Happiness is... having a hectic but fulfilling holiday

Posted by ~Summer~ on May 28, 2024
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There are some months that are rather peaceful while others can be extremely eventful. It's usually pretty evident by the amount of photos or videos I take and a picture is worth a thousand words, right?  Beside taking photos, writing these "Happiness is..." posts also allows me to look back, to smile at the memories and to remember those feelings of joy - all these motivate me to keep going and not give up when things get tough.

November was an eventful albeit exhuasting month for us. It being the start of the school holidays meant that we had loads of activities lined up for the kids and we were out nearly every single day. Yup, we don't always need to travel overseas to have a fun time because there is so much to do and explore on our sunny island too.

In this post, it's about having a hectic but fulfilling start to the year end school holidays and having a good time bonding as a family.


First up, we went with the hubby to Navy@Vivo 2023 to show our support for his line of work and to let the kids understand better about what he does at sea. We went on a ship visit on board one of the Navy's largest ship, RSS Endeavour, and as always, it's an eye opener for the kids. We also had the opportunity to ride on board the Fast Craft Utility (FCU) which took us on a scenic route along Singapore's southern coastline.

It's not always easy explaining to the kids why Papa doesn't come home or has to work so late every single day, or why he has to go sailing now and then. Even if the kids have gotten used to this routine, it's always good to let them understand more and know why it is so important that we continue to hold the fort at home and support him wholeheartedly while he protects our shore and our country.

We love visiting Changi Airport and will usually do it once or twice every school holidays. There is always so much to do, to see, to eat and to play and it's awesome that there are so many family-friendly things to do here. This time, we had a "Candylicious Night at The Airport" and one of the highlights was visiting the a snow house where the kids whizzed down slides, sat on a reindeer sleigh made of ice, went snow sledding, played mini golf and more. 

I'm not sure when we will ever get the chance to take them to see real snow because travelling as a family of six is just way too expensive, but hopefully one day we will. Meanwhile, I deeply cherish opportunities like this and the Snow House was such a great memory for us.

We also stepped into a candy wonderland in the airport and the kids enjoyed themselves immensely at the carnival where they went on fun rides, raced each other at go karting, tried their luck at the claw machine, watched shows, ate yummy food and played carnival games. 

In the evening, we made our way to Changi Experience Studio where the kids had fun playing with the interactive games and exhibits before calling it a night and retreating into our tents. Yes, we stayed through the night in the airport and as usual, the kids enjoyed every bit of the experience and wish it never had to end.

The next day, we went for a chocolate making workshop where the kids designed and 'painted' their own bar chocolate and made chocolate truffle balls. It was deliciously enjoyable and made the whole airport experience even sweeter.

We had our first experience at roller skating at Rollermania which took place in Plaza Singapura - it was mind-blowing how the whole carpark level was converted into a roller skating rink and arcade arena. Ansel was so scared to try so eventually, he decided to ditch the skates and just run around the rink using the skating aid, haha. Oh well, we will just wait till the day you are ready, my dear. As for the rest of us, even though we lost our balance and fell a couple of times, it was still a very enjoyable experience and I'm glad we did it together.

Do you love to sing? I used to and I guess I still do. KTVs used to be a favourite pastime for my pals and I back in those days and we would always sing to our hearts' content. With kids, it gets harder but I guess the good thing is my kids love to sing too! I've introduced so many Chinese pop songs and even Cantonese songs to them over the years and it's nice that we can sing together. I also listen to them belting out the English and Kpop songs and learn a thing or two from them too.

Indoor playgrounds are still a hit with the kids and we usually only go to those who send us media invites because I find it pretty expensive even though it's really fun. We visited SkyPark by Kiztopia in Cineleisure which is one of the newest parks in town and I must say we did have a blast! Even though I have to work for invites by taking lots of photos and videos to share on social media, I always tell myself to not just stand by the side and watch but instead to join in the fun and get into action too. 

This time, I got dressed in a velcro suit and had lots of fun on the sticky wall with the kids. We tried jumping high, we tried jumping sideways, we tried doing splits, we made lots of funny poses and we couldn't resist getting into laughing fits whenever we saw each other. This was one of the highlights of the visit and I'm so happy that we laughed so much together and made so many priceless memories.

The kids also had fun scaling high walls and going through obstacle courses and I have to remind them that we are lucky to get such opportunities to visit these playgrounds and need to cherish them while they still last. I mean, once everyone of them becomes a teenager or older, I'm not sure what places we will be visiting but I guess it won't be kiddy places or indoor playgrounds anymore. 

So for as long as we can now in the next few years, we will try to treasure every playground visit, even the ones in our neighbourhood. My kids, even the older ones, still love to climb webs, play tag and challenge each other so we probably still have several years to go, especially since Ansel is only three. I sure hope I can keep up with them even when I turn 50! Haha.

I brought the younger ones for the highly raved multi-sensory Immersive Disney animation and it was quite an unique experience! They enjoyed listening to the Disney songs and watching the familiar scenes on screens, and the highlight was the snow, bubbles and interactive floors which made them hop, jump, spin and twirl.

I cherish one-on-one dates very much and knowing that the youngest will be going to school next year, even if it is for a short 3-hour period only, I was elated that we finally got to go on our date. Well, while the eldest and I went for a concert, the secondborn and I had a cooking session, and the korkor and I went to play arcade, this toddler was happy to go anywhere with Mama and we decided to go Polliwogs in Clarke Quay since the daughter won a free pass in a lucky draw last year.

He was all smiles the entire morning as we played ball fights, slid together, shot air cannon balls (at least a hundred of them because he enjoyed it so much), played puzzles before having his favourite udon soup for lunch. Awww, seeing you happy makes me soooo happy, my love.

The hubby suggested that we pay a visit to LKY museum and so we did. It was a fascinating, educational trip and the kids learnt fun facts about Mr Lee and his growing up years. I hope that through such experiences, the kids will better appreciate what we have today and never forget that all this is a result of the hard work of our pioneers who helped build our nation from nothing, overcame endless hurdles, fought wars and worked tirelessly so that from a fishing village, our nation can become the bustling modern metropolis that it is today. We owe them just too, too much.

The zoo is another of our favourite hangouts and we checked out the newly opened KidzWorld and went on a Ranger Buddy Quest. The kids had fun playing at the interactive stations, watching animal shows and admiring the newly added animals, including lots of cute critters. We were thankful to be able to spend time with Buddy the golden retriever and gave him a pat before he passed on a few days later. Thank you for putting on such awesome shows for us!

The animal interaction part is what the kids enjoy the most as they get to come up close with animals like cats, bunnies and goats. It's nice to know that all of them generally love animals and enjoy their company which also explains why we keep coming back to our beloved zoo and wildlife parks.

Are we nearing the end of the list yet? Well, not quite. Yup, I told you we did quite a lot of activities this month. Let's see. We also visited the Whimsical Sea-Mas Water Park in Sengkang Grand Mall where the kids had a fun water play session indoor. I didn't want to stand outside to watch so I put on the life jacket and got myself wet too. In fact, the kids and I had races where we competed to get from point to point and we slipped down and even fell into the water, all while laughing out loud. They also enjoyed the carnival rides like hamster wheel, paddle boat, ball games, train ride and more.

Remember our Halloween partyHalloween party last month? Well, I received a thank you note with lots of cute origami from Ariel as her way of showing her appreciation for my efforts. Awwwww, thank you for making all it worthwhile and I am so glad you enjoyed the that evening of fun and games, my dear.

November was also a time of celebration as my mum turned a year wiser and turned 70. I guess I'm like her in some ways, one of which is how we both don't need fancy birthday celebrations. This being a huge milestone for her, I wanted to treat her to someplace unique but she said that we could just dine out in a nearby mall at her place then head home for the cake cutting. So that was what we did.

My dad was in charge of the cakes and he bought a few slices of cake from Four Leaves. I thought that was a tad too little and would be hard to blow and cut so we dashed to the nearest supermarket to get this really cheap chocolate sponge cake for just a couple of dollars. Haha. I know you don't mind anything, Mama, as long as everyone is happy and healthy. Well, at least the kids did handwritten cards and I personally crafted a bouquet of paper flowers, hopefully she will feel our sincerity and love for her. 

We were thrilled to be one of the first to stay at The Bus Collective and it was a truly unique one because we had never imagined that a decommissioned bus could be refurbished into a luxurious resort. Read more about our experience here. It was a brief 2D1N stay that was jam packed with activities like cycling, nature walks, barbecue, movie night and more. Every staycation feels like a holiday to the kids and since they happen quite rarely for us, we absolutely cherish every part of it. Well, that is not to say that there were no tantrums, bickering, nagging or chiding because you and I know that it is all part and parcel of parenting life by now. 

The firstborn also turned 14 in November and even though the staycation was planned as part of her birthday celebration, all she wanted was very simple - to go longkang fishing. So I made that happen for her and more - having a birthday during the school holidays can be a good thing after all because we can do so many things, right?

Let's see. We had a nice mum-and-kids lunch at Swensen's on her birthday and tucked into a hearty meal and yummy fondue treat. We loved the fondue here but it only happens once in a blue moon on somebody's birthday since it is not that cheap I made sure we finished every last bit of it, haha.

We also did something for the first time and that was to visit an escape room! It was a surprise for the big girl and we kept it secret all the way till we got into the car to get to the destination and Asher accidentally let the cat out of the bag when he asked if their cousin would be joining them at the escape room.

Anyway, after a little difficulty and having to ask for a couple of hints, we still managed to successfully escape from our Hansel and Gretel themed room, woohoo! Guess who was the bravest of all? It was Asher! When all of us screamed at the slightest noise or movement or refused to sit on a rocking chair or be the first to open a door, he volunteered to do everything and would be the one to open every lock and push open every door. All of you did well, my dears!

In the afternoon, it was raining so our longkang fishing plans had to be postponed. The hubby decided on the spur of the moment that we could go prawning near our home so we did and guess what? We caught many more prawns than we expected and ended up having a BBQ prawn feast. The kids always felt a sense of achievement when they gave a tug and successfully hooked up a prawn, and amazingly, all of us managed to do it.

It was a little crazy but we also ventured out late at night and managed to fulfill her longkang fishing dream before the clock struck midnight. Yup, the hubby thought I was being a little ridiculous but he still drove us there and accompanied us throughout. I managed to strike a deal with the owner who gave the hubby one hour of prawning free in exchange for us paying for three kids to go longkang fishing. Woohoo! Win-win!

We also had a family gathering where the cousins and grandparents came over to celebrate her birthday and I guess you can say Angel was a pretty happy girl that night. She received her long-awaited Sylvanian car from us and hopefully that will motivate her to study hard and be a good and kind girl. Happy turning 14, my dear daughter!

Yup, finally that marks the end of a busy but fulfilling month for us and I can't wait to share more happenings in December with you before we wrap up for 2023. Better late than never, I will continue to write our story and share our family snippets here, thank you so much for reading and for not giving up on me or my blog all these years.

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


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