It’s a wrap for 2018!

Today is the start of a brand new year and I have managed to steal a few moments to sit down and compile some of the highlights we had in 2018.

Work wise, the past one year has been kind to us with Colin and I achieving new heights and pursuing new direction in our careers respectively. With Colin swamped in work, I was lucky to have the opportunity to have a change in environment to not only learn new things but to also devote more time to the 2 cheeky little babies at home.

Switching gear to the little ones, nothing delights us more than seeing the growth of the sibling bond between Ashley and Kingsley and we hope this bond will continue to grow stronger as they grow up and even grow old. Here are some sneak peeks of the little ones together.

Kingsley at 1 month with Ashley

Kingsley at 6 months in Aussie with Ashley

Kingsley at 12 months with Ashley

Kingsley at 13 months with Ashley

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Ashley’s 1st Overseas Performance with Jody Marshall Dance Company in Hong Kong

It has been ages since I have updated about Ashley’s dance curriculum and this makes an excellent opportunity for me to share on her dance journey thus far. Since mid last year, we have switched Ashley to Jody Marshall Dance Company (JMDC) as we realised that she was not learning much from her previous dance school which operated more like a multi-chain school which does not demonstrate dedication to individual students’ need. In May this year, she joined the JMDC 6 and under dance troupe upon completion of her TTA exam and the first item that caught our eye for their events in 2018 was he year end performance in Hong Kong Disneyland. Of no surprise, Ashley showed no hesitation in wanting to participate in the event when we asked her and went through months of training with her fellow JMDC dance mates for this Hong Kong trip.

After months of hard work from all the kids in JMDC, we finally set off on 6th December 2018 for their Hong Kong dance journey. Despite an early flight out at 7.40am, the kids were all bright and cheery on the day of departure (Daddy Colin is absent from the group photos as he readily stepped up to the role of the official photographer to capture the beautiful moments of the trip).

Departing early morning for HK

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Celebrating Kingsley’s 1st Birthday

With a blink of an eye, Kingsley has joined our family core for almost a year and time seems to slip past so quickly even if it meant many sleepless nights filled with frustration particularly with his eczema condition. Today we celebrate little Kingsley’s first birthday, joined by family and friends in this joyous occasion.

As compared to many of the mums out there who go the extra mile in planning their little one’s birthday, I am considered to be rather laid back in organising the little one’s first birthday. However, to be fair to Kingsley, we decided to throw a 1st birthday party for him and what I mean by being fair, we even decided on a Mickey Mouse theme in contrast of a Minnie Mouse theme we did for Ashley when she was one. After checking out a few locations for the birthday party, we decided on Triple Three Restaurant in Mandarin Orchard as it is conveniently nested in between Somerset and Orchard MRT stations which would make it accessible for our guests who were not driving today. The staff at Triple Three were really prompt in every of my email queries and even on the day itself, they were very helpful in accommodating to our requests such as rearrangements of the tables to accommodate the cake display table.

As for Kingsley’s birthday cake, I am glad I engaged Bake Mama which is managed by my fellow TKGian softball friend. Unlike many of the home bakers out there, Ginger came up with not one, but three cake designs for us to choose from (with no obligation!) when all she had from me is the theme I wanted. Furthermore, she was extremely accommodating to my last minute request of customised Mickey cookies for the kids at the party. Below are snapshots of Kingsley’s birthday cake and cookies.

Here are more snapshots of Kingsley’s 1st birthday celebration.

Review: Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

If there is anything we learnt from Ashley’s babyhood, it is that we should always start belting the baby into the car seat as soon as they are born. I understand that as parents, we love our little ones very much and it always feels great cuddling them but as we all know, this is not safe for the babies as well as the parents. Therefore, Colin and I made it a point to belt Kingsley into his carseat right from the first time he got into the car. As Ashley has upgraded to a booster carseat then, Kingsley naturally inherited his big sister’s baby car seat. However, our downunder trip ended with the baby car seat being damaged on our flight home and there came the opportunity to source for a brand new baby car seat for Kingsley.

The search for a new baby car seat had to be fast as we needed it on every weekend when we send Ashley for dance classes. I must say there was no effort on my part in this process and Colin took on full responsibility in doing that and I am extremely pleased with his choice. Parents can always rave about how great their choice of car seats is but the baby’s response is by far the best indication of how comfortable the car seat is. In comparison to the previous baby car seat we had, Graco Extend2Fit is much wider and Kingsley would always fall asleep during the car ride. Furthermore, the 5 point safety harness is also simpler to use on the baby as compared to the 3 point safety harness in the previous car seat. What is good about Graco Extend2Fit resides in the versatility in which the 10-position headrest and 6-position recline can be adjusted to fit the height of the baby and Kingsley can sit in comfortably in this car seat for quite a while. Furthermore, there is also the 4-position extension panel which will provide 5″ additional leg room as he grows taller. Therefore, in a way, it was a blessing in disguise that the previous car seat was damaged in the final leg of the trip to make way for a better seat for Kingsley’s car ride around town.

Below are some photos of Kingsley’s new “throne” in the car.

First Downunder Holiday for Baby Kingsley – Brisbane Gold Coast

Although it has been less than a year since our last holiday to Australia, Ashley has been asking us when would we be able to bring her for another holiday to Australia. I must be honest that I would not be that enthusiastic in planning yet another holiday to Australia that soon upon considering the long 8 hour flight with a baby and a child in tow. However, such thoughts do not taunt us for long as Colin and I quickly got down to plan a week long holiday to Brisbane and Gold Coast as the thought of spending quality time with the little ones outweighs all hesitation and uncertainty. From our past experiences travelling with Ashley, we noticed that red eye flights were the best for the little ones as the timing would coincide with their bedtime and hopefully, they would be able to sleep through the bulk of the flight time. This holiday was no exception as we selected the 8.45pm outbound flight and boy were we glad that Kingsley slept through at least half of the journey in the bassinet or in our arms.

As I was planning the itinerary for the trip, I decided against accommodation hopping given that (1) the holiday was only going to be 7 days and (2) majority of the attractions being nested within an hour’s ride from Gold Coast. Next question that might pop up in one’s mind is, “Where is the best place to stay in Gold Coast then?” I believe Surfers Paradise is no stranger to many and some may reply, “Where better to stay in Gold Coast other than Surfers Paradise?” I would definitely agree to that statement as F&B outlets are aplenty in that area. However, budget wise, accommodation in Surfers Paradise are generally pricier given the prime location and since I needed a 2-bedroom apartment with proper laundry and kitchen facilities, it made sense for me to source outside of Surfers Paradise. If you have chanced upon our earlier post on our holiday to Sydney 2 years ago, you might have heard the name Meriton Suites. Given our good experience staying with them, it was no hesitation for us to return to another Meriton Suites for our holiday. There are 2 Meriton Suites located along the Indian Ocean in Gold Coast, of which they are situated at Broadbeach and Southport. As we were planning to drive around as usual, we decided on the Meriton Suites Southport for our week long stay for the following reasons; (1) there is a Woolsworth located in the same building which makes it convenient for marketing and (2) competitive pricing as compared to Meriton Suites Broadbeach while still offering a beautiful view of the Indian Ocean. Even if you do not rent a car in Gold Coast, it is relatively easy to commute around the Gold Coast city street scape with the G:link Gold Coast Light Rail network.

Here are some photos of our 2 bedroom ocean suite at Meriton Suites Southport.

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