Red star Sunday

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Dim sum has been always my favourite and I can have them everyday. It has been two years since we last went to Red Star for dim sum. Hence I didn’t hesitate at all when the #jiaklimnuagang suggested for a dim sum brunch there. It was such a brilliant idea.

The restaurant is usually crowded during the weekend and the queue is constantly long. But we were willing to queue for the dim sum even with a baby bump. 😉 Anyways it’s always better to go there early as some of the food would run out by afternoon and the kitchen wouldn’t replenish them again.

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I love going for dim sum in a group because we could order a table full of variety to share. And indeed we did achieve that! The brunch was simply satisfying. 🙂

In my opinion, food at Red Star is perhaps above average, not fantastic, but it’s the place that attracted me. The old school nostalgic ambience and traditional dim sum trolleys made our dining experience a more interesting one. As much as how special it was to have dim sum carts moving around, it’s best to hunt down the specific trolleys yourself especially when it’s crowded or if you are seated at the back. It’s almost certain that those popular dishes would take forever to reach you as people in front would have already taken them away.

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After our satiated brunch, we headed over to Robertson Walk for our coffee session. Like what our hashtag #jiaklimnuagang says: Jiak-eat, lim- drink,  nua- slack, it’s a sequence that we had to complete. Haha 🙂

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Darian is 5 – Part 1

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The night before Darian’s birthday, his favourite yiyi and John appeared at our door to surprise him with a birthday cake. Darian was really elated to see them! 🙂 Before that, he had mommy’s homecooked birthday meesua for dinner. This silly boy was so happy to see two eggs in his bowl. 🙂

Day 1

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The next day, we set off to Sentosa where we would be spending our next two nights there. Needless to say, double Ds were extremely thrilled about the staycation. On the way, we picked up the grandparents who would be joining us for Darian’s birthday lunch at Earle Swenson’s, Vivo City, followed by a visit to Madame Tussauds Sentosa. Since we were all wearing blues except for my father in law. I bought him a blue shirt upon reaching Vivo City. So it’s Team Blue day out! 🙂

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After a hearty lunch, we took the Sentosa Express over to Madame Tussuads Singapore. This is our second visit to a Madame Tussuads museum. The first one was in Washington D.C. I suppose our kiddos have no issues about visiting a wax figures museum because both of them are least camera shy and in fact quite a poser. Haha 🙂  MTS housed over 60 wax figures of both local and international leaders and stars. This is the time when one could have no reservations taking selfies and pictures with all those famous people. Some stations even have props for creative and fun shots. We all had fun posing around and taking pictures with the figures. For us, taking a picture with ‘Mr and Mrs Lee Kuan Yew’ is definitely a must at MTS. The trip wouldn’t be complete without a picture with them. Last but not least, the unique feature here got to be the boat ride that takes visitors on a journey through the iconic sights in Singapore. Despite a quick ride, I thought it did bring out the essences of Singapore. 🙂

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After sending the grandparents back, we checked into the Festive hotel where we would be staying for three days and two nights. This was our second staycation here in RWS. Although there was a bunk bed and sofa bed available in the room, we still preferred to snuggle each other to sleep on the king size bed. Well at least I didn’t wake up to backaches. 🙂

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We ended Day 1 with dinner at Din Tai Feng, RWS, followed by a quick shopping at Vivo city. It was a good thing that Vivo City was accessible by the Sentosa Express. This made traveling in and out of Sentosa much easier.

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Day 1 was fun but Day 2 was even better! 🙂

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Papa Yap 32nd Birthday

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Papa Yap’s 32nd birthday was actually on a Monday hence we decided to celebrate on the day before instead. This time round, my parents in law joined us in Papa Yap’s mini birthday celebration at Temasek Club where I had booked a room for 2 hours karaoke session. I supposed it was a smart choice to have booked the biggest room with a soccer table. The spacious room gave the kiddos ample moving space and the soccer table really kept Darian well entertained throughout the entire session.

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Prior to the Karaoke session, Double Ds spent some time at the air conditioned playground as we were there early. Well they certainly enjoyed playing at the playground and I wouldn’t mind watching them play in a cooling indoor environment too.

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We had a good time, ‘partying’ in the room. We sang, watched the kids sang “Let it Go” and danced to Gangnam Style, played at the soccer table, ate Papa Yap’s cute birthday cake chosen by Darian and took lots of delightful photos. It was absolutely great to see how happy everyone was. We ended off having dinner at Bedok Mall and getting Darian a toy at Tampines Mall. Hmm… I wondered whose birthday was it actually? Haha 🙂

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So on the actual day, 27th October, Papa Yap came home after work to the usual home cooked birthday noodles and a card specially made by me and the kiddos. 🙂

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Simple gift simple food.

Major love major happiness! ❤

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Alive Museum

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Our first family outing at the Alive Museum after we returned from States. We had chosen to visit the Alive Museum rather than the Trick Eye Museum because I felt that the Trick Eye Museum would be very crowded on a weekend. And yes I hit the jackpot! I read from my Fb newsfeed that there was a long queue just to get inside. The Alive museum, located at Suntec City, was definitely much more convenient for us. On a side note, the trick eye museum would be definitely in our to-do-list when we have another staycation in Sentosa. So till then!

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Alive Museum is one of Korea’s Illusionary Entertainment Museums. It was such a interesting place for our family. Everyone, yes all four of us, had so much fun posing for pictures. Apparently double Ds were really engaged with all the photo taking. That wasn’t what we had expected. haha… Especially for Darian Yap, he was very enthusiastic with posing in front of the camera. Obviously they were not camera-shy at all. Sometimes I wondered if I am grooming posers to be. 😉

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Alright we spent nearly two hours inside the museum, taking lots of funny silly photos, having lots of fun and laughter. It was such a great time! We simply love family time like this. 🙂

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Goodbye Virginia Hello Singapore Part 2

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Our first half of the flight back from Washington D.C to Korea was a crazy one. Totally insane! We had the worst time with Baby Dyann for the first time ever. She was extremely difficult for the first few hours even when it was already her sleeping time. We felt so lost and frustrated with her until I could not supress my frustrations and had to discipline her in the lavatory. I felt terrible but I knew that was the only way to stop her from all her tantrums at the same time not being a nuisance to the other passengers. Despite all the tears, I managed to rock her to sleep right after all those drama. Fortunately things got so much better there after and we had no issues with her at all during the flight from Korea to Singapore. Phew! As usual Darian was fantastic throughout the flight! He is really amazing can! heehee 🙂

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Many people were curious about how we manage to bring back all our luggage. They really couldn’t imagine that. So did we actually. I have to say thanks to Papa Yap for being so strong! Even one of the porter mentioned that when he helped with our luggage. We had a total of 8 big luggage, 1 big backpack, 1 baby bag, Darian’s backpack, my handbag, a stroller and two kids… It’s crazy alright!

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We could hardly contain our excitement when we were about to reach Singapore. Darian even cheered in the plane when the plane landed. That was how happy he was. It just showed how much we had missed home and the people. It was really heart-warming to see all those familiar faces at the airport welcoming us back. We felt the love. Thanks for coming! And also thanks for all the welcome back gifts for the kids! They are definitely so blessed. 🙂

As expected we spent our first few days with our parents and relatives, eating lots of delicious homecooked food and local delights. They were so yummy that my diet plan has been shelved for a moment. Haha…  I’m sure the grandparents and relatives are also elated to see the grandkids back in Singapore too. Darian and Dyann absolutely enjoyed their company and have a whale of time playing with them.

Frankly, we were not exactly too affected by the jet lag, but the weather. We definitely took a much longer time adjusting to the weather than the time difference. Is the weather becoming hotter and more humid? Or is it just us? Hmm… It was to the extend that Dyann developed bad rashes all over her face, neck and limbs due to the weather. We had to bring Dyann to the clinic on the third day and that was when I dropped my phone on the road which was never found again. boohoo… Seriously it wasn’t the phone that matters but the photos inside. I lost a number of photos as I didn’t have the time to upload them. I was really upset with that!

Just nearly a year absence, things seem to be falling apart in the house. We spent our first week unpacking our luggage, getting some household replacement, stocking up some necessities, sorting out some administrative stuff. Until now I am left with one last luggage of toy to clear. Darian Yap seriously has too many toys… Anyways a big thank you to my parents in law for maintaining our house. My mother in law even got the kitchen stocked up with food and drinks for us. How awesome is that! 🙂

Finally the whole episode of our life in States had come to an end beautifully. We certainly brought back lots of happy and sweet memories. Once again, thanks to my dearest husband, dearest papa to our two lovely kids, thank you for making this possible for our little family. We love you very much! 🙂

Nevertheless, we are all glad to be back home. Nowhere better than home. Truly! 🙂

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Goodbye Virginia Hello Singapore Part 1

Hi folks! We are back in Singapore since 24th May. For the past two weeks, we were busy settling down, unpacking and handling some unexpected little issues that cropped up along the way. Finally, everything seems to be on track already and I have time to blog again. 🙂 It has been quite a while since I last blogged. I had actually wanted to do some updates before returning back to Singapore, yet back then we were occupied with all the logistics and administrative works, as well as going for our vacation in the east coast as a finale for our US expedition. With all those tedious happenings, I was physically and mentally drained which left me literally zero energy to be sitting in front of the laptop. Therefore, this post and the next will be a summary of our final lap in US as well as the transition from US to Singapore. Sad to say that there will not be many photos attached as I dropped my phone on the third day after we returned in Singapore… *sigh*

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We were officially ‘home-less’ in the US on the 7th May and began ‘hotel-hopping’ before flying back to Singapore on the 22nd. Luckily for us, we managed to sell away our car, furniture to Papa Yap’s friends which made moving out of our apartment much easier. We stayed on the Quantico base camp for 2 nights and attended Papa Yap’s graduation on the 8th. I am really proud of him completing this course with great results and be recognised for his effort. Although he didn’t receive the top international award, his result was still in the top ten percent of the school. Still a job well done Papa! 🙂

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After Papa Yap’s graduation, we flew to Los Angeles the next morning and began our well deserved vacation in the East Coast where we spent our first 6 days free and easy driving from LA to San Diego after which we joined a tour agency for the next 8 days, travelling to San Francisco and Las Vegas. It was a wholesome experience and we enjoyed it to the max, albeit tiring. Having to shuffle around hotels with big luggage and two young kids, waking up really early to join the tour, is definitely not easy. To add on, long distance travels makes it even more challenging. Thank goodness, everything went on pretty smooth for us and Papa Yap and I were glad to receive many compliments about the kids and us throughout the tour. Also, we manage to meet up with Papa Yap’s cousin Zheng Hao and his girlfriend in San Francisco too. How nice! 🙂

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In fact, we could have return straight back to Singapore from LA if we didn’t have so many luggage. Seriously in that way we could also shorten our return flight journey by at least 5 hours… However, due to the number of luggage we had, there was no way that we could bring all over. Hence, our friends on Quantico base camp kept our luggage for us until we are back on the 22nd. Thanks to the Smiths Family! 🙂 So we spent our last day in Quantico running some last minute errand, meeting up with the Smiths and sorting out all the luggage.

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It’s unbelievable that 11 months just went by this fast. This whole US expedition for our family had been a totally amazing one. In this short period, we met many nice friends, travelled to a number of states, learnt about the American’s culture, experienced the four seasons and spent a lot of wonderful family time together. For Papa Yap, it seemed like a fantastic break from his usual hectic work life. As for us, we absolutely enjoyed having Papa Yap to be home for dinner everyday, giving us his undivided attention. What more could we asked for. Most importantly, we realised the kids have grown much attached to him because of this trip too. It’s really a good thing! 🙂 I must say this whole episode would not be the same, if not for all our EWS friends and their family. A big thank you to our American and International friends who simply made our stay there a much welcome and special one. It is really our pleasure to know them and their family. We hope that one day we will meet again wherever it may be and of course if they ever visit Singapore, Papa Yap and I will certainly be more than glad to play host. So till then! 🙂

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A happy day at Kings Dominion

***26th April 14***

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Yay! We finally made it to Kings Dominion on its first day of opening for 2014. They had been closed for winter since last November. Before that, we have been wanting to visit the theme park but didn’t exactly have time back then. We were glad to be there on our second last weekend of our stay in Virginia. On a side note, I will update about the end of our tour really soon! Back to the topic, the journey from our place to Kings Dominion was only an hour drive but traffic was very bad that day and we ended up with a quick lunch stop and 2 restroom breaks en route! Seriously it was that bad. We left home at 11am and had only got there nearly 2pm.

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We kicked off with the mini Eiffel Tower, one of the park’s signature attractions. It is a one-third replica of the original Eiffel Tower in Paris. At the top of the observation deck, we get to see the panorama view of the entire theme park. We had a good view from the top, also that was when Darian spotted the kids’ driving circuit and became so excited. Obviously the driving circuit was the next to go for us. 🙂

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Darian was so keen to drive the little car, yet at the same time sweating over it. We could tell that he was very nervous. At his turn, he started tearing when the cars he wanted were taken by others. The instructions was to walk to the car but the other kids were all running toward the cars. Therefore by the time he got there, they were all taken up. We can’t blame him for that. He was just following instructions which was only right. Still he managed to find the last vacant at the other end. While watching him play, we thought he picked up fast and was able to drive and control the car really well. Good job son. True enough, he was more confident after his first attempt and requested for a second round.

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Darian was enthusiastic to go for the kids’ rides in Planet Snoopy. In fact he took many rides this time round as compared to the previous times at other theme parks. He even had his virgin bumper car ride! So cool! Papa Yap and I were a little taken aback by him, yet at the same time really happy to see that he is now more adventurous and braver. Well perhaps its only natural as kids grow.

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As for Dyann, there were limited rides, she could ride on due to the height constraints. They were really strict on the rules. However, she did go for a train ride along with Darian and me, as well as a jeep and car ride together with Darian. She was gleaming with joy, bouncing up and down when Papa Yap carried her out from the jeep during her first attempt. Honestly, I had objected to Papa Yap’s decision of placing her into the jeep at first. I had my reservations on safety issue and was rather mad at him. I felt it was still dangerous for a little kid to ride on without any adult supervision. Furthermore, we couldn’t even see them behind the railings. Boy, I was just paranoid. Seriously I even thought I heard her crying. But Darian told us that she was laughing during the ride. Yeah silly mommy… I have definitely underestimated my little girl! 😉

We spent the entire afternoon at Planet Snoopy, thus didn’t make it in time for the Dinosaurs trail attraction. We had to give it a miss because there wasn’t any lights in that attraction so there was no way we could walk and see in the trail. Darian was only feeling a little disappointed after hearing our explanation. I suppose he was way too happy to be bothered by it. Haha… If only we had started with Dinosaur alive first instead of Planet snoopy, then the whole trip would be perfect.

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Papa Yap brought Darian on a go-kart ride. He was certainly so proud of it. According to Papa Yap, each time he accelerates, Darian would make noise and tell him to slow down. Haha… Yep they were the last but who cares? It was ultimately a great experience for both father and son.

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Snoopy was one of my childhood favourite. Having to see a snoopy theme park definitely relived my childhood memories. I was like one happy big kid! 😉 As that day also coincided with it’s 40th Anniversary, they had fireworks at 9.50pm to commemorate the occasion. It was a bonus for us! I love to watch fireworks! Hence we left only after 10pm. It was indeed a tiring and long day outside. Nevertheless, the kids had a whole load of fun, so did we! 🙂

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Picnic at National Mall

***20th April***

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Don’t get me wrong, the National mall here does not refer to a building but a big national park in Washington D.C, between the Capitol building and Lincoln Memorial. It is certainly a beautiful place for picnics and kite flying sessions. If not, there is also a stretch of Smithsonian museums by the sides, making this place really popular for both locals and tourists. Also, it is famous for the Cherry blossom festival. I was very disappointed that we did not make it during the second week of April for the cherry blossom festive. In fact Papa Yap felt so too.

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Spring is here and it’s certainly a great time for picnic. Darian was so looking forward for this picnic. He totally couldn’t wait to run around, blow bubbles, and fly the kite under the sun. So that day we got there about 12ish and only left at 6ish. The park was pretty crowded but still we got a nice shady place for picnic and a good spot for flying the kite. Yay! We had so much fun the entire time and the kids got a ride on a carousel before we left too. We totally love family time like this. It was truly a wonderful and lovely day together. Darian was even asking for a second round. But well I suppose the next family picnic will only take place back in Singapore! So looking forward! 🙂

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Precious moment. Life is good. 🙂

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15 days 14 nights

***April***

Does the title sound like we are off for another adventure in US? Sad to say, it did not happen… It was actually Papa yap leaving home for an outfield exercise and we were literally homebound for 15 days. Boohoo… So the plan was to stock up 2 weeks of necessities and grocery and if I were to run out of any ingredients, I would have to get delivery orders from restaurants. The thing is that, it is rather impossible to get out of the house if I don’t drive. Unlike in Sg, I could easily walk out to get stuff from nearby. Even if I’m not driving, transportation would never be of any issues to bring the kids out. The fact that I’m a no risk taker and stayed firm with my decision not to drive during this stay in US. I really have to prepare thoroughly, at the same time cross my fingers that things would be all smooth sailing during this period.

Thankfully everything did turn out fine and that I have nice friends who made that two weeks better for us. Feroz got me some grocery on the second weekend and that definitely helped a lot. Those were the food I couldn’t stock up on. Also, Lourdes and Sarah had arranged for play dates which made double Ds very happy having visitors over at our place. The kids had fun playing around with their little friends while I had a great catch up with the mommies! 🙂

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Within these few months, double Ds became much closer to Papa Yap. We were so surprised to see Darian feeling upset due to his absence. He woke up that morning Papa Yap left, looked at the bed, ran out the room and came back in with tears. He told me he was sad that Papa would not be home for many days. Oh boy! It has never bothered him in the past and he would not even ask for him. Yet for the first time, he actually cried. We really felt that he is now much attached to Papa Yap. Obviously that is a good thing! As for Baby Dyann, she is constantly blabbering about papa. Like how each time after shower, she would point at her wet hair and say “papa”. She really prefers her papa to blow dry her hair. Funny girl! And whenever Papa Yap called home, it is only like mandatory for them to talk to him and say goodbye. If I ever put down the phone abruptly without letting them bid goodbye to their father, that just meant disaster. Haha 🙂 Not only that, they both also sent many voice records through whatsapp to Papa Yap! Sometimes I weren’t aware at all until I browsed through my phone.

At last the two weeks had past and we are so happy to have him back home with us! He made the kids extra happy by getting them a toy each on his way back home. Well as for me, I’m just glad to see him. Really glad.

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After this major exercise, we are into our last lap of this expedition already. It’s time to start packing, sort out the furniture, sell the car and settle some administrative stuff. Plenty of things to do but we are absolutely looking forward to return home! Counting down! Woohoo! 🙂

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Madame Tussauds Washington D.C

***23rd March 14***

The visit to Madame Tussauds Washington D.C happened because…

1) we did not have anything to do and wanted to get out of the house.

2) the weather was cold and we had to do something indoor.

3) we have not been to one before.

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Yeah and so we were there!

First of all, we thought that the wax museum is smaller than what we had expected. All the figures were on the same level, placed at different rooms. They didn’t look like have that many figures as compared to the one in NYC. And I really regretted not going to the one in NYC. If we have been there, we would likely give this a miss. I supposed the highlights of this museum is the President Gallery which displays all the United States Presidents. There were quite a bit of information to read up though.

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It would definitely be nice to take a photo with the President and his first lady, but it could only be taken by the museum photographer which also meant paying for it. Therefore we decided to just take the side view of them. Still a decent picture eh!

Basically visiting a wax museum is totally all about photography. We were posing the entire time in the museum; even Darian and Dyann were into posing for the camera too! It was really funny how Darian requested(or rather insisted) for certain poses. Haha… What a silly boy! He’s probably getting too used to the camera and becoming quite a poser. 🙂  I must say it was kind of fun to be doing the poses with the family and there were much laughter in the midst of it. Hence the trip at Madame Tussauds wasn’t too bad after all. We did enjoy and have fun. 🙂

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