A long-awaited holiday - Ariel is 10 and Asher is 7!

Posted by ~Summer~ on May 08, 2023
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December 2022 was a special time because it marked the birthdays of Ariel and Asher. Despite our tradition of not having lavish parties, I still wanted to make it a special occasion for the two of them.

I must say the pandemic has totally changed the way we celebrate birthdays in our home. If you recall, I used to host themed parties for the girls every year and would invite a small bunch of their best friends over for fun-filled games and activities. However, when big gatherings and house visits were disallowed, we celebrated as a family instead. Even if they were kept simple, this new way of celebration sufficed to fill their love tanks.

Usually, I would let the birthday girl/boy choose a place to visit, be it an indoor playground or the zoo. This time, I was the planner for all the kids' birthdays and just like how Angel's 13th birthday was kept as a surprise till the very last minute, the kids had no idea what we were gonna do or where we were gonna go. The suspense built up over the weeks was exciting and I had to work very hard to make sure no other adult in the family - including the hubby and our parents who were informed of our plans - let the cat out of the bag.

Well, it has been three long years since we last travelled as a family and we've never done so as a family of six. So we decided to take the kids to somewhere nearby so we didn't have to spend a bomb yet be able to have a fun-filled retreat. Where better than to head to Legoland Malaysia, a colourful wonderland which would save us on travel cost and is still a place that the kids enjoy and love very much?

Yes, so Legoland, here we comeeeeee!

Legoland Hotel

It's been many years since we stayed in Legoland Hotel because we usually opt for a nearby apartment to cut down on accommodation cost. But since we had two birthdays to celebrate this time round and it was Ansel's first visit, we went forth to splurge a little and booked a 3-night stay in Legoland hotel.

Our Kingdom themed room was a hit with the kids and after letting out lots of "Wahhhh" and "Woooo",  the first thing they did was to debate about who was gonna sleep on which bed since there was a bunk bed as well as a pull out bed.

The kids loved hanging out in the lobby because of all the Lego you get to play with. They were free to use their creativity to build anything they liked and these ranged from hearts and flowers to guns and towers. I think they would be contented to stay here for hours - such simple joy is deeply cherished!

One of the best parts about staying in the hotel was that we got to feast on a lovely buffet breakfast every morning, woohoo! The kids enjoyed the widespread of yunmy food and I reminded them not to take it for granted because we most likely wouldn't get to indulge again in the near future. Haha.

Back in our room, the kids liked playing the treasure hunt by solving clues to get the number code to open up the safe. Inside, there were a couple of packets of Lego which served as their prizes. We also made use of the safe to safeguard the birthday presents and handmade cards and when it was their birthday, the first thing Ariel and Asher did when they woke up was to dash to the safe to open up their presents. See all the joy and smiles in the video below.

A Last Minute Scare

You know, even though we had planned this trip months ago, it almost couldn't come to fruition at the last minute. This was because just hours before we were supposed to set off, I was packing the luggage in the wee hours and to my horror, I realised that Ariel's passport was only left with three months' validity. Oh dear! How careless of me not to have checked beforehand. 

The hubby and I were deciding on what to do and came up with some alternative plans but I knew it would be a bummer for the kids if we had to split up or in worst case scenario, cancel the trip. Ariel woke up at 5:30am feeling all excited because I had told her we would set off at 6am or so. However, she was greeted with the news that she had to take a photo and I would renew her passport asap and the two us would dash down to ICA the moment it opened to appeal our case.

I saw this precious darling of mine tear up because she was looking forward to this trip and to celebrating her birthday so she would truly be disapppointed if our plans had to be shelved.

We reached at around 8:30am and after a long wait to explain our case - we realised many others were in the same predicament too and some even had to miss their flight due to the passport issue - we were given priority since our accommodation was already booked. Lo and behold, we got to talk to an immigration officer by 11am and after reminding me not to let this happen again, she gave us a ticket to return at 1:30pm to collect the new passport. Yayyyyy! 

So we didn't even need to skip any night - initially we thought the renewal might at least take a day - and only ended up arriving late in Legoland at past 4pm. But it also meant we had a nice lunch first, that we skipped the jam nearly entirely and that we didn't need to queue up to renew our park passes - there was no queue at all. Phew.

It turned out that everything worked out in the end and Ariel and I were so relieved. Yippee, we are so lucky!

Ansel's First Overseas Trip

The fact that this was Ansel's first time going abroad made this trip all the more special. He is the 小宝贝 of the family and the siblings dote on him very much. I think having him in our lives just makes everything better and every day, we are just so thankful that he is ours.

Of course, he ended up loving Legoland a lot - which kid doesn't? - and had lots of fun. Actually, there aren't many rides that he can take due to the minimum height requirement. Let's see, for this first visit, he managed to go on Legoland Express which is the train that takes you all around the park, he went on the Duplo Express which is a mini train even though he was still below 90cm tall, he went on the Boating School not once but twice because he enjoyed it very much. Yup, I think that was all. Oh, he also enjoyed the playgrounds, especially the slides, even though he still needed encouragement before he could slide down on his own. 

He was a gem while waiting for his siblings and since I usually try to video them on the rides, all he could do was sit beside me but he did it without complaints. Awwww. I love this innocent age where all it takes for them to be happy is to have food, sleep and be with their loved ones. 

One of his most memorable moments during the trip was meeting Mr. Policeman! I included this in my video and printed their photo out as a magnet for him because he would exclaim in joy every time he saw the cute Lego mascot. I am so happy that you finally get to travel at the age of two, my dear.

Ariel and Asher's Favourite Moments

Moving onto the birthday kids, here are some of their favourite moments and rides during our stay.

-> Cotton Candy Time

They were so happy to see this at the park entrance so they each got a cotton candy that was sized bigger than their heads. So sweeeettt!

-> A Forever Keepsake

We have three personalised Lego photo brick walls at home because I did one every time our family expanded. Yup, from just a family of three to now a family of six, this latest brick wall is special to me and it is a photo of us taken in the newly opened SEA LIFE (more on that later). I also did a mother-and-daughter shot with Ariel and made it into a keychain for her too because like me, this girl loves mementos and cherishes them deeply.

-> One-on-one time

Knowing how one-on-one time matters and can make a difference, I tried to make the birthday girl/boy feel special on their big day and squeezed in pockets of one-on-one time with them too, even if it was just for five to ten minutes. For most of the rides, especially the roller coasters, I had to sit with Asher because he needed a parent to accompany him due to his height whereas Ariel would usually end up sitting with the big sister on their own.

To make up for this, I took Ariel to a ride on our own and it was the Kids Power Tower whereby you had to put on gloves and pull yourselves up using the rope before sliding down again, and repeat. It was a test of arm power for the two of us and by the third time or so, we were feeling the exhausting and finding it hard to reach the top, which ended up in us laughing out loud. That was definitely a moment to remember.

-> Let's Drive

The Driving School has always been a hit with the kids because you don't usually get to drive around in a vibrant Lego car, right? Both Ariel and Asher still love this and it's nice that they get to be with each other too - the big sister is too old for this while the littlest is too young. I would always be at the sideline to cheer for them and wave wildly to them whenever they pass me by. Haha. It's just the way I like it.

-> The Dragon

With all the twists and turns and how it leaves us screaming every time, The Dragon is easily their most favourite ride in the entire park. We must have gone on it at least 5-6 times during the three-night stay and they wished that it would never end! Once, the ride was suspended due to the rain and we were stuck in the queue for over an hour or so. Still, they didn't want to give up and were so happy when the ride resumed.

-> Getting Wet

I took the two birthday kids on the Aquazone Wave Racers and were all prepared to get wet as the rest of the family happily aimed for us and triggered the water bombs. There were a little bit of tears involved at the end because one of us got really wet but I reminded them to soak in the moment - yup, literally and metaphorically - and just let their hair down and have fun. In fact, we made a video saying "We are wet and we love it!" although it was mostly me saying that in a wildly excited way.

-> On the Boat

Besides the train ride, this Boating School was the only one where all six of us got to be together even though we were split into pairs. It was Ansel's first ride of all and a memorable one for all of us. The queue wasn't short but we patiently waited for our turn and did not once but twice, once in the day and once a night so we got to enjoy the different scenery and the kids were happy.

-> His favourite of all

The boy has been into Ninjago recently so it's not hard to know which is his favourite ride. Every time we come to Legoland, he would be eagerly waiting for the moment that he could go onto this ride. It wasn't about wanting to be the high scorer but more of just enjoying the 'shooting' and taking the bad guys down. 

-> The Great Lego Race

This used to be a VR ride but it seemed like that element had been taken out already. Nonetheless, the kids still enjoy this ride because it has the steepest slope and every time we whizz down, we would be laughing and screaming our heads off. Okay, I think the screaming part is more true for me because the hubby is always very cool and composed. Haha. Yup, we would take turns to accompany the three elder ones so that they get to spend time with both Mama and Papa.

-> Gallop Gallop

While the big sister thinks this is too kiddy for her already, both Ariel and Asher still enjoy the Royal Joust much and are waiting for the day when Ansel can join them too. It might be a simple ride but it still brings smiles to them especially when they gallop past me and I tell them to make a cool or silly face.

-> Let's Build

This is a welcome retreat from the heat because it takes place indoors as we try to build and test our own Lego car creations. The kids are always excited to make their own personal car and the best part is racing with each other to see who is the winner or letting our cars roll down steep slopes to test if they can remain in one piece.

-> Hook A Duck

This is a sure win activity that delights the kids! Ansel tried it for the first time here in Legoland and it was nice seeing how the older kids would hold his hand and help him instead of snatching over who got to hook more ducks. We ended up walking away with a really cute brown sloth, much to their delight. 

A Splashing Good Time

We would always dedicate a day to visiting the Water Park because the kids never fail to have a splashing good time there. I was initially worried if the girls would find the rides a little too kiddy but it turned out they still loved going down on the slides, floating in the build-a-raft river and soaking in the wave pool.

Now that we have Ansel, they also have an added responsibility of going down the slides with him, holding his hand to go to and fro, and letting him sit on their lap. And they are only too happy to do so because it makes all of them smile too.

One particular activity that the four of them enjoyed was the one where you could use Lego blocks to build a boat and then let it sail down the river. We must have played here for at least an hour and the boys especially loved it. They would take turns to push the lever at the starting point and we would chase after our colourful boats to retrieve them at the end.

Well, he might not be able to go for majority of the thrilling rides yet but check out his huge smiles - I think he was one of the happiest kids in Legoland that day.

As for the rest, they went on as many rides as we could queue up for and since the hubby was nursing an injured knee, I was with them for all the rides and I pretty much enjoyed the adrenaline rush too. It's just so nice to spend time together as a family, you know.

The river is always one of most loved places to be in every water park we go and the kids would ask for round after round after round. This one was particularly fun because you get to pick up foam bricks along the way and make your own raft, wall, animal or any structure you desired before dissembling them again and throwing them back into the river.

This is the place where we always eat where we are in the water park and it has become a tradition for us. The kids loved the fried chicken, cheese sausages, nuggets, and there is also wanton mee and nasi lemak too. Oh, and let's not forget every meal comes with ice cream too, woohoo! Perfect treat on a hot day.

Sibling bonding

Even though they still get into bickers every now and then, I think a vacation is wonderful in helping the siblings to bond and have a good time too. We tend to stick together more in a foreign land and I always remind ourselves to put away the phones more and just enjoy each other's company more than anything. 

I think we are very blessed to have a good mixed of both boys and girls and it's nice that the girls are close in age while the boys are not too far apart too. It's like the girls get to have a BFF to share girly secrets and do art and craft with while the boys have each other to play things like racing cars and guns. Wait, I don't mean girls can't like car and guns too but you know what I mean lah. And even though Angel and Ansel are more than 11 years apart, I see how she takes care of him and how he leans towards her like a big sister or even a mini mama too. And it can be really sweet at times.

The thing about the rides is that you need to pair up for most of it so it also gives us time to chat and bond especially during the waiting time when you queue. The girls spent a lot of time together because they can be on their own now and I hope that included some quality, sisterly bonding moments. As for the boys, they always played at the playground together so that was some nice bonding time too!

I also loved that I got to spend more time with the older three because I'm always stuck to the toddler at home 24/7. With the hubby here with us to take care of him and also since he is not that keen about rides, I got to accompany the kids and we must have spend hours just riding, waiting, talking and making goofy faces.

Our First Visit to Sea Life

We visited Sea Life for the first time since it opened and it was a pretty good and enjoyable experience - other than the fact that one of the kids had a major meltdown and took us long to settle it, haha.

It was Ariel's actual birthday so I took a few more individual shots of this pretty girl of mine. Love how she is always smiling sweetly for the camera!

Besides being able to admire these marine life up close and be awed by their beauty, the kids also liked that they got to touch sea stars and watch a show on sting rays.

There were also interactive games and activities, for instance there was a colouring station where you could be creative to colour your own fish and then see it come to 'life' on the big screen. The kids loved this one lots. There was also a game where you had to move a sea turtle and make sure it did not bump into any rubbish in the ocean, and another where you had to practise fastest fingers and touch as many fish as you can. The kids had fun!

Other Activities

Moving out of Legoland since it closed at 6pm every day, we also did some fun activities in the vicinity. 

The kids had fun riding on jeeps and colourful, glowing vehicles, including a train and tanker, at an open space right outside Legoland. We were lucky as this was not always available but our timing coincided this time due to the high traffic during the December festive season.

It was at an affordable rate too and the kids went for a few rounds as they squealed in delight and drove all around. Ansel was in good hands with his sisters and he was ecstatic while Asher loved being in the jeep.

We also had sumptuous meals including a yummy hotpot with lots of different soup and a chicken rice dinner on Asher's birthday as it is one of his favourite food.

More kiddy rides? Yes please, before the kids totally outgrow them. The firstborn is already past this phase and one by one, my kids are gonna grow bigger and not be able to fit into these cars anymore. So cherish while it lasts, yeah? This was in Aeon Mall where we headed towards for dinner and jalan jalan.

I must tell you about this newfound love of mine -it is a supermarket called B.I.G. which sits along the stretch of shops in Medini Mall right outside Legoland. It is gigantic, has plenty of fresh food, has a cafe inside, has kids' sized trolleys and there is even a playground right in the middle so that the kids can play while the parents are shopping. How nice, right? I absolutely loved shopping here and bought lots of biscuits and snacks to bring back home for the kids.

One of our favourite hangouts is FunkieZon in Medini Mall. Yes, we have been coming here a lot of times over the years even though it is just a small, simple unmanned store. This is because the kids love playing with the claw machines here (starts from RM1 per play) and there are also kiddy rides and fun marble games.

Since it was a special occasion, the kids all received a present and they each got a squishie ball! Well, it was a cheap one and didn't last very long before breaking but they still had fun while it lasted. Love those smiles and happy looks!

We also found a fishing game at one of the shops in Medini Mall and it was a sure-win activity where every kid got to win a prize at the end, be it a small gun or simple puzzle. It was nice seeing the four of them doing it together as they filled up their buckets with fishes and their hearts with warmth.

This is one of our go-to places whenever we are in Legoland and that is having a seafood dinner in Chua Kee, which is around a 15-min drive from Legoland. This time round, we played till the park closed at 8pm (it was a Thursday and the park closed slightly later), let the kids had one last try at the claw machines before we made our way here. Dinner commenced at plus 9pm and by the time we drove back to Singapore, it was past midnight already. Well, at least we made full use of our last day here and skipped the jam too!

A One-of-a-kind Cake Cutting Ceremony

A huge highlight of our stay this time round is the cake cutting ceremony because a birthday ain't complete without it, right? We walked around the shops wondering if we should buy a proper birthday cake but couldn't find a suitable one so the kids and I decided to just make do with what we could find in the supermarket. Yup, thankfully both Asher and Ariel were very receptive to the idea and thought it was quite innovative and creative to do this in the comfort of our hotel room. What was most important was that we were together as a family and the air was filled with lots of love, right?

For Ariel, she loves cheesecake so we had a Sara Lee cheesecake along with Haagen Dazs ice cream. We were initially worried if the flame would trigger off the fire alarm but thankfully, it didn't, haha. I also love how we took out all the presents and handmade cards to decorate around the cake too. Such a simple yet memorable celebration, isn't it?

As for Asher, we call him the king of fruits at home because he loves almost every kind of fruit! So his platter was filled with a chocolate cake and lots and lots of fruits! I must say it was really one-of-a-kind, right? I sure hope it sufficed to make him feel loved and special. Judging from his happy smiles, I think it sure did.

I always try to take a one-on-one pic with the birthday boy/girl on his/her birthday so this was no exception either. These memories are extremely precious to me, you know. Can't believe how many years it has been since I became a mum because they are really too fleeting at times. Gotta cherish more before the kids don't like to take any more lovey dovey photos on their big day, haha.

Of course, these are the moments while I try to capture the four siblings together too. May you grow up to always love, protect, watch over and care for one another, okay? Sibling bonds are priceless and irreplaceable, you are truly blessed to have each other. 

Precious Memories

So that's about it for this unique birthday celebration and overseas trip we did. We left here with so many precious memories and I hope the kids had a fun, happy time too. I would love for them to remember these fond moments which is why I made a video for them to look back next time.

While they are still okay with taking family photos, I made sure I took some for keepsake. The hubby is definitely not into photo taking as much as I am but thankful he helps out by being the photographer at times. Yup, I don't need luxury goods, I don't need to do facials or mani pedis, but I do need lots of photos and videos to fill up my love tank. Haha.

Every overseas trip is deeply cherished because we know it comes at a cost and the bigger our family grows, the more expensive it becomes. We can only dream of visiting faraway places like Europe or even Japan because it will cost a bomb for our family. So for now, we are truly contented with road trips like this because they still bring us lots of joy and laughter. The kids and I also did an epic trip to Club Med Bintan - again, no flight involved - and I will be sharing more on that soon, so stay tuned.

To my birthday kids Ariel and Asher, happy turning 10 and 7! Please know that Papa and Mama love you very much and we hope you greatly enjoyed this surprise trip and unique celebration that we had planned for you. We already had play dates with your good friends and did a cake cutting for you so this vacation was truly meant for us to enjoy, bond and have fun as a family. It was awesome seeing your big smiles and hearing your happy laughter and I hope you felt extra loved and special on your big day, yeah? Our love for you is unconditional and it will only grow deeper and stronger as the days pass us by. 爸爸妈妈很爱、很爱、很爱你们哦!

Till our next celebration!


Check out the highlights of our trip in the video below!


Read more on Ariel's birthday parties here:

Ariel is 9 - It's a Feeding Frenzy

Read more on Asher's birthday parties here:

Asher is 4 - It's a Batman Party
Asher is 2 - Just Keep Swimming


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