Annual Xmas Gathering

Although we’ve been meeting up with the usual gang more frequently this year, we still look forward to our annual Xmas gathering.. This year, we decided to book a chalet at Goldkist Beach Resort.. We thought the kids could have fun cycling, skate scooting and even swimming while we adults could enjoy some BBQ food..

I booked a unit for $188 after we all agreed on the venue.. We didn’t have to mess up anyone’s home as we can simply check out after the party is over! What’s more, the children will have lotsa fun! It’s quite affordable since we’ll be splitting the cost among ourselves..  The Lau family was in charge of ordering the food… Each family only had to fork out about $50.. Pauline was in charge of the fruits.. She brought longans and grapes.. great fuss-free fruits! Hee..

This year, we had a great turnout.. The usual ones are the Tan, Lau, Chew and Toh families as well as we Shums.. Initially Grace and family could join us with her latest addition Gladis who’s just about one month old but they couldn’t join us in the end.. This time round, Stephanie and Lin Hui were able to join us! Lin Hui brought along her handsome prince who stole all our hearts! How could I forget to take a photo with the cutie? He’s really adorable! Sigh..

We felt nostalgic when we saw the chalet.. We used to book chalets at the same place although it used to be called Costa Sands.. It really brought back our childhood memories.. Still the same old rustic feel although the chalets have undergone some refurbishment. They even provided 2 towels.. There was a fridge which actually worked fine.. haha.. but there was no electric kettle.. We had to rent from the minimart at $5 /day if we needed one.. Think the minimart belongs to the management as we had to book the BBQ pit (at $25/day) and everything else there.. The minimart didn’t label their goods with price tags and the things were sold at an exorbitant price based on their quotes.. A packet of 200 ply tissue paper cost $4! So, lesson learnt.. If we were to visit the place again, we should be prepared to bring all necessary materials…

Anyway, our kids had great fun skate scooting.. Gwyneth, Grace’s Sarah and Matthew were not here yet when we took the photo so we actually had 11 kids that day.. There’d be 13 if Grace and family joined us.. hee..

All lined up for a photo before they were released to play!

All lined up for a photo before they were released to play!

We brought the kids’ bicycles and Jovan really enjoyed cycling.. he abandoned his skate scooter most of the time.. think he really loves cycling.. hee.. Jocelle skate scooted most of the time and she was really good at it.. Everyone was impressed with this little daredevil..

After sweating themselves out skate scooting and cycling, the kids pestered us to bring them to the pool.. So while the men started the fire for the BBQ, we brought the kids to the pool..

It's impossible to take a proper shot with all these fidgety kids!

It’s impossible to take a proper shot with all these fidgety kids!

The kids spent some time splashing around in the baby pool until it started drizzling.. We got them out of the pool to shower, just in time for dinner..

While we ate, Brenda played games with the kids while I took out sparklers for the kids to play.. I was so busy eating and chit-chatting that I didn’t take any photos after the trip to the pool.. hee hee.. The kids also looked forward to the gift exchange as that meant more toys for them!

We had a good time catching up with one another.. We didn’t stay for the night as the beds were in a terrible state after the kids jumped around on them with their dirty feet.. haha.. the mattresses were badly stained too.. Luckily we could check out that night but we had to make a few trip to and fro the car as we had a lot of barang barang to bring back..

It’s not a bad idea to book a chalet but maybe we should book a better chalet next year.. Better still, I told my buddies that we could have a BBQ anytime if I could afford a condo… I’m waiting to fulfill dream… haha..

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Fire Station visit

I’ve always wanted to bring the kids to visit a fire station after seeing my friends posting pictures of their visits.. However, since the fire stations are open on Saturdays from 9-11am only, we couldn’t bring the kids there due to their Berries lessons which are scheduled on Saturday mornings…

We arranged to meet up with the Tan family at Queensway Shopping Centre at about 9am… The Laus dropped the kids with us as they had other commitments…

In the end, we entered the fire station 1st as the Tans and Laus grabbed a bite at McDonald’s…

We were the first visitors and the staff seemed happy to see us.. Apparently, they work 24h shifts so they had to stay in for one whole day before they can rest for two days.. I guess it could be quite boring inside..

The firemen were very friendly and willing to share with us about the various types of vehicles they use and the tools and equipment they use in fire fighting..
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But the kids were more excited about climbing up the truck to pretend driving.. haha..
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One of the staff gave the kids a plastic helmet each..
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The truck is huge! The wheels are as tall as Jocelle!
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The kids wanted to drive any vehicle they saw. Haha..
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The section commander telling the kids how they use the various equipment.
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Some of the fire fighters demonstrated how they slid down the sliding pole after getting the kids to shout for them.. After which, the kids had a try to climb up the pole..
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After that, the kids had a chance to ‘fight fire’ with the hose..
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The kids had so much fun with the hose as the firefighter showed them how to control the water.

We then got the kids to move on since more visitors were arriving. N
By then,  some other firefighters were demonstrating how they stabilise a fire truck..

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They then allowed the kids to get into the cage..
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We were hoping that they would raise the ladder but they didn’t, most likely due to safety…

We thought that was the end and was preparing to leave but my man had been hijacked by a Warrant Officer and was nowhere to be found.. haha.. we toured around a while more after we spotted them still chatting away..

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We then decided to take a group photo with the officer who had been briefing the kids.. this 20-year-old guy has 2 kids! Can you believe it? Haha..
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They also tried talking into a hose..
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That Warrant Officer then led us into the Watchroom which is probably like a station control.. he showed us the map of the area under them..
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The kids even tried on the boots!
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We were actually the last ones to leave but the staff didn’t show any signs of wanting us to go.. they even sent us all the way to the gate! Haha..

I’m glad we managed to make a trip there as we won’t have a chance to do so on other Saturdays.. the kids had great fun too! I don’t mind visiting the place again as there was too much information to digest.. hee..

Busy Christmas Eve

The kids had a Christmas party in school on Christmas eve so we could only pick them up after they had their gift exchange in their ccc.. We sent them to their ccc as we thought they would have fun with their friends.. I prepared some sandwiches as the kids were encouraged to bring some snacks to share with their friends..

We picked them up after we had our lunch at Subway since the kids would have taken their lunch.. The kids were excited to go to the pirate ship which was actually Port of Lost Wonder in Sentosa.. We had brought them there recently in early Dec and they really enjoyed themselves..

This time round, we met up with the Chew and Toh families.. The Chews were there much earlier while the Tohs joined us later as little Gwyneth was having her beauty nap.. It was drizzling slightly when we got there and the sky was grey.. however, the sky turned bright after a while.. It was rather windy so I didn’t get into the water this time.. I can’t take the cold.. hee.. Hubby had to sacrifice himself…

The kids were excited to hit the foam pool but we got them to wait for the next session since the current one was ending soon.. So they went to the Pirate Ship first..

Water play first...

Water play first…

When the next session at the foam pool started, we got the kids in.. They had great fun clowning around..

Foam party!

Foam party!

The leader.. hahaha...

The leader.. hahaha…

The follower...

The follower…

The little one..

The little one..

We spent the entire afternoon there and got the kids out of the pool at about 6pm.. We then arranged to meet up with the Tan and Lau family for dinner at Vivocity.. The Tohs didn’t join us due to other commitments..

We went to Waraku at Vivocity as everywhere was crowded.. We actually had a dinner gathering there the previous night.. hee.. We still had to wait for about 40 minutes before we got a table.. The Tans and Laus joined us after we ordered our food.. The food was not bad and the kids were all given party packs and toys.. The Cinderella family aka the Chews left early as usual as the kids need to be in bed early as usual… no extended play time even on Christmas eve.. I salute them for being so disciplined! I get my kids to play with me instead of accommodating their bedtime.. tsk tsk tsk.. shame on me.. =P

The remaining 3 families stayed on to chat even after we had our dinner.. we were making some holiday plans for 2014.. hee.. Finally, we left the restaurant but were still unwilling to call it a night.. We couldn’t catch the latest Jackie Chan’s Police Story 2013 as it’s not suitable for the kids.. Then I suggested going karaoke.. Johnson called up the K Box at Mt Faber Safra and was told that there’s a room that could accommodate all of us.. The charges are $39++/pax and kids just had to order a drink each.. It didn’t sound too expensive so we all said ok..

The Tans and us went back home 1st to give the kids a quick shower and pack some blankets and jackets in case it got too cold.. The Laus proceeded to the venue 1st..

Getting ready to sing!

Getting ready to sing!

The songs were very up to date.. Of cos, the kids loved Gangnam Style..

One of their favourite songs..

One of their favourite songs..

The kids dancing to Psy’s hit..

The kids 'performing' on the 'bed'

The kids ‘performing’ on the ‘bed’

The loved the theme song from the movie Frozen – Let It Go by Demi Lovato.. They sang the song countless times!!

The youngest ones.. hee.. Ayden is so cute!

The youngest ones.. hee.. Ayden is so cute!

My girl kept hogging the mic though she couldn’t sing the songs.. sigh.. Ayden was good.. He could dance superbly well!

Ashley really looked like a star with the shawl..

The one with the greatest potential..

The one with the greatest potential..

We sang till about 2am.. The kids fell asleep one by one starting with Jovan.. The boys were down earlier than the girls.. In fact, Ashley and Shannon were still going strong when it was time to go! haha.. We were impressed that Shannon knew many songs!

Sleepy but still want to hog the mic.. sigh..

Sleepy but still want to hog the mic.. sigh..

The kids had a really good time singing and when we left, they were still singing! However, we burnt a hole in our pockets.. The bill came up to about $380 and each family had to pay more than $120.. I guess it was more expensive as it was Christmas eve and there were no promotions… We had to pay royalty fees on top of the snacks and cover charge.. The drinks for the kids were expensive – each cup of milo cost $10! A really expensive 3-h singing session.. The kids had fun but maybe we should try a cheaper place next time..

Dental check

It’s time for our half yearly dental check at iSmile Dental.

Jocelle had a cavity in one of her upper front teeth so the dentist filled it up for her. She was good.. very cooperative.. Didn’t complain at all so she was rewarded with some stickers..
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Will need to help her brush her front teeth more thoroughly.. thankfully, these are only her milk teeth.. but still think we need to control her sugar intake.. maybe should make her brush her teeth after milk..
Damage: cleaning + filling -> $35+$45 = $80

Jovan went after Jocelle and he was much braver this time.. no cavities but there was some tartar build up on his lower front teeth..
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He was good too and did not struggle, complain or cry when Dr Tan cleaned up his teeth.. He too was rewarded with some stickers!
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Damage: $45 for some scaling to remove the tartar..

Dr Tan preempted that some of his front teeth will start falling off next year.. well, it’s quite expected… we’ll see if we want to tell him about the tooth fairy then.. hee..

Enrichment Classes

The kids just attended their final lessons at Berries, I Can Read and ballet this week. There’s actually 1 more lesson for each of the classes next week but they won’t be able to attend cos of our trip.. Only Berries allows a reschedule..

Anyway, the kids received a certificate each from Berries and Jovan received a term report from I Can Read this week..
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Berries actually gave us a progress report of both of them some time ago. Both are doing fine although Jocelle seems to be faring better.

Jovan seems to be progressing well in reading.. hopefully he’ll be proficient soon.. I Can Read is actually quite costly so I expect to see results faster.. hee..

Water play @ POLW

It was an unplanned trip.. we didn’t expect the weather to be so good as it had been raining recently..

Jovan actually suggested skate scooting but I thought we should do something different.. I asked if they wanted to go to swim or play at the playground.. my smart boy said he wanted to swim at a playground… haha.. POLW came to my mind so I asked if Brenda and friends wanna join us.. Soot Mei had to attend a wedding at Desaru (so exciting!) while Brenda said she wanted to explore a battleship playground..
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It looked exciting so I asked my kids again.. both wanted to go to the pirate ship playground..

We went back to get our swimwear and brought along sand play gear so the kids could play with sand if we changed our minds about POLW.. there was a slight drizzle but we were undaunted.. hee.. the kids were super charged!

We had to pay $15 for each child but accompanying adults go in free.. this is the rate for weekdays too as it’s the school holidays.. Each child was given a passport as well as 100 curios..

We quickly got changed as it was past 4 pm and the pirate ship closes at 6 pm.. The kids had only about 2 hours to play..
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They couldn’t wait to run to the pirate ship right after they changed into their swimwear…

Didn’t take any photos of them while they were at the pirate ship as I didn’t want to wet my phone.. a few minutes after they went in, there was an announcement about the commencement of the bubble pool..

I quickly brought Jocelle to the foam pool but realised that we had to pay 30 euros for the kids to enter.. I quickly went to the locker to get our curios.. I remembered that hubby could take photos with his Samsung Galaxy 4 Active so I asked him to be the photographer.. erm.. I think he needs to work on his photography skills.. haha..
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We managed to persuade Jovan to join in the fun.

While they were having fun in the foam pool, we heard an announcement about the suspension of the pirate ship due to an emergency cleaning they had to do.. apparently someone vomited or made his business somewhere near the pirate ship.. It took a while for the cleaners to clean the area so we were lucky that the kids were in the foam pool..
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When the time was up at the foam pool, the pirate ship was still suspended so we decided to let the kids have some fun with sand..
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The kids had great fun for some time while we waited for the filtration of the water in the play area to be completed..

After a while, the kids went back to the pirate ship after washing the sand play tools…

We finally got the kids out at about 6.10pm as I wanted to bring them to USS to watch the fireworks..

We went to the O’Briens for our dinner as we were unwilling to pay $8.80 for a plate of nasi lemak at Toastbox..

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Another reason for us to eat at O’Briens was that we could observe the iFlyers…
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It seemed quite fun! But I think it’s too expensive! Hee.. hubby was engrossed in watching people fly and he didn’t seem to want to leave.. I had to remind him about the fireworks before he was ready to leave the place at about 7.40pm…

We decided to walk over to USS as the queue for the Sentosa Express was very long..

We managed to reach RWS around 8pm but didn’t manage to enter USS..

We ended up watching the fireworks from outside…

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It was really a great day which ended with a bang! The kids had so much fun that they kept repeating that they wanted to return to POLW again.. I’m sure we’ll be back again!

Year End Concert

Jovan performed today at the Graduation Concert for the K2s.. As he’s not one of the main stars of the concert, he was only involved in one item and the finale.. The concert involved only the K1 and K2 pupils from 3 branches of the ccc so we saw many items by children from the other 2 centres too..

The event started later than planned mainly cos it’s a rainy day.. we had to send him to the venue at 12.30pm for the teachers to get them ready.. since it was raining rather heavily and we couldn’t find any parking… I dropped him off with his teachers before the 3 of us went to AMK Hub for lunch.. Gave him a hot dog bun in addition to the snacks the teachers had prepared…

It was only drizzling slightly when we returned to the venue and we were thankful that we managed to get a parking space..

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We got in on the dot but there was some delay..
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While waiting, we read the short synopsis of the items..
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After some waiting, the concert finally commenced.. 3 valedictorians, 1 from each centre, took turns to give a speech to show their appreciation to their parents and teachers..

I got a little emotional when I heard them as they showed how ready they would be for the next chapter of their lives..  At 6 years old, these children could memorise their speeches really well! 

It was interesting to watch the K2 graduands collecting their certificates too! They all look so cute, especially when they bowed with confidence and held their certs with pride! I’ve a feeling I’ll cry when it’s Jovan’s turn…

After the presentation of certs to the graduands, some children took turns to introduce the various items in the concert. I’m very impressed with many of them who could speak very well and confidently.

Finally, it’s Jovan’s turn to perform! We were discouraged from taking videos and photos as there’s a professional photographer as well as videographer but who cares, right? Hee.. here’s my boy! He’s a bear! Hee..

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He remembered all his moves but he seemed to be a little slower than his friends but he’s adorable! Hee.. so proud of him!

I quite enjoyed the performances by the other children but I think I would enjoy it more if it was not a combined concert as each child had very little ‘air-time’.. so I was very glad to see my boy on stage for the finale.. Also, it’s actually a good thing that my boy is not very tall as he had to stand right in front to be seen! Hee.. yeah! More unblocked air-time for him!
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Since we couldn’t take very close-up photos of him during the concert, we had to do so after the concert.. hee..

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Oh my, he really is short! Haha..
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We also ordered some photos taken during his full dress rehearsal..
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Well, 1 more year to go and he’ll graduate from the ccc… hmmm.. it’ll be an exciting year ahead!

Operation ‘No-training-wheels’

Yes.. We thought, or rather, I thought it’s time to teach the boy to cycle without the training wheels.. Suggested to hubby to remove the training wheels on the bicycle but hubby didn’t remove them totally..

He’s a very careful person.. I think he thinks too much whereas I’m one who’s more relaxed about safety.. He feels that the kids should be well protected so we bought all the necessary elbow, wrist and knee guards. Oh, and helmets too.. It’s a good precaution though I’m not too worried about the kids injuring their heads.. Why would they need a helmet? They’ll probably scrape their knees or elbows if they fall off the bike, right? How would they hurt their heads? That’s how I feel but I didn’t object to buying all the safety gear cos the kids look so cute with the gear, right? Hee.. Ok, I admit I actually do agree that these gear are important..

Back to the training today.. I asked hubby why he didn’t remove the training wheels but left them attached to the bike but not touching the ground.. He replied that we should take it slow in training him, explaining that since our boy is timid, we should let him take his time..

I, being the impatient one, argued that we should let him fall since he’s well-protected.. Even if he falls, he won’t be injured..

Hubby’s take was that if he falls, he would be discouraged and would give up learning but I countered that he won’t learn to cycle if he doesn’t fall..

His view was that since he’s a timid boy, we shouldn’t let him experience danger and failure.. Again I countered that we should then train him to take risks and accept failure..

Haha.. Anyway, even though we had different views, we compromised a little by taking turns to guide him in our own way.. We removed and reattached the training wheels a few times according to my boy’s reaction to our guidance..

He fell a few times but he didn’t give up.. I think it’s because we kept encouraging him.. He didn’t injure himself and he wasn’t affected by the falls as he was well protected.. But he still needs to learn how to balance while riding..

We’ve failed in our mission today but we’re not disheartened.. It’s only his first training without the training wheels after all.. We’ll try to do this another day and I really hope he can master the skill before the new year!