ZooMoo “Lost” TV Programme and Giveaway

Do you feel guilty about letting your kids watch tv? Well, Everyone does. I believe that there should be  moderation in everything, although I do have to make an effort not to let them watch too much, or programmes that are not age appropriate.

Sometimes, we compromise by watching educational documentaries, especially nature ones since kids love learning about animals, although once in a while when things get a little gory, you know, like a lion hunting and/or killing its prey, Scout will naturally get scared!

Thankfully there are some programmes which are geared specially for kids, like Discovery Kids, although I find it targets more of the primary school level upwards. Then there is also ZooMoo, which is the world’s first preschool channel featuring animals, animals, and lots of animals! ZooMoo has been so popular it is also shown in many countries in the wider Asia Pacific region and ever-expanding.

Come 16 September 2015, ZooMoo will be introducing a brand new series called Lost, where a lovable wildlife photographer Flash gets Lost on every mission, and he and his pals at the headquarters Owl and Piglet have to help Flash find his way through clues and quizzes about Flash’s surroundings. The boys loved it, and I have to say that it was quite engaging, and might be one of my favourite ZooMoo shows.

ZooMoo are hosting Lost related events this weekend! Check this and other ZooMoo related events on their FB page.

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Check out a preview of the show here!

They also have a fun ZooMoo app, which is simple and fun for kids, and has a very interesting feature where if you use it while watching ZooMoo TV, the app “listens” to the ZooMoo shows (on your TV) and then unlocks new content! Is that cool or what? Best of all, the app has NO in-app purchases, which is a relief to know for parents!! The boys had a lot of fun playing the app and unlocking animals. The ZooMoo App is available for free download from the App Store and Google Play.

 

 

ZooMoo recently sent us an activity pack of very interesting things, and you can win one for yourself by entering the rafflecopter HERE! Click HERE to enter. The contest ends on 11 September. Good luck!!

 

ZooMoo is only Starhub Channel 306.

Growing to love Singapore

In my last post, I wrote about what Singapore means to me. Many of us will readily say, that we love Singapore because it is our home. For many of us, our love and appreciation has grown over the years, especially after becoming parents.

How can we grow the next generation to love and appreciate our country as much as we do? Certainly traveling will help – coming out of our shell and seeing how things work differently from us, experiencing new things, meeting new people… Living abroad has even more of an impact, having to live like a local (or even an expat), is always so different from being on holiday. Unless, of course, you’re like that stranger I met that day who proclaimed she’s lived in Singapore for 15 years (no mistake, I double checked), but asked me, “How does this whole HDB thing work?” But that’s another story. 

I will agree that to some extent, traveling and living abroad definitely broadens one’s horizons, but I have often wondered that if Singaporeans are as well travelled as we claim to be, why is it so many people aren’t as appreciative of what and how our country is? Why is it that often we are more critical of ourselves than our foreign friends and admirers?

I know people who are widely travelled and who have also, like me, lived in other countries. I once snorted, and probably almost choked, at a friend’s half serious suggestion of migrating. They had a couple friend who were migrating, and jut threw out the random idea of migrating too. 

In my youth, we lived overseas for a few years, and given a choice, I would not mind doing it again. Although given the nature of my husband’s job we decided we would not even consider me taking a posting if the opportunity came up because we don’t believe a married couple should be separated, and it wouldn’t do his career much benefit if he were away (unless perhaps he was studying), but that’s also another story for another time :)

But migrating? Never. Ever since I have remembered, I have been very patriotic. I am so proud, I will never ever willingly give up my passport. Is it because I have lucky to have been traveling since I was 4 months old in the mid-70s? Or that I’ve lived abroad for almost 8 years before I even started work?

I suspect it comes down to one little thing – that all these years, wherever we go, whatever we do, my parents have been quietly reminding us to enjoy the moment, but count our blessings. I can still hear my mum’s voice in my head saying, that while you’re on holiday a country can seem so much more appealing, but living in it is different altogether. 

And that’s something I intend to pass on to my kids. I want them to go out and experience all the world has to offer, but I hope they will always remember where is home, and why it’s worth fighting for.

What Singapore means to me

Happy Birthday Singapore!!

We’ve just had the biggest party for our entire nation, and I actually sat through an entire parade without switching off during the dancing bits! It was a wonderful parade and although it does feel a little like the down from the high of an amazing party, we are all still going around humming the National Day songs, and we still have plenty of SG50 activities to keep us going for a while right? Ok I know some of you and myself included are thinking that some of the SG50 initiatives are a little OTT, but as a friend of mine put it so well – when I turn 50 I want to be able to be as OTT as I want to be! Can’t argue with that ;)

When I sat down to think about what Singapore means to me, I wasn’t sure what to write. There are so many elements to it, that I found it hard to put into words. But then again, do I really need to? It means so many things to different people – for us Singaporeans, it could the comfort of food, or it could be the many friends and relatives that we have; the childhood memories of the places we know and enjoyed, etc. For some foreigners it could be the clean water available (you really give this little thought, but even in Delhi you can’t even be sure when you have a drink with ice!), the relative safety when you go out alone or at night.

I make it no secret that I love my country and my people. I think it has less to do with having had the opportunity to live abroad or travel to many destinations for work or leisure, than deciding that home is where your heart is, and my heart belongs where my friends, family, and people are. Sure, Singapore isn’t the perfect place, but pray tell, where is? There is no other place I would as proud to call my country, and if you don’t love it, if you are loathe it, we are more than happy for you to find somewhere else you might be happier in. Just don’t stick around and drag everyone down with selfishness and complaints, please, most of us parents get enough toddler behaviour at home.

This year, things seem a little different. Our people have been overcome with gratefulness, thankfulness and respect, and I hope that more people will be spurred to action. I love that we as Singaporeans can be agents of change, even if it is in a tiny way. I’m not sure how many people realize that this isn’t so easily achieved in many countries? In places where authorities are too busy on the take to listen, or where social mobility and education aren’t for the masses? We can do more than just complain, and we can put our talents to good use instead of bringing others down. There is only so much that policies, tax incentives and governments can do. As parents, we and our children are responsible for our own future. If you haven’t already, do read Chua Mui Hoong’s recent ST Editorial article entitled “In moments of need, there’s just us” in which she wrote about several recent incidents which showed Singaporeans rising to the occasion as a collective, demonstrating that we are responsible for making our own change. How inspiring!

In part, the responsibility I feel towards my country is also the reason I blog. On my little tiny soap box, if I am able to make a difference to just one life, to have some kind of positive impact, I am happy. I don’t profess to know it all, neither am I Little Miss Sunshine. I am but just an ordinary mum who is trying to be the best mum she can to her kids. This is my way of serving the country and trying to make it a better place, including trying to change the things I can, of course.

What does Singapore mean to me? It’s not just my home. It means enough for me to mean it when I sing “count on me to do my best, and more“.

But of course, I can’t do it alone. “Together, Singapore, Singapore!”

 

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Finally Mama

I wrote this post as part of FinallyMama’s What Singapore Means to Me blog train. Hop on over to see what other mothers have to say about what Singapore means to them!

 

11868775_10152964227132791_853383215_nNext on the blog train is Mummy Natty.

Natasha is mum to 2 boisterous little boys and enjoys documenting her motherhood moments and milestones mainly through photos. She believes in embracing spontaneity when it comes to parenting and tries to create as many little adventures and different experiences for her family to bond over as much as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2015

YR Pack

If you’ve read one of my previous posts, you’ll know that I have a soft spot for the Yellow Ribbon Project. Next month Yellow Ribbon is organizing the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2015 to create awareness for and fund their campaigns.

What is the significance of a yellow ribbon? It can have various meanings, but this is what Wikipedia had to say:

In Singapore, the government has initiated an annual Yellow Ribbon Campaign, through the Yellow Ribbon Project, to promote giving ex-convicts a second chance in society. Typically, a person shows his support for ex-convicts by pinning a yellow ribbon on his shirt during the annual campaign held in September. This was probably influenced by its use as a symbol of acceptance in the song “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree” as stated above.

Source: Wikipedia

If you are not old enough to know the significance “Tie A Yelllow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree” song, well neither did i, even though I know the tune! Well, maybe my mum did mention it, I probably didn’t remember :D


(Sorry the video is super cheesy!!!)

The chorus goes:

Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree,
If you still love me
It’s been three long years
Do you still want me

This is what Wikipedia had to say about the song:

The symbol became widely known in civilian life in the 1970s. It was the central theme of the popular song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree”, Written by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown and recorded by Tony Orlando and Dawn (among many others), as the sign a released convict requested from his wife or lover to indicate that she would welcome him home. He would be able to see it from the bus driving by their house, and would stay on the bus in the absence of the ribbon. He turned out to be very welcome: there were a hundred yellow ribbons.

So now that you know the significance behind the yellow ribbon, the Yellow Ribbon Project is about giving people second chances. It also “aims to improve the effectiveness of rehabilitation of ex-offenders in Singapore through rehabilitation initiatives to help them reintegrate into society.” Did you know that the rate of recidivism – ie return to prison, has no co-relation to the type of prison e.g. an open prison vs. maximum security? This is just one of the useless but fascinating facts I learnt in criminology.

Recidivism is one of the most fundamental concepts in criminal justice. It refers to a person’s relapse into criminal behavior, often after the person receives sanctions or undergoes intervention for a previous crime. – Google

 

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That only emphasizes to me how important the support of family, friends and society are in lowering the rates of recidivism! Reading all the different accounts and testimonials of support for ex-cons on the Yellow Ribbon Facebook page is extremely heartwarming. We watched this clip from one of Gordon Ramsay’s shows many years ago and I’ve always remembered this scene. Just watch how blown away he is by one of the inmates! (Skip to 2:00 to see the part).

Help the Yellow Ribbon Project today by taking part in the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2015 or passing on the word about the run and the project. For everyone who’s talked about becoming a more inclusive society, this is your chance to walk, or run the talk. (I know, I am so punny!)

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This year there is the Competitive 10km and 6km Fun Run, the latter which I hear is suitable for families and strollers, and will be a Happily Ever After Running Trail will feature at every milestone, story book characters who have lived to the fullest after getting a second chance! Sounds interesting right?

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There will also be activities at the run to find out more about the work the fund does to overcome the stigma many offenders face when they leave prison.
Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2015
Sunday, September 13, 2015
7:00am 12:00pm
SAF Field (Changi Village)
Farnborough Rd Singapore 509747 Singapore

Click on the link above for more information!

 

For more about the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run, you might like to read about one blogger’s experience with the run last year; and a little about Benny Se Teo, and ex convicts who runs the Eighteen Chefs food chain.

 

Viva L’italia – Italy with and without kids

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I very seldom write about things that I do without kids because I am focussed on all things parenting. However, If you read my previous post on travelling without kids, the husband and I like to sneak away for holidays without the kids. Two days without kids is just so so different from just two hours!

I felt inspired to write about our recent trip to Italy because we really enjoyed ourselves, and also because I can imagine that it is somewhat a great place to bring the kids…but maybe when they are able to take long flights and a LOT of walking without whining too much and spoiling the experience. I hope you will find some of the tips useful.

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No haze around these parts!

We flew to Rome via Bangkok on Thai Airways because it was cheap and Singapore Airlines was exorbitant. Some people prefer to break up their journey, but when we touched down in Bangkok, the plane took forever to taxi, then we had to take a bus to the terminal. Not a problem. Except that itself took us almost 45minutes. And then because the signage could be a lot better (we couldn’t even find boards with departure info?!), it was like a treasure hunt to find our next departing gate. Then from the gate it was another bus to the plane, and when we landed, you guessed it, bus again! And I haven’t even told you about our return journey…. And trying to navigate the Thai Airways website which looks like it was designed in the 1990s, sigh.

MMmmmmmm.

MMmmmmmm.

We landed in Rome in the early morning, around 6am and met our driver whom we booked through Rome Shuttle Limousine. It cost us €55 flat to get to the city. We were a group of 4 adults plus luggage, so I wasn’t sure if we could take the normal taxis. 2 of our friends arrived the day before, took a normal taxi, and they have no idea how their fare came up to €75 (but paid anyway). We have heard some warnings about the taxi drivers, so if you are travelling with kids, I would suggest prebooking a transfer for ease of mind. Once we were in the city, I did see that they have MPV taxis which can take up to 6 passengers; luggage is apparently free for the first piece and €1 for each subsequent piece. And the brief encounters that we had with taxi drivers within the city, was all good.

On arrival at the hotel, we had breakfast, washed up and got ready for our tour. We tailored a private tour with CAF Tours for the 6 of us, that came with a driver and a guide, who both spoke English. The guide was a spritely old Italian who had travelled widely, and even could speak a little Bahasa as he lived in Kuala Lumpur for several years! He was nearly 80, but was full of knowledge about the city, and could navigate the long queues at the various destinations so well, which was a blessing in the intense heat. The driver looked like the older brother from Everybody Loves Raymond, and was always in a suit. You do NOT want to drive in Rome yourself.

Roman Forum

Roman Forum – you can clearly see the Temple of Caesar, where his body was cremated.

Our first stop was the Roman Colosseum and the guide had all our tickets ready, so we squeezed past most of the crowds easily. I really can’t imagine how anyone else could have the patience and tenacity to queue for a long time in the blistering heat, just to get in. I saw a parent with a toddler on a back carrier seat in a longer queue, and although it had a shade, it still looked tedious for both parties, and I wondered how much a toddler would take away from seeing ruins after expanding all his energy in the queue? I’m sure if I had brought the kids, I would have shown them photos, clips, maybe even movies (but most are quite gory?) but even then, there is so much history to take in.

St. Peter's Square

St. Peter’s Square at an event (Actually it was the Voices in Prayer event for Christians  of all kinds)

On this tour we covered the Circus Maximus, Roman Forum, Spanish Steps (apart from the shops, it didn’t seem so interesting?), Capitoline Hill, Trevi fountain, a short stop at St Peter’s Square, and the Pantheon, and Campo de’Fiori. Yes, we did that all in 6 hours! And we even squeezed in an audience (if you call being amongst a few other thousand people an audience) with Pope Francis and Andrea Bocelli and Don Moen, etc.

Pope Francis.

Pope Francis. What a spritely lively man! He looked like he was going to high-five the crowd, and I bet he probably would have if he had the chance! Btw this photo was NOT zoomed in.

It helped that there was a driver and the days in summer are long. We didn’t have to navigate the public transport system or do lengthy walks. I suppose for some people that might be half the fun, but we only had 2.5 days in Rome, so it was a good way to pack in all the sights. We ended the tour on the first day by having the driver drop us off at our dinner venue, and easily cabbed back (together, in a MPV taxi).

Cue brief chord of choir of angels.

Cue brief chord of choir of angels.

The next day, we had a leisurely breakfast, a little bit of shopping in the late morning, then made our way to Vatican City with our driver. Our guide met us there, and again we hardly had to queue to get in. He spent quite a while talking to us about the history and art of the Sistine Chapel before we proceeded through the museum, with him sporadically explaining some artifacts. I say sporadically because there are just SO.MANY. artifacts it’s like they just chuck ’em all over the place! We finally made it to the Sistine Chapel, which was completely mind blowing to think that it’s how many hundred years old and still looks so vibrant (after the touching up)? Eventually we made our way to St Peter’s Basilica, where we awed at the La Pieta, and attended mass. You’d think that since 99% of the attendees were tourists they could at least do the mass in English right? But ok, it was a test of how well you know your mass rituals :)

Lovely views everywhere!

Lovely views everywhere!

Even with a driver, there was really a lot of walking to do, and I think only Mittens would have been interested enough and willing to walk to have survived it. I also think a guide would be useful when you have kids around as I’m not terribly knowledgeable in Roman history, and the history is so rich! I doubt I could concentrate on looking after the kids and trying to research historic information on my phone or trying to recall what I’d read and giving them a few hundred “I dunno’s” to all their questions. I would definitely do a guided tour if I had the kids!

On the third day, we took a train to Florence. We’d heard a lot about dodgy activities at the train station and Rome city as well, so we were on high alert most of the time. I do think that because we were in a larger group, and possibly because we were with a guide, we were less easy targets. But for this simple fact, I think it would be quite tiring to have to be constantly guarding your belongings, while watching out for the kids, while trying to enjoy the sights at the same time.

Most amazing coffee ever from a small coffee store at the Florence market. Actually a lot of the coffee was so good!

Most amazing coffee ever from a small coffee store at the Florence market. Actually a lot of the coffee was so good!

In each city we stayed in subsequently it was smaller, and safer, and we felt more at ease too. From Florence to Siena to Monticchiello. At Monticchiello, population 90-100, we arrived around 6 or 7pm, and discovered that there was no one at our B&B, and it hadn’t even been locked. In fact it seemed like not much around was locked!

Our little B&B

Our little B&B in Monticchiello

From Florence we rented a car and drove to Siena, stopping at a vineyard along the way. We had lunch at the Antinori vineyard and I saw a few couples with young children (even a mother breastfeeding). We didn’t prebook the wine tour, so there were no slots available, but I think that kids would be able to easily manage a lunch and a tour here. Thereafter we spent one night in Siena (lovely town, highly recommended!), then briefly visited Montalcino, and moved on to Monticchiello (there isn’t even a wiki page on Monticchiello because it’s so small!). We also did a wine tour at Banfi, and they have nice large areas, pretty suitable for children. We would have loved to have had more time to explore each town, but there is really so much to see! Everywhere! We had to skip Pienza, where the famous pecorino cheese is from.

On our last day (sob!), we drove to Montepulciano to have lunch, parked the car once we reached the town, saw a church and decided to walk in, and discovered a few of Michelangelo’s works at this Chiesa di San Bagio. See what I mean, about them having so many artifacts that they’re just all over the place?

After lunch in Montepulciano, we drove to Assisi, which is one of the most breath-taking towns because you drive towards it on level ground, and get to awe at the beauty of this old medieval town, and visit the tomb of a slightly famous saint, St. Francis of Assisi. After spending a few hours in Assisi, we drove about 2.5 hours directly to the airport where we spent the night at the Hilton Rome Airport hotel and dropped off the car with Avis, across the road from the hotel. A few friends had advised to return to Rome city by train on the night before heading to the airport, which is probably doable too, but I didn’t see the point of hassling with luggages and trains again when you can arrive at your own time own target in a car. And to be honest, after a whole trip of quaint hotels and B&Bs, the Hilton was a welcome change, although the service was far below expectations.

Assisi

Assisi

The next morning we left the hotel at almost 10am for our 1350 flight. It was a short walk to the airport from the hotel, but arriving at Terminal 3, after a lot of walking up and down and getting very little help (and a lot of attitude) from all the staff there, we realized we had to check in at Terminal 1, wait for the check in to be open, queue again for the tax refund (amidst a LOT of confusion and cacophony from the mainland Chinese, also trying to do the same). That took us almost 2 hours. After clearing immigration, we had to take a bus to the G gate area, and then another bus to the plane after that. Ok, sure they’ve had a fire at the airport in the last few months and everything is a little chaotic, but seriously? I have not taken so many buses on ONE trip ever. And if I had to lug three grouchy kids….well thank goodness I didn’t! I would seriously consider flying out from Milan the next time.

We had 6 adults and 9 bags packed into a VW Sharan all the way. And we were comfy enough! Luckily we're good friends and don't mind a little squeeze :)

We had 6 adults and 9 bags packed into a VW Sharan all the way. And we were comfy enough! Luckily we’re good friends and don’t mind a little squeeze :)

Also if you’re planning on buying duty free goods at Rome Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci airport, and you’re buying liquids like oh, balsamic vinegar? Don’t forget to ask them to seal the bag for you. We totally forgot about this and in transit at the Bangkok baggage check we were asked to throw it away. Yes all 10 bottles we had bought for presents for people. Fortunately the transit desk lady advised us to exit customs and re-check it in, and fortunately also I had a foldable bag with me. So the husband visited Bangkok for all of 30 minutes (or more) and went through customs to re-check-in the bag. Fiumicino now tops my list of most disliked airports, right before Frankfurt (although I have not been to Frankfurt in almost 10 years). Moral of the story, buy your stuff along the way and not at the airport. The cheese at the airport was also almost twice the price, making it almost the same price as what you get here at home.

Sorry for that rant. Here’s a few other things you should be aware of, and things you would love, when bringing kids to Italy:

Watch out:

  • There is a lot of walking in the cities
  • There is a lot of driving to the smaller towns (although it is manageable if you are hopping from one town to the next)
  • The cobble-stone streets are not pram friendly
  • As we’re not familiar with the roads, it could be tricky driving, navigating, and handling kids at the same time. On this trip we would have a driver, a navigator, and an extra navigator with Google maps on hand. And with no kids, it was relatively easy :D
  • The flight connections and airports were not the easiest, let’s not even talk about child-friendly!

What you’ll love:

  • The food is fantastic! My kids enjoy pasta, cheese and beef very much, oh and of course gelato (who doesn’t?), so I’m sure they could be very VERY happy in Italy. In Tuscany we had their bistecca all a fiorentina almost every night, the kids would have loved it! After a week of all Italian food and NO Asian food, I came back and was still raring for more Italian food.
  • The history! It’s really history coming alive – even for us adults it was so hard to fathom how (a few) buildings could be thousands of years old, or how even an ordinary B&B could be a few hundred years old. And to visit (so many) sites of religious significance is another thing altogether.
  • The vast expanse of open space and breath taking views

If you have survived Italy with your children, I would love to hear about it!

Oh, the glorious food of Italy! (And of course, the wines too)

Oh, the glorious food of Italy! (And of course, the wines too)

Already August?!

It’s August! I haven’t been keeping up with the blogging recently, there have been so many things going on, with work, with the kids sleeping late and waking early (I’m getting a raw deal, I’m convinced), photo books to organize and print for our last extended family holiday, a long overdue for a blog makeover (I finally created an interim one), and holidays to organize…

Some friends have half-jokingly said I should turn my blog into a travel blog, which I would certainly not mind doing if I had the time and money to do so! We are planning a trip each month until the end of the year (one without kids, the rest with), so maybe I should change my blog angle to parenting + travel, eh? ;) Planning the trips are also taking up a bulk of my free time, and sometimes there can be so many choices it gets mind-boggling and ey-crossing, but no (first world) complaints from me there :)

And of course, August is quite a favourite month of mine because it is the birthdays of both my country and myself! Not on the same day, and I’m not yet 50, but it’s still nice to have a month of celebrations :p Happy Birthday to us!!

Mummy’s Me time: Travelling without kids

Mummy's 'Me-Time'

When Mummy Danessa first asked if I wanted to join the “Mummy’s Me time” blog train, I was hesitant. I’m not a big advocate of “me time” or even date nights – I prefer to head out for dinner with friends (as a couple), or just chill out at home with the husband when the kids are asleep, especially with some good wine. Or if there is no husband, good wine helps anyway!! Most of my errands are of necessity – hair cuts, massages because of a sprained back, facials so that I can look a little bit decent, etc. I can’t even be bothered with doing my nails because it always takes so long and will be gone soon enough.

Not only that, sometimes arranging the logistics with the babysitters (if necessary) is a whole task on its own! I seldom leave all 3 children with my helper alone, at the most it would be a half hour while they’re in front of the TV and I’m out getting groceries. And since the kids are in school, I feel bad if I have to head somewhere when they’re not in school.  And although we are lucky that both my mother and MIL are usually somewhat free, I try not to bother them too much. Sometimes I also feel that for short errands, it’s like when you take leave at the office –  there could be much preparation, and when I return I have more to do to make up for lost time, because I often find things in chaos! Here’s a wonderful little post I recently read on the misconceptions of “me time”.

But of course everyone needs to have some kind of indulgence, and it might sound contradictory to all I’ve mentioned, to tell you that my ultimate me time is going on holiday without the kids!

We have been extremely lucky that despite having three kids, the husband’s parents have been willing to help us out while we are on holiday. Last month when we went to Malaysia with the boys, we left Scout with them, and I really had peace of mind because she would have the attention from NaiNai and YeYe ALL to herself. My MIL speaks only Chinese and Cantonese, so I always jokingly (but very very thankfully!!) say the kids are at Chinese camp when they stay with their grandparents. And indeed, we all agree that Scout is speaking a LOT more Chinese than either of the boys at her age!

Before we left for Bali in January, I was a little apprehensive about how they were going to manage with school runs and all, but a few days before I left, my MIL called me to say that she would stay over while my FIL would come during the day to help entertain them. My helper would continue doing the laundry, and other household duties etc. Thankfully their schools are all within walking distance, but knowing that she was getting geared up really put my mind at ease. Often my BIL and SIL will also chip in and bring the kids out on the weekends, from Sentosa to ice skating, to McD’s and everything else that kids love to do. We are so grateful for one and all!

Earlier this month, we again went on a couples retreat (with 2 other couples), to Italy, where for over a week we were able to escape the ordinary life, and feasted our eyes with masterpieces and ancient relics, emptied our wallets but filled our bellies, hearts and souls. We learnt so much – from the locals, and from each other, and from the many holy places we visited. We were also blessed to “run” into Pope Francis (and catch Andrea Bocceli and other great artistes singing at the same event!), so I think it’s safe to say that it was time well spent apart from the kids, to catch a breather while exploring new things, and a trip that will be etched in our minds for the rest of our lives. I also noticed how a week away was really much more relaxing for everyone (even though some still had to attend to work matters on and off) than just an evening out, although those are good too!

I’m pretty sure if we didn’t have kids we’d be traveling a lot more, to more exotic places and have done a lot more than we can do now. But I’m grateful we even get the chance to leave the kids behind, I know not all parents get to! Sure, some time is taken away from our young children, but I am with them the whole day so I feel less reluctant to leave them than if I were a full time working mum. Who’s to know what will happen in the future, how long or how we will live? We like taking some time out to travel while we are still (relatively) young, and relatively able bodied. We have already planned our next abandonment, oops!!! ;)

Do any of you abandon (heh) your kids for couple holiday time too?

 

Click here to read more on how other Mummies spend their time recharging!

Mummy's 'Me-Time'

 

 

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IMG_20141211_183234Next up on the blog train is Mummy Lynn! Do hop over to read all about what “me time” means to her. Lynn is a SAHM who loves to spend time in her kitchen cooking and baking. Apart from that, she also devotes her time to planning and creating teaching resources for her daughter, Faith, and to organize playdates for her. She believes that play matters for children and adults alike and tries to spend time in the outdoors as often as she can.