Convos with Bubba at 2.5 yrs

Bubba is quite the chatterbox, not that I’m complaining but it’s quite funny to see how quick her mind works when I try to reason with her. This was a recent convo that took place over dinner and just thinking about this often brings a smile to my face.

img_6798Scenario: Bubba fussing during dinner, not wanting to eat her food

Me: Sophie, eat your food! Stop throwing it around! Look at Mummy’s face now? It it happy, angry or sad?

S: It’s angry! Mummy, you don’t be angry ok? You must be happy! (then turns to Dad and said the same thing)

And just like that, that look of anger somewhat dissipates and turns into a wide smile.

Even my mom and my MIL who witnessed this couldn’t stop laughing!

Happy Birthday to the Man!

img_6589Guess who turned 40 over the weekend? Hehe.. the Man! But I think he doesn’t look like his age at all. The weekend was filled with festivities and loads of feasting with family and friends. Well, as much as I tried to plan a surprise for him, he always manages to guess it. Likewise, when it comes to planning surprises for me, he says that he feels compelled to reveal the surprise to me because I always look like I can’t wait to know what’s coming up.

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This time round, I tried to keep the dinner location a secret but I let the Man in on the guest list. Days before his birthday dinner reveal, he asked me point-blank where the dinner bash would be. Just as I was squirming in my seat, hemming and hawing to fish out a response, he said he guessed that it would be Odette. I stared at him and asked “How did you guess?!” He gave a knowing look and said that he would be surprised given our friendship with Chef Julien, he would be appalled if I chose somewhere else to hold the bash. Well, I guess he was right. The Man: 1, Me: 0

img_6752img_6588The menu that Chef Julien created for our small group was indeed ‘outstanding’ with a couple of new variations injected into his creations. The capellini with egg yolk and black truffles was a hit around the table as well as the pigeon. The wine selected to be paired with the menu was also superb. We all went home with a very happy belly and in high spirits.

img_6616The next day, the party continued but mostly time spent with the little one. Since I planned the programme for the day, we started the day with a Paw Patrol themed birthday cake.

img_6635Hehe, very kiddy for a 40th birthday but one thing we come to realised that your birthdays aren’t quite the same when the kid is around. They kinda think that it’s part of their birthday too and will claim all rights to blowing the candles off your cake. Do not (I repeat), DO NOT even attempt to blow off your own candles for it will incur the wrath of your child.

img_6670Of course, I couldn’t quite let him celebrate his birthday without setting off some fireworks (this is legal, btw) on his cake. It created quite a stir but I have to say, all eyes were definitely on the birthday boy Man for sure!

img_6733-1Once again, blessed birthday again to Sparky (aka the Man and Daddy)! Wishing you the best of health, joy and happiness as you enter into the next decade! 🙂

Family fun in Gold Coast

Ever since having a kid, I kinda think Australia is a choice destination when it comes to family holidays. It’s relatively easy and near to fly to, plus majority of the establishments are generally child-friendly.

Last December, we decided to travel as one big extended family Down Under. Perth was suggested but tossed out of the window when we found out that we could borrow my Mom’s boss’s apartment in Gold Coast. Since I’m terribly late in sharing this post, will do up a simple round-up of our 10-days trip to Gold Coast.

img_5429Flying to Gold Coast
We flew to Gold Coast by Scoot because that’s the only carrier that offered a direct flight. If prefer to fly via Singapore Airlines, then you would need to fly to Brisbane and then either take a bus or a train down to Gold Coast. We thought traveling in a large group of 8 pax (5 adults and 3 kids), the train and coach from Brisbane to Gold Coast might be somewhat logistically challenging. So the direct flight to Scoot appeared to be a better choice.

Here’s what we learn about flying on Scoot, so thought I’d just share if you can’t quite decide if you wish to fly on budget. Number one, while Scoot is considered to be budget, we realised that prices aren’t quite budget. The airfare for me and the Bub came up to nearly S$2,000 after adding taxes plus baggage allowance. That said, we did choose Scoot because it flew direct to Gold Coast so we understood that there wasn’t going to be much savings given that we were also travelling in a huge group during high season of travel.

img_5417-1Number two, bring along your own blanket and pillow on-board for they will not be provided free on flight. If you do forget your blanket or pillow, you can purchase from Scoot for a fee. Number three, beverages and meals all come at a cost on Scoot. It’s cheaper for to purchase your meals ahead rather than purchasing on-flight. Also, if you plan to bring along your own meals, well, do eat discreetly for the air-crew actually will tell you to keep away your own food. Do bring along a hot water flask to load up on hot water for making milk for your child if needed. We found that to be useful for during the flight, Bubba had a huge appetite only for milk.

img_5433-1On entertainment, do not expect any complimentary in-flight entertainment. Other than that, we took a red-eye flight to Gold Coast where the Bub slept most of the trip and then on the way back home to Singapore, the iPad loaded with her fave games and cartoons kept her occupied for a good part of the trip.

img_6195Getting around Gold Coast
Our apartment was in South Port which was walking distance to a mall, it was also close to a tram and bus stop. Our preferred mode of transport to get around was actually Uber. It was quick and convenient so we basically just relied on that as we heard that cabs in Gold Coast can get quite costly. But one point to note is that if you intend to travel further out, you may wish to do a fare estimate between Uber and Gold Coast Cabs. We did just that and found out that it was a whole lot more convenient chartering a maxi cab that could sit all 8 of us comfortably with our shopping bags instead of splitting the group into 2 separate cars.

img_6196Eating around Gold Coast
To be honest, we had grand plans about dining in some restaurants. We did just that on our first day as it was my Dad’s birthday but we had one child who was sleeping in her stroller (mine), another child who slept on my sister’s lap and one cranky child was was sleep-deprived. The adults ended up wolfing down our food and drinks. In the end, my mom suggested that it was more peaceful to have our meals at home.

Mummies are really the best! My mom actually lugged a box of dried food stuff (which we declared to the customs) to Gold Coast and made sure that we ate at least a hearty meal at home. That hearty meal became 2 meals a day simply because it was way easier to sort out the kids meals at home. They get to sit down with minimal distractions and finish their meals. When they are done, they either play amongst themselves, watch tv and have ice-cream while the rest of the adults slowly eat up the rest of the leftovers and finish the bottle of wine. It was a whole lot more enjoyable that way. So, hat’s off and THANK YOU MUMMY for making all that food for us during the trip! 🙂

img_5283Home-cooked meals also mean that they cost way cheaper than dining out. We got choice-cut meats like beef steak, lamb, chicken, etc at the local supermarket along with fresh fruits and vegetables that accompanied our meal. The kids went crazy over the ham and bacon and we literally could polish off nearly 300 grams of cold cuts for breakfast. Oh, let’s not forget just how affordable wine is over in Australia. The sister and I were happy with our local wine store finds of wine that cost AUD 13 a bottle. She proudly chimed that if she lived in Australia any longer, she would probably become an alcoholic. Haha..

img_4840Gold Coast Attractions and Theme Parks
We knew that we wanted to go to a couple of theme parks like Movie World, Sea World and an animal related attraction. Trawled the internet and managed to find a pass that had a 1-year unlimited access into Movie World, Sea World, Wet n Wild and Paradise Country for under AUD 90 a head at Experience OZ. This was a pretty good deal so we got passes for the adults and the older kids. As Bubba is under three, her entry to all of the above-mentioned attractions were free.

img_6197Paradise Country:
Get pretty up-close-and-personal with wildlife from Australia such as koalas, kangaroos, sheep, etc. Have to add that the car-ride there was a little bumpy and the Bub threw up her breakfast all over me so that was pretty eventful (and ironic, not to mention as I was wearing the ‘Queen’ tee). Thankfully, I had a spare change of clothes for her and there were a couple of souvenir shops for me to grab a tourist-tee for a quick change.

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We spent about 3 hours at Paradise Country looking at the different animals but didn’t quite stay on for the shows for it was a little too hot being out in the sun. I did spent AUD6 on kangaroo feed (got 3 packs of the kangaroo food for all 3 kiddos). Well, I kinda regretted the move for most of the food was wasted. The kangaroos were simply fed too well that most of them weren’t very interested in eating what was being thrown at them. I guess the kids did have fun running after them and begging them to eat their food from their palms.

img_6271Sea World
Memories of Sea World remained faint as I visited the attraction like many years ago but I was excited to bring the Bub for she showed a keen interest in marine life. And following our trip to Japan where she visited the various aquariums and marvelled at the marine life behind those thick glass panels, I thought this would be one of the attractions that better suited her.

Well, turned out Sea World was a lot smaller than some of the aquariums that we had visited in Japan. We spent about 3-4 hours there and pretty much toured the entire place. There wasn’t much of a marine life to boast about but we did see penguins, dolphins and sea-lions.

img_4968Perhaps, the saving grace for Sea World (which felt like it was in dire need of a face-lift given the standards of theme parks these days) was the Nickoloden play area which had rides that were great for younger kids. Managed to convince the Bub to go on this fun air-plane ride which she gamely went along with me. She’s usually quite timid when it comes to taking rides so I was impressed by her show of courage.

img_4957The presence of Dora also brought a wide smile to her face. She patiently waited in line before shyly going up to Dora to ask where her backpack was. When Dora picked her up, she was thrilled and I was just pleased to have snapped a nice shot of her wide smile.

img_4932My older nephews weren’t too interested in the kiddy rides. In fact, they spent most of my Dad’s money on carnival games and we ended up going up with a bag of soft toys that they won from the challenges. Haha!

img_4982I ain’t going to do a round-up of Movie World for you probably can get most of the research online. I only wished that they still had the Harry Potter ride as her outfit would be perfect for the themed par.k. Unfortunately, as the weather was too hot, we changed her into something more comfortable. We spent more than half a day there but Bubba didn’t take a lot of the rides as they were meant more for older kids and adults. Not like she was complaining but she fell asleep for a few hours after insisting on going round the merry-go-round for the umpteenth time.

img_4688-1Shopping in Gold Coast
We spent quite a lot of time at the supermarket, going down aisles to check out what interesting food stuff they have that we don’t in Singapore. The selection of snacks, biscuits, toiletries and even toys made us very excited.

img_5116Here are some of the kids snacks which I brought back for the Bub and her little friends. Her fave of t he lot are those dried fruit which she simply adores and loves. That’s the only snack that will keep her in her stroller without any complaints. Those yogurt coated raisins in that Peppa Pig box is also a healthy snack that she enjoys.

img_5066We also made it to Harbour Town Factory Outlet where we spent nearly an entire day shopping. The kids cooperated after they had their meals by falling asleep in their strollers so we managed to squeeze in a couple of hours of shopping. Well, we didn’t go overboard but I did get my fix at Bonds and my sister, Mom and I scored a pair of new Vans shoes for a steal! These were kids sizes by the way and we paid about AUD30 for these Super Mario Limited Edition kicks. Super happy!

img_5096Check out our Vans shoes twinning shot!

img_5112That’s not all! We managed to stock up on some kids clothes for Bubba at Target and KMart and I lugged home many of Bubba’s new toys from her recent cartoons craze – Paw Patrol and Blaze and the Monster Machines. Yes, that’s my girl for you.. not your usual Disney Princess loving kid, instead she loves dogs plus monster trucks. Kinda funny and cute altogether!

img_5189Guess that sums up our family trip to Gold Coast. We did enjoy ourselves very much and I think the Bub really enjoyed the company of her cousins, grandparents plus uncle/ aunt tremendously. The day passed by so quickly with the trio of joy, sometimes laughing, singing, dancing and also bickering.

img_5382But that’s the beauty of family holidays, the memories do last. I used to love going holidays with my cousins and would look forward to the times spent with them. Being possibly the only child for now, I only hope that Bubba would love the company of her cousins too.

img_5264I must say we did pretty well in organising the logistics for a rather relaxing and well-rested family holiday that another family holiday with the entire gang is in the works. Taiwan perhaps? Anyone has an itinerary to share? 🙂

 

Hello 2017!

img_6108Sheesh, it feels like it’s been a while since I posted something. Had meant to post a review of 2016 but of course, I never got round to doing it. Christmas came and gone and ushering 2017 was spent with my loved ones unwrapping gifts and clinking glasses of chilled moscato when the year turned before hugging my little one tightly to bed. Nothing fancy, just with people who we hold and love so dearly.

img_6228Also, the lack of updates is largely due to a heavy workload with a huge event that’s coming up this weekend and whatever free time I have left, I’m usually either running errands or spending time with the above face. Solo-parenting is also coming to an end with the Man returning from his world time later this week. Feels like forever, in between poor wifi connection, most of the convos that we had with a couple of minutes via Facetime (usually more for the Dad to look at his precious daughter) and the rest via What’s App. I’m sure he will have loads to share about his epic trip.

In the meantime, please do stick around here for we hope to bounce back into bloggin action soon! 🙂

Show and tell in school: eye Care

Bubba’s school will dish out home assignments to parents occasionally very often around a simple Show and Tell which the parents and child are strongly encouraged to participate in. This was our 4th Show and Tell for the year and the theme was around Eye Care. I have to add, some of these themes are not easy so we often have to crack our head to prepare something fun and creative for Bubba to present during the segment. Also, it was never about competition (ie: which kid presented better or which parent did a better job at the theme), the whole point about having a Show and Tell session at their age is to really encourage them to learn and experience public speaking – an important skill that they will use throughout their life.

Here’s what we did for her little Show and Tell segment around eye care.

img_2241 I didn’t want to do up a poster because we did that previously for one of the themes. Also, doing up a poster seemed like a lot more work and I have to admit, I wasn’t sure of what to put. While looking for inspiration and possibly throwing out the mailers, this particular card stood out in terms of size, so I decided to recycle the card for the submission of the project.

img_2880Wasn’t too difficult either. Since the theme was around eye care, for the card’s main visual, I took inspiration from an eye-check chart and stuck googly eyes (purchased from Daiso) on the front of the card.

img_2242As for the inside, I simply used whatever leftover scrapbooking material I had previously for the project and selected some key tips for Bubba to share with her little friends on how to take proper care of their little eyes.

img_2243I started out this project feeling a little flustered as I was not sure if whatever I produced would make sense to Bubba but after the completion of the card and rehearsing with Bubba what she should share with her friends in school, I was filled with a sense of pride when Bubba could repeat what I taught her after looking at the pictures in the card.

This exercise also taught me about how we often take simple things like looking after one’s eyes for granted. Taking care of one’s eyes starts young and the amount of technology that these little ones are exposed to these days compared to my times, it’s even more important for them to observe these useful eye care tips before their eye conditions start deteriorating.

On to 2017, wonder what parent-child projects are in stored for us as Bubba heads on to Nursery 1.

Mommy car woes 

One of Bub’s fave shows currently is Team Umizoomi and apart from the cartoon’s main characters (Milli, Geo and Bot), Umicar often makes an appearance in the show. Bub gets a kick when Umicar comes on and she would often go ‘Umicar!’ in unison with the other characters. Well, it did teach her some proper safety tips and she knows that she needs to belt up when she’s in her car-seat. As a result, we decided to name my car ‘Mummycar’ (I know not very inventive) when I bring her out for a ride.

img_5934This morning, on the way to school, this sign flashed on my dashboard. My heart sanked a little for I suspected that a nail had probably punctured my rear tyre. I’m usually quite clueless when it comes to matters relating to the car and the Man usually handled the matters. But now that he’s away, I had to kinda figure what to do (besides sending him a SOS What’s App message while he’s miles away).

img_4550This was the second incident that we had with Mummycar in the past 2 weeks or so. A day before I was scheduled to fly off for our family trip to Gold Coast, the windscreen of my car cracked. I had parked the car at Bubba’s school the entire day and suspected that either a small rock fell on it or it could be something else. I panicked not knowing what to do. Thankfully, my BFF helped and guided me along; had the help of a friend too who basically told me that I needed to call the car insurance company, report the incident and then send down the car to the assigned workshop for them to replace the windscreen. Turnaround time for this was 2-3 working days which he had helped sort out once I got the paperwork in order.

Now back to punctured tyre.

I had two options. One, which was to send the car back to Mercedes which would probably take a week or so to sort out the problem and perhaps recommend that I change the tyre which would cost me a bomb or Two, to drive to the nearest tyre workshop to see if the tyre could be patched. The second option seemed more viable as I tried looking for the nail but could not find it with my naked eye.

img_5936Then, I recalled a colleague having the same problem a couple of months back and she shared a contact for ARS Recovery so I decided to contact them to see if they could help me patch my tyre.

img_5938Turned out they could and on the spot too for a fee and they were quick too! The incident happened when I was on my way to drop Bub in school and it took under an hour for them to come and fix the problem. My tyre repair which also came with a warranty cost me $100. The Man says that we probably need to bring our car in for servicing just to make sure that everything is ok. Well, I will let him sort that out when he’s back.

img_5940For now, this nail will serve as a memory and hopefully put an end to all our car woes!

Gold Coast for Christmas

Christmas is often spent with family and loved ones. While I am not super big on the holiday, I still love the magical feeling in the air, the company of my family and the sometimes quibbling we get while ripping apart our wrappers next to the Christmas, not to mention the feasting.

This year, the Man decided to embark on his round-the-world-trip. I was a little crushed when he told me of his plans for I had hoped that we spend the holidays as a family, but I also knew that once he’s made up his mind, there’s no stopping him. Rather than have a disgruntled husband who’s probably going to assume the role as a Grinch over Christmas, I might as well let him go on his holiday alone and I make my own plans to spend the holidays with my family – the noisy bunch.

Turned out to be a great decision! It did take a little convincing my parents to spend the holidays overseas but because Christmas fell on a Sunday and we had Monday off, it allowed me to take some time off from work. I also knew my parents would love to spend some time with the Bub so the family holiday was perfect for bonding with my side of the family and her cousins whom she only gets to meet once a week.

When it came to deciding the country we should all visit, Japan came up as the preferred choice but I knew that travelling in a group of 9 with 3 young kids could potentially be challenging for Tokyo. Where are we to find an air BnB big enough to accommodate us all. Air BnB/ apartments are still preferred on family trips as it would allow us to prepare meals for the kids and my dad who may sometimes prefer the home-cooked food. Plus, it would be cold and the logistics of moving a big group via public transport seemed like another challenge to tackle on the list. So I suggested Australia as the next choice of destination. It was vetoed by most of the family members as December was Summer and it was going to be hot. I was a little crushed but after discussion, we decided to head down to Gold Coast. We had the loan of an apartment by one of my Mom’s bosses and Gold Coast seemed like a child-friendly destination for both the young and old. Plus, it has been ages since we last visited there so it would be nice to head back there and see what Gold Coast has to offer.

img_5428This is the whole Sim FamBam before our trip. I hope to be able to do a short post on what we have done over the 10 days which seemed long at first but it went by so fast. It’s true what they say, time does fly by when you are having fun!

img_4696In the meantime, leaving you this cute pic (well, at least I think she’s cute) of the Bub attempting to cast a magic spell on me. I think I need some magic around here to work on all my posts.

Looking forward to the upcoming New Year break but also feeling a little nostalgic about how quick the year just went by.