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How To Make More Hours

Was just reading my old posts on routine, and wow, life of a mother of three young kids was really horrid. How did I survive! Routine 5.0 was written more than one year ago, and my life has got so much better as the kids get older. Just a couple of weeks ago I got to sleep in till about 8am everyday!

BUT. Kor Kor is starting primary school in a month’s time. Worse, he is in the afternoon session, so it’s like he hardly get any time at home. So I decided to revamp our routine to maximize what time we have. I still really hope to include outdoor/ playground time, library visits, early bedtime, free play!

Routine for school term from Jan 2016 onwards:

630am Breakfast and wash up

730am Playground & me reading to them

9am Home, showers

930am Free play and homework if any 

1050am Lunch

1130am Get ready for school

1150am Go out 

1230pm Home with the younger two

1pm Nap/quiet time

3pm Snack

6pm Go out to fetch Kor Kor

640pm Dinner

730pm Shower

8pm Milk & bedtime reading

830pm Bedtime

I have started waking up around 6am to prepare breakfast. The boys use an alarm clock to wake up at 630am. They need some help waking up earlier mainly because recently they have been playing and talking till very late after lights out. But it’s ok, they are slowly adjusting to it – forced to wake up early means they KO faster at night and it’s getting easier for them to pop out of bed in the morning. 

We have also been doing early lunches for two weeks and trying out new menus. Instead of the previous three dishes, I am trying to cook a one-pot rice dish and a veg. This will give me more free time with the kids in the morning… since I won’t see Kor Kor the whole afternoon!!

But not rigidly following the schedule yet. Definitely more than an hour at the playground now…. Enjoy while they can! And still going out with friends and for lessons on weekdays… Lessons will be changed to the weekend from Jan onwards. Not looking forward to busy weekends!!

The biggest problem now is how do I survive the early start to the day……. Just this morning I threw away (figuratively) the alarm clock cos had to get up 5-6 times to attend to the kids last night. Plus I am really very night owl… Been reading up on this and of course gonna keep trying… 

Wish me luck!!

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Holiday At Redang!

A couple of weeks ago, we made a trip to the Malaysian island of Redang. I suggested this place after reading this blog post.

We booked our coach tickets with Konsortium as recommended by SAys! Happy Mums, and were prepared for the ten-hour journey. Really on the dot, coach departed from Golden Mile at 9.30pm, and dropped us off at the jetty at Terengganu at 7.30am.

The problem was, the ferry transferring us to the Redang Kalong Resort would only leave at 10.30am! There was nobody else around except the souvenir stalls owners, so at first we were not even sure whether we were waiting at the right place. (There were quite a few jetties in the area serving different resorts.)

 

Only one shed for all the passengers… It was very sunny and hot

  

But got souvenir stalls selling interesting cute stuff!

  

Our jetty, which turned out to be NOT beside the shed where we waited

 
 

Refugees…..

  

Finally onboard!


 We knew that this resort was meant more for divers, so we were prepared for it to be basic and simple. We had a seaview quad room, nothing to shout about, it’s similar to the other divers’ resorts I have been to.(yes, I am an Advanced Diver! But no more chance to go diving since kids.)

[Actually, I have an issue with the resort’s claim of “5-star sleeping experience at 1-star price“….. I didn’t feel there was anything 5-star at all.)

 

Where we arrived at the resort

  

Simple beach, quite a long stretch


My favorite part about our 3-night stay here, is that as our room is so close to the beach and the resort is so small, it was very safe to let the kids leave the room and hang out downstairs on their own. (Just for a short while of course, eg when they had finished changing their clothes and I was changing. Not like we adults took a nap in the room and let the kids run loose ok :P)

Sometimes they searched for and stalked the chickens roaming around, sometimes they hung out at the hammocks and sun loungers.

 

My beach boy : )

  

The beach is right in front, but there’s a 1-meter drop


 

Hanging out with cousin in front of the seaview triple rooms

The package includes four meals a day and twice-daily snorkeling. The food was satisfactory and filling. We only went for two snorkeling trips as we preferred to take it easy especially with kids. We spent the whole day outdoors, hardly stepping into our room after stepping out for breakfast around 7.30am. (The kids changed clothes at the balcony outside the room :P)
 

Happy water babies!

 

We brought along a life vest for Meimei and snorkeling sets for the boys. But the resort’s life jacket is actually small enough for her. They also provide snorkeling sets small enough for my skinny 5-year-old and a bit meaty 4-year-old. Need not bring along our own equipment after all! 

They are so brave! Some apprehension at first, then all 3 like bobbing up and down on the sea (except when seawater got into their eyes oops)

This girl is too cool for words….. the small one heehee

Actually, Kor Kor is the only one who really snorkels lah

All in all, it is a relaxing family trip where we get to spend time with my siblings (we played majong every night!) and the cousins get to play together. My kids clocked 33 hours outdoor time over the three days! 

I like that we did not have to waste time waiting or traveling around once we reached the resort. Nothing much to do, not much choices, also means we make do with simple pleasures. But honestly, I would not choose the same place in hindsight. While the 10-hour coach ride was manageable, I couldn’t stand the 3 hours just standing around doing nothing while waiting for our ferry transfer. At least we were comfortable in the coach, with proper seats and aircon. Would I recommend this resort? Only if you manage to find a coach which arrives at the jetty closer to 10am!

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Wallholla Vertical Playground!

I have no idea why I never saw any of these playgrounds on FB, didn’t know that such things exist at all, until I came across Cheekiemonkies‘ blog on vertical playgrounds. Today we finally pay a visit to the one at Bishan St 13!

 

Spot the hamsters

 
It looks like a simple play structure… until I try to chase after Meimei…. 

 

Don’t play play ok… it’s not easy to climb this slope! *bow to the kids*

 
 

Loving their hideout… they call it their resting place

 
Three hours pass by in a flash. There are two other climbing structures nearby, though the one above is my kids’ favorite. 

 

Forgot to take photo of the third structure, cos they hardly spend any time there

 
 

Pretend play… about postmen I think


I love it that the area is very shaded by many huge trees. It does not feel hot even at noon. Feel immersed in nature despite this being just a neighborhood playground. Not even a park I think, though it’s just next to the park connector. Many many sightings of squirrels and some yellow birds. (I really should learn to identify some birds given the amount of time we spend outdoors!)

  

View of the entire play area


 

From another angle

 

Climb-friendly trees included!