This little mummy goes child care shopping

I took the day off yesterday and braved the haze to do child care centre shopping.

I had made appointments at multiple child care centres and I spent the entire day outdoors, figuring out the bus route from place to place. I insisted on taking the bus because 1) I don’t drive, and 2) I wanted to be very sure I can access the centres easily via public transport.

I found a couple that I really really love and one thing I must say is – the branded preschools really live up to their names.

Decisions decisions…

Balloon Fun

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These pictures were from a few days after Ted’s birthday. Aluminum foil balloons are really hardy – they can stay afloat for 2 weeks, although by the end of 2 weeks they will look very miserable and no longer float all the way to the ceiling.

It worked for us though, because in the second week, the balloons were floating about the house at a height that was very accessible to Ted. He had plenty of fun chasing the balloon all over the place as the fan blew it around and be would break into little squeals of delight when we finally managed to pounce on the balloon.

Of course, the poor balloons got very battered and worn from the way Ted grabbed at them but we didn’t mind because he was having so much fun and was getting so much utility out of them.

The best part? These balloons are reusable. I just have to bring them back to any balloon shop and they can fill the back up for me for a small fee. 🙂 Fun!

Why You Should Not Buy Your Masks Online

There’s an article that has been circulating about how to identify the authenticity of an N95 mask which appears to be the recommended type of mask for protection against the recent haze that has driven Singapore into a state of panic.

I was lucky – my company distributed 5 N95 masks to each employee, which is far more that all the companies I’ve heard about.

However, this was hardly enough for me to share with my family members, none of whom had had the chance to get their hands on ANY masks before the haze shot into the hazardous zone and drove Singaporeans into a frenzy of mask and air purifier buying,

In my attempt to get my hands on additional masks for my family, I encounter some unscrupulous sellers (and still did not manage to buy any proper N95 masks).

I don’t care to describe the experiences I had but this article will certainly make me a more savvy mask shopper from now on.

Link

This little baby went to Takashimaya

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When we venture out to a shopping centre, I tend to take note of a few main points – namely:

1) Accessibility to the MRT (if we are not driving)
2) Baby changing room facilities
3) Baby-friendly facilities
4) Availability of baby shopping items

Takashimaya at Ngee Ann City is one of my favourite places to go, not only because it fits all my criteria above, it also helps that I have a credit card with them that gives me some pretty good discounts 🙂

I usually try to do my shopping on weekdays, but the weekend crowd doesn’t bother me much as long as I don’t bring along a stroller. It can be difficult to get around with a stroller because I notice that it is close to impossible to get into the lifts in the Orchard area, especially on weekends. I have a comfortable little baby carrier that I bring along with me almost everywhere and it’s convenient enough for me to handle the baby alone if I have to.

One of the reasons I like shopping centres is because of the relatively clean and even ground. Ted is still not yet an expert walker and he still tends to sit down every several steps or so, with complete disregard of his location or terrain. He especially likes it when he finds a little corner or wall to cosy himself up to.

It’s cute when he does that but it’s not an easy task to encourage him to move away once he’s settled on a spot. >_<

This little baby goes to the zoo

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As part of a multi-day birthday celebration for the little baby, we decided to bring him to the zoo!

It was Ted’s first visit to the zoo, and because we thought it would be a long day, we brought along a stroller, a lot of baby snacks and accessories as well as a grandparent. Grandma K had taken a day off from work just to celebrate the little guy’s birthday with him and was very excited to be part of Ted’d first excursion to the zoo.

Thankfully, the weather was great – the morning wasn’t too hot and although we thought it might rain, it did not. The weather was nice enough for Ted to take a 1.5 hour nap while we explored the place by ourselves. We had brought along our helper as she had never been to the zoo and we introduced to her the history of Ah Meng our famous orang utan among other animals.

Ted finally woke up at the Giant Tortoise enclosure because there were two huge tortoises mating and making a whole racket about it.

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I never even knew tortoises made sounds, but apparently the male ones do, and very loud sounds they make too. Loud enough to wake a sleeping baby who slept through a few crowds of noisy primary school students running about the zoo.

Anyway, since Ted was awake, we detoured back to a few of the more interesting enclosures and pointed out animals such as the giraffe, the zebra and the lion to him. It was certainly much more fun than just pointing to animal pictures and saying their names.

Ted looked surprised at most of the animals we pointed out – it was probably his first time seeing big live walking animals other than humans.

We also managed to squeeze in some time to see the Splish Splash show where the seals gave a great performance that Ted enjoyed over a banana.

All in all, it was a great experience for us. I love the open concept of the zoo and love that we can see the animals roaming in their (almost) natural habitat. I love being able to point out random animals and describe what they are doing to Ted. If the tickets weren’t so expensive ($22 per entry per adult), I would most certainly like to make it a regular visit.

This little baby goes to Fidgets!

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Also, as part of his birthday celebrations, we decided to bring the little guy to an indoor playground where he could have fun walking/crawling/climbing where he wanted without us having to pull him away from the sharp edge of the table or stop him from trying to leap over the sofa.

Basically we wanted to give him plenty of space to run free on his birthday.

We decided on Fidgets and we were very very happy with what we saw and experienced.

Prior to going, I had done some mini research. I was going to settle for the one really near where we stay, and I had even called them, asking about the charges. It was free entry for babies under 1 (adults have to pay $2 each), and $12 for babies over 1. I asked if they could let Ted in for free since we were intending to celebrate his birthday there but they said there was no way they could concede.

Later, however, as we had other plans in the morning, our afternoon plans did not have to be restricted to being near our place. I did more Internet research and decided on Fidgets. I did not call them as their price list was very clear on their website, and I went there, fully intending to pay for entry. However, at registration, when I mentioned that Ted was just turning 1 and that it was his birthday, the staff decided to let us all in for free! We didn’t have to negotiate or anything, they were just easy like that. 🙂 Which totally made our day.

Not that $10 would have made a lot of difference to our lives, but it made us happy nevertheless. And we also never stopped talking about it to our friends who have babies. Customer service really does make a difference and it can certainly bring you more and repeat customers. Sorry, indoor playground near my place, but I will much rather be spending my money at happy friendly places.

Which Fidgets certainly is for little babies below 3. There is a dedicated area for children below 3 years old just next to the cafe, and although you cannot really control if bigger kids want to run amok there, it’s general a safe little play area for your toddler to crawl or walk about. There is also a little area where your toddlers can choose from a small selection of baby vehicles to scoot around on.

Although the foam mats in the play area were a little worn, and the place was not as big and new as some others, it was plenty of new fun for one year old boy. If I had to pay the full $10 (which allows you entry for the full day) I would say it’s worth the money. Bigger kids have to pay a little more, and there is another gigantic play area with mazes and such for these kids which we did not explore. They all looked like a lot of fun and I was very tempted to explore it for myself.

The toilets are also designed with babies in mind. There are mini toilet bowls for the babies to poop on and just outside the cubicles in the ladies’ is a little playpen where you can deposit your toddler for a few minutes if you have to.

But of course, you wouldn’t need that if you have this:

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Poor Ted couldn’t figure out how to to free himself from the beanbag and we had to save him when he started getting grouchy about it.

FIDGETS

Website: http://www.fidgets.com.sg/
Address: 200 Turf Club Road, 03-10 The Grandstand, Singapore 287994
Cost for unlimited play in a day:
Under 1: free 🙂
1-2: $10
2-12: $19