Friday, March 28, 2014

The kiddos got to meet the cast of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"!

The director and cast of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2", Marc Webb, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx popped by Singapore for a red carpet event and press conference on 27 Mar 2014 at Marina Bay Sands.  They are also here for the Earth Hour to be held on 29 Mar 2014 at 8.30pm at The Float @ Marina Bay.

In all my 36 years I had never ever chased stars, whether celestial or humans, but yours truly managed to get some tickets for the red carpet and press conference this time round, courtesy of Marina Bay Sands.  I know that the kids would be really excited to catch the movie, but I was not too sure of what to expect from the event.  I trusted my instincts nevertheless and went ahead with the family and 2 other friends who graciously helped with keeping an eye on the kiddos.

It was really crowded at the red carpet event and we were only catching glimpses of the stars on the big screen from afar.  The kids had to literally climb on top of me to catch any actions!  The classic so close yet so far away situation. 

It was followed by the press conference and while waiting for the stars to arrive, I thought why not walk to the front to take a photo with Steffi and Leroy right on stage.  This was when the staff noticed the kiddos, found them a little cute, and offered them front row seats amongst the press!  And as the guardian of the kiddos, I got to move all the way to the front too which was really super lucky for us!

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were really friendly, with no airs at all.  They talked to the kiddos, high-fived them, took photos with them and made their day.  Spidey even sat right next to Leroy, albeit just for a little while!  I guess all these more than made up for whatever waiting we went through.

When the press conference ended, Steffi couldn't bear to see Andrew go and went up on stage by herself.  She even asked him for a photo on her own and this is the parting shot we managed to get as from him!  Simply awesome wasn't it?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Our Budding Photographer

This photo is a classic.  I was guiding Steffi on how to handle my camera and she was tasked to take photos for us.  After a few shots, she suddenly asked us, "do you want to change a pose? Otherwise it's all the same."  Then she continued, "why not daddy you use one hand to hold the cake and mama do the same.  Then you use your other hand to pose a thumbs up."  

This, is her masterpiece for our 12th wedding anniversary.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Steffi's First Tooth Extraction

Earlier on, I posted a question on whether I should have Steffi's 2 lower front baby teeth extracted by a dentist or to let nature take it's course.  I got overwhelming response from all over the world that I should not hesitate!  Moms and Dads shared with me similar cases of their own kids needing braces etc due to the same situation.  Of course I did my own research online as well and concluded that it is better to be safe than sorry!

I finally had the time to bring her to the dentist at my neighboring block tonight and Steffi was totally cool about that, somewhat nonchalant in fact.  She was still playing in the dental chair before the dentist attended to her.  If it was Leroy, I think he would be bawling when told of the prospect of a visit to the dentist.

Anyway, I tried saving some money by asking if it was alright for the teeth to drop on its own but the dentist advised against it.  The entire procedure took only roughly about a minute and a half.  First it was the application of some gel on the gum for about 1 minute to numb it, and than the extraction of the 2 teeth with some "pincer" was over in a split second. The dentist earned $28 per minute in Steffi's case.  I fear for the rest of my kiddos, for I might just use the old school method when it's their turns.  *just joking*

As advised by my friends, there could have been cheaper alternatives such as the polyclinic etc, but I guess I had to get it over and done with soonest possible! So here's my brave Steffi with her new smile!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Short Weekend Getaway to Malacca

My company's staff recreation club recently organized a 2-day trip to Malacca last weekend and I asked my wife if she would like to go together with Steffi and Leroy in tow and she agreed readily.  This was despite her being 33 weeks pregnant!  She had always been strong so I didn't really think much of it until I heard all my colleagues say that she seems incredibly comfy even at this advanced stage of pregnancy and can still walk around with the rest of the people.  She definitely earned my respect and the title of Superwife and Supermom!

We were lucky that colleagues were accommodating to the kids' ruckus on board the coach when I think they would probably have wanted to catch a few winks instead.  Special thanks to the temporary guardian Uncle John who offered help with carrying the kids when they were tired and also for keeping an eye on them while on the road or boat.

The draw of Malacca must be the heritage buildings and of course the food (think suckling pig and satay celup!).  We only stayed one night in Hatten Hotel Melaka but the kids were simply awed by the spaciousness of the hotel room and basically ran amok!  

The hotel is in a great central location surrounding by shopping malls, walkable to Jonker street (by our standard) and the room was awesome (only short of a bathtub)!  We know that we would not mind coming back a second time!

The kids definitely enjoyed themselves and it was not because of the itinerary but because of the company.  In fact, I believe all of the us enjoyed the trip too and the family is definitely looking forward to more such trip in the near future!  By the way, Stacci wasn't being left at home.  She went "overseas" with my MIL and SIL to Batam as well!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Stickers on the Wall

At times, my kids throw tantrums, becomes unreasonable and gets my nerves, anger gets the better of me and cloud my judgement.  I get really mad.

Sometimes they write on my walls and even destroy my furniture.  

But I know I will reminisce while looking at this photo next time.  And remember all their laughter and squabbles while they paste those stickers onto my painstakingly plastered and painted wall.  

By then, the wall won't matter anymore.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Family Outing to Hello Kitty Town and Little Big Club

We were supposed to go on a planned family trip to Bangkok in end Feb to celebrate Steffi's birthday.  We had booked the air tickets many months ago and were so looking forward to mango sticky rice, street pad thai and Thai massage and perhaps a Tiger Temple tour for the kids.  But unfortunately we had to cancel the trip in consideration of the recent unrest in Bangkok and the advanced pregnancy of my wife.  Thank goodness we were granted a full refund based on my wife's "medical condition"!  Not to disappoint the kids, we went on a coach trip to Malaysia on 28 Mar instead and Stacci benefited as she got to travel for free this time round.

We booked our coach tickets and the park tickets to Hello Kitty Town and Little Big Club online through WTS Travel, which was really quite a breeze.  On the day of travel, we just had to show up at the agency which is located at the Singapore Flyer, present our booking reference and relax in the coach while being whisked to Puteri Harbour.  Most Singaporean and Malaysians who want to visit the 2 indoor theme parks would have done so by now, and being a weekday, there were also hardly any crowd at all, making the experience really enjoyable for us.

The first thing that made the kids go "Yay!!!" was the Hello Kitty house where everything is so "cartoonized" and "princessy"!  They just couldn't keep their hands off all the Hello Kitties everywhere!

They also did not hesitate taking off their shoes and trying out the over-sized bathtub!  The only thing missing would be real H2O!

The kids were thrilled to get close and personal with the various cartoon characters such as Hello Kitty, Daniel, Batz Maru, Bob the Builder and purple dinosaur, Barney as well!  There were not much people and we actually felt pity for the staff in costume as there hardly any interactions from kids. 

We conquered both parks by following the Meet-and-Greet and show schedules and I must say that it's really quite tiring if we want to see and take part in everything.

There were also various activities for the kids such as making of Hello Kitty badge, decorating of cookie, and the making of Hello Kitty design with plastic beads.  The placement of the beads really takes a lot of time and effort and I ended up having to help the kids.  Just look at our faces!

And how can we not take a family photo all dressed up in Sanrio characters?  The staff took all but 2 photos for us despite my explaining on how to operate my simple camera.  Nevertheless, this is the best shot out of the two.

There are food joint in the parks but you may wish to get out of the parks during meal times as there are restaurants within the same building too.  Do note that you are allowed to re-enter only once though.  For us, we chose not to miss out on any actions and we had our simple sandwiches and hot dog buns within the parks, which is kind of expensive if you ask

In conclusion, it is wonderful to see the kids enjoy themselves thoroughly and that is what makes the effort to bring them there totally worth it.  I have my wife to thank too, as she still so enthusiastic in bringing the 3 kids there despite being in her third trimester!  The 2 parks are not really that big and although they do have some very nice playgrounds, the real draw factor are the cartoon characters themselves.

We paid $268 (all inclusive) for 4 persons for the 1-day trip which started at 8.30am, and we are back in time for dinner at around 8pm in Singapore.  I must say that it is reasonably affordable for the first experience and the photo-taking sessions with the characters.  But if it's for the second time, or if the kids are going there for the playgrounds, then I must say that our various local indoor playgrounds such eXplorer kids, Fidgets and Polliwogs should suffice, less the hassle of overseas travel.