Family Magazine

Happiness Is... Making the Most of the Holidays

By A Happy Mum @A_Happy_Mum
I always look forward to school holidays. Even though having three kids with me 24/7 can drive me nuts on some days - not that they don't when they come home on school days - I love the fact that we get to sleep in late, have brunch instead of early breakfast, go for late night shows and supper, be free to do anything in the day and evening, explore new places and see new sights, find time to catch up with friends and family, and just do things that bonds us together as a family.
The thing is, holidays come and go too quickly in my view. I thought a month-long holiday in June sounded pretty lengthy but before I knew it, it was already time to nag at them to complete their holiday homework for school was starting the next day!
I used to be the kind of mom who would try to bring the kids out to explore almost every day. Yup, not sure where that energy came from but I just wanted to bring them out to museums, Science Centre, kids' events, movies, Sentosa, Universal Studios, zoos and anywhere that promised a day of fun. Over the years, I've mellowed a little or perhaps, just grown wiser (and more tired) with age.
We don't need to keep ourselves occupied every second just to make the holidays count. We don't need to go to holiday programs or kids events because there are just too many of them. We don't need to do a lot or busy ourselves till we get exhausted in order to feel that we are not wasting the precious, free time we have. On the contrary, spending some of our days in the comfort of our happy home, doing nothing much but just enjoying each other's company, is something that I cherish so much more now. In June's "Happiness is...", it's about making the most of the holidays.
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
My grandma, my beloved grandma, doesn't remember who we are but she is always happy when we bring her out for meals. She don't know which kids belong to who, she forgot my name, she doesn't remember if she ate or bathed, but she is still the cutest grandma and I love that we got to hang out with her more during the holidays. Besides taking her out for meals, we also brought her to explore Tampines Hub along with my parents and in-laws and spent a good amount of time admiring the plants at the eco garden.
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
My mom also mentioned that my granny loves to watch movies so we thought it would be nice for all of us to go and catch Jurassic World 2 together! I mean, come on, my 2-year-old toddler and my 84-year-old granny in the cinema watching dinosaurs together  - that's gonna be epic.
Alas, after we booked tickets and went into the cinema as a big group of 10 people from the young to the old, something totally unexpected happened when we were at Golden Village in Tampines. Around 20 minutes into the show, the colours started to run and the screen was appearing in red and green. Then, it started to flicker and basically go haywire. I must have watched hundreds of shows in my lifetime but never has anything like this happen! Why must it be now when my popo was so much looking forward to the show and this was such a rare opportunity for us? Sob. Anyway, the movie was disrupted and all patrons were asked to leave and get the refund from the front counter. I had to queue up for half an hour just for that but the consolation was they gave us a full cash refund and additional set of complimentary tickets (which cannot be used for selected movies).
We couldn't get good seats for a later show because they were all too packed and anyway, my grandma was getting tired by this time so we had to reluctantly say byebye and send her home. Awwww.
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
The good news is my mom totally made full use of the free passes and she took my grandma to the cinema again very soon! But, since the passes couldn't be used for Jurassic World, she decided to watch something that she really wanted to........ Incredibles 2! Haha. Yes, my mama and my mama's mama went to watch Incredibles 2 together and they loved it. So cute, right?
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
On our side, we also made it to watch BOTH Jurassic World 2 and Incredibles 2 in the month of June! The latter was a surprise for the kids and I brought them all the way to Junction 8, which we seldom visit, on a solo parenting day. It turned out that we finished the show late at 9plus at night and by that time, most of the restaurants were already closing.
So, we dabao-ed the last few packets of Nasi Lemak from Crave, found a bench outside NTUC and while people were passing us by, the four of us just sat there to finish our dinner-cum-supper. I don't know why but simple memories like this always stay etched in my mind and they remind me of all the fun times I had with the kids - while they were still young, still sticky and still willing to follow me everywhere I went and do whatever I do. Haha.
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
We had a fun day out with One Faber Group in Faber Peak and Sentosa (you can read all about our adventures here) and did so many things within a day! From climbing to the peak of Sentosa Merlion, having karaoke sessions in the cable car, riding down the slopes on Luge, enjoying an aerial view of the island on Sky Tower, coming up close with birds, reptiles and butterflies in Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom as well as admiring the spectacular award-winning Wings of Time show, it's no wonder the kids are still talking about all the fun-filled activities they did and how they yearn to go again! Gosh, their energy is limitless when it comes to having fun!
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
It's always nice to find time to catch up with friends and I'm glad we did so at Pororo Park, thanks to Life's Tiny Miracles for the birthday invitation! I kind of think that this park is more suited for the younger kids and was thinking that it might be too kiddy for the big girl already. Thankfully, she had fun playing with her friends and the sister, and was also happy to look after the baby brother and accompany him on the train ride too. I asked her if she thinks she will outgrow Legoland soon too because by the time her brother hits primary school age, she will be a teenager already. Her answer was "No!" and added that she would be more than happy to just be with her younger siblings and keep an eye out for them. Well, we'll see what happens then!
Happiness is... making the most of the holidaysThe three of them also went on what might be their last kiddy car ride together because the big sister is growing too tall and outgrowing her love for such rides. It took me long to persuade her to do this but they didn't have height limits for the ride at AEON Mall in JB and it was so cheap lor (RM10 for 10 minutes). So she found a motorbike that fitted her and it was still nice to see that she was all smiling and grinning away when she was playing with them. But deep down, I knew that my baby girl is growing up fast and lifestyle habits are gonna slowly but surely change for her, and for us, as time passes.
Happiness is... making the most of the holidaysIKEA has always been one of my favorite places to shop and I like to bring the kids there for lunch and to walk around even if I don't have a dire need to buy anything (we usually end up buying something though!). I love how the kids are free to play around, sit on the furniture, come up with their own pretend games and even cook up a storm in the play kitchen. Here, they were playing camping under the bunk bed and pretending to be in a safari. I was the hunter and the one who kept getting different animal stuffed toys to hop in and give them a scare. Wahaha.
Happiness is... making the most of the holidaysThe Sesame Street March activities were something that the kids enjoyed immensely and since we had the passports already, we made sure we came back here in June to continue to collect stamps and stickers. In fact, we came not once but twice just to make sure all three of them collected all of the stickers that could be collected - not as easy as it seems when you need three copies of each.
The kids enjoyed the musical performance, they loved playing with the kinetic sand, they were impressed by the cardboard exhibition, they were excited to jump and slide on the bouncy castle - and get into ball 'fights' with the crew - and they had fun on the Bobsleigh rides even though it lasted merely a few seconds each time. 
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
Happiness is... making the most of the holidaysI didn't bring the kids to that many playgrounds this time round but we did check out the one at Tampines Hub. Yes, I brought them back on my own for a second visit again because the last time I was here with the extended family, I saw that there is a water playground, dry playground, bouncy castle and other activities for the kids lor. Alas, we brought along all our water toys and swimsuits only to discover that it was closed for the day for maintenance! Aiyo, so suey. Thankfully, the dry playground was quite fun and the little ones were kept occupied for long before we made our way to another mall with a water play feature for another round of free play! Aren't we lucky to be living in kid-friendly Singapore?
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
Happiness is... making the most of the holidaysIt's been two years since we flew on the plane and that was during our visit to Taiwan (read about our Leofoo Resort/Village and Flying Cow Ranch experiences) when the boy was six months old. It's seriously quite expensive to fly and gets worse as the number of kids increases, so we do try to keep our holiday expenses to a minimum. Yeah yeah, gone are the days in Europe where we can visit three cities in a day and go for last minute cruises around the Baltic Sea or Mediterranean without spending a bomb.
So, you can imagine how thrilled we were to know that we were going away for a holiday during June! It might not be far but this visit to Bangkok was one that all of us needed, especially myself because I was getting bogged down with life as a whole and not feeling the usual positive self. We had to cut the vacation short to 5D4N even though we initially wanted a full week as the hubby had to accommodate last minute changes in his work schedule. Thankfully, it all went well eventually and our itinerary was a kid-centric one which delighted all the little ones and kept their love tanks full (I hope).
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
I have so many adventures and experiences to share with you from the trip but since I've already done an overview in my itinerary post and will also be sharing detailed posts about all the attractions like Kidzania Bangkok, Safari World, Sea Life, Open House and Asiatique, please go and read those posts too when they are up, okay?
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
Happiness is... making the most of the holidaysAs a last surprise for the kids, two days after we returned from Bangkok, we went on a road trip to Kluang! The kids were clueless about where we were going so they could only keep guessing along the way. Haha, yup, I like to keep my kids in suspense sometimes and see that overjoyed look when the answer is revealed, that's why surprises are so fun mah.
I knew this place was one that they were going to love, even though it might be a huge change from the five-star hotels that they stayed in Bangkok. Yup, we were going to a farm called UK Farm Agro Resort! I'll be writing on our experience soon so you gotta once again wait for my post (it's really hard to find time to blog, you know) but basically, the kids were very thrilled to get to feed all kinds of animals like goats, lamb, chickens, ducks, deer, ostriches and even get to cuddle with their favorite bunnies too!
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
The month of June was definitely a good month of break for the family and I was so hoping that the holidays would last longer! Yup, I'm the kind of SAHM who finds sending and picking the children more tiring than having them home all day. In other updates, the little sister will be going to Primary 1 next year (phew, thankfully can follow in Jiejie's footsteps and skip all the drama of being born in the Dragon Year) and the boy will be starting 3.5 hours of nursery too (he keeps saying he doesn't want to go to school and wanna be with Mama).
Happiness is... making the most of the holidays
I have so many more posts to write, so many videos to catch up on, so many things I wanna do but I remind myself that the kids are always my priority - especially when they all still need me so much - and everything else just has to be done one by one, slowly but surely.
Hope you had a great June holidays and are off to an amazing month of July too!

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