Road Trip and Post X’mas Family Gathering

We met up with the usual gang – Chews, Laus, Tohs and Tans – on the Saturday after Christmas at about 12.30pm to drive to Senai for Korean food.. Johnson had been telling us about this Korean restaurant that he had tried and recommended that we make a trip there..

We checked the traffic camera before we decided to take the 2nd link as the traffic seemed light.. Sigh.. we were so wrong! We cleared the Singapore customs fairly quickly but were stuck for about 2 hours over at the Malaysia customs.. It was a long and tiring wait.. The kids didn’t want to take a nap and were making lots of noise along the way..

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By the time we reached the restaurant, it was after 3pm! The kids didn’t complain though, probably because their friends were with them.. The restaurant only had 3 customers when we arrived so we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.. We served the kids their food before we started eating and chatting.. The kids took one table and the ladies sat together while the gentlemen occupied another table.. haha.. I’m so glad the restaurant was quite empty.. It could be due to the location of the restaurant or that we were there way past the lunch hour.. haha..

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After lunch, the kids treated themselves to an ice cream cone each although some had a second helping.. haha.. We split the cost and each family had to pay about $50..

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After that, we had to make our way back to my sister’s place for our post Christmas gathering with our relatives.. The traffic was equally bad at the Malaysia customs but my man “accidentally took the left-most lane which was meant for lorries and “overtook” many cars by “cutting the queue”. Even then, we took about an hour and 45min to clear the customs.. by the time we reached Emily’s place, it was close to 8pm…

We ate again and the kids were blessed with more gifts from their cousins, aunts and uncles.. We celebrated the birthday of Zach (my nephew) with a log cake and before everyone left, we lined the gifts behind each kid and allowed them to unwrap their gifts… The kids were of course very happy to receive so many gifts!

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We had 2 big bags of gifts to lug back and I warned them not to sleep in the car or we would throw away their gifts since we would not be able to carry them and their gifts.. It was a very successful warning as both tried hard to keep themselves awake until we reached home.. haha..

Oh yes, we also took a wefie with everyone present that night! Love my family!!

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X’mas Gathering

We opened our house for a X’mas mahjong session on X’mas day as Abbie had a dinner appointment on X’mas eve.. The Laus and Tans came over at about 1pm for lunch.. The Chews didn’t join us as they wanted to spend X’mas at USS as their annual pass would expire on X’mas day itself.. Pauline had a lunch appointment and could only join us after that..

I prepared some simple fare like chicken rice, eggs and steamed vegetables for my guests and was glad they didn’t complain about my mediocre or should I say barely-can-make-it culinary skills.. Haha.. Of coz they won’t complain since they are such accommodating people.. Hee.. We chatted over nuts and beer after lunch while the kids had lunch at their own table..

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The kids had great fun playing with one another while we chitchatted and snacked.. We also let the kids watch Maleficent and Frozen (yes, again!) while we ladies played mahjong.. Hee..

The men then went to get dinner while we played on.. It was a long game.. Haha.. By the time they came back, we still haven’t completed 南!We took a break after the South round so we could have dinner..

After dinner, we had some fruits and look at these 2 darlings enjoying the strawberries and grapes!

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Then the kids continued to play.. The girls were of cos princess wannabes while the boys were superheroes! Haha..

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After dinner, Harold and Johnson took over Abbie and Soot Mei and I continued with the mahjong game.. Shum prefers rummy and Dennis was not here so I continued playing..

Once in a while, the kids would come and disturb us.. Haha..

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The kids had a great time messing up the kiddos room but they were also good at clearing up as the room was returned to its original state before they left at about 11 plus..

We always had a good time with this bunch of people! May we have more play dates in 2015!!

Frozen themed X’mas party

The kids had a Frozen themed X’mas party at their ccc ok X’mas eve so before that, I’ve already asked hubby to source for a Queen Elsa dress and a wig.. Eventually, he found a pair of shoes for her too!

Let’s look at the wig first! Hee..

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We tried to find a Kristoff costume but to no avail.. The Google searches turned up a lot of DIY examples.. No choice, I had to DIM as well..

I went to Daiso and Giant to source for various items and spent less than $30 for a polo tee, ribbon tapes and several neck warmers.. Haha.. After some cutting and seeing, I ended up with this!

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Not fantastic but I think it’s quite similar to the character ya?

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Jovan was very happy to try it on! Hubby then dug out a beanie which is too small for him and even let him try my gray 3/4 leggings as he didn’t have any gray pants..

This is how they look on the actual day..

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Don’t they look cute? Haha.. Jocelle has asked for a Frozen themed birthday party next year so we’ll probably let them wear the same outfits.. Hopefully her wig can last till then! Haha..

Jovan’s Graduation concert

The concert took place on 19 Dec and the theme was Once Upon A Time.. Jovan was dressed like the prince in Rapunzel.. We had to put some make up for him and style his hair.. We had to apply blue eye shadow and blusher for him but apparently, it was too light and the teachers touched up quite a bit.. Haha..

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I like the venue this time and we managed to get good seats.. It started off with a speech by the valedictorian from the various centers before the K2s went on stage to receive their scrolls..

After that, the K1 and K2 classes in the various centers took turns to perform, each centre performing an item based on the various fairytales like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and of cos Frozen.. It was rather entertaining to watch! We had placed an order for the DVD so I didn’t take many photos or videos but simply enjoyed the show..

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After the concert, Jovan took a photo with his favourite 边老师..

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It was drizzling slightly but we managed to get to the car park without getting wet.. We then went to Ichiban Boshi at Great world for lunch..

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Time flies.. My boy has graduate and will soon be embarking on a new journey! He’s excited and I hope he’ll enjoy and cope well in school next year!

One tooth less

My dear son woke up in the morning to show me his missing tooth.. It’s his lower right front baby tooth that finally dropped.. It had been loose for more than a week and he had been rather excited about it..

I was worried that he might have swallowed it during his sleep so I quickly got out of bed to search his bed.. Thankfully, I found it!

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I put it in a bag and slipped in a piece of paper to note down the date.. Haha..

Accident on excursion

The kids went to Snow City today with their teachers and peers.. They were told to be in long pants and to bring along a jacket..

Both were excited about the trip and we sent them to the ccc slightly after 9am. We were late.. My bad as I’ve accidentally set the alarm at 7.59am instead of 7.00am.. Sigh.. Mad rush but the bus would leave at 9.25am so we could still make it.. While rushing the kids, l told them to be quick or the bus would leave without them.. My darling girl took her time and even said we could send them to Snow City if they missed the bus.. [roll eyes…]

Anyway, after we sent them to the CCC, we went for our facial and massage appointment..

On our way back, I received a call.. It was 边老师.. she said Jovan fell and hurt the left side of his face.. we decided to drop by to see him before we go for lunch..

He was having his lunch and Ms Eunice recounted the incident to us.. he slipped while climbing some steps and hit his face on an ice block or something like that.. he looked ok despite his injuries..

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Apparently, the staff at Snow City also applied some ointment on his wounds.. he said he didn’t cry.. what an adventure..

First loose milk tooth

We were shopping at Giant today when I noticed a gap between 2 of Jovan’s lower teeth..

Pointed it out to hubby but we both couldn’t think of a good reason why the teeth would move apart from each other.. We just reminded him to brush his teeth more thoroughly every day..

When we got home, Jovan came excitedly to tell me that one of his teeth was loose!

I got a little excited and asked him to show me his loose tooth..

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Can you see the gap between 2 of his lower teeth? The one on the right (our view) was the loose tooth.. He shook it a little to show me then said he’s very excited about the loose tooth.. I guess he has seen many of his peers who had lost a tooth or two and was expecting his milk teeth to start dropping too!

On our way to dinner, he mentioned his loose milk tooth again so I told him to be careful when taking his meals so he wouldn’t swallow his own tooth.. I then told him to keep his tooth if it dropped so he could put it under his pillow.. The tooth fairy would then reward him with some money.. He mentioned about sharing the money with Jocelle (sweet, right?) but I told him the amount he would receive would depend on how clean his tooth was..

Then when I mentioned that the tooth fairy would collect his tooth, he unexpectedly told us he didn’t want the money and that he wanted to keep his baby tooth himself! I was surprised that he was not interested in the reward! Hee..

Well, we’ll see if he changes his mind when his milk tooth drops..

Siem Reap 2014 Part 2

 

We woke up fairly late on day three as we had a long day on day two.. We had a breakfast at the hotel before we went to Old Market..

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We then had Khmer BBQ for lunch…

BBQ crocodile meat?!

BBQ crocodile meat?!

Then we took a USD3 tuk-tuk to the Angkor National Museum..

A respite from the heat..

A respite from the heat..

More history lessons...

More history lessons…

We then walked to the Lucky Burger fast food restaurant in the Lucky Mall to have our dinner.. I actually ordered Mushroom Burger but was given a Shrimp burger so I ended up eating the burger bun with some lettuce and fries..

Will we get lucky?

Will we get lucky?

Then we walked for about 10-15min to watch Phare, the Cambodian Circus to watch Preu (Chills). We learnt about the social mission of Phare Performing Social Enterprise during the show and found it a meaningful way to help the youths in Cambodia.. The cast put in a lot of hard work and put up an entertaining show which we enjoyed very much.. Please do show your support if you visit Siem Reap in future.. I’m sure you’ll find it meaningful too.. 

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Fans were also provided in case it was warm but we didn’t have to use them as there were many fans to keep the place cool.. We even had a photo with the fun-loving cast after the show!

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We took another tuk-tuk back to our hotel that night and had a good rest that night..

On day 4, we shopped at Hard Rock, Old Market and Pub Street in the morning before we visited the War Museum to find out more about the more recent history about the Khmer Empire and Khmer Rouge..

Who's Pol Pot?

Who’s Pol Pot?

Our volunteer guide is a captain who had lost a leg during the four-year period and it was really heartrending to hear his stories..

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img1417760993671 img1417761104191After that, we went to the Killing Fields Memorial at Wat Thmey.. It’s a small place and we didn’t take long to walk around the area..  But it would have been better if there was a guide to tell us more..

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After a walk about there, we took the tuk-tuk back to our hotel and had cup noodles for dinner before we enjoyed a 2-hour Khmer massage at USD16 each.. A good way to end the fourth day of our trip..

On the last day, we lazed around in our room in the morning and did some last minute shopping at Old Market before we had lunch..

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It was a short trip but we both enjoyed ourselves as we could see things at a different perspective and engage ourselves in some in-depth discussions without the interruption of our 2 darlings.. I guess we could have planned more activities for the trip but I think it’s good to slow down a little at times and just enjoy each other’s company..

 

 

Siem Reap 2014 Part 1

We went for our first couple trip this December, many years after our last couple trip to Korea in 2007 if I’m not wrong.. Really can’t remember exactly but it was many years ago..

Anyway, I actually suggested to hubby about going to Siem Reap or Phnom Penh as the airfare was very cheap if we were to take a budget flight.. He dismissed the idea until I shared an itinerary on UOB Travel with him.. I’ve always wanted to see Angkor Wat for myself and was glad he finally agreed. Of course I had to check with Emily to see if she could help to babysit my 2 kids.. Thankfully, she gladly agreed although she had to ferry the kids to the various activities and enrichment classes.. How blessed am I? The kids were also happy to know that they would be staying with their favourite aunt during our trip.. hee…

So we set off on 2 Dec, 2 days after we returned from our Bandung trip .. hee.. we took SilkAir and had to have a short transit in Da Nang before we carried on to Siem Reap.. By the time we reached our hotel, it was close to dinner time.. We freshened up a bit and walked for about 5 min to Angkor Trade Centre for dinner.. We were not too adventurous so we settled for BBQ Chicken.. My man ordered the local beer which cost USD1.60..

Angkor beer

Angkor beer

After dinner, we shopped at the supermarket for some snacks before we called it a day..

On day 2, we got ready at 8am to meet our guide at the lobby.. Our package included a one day tour with an English speaking guide.. Thinking it would be a hot day, I was dressed in shorts but the guide actually asked if I have something that would be long enough to cover my knees as shorts were not appropriate for temple visits.. I changed into jeans as I didn’t have something in between..

First, we had to get our passes before we visited the various temples.. It cost USD20 for a 1-day pass, USD40 for a 3-day pass and USD60 for a 1-week temple pass to visit the temples.. Our package included a 1-day pass and we needed to have our photos printed on each pass..

My 1-day temple pass

My 1-day temple pass

After we’ve made our passes, we visited the South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon, Baphuon, Phimeanakas, Elephants Terrace and drove pass Terrace of the Leper King.

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I’m glad we had a guide as he could tell us a lot about the history of Cambodia.. After the temple visits, we had Khmer fare for lunch at a local restaurant…

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The friendly guide actually asked us where we would want to go the next day and I asked about Floating Village Tonle Sap.. He offered to bring us there since there was time and since it was drizzling, it was not a good idea to visit Angkor Wat..

We paid for the boat tour as this was not inclusive in the package.. I can’t remember how much we paid for the ride but according to my hubby, we paid USD25/pax.. Now that I think about it, it was really expensive but I guess we are helping the locals earn a living.. Along the way, we actually see many young children trying to sell postcards and souvenirs.. life is different there and I guess that’s how it is for them… the guide shared that education is free there but not all parents see the value of education as they are struggling to make a living.. It would be good for our kids to come here when they are older as sometimes you need to see the world to appreciate what you have and be grateful..

Floating provision shop

Floating provision shop

 

Seamstress at work

Seamstress at work

We stopped by a restaurant called Freshwater Fish Exhibit Restaurant along the way and saw some crocodiles and stuff..

Poor crocodiles...

Poor crocodiles…

After that, we continued the tour back to the jetty and then made our way to Angkor Wat..

The beauty of Angkor Wat

The beauty of Angkor Wat

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Beautiful sunset

Beautiful sunset

After that, we moved on to have buffet dinner at Koulen Restaurant while watching a traditional Apsara dance show..

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It was a long and tiring day for us.. but it was definitely a fruitful one..

Bandung Nov 2014 Part 3

We had many activities planned for today and our first stop was to a hot spring..

According to the itinerary, we could choose to swim in the hot spring or just dip our feet into the hot spring so most of us expected a pool of water where we could just dip our feet into.. We didn’t bring our swimwear, thinking that it would be difficult to change if we were to swim..

But alas, when we reached the Sari Ater Hot Spring, we realised it’s actually a resort where we could try a whole range of activities! We could actually spend an entire day here!

We first dipped our feet into some hot pools..

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Some of us also tried the fish spa..

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As we’ve tried fish spa before, we decided to try out their archery..

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The photos of the men were taken by me while the one of me was taken by my dear husband.. You can tell who’s a better photographer ya? Sigh..

After that, we walked around and stopped for some snacks..

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The food there was really cheap and nice!

Next on, we went to try their ATV ride.. I expected more to want to try but it ended up with only the 4 of us trying!

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It was fun!

It started to drizzle when we decided to move on to our next destination, which was the Floating Market but we stopped by a coffee place for a break..

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As we were about to leave the place, it started drizzling again so we decided to skip the Floating Market and move on to De’Ranch at Lembang..

We had a welcome drink that was included in the entrance fee..

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Then it started to drizzle again.. Sigh.. We bought some snacks while waiting for the weather to turn better..

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Their tauhu snacks were really good! Jocelle asked for cotton candy too..

Again, we took some photos while waiting..

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There’s simply too much to do, don’t you think?

Finally, we decided to just let the kids go ahead with the horse rides when the rain was less heavy..

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The rest took a horse carriage ride too!

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Actually, I kind of pity the horses pulling the carriages in the rain although they were wearing ‘raincoats’..

Anyway, after we’ve had our fun, we decided to skip Dusun Bambu, an eco park where we were supposed to have lunch as the rain was getting rather heavy..

We went for dinner at another local restaurant before we went for our massage..

The food was not as good as the previous one we had and Elyssa broke a cup during dinner.. Nic was upset when he was asked to pay for the broken cup..

After dinner, we proceeded to Ola Family Spa where we all had either foot or body massage.. I shared a room with Jocelle while Shum shared one with Jovan..

The kids enjoyed the massage so much that both fell asleep and didn’t want to wake up!

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It’s a place I would recommend all to go since it’s family-friendly and cheap!

Next, we asked the replacement driver to bring us shopping but he brought us to a batik shop.. We shopped a while before we proceeded to another factory outlet which was a disappointment. That was when I WhatsApped Kosim to ask him if there was a better shopping area.. He communicated with the replacement driver who then drove us to another shopping centre which was way better..

Of course, we had to snack.. Hee..

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After some shopping, we again stopped by a minimart to get some food.. We bought cheap Magnum and martabak for supper too… Hee..

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Time to call it a day! But not before the kids talked about their experience earlier..

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Haha.. Like real only!