Parenthood: No one is ever quite ready.

Monday, 17 August 2015

I'm at this stage in my life when I'm constantly exhausted from work, and there are days when I can literally hear my tired old bones creak the moment I drag myself out of bed. I'm at an age where most women are learning to slow down, and truly live life - but I do not make comparisons. I may be tired and old and cranky most days, but I am in a good place right now.

I'm happy.

Not the kind of happy euphoria that comes with youth, or the heart-bursting joy which comes as a response to a positive news. It's more of a 'settled' kind of happy - a state of being blissful and simply being contented.

I think having a wonderful family had that effect on me.

When the husband and I got married, we didn't have any concrete plans. As two separate persons, we were not (and are not, still, to a huge extent) the type of people who set life plans for ourselves. When we were younger, we didn't entertain thoughts of 'having to be married by a certain age and have an x number of kids by the time we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary, so that by the time we were in our 40s, we would have the luxury of living life without worrying about diapers, urgent calls from schools, and staying up all night with a kid who is burning up. Marriage was not even in the cards, more so having a kid.

We were all good until we met each other. What we didn't realise was that when two people are comfortable being together and accept each other through our own personal faults, there was this natural tendency to want to take it further. To seal the deal, so to speak - and we raised a lot of eyebrows when we decided to get married. We were flighty, and we lived life for the moment, and marriage would not change us. Marriage didn't... but we also didn't count on finding out that we were expecting a baby less than a year into the marriage. It happened entirely by chance and it caught us both by surprise, but our lives, since then - has never, ever been the same.

“Making the decision to have a baby is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” 
– Elizabeth Stone
Truth be told, I was worried. I was turning 36, and there are a multitude of problems which an older woman can experience in pregnancy. We started off the pregnancy on a less than conventional note, and because of what happened, up till today, I will still attest that Caden is truly a gift. I cannot begin to describe the mixed feeling of dread and joy which I faced everytime I was due for a check up, and the sheer elation when I see the smile on my gynae's face as she shows me the ultrasound on screen, month after month. The husband was present with me every step of the way, and he was the assuring voice to my inner panic, and the soothing hand which held my icy ones. Blood tests, Nuchal Transparency scan, the Anomaly Scan, a high blood pressure scare, several 3D scans and a 4D scan later - our son was born. That was also the day our lives truly began.

I am extremely thankful that he was born healthy, but it was also a challenging time for us because we didn't know what to do, and what to expect. For the first time in our lives, we were guided only by our instincts, and we were now responsible for the little, helpless being. We are no longer 2 individuals per se, but we are now committed to leading the little one through life, and making sure that we have everything covered to make the often arduous journey a little smoother.

The husband was the first person to carry Caden, and he was also the first one between the two of us to change his diaper. I've never even carried a baby (more so a newborn) until that day when he was placed unceremoniously in my arms. There was still that niggling feeling of doubt of being a Mum, but it was there and then I realised, that I would give up the world for this little boy of mine. And I knew that my husband felt the same way, too.

Caden turns 5 in 5 months. It has been a crazy journey thus far - filled with many wonderments and challenges that only those with children would know. There were times when the loud thud followed by a shriek makes the blood drains from my face, and there are many nights when I lay beside his feverish body, wishing that I could take all his pain away. There are days when all I want to do is hide in my room (alone!) with all the shades drawn and just enjoy the silence, and there are times when I get so tired of having to do things exactly as how he pictures them to be, and after I've gotten up for the nth time because 'I now need to pee, Mummy, it was too early earlier', I'm just about ready to scream. Quite often I do, I kid you not, and then feel guilty afterward because he made sure that a pee-accident did not happen unnecessarily.

The husband and I work. We work crazy days, he and I, and we share a mutual understanding that no matter what happens, one of us will at least try to be there for the boy as much as our time permits. Some days, we are both tired and exhausted, mentally and physically - and we know that we are not alone. Many parents in Singapore face the same issues we do, and what we all have in common is that we always want to provide the very best for our kids.

We worry about the high costs of childcare, medical care, and higher education. We worry about our age, and fear that we may not be around till at least he's able to stand on his feet. There are things in life which we can control, and there are other things which we aren't able to. No one plans to get sick, injured or to die unexpectedly and we all have a tendency to think that it won’t happen to us. But it does, and I have come across way too many young people who are gone too soon.  We discuss accidents and illnesses and what happens if either one of us dies when there are still commitments to fulfil, because we are a family now, and we are one.

Whether you are newly married, or have celebrated a few anniversaries together, starting a family can be quite intimidating, It's like being on a vast ocean with no map or land in sight, and all that you have got with you are your wits, your love, and your courage.

Despite all its challenges, I promise you that the experience, with all its thrills and spills, is priceless. Parenthood is a beautiful journey, one that none of us will ever be quite ready for, but it is one which will change you for the better. It is about giving without expecting anything in return, and finally truly understanding what unconditional love is all about. You will never be quite ready for the surge of emotions which you will be assailed with when they first return your hug fiercely and call you 'Mummy or Daddy', nor will you be prepared for the sense of protectiveness and love which will hit you the moment that you realise that the kids are the only subjects in life which are truly, and completely yours.

You want to make sure that your family is well protected as much as possible, and with 'AXA Family Advantage', you can start right from the time that the pregnancy is 16 weeks old. I wish that I had known about this when I was pregnant back then - because as much as we hope to keep healthy and deliver healthy babies, there are a slew of pregnancy related conditions which can happen. The insurance coverage starts from the mother and the unborn child, but it doesn't just stop there. In addition to this, you can select from 8 different types of plans (protection, savings and investment) which basically prepares you and your spouse for parenthood. More information can be found and downloaded here.

If you, like me (and many, many parents out there) need a break from having to clean the house when you are tired from a hard days' work, simply take a chance at having the Daddy Rescue Team clean and sing for you. On top of that, all entries stand a chance to win 1 grand prize of a Babycation weekend stay for 2, at Capella Sentosa!

AXA Daddy Rescue Contest

Readers stand a chance to win a home cleaning session courtesy of the AXA Daddy Rescue team who will mop, clean, wipe and sing via a radio contest.

The contest will be aired on Class 95FM between 6am to 10am, with 3 weekly winners being selected on the 21st of August, 28thof August and 4th of September respectively.

SMS: AXA <space> Name <space> NRIC <space> Why you deserve this, to 76677.
The most creative reason wins.

Contest ends on the 17th of September, The grand prize of a Babycation weekend stay for 2 at Capella Sentosa worth $2,000 will be announced on the 18th of September.


Disclaimer: This post was brought to you by AXA Insurance. All opinions are my own. 
Seriously though, sponsored post aside,  isn't this a great plan to invest in? Our family always have, and always will - come first.

LEGO® Star Wars™ Days at Legoland Malaysia!

Monday, 18 May 2015

The husband is a huge Star Wars fan. If it was up to him, we would be walking down the aisle to The Imperial March, and he'll be dressed as Darth Vader instead of worrying about changing to a dinner suit from his day suit which he wore at church. While I loved the idea of Stormtrooper escorts, I didn't really want to look sad and morose to get into Padmé Amidala's character on my wedding day. In any case, I got married to a man who can recite lines to any Star Wars' movie dialogue, and can rattle off lesser known details like how Yoda is the only main character to die of natural causes, and that his first name is Minch.

So when I received an exciting invite to experience 'Star Wars Days' at Legoland Malaysia, he didn't need to be asked twice.

"It's on a Monday, though." I said.

"Of course it is." he said.
"Monday, the 4th of May is Star Wars Day. 'May the Fourth' (be with you)?" (I swear I detected a slight hint of exasperated sarcasm there)

Yeah. I should've gotten that figured out.

We met with The Blogfather and his family at the gates, and these were my most favourite shots of the day!

Seriously - check Xander's jump shots out. The force is strong with that one.

When we entered, it was evident that we were in the company of Star Wars fans from all over the world, and I never really realised how 'big' Star Wars is until that day. It prompted me to remark to the husband that SW almost has a 'cult following', if it was not for the fact that its' fan base, while highly dedicated and passionate - is huge.

One of the highlights of Legoland has always been its Miniland display, and in Legoland Malaysia, a total of 17 landmarks of Asian cities are built entirely from Lego bricks. These displays are fully animated, and visitors can control these structures at the touch of a button. Opened on 15 September 2012, the Miniland has shown some signs of wear and tear, which I'm quick to overlook, because it must be extremely challenging to maintain these structures at pristine conditions given the unpredictable elements of a tropical country.

But we were there to celebrate the force, so the husband hurried me along before I could get any more distracted than I already had been.

The LEGO® Star Wars™ Miniland display at Legoland Malaysia was opened to the public on 6 September 2014. It details six scenes from the six Star Wars films, and one scene from The Clone Wars animates series.

It's basically the history of Star Wars, housed in an (almost) nondescript building.

I had no expectations whatsoever when I entered the cool interior of the Star Wars Miniland. Here's a brief respite from the scorching sun outside. I was just going to go in, take some pics, and accompany the excited husband like a good wife should.

I'll try to be interested, and note down some points so that I wouldn't appear too ignorant while I write this post, I thought.

Yes. That's the original plan. A plan which was completely defenestrated, along with the state of not understanding what the hoo-ha about Star Wars is all about. 

Let me take you on a quick journey through the Star Wars Miniland at Legoland Malaysia.


Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace

The epic Battle of Naboo pits Gungan forces against the Trade Federation's battle droids for control of the planet and its capital city, Theed. The Royal Palace, home to Queen Amidala, is constructed of 15,000 LEGO® bricks.

In the Theed hangar bay, young Anakin Skywalker saves the day by flying his Naboo Starfighter to victory while Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn battle the Sith apprentice, Darth Maul.*

Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of The Clones

In the Geonosis execution arena, Padmé AmidalaObi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Slywalker battle three ferocious creatures, the massive Reek, the terrifying Acklay, and the ravenous Nexu. The Geonosis arena is built to 1:180 scale - if it was built to a 1:20 scale like all the other models in Miniland, it would be more than 29 feet high!

Also depicted is the Battle of Geonosis, where the seperatist Droid Army clashes with the Grand Army of the Republic in the first conflict of the Clone Wars.*

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of The Sith
Kashyyyk & Mustafar

Two planets are shown here: The Battle of Kashyyyk depicts the Droid's Army's amphibious assault on the home planet of Chewbacca and the Wookiees,

The scene features two AT-APs (All Terrain Attack Pods) plus the massive Clone Turbo Tank, which is constructed from 10,180 Lego pieces and took 168 hours to build.

On the opposite side is the volcanic planet of Mustafar, where the fateful duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker takes place.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

This desert planet is the childhood home of Luke Skywalker. In the spaceport city of Mos Eisley, you will find the Cantina where Luke and Obi-Wan Kenobi first meet up with Han Solo, captain of the Millenium Falcon, and his co-pilot Chewbacca.

As the band plays on, Greedo coners Han Solo just before the group narrowly escapes the planet with C-3PO and R2-D2.

It took Legoland Model Builders 143 hours to design and build the Millenium Falcon, using 19,200 pieces of Lego bricks.*

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

The Rebels establish a secret base on this frozen planet which is home to wampas and tauntauns, but the Empire's probe droids discover their loaction and send their massive At-Ats (All-Terrain Armoured Transport) and nimble AT-STs (All-Terrain Scout Transport) to attack Echo Base.

Inside the base, Rebel snowspeeders and Luke Skywalker's X-Wing fighter can be seen. Outside, Luke's Snowspeeder has crashed, but the young Jedi uses his lightsaber to single handedly bring down the giant AT-AT.*

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of The Jedi

The forest moon of Endor is hoe to the Ewoks. These small but resourceful creatures join forces with the Rebel Alliance to destroy the shield generator and prevent the completion of the second Death Star.

The Imperial Shuttle can be seen on the landing platform, where Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, has just arrived. Next to the landing platform is the massive shield generator which stands 8 feet tall.*

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

The animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars - takes place chronogically between Episodes II and III and follows the adventures of Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. This scene represents Christophsis, a crystalline planet where the Republic clone troopers battle the Separatist Army.

Anakin single handedly attacks an Octuptarra droid, while Obi-Wan prepares to repel the advancing Droid army. The Crystal City building is the largest Star Wars Miniland Lego model, and is made of more than 70,000 pieces.*

I was surprised, flabbergasted even - at the attention to detail given to every Star Wars scene depicted. Housed in separate rooms with its sound effects from the corresponding movie, I was almost in a trance-like state as I weaved in and out of the scenes. I was truly awed beyond words.


I was also privileged to be given the opportunity to be a part of the winners' announcement and prize presentation ceremony of the LEGO My Own Creation competition. Lego enthusiasts from Malaysia and Singapore are challenged to come up with their own original Lego structures, which is true to Lego's mission of encouraging creativity through designing and building one's own creations.

The top three winners of the different categories will have their Lego creations displayed at Legoland till the end of July.

I really admire the patience and dedication put in by the builders. The passion for Lego shines forth, and these pieces just proves that there is no limit to where the imagination can take you. It's no wonder that Lego's motto is 'det bedste er ikke for godt', or roughly translated - means: 'The best is never too good'.

May the force be with you.


Spot the Mooboy!!
I had the privilege to visit Legoland with The Blogfather, and because both our families got to see the whole thing on 4th May, we decided to do a joint giveaway, for 2 sets of annual passes to LEGOLAND Malaysia!

We're picking 2 winners for this giveaway, and the lucky families will each be getting 2 Adult and 1 Child Annual Passes worth a total of RM807! 

This allows them unlimited visits to the pass for a full 12 months (the annual pass will be issued once we have your details), discounted entry to the LEGOLAND Water Park for RM58 (normal price is RM122 for Adults and RM101 for children), LEGOLAND Hotel discounts, seasonal retail and F&B discounts, a LEGOLAND E-newsletter, free parking at the LEGOLAND Car Park, and even early access to the park at 9:30am! Full terms and conditions can be found here.

To join in the fun, simply accomplish the tasks set out in the Rafflecopter box below. Because this is a join giveaway, your entries will be reflected on BOTH The Blogfather and MummyMoo blogs, so you only need to do this once! We'll be closing the giveaway on Wednesday, 27th May 2015 at 2359hrs, and we'll announce the winner we've picked on our individual blogs, so make sure you check in with both of us then!

This giveaway is open only to those residing in Singapore.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway Terms and Conditions:
Contest ends on Wednesday, 27th of May at 2359hrs. Winners will be selected via Rafflecopter, and notified via email. They have 48 hours to respond to the notification email. Should there be no response, the winning entry will be rendered null and void, and another winner will be chosen.

*Source: LEGO® Star Wars™ Miniland on-site information.

More information on Legoland Malaysia's Star Wars Days here
Ticketing details here.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Legoland Malaysia and its media partners for making this experience possible, and for helping me make sense of something which was truly alien to me. I've never been a Star Wars fan, but because of the entire Miniland experience, I think I'm beginning to understand the fans' obsession with it!

Sunday Garden Party at Rasa Sentosa

Friday, 24 April 2015

Sundays are lazy days. Perfect days for waking up late, have a relaxed, leisurely late breakfast, go to the beach, catch a movie, or just stay at home and hibernate.

And then we have kids.

They loudly declare that "It's WAKEUP time!!" the moment the sun is up, and shake you awake because they need breakfast. Then they proceed to turn the entire house upside down looking for ONE toy which they seem to have misplaced, that it seems to make more sense to bring them out to expand their energy elsewhere. When we are then packed and ready to go out, we need to think of places to go. Places which will entertain them for hours on end, where all of us can have something to eat, and where we (hopefully) can grab a breather before the start of the week.

When we were invited to experience the Sunday Garden Party at Atmosphere by the sea, I was really intrigued because it seems to have the perfect arrangement for parents with young kids! The kids dine for free* and are entertained by a balloon sculptor and magician while we entertain our stomachs. Furthermore, if that's not enough, all diners have complimentary access to the pool, water slides and children's splash pad!

The Sunday Garden Party is at Atmosphere by the sea, a separate villa away from the main hotel unit. Quaint and charming, it epitomises the perfect draw of resort living.

When we were there, we were told that there was to be a beach wedding that same evening, hence the installation of fairy lights and lanterns. It was all very romantic, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

True to being the 5-star hotel that they are, the tables are set semi-formal style, and service is impeccable. There is always someone ready to help at the turn of your head, and a server is at the table even before you can look around for one.

Then, there's the FOOD.

Of course, the food. The stuff which placates angry, hungry men and has the power to soothe a wounded heart. It's what we bond over, what we share, and what is truly unique to each country and culture.

Oh my, the Food. The spread at the Sunday Garden Party was truly a gastronomic treat for the senses.

Cold Cuts

Gifts from the sea comes in oddly small proportions.

Smoked and fresh salmon, beef carpaccio, salami, pastrami, slices of cold cut ham and fresh salad, served with a plethora of dressings and sauces to suit all palates.

Fresh salmon and perfectly poached eggs, oozing velvety yolk, enhanced by the slight tart taste of apple cider vinegar in every bite.

From the Sea

Excuse me as I drool again while I upload this picture.

The husband has a slight seafood allergy. His throat gets itchy like he's having a bad throat infection whenever he eats any prawns or shellfish. Unfortunately for him, seafood remains his first love, and like the one that got away - something he has to stay away from.

But at times like these, he really didn't care. I think he ate enough seafood to make up for all the occasions he denied himself to prevent the discomfort which follows almost immediately. Honestly, I really don't blame him.

Sweet and fresh. Flavoured with a slight hint of butter.

And the oysters. Shucked upon request.

Alaskan King Crab legs and scallops. Bursting with flavour, and full of succulent goodness!

One thing I noticed (when I wasn't busy chomping through my food) was that despite the numerous people who kept on topping up their plates, the massive bowls remained picture perfect because the chef ensured that the seafood is constantly replenished. To a person familiar with F & B operations, I totally admire the staff's vigilance!

Cooked food station

At the patio, there is a grill and barbeque section, churning out grilled seafood and meats. The steaks and lamb chops are divinely juicy, and if you prefer to have your lobster flavoured with herbs, egg yolk and brandy, there is always the all-time favourite lobster thermidor. There is a modest selection of Indian food and vegetarian options.

There is also grilled chicken and peking duck, which Caden absolutely loved!

Kids' Station

After Caden ate his Peking Duck and rice, he decided he would like to have some hotdogs AND jelly beans. And ice-cream.

I do believe he thinks he's on holiday. It's easy to get confused because there is this general laid back vibe and feel surrounding the entire place. No one was rushing, everyone waited patiently for their turn, and people seemed a little more friendly.

No one minded the monitor lizard which lazily slithered through the patio tables, and the kids watched the peacocks as they sauntered by, keeping a respectful distance.

Cheese Platter

Ok. Platter is not the word here. Being a cheese lover, I didn't know what I wanted to eat first! Never mind that my stomach was close to exploding... they were too good to resist.

Dessert Station

"The hardest thing to resist, is temptation."

and so... I did not resist.

Would you?

By this time, Caden was getting restless. Whilst I was happy to just sit back and have good food and conversation, 4-year old kids aren't programmed to really sit still for long periods of time. Thankfully, there was the balloon sculptor and magician to keep him entertained after lunch!

I think he was also restless because we passed by the pool on the way to Atmosphere By The Sea, and we promised him a go after lunch. He was really looking forward to it, and after I made sure that he is rested enough after the massive lunch he had, we headed on down to the pool to cool off!

At least the boys did, while I baked in the sun.

There are kids' sized life vests available for use, and I like that the deep end of the pool is very far away (and partitioned!) from the kids' splash pad and slides.

We went home in the late afternoon with Caden thoroughly and utterly exhausted, our bellies and hearts full because we had great fun as a family! I am not able to get every weekend off to spend with my family, and on rare occassions such as this, I'm so glad that we are able to bond together over food, joy and laughter.


Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa
Sunday Garden Party at Atmosphere by the sea

Every Sunday from noon - 3pm (buffet lunch)

SGD 138++ per adult (walk-in guests get pool access)
One child aged 11 years or below dines free with one paying adult. SGD28++ for each additional child.

Complimentary parking will be given to diners on a first come, first served basis.

For Reservations
Tel: 6371 1966
Email: or click here

more information here.


Disclaimer: This wonderful experience was made possible by the good people at Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa. You guys are doing a great job in making the place fun for everyone in the family!

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