Friday, May 29, 2015

Go Local! 7 holidays destinations in June

The June holidays is upon us! Finally! I’m especially excited because I can finally bring EV and AA out. During last year’s December holidays, I was stuck at home because of a freak accident. That was terrible! Knowing that it’s the holidays, but yet cannot go out is a horrendous feeling, for both the kids and me. So I’m really determined to make it up to the kids this time. I can’t wait! These are some activities that I’ve researched and I believe they make awesome adventures for EV and AA. The good thing about them is, they’re either free, or are going at discounted rates.

Credit: Singapore Art Museum

Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas
Now till 19 July 2015
SAM at 8Q

I’ve heard so much about this, I’m itching to go. The name of the exhibition suggests ‘imagination’, and from what I’ve seen so far, that’s certainly the case. And based on SAM’s track record of organising annual art exhibitions for children for the last five years, I’m pretty certain that Imaginarium will blow minds and encourage inquisitive little ones to explore and go on an adventure of discovery. 

In the spirit of SG50, the exhibition is inspired by the crescent moon on the Singapore flag, symbolising a nation and its people’s capacity to dream big and think large. There are interactive artworks and hands-on activities featuring artists from Singapore and the region. 

71 Bras Basah Road
Singapore 198555
Opening Hours: Mondays to Sundays 10am to 7pm, Fridays 10am to 9pm
Free entry for citizens and permanent residents

Credit: National Museum of Singapore

Masak Masak
Now till 10 August 2015
National Museum of Singapore

We went to this signature children’s festival last year, and we had a hard time getting the kids to leave. Even though AA was desperately tired, he hung on and played till the last second, and still couldn’t get enough. 

Like the previous festival, Masak Masak 2015 will feature interactive installations by international artists such as a colourful rainbow origami suspension and a field of dancing flowers powered by solar energy, as well as larger-than-life childhood games such as the old-school ‘flip the flag eraser’ game and the ball-in-maze puzzle game with a modern twist. The signature bouncy ‘dragon’ playground makes an appearance again this year, but only on the weekends. The museum says the festival is suitable for ages three to seven, as they can play around the museum and create a ruckus! I say that the festival appeals to all, young and old, who love to play.

Besides the main festival, there are also performances, film screenings and special programmes for children and families, such as:

- Fun with Origami workshop with French artist Mademoiselle Maurice on 30 May (Saturday) and 31 May (Sunday)
- Shadow Puppetry workshop by Singaporean artist Jeremy Hiah on 6, 13, 27 & 30 June (Saturday). Inspired by Javanese wayang kulit, kids will have a chance to create his own her own story using shadow puppetry.
- Art therapy workshop by Join Picture Joins Hearts where creative expression is explored through painting and drawing, on 30 May (Saturday)

93 Stamford Road
Singapore 178897
Opening Hours: Mondays to Sundays 10am to 6pm
Free admission to the festival.
Admission fees to selected workshops apply

Credit: Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

The most famous residents of the latest museum in Singapore has got to be the three diplodocid sauropod skeletons, nicknamed “Prince”, “Apollonia” and “Twinky”. They are a rarity, as not only are the 80% complete, but two of them also come with skulls, which apparently is also a rarity in the world of sauropod dinosaur fossils. That aside, how often do we see dinosaur fossils? And that alone is reason for us to make a trip to this museum. Plus the fact that AA has a thing for dinosaurs. It’s a great place to show the kids the evolution and history of life, and the diversity. For the museum’s main gallery alone consists of 15 zones devoted to tracing the history of life on earth, and showcases the different types of life, such as green plants, fungi, molluscs, arthropods, “fish”, amphibians, “reptiles”, birds, and mammals.

Faculty of Science
National University of Singapore
2 Conservatory Drive
Singapore 117377
Opening Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays & Public Holidays 10am to 7pm
Admission is by session timings only: 10-1130am, 11.30am-1pm, 1pm-2.30pm, 2.30pm-4pm, 4pm-5.30pm, 5.30pm-7pm.
Singapore Resident rate: Adults $16, Children 3-12 years old $9

Credit: Art Science Museum

The Deep
Opens 6 June 2015
Art Science Museum

Scheduled to open on 6 June, this exhibition is slated to be the largest collection of deep-sea animals ever displayed. The beauty and complexity of life in the deepest parts of the ocean will be showcased through more than 40 preserved specimens, as well as full colour photographs and film footage of sea fauna, living fossils and bioluminescent creatures, many photographed for the very first time. It is a discovery of an unknown world has has remained unexplored by humans.

Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Avenue
Singapore 018956
Opening Hours: 10am-7pm including public holidays
Singapore Resident rate: Adults $12, Children 2-12 years old $8

Credit: Asian Civilisations Museum

Once Upon A Time in Asia: The Animal Race
30 May - 26 July 2015
Asian Civilisations Museum

Recommended for 4 to 9 years old and the young at heartThis is recommended for those aged between 4 and 9 years old, as well as those young at heart, which essentially means, almost everyone! This exhibition brings together inspiring interactive ensembles that feature animals in art across many cultures. Besides thought provoking displays that will ignite the five senses, there will also be storytellers who will spin Asian tales on this discovery trail

1 Empress Place
Singapore 179555
Opening Hours: Mondays to Sundays 10am to 7pm, Fridays 10am to 9pm
Free admission for all visitors

Credit: Gardens by the Bay

Nursery Rhymes Floral Display
Now till 19 July 2015
Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome

Just after the recent Tulipmania, Gardens by the Bay has embarked on the third of six chapters of its storytelling journey. From Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel, we move into the magical world of folklore, legends and nursery rhymes as told through plants. Beloved characters from nursery rhymes such as Mary Had A Little Lamb and Old MacDonald come to life in attractive and multi-coloured floral displays

18 Marina Gardens Drive
Singapore 018953
Opening Hours: 9am to 9pm daily
Singapore Resident rate (one conservatory): Adult $12, Children 3-12 years old $8 

Credit: Singapore Botanic Gardens

Nature Workshops
June 2015
Singapore Botanic Gardens

Go on a nature trail, find out more about the majestic and weird wildlife such as the Malayan tiger and Venus Fly Trap. All these nature activities can be done just 15 mins away from the heart of the island, at Singapore Botanic Gardens’ workshops for children and families. Depending on which you opt for, rates range between $6 for a one-hour guided tour or a three-hour biodiversity investigative workshop.

1 Cluny Road
Singapore 259569
Times and rates are dependent on the various workshops.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Everyday can be Mother's Day

To me, Mother’s Day can be any day. For my kids to suddenly proclaim ‘mummy, I love you’ out of the blue, makes it all the more special and heartwarming. And AA has been doing that quite a bit lately. Brings a big smile to my face, without fail!

Well, of course, that’s not to say that I don’t want to receive some extra loving care on the day set aside just for mothers. I mean, wouldn’t it be nice to get a day off parenting, and just let me have a whole day of me-time? Yeah! That’s it!

Hahaha.. wishful thinking! Parenting continues, Mother’s Day or not. I did organise a special Mother’s Day lunch for my mum and aunt, just so that EV and AA can spread their love to their dearest grandmummy and grandaunt.

What really touched me this year was the special cake-in-a-jar that my lovely sis made for me, my mum and aunt. 

Cake in a jar

This is on top of all the cards that EV and AA had given me. Just blissful!

Dear Mummy 1

I enjoy being pampered on Mother’s Day; but I enjoy it even more when my kids shower me with love unexpectedly on any other day.

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This post is part of the Dear Mummy blog train hosted by Mamawearpapashirt. Click on the badge to read what other kiddos have to say to their beloved mummies!



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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Time travelling is not for me

I love my life, but there are times when I wish I could turn back time. If I could travel back in time, I would wish for the following.

Hold my babies when they were teeny tiny babies, once again. I miss their baby smells. I miss the special closeness I have with them when I was breastfeeding them.

Get married earlier. So that my maternal grandmother, who passed away suddenly in 2005 and left us in utter shock, who always wished to see her oldest grandchild get married and have children, can see and love EV and AA. She would be so tickled by them, and would shower lots of love on them, like she did on me.

Go hiking with my paternal Grandmummy (who passed away earlier this year), and let her whoop my ass. She whooped my younger sis' ass when they went hiking at some mountain in China. Sis was 11, Grandmummy was 75. 

Go Beijing with my maternal Grandmummy. Many years ago, when I was studying in uni, we had agreed to go. However, because the rest of the clan wanted to go too, and my holidays then just didn't coincide with the rest, I had to sacrifice. Grandmummy never forgot, but we never had a chance to make the trip, partly because something else always seemed more important. Sigh... I did however make a trip to Shanghai with her to attend her nephew's (or niece's, I can't remember) wedding (one I will never forget as I had two 20-course meals in one day) and to pay respects to her parents, my great grandparents. At least I made the trip, but I often wish...

Be a grandchild again. As you can see from my previous wishes, I miss my grandparents very much. So very much. A lump can't help but form in my throat as I remember each and every one of them. No matter when they passed on, 27 years ago, or just two months ago, I think of them every single day.

Have more me-time. Yes, when the going gets tough and too hectic, I do think back to my carefree single life, when I could read a book whenever I want, exercise as many times as I want, go travelling alone. As I've shared previously, I'm not guilty feeling this way. I strongly believe that it's sane to want some time away from parenting to do what one likes. It makes me treasure parenting and my little darlings even more.

Be more of a risk taker. In my younger days, that is. Maybe it’s because of the way I was brought up. Maybe it’s because I’m the oldest. I’ve had the understanding that going by the safe route is always better. It is, in certain ways, but sometimes leaves me thinking: Oh, perhaps that would be fun. Perhaps I should have done that. Now, as a parent, I still can I suppose, in only measured doses.

There, my life as it could have been. If I could turn back the clock. Reminds me of the song by Johnny Hates Jazz. My time, a generation ago. 

But you know, I wouldn’t want to travel back in time, even if someone gave me a million dollars. Without being what I am, without going through what I had gone through, I would not be on the life path that I am on now. My life may not be perfect, but it fits me just fine.

How about the power to travel to the future you say? Nah... I'll just take the bull by the horns and charge!! Come what may.

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This post is part of the “If I were a Time Traveller” blog train hosted by MadPsychMum click on the button to time travel with 20 other mummies and find out where are our time travel hot spots!



Next up on the blog train is Jolin from The Js Arena. Jolin is a blessed mother to a loving hubby and two adorable boys. The Js Arena is where she captures and documents memories of her motherhood and parenting journey. She has just taken on her new role as a full-time mother. Join her tomorrow as she shares what she would do with her time travelling machine.

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Our hectic weekend together (Day in A Life)

The last time I took part in this blog train in 2012, I shared about my life as a working mum. It’s been some time, and I still have a job. Phew! Weekdays continue to be crazy, if not extremely hectic. AA was about 6 months old then, now he’s 3. Which means that he has started his home learning journey. It’s much busier now because I have two wonderful kids to do home learning with. I admit. I’m a bit more slack now then I was when EV was of the same age. Perhaps, it’s also because I’m older, so my energy is generally on the down slide.

But I try, and just do it. Like Yoda said, ‘Do… or do not. There is no try.’ I know I need to do more, and I will. For sure.

For this round of the blog train, let me share about how my weekends are. Saturdays are extremely busy, unbelievably busy. Everything happens one after another, but we get through it.

8am
Early in the morning, my Saturday starts with piano lesson. No, not my kids’. Mine. Yes, it’s true. One hour is spent practising and learning new skills, both practical and theoretical.

930am-1130am
Then I rush home, change, and we’re off to the pool, reaching there around 9.30am, so that EV can have a fun dip before her lesson. I take the opportunity to swim a few laps to exercise and strengthen my legs, though I would prefer swimming up and down an Olympic-sized pool. Whether the pool is big or small, it beacons to the swimmer in me. DaddySay and AA are in the pool too, so there's a lot of laughing and screaming as we toss and splash around.

Swim2

1130am-1pm
After an hour and a half or so, we have to rush to shower, get changed and head to my mum's place, We have lunch there and then EV makes it in time for her Chinese class, which is just near the grandmummy's.

Berries2

1pm-3pm
With the older one in class, and the younger taking his nap, it's time for a short breather for DaddySay, myself and our helper. Our helper usually takes a short rest, while DaddySay and myself will have our own me time. I usually either do my marking, with my usual weekly indulgence bubble tea and a small bowl of salad, or I just vege out in front of my mum's TV and enjoy some Cantonese drama.

3pm onwards
About two hours later, I pick EV up. She has a short rest and some play, and then together with AA, we do some home learning together. Then it's to the playground for the both of them, dinner to tuck in mum’s yummy cooking, and then home sweet home. Therein ends a hectic Saturday, while we prepare for a slightly less hectic Sunday.

Sunday
Sundays are generally a little less rushed. We only have one key committed activity, and that’s Shichida classes for both EV and AA. Lunch is usually at the same place - Mos Burger, so much so that the staff there know the kids extremely well. We then run whatever errands that need to be run, such as banking, then head home for a short break. If the weather holds, then we might go to the beach or head for another dip in the pool in the late afternoon, when the kids can have their water play with DaddySay. I don’t usually join them, but keep a watchful eye while I enjoy the afternoon breeze.

Dinner is a relaxing simple one at home, and we usually spend the rest of the night quietly bonding together over books. Or if we didn’t go swimming earlier, then we might head out for some ice cream. The kids are usually in bed by 9, or latest 10, and we parents too actually, in order to be prepared for the whole school and work week ahead.

Yes, our weekends are rather filled and crazy, but it’s nice to be doing it together. In between, we squeeze in moments of cuddles and kisses, and secret messages of ‘I love you’s’; it makes me contented knowing that we’ve got each other.

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By day, Yanxiang is a civil servant who has taught English in a secondary school, and am now working on policies within the larger civil service.  Her work allows her to constantly consider the people around me, and society in which she live, and how to better the lives of her fellow citizens.

She recently embarked on the remarkable journey of parenting a little boy named Isaac. Read about her life as a parent and how it involves twice the laughter, twice the tears, twice the excitement, twice the challenges and an abundance of love at The Littlest and Us Makes Three.


This post is part of the Day in a Life blog train hosted by Mum in the Making. Click on the button to take a 24 hour peek into the lives of different mummies, or link up with your own post!


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