SEA Games Carnival @ Sports Hub (2015)

We happened to stay some 800m away from the Singapore Sports Hub where many activities are taking place due to the Southeast Asia Games (SEA Games) 2015 held in Singapore.

And so I just have to bring the kids to this FREE admission fringe activity – the SEA Games Carnival! Located near the main entrance of Kallang Wave Mall, stretching towards the Kallang Leisure Mall, there is endless fun for everyone, especially the young ones! Personally I think the 3 to 12 years old will really enjoy the carnival but there is no stopping the older folks getting immersed in the whole SEA games atmosphere!

I don’t prefer crashing with the crowd on weekends and thus choose a weekday morning to troop off with a neighbour family.

Here’s sharing some survival tips and activities we tried:

1) Choose the right time to visit – early morning or late afternoon (preferably)

The summer heat is unbearably; thus choose to visit at cooler hours if you can. The carnival is open daily from 10am to 9pm. We choose to go in the morning and by 1pm, we retreated indoors for lunch due to the sweltering heat. I believed late afternoon should be better as you get longer play hours minus the heat but possibly with a bigger crowd. And with a later closing time of 9pm, working parents will have a chance to bring their children after hours.

2) Arm yourself with water, drinks, food and a comfortable footwear

My survival backpack includes Ribena for the children and more water. Some light food such as bread, cakes and biscuits will be good if your kiddos do get hungry along the way. Go prepared with hats, sunglasses, sunblock, sun-block lotion and wear a comfortable pair of shoes. I was in slippers and imagine walking 11,000 steps (as clocked on my fitbit) without proper support; yes – I ended up with blisters!

There are many eateries in both malls, so you won’t need to bring lotsa food; just enough for hungry pangs.

3) Start off at the (air-con) registration booth

Register and sign off an indemnity form for your children at the registration booth. You will get the lanyards and tags to collect stamps/chops. After you obtain 5 stamps, you can exchange for a special SEA games merchandise pin and a lucky draw coupon. Good for the kids to have a sense of “completing” activities. You can continue playing even after collecting 5 stamps.

4) Start with queuing at the popular activities (if you are early!)

The more popular ones are the Zorb Bowling (a human bowling ball), the flying dunk, the rocky mountain and the Giant Slide!

Thankfully it was almost noon and thus the Q wasn’t that long. Less than 15 mins wait, we “boarded” into the translucent giant ball and peddle away! This sure is fun not just for the kiddos but the adults too! 🙂 My first experience in such activity.

Next up is the junior play zone. The children didn’t waste a min heading up the giant slide! And I was all too paranoid and asked the staff if all is safe; they assured me no issue at all.

Adults are not recommended to be up the slide due to our weight. Then again, I am not keen; not keen one bit.  The kids had loads of fun and had a few rounds up and down! Highly recommended if your children can take heights.

There is a ball pit, “NILA” Castle (a bouncy maze) and another bouncy castle for the younger ones. One word – no short of bouncy structures to keep children entertained. The crowd is very manageable on a weekday; so we didn’t need to Q at any of these structures.

5) The sheltered and shaded place (REST)

To avoid the heat and pause for a rest, go to the sheltered art and craft place next to the bouncy structures. Here, the children can participate in some colouring, make a SEA games torch, face painting, temporary tattoos and even collect a free canvas bag for DIY painting!

Don’t leave without taking a phot! There is a small corner in the same zone for the photo-loving Singaporeans. Some props are nearby; just pick them up and pose away! A photographer is also available to help take a photo and print out one free photo for keepsake. Nice touch I say! 🙂

6) Another photo taking opportunity!

There are a few mascots and interesting characters walking around for you to take some photos with. They are all really obliging and friendly. 🙂

7) Let the kids try out the ball games!

There are a variety of ball games in the main zone (nearer to Kallang Wave Mall); just with a little twist to cater to the younger crowd. 🙂

8) Attempt the outdoor/un-shaded activities when it is not so warm

We didn’t try the Rocky Mountain nor Flying Dunk (which are suitable for ages 4/5 and above) because they are both located in the open area where the sun was blazing hot. But they sure look fun! We might just head back to try these 2 activities.

9) Don’t forget to visit Samsung and the Milo truck!

Swing by Samsung booth for a super-posed shot like this:

Do you know what they are advertising in this photo? Not my Fitbit but their Samsung watch on our hands! For a moment, I thought why we need to wear those watches for the shot. 😛

They will pass you some Samsung balloon “clappers” (I am not sure what you call them); which are easily inflatable and great for cheering your favourite teams!

And of course, the ubiquitous Milo Truck and booth! It is the most welcomed icon in my school’s runs; and we were too thirsty to take any photos. A pity it is limited to 1 cup per person (for tasting only). I remembered it was unlimited supply at my school runs. 😀

10) Lastly, go back another day!

Don’t fret if you can’t finish all the activities in a day as it really do get exhausting. The carnival runs from 31st May till 16th June 2015, 10am to 9pm daily. Come back another day to try those you missed.

We couldn’t find the Laser Tag, it was too hot for the Mega Boxing, the Union Pay Hot Air Balloon wasn’t ready and we could do another round at the Zorb Bowling if not for the queue. So head back as there are different spontaneous performances and shows everyday too!

More details on https://www.seagames2015.com/get-involved/28th-sea-games-carnival/carnival-activities

Till then, have fun and enjoy SEA games 2015!

Day in a Life (DIAL)

Hopping onto this blog train initiated by a fellow mummy blogger – Justina – to share a glimpse of what goes on behind the scene of a Mummy’s daily life.

I have a mixed identity due to my flexi-work nature. While being able to arrange my work schedules around my family’s schedules, at the same time, my work also require me to revolve around my clients’ availabilities. So that brings about a really flexible work day 24/7, 7 days a week.

Day in a Life 1

Here’s sharing a typical Friday since I am due on the blog train on a Friday.

7am to 730am

On a good day, I wake up with an uninterrupted night. After migrating  Eizac out of our room, my night rest will depend on how sharp  my hearing is and how tired I am. If I am hyper-owl at night, I will still hear Eizac asking for milk at night and get out to help my mum make the bottle of milk or soothe him back to sleep. Now that both boys sleep with their grandmother, I am grateful for the more restful nights.

I am naturally an early bird but the kind husband draws the curtain every morning to let me sleep in a while longer. 🙂 Then, It’s a habit to grab the phone next to the bed, download the emails on the phone, do a quick check on FB and reply some messages which are sent in the late night. All these within 5 mins of waking up. Not the best of habits I admit; but it’s a habit as said. :S

Breakfast is a must for me. I don’t know how some can skip breakfast and still function. I am a irritable zombie if I don’t eat. Simple fare of coffee and 2 slices of wholemeal bread with spread, tuna, ham/cheese etc – I am good as long as there is food in  the tummy.

If the kids are not up at this hour, I get 30 to 45 mins to read the newspapers quietly with my breakfast. Simple luxury often taken for granted. I am a traditional sort who still read the good old, printed newspapers. Call me old-fashioned: Just like between a real book vs an e-book, I still prefer smelling the carbon print and getting my hands dirty. :p

8am to 9am

One or two of the boys will be up. Both of them normally sleep late and thus wake up later. I wish they do a regular 9/10pm in bed and 7/8am wake up. But they don’t and that is another different story on discipline to be able to achieve it…

As Xi En is in the afternoon school session, we idle the morning away by reading some story books or doing pretend play or forever getting ready for school.

10am to 1pm

These are my unofficial working hours. Xi En gets to school and my mum normally entertains Eizac at the playground so I get to work. If I am not out for appointments, I will be in my home office, replying emails, making calls, doing paperwork, checking websites, blogging and etc. The window of working is really short before Eizac comes back for lunch. We decided on having a helper about 2 years back as the household chores and meal preparations are just too time consuming for a family with young children. Either I stop working altogether or we have a helper. With much struggles, we agreed on hired help to ease the tension at home. It is not the perfect solution since both Kim and I are not comfortable with having a stranger share our home. But probably the best interim-solution till the kids grow more independent. Sometimes it is helpful to have an extra pair of hands at hand if you know what I mean.

If there is no urgent work, I like to use this window of time to drive my mum out to do some marketing. My mum is particular about buying fresh fish from her old neighbourhood in Hougang Ave 1. That market stocks the freshest fishes at good prices according to her and so I read on some food blog sites too. Eizac is at the stage of enjoying a marketing trip (more than going to the playground!); his favourite activity being to “pay money”. He is at a vocal stage now and totally enjoys blabbing non-stop on his thoughts, his findings, observations and more. We totally enjoy a gesturing and blabbing conversation with him these days.

We lunched out if we are out or if we are at home, lunch is a simple affair too.  I am a Teochew and thus is comfortable eating plain porridge with salted egg, preserved olive veg, steam tofu with salted soya beans, pork floss or just stir-fried veg with oyster sauce. Some days when I am in the mood, I make myself some cold soba, udon, salad or instant noodles with Ajitsuke Tamago (Japanese marinated soft boiled egg). Not quite your healthy options, but there are cheat and lazy days.

1pm to 3pm

Eizac watches his cartoons and then take his bath before winding down for his nap. That’s if he actually takes one. If I am home, he will insist that I nap with him. As much as I loved an afternoon nap, I try not to. That’s because I find myself lazier if I sleep in. Instead, I tasked my mum to take him for his nap! haaa.. She can rest and I continue my work! Perfect! But Eizac is quite clingy to me these days; so I try to get out of the house during this timing either for work or appointments. Last Friday afternoon, I attended an blogger’s event with AMC – a long standing brand of pots and pans. Food is another passion and I enjoyed baking that occasional cake or bread or whipping up some new dishes for the family. Anything to do with food piques my interest and I am keen to start trying out the new AMC pot which many older generations raved about.

3pm to 5pm

Xi En gets home around this time and as much as possible, I try to be the one (or his grandmother) to pick him up from the school bus. There is something about having a helper which I am yet to be comfortable with – that is to have the helper mind the children alone. Maybe it is the horror maids’ stories, maybe the children are still young, maybe I am just paranoid, maybe it is a combination of everything. As much as possible, we try to have a family member with the children instead of just the helper.

Xi En takes a second lunch/tea at home because he do better with smaller but frequent meals through the day. He is still underweight at 15.8kg for a 5-going-on-6 boy. His weight gain during his earlier years is hampered by poor appetite and made worse by constantly falling ill. The doctor recommended giving him a yearly flu vaccination due to his frequent bronchiolitis episodes and we decided that is best for him. Since his 2nd yearly vaccination, his condition had improved so much. He used to come down with the whole flu, cough, wheezing works every other month. Now, he is cleared for at least 6 months or more.

If Eizac isn’t napping or waking up from his nap, we will have 2 hyper active boys running amok around the house. Some days, we play hide-and-seek in the house. Other days, we do dough play, duplo, cars, pretend play and just about anything.

5pm to 7pm

Most weekdays, the boys get an hour or so playground time. They don’t play well together (yet). Xi En looks for familiar friends’ faces while Eizac chased after the bigger kids to try to be part of the action. We know many kids in the neighbourhood because my mum is very sociable and makes friends quickly; which is a contrast to me as I look more aloof and some say arrogant. :S

On a typical Friday, Xi En attends a Chinese enrichment class at Berries. We weren’t one who thought that enrichment programmes were necessary for preschoolers. But lo and behold, I realised that it is somewhat necessary if you don’t have the time to teach or the school teacher don’t have the time to teach or you don’t teach creatively. We ticked all those boxes. After Xi En’s first PTM in school, his teacher admittedly said that it is not easy to get much Chinese curriculum time in school given that Chinese period is only 1/2 hour to 45 mins max. Since then, I decided before he totally dislike his mother tongue, he need to learn it with a creative angle. And so that’s when Berries came into the picture.

While Xi En is at Berries, Kim and I used this time to park-tor (date!). We seldom have time alone without kids. And so either we share my favourite waffle or walk around the nearby mall together. More simple pleasures in life (after kids came along).

7pm to 8pm

If the kids are at home, after some barefoot, mad dashing around at the playground, the boys get shooed home and eat their dinner. We have a bad habit of allowing them to have dinner while watching cartoons. As much as we tried, we are torn between allowing TV so we can get them to eat more or forcing them to eat at the dinner table and get frustrated with them knocking down plates, refusing to eat, eating really little and etc. As much as we know what is right and recommended, after a day of work, we do take the easier way out so that everyone can have some peace. Do anyone have creative solutions to share here?

This is also the time when Kim and I can chat a little over dinner about the day’s event (or non-events).

8pm to 10pm

The children get their bath time and TV is switched off. We played a little or read borrowed books from the library during this time. Xi En is an avid reader though sometimes I wonder if he really understood what he read. He enjoyed mostly non-fiction books on maps, geography, space and sciences such as burps and farts and the likes! For fiction books, somehow weirdly he is hooked on mermaid books and stories lately. He just proclaimed he is getting married to a female school mate who is crazy over mermaids too. I used that opportunity to coax him to go for swimming lessons just like the mermaids he adores (he dislikes water on the face and breathing underwater).

11pm to 12am

Yes, both the boys only sleep at this witching hour. Eizac used to go to bed earlier but now that both are in the same room, they bounce around, ask for milk umpteen times, request for the last story, say that last prayer, smooch that last kisses and hugs before they eventually sleep. Night feeds are still on-going and so I prepared a tray of necessary items so that everything is at hand.

Xi En is learning to say prayers before he sleeps. A typical one goes like this:

Thank you God for the good day today. Please help Mummy recover soon (from a splinter in the finger). Keep us strong and healthy so we won’t fall sick (we pray this everyday with and for him since he is a baby). Help Eizac not to hit me (errm….). I love XX (our neighbour who has a collection of mermaid books). I like to married XX. Help Mummy to close more deals (He overheard our conversations.)Thank you Jesus for the good night rest and sweet dreams. And all God’s adults say Amen (we say All God’s little children; he improvises).”

If I didn’t fall sleep with them, I would catch up on some TV drama serials (yes, I am a drama person), Facebook, instagram, some miscellaneous work or pillow chat with the husband. Some days, my work brings me home only around this hour. But we actually do prefer such work arrangement, knowing that my boys are with their Daddy/grandmother and not left alone with the helper gives me peace at work.

12am to 1am

That’s my bed time on most days if I am not too tired out by the days’ events. I try not to work or blog at night unless I really have to meet deadlines.

And so that conclude a typical weekday for me. I am really thankful for a flexible work option which brings in some income and yet I can be around for my children, ferry them for classes, pick them up after school and spend some quality time with them all in a day. 6 years ago, I gave up a stable, salaried job and took up a fully commission-based career because I find life too short to spend in the office jus because I need to “clock the work hours”. Being my own boss isn’t a bed of roses, but I am thankful for the referrals, the support from friends, relatives and clients who get things going for me. Sometimes it sounds like I want the best of everything, but who doesn’t and try? For now, I am happy even if I don’t earn that million dollars or climb the highest corporate ladder. While the kids still want Mummy, I hope to be around to cherish every moment and celebrate every milestones.

Next up on this blog train in Edlyn (MummyEd)

Edlyn

MummyEd works from home whenever she has the chance to, but with 3 kids of ages 3 5 and 7 years old, those moments are few and far between. She blogs at http://mummyed.wordpress.com and has never been happier to leave the corporate world behind.

Girlfriend.Girlfriends.I already dislike them.

I have 2 handsome boys.

And I know they will break my heart one day.

It is a dilemma I acknowledge.

As much as I want them to grow up to be fine young gentlemen and learn to treat ladies with due respect and love a woman single heartedly; deep down in my heart – I know I will be green with jealousy when that day arrives. Can I say I already dislike all my sons’ future girlfriends? hahahaaa….. (*evil laugh*)

Or rather the protective mother hen emerge! How can you blame mothers? Mothers have this instinct to perhaps, over-protect, over-nag, over-suspicious and over-emotional. I still remembered the first time I met my now in-laws some 16 years back. 🙂 Mothers are often the ones who will want to continue the “mothering” of their “Mama’s boy” and leaving Fathers to take on a protective shield over their precious “Daddies’ girls”.

I have 2 charming boys.

And I know they will charm some (good) girls one day.

And I am seeing it now!

There is this cutesy fair girl from school who bears the name “Olivia” – the name of the character of this series of books he was reading last year. Xi En announced to me after a few days of school that he likes Olivia. I am not sure if it’s the name or the person. 😀

There is this tall and strong girl in the neighbourhood whom he enjoys following around. Superwoman is fun to be with! 😀

Superwoman

And there is this pretty Australian girl in a colorful tutu dress whose hands he held on so endearingly throughout our stroll in the Melbourne city. My college friend’s daughter! He proudly counted “E” as one of his friends when he tallied his “friends count”. 😀

It is heartening to see that Xi En is friendly to (most) girls and treat them nicely. And I am glad he’s in the “right orientation”. Heheheh.

I know one day I won’t be the only one who can wipe his tears when he fall, bring a smile to his face with smothering kisses and welcome him home with a bear hug.

Be still, mommy’s heart. We have some years to go before his heart includes another woman besides his Mommy! Till then, I will do my best to bring up fine young men. You are most welcomed, my dear future daughter-in-laws. 🙂

Happy Friday and weekend to come everyone!

P.S: Do you have a son too? Like me, do you watch his growing up with lots of pride and some butterflies in the stomach too? 🙂