Annual X’mas Gathering

22 December was the original date we were supposed to have our annual Christmas gathering.. That was what we decided on our Christmas Eve gathering in 2011..

We had to change the date to 30 Dec this year due to the busy schedules of everyone.. Everyone seemed to have other commitments on different dates.. However, Abbie, Stephanie as well as Grace and their families couldn’t make it in the end so there were only 4 families who could make it to the gathering this year…

This year, we had the gathering at the Lau’s place.. They have shifted to the place for about 2-3 years but most of the others have not been there before.. We were late as we had to attend hubby’s colleague’s housewarming.. Her EM is HUGE! 3 bedrooms plus a loft! Love the place!

We reached the Lau’s place at around 2 plus and the Chew family as well as Pauline and her princess were already there.. Poor Dennis had to work so he couldn’t join us.. The kids had some food before they joined some of their friends in the room  while the men and some of the kids were having fun playing Wii in the living room… The ladies happily chatted at the dining area since the kids were all occupied.. We always have lots to talk about and Brenda is forever the live of the group! Too bad we didn’t have the full force again.. Hopefully, all will be available next year!

The kids were super excited when it was time to exchange the gifts.. Some couldn’t wait to rip open the wrappers to see what they got.. Fortunately, before they could do that, we took the chance to take some photos..

Happily posing with the gifts!

Happily posing with the gifts!

When the kids reached home, they had a happy time ripping the wrappers apart to find out what they got!

Happy kids with their gifts!

Happy kids with their gifts!

The kiddos would like to say thank you to the Auntie Abbie, Uncle Harold, Auntie Brenda, Uncle Adrian, Auntie Pauline, Uncle Dennis, Auntie Soot Mei and Uncle Johnson for the wonderful gifts as well as all the children (Ashley, Ayden, Cephas, Celestiel, Gwyneth, Shannon and Kayden) for being such wonderful playmates.. 

We’ll meet again real soon!

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Enrichment for the kids

Jovan has been attending enrichment classes at his ccc.. We signed him up for Chinese and English Speech and Drama, swimming and KinderArt class.. Other than that, he has been attending Chinese enrichment at Berries.. He has also started attending another art class with Mei Mei since last October..

Next year, Jovan will continue with Berries but we’ve transferred him to the one at The ARC.. This time, Mei Mei will be attending classes with him at the same time slot! 🙂

Today, we finally signed the kids up for Creative Ballet (for Jocelle) and Piano (for Jovan)!

We’ll let Jocelle try for one term and Jovan one month before we decide if they should carry on..

To cut down on expenses, we have decided not to let Jovan carry on with the KinderArt programme at his ccc while Jocelle would have to give up her art class with Jovan on Sundays..

We still have to source for a cheap leotard for Jocelle as the one sold by the school (refer to photo) cost $150!

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Fun Trip to the Zoo!

It seems like we are trying to make the best out of the remaining days of the holidays before they’re over!

We decided to bring the kids to the zoo on Boxing Day as hubby just redeemed a voucher for free admission to the zoo for 2 adults and 2 kids.. He had to top up $60 for us to enjoy a Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife.. The usual admission to the zoo with unlimited tram rides is $25 for adults and $16 for a child between 3-12..

We woke the kids up around 7 plus as we wanted to reach the zoo early.. It’s open at 8.30am and the buffet breakfast at Ah Meng Restaurant is from 9-10.30am.. The usual price for the buffet is $29 for adults and children below three do not have to pay.. By the time we reached the zoo, it was already around 9am..

While hubby was queueing to exchange the voucher for tickets, I went to the Ladies with Jocelle.. That was when she spotted a ‘crocodile’ and asked to take a photo with it.. Look at her sleepy face!

I'm not afraid of the crocodile!

I’m not afraid of the crocodile!

After we got the tickets, we walked very briskly to the Ah Meng Restaurant for our breakfast.. We didn’t want to miss the stars of the show! When we got there, the kids kept asking to see the orang utans, who were not there yet.. We quickly got some food for them but the kids were not interested.. The food there was not fantastic and I guess most people go there for the animals, not the food.. We had to cajole them to eat something so that they would have energy for the day without asking to be carried.. Hee.. Luckily, we all managed to eat something before the orang utans and a small ball python appeared.. We then went to queue up to take some photos with the stars..

Photos with the ball python with our still-not-awake looks.. hee..

Photos with the ball python with our still-not-awake looks.. hee..

The python felt so smooth and soft! Really liked the feel.. My 2 kids were also super brave although the trainer didn’t dare to put the entire snake on their hands.. hee..

Next, we joined the queue to take photos with the orang utans who were also having their breakfast..

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After breakfast, we moved on to the Giant Panda Forest to catch a glimpse of the 2 giant pandas – Kai Kai and Jia Jia.. We had to pay an extra $13 ($5 for each adult and $3 for Jovan) in order to enter the enclosure and they limited the number of visitors for each slot.. Hubby chose the 11.20am slot and we had to be there 10min earlier.. We were only allowed to spend about 15min inside.. On the way to meet the 2 giant pandas, we saw a Red Panda which looked rather cute too!

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Red Panda!

We saw Kai Kai 1st before we went to see Jia Jia.. I didn’t expect them to be separated from each other.. Kai Kai was rather active and was moving around while Jia Jia was sleeping the whole time!

Kai Kai and Jia Jia plus one koala bear..

Kai Kai and Jia Jia plus one koala bear..

Posing for photos before snacking on Panda pau..

Posing for photos before snacking on Panda pau..

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Strike a pose!

We bought 2 identical water bottles for the kiddos in the souvenir shop at $12.90 each..

Water bottles for the kids..

Water bottles for the kids..

After snacking on the pau, we quickly made our way to watch the animal show “Rainforest Fights Back” at 12.30pm.. We managed to find some seats.. Although Jocelle fell asleep on our way there, she woke up to catch the show.. Not a fantastic show but the kids were quite entertained by the monkeys, apes and otters in the show.. Snakes appeared again! There was a ball python, which I suspect to be the same as the one we saw in the morning, as well as a boa constrictor.. At the end of the show, we queued up to take photos with my favourite animal again!

Let's feel the snake again!

Let’s feel the snake again!

After the show, we brought the kids for a ride on an elephant.. it cost $8 each for both adults and kids, no kids’ price although it’s free for kids below 3.. While waiting for our turn, the kids witnessed the elephants doing their big and small businesses.. It was a great experience for them before the actual ride which we all enjoyed very much although it was rather short..

Elephant ride!

Elephant ride!

It was 2 plus after the elephant ride and this was when Jocelle asked for milk.. I got some hot water and we made her some milk.. Then hubby suggested that we bring the kiddos to Kidzworld for a water play session.. While hubby queued for the tram, I went to get some snacks – 3 pieces of fried chicken, 3 fishballs and 3 curry puffs – at $2.50/stick.. By the time I met up with hubby, Jocelle was already sleeping.. We boarded the tram soon after and made our way to Kidzworld with Jocelle still sound asleep in my arms.. Jovan was very excited to be able to go to the water play area and couldn’t wait to change into his swimwear when we reached there at about 3pm..

I can't wait to get wet!

I can’t wait to get wet!

Jocelle, on the other hand, was sleeping so soundly that I couldn’t bear to wake her up..

Sleeping beauty..

Sleeping beauty..

It was about 4.20pm when Jovan went to shower due to a drizzle.. That was when Jocelle woke up and asked to swim.. We had to pacify her and convince her that she couldn’t get in due to the rain.. Poor thing..

We then made our way on a tram to the Shaw Amphitheatre again to catch another animal show – Splash Safari.. We were late for the show which started at 5pm but I guess we didn’t miss much.. We couldn’t find seats though so we had to stand and watch the show.. The kids didn’t seem to mind though..

The kiddos watching the sea lions perform..

The kiddos watching the sea lions perform..

After the show, we brought the kids to see the African Penguins before we moved on to the White Tiger enclosure at the request of Jocelle.. After that, my princess asked me to take a picture of her with a tiger statue..

Look how fierce they were trying to look.. so cute!

Look how fierce they were trying to look.. so cute!

After that, we made our way out to have dinner.. Jovan fell asleep in the car and actually slept through dinner! We had no choice but to buy some Raisin Cheese buns from Barcook in case he woke up.. He did eventually, when we reached the foot of our block and he gobbled down 2 of the buns while Jocelle ate one..

We were all tired after the long day and we were thankful for the tram rides… We were actually afraid of the weather during this period of the year but we were lucky that there was only a short drizzle around 4 plus and it was not very hot.. The kids sure had many first experiences on this trip! It was an expensive trip though as we also purchased 2 photos – one taken during breakfast and the other taken on one of the tram rides we took.. The damage for the day came quite close to $200!

Christmas Eve Movie Date and Parties!

We had a busy day this Christmas eve!

First, we sent the kids to the ccc for their Christmas party.. They had a gift exchange just before we picked them up at about 12.30pm.. Jovan got 2 Mega bubble sticks from Caleb Lim and Jocelle got a pair of Tigger slippers from Aaria..

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After we picked the kids from the ccc, we met up with the Chew, Tan and Lau family for lunch before our movie date.. The kids were stuck at the play court for a while before we managed to move them to Food Republic for lunch..

It’s difficult to ‘herd’ the 8 kids as they were all very excited to play with each other and they were also distracted by almost everything! When we got to the cinema, the kids were running around like they had just been released from captivity! Haha.. It’s also a challenge to take a proper group photo of them!

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The show Wreck-it Ralph was so so only and some of the adults, including me, actually dozed off during the show.. Haha.. Jocelle was very restless throughout the show.. After the show, we let the kids play at the play court again while hubby went to collect a log cake..

We then proceeded to my parents’ place for a Christmas party.. We had a great time feasting and chatting and the kids were showered with many gifts!

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On behalf of the kids, we would like to thank all the cousins, uncles and aunties for the lovely gifts! Merry Christmas!!

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Christmas Party @ ccc

The kids are having a Christmas party at their ccc..

We are to choose the food or drinks to bring for their Christmas buffet lunch.. For Jocelle, I chose to bring Vitasoy soya milk.. For Jovan, I chose to bring sandwiches cos I just bought a cheap little gadget from Daiso sometime ago..

It was fun making the sandwiches and I like it cos the sandwiches looked neat and the fillings were sealed within the bread.. I used a whole loaf of bread to make 8 tuna mayo and 8 egg mayo sandwiches.. 🙂

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Farm Hopping day!

Went farm hopping with the Chew family and the Tan family today.. Soot Mei and family couldn’t join us today but Pauline and her princess, Gwyneth came along too..

We first met up at Qian Hu at about 9 plus.. We were slightly late but still managed to reach there before 10.. The kids were happy to see their friends and Jocelle was very happy to see Uncle Harold.. She told me Uncle Harold is her friend..

After looking around at the various types of fishes, we went to the Agro-Education centre.. Cephas wanted to have a fish spa so Adrian granted his wish.. It cost $10 for a 30min session for adults and $5 for kids.. Think it’s quite cheap cos I saw a shop at Harbourfront charging $10 for a 10min session! Cephas had a great time getting the fish nibbling at his dead skin.. Haha.. Jovan asked to try so daddy wanted to grant him his wish too.. However, my timid son chickened out and ran off without trying.. In the end, we managed to persuade Harold to give it a try.. He commented that his feet felt smoother after the session.. Hee.. Look at how the men enjoyed the experience..

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The guys enjoying their ‘pedicure’!

The rest of the children entertained themselves by throwing fish food into the koi pond..

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The kids having fun feeding the fish!

We spent quite some time at Qian Hu before we moved on to Hay Dairies.. We wanted to watch the milking of goats which was scheduled at 11am.. But we reached the place around 11.30am so we missed the fun.. Maybe we should be earlier next time.. 😦

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We didn’t manage to catch the goat milking session.. 😦
It’s ok, let’s just pose with the goats in the background!

We let the kids try some goat milk as we chill out there.. Jocelle tried the plain, white milk while Jovan tried the chocolate one.. I tried a sip of both but I don’t really like it.. It cost $2 per bottle and according to the bottle, goat milk is more digestible and more nutritious than cow’s milk.. Jocelle finished the entire bottle but Jovan didn’t.. Think he finished about 3/4 of a bottle.. Guess he didn’t like it a lot too..

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Jocelle: Nice!
Jovan: It’s so so only..

After chatting for a while there, we moved on to Bollywood Veggies for our lunch.. We took up 2 tables and ordered a Warrior Platter plus a dish of stir-fried spinach for each table.. The Warrior Platter cost $40 and the spinach cost $11.. It was a very filling meal and we couldn’t finish everything.. The kids were each given a bucket, a spade and a rake after the meal! What a nice surprise for them!

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Warrior Platter!

After lunch, we walked around in the farm to look at the different plants..

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Smile!

The kids even took photos with the scarecrow there..

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We’re not afraid of the scarecrow!

The mosquitoes loved me and gave me several souvenirs.. Luckily the kids had mosquito patches and were spared from the mosquito bites.. It was very hot there so after a while, we retreated to the restaurant.. We chatted for a while and discussed about where to go after that.. Since it was very hot and the kids seemed tired, we went our separate ways.. Jovan kept asking to go to the beach so he could play with his new toy but as it was drizzling on our way back, we managed to convince the kids to go back for a dip in the bathtub instead.. Hee.. They actually enjoyed that very much! =)

Road Trip to KL-Malacca (Final part)

On the final day of our trip, we decided to sleep late and have our breakfast in the room.. However, I woke up quite early at around 7 plus.. The kids also woke up around 8 plus.. We had some chocolate cakes for breakfast before the kids had their final dip in the bathtub..

We met up with the rest at the lobby at about 10.30am.. Harold had been ‘volunteered’ by Brenda to do some research on how to get to the Desaru Fruit Farm as well as the weather there as he was the only one who brought his laptop along.. Haha.. Next time, he should leave his laptop at home.. He found out that the weather was not very good there so we decided to abort our plans to go to Desaru for our durian feast.. Abbie should be glad to know that.. Haha..

Johnson suggested that we drive to another Peranakan restaurant – Little Nonya.. We had a filling lunch there before we proceeded to take the river cruise.. Think it cost RM15 for adults and RM7 for children.. I guess the view along the river would be better in the evening although it was still interesting for the kids.. We even saw 2 monitor lizards along the way!

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Jovan was holding his gun throughout the ride, trying to ‘shoot down enemies’! Haha.. It was rather hot but the ride was quite long.. Maybe around 20min?

After the cruise, it started to drizzle so we decided to take the trishaw back to our cars since they were quite some distance away.. It was hard work for the cyclists, but we didn’t have enough umbrellas and it was difficult to walk back in the rain with 8 kids in tow.. We paid RM25 per trishaw.. Not easy money as our cyclist actually dismounted to push the trishaw at one point! I felt so bad! He was very professional as he gave us a commentary along the way.. He even offered to take a group photo for us but we declined cos of the weather..

The Chew family went back first while the rest of us drove back together… We decided to have dinner together at West Coast..

Overall, the trip was fun, especially for the kids.. Jovan and Jocelle kept asking for their friends even after we reached home! I hope they’ll develop their friendship just like how their mummies did.. Looking forward to the next gathering on 31st Dec and many more to come!

Road Trip to KL-Malacca (Part 4-Malacca)

We’re into day 4 of our trip..

We went to the Old Town White Coffee at Mahkota to have breakfast in the morning… We were quite glad that there’s free wifi there as we seemed to be disconnected with the world without Internet access.. Hee..

After a hearty breakfast, we checked out the mall for playgrounds for the kids.. There was one beside the food court but it didn’t look very interesting.. We then decided to move on to the nearby mall and found the indoor playground that Brenda brought her kids to previously.. She told us it was very cheap.. It was really cheap indeed! RM10 per child unlimited playtime! We happily paid up and the kids went in in a flash! They didn’t even have to wear socks!

The adults then took turns to explore the area and shop around… We considered bringing the kids to watch Wreck-it Ralph and took note of the timing.. We even contemplated karaoke! Brenda suggested river cruise too.. There were several options.. Some of us still wanted to bring the kids for a swim in the pool since the weather seemed warm..

I managed to get Jovan another gun which cost RM24.90.. I sure hope this gun would make it back to Singapore!

After the kids got tired of playing in the playground, they came out and drove around in the battery-operated cars.. Then, they got attracted by Oppa Gangnam Style! We saw Cephas near the stage and thought he was the one who asked for the song! We later realized that he only signed up for a jigzaw puzzle competition.. Soon, a man in Santa costume started dancing to the music.. We realized he was performing some magic.. Cephas raised his hand readily when the magician asked for volunteers… Apparently, the magician wanted the 2 volunteers to hold a balloon on their heads while he tried to blow a dart at the balloons to burst them.. Not a difficult task except that he was blindfolded! OMG! I was about to go and shop in Mr DIY when I stopped in my tracks.. From the side of the stage, I could see Brenda hiding behind someone.. She couldn’t bear to watch! I wouldn’t be able to if Jovan were up on stage! Fortunately, Cephas got off the stage in one piece… Phew!

After that, Soot Mei and hubby also got picked to help the magician in his performance.. Their experience was not as hair-raising as Cephas’ though, thankfully..

We decided to go for lunch cos it was already close to 2pm and we were worried about the kids although most of us were not hungry..

We went to Station Kopitiam as we were misled by the Free Wifi sign.. Apparently, the connection was super slow and Brenda couldn’t do her research on the Desaru Fruit Farm which she suggested we visit the following day..

While we were waiting for the food, Soot Mei and I went to collect the cake we ordered earlier.. We wanted to give Brenda a surprise birthday celebration! It was a small chocolate cake but it was delicious! The kids enjoyed singing the birthday song and blowing out the candle.. Happy Birthday, Brenda!

After lunch, we went back to the hotel and brought the kids to the pool again.. There were quite a number of people in the pool so we thought it was not too cold.. But alas, the water was cold! The kids didn’t feel that way though as they were all splashing about in the pool.. We didn’t let them play there for too long as we didn’t want them to fall sick.. Think they spent about half an hour in the pool..

The kids went back to the room for a quick shower before we met up with the rest.. We wanted to go for the river cruise but the weather was not very encouraging.. We stopped by at a large field where the kids were let loose..

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It started to drizzle so we decided that we should proceed for dinner instead.. We went to a Taiwanese Japanese restaurant for dinner and we had a filling meal! After that, we went to the supermarket to get some milk powder and breakfast for the following day.. The milk powder was really cheap! A 900g tin of Friso 3 cost $19 plus there while a similar tin costs $30 here! We bought only 4 tins but we were very happy with our savings.. Maybe we should go to Malaysia more frequently to get milk for Jocelle…

Road Trip to KL-Malacca ( Part 3-Malacca)

On day 3 of our trip, we decided to set off for Malacca after breakfast.. We met at the lobby at about 10am to make our way to our 2nd destination – Malacca..

We reached the hotel at about 2.30pm and by then, this was what happened to the swords we bought the kids.. Haha…

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Jovan was very upset but I tried to pacify him and tell him that we’ll try to get him another sword.. The rooms were not ready so we all left our stuff at Johnson’s room cos he was the only one who had a room..

We then went to the Mong Kok Cafe at the nearby mall for lunch.. As we were walking to the restaurant, Jovan was holding hands with Ashley so I took a few photos of them..

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It was about 4pm after we had lunch.. After that, we decided to split up and shop around at the mall before we meet up at the hotel lobby at 5pm.

We walked around a bit but I was not in the mood to shop with the two kids tagging along.. There were some events happening where in atrium but they were not very suitable for my kids so I suggested to hubby that we could bring the kids for a swim in the hotel pool…

As we were making our way back to the hotel, we realized that all our stuff are in Johnson’s room! Haha.. We had no choice but to stop by some kiddy rides for the kids to entertain themselves.. After a while, we saw Abbie and family.. And finally, Soot Mei and family joined us.. We then made our way back to the hotel to get our rooms so the kids could have a dip in the pool..

And when we got our room, we realized that our room was bigger than the others again! Lucky us again! Hee.. Look at how spacious the room was!
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The kids got ready at lightning speed cos they were very eager to swim! However, when we reached the pool together with Soot Mei, Shannon and Kayden, we realized that the water was freezing cold! Within 10min, we got the kids out of the pool,and told them they could continue their ‘swim’ back in the hotel room bathtub.. Haha.. It was warm and comfy for them!

We rested in the hotel room until it was about dinner time.. Then we met up with the rest and proceeded to Jonker Walk.. We had our dinner at Peranakan Restaurant and decided we should have some group photos taken..

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It was so difficult to take photos with 8 kids! There would be at least one of them who seemed to be looking everywhere but the camera! Haha..

Some background info: We 4 ladies have been friends since 1999 and our hubbies were all born in the year of the Dragon.. We all have a prince and a princess each and this is the first time we’re travelling together!

Love the group photos!

After dinner, we brought them to Hotel Puri to see the swallows and their nests… I’ve stayed at this hotel in my previous trips to Malacca.. Very authentic Peranakan feel..

We then took a walk in Jonker Walk.. Johnson bought Kayden a gun and Jovan kept asking for one.. We eventually got one for him at RM10..

Finally, we ended our walk and decided to head back to the hotel.. As we were all too tired to take the long walk back with kids in tow, we decided to take the trishaw.. They quoted us RM15 for the trip but we ended up paying RM20 as we did not have the exact amount.. Actually, it’s quite tiring job for the cyclist so we didn’t mind paying more…

We let the kids bathe in the bathtub again and called it a day..

Oh.. Before we could do that, the gun we bought stopped working.. It didn’t last an hour.. Hubby tried to pull the trigger and the gun became ‘soundless’ and ‘lightless’… Sigh.. Took me a long time to pacify Jovan that we’d get new batteries the next day to get the gun working again.. Sigh.. Hubby should be banned from holding anything that requires electricity to work!