Monthly Archives: July 2015

Great weather, sporty evenings

This would go into the book of our family traditions. 

Both boys looked forward to their weekday evenings. They loved it when we knocked off on time and they knew there would be time for them to play “downstairs” before dinner. The weather, though dry and hot in the day, promised dry evenings for the boys so they could play to their hearts’ contents.

On Monday, they scooted.

On Tuesday, they kicked the soccer ball and had a simple game with their dad.

On Wednesday, they cycled.

On Thursday, they scooted again. 

On Friday, we had to send Z for martial arts.

So that pretty much wrapped up our weekday evenings.

The ball game

The cyclist   
 

From indoor playground to outdoor attractions

We signed up for a few annual and season passes this year. Z had grown out of indoor playgrounds and X seemed to be more susceptible to the viruses at such places. Both boys loved running about and checking out new things.

Thankfully I had managed to find good deals for the passes.

1. Gardens By the Bay annual pass at 50% off at $34 per person

2. SEA Aquarium RWS attractions annual pass at 50% off so we paid $44 per adult and $34 per child

3. Universal Studio Singapore 6-mth Season pass – it was pretty tough to find discounted passes so we ended up upgrading our day tickets  
Other places which we frequented of late would be Zoo, Bird Park and Sentosa all thanks to corporate passes.

That said, the boys were getting very tanned.

The fourth weekend of June – Part 2

It was a fruitful day and we actually skipped soccer class today, with Z’s approval.

It was Discovery Centre, Army Museum, USS and dinner at Toa Payoh.

We chanced upon the SG Heart Map exhibition at Discovery Centre. It happened to start on the day we were there. 

In a 70s classroom 

  

Singapore airline was featured for the 80s segment, I joked that this was the premium economy! 

Some activity to power up a video    

Free red bean, durian, chendol & corn ice cream, and even cookies and chocolates  

He picked a durian ice cream, thinking it was corn ice cream 😂  

After launching our balls to the lake  

Singa’s friend
Games at Discovery Centre    

Computer war game   

Laser tag for the kids where they were fearless and aimless against the older boys  

They danced 
At Army museum   
3d wall mural  

Tanks that wow the kids  
Trying out the defunct obstacle course    

We popped by to NTUC Warehouse Club for a stroll and popped down to USS to upgrade our tickets.

X, on a pensive ride 
Happy to see the minion   

On Sunday, we popped down to National Museum for the Masak Masak exhibit after our roller skating class.

It was a hot day
  

Mega eraser   

Luma experience   

Cookery 
Show time  

 

Outdoor play

 X joined in the big boy fun   

Z looking after X  

Sliding down together   

More retro play at Marina Square  

See saw for the first time  

Two versus one  

Old school bird  

Big swing  

Hopscotch   

McDonald’s supper to round off the weekend  

The fourth weekend of June – Part 1 (USS)

The weekend started early with me bringing Z to Universal Studios Singapore on a Friday. It was the first time he had visited USS since he was of age to appreciate theme parks. The last time he went to USS was at 2 years’ old and it pretty much freaked him out.

We managed to clear 13 attractions from 10am-6pm. The ticketing booths opened at 9am and the park opened slightly ahead of 10am. We had purchased our tickets using the HSBC promotion where buying 2 adult tickets would offer us a free child ticket. We had gone to the park with Z’s friend and his mommy. I had opted not to bring X because he would not enjoy USS and we would not be able to play much with him around too.

Look who we met upon arrival – Kungfu Panda  

We rushed straight for the latest ride – Puss in Boots. We were so early that there was no queue and we took the ride twice. The boys were scared at first but they enjoyed it eventually.

 

Holding the golden egg   

We went to watch Shrek’s 4D adventure and the boys took the Magic Potions’ ride upon exit. After that, we took the Enchanted Airways mini roller coaster.

From Far Far away land, we went to the Lost World and tried the Rapids Adventure. No one in the queue again! Maybe the riders were afraid of getting wet but it wasn’t so bad in my opinion.

We took the Dino Soarin’ ride, no queue too.   

Next up was Treasure Hunter and it took a 50minutes’ wait. We could not fathom why so many people sans kids wanted to take this ride.

The happy kids
We had lunch and boy, it was so crowded that we even had to queue to buy lunch. It was $10 for a kids’ meal and $11.50 for a chicken rice set. It was the second time this month we overpaid for a chicken rice!

We headed for The Waterworld show at 1.30pm and this was our splash zone seats!  

  

Smiling while we were still dry 

Right after the show, we headed for Canopy Rider. It was a 50 minutes’ queue too. Yawn…

The boys gawked at Battlestar Galactical and queued almost 40 minutes for the Accelerator ride.  

Posing with Bumblebee  

Queuing to take photos  

With Optimus Prime

Transformer ride was closed temporarily and they took photos with Vin Diesel and his car. 

  

   

We headed for Sesame Street Spaghetti Chase ride and took photo with Ernie along the way.    

We staked out for the Minions’ Meet and Greet session. This was the prop.

These are the real things, they were so tiny!   

It was getting late so we skipped the Meet and Greet for Transformers. We took the ride and it was a 40 minutes’ queue. Thankfully the boys were good campers.

The ride was really awesome!

We rounded the day off with Lights, Camera, Action. With that, we had to call it a day because we had to pick X up from school. 

We would be back for more as we intended to upgrade the tickets to a season pass.

Shopping for a ski holiday

It started way back in June when there was massive clearance discount on everything to do with snow & ski. After checking out our options locally (boutiques: Winter Time, Lemmi, The North Face & scanning more floors), I turned to online.

I checked out many websites from USA, Korea & even Taobao. I was not able to find the cheap buys sussed out by a mommy blogger on Taobao. Hence, I decided to buy from the below websites. I already had an inkling of what I wanted to buy before going to these websites.

For X, I wanted to get this jacket in 3T. It was US$130 but I got it at US$85. It was a 2-layered jacket so I figured I would get more mileage out of this as opposed to buying 1 thick ski jacket. I also did not want to get a pure hard shell jacket in case it was too loose to work with our own fleece jackets. I wished I could have gotten the Boundary Triclimate Boys’ Jacket though as that came with a polyester lining inner jacket. We decided against an one piece suit for ease of bringing X to the toilet. After adding in international freight, I probably paid S$130 for this.

Presenting The North Face Toddler Boys’ Vortex Triclimate Jacket (from http://www.moosejaw.com/) – real weight 0.65kg, volumetric weight 1.15kg (9*13*3inch)

SNOBL

For Z, I bought this The North Face Dubs Triclimate jacket in S (7-8yo). This was US$170 and could be purchased at US$130, US$75 or S$244 (after 25% discount locally). However, the Dr Jays website only offered smaller sizes so I had to pay US$130 for this before shipping. After working out the math, I reckoned I paid S$190 for this which only rendered me S$50 savings.

Specs of the jacket:

  • Fabric Rating: Waterproof / Breathable
  • Shell Jacket Material: 100% polyester HyVent fabric
  • Inner Jacket Material: 100% polyester taffeta
  • Inner Jacket Lining: 100% polyester
  • Inner Jacket Insulation: 160g Heatseeker


Other accessories or apparels were purchased from http://mountainwarehouse.com/https://www.decathlon.sg

From Mountain Warehouse, we bought the kids’ snow boots (heavily marked down from US$100 to US$29,99, and US$60 to US$14.99), beanies at US$1.99 each, ski socks at US$4.99 for 2 pairs (marked down from US$22.99), kids’ salopettes at US$22.99 (marked down from US$75), kids’ micro fleeced top at US$7.99, kids’ turtle necks at US$2.99 and more.

From Decathlon SG, we bought my Quecha snow boots at $59.90 (very affordable French brand), Mr H’s ski pants at $39.90, thermal trousers for the kids at $8.90 each and for the adults at $12.90 each. They were out of sizes for my ski pants, so I guessed I would wait and see.

From Amazon, we got Mr H’s shoes at US$60.57 with free shipping.   

From Dick’s Sporting Goods (which we had to buy via Vpost Shop4u as they did not accept payment from Non-USA billing addresses, not even paypal), we bought Mr H’s jacket. This would have cost S$546 SRP, or at best 20% discount or US$280. It was either buying via Borderlinx’s US$209.97, top up 5% for concierge charge and pay for international freight or Vpost’s offer of SGD338. We picked the latter as Borderlinx was experiencing some system error.

Featuring The North Face Men’s Alpen-Blitz Triclimate Jacket in Asphalt Grey/Fiery Red, 2015 Model
pDSP1-19074874p275w

 

Spects of the jacket:

  • HyVent® 2L shell
  • Heatseeker™ insulated zip in jacket
  • Classic fit
  • Waterproof, breathable fully seam sealed
  • Adjustable, removable hood
  • Reverse-coil chest pocket
  • Underarm vents
  • Handwarmer zip pockets
  • Wrist-accessory pocket with goggles cloth
  • Adjustable cuff tabs
  • Internal goggles pocket
  • Two-snap, snap-down powder skirt with gripper elastic
  • Adjustable hem system
  • Zip-in liner jacket
  • Zip hand pockets in liner
  • Fabric: Shell –  160 g/m² HyVent® 2L—100% nylon Taslan® / Liner – 65 g/m² 53% recycled polyester, 47% polyester / insulation: 100 g Heatseeker™A
  • Style C428
  • Weight:2 lbs 15 oz (1330 g) / Length from Center Back:shell: 31”, liner: 27.5”

From Gear Gut, we bought my jacket via Vpost Shop4u too. Similar to the earlier website, they did not accept payment from a non USA billing address. It worked for me too because the jacket was retailing at US$280 and this website was offering it in a sold out colour at US$140. Other websites were selling at US$196 at best after 30% markdown. It seemed a little too good to be true, so I was very happy to pass on the risk to a 3rd party. Together with the Vpost discount codes I received earlier, I paid S$214 for this jacket. It was a total steal from the local pricing of $546 SRP (or $420 after discount).

In the end, I had to buy my jacket from BobWards at US$195.97 because Gear Gut’s inventory system had a glitch and misrepresented the stock availability. It was still discounted but not as much discount as I had expected. Sobs!

Featuring The North Face Women’s Kira 2.0 Triclimate Jacket in Rocket Red, 2014 Model

download

Spects of the jacket:

  • 3-in-1 alpine ski jacket pairs a waterproof exterior shell with a zip-in liner jacket that features ample 100 g Heatseeker™ insulation
  • [Liner Jacket] Zip-in liner jacket
  • [Outer Jacket] Waterproof, breathable, fully seam sealed
  • Adjustable, removable hood
  • Reverse-coil chest pocket
  • Underarm vents
  • Hand zip pockets
  • Wrist-accessory pocket with goggle cloth
  • Adjustable cuff tabs
  • Internal goggle pocket
  • Two-snap, snap-down powder skirt with gripper elastic
  • Adjustable hem
  • Zip hand pockets
  • Fabric: shell: 110 g/m² HyVent® 2L—100% polyester plain weave / liner: 58 g/m² 100% nylon / insulation: 100 g Heatseeker™
  • Style: CU74
  • Weight: 2 lbs 4 oz (1020 g) / Length from center back: shell 27”, liner 25”

What’s left as to buy: my ski pants (to buy or borrow), Balacavas, the kids’ ski gloves and the kids’ ski socks

Working moms and the success of their offsprings 

It was rather surprising to see similar articles like this of late. 

I joked that the enrollment must had fallen at Harvard. 

Of course, it was always about the extent and the balance rather than whether the mother worked or stayed home. If the mother was learned and wise, she would have made the same contribution to enrich her child. 

Nonetheless, it would have been nice to see these floating around earlier. It would alleviate the occasional guilt, rather than wait for us to grow out of the guilt!

6 months to turning 6 – The learning journey

Z was 66 months’ old.  

We did not know of other children’s progress but we were sufficiently happy with his. To me, there was no need to compare. He was definitely not the best but he was not doing too shabbily either. What I loved was his enthusiasm in the entire learning process.

We felt he had a good learning journey, and he had definitely enjoyed the process of learning. He also finally recognized the fruits of his labour. He found gratification in mastering the knowledge and craved to learn more.

He was really good with phonics. 

He could tackle most of his assessment books by himself. Even if he made mistakes or if he was not sure, he was keen to try and making up his spelling in the process.

He was good with reading in Mandarin too. All we did was to set up the audio CD and he would learn on his own. His teacher laid a strong foundation.

He had also done well in Math, so much so that we had never practiced Math at home. Today, he told me that his friend could multiply and he would like to learn too. I was pleased that he asked to learn more as I made it a point not to initiate teaching till he was ready and asked for it.

With this attitude of progressive self-learning, it would be helpful in future. He was familiar with my philosophy- work hard, play harder. There was always a time to work and to play. I definitely hoped we could stick to this even when he went primary school.