get pretty costly when you have four kids so I always remind them that contentment is bliss and we should count our blessings.

Playgrounds are a must visit during the school holidays and we are fortunate to have an abundance of free playgrounds to choose from. We like the one at VivoCity because there are both wet and dry ones and the place feels very spacious too.

Well, we weren't planning on getting wet because we were going for a Taekwondo class but when the boys said they wanted to play, I let them go ahead and went to buy an extra set of clothes for Asher - Ansel had a spare shirt in my bag already. I hope he appreciates the spontaneity and the freedom to do what he likes. It was nice seeing the two boys playing together and I guess having a 5-year age gap isn't bad too.

We love Jurong Bird Park and while we are looking forward to the opening of the new park at Bird Paradise, we are also a little sad to see the old one go. So many memories, so much fun, so thankful for having visited it numerous times during the kids' growing up years. I decided we HAD to go there one last time before it closed so the kids and I went on a mum-and-kids outing to see all the amazing and magnificent birds, as well as the picturesque waterfall.

Come to think of it, we've celebrated the kids' birthdays here a few times as they really love being here and enjoy the bird feeding sessions too. Those are the moments that we will hold onto for a long time and I am so glad I made videos for the kids to remember too.

A lot of people ask me how do I handle going out with four kids and the answer is practice makes perfect. Don't be afraid to try - even if you fail once or twice and have a disastrous outing - and keep on believing in yourself. 

While I do have the older ones to help me out with the toddler and make sure no harm comes to him, it is not true to say that they don't give me a headache at times. They still bicker, still complain, still get into childish fights and still engage in backtalking that really drives me up the wall. Yup, actually I think it's easier handling a baby or toddler because they mainly eat, poop, play and sleep. But yes, I am still a mum who is learning every step of the way and I think there is still so, so, so much more for me to experience and learn as my kids grow up even more.

That said, I truly enjoy our mum-and-kids outings and hope to do more of such trips before they all turn into adults and have their own lives. Even though they might leave me feeling exhausted on some days, they leave me feeling a sense of achievement and joy like no other and I know that my kids will remember all the fun times we had too. They always say I am the most adventurous mums they know - I mean, they probably don't know a lot, haha - and they are very thankful that we get to go out and explore so often.

Birdz of Play is one of our all-time favourite wet play areas so we had to come here for a final time before it closed for good. We were patiently waiting for it to reopen after closing for so long during the pandemic and the kids were literally jumping for joy seeing that it was finally opened. 

They wasted no time in changing into their wetsuits and had so much splashing good fun for that couple of hours. What I loved seeing more was that they did not dash off to play on their own but would instead stick together as a team to play. Yup, they even devised a way to slide down with all four of them being interlocked together and they did it over and over and over again, with each time ending in lots of smiles and loud laughter.

They also loved it when the giant bucket tipped over and gallons of water fell of them - that is such a sight, isn't it? They would hug the toddler to protect him and huddle together as a group while I just did what I always did - film away and turn everything into a clip for them to remember. Yup, I don't like to sit down to relax or enjoy a cuppa but prefer to stay close to them so I can film them in action and take some photos to remember these precious moments. That's just me. I even got myself wet in the process with no extra clothes to change into but it only made me laugh out loud and be thankful for such happy days.

The school holidays also saw us having play dates with friends and it's always nice to come together to have some fun! While I love bringing the kids out myself, it is also important for them to learn to interact, socialise and get along well with others. This is especially so for Ansel who doesn't go to school yet so seeing him on play dates helps him to develop his social skills too. 

The eldest had been asking if we could paint our nails and in wanting to save cost, we decided to buy a couple of nail polish home to DIY ourselves. Yup, it was a girly session for the girls and myself and makes me very thankful to have not one, but two daughters to do these stuff with. I also love all our girly talks about BGR, Kpop idols, makeup and even gossip. Haha. Yes, the nice part of having older kids is they feel more like your friend than your kid at times and I am deeply for that. Please let Mama continue to be your BFF so we can share secrets, okay?

We love having a bouncing good time so we were excited to visit Funtasia which features lots of giant, fun-filled inflatables including two which had a 10-metre slide that saw us whizzing down at super fast speeds. Even though this was a media invite, I reminded myself that aside from working, I ought to get into action too so there I was, climbing up and down every inflatable - and panting at the steep ones while carrying the toddler, leaping across 'rivers' and jumping into foam pits. It was so fun to play together with the kids instead of just watching them. Never let the child in us die!

Despite watching movies on Netflix more often nowadays so as to save cost, we still love to go to the cinema once in a while. There is just something different about watching it on a big screen and being surrounded by a good sound system, yummy snacks and loved ones. We watched Puss in Boots: The Last Wish this month and the kids enjoyed it thoroughly! Funny and action-packed yet meaningful, it's the kind of show that I like too.

Christmas is always a time for the family to come together to celebrate and setting up the Christmas tree has become an annual mum-and-kids activity for us. This year, we had yummy Christmas cakes, received presents from Santa Claus (thank you!) and also had a family gathering where we exchanged presents with the extended family, had a delicious teppanyaki dinner and feasted on a delightful ice cream logcake to celebrate Ariel and Asher's birthdays. Yup, the year end is always a busy period for me!

The kids have been asking for a hamster for a long time ever since our last one passed away. I kept telling them to wait till Ansel is slightly older and I also wanted them to be sure that it wasn't just a fleeting moment of enthusiasm. Now that Ansel is turning two, I think we are ready to welcome a furry pet. 

So, as part of their Christmas gift for 2022, we made our way to the pet store and bought back this cute little addition to our family. Say hi to Milo! I hope you will lead a charmed and happy life with us, okay?

I've always wanted to do a mum-and-kids vacation since the hubby is not always free to join us and because I wanna make more fond memories with them while they are still young. Just before the year ended, I finally did it and brought the kids to Club Med Bintan on my own, woohoo! It was truly an epic experience and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

Was it smooth-sailing? Well, it was good but let's face it, it can't be peaceful when you have kids, right? The tantrums, bickers and sibling rivalry are part and parcel of life. Plus, we started off the trip with a seasick toddler who vomitted big time on the ferry and drenched me, himself and our baby carrier in his puke. Yup, eeewwwww. We were smelly and yucky when queueing up at the customs and eventually missed our bus too but hey, the bright side is we made it! I will be sharing more about our trip soon so stay tuned patiently, yeah?

One of my favourite activities in Club Med is the trapeze and I am glad all of us, except for the underaged toddler, got to do it. The kids had their sessions outdoors and all managed to do an upside down pose and back flip while I tried my best to master a few looks-easy-but-actually-very-hard-to-do poses on the stationery trapeze.

We also played badminton, basketball, squash, archery and had fun catching each other in the Kids Club swimming pool when no one was around. Yup, it was just me and my kids giggling and running after each other and we loved it.

In wanting to revisit a place we went and loved previously and also in the spirit of being an adventurous mum, we booked a taxi and made our way to Safari Lagoi, which is around a 30-min drive from Club Med. 

The kids absolutely loved it here because they got to see and feed animals like elephants, fish, monkeys, rabbits, deer and even crocodiles too. Yes, they all love animals so going to a safari or zoo is a natural choice when we go abroad. We also took photos with a majestic python and handsome owl too!

Last but not least, we also had a blast in Legoland Malaysia, a place we love but have not visited for years due to the pandemic. The kids made so many happy memories here and I am just thankful that Ansel gets to experience all the fun too now that he is more active and playful.

He totally loved meeting the Lego policeman and also went on his first theme park rides. This boy was scared of the dark, for instance the Lost Kingdom and Ninjago rides, and preferred to stay in well-lit playgrounds to play with balls. Haha. He loved the boat ride though and because of that, we queued up to take it not once but twice so as to make him happy.

The older kids still enjoy majority of the rides too but having a younger sibling to accompany makes it so much more fun. I was wondering if Angel would find Legoland boring now that she is a teenager but she still loved the rides, especially the rolller coasters, so that is a good thing. The water theme park was also fun because we got to go on fun slides, splash in the wave pool, and enjoy the flow in the river.

I wanna share more about our trip in the next post because it is their birthday post after all but here's a sneak peek at our unique cake cutting ceremonies that were held in the comfort of our hotel room using very simple, frozen cakes bought from the supermarket.

So much love, so much fun, so many precious memories, and so many things to be thankful for. 2022 has been a good year and we look forward to sharing more of our family experiences and the kids' growing up journey with you in the next year.

Till the next post of "Happiness is..."! 


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