Trial Stay as Familee

The Planning

Dear’s family was planning to go on a holiday in late April as there’s a long weekend. After their confirmation and flight booking, we started our own planning as well.

We decided to bring the kids over to Dear’s mother’s place for the week that she’s away. And I started bringing a pack of pee pads over in preparation. It would be a trial stay as a family and being responsible for the fur kids without my mother’s help.

Googled online about transferring of season parking for our car. Although Dear’s mother has a car, I still prefer driving ours. The feel and comfort level is different. Once done checking on the season parking, I applied for the transfer within the period her mother wouldn’t be in town.

28 April – Hectic Day

Stayed over the night before as we had to wake up early to send her mother to the airport. It was a hectic morning waking up to prepare. And help find a watch that’s working so Dear’s mother could wear it during her trip.

We were running late and so her mum drove herself to the airport with us in the car. Our task for the morning, drive the car back home. After we drop her mum off at the airport, we head over to my friend’s place to feed her cats and rabbits. We rest a little while spending time with my friend’s animals before we head off for our next task, changing her mum’s car head unit. It was down for some time and she didn’t have it fixed or changed. Since I’m free and available, and we had the car to ourselves, we decided to settle it once and for all.

Dear researched for quite some time and we decided to change the head unit into an android player. Basically, it’s just like a huge tablet installed on the car. It’s tempting to change for ours, but of course, I would prefer a better one. I find the one we got for her mother’s car was a little slow.

After we were done with our first task, we headed home and got our fur kids back to her mum’s place. And that’s where our full responsibility as pawrents starts. But of course, not to forget that we had to head over to my friend’s place again to feed her cats and rabbits dinner before we could actually call it a day. It’s definitely a hectic tiring busy day yet fruitful in my opinion.

29 April – Car Seats Upholstery

Fed the kids breakfast and got Kelly our pawcation fur kid ready to head home. The journey to the west was a long ride but thankfully Dear was around as usual which made the trip more bearable. Last day to feed the cats and rabbits breakfast! No more waking up early to head over to the west for such a task.

Headed off towards Kaki Bukit for car seat upholstery. I can’t remember which shop it was because my phone went cranky after the software upgrade. Had to factory reset and all my information was gone. Anyway, we did PVC leather instead after much consideration. It took about less than an hour for them to get the driver and front passenger seats done. Which was faster than we expected. Of course, it’s a good thing as we can head home and rest while Dear continue working from home.

Dear has been preparing their dinner since we started our staycation at her mum’s place. It’s like a whole new menu for them compared to the usual cooked food that my mum prepared. Guess once in a while a change of menu gives them something to look forward to during meal time.

We’ve been trying to bring them out on regular walks for toilet breaks. Once in the morning after breakfast and once at night before bedtime. We were discussing and planning to outdoor toilet train the fur kids, but weren’t sure if it’ll work. It will be a lot of work but we just have to schedule our time and make things work.

30 April – Boardgame Day

Requested Dear to schedule her weekly board game day to be at her mum’s place because of the fur kids. Wouldn’t want to leave them alone in an unfamiliar place and I’m not entirely sure if they’ll behave.

I had a morning appointment and so Dear took over the task of caring for the fur kids while she wait for her friends’ arrival. Was told one of her friends will be bringing his baby son over. To be honest, I was a little worried because I have no idea how Toby will react considering his mood is a little unpredictable. But Dear has been telling me for years to trust Toby and have faith that he will behave. I’m glad I did because I saw how he totally didn’t care about the baby’s presence when I came back from work. He was in his own world minding his own business. Our fur kids practically napped the entire day, guess it’s part of what senior dogs usually do right?

I took over the job as a pawrent when I got home so that Dear could have peace of mind with her board game session. I did interact a little with the baby, thankfully he didn’t cry during the interaction.

We ended up didn’t walk the fur kids at night as the last friend left quite late and we didn’t have the energy to head down. The fur kids were on diapers, so there won’t be any accidents at home. Just need to change it before we sleep.

1 May – Ikea Muffin & Courts

It’s Labour Day and we both had the day off. Nothing planned and so we take it easy though had to wake up and feed the fur kids. Felt like those family that have nothing planned and see how the day go.

We decided to head out to Courts to check some appliances out. Dear has been wanting to see some fridges and freezers as she can’t decide which brand and model she prefers. Seeing the thing in person helps to see the actual size of the product. However, the outlet that we went to doesn’t have the model that she was looking for. Thankful that the staff went the extra mile to help us check which outlet has the display set so we wouldn’t have to hunt for it ourselves.

After some shopping at Courts, we head out to Ikea for some muffins. The other day we tried their muffins and were in love with them. And so we head back for muffins as Dear was craving them. Tampines Ikea has 3 flavours of muffins, and so we bought one each to try although we already know that we like the apple crumble flavour. And so, Dear had a new personal favourite, the blueberry muffin. We both agreed that the chocolate muffin wasn’t as yummy as the blueberry and apple crumble muffin. Nevertheless, cravings are satisfied and it’s home to feed the kids their dinner.

2 May – Nap Day

Meet up my friend and her Japanese Spitz at Bishan AMK Park. As she’s thinking of putting her boy at our place while she’s away for the holiday in June. And she wanted to see if her boy gets along with our fur kids.

Head over to the dog park area where we off-leash Toby who decided not to mingle but mind his own business. Twix on the other hand, we didn’t dare to off-leash her as she’s blind. Keeping her close by helps to ensure her safety as well as her confidence. Happy to say, Holy seems Okay with our fur kids though they didn’t really mingle much.

We stayed for about an hour and watched Toby walking around the dog park on his own and enjoying being himself. He did greet some dogs but he didn’t really mingle much like he used to. Probably because of old age, he’s no longer interested in socialising.

Our stay at the park ended when Holy jumped off the table and landed badly. He yelped in pain and his pawrents had to rush him to the nearest available vet that was open during the public holiday. My friend updated me a few hours later and we got to know that Holy broke a toe. He had to be on a cast for a week or two till it’s healed. Poor little fella but glad that he’s alright.

3 May – Picnic at Marina Barrage

It was a horrendous morning for us. Woke up to the living room smeared with poop! Twix pooped in the living room during the night and we didn’t know. The vacuum that was scheduled to clean up the house daily went over it and smeared the poop everywhere it went. It’s every pawrents worse nightmare when you have both fur kids and the robot vacuum cleaner.

I cleaned up the place while Dear clean up the vacuum cleaner. Opened up all the windows for better ventilation as well as air out the poop stench. It was a hectic morning for us and it took us a while before we had the time to prepare breakfast for the kids.

It’s meet the friends at Marina Barrage for a picnic and kite flying later in the day. Packed up our sandwiches and the kids and off we go. It’s our first time as a family visiting the Marina Barrage. It was quite crowded but we managed to find a spot to set up our picnic area while we waited for the friends’ arrival.

Met a few fur kids as well though one wasn’t friendly to dogs. But thankful the others were and the kids seem to have a great time. While I mingle with the fur kids, Dear and the friends were off trying to fly our one and only kite. Though we didn’t get it to fly up high, we had fun trying. It’s OK, we’ll do better next time.

It was a nice catch-up session as well. And I’m already looking forward and hoping there will be the next time. The journey home at night was a peaceful one as the kids were already tired. They slept during the car ride back and we didn’t have any night walk because we were all low energy from the day’s excursion.

4 May – A Day at Home

Off day for me while Dear had to head off to work. Spent the day with the kids at home doing nothing! Loving my off days as I get to have the time to recharge and have some personal time. It’s always good to have some peace and quiet from work to keep my mental health in check. Part of how I release some stress is to not think of work.

As I wasted the day away with the kids, I looked forward to when Dear ended work. Took the kids out with their stroller and headed towards Dear’s workplace which is within walking distance. It’s also part of bringing them out for toilet breaks. Win-win situation. Probably this will be what our future will be like after we move.

5 May – Daycare

It’s daycare day! Head out to pick up the daycare fur kids and back. Thankful to have Dear with me to keep me company. It’s better than being alone to and fro though most of the time I travel alone.

It’s a different feeling doing daycare alone without my mother’s help. From caring for them to clearing their pee and poo mess, to preparing their meals. It’s fun yet tedious but it’s so much less physical work and human interaction compared to doing pet grooming. In fact, to be honest, I enjoyed doing daycare more than I thought I would.

6 May- End of Trial Stay

While we enjoy our trial stay as a family, it’s time to bring the kids home as much as we hope it never ends. The week-long of trial does give us some insights as to what to expect when the time for us to move comes. It’s enjoyable and working as a team to care for the fur kids and managing the house together is always better than doing it alone.

With this short trial, we realised that there were some adjustments to be made. Such as our personal schedule especially if we were to meet friends. There are certain things we need to adjust or sacrifice considering that we’ll be doing everything ourselves. Looking forward to having our own place soon.

Neighbourhood Shopping – Cheng San CC, AMK MRT, AMK St 31, Bishan AMK Park [15 June 2021]

Night Walk – Cheng San CC

Decided to have a walk after dinner and to explore the other part of Ang Mo Kio as part of our neighborhood shopping. Walked towards Cheng San Community Center to see if we like the area nearby. Apparently, we didn’t although Dear used to stay opposite Jing San Primary School.

Dear did some research previously, the houses around the primary school are relatively newer and over our budget. With just the pricing alone, we didn’t really consider the area although it’s near her mum’s place. But it’s definitely a nice place as it’s near hawker and walking distance towards MRT.

Ang Mo Kio MRT

We decided to continue walking towards Ang Mo Kio MRT after we passed by Cheng San CC. And we did discuss that if we’re OK with the noise level when the train passes by.

I guess for a start we won’t but eventually, we’ll get used to it like the residents staying near the tracks. But what can we dislike about it when that’s the major con of staying near an MRT station?

Being near the MRT station also does have other perks. Such as walking distance to AMK Hub, AMK Central, and the bus interchange. Everything is basically within reach if you want to. But of course, the housing prices around the area can be eerily scary.

Ang Mo Kio St 31

Explored Ang Mo Kio St 31 and apparently, we both seem to like the ambiance directly opposite AMK Hub. However, the ambiance a few blocks away seemed to be different. It’s puzzling although the places are within the same area they gave a very different vibe.

As we walk further, we realized there’s a Giant outlet which is something we both seemed to approve of. One of the criteria of house hunting for us is that there must be a supermarket within walking distance. Food-wise, we didn’t have to worry much as there are coffee shops and a hawker center within a few kilometers.

Bishan AMK Park

The Bishan AMK Park has two sides. The one that we visited previously, that side is nearer to Mayflower. The other side is near Ang Mo Kio St 31, which was where we head over from. It is also the side where the Dog Run is situated at.

I’m not sure about the opening hours of the Dog Run, but I read online that it’s 24 hours. It’s no wonder that there are a few dogs and their owners spending the time there at such a late hour. I’m guessing it’s more cooling to visit at night and a lesser crowd compared to during the day.

Walking in the park at night wasn’t that bad either except that the lighting wasn’t as bright as I thought it would. It’s quite relaxing with a lesser crowd and we get to enjoy some nice peace and quiet before heading home and calling it a day.

Neighbourhood Shopping – Ang Mo Kio/Mayflower [14 June 2021]

What’s neighbourhood shopping?

Neighborhood shopping is probably the term that only we use, which is to describe us wanting to explore the possible areas that we want our future home to be at. It is like shopping for clothes where we would visit many boutique shops before purchasing something we like. In this case, the neighborhood.

How neighbourhood shopping came about?

It started when Dear wasn’t sure if we will like the neighborhood when we move. So I suggested visiting the possible neighborhoods that we both like and are considering. And from there, we both called it neighborhood shopping. Not only do we want to like the house, but we also hope to like the neighborhood too since it’ll be our first home and we’re unsure how long we’ll be staying there.

Neighborhood shopping allows us to explore the places as well. It’s like allowing us to know what’s in the area such as coffee shops or small supermarkets. Who knows what we’ll find, maybe a hidden gem somewhere.

Ang Mo Kio Ave 10

Visited Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, near Teck Ghee Community Center after dropping off some food for my in-law’s friend. The atmosphere and feel were quite relaxing and peaceful despite the bustling shops around the area. It’s within walking distance to Bishan Ang Mo Kio Park. And I believe if you’re OK with it, you could even walk towards Bishan MRT or Bishan Junction 8 as part of your exercise regime.

After exploring the place, we took the park connector route right underneath the MRT track towards Jubilee’s direction. We planned to walk towards Mayflower after we run some personal errands. Quite like the walk under the MRT track and it got me thinking that it’ll be a nice place to walk the fur kids during rainy days. It’s sheltered and the distance is enough for small dogs to have their daily walk. And we could use the same sheltered walk to head over to the MRT station or to AMK Hub and bus interchange.

Mayflower

We strolled over to the Mayflower MRT area from Ang Mo Kio Central. It was a nice walk, we walked through a few different neighborhoods and experienced the vibe around. Dear get to reminisce some fond memories of hers during her secondary school days.

We both agreed that we like the Mayflower area. It has that silver zone vibe, peace, and quiet which is what we both like for a neighborhood. We didn’t like the crowded and noisy neighborhood that the younger areas gave us. Despite the slightly out of the way from Ang Mo Kio Central, with the Mayflower MRT that might be opening soon, it might be quite accessible in the near future.

Bishan AMK Park

The Mayflower area that Dear brought me to, it’s walking distance towards Bishan AMK Park. We walked towards it and enjoyed how nice and relaxing the park was. People minding their own business. Lots of dog owners strolling with their four-legged fur kids. It’s quite peaceful yet a little crowded that day.

We took a seat by the bench next to the pond. Watched some chickens walking around. And we both realized this is the kind of place we’re looking for to live in. We’re not sure if there are any flats available for sale next year, keeping our fingers crossed.

Heading Home

After a rest and drinking water to keep ourselves hydrated, we decided it’s time to head back home. But of course, I don’t have the energy to walk back and thus we waited for the bus at the nearby bus stop next to Mayflower MRT.

And yes, I got really hungry after we boarded the bus. Thankful that we didn’t walk back because I won’t know how we’ll manage it with my hungry tummy growling.