Monthly Archives: March 2014

SJCK Family Day Carnival 2014

Our 3rd SJCK Family Day Carnival! We got there as early as we could, bought food for the kids, played some games, bought a few things, and ran away before it got too hot and/ or crowded!

SJCK Family Day Carnival

SJCK Family Day Carnival

Adam with noodles, Anya with her favourite chee cheong fun

Adam with noodles, Anya with her favourite chee cheong fun

nasi lemak for Adrian

nasi lemak for Adrian

trying to score

trying to score

Adam's turn

Adam’s turn

bowling

bowling

Anya gets ready

Anya gets ready

ready, set, go!

ready, set, go!

fishing

fishing

she likes this game

she likes this game

feeding the frog

feeding the frog

eat this, frog!

eat this, frog!

jumble sale in the hall

jumble sale in the hall

collecting our prizes

collecting our prizes

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iNbox by Smart Alley

We received an iNbox by Smart Alley and it was the perfect solution for a rainy afternoon! iNbox is a subscription box of meaningful and fun activities that is delivered to your doorstep every month. The theme for our box was wildlife safari and the box came with an illustrated story book, a board game, an information booklet about various animals and a DIY safari jeep and animals.

iNbox by Smart Alley

We started by reading the story of how the character Flinto saved Ganesh the baby elephant with the help of his friends in the jungle. The book introduced the kids to animals in the jungle and gave them a glimpse of the danger that the animals face in the form of hunters. The story also brought across the idea of strength in numbers with many working together to achieve something great.

At the end of the story, the animals in the jungle celebrate the successful rescue of the baby elephant by having a party and singing and dancing. The kids were encouraged to draw a picture of the animals celebrating.

After reading the story the kids played a game in which they imagined themselves as forest rangers racing to save animals from being hunted. They were very enthusiastic about collecting the different halves of the animals to ‘save’ as many animals as possible.

Anya then made a safari jeep with some help from her daddy.

The kids then painted and put together the various jungle animals. They were actually encouraged to do some finger-painting to get the spots and markings on the animals but they preferred to use a paintbrush.

The iNbox kept the kids occupied and helped them to learn about the animals and where and how they live. It encouraged discussion about the dangers faced by these animals and questions about why these dangers are present. I liked that iNbox allowed the learning to be carried out in multiple ways and encouraged extension of learning beyond what is covered in the box!

April Promotion!

From 1st April – 20th April, get the 13th subscription box for free when you sign up for their 12-month subscription plan. Visit iNbox, sign up for 12-month subscription and key in the coupon code RNSAF.

David’s First Overseas Trip – Ho Chi Minh City

Adrian had to go to Ho Chi Minh City for a trip with his colleagues so I tagged along too. We brought Baby D with us because he’s still nursing and Anya because it was her birthday weekend. Poor Adam was left with my parents. David was relatively ok for his first flight ever. He was restless and cried a few times but it was no worse than his usual behaviour. We spent most of our time in HCMC eating and also checked out a couple of tourist attractions, namely the post office, Notre Dame and Ben Thanh market.

I really wanted to go to the Cu Chi tunnels and we even booked a trip but decided that it just wasn’t worth a 2-hour car ride there and back with the kids. Ho Chi Minh City is not a very kid-friendly place. The traffic is terrible and the air is not great. While we were there, we got several concerned looks from the locals whenever they saw David. Back home, we only got nagged by old folks but in HCMC, even young people would stare and point! Turns out that in Vietnam, babies below 3 months of age (and their mothers) are not supposed to leave the house and David was just over 1.5 months then!

Pho Hoa Pasteur

Pho Hoa Pasteur

Anya's bananas!

Anya’s bananas!

the pho and the coffee are so good

the pho and the coffee are so good

had dinner on a boat

had dinner on a boat

driving our dinner boat

driving our dinner boat

enjoyed a cultural performance

enjoyed a cultural performance

checked out the night market

checked out the night market

bought coffee

bought coffee

General Post Office

General Post Office

it's still functional, unlike ours which is now Fullerton Hotel

it’s still functional, unlike ours which is now Fullerton Hotel

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

inside

inside

found the Lunch Lady

found the Lunch Lady

people at the Lunch Lady

people at the Lunch Lady

banh canh cua

banh canh cua

house of flying claypots

house of flying claypots

rice being thrown across the room

rice being thrown across the room

inside Ben Thanh market

inside Ben Thanh market

busy place

busy place

Spice Kids: Star Anise, Superstar!

Spice Kids: Star Anise, Superstar!

Spice Kids: Star Anise, Superstar!

In Star Anise, Superstar!, Star Anise dreams of being a star. But nobody seems to notice her, so she sets off in search of stardom. Star Anise reminds me so much of Anya! Sometimes Anya comes home from school and complains that so-and-so didn’t want to play with her. At other times, she complains that her brothers are getting more attention than she is. My firstborn loves attention and wants to be in the spotlight. She gets annoyed if she thinks she is being ignored and starts acting up or trying too hard to attract attention. When I read this book with her, we talked about what it meant to be a star in other people’s eyes and how she could shine in a positive manner.

A heartwarming tale with several positive messages for children, Star Anise, Superstar! is about allowing your personality to shine through without sticking out like a sore thumb or rubbing others the wrong way. It is also about being brave and looking out for your friends. The illustrations are very charming and you can get the book in English & Mandarin or English & Malay. I have to admit that I struggled a bit with the Mandarin version but I’m glad the kids ‘forced’ me to read it in both languages because certain aspects of the story really come alive when read in Mandarin.

Star Anise, Superstar! is the first title of The Asian Spice Kids series by Linn Shekinah. The Asian Spice Kids series is a collection of five pre-school bilingual picture books, sponsored by the Ministry of Education’s Lee Kuan Yew Bilingualism Fund. Recommended for ages 4-8. I’m really looking forward to reading the next four titles in the series! You can get this book (the English & Mandarin version) from Flip for Joy for $16.50.

A Magical Time at Disney On Ice

We went to watch Disney On Ice: Treasure Trove on Wednesday and had such an awesome time. The kids had been looking forward to the performance for the longest time and were unbelievably excited before the show. It was definitely the highlight of their March school holidays. From the moment the toy soldiers from Toy Story appeared to the finale where all the princesses danced on the ice with their respective princes, they could not take their eyes off the stage (and neither could I).

We love Disney cartoons and the kids are familiar with most of the characters. Adam adores Mickey Mouse and was ecstatic to see him on stage and kept asking where Mickey Mouse had gone to during the other segments. Anya is mad about princesses and her face lit up during the finale when she saw so many beautiful princesses on stage at the same time. My favourite segment was the one from The Lion King. The animals were represented in such an artistic manner and the stunts by the two main characters left us breathless.

I’m so glad we managed to take the kids to watch this amazing performance. They enjoyed themselves so much! We’ll certainly want to catch Disney On Ice again the next time it comes around!

eagerly waiting for the show to start

eagerly waiting for the show to start

transfixed from the beginning

transfixed from the beginning

Peter Pan

Peter Pan

such energy

such energy

Circle of Life!

Circle of Life!

love that elephant!

love that elephant!

so many princesses

so many princesses

what a great show

what a great show

You have 2 more days to catch Disney On Ice! Don’t miss it! Disney On Ice: Treasure Trove will be at Singapore Indoor Stadium until 23 March 2014 with tickets starting at just $20! Tickets can be purchased online, via the tickets hotline at 6333 5000, by visiting the Sports Hub Tickets Box Office, or at any Sports Hub ticket outlet at all SingPost locations.

Westgate Wonderland

We went to Westgate Wonderland last Wednesday and had a lot of fun! It was closed when we got there because it had been raining before that and there was a lightning alert. But after waiting about 20 minutes, we managed to go in and play.

My aunt drove us there and held on to the baby so that I could play with Anya and Adam. Honestly though, it was difficult for me to fit inside! Anya ran off to play with random stranger children so Adam wanted me to play with him. My poor neck and back! Eventually I gave up trying to follow them around and just got Anya to help her brother at the more challenging bits.

I love the garden theme design of the playground with the insects and flowers at the toddlers’ play area, and the flower pot and treehouse at the play area for older kids. The only bit I thought could have been better designed was the final part going up to the treehouse. There’s only one way up to and down from the treehouse so it gets really congested and kids end up stepping on each other! I think the giant watering can at the wet playground area is so adorable. The blower room and changing room are very useful and a really nice touch.

treehouse

treehouse

climbing up

climbing up

walking across

walking across

going across the bridge

going across the bridge

sliding down

sliding down

flowerpot

flowerpot

inside the flowerpot

inside the flowerpot

being watered

being watered

wet play area

wet play area

splish splash

splish splash

baking in the oven

baking in the oven

dry and comfy

dry and comfy

climbing the wall

climbing the wall

making music

making music

David makes music with his feet

David makes music with his feet

ladybird at toddler area

ladybird at toddler area

caterpillar

caterpillar

three munchkins

three munchkins

flower drums

flower drums

Westgate Wonderland is on level 4 of Westgate Shopping Mall (Jurong East MRT Station) and is open from 10am to 10pm. For safety reasons, they restrict the number of people in the playground at any time so be prepared to queue if it’s crowded.

Goodbye, King Albert Park!

In a few minutes’ time, McDonald’s at King Albert Park will be no more and the Cold Storage there will be closed forever as well. That place is so special to me. I started going there in primary school with my friends and spent a lot of time there pretending to study studying for the exams throughout the years. I remember the train that moved around on the track suspended from the ceiling and how we got one of our friends to point at it and shout “The train, the train!!” during a session of Truth or Dare. I remember the playground and the party rooms. We even had a little party there for Xin before she went to the US to study. We were almost 20 then.

I remember the florist/ gift shop that we used to pop in and out of when we got bored of ‘studying’ and how we used to splurge on an extravagant bouquet when it was someone’s birthday. In more recent years, Adrian and I would buy ex-rental DVDs from Video Ezy, and after that unit became Island Creamery, we would go there for some ice-cream after dinner on Sunday nights. I remember buying lapis sagu from Bengawan Solo downstairs every now and then and when that became Chinta Manis, we would go there for breakfast once in a while and Anya would have her favourite chee cheong fun.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been eating at that McDonald’s since I was 12. We used to ask for tartar sauce on the side when we ordered fries and sometimes preferred to dip our fries into a hot fudge sundae instead. I still went to that McDonald’s all through JC, university and even after we got married. Often we were too lazy to park and eat so we just went through the drive-thru. I remember having breakfast there once when it was just Anya and the boys hadn’t come along yet. For some reason, she decided that the hot cakes should be on her head instead of her mouth.

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When we were in secondary school, we liked to visit Cold Storage to walk around and buy random little things like sushi, fruits, snacks, etc. There was a courtesy phone inside that we would use to make some nonsensical calls. Over the years, it became one of the places Adrian and I would go to with the kids to get our groceries. Since it was open 24 hours a day, Adrian would make a quick dash there to get some essential items like diapers and milk powder when we ran out of them unexpectedly.

So many memories; I could go on and on. I will miss KAP very much. Some people think it’s silly to get emotional over a building, that there are dozens of other Mcdonalds and Cold Storages in Singapore. But KAP is more than just a building and it has accompanied me all these years as I grew from child to teenager to adult to wife & mother. I wanted to dig up some old photos taken there but didn’t have the time. I went with Adrian and the kids to take some photos there on Thursday, and then with Juan and Von on Friday. It’s so hard to say goodbye.

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