Melaka for kids


Melaka may be more of a town for foodies, but there are surprisingly plenty to do for kids too.

Here’s a list of 10 kid friendly attractions and places that we’ve covered over 2 trips as well as recommendations from fellow parents to ensure your little ones have a good time in Melaka.

1. MAMEE JONKER HOUSE

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Dear hubby, let’s make time for us.

Last week, there was a video from Motherly circulating on my Facebook feed. It must have resonated with lots of mums as it went crazy viral with mums sharing it and tagging their husbands. Maybe you’re one of them too.

The main message was a reminder to dads that this messy and crazy life with little babies and kids wouldn’t be forever. That as parents, you’ll not always feel tired, worn out and sleep deprived… eventually. The video ended with

 

Before them, there was us.
After them, there’ll always be us.

 

Watching that video brought back a flood of memories when Sophie was a young babe. Days when hubby and I had to be a tag team and wake up to settle her when she stirred, is hungry or peed in her diaper and worse when she woke up and wanted to play. I remember wondering what we signed up for as parents and wished Sophie will quickly learn to sleep through the night so that we don’t look like pandas.

As much as I loved how hands-on my husband was, it was tough for us to find time or make time for romance. And getting in bed was all about sleeping, nothing else.

As a mum with a young kid then, I was guilty of neglecting my husband and his needs even.

I wanna hold your hand

While I expected Alexis to be understanding of how tired and drained I felt, it also dawned on me that I needed to put myself in his shoes and remember that I was first a wife before becoming a mum. Slowly, I learnt that I had to loosen my grip that was holding on tight to Sophie and started to hold Alexis’s hand more often.

It started off with putting Sophie at my parents or in laws place while we sneaked off for a meal, mostly dinner.

Then we started to go on longer dates on weekends. Maybe catching a movie, a meal or just spending time alone.

When Sophie was 2 years old, we even did what was unthinkable to many and traveled without her. At first, it was just nearby to Bangkok and then we went further to Korea and even to London for 10 days.

Now that Sophie is a lot older and can exert her opinion on our holidays, we’ve not taken a holiday without her for years and I think it’s about time we reclaimed that special time of ours where we have each other’s undivided attention.

Making time for each other

Meanwhile, let’s always make time for each other.

Lets’ go on dates, like how we used to and hold hands while we walk down the streets.

Let’s stay up late at night and open our hearts to one another where our conversation doesn’t just revolve around Sophie.

Let’s keep the romance alive and show tender loving care to each other’s needs.

Let’s appreciate each other through the daily acts of service that speaks volumes of love in action.

Let’s not wait till Sophie is older and don’t need us as much before we begin to pay attention to each other.

Let’s start to make time for what’s important to our relationship now.

READ ALSO: Dad and Mum in the picture

 

Other musings on relationship and marriage here

 

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Melaka with the family

I ought to be more diligent with my family travel posts and finish up my half written posts on Melbourne and Japan from 2017 and 2016. There’s no better time to share about our first family trip to Melaka than now when the memories are all still fresh in my head.

For our 3D2N trip to Melaka, we took the coach from Sri Maju and spent 5 hours on the roads on a Friday. Thankfully the coach ride was very comfortable with lots of leg room and we even managed to catch some sleep on the way there.

Our first family trip to Melaka

Very comfortable seats with lots of leg room on Sri Maju coach

Doubletree by Hilton, Melaka

We stayed at the newly opened Doubletree by Hilton hotel and was pleasantly surprised to get upgraded to a junior suite. Perks of being a Hilton Honour member, but still what an unexpected blessing 🙂

The room was very big and Sophie was super delighted to have bubble bath in the bathtub every night. Location wise, the hotel next to the Elements shopping mall and roughly a 10 minute drive away from Jonker Street.

To get around, we rely on Grab which is pretty convenient and cheap. More details about our hotel stay in my upcoming post.

Jonker Street, Melaka

2 out of 3 days were spent in Jonker street and it’s really no surprise since our main agenda was to eat. On the first day, we went to the Jonker night market for dinner and on the second day we were there again for lunch.

These are some of my personal favourites which I discovered on this trip thanks to all my friends’ recommendations on Facebook.

Hello Melaka

Jonker 88

Famous for their chendol and amazing Laksa.

They have 3 varieties of Laksa, Baba Laksa, Nyoya Asam, and Baba Laksa Kahwin Nyoya Asam Laksa, which is a combination of both versions. I had the Nyoya Asam Laksa (RM10.50++) and was hit by the Tangy sourish and spicy broth of the laksa which was incredibly good. I liked that they were generous with their ingredients (eggs, prawns, taupok and fried beancurd) and the highlight was the fried beancurd that was deep fried to perfection.

The spiciness level was off the charts for me and I had to wipe my tears and nose while eating. I got Sophie to share her Nata De Coco ice in an attempt to put out the fire in my mouth but my honest opinion of the dessert is that it’s way too sweet and not worth the calories at all.

Perhaps you can try their chendol instead which I heard is very famous too.

Jonker 88

Address: 88, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia

Hours: 9:30am – 6pm (Sunday-Thursday) 9:30am – 9pm (Friday, Saturday)

Phone: +60 19-397 5665

 

The Daily Fix

This café has its’ share of fans and those who deem it overrated. But regardless of your opinion, you can’t go wrong with ice coffee in the middle of the day while taking a respite from the heat which is what we did.

Alexis very kindly waited in the queue and after a 20 minutes we got a table. Besides coffee, the café serves pandan pancakes (RM 13.80) which is highly raved about and an absolute must order from their menu.

We added a scoop of ice cream to the pancakes and when served with grated coconut with Gula Melaka on the side,  the combination was heavenly.

You know the pancakes must be exceptional when even Alexis who’s usually doesn’t not have a sweet tooth was recommending this to his friends. So this in my books is certainly worth the hype!

 

The Daily Fix

Address: 55, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia

Phone: +60 13-290 6855

Opening Hours: 9am – 11.30pm (Mon-Fri), 8.30am – 11.30pm (Sat-Sun)

https://www.facebook.com/thedailyfixcafe

 

East and West Rendezvous

We came to buy the nyoya dumpling as I recalled my friends buying them on my last trip and they were so good. The glutinous rice is soft with well marinated meat. Plus the blue pea dye makes it looks extra pretty too.

Since they also sell chendol, we thought we’ll have a bowl too since our first one on the 1st day at Christina Ee was such a let-down. I’m glad we did as their chendol was way better with richer coconut, gula meleka and finely shaved ice.

Sophie absolutely knackered out 😛

East and West Rendezvous

60, Lorong Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka

Restaurant Tong Sheng

Since Alexis and Sophie can’t take spicy food and don’t quite fancy Nyoya food, we opted for seafood dinner on our last night and went to Restaurant Tong Sheng for their out of this world cheese prawn bee hoon which many friends recommended. We reached the restaurant at 6:30pm on a Saturday evening and waited for a whole hour before we were seated.

6 ways to have your crabs at Restaurant Tong Sheng

6 ways to have your crabs! We went for their signature fresh milk crabs and enjoyed it a lot.

Besides cheese prawn bee hoon, we also ordered fresh milk crab and claypot beancurd. I personally thought that the crabs the best dish of all as it tasted better and was unique than the bee hoon.

The fresh milk crabs was milky, savoury and a little spicy with green chili and the size of crab was so huge! Instead of fried mantou, it was served with freshly toasted bread for dipping the sauce.

Fresh milk crab from Tong Sheng

Though the cheese bee hoon was not as cheesy as we expected, Sophie was huge fan of it and even had 3 bowls of it and even dipped the toast in it and slowly savoured it. But it’s undeniable that it is a very special dish which you don’t find in Singapore.

The bill came up to RM268 (S$89) and for such huge crabs, we thought it was pretty good value. I found out later that they take reservations, so it’s advisable to call in advance.

 

Restaurant Tong Sheng

Address: No. 377 & 378, Jalan Taman Melaka Raya 6, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka

Phone: 06 – 286 7811

Website: http://www.tongsheng.com.my/

Opening Hours: 5.30pm to 11pm. Closed on alternate Mondays.

 

More about our trip in the next post where we checked out some of the kid friendly activities in Melaka including a new indoor playground that’s massive.

 

If you’re heading to Malaysia, don’t miss these popular posts as well.

Fun things to do in JB

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Tackling Science in Primary 3

The first two months of 2018 went by so quickly and before I know it Term 1 is over for Sophie. One thing Sophie looked forward to for Primary Three was learning Science and doing hands on experiments in the Science lab.

In fact, her love for Science took me by surprise when her choice of CCA was the Science and Environment club since she doesn’t strike as a Sciencey person. But when I probed further, it was because the other CCA options were too “Chinese” for her. Although I always have praises for her SAP school, my only lament is their limited CCA options as they don’t offer any uniform groups like Girl Guides or Red Cross etc.

One and a half months into the school term, P3 and P4 parents were invited to a Science workshop conducted by her school. I was expecting to pick up some tips on how I can teach Sophie on my own as I’ve gotten pretty rusty myself but I got a startling discovery on the difficulty of the subject.

The teachers covered the Science curriculum from P3-6 and reminded us not to discard the Science notes and text books since kids will be learning Science progressively. On a practical note, we were tasked to attempt two questions on life cycle and magnets to see how we parents will fare. We were joking that it’s been so long since we did Science and we may embarrass ourselves for getting it wrong.



When the teachers flashed some commonly received responses and what she accepts as the answer, I could hear chatter among the parents as we discussed how the standard of Science has evolved to be so tough these days. Personally, I feel that it was a sure way to kill any interest and enthusiasm for Science. Even I was scratching my head and wondering why some responses are not acceptable.

The spirit of teaching Science

But the teachers went on to explain that they are teaching students how to understand scientific concepts and apply what they know to answer the questions. What’s central to the curriculum framework is the inculcation of the spirit of scientific inquiry where students will use skills like comparing, classifying, inferring, analysing, evaluating, generating possibilities, formulating hypothesis, etc. There is also a heavy emphasis on keywords and key concepts to score

As an ex-science teacher, Justina wrote a pretty lengthy post about her views on teaching Science on her blog, and I must admit I’ve gotten a better picture at the outcome the schools  are trying to achieve.

While I do agree that the answers have to be spot on and it appear that teachers are very particular on how students answer, what’s key is getting the right key concepts and keywords.

Recommend Science Resource and Assessment Book

One good resource that has been recommended by scores of parents is the Science PSLE Revision Guide by Marshall Cavendish. The 3rd edition is the latest. I always joke and tell Sophie that’s me on the cover of the book when I’m in my Tiger mom mode. I like that it covers contents from Primary 3 to Primary 6 in one book instead of being spread across four textbooks, making it so value for money. #aunitemode

The another assessment book I got is Conquer Science by teachers@work. It has a combination of MCQ as well as structured questions and covers topics quite extensively to enhance learning.

 

As a parent, I do feel limited by my ability to teach Sophie at time but what helps is seeing the challenges in a positive light and learning together with my child. Through the process we learn and discover new things together, making learning a more enjoyable journey instead of blindly memorising to pass exams. After all, when we build a storehouse of knowledge, we are enriched ourselves and that is something that cannot be taken away don’t you think?

 

Do share useful websites, resources or even YouTube channels that teaches Science in a fun and interesting manner 🙂

 

Here are some other useful links on primary school learning that you may be keen to read too.

 

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Making a career switch for mums

It’s been pretty quiet on the blog lately and the reason for my absence was no doubt triggered by the year-end reflection where I (once again) contemplate the purpose of the stories I’m telling on this little space of mine.

Last December, I quit my job which I had for close to 6 years. My departure from my previous company came as a surprise to some friends when I shared it on Facebook.

To be honest, I think I surprised myself too.

Like many working mums, we think long and hard about switching jobs because of our families, especially when we’ve been in the same company for a period of time.

 

We wonder if the new colleagues will ever be as nice as those you have now.

We worry that the new boss will not be as understanding of our family commitments.

We feel uneasy about starting all over again and having to prove ourselves in a new place.

We are fearful about the ability to pick up new ropes and the steep learning curve that comes with a job switch.

We tell ourselves that this time round, a change is round the corner and things will get better.

We convince ourselves it’s the same shi* everywhere, so really why bother.

 

As a result, we end up talking ourselves out of changing jobs even when we feel unsatisfied, unhappy and unappreciated in the workplace. But when you spend 8-10 hours in an environment that no longer makes you feel engaged or happy, you have to ask yourself if your current job is still worth putting your heart and soul into.

Don’t feel trapped by your circumstances

I remember writing in my diary about the struggles I had and cried out to God to give me a sign because I didn’t know if I should stay or leave. I even got my cell group members to pray for me for a much needed breakthrough and wisdom to handle the thorny work situation. It’s always easier to just walk away from problems but at the end of the day, you don’t want to strain any relationships and burn bridges.

Whenever I bring up my work situation, my clearly too logical hubby would point out that I was giving myself excuses for remaining in a bad “relationship”. It was crystal clear that fear was the main factor holding me back from making that leap of faith and I have to do something.

In fact, Alexis even offered me the option to quit and be a stay home mum if I wanted to take a break slowly look for a new job. As tempting as the offer may be, I decided that I’m much better off being a working mum and setting an example for Sophie that the modern woman can juggle both family and work well.

Opportunities comes when you have clarity

So one night after putting Sophie to bed, I took out a piece of paper and wrote down all the things I wanted to change, the things I wanted in a job and what was holding me back. At the same time, I listed my strengths, my skill sets, my passion, what I valued and wanted from my career, and how I can value add.

The personal reflection gave me so much more clarity about what to do next instead of just waiting for things to happen.

Somehow when I had that clarity and purpose, God began opening doors of opportunities even before I applied for anything. It was His way of telling me to trust in His timing and I’m glad I kept the faith and kept believing in his higher plans for me.

I finally landed a new job in November after 6 rounds of interviews. With each interview session, it became clearer and clearer why I wanted this change and what I’m looking forward to with a career switch.

I’m now 4 weeks into my new job and feel more settled in the company. The learning curve has been steep as I’ve moved into a different industry with a regional portfolio. The new role is definitely stretching me and challenging me where I have to pick things up quickly but I have confidence that I can rise up to it.

Take charge of your career change

Just as how I’ve encouraged Sophie to adopt a growth mindset for her studies, I’m applying that same growth mindset and reminding myself that I can take charge of my career with God leading me along the way.

If you’re in a season where you’re thinking about a career switch, I encourage you to do the same reflection exercise and pen down why you want to change jobs, your strengths, your weaknesses (yes they still get asked at interviews), your experiences and this may give you the courage to take meaningful action.

 

May you find courage for the new season.

May you be fearless to pursue your happiness.

Take a leap of faith and trust that something good will come along when you desire change in your heart.

 

If you’re thinking that you need to do what you love as a career, I challenge you to find joy and love what you do. It’s a lesson that I learnt last year and I’ve learnt to let go of some expectations.

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