In the Sand in the Sun

We were attending an event at Sentosa, and thought it would be a good idea to visit the beach. We found ourselves at Palawan Beach, which is about 15 mins’ walk away from the Beach Carpark.

It was Ted’s first visit to the beach, although it wasn’t his first experience with sand. We did not bring any shovels or sandcastle building tools, but we had plenty of fun just monkeying around in the sand.

It didn’t take Ted long to figure out the it was a lot more fun to go barefoot on the sand.

image

 

When I pointed out the footprints we were making in the sand, he started to make handprints.

image

 

He soon discovered that the sand here was damp and stuck to his clothes and hands, unlike the sand he was used to in the playgrounds.

image

 

We tried to make sandcastles with just our hands. We scooped plenty of sand and tried to pile them as high as we could. When we felt our sandcastle was big enough, we even tried digging a little moat around it with our hands.

 

image

I hadn’t planned to get my clothes nor hands dirty, but it’s really no fun just sitting around watching Ted get dirty by himself.

image

 

A couple of kids had left their sandcastle tools unattended while they played a game of Frisbee with their mother. Ted happily took advantage of the situation and made himself at home.

image

Meanwhile, no experience at the beach is complete without leaving behind a little message in the sand.

image

A Birthday Celebration at the River Safari

This is actually a super outdated post because Ted turned 2 a few months back but I haven’t had time to consolidate the photos and get them uploaded.

Ted was really excited because he loves being outdoors and he loves balloons. I decided to invite my family along together with the Great-Grandmother as they had never been to the River Safari.

image

 

We bought him a balloon just for the day. We thought it would be fun if he could take the balloon all around the River Safari.

image

image

 

Unfortunately, balloons are NOT allowed in the River Safari park. We had to deposit our balloon with the staff at the counter. 😦 Ted was disappointed but he didn’t kick up a fuss.

The River Safari is a pleasantly family friendly place. Most of the exhibits are housed in large tanks and there is plenty of shelter, including sheltered walkways built around them. This means that if we want to stop for a rest or in the event of rain, it is easy to find a nice shady spot to settle in.

This is rather different from the zoo in which visitors are almost always out in the open, and the hot afternoon sun or an unfortunate rain shower could really spoil the visitors’ mood.

image

 

We learnt about the difference between the various types of crocs.

image

 

Ted taking a rest to have a munch on some bread.

image

We saw some really large fishes and river animals.

image

 

Ted was curious about almost everything.

image

 

We made our way to the Yangtze River where the pandas were housed. There is a large air-conditioned enclosure where the pandas live in comfort and have plenty to eat. Unfortunately for us, the pandas were not very active when we were there and were hiding out in an obscure, far corner of their enclosure.

We tried pointing out the faint black and white figure hiding behind the rocks in the background, but it didn’t seem like Ted could make out the pandas.

image

It was a weekday morning, so there weren’t too many visitors.

image

image

image

 

A couple of us adults queued up for the boat ride they call the “Amazon River Quest”. I was rather intrigued by the way they designed the beginning of the journey, in which our entire boat was lifted up via a very large lift.

The ride itself was, however, disappointing. Not only did we have to endure the hot midday sun throughout the 10-minute journey, we hardly saw any animals. There were many signs indicating the name of the animals we were supposed to see, but most of them were probably napping somewhere in the shade, and away from the sweltering heat outside. It was essentially a boat ride to see animal names (and their sponsors).

It was a rather disappointing trip for the adults but I think it was enjoyable the the toddler who basically just enjoyed the running and the walking. I probably won’t be back here anytime soon.

This little baby went to Takashimaya

20130624-011654.jpg

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

20130618-232001.jpg

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.

20130618-233205.jpg

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!

20130616-013946.jpg

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:

20130616-020558.jpg

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

This little baby goes to the Botanical Gardens

20130616-011521.jpg

It was Ted’s birthday, not just the official family celebration day, but the actual day he turned ONE.

We thought it would be nice to take a couple of days off to celebrate his very special day as well as his newfound ability to walk.

On this morning, we went to the Singapore Botanical Gardens. 🙂

It was a very sunny morning but we came prepared – we had a mini fan installed on the stroller for the little boy’s comfort. Mini fans are a must have for all Singapore mothers! A hot, bothered toddler is not easy to please.

Ted had a little nap while we had a quiet morning stroll amongst the lush greenery while munching on a little croissant. When he woke up, we tried to encourage him to take a little stroll but he would walk only a few steps before stopping to pick up a stray leaf (still a favourite of his) or pick at a mini crack on the ground.

We ended up carrying him most of the way, stopping only occasionally at some shaded spots to let him do a little ground exploration.

As we were about to make our way home, Ted discovered the fish food dispenser machine. Our attempts to pull him away from the machine were met with frustrated yells and some mini feet stamping. We also discovered a statue of Singa, the recently retired courtesy lion just beside the machine, and despite our repeated attempts to get him interested in it (both Papa and I found it a lot more interesting than the fish food machine), he paid no attention to the big friendly orange lion.

I’m never sure what gets him excited. He tends to finds interest in the most unexpected objects!