Monthly Archives: September 2010

Trip to Universal Studio

We decided to make a trip to Universal Studios at the very last-minute. A good friend of mine was down from the UK and she wanted to see the children as well as to check out USS. Even at the final hour, I was deciding if I would brave taking the two monkeys to the theme park on my own.

We headed off around 10.30am and Ally fell asleep in the cab. This was the first sign that something wasn’t right. I noticed that she had goosebumps on her legs which I thought was strange since the cab wasn’t very cold. When we reached there, both kids had woken up, Max was in my trusty Beco carrier and Ally was in the stroller. We bought our tickets and headed in. Our first stop was the Merry Go Round since that is a favourite with the children. Ally didn’t seem very excited even though she was jumping around the house when I told her where we were going. That was the second sign that something wasn’t right. After the Merry Go Round, I took them to the Baby Care Centre for lunch, it was then I realised that she was running a fever. By the time my friends had arrived and they watched Max while I took Ally to the medic. As it turned out, she was running a temperature of 40 degrees! The look that the medic gave me was priceless. In his mind, he must be thinking I was insane for bringing a sick child to a theme park. I said to him ” I swear she was fine this morning!” Thankfully they have a doctor on site and he arranged for Ally to go down and see him. The staff was superb, they were so helpful and showed genuine concern for her. They even arranged a buggy so that she didn’t have to walk downstairs. By this time I had told my friends to carry on without us while I settled Ally and got her some medication.  Ally showed me just how tough she really is. Despite her high temperature, not once did she complain or whine. She answered the doctor’s questions and took her medicine without batting an eyelid. Even the doctor commented that she seemed very well for a child who was so sick. Her pain threshold is admirable.

I kept telling her that we should go home and rest, I would bring her back to USS another day but she wasn’t having any of it. Luckily we had a double stroller that I rented from the park so she took a long nap there while we had lunch in one of the restaurants. Once the medicine took effect, she brighten up immediately and managed to sit some rides. She had a wonderful time and was so excited by all the sights and sounds. Max was excited at the vast space to walk and explore. He went on a couple of rides as well but honestly, he had no clue what the whole thing was about. The excitement of the day took its toll on him and he had a good 2 hour nap in the stroller.

Thankfully my friends took turns to look after the children so I had a chance to sit some rides as well. We missed the shows since I didn’t think Max would have the patience to sit through them but the children enjoyed themselves which made me very happy. Ally and I took one ride, the flying canopy which was not what I expected at all. When I went to look at the ride information, it said, minimum height requirement, 92cm. Ally just made the cut, they measured her 3 times. In my heart I was thinking, if they allow little kids on this ride, it can’t be that scary. I was WRONG!

As we were queueing up, I started to get nervous about letting her go on the ride. I was afraid that she was too small for the safety restrains, secondly, I wasn’t sure if she was going to start crying in the middle of the ride. I kept asking her, are you sure you want to go on this ride? I carried her up to look at the people before us getting on the ride. She kept nodding and saying yes, she really wanted to go on the ride. I was really pleased to see that they had additional restrains for the younger children. She had an extra seatbelt to secure her which made me sigh with relief. Once the ride started, she exclaimed ” we’re flying Mama!” My hands started to sweat and I was holding her hand tightly in case she was scared. The ride was FAST and I really don’t think children as young as 3 should be allowed on it. It corners sharply and with the speed, I was being thrown around in my seat. I had moments of ” oh my God, what are we doing?” but she loved every minute of it. I was scared and squeezed her hand too tightly till she told me off. My daughter is a real dare-devil, and so much braver than her mother who really is a chicken at heart.

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to take much pictures, I was too busy with the children. Only managed to snap a couple with my phone.

Max loves the penguins, just like Ally

Enjoying herself after her nap

Max wasn't as enthusiastic, the water jets gave him quite a fright

After surviving our maiden trip to USS, here are a few of my tips to make your trip a little easier.

  1. If you’re travelling with toddlers, there aren’t a lot of rides that they can go on. You can check out the height requirements from their official website.
  2. It can get very hot during the afternoon, we did the rides early in the day and after lunch, hid in the shops or restaurants to escape the heat. Honestly with young children, the heat can be quite unbearable. Hit the shows after lunch, this allows you to escape the heat and gives you time for your lunch to be digested before getting on the rides again.
  3. Do the water rides first, this gives you time to dry off. Ponchos are on sale in the park, $1 for children, $2 for adults.
  4. Pack at least an extra set of clothes for the kids. There is a water play area just outside the food court in Jurassic Park which the kids will want to play in.
  5. Pack boxes of juice or bottles of water. It’s easy for children to forget to rehydrate themselves when they get so excited. Constantly offer water to your child to prevent dehydration.
  6. Pack snacks or sandwiches to bring along. The restaurants get pretty crowded during meal times and as we all know, kids are not known for their patience. It will also save you a lot of money, an average meal cost about $10 anywhere in the park and a kid’s meal is about $8. There are water coolers located all around the park so filling up water bottles is a breeze.
  7. If you have a stroller, bring one to save some money. You can rent strollers at the park as well, we rented a double stroller for $15. Take note that the strollers do not recline and have hard plastic seats which not all children might appreciate.
  8. Put lots of sunblock on the children as well as mosquito repellent.
  9. There is a babycare room in the park. It’s clean and very well equipped with a microwave, highchair, steriliser and hot/cold water dispenser. It’s also a good place for the children to just go and relax. The pipped music around the park can get quite loud for younger children so the baby care room is the perfect place for some peace and quiet. I took the kids there for about an hour to let Max roam about and just chill out since he was getting quite overstimulated from everything going on outside.
  10. Be prepared for wet weather, pack rain coats for the kids and don’t forget spare plastic bags to keep wet clothes.
  11. Don’t forget to spread out the rides especially for younger kids. Let them take a ride, then have a walk around, go into the shops, watch a show, before attempting another ride. This helps to curb motion sickness .

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Snippets From Ally

Ally has a real knack for saying the funniest things. The other day she was watching my mom preparing dinner and this was the conversation that followed.

” Grandma, are you cooking chicken for dinner?”

” Yes Ally”

” Can I have mine medium please?”

And just this morning, I asked Ally what she wanted me to cook for lunch, her answer? ” I would like someone else to cook please mama, the chicken rice uncle”

As you can tell, my cheeky girl is extremely food oriented, she lives to eat!

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It Happened Late One Morning

The children were busy amusing themselves and I had the urge to borrow Matt’s DSLR to take some pictures of them. I am totally clueless when it comes to photography, I usually get by with my little digital point and shoot. Anyway, some of the photos turned out rather well if I do say so myself.

Max using the hair brush as his "phone"

* In case any of you are wondering what he is wearing around his neck, those are Amber beads meant to relief teething pain. You can read more about Amber Beads here. Do they really work? I honestly have no idea, Max has been wearing them for two weeks now and he still doesn’t sleep through the night consistently so my verdict is still out on this one.

okay I have to admit, Matt took this shot not me!

I love watching them enjoying each other's company

It's a shame the book was blocking Ally's face but I love the way Max is looking at her

Mr Cheeky picking his nose

I'm so glad the children enjoy books as much as I do

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Overdose Of Cuteness

We just received Max’s latest pictures from the studio. In my totally bias opinion, I think he’s so darn cute and looking very grown up!

I can't get over how grown up he looks!

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A Visit to Underwater World and Dolphin Lagoon

We decided to take the kids to Underwater World and check out the dolphin lagoon at the same time. Matt was working so he met us a little later, luckily I had Grandma to help me with the kids.

Sentosa has changed their parking charges island wide, it definitely cost a lot more to drive into the island now. We were lucky to have free tickets for Underwater World, without the tickets, it would have been a costly afternoon as the admission fee for an adult is $22.90 and $14.60 for children (3-12).

The first thing we saw was a peacock, I remember seeing lots of peacocks at Sentosa during my childhood, sadly there aren’t as many of them around now.

The children had a fun time at the touch pools, Max was more eager to climb into the pool than touch the fish. Ally had lots of fun feeding the fish, I was surprise at how tame they are, many of them came right up and allowed us to pat them. Oh, there is a sign at the entrance of Underwater World, stating very clearly that there is no food allowed. Before we entered, I had given the kids a snack. Thinking that Max had finished his bread, we walked in. When I carried him over the touch pool, he was so surprised by all the fish that he opened his mouth to say something and the piece of bread that he had dropped out! It was gone in an instant cos all the fishes came right up to eat it. Oops!

Max enjoyed Underwater World a lot more than Ally, maybe it’s because its his first time there. We had taken Ally there about a year ago. We left for the dolphin lagoon which is just adjacent to Underwater world. While waiting for the show to start, grandma fed the kids their dinner since it was getting late. It was boiling hot under the canopy, the sun was relentless and there weren’t any fans. Max still seem to have endless energy, I chased him up and down the stairs and had to restrain him from climbing into the pool numerous times.

The fur seal show was very enjoyable, the seals were so cute! Both kids sat mesmerised and there is a photo taking opportunity at the end. I thought Ally would have wanted to get up close to the seal but she said no when I asked.

We had quite a wait till the dolphin show and by the time it started, the kids were beginning to tire. They loved the show though and sat quietly throughout. When I asked Ally if she wanted to touch the dolphin, she was very enthusiastic about it. I explained to her that she would have to go into the water by herself, but the trainer would help her give the dolphin a pat.

I purchased the photo token for $16 and Ally went to take her turn in the queue. She was so brave and followed the trainer’s instructions, we were so proud of her! She was definitely feeling very unsure, as you can see from the pictures.

I was worried she might slip and fall, thankfully they held onto her

She looked so tiny next to the dolphin

Max finally had a chance to stretch his legs after the show

The dolphin show ended around 6pm and by the time we had changed Ally out of her wet clothes, it was pretty late. We decided to head to Resorts World for dinner, it was a first for all of us.

The place was packed, even for a weekday night. I can only imagine how it is during the weekends. We ate dinner and Max fell asleep halfway. Poor boy was exhausted!

We ended the day with a trip to the candy store. As Matt and I were saying, the shop is so brightly lit and colorful that you feel happy just walking in. Ally loved the little shopping carts that they had and asked if she could take one home.

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Always Bring A Plastic Bag!

I’ve had a very interesting and eventful afternoon. It started out innocently enough, Ally complained of a tummy ache before we had to leave for her class. Took her to the bathroom with no success, thinking it was a false alarm, I dressed the children and got ready to leave.

When we got into the cab, I noticed Ally was unusually quiet. She seemed very uncomfortable so I offered her some water. Max was in the baby carrier and pointing to the scenery outside. When I glanced over at Ally, she had buried her head in her toy and was trying to sleep. It was a very odd behavior for her, especially since she had just woken up from her nap. Anyway, I quickly fished out a plastic bag that I had and told her if she felt sick, to use the bag.

Less than a minute later, she bends over and vomits into the bag, part of it spilled out but thankfully, most of it went into the bag. 30 seconds later, a second wave hits her, this time, more violent than the first. Everything is coming out from everywhere, even her nose. The poor girl starts to cry and the whole front of her shirt is covered. In the meantime, Max has spotted the mess and is attempting to touch it with his hands! I grab the packet of wipes out of my bag and try to clean her the best I can, miraculously, none of it has stained the taxi. To my horror, I realise that I had just taken out her spare clothes, Max’s as well! There was no way she could wear her shirt so I stripped her with one hand and took out my nursing shawl to cover her body.

In the meantime, the plastic bag can’t contain the mess, I found an old poncho in my bag, opened it up and wrapped everything in it, hoping that nothing spills.

We alighted at Liat towers and I quickly ushered her into Zara to buy her a shirt. The security guard gave us a long hard look, I’m sure we were quite a sight. Ally was half naked with my nursing shawl around her, I was trying not to throw up cos I got so car sick moving around in the taxi trying to clean her.

I saw the first sales assistant and asked her to please find a shirt for Ally, anything plain and under $20. She said to me ” Hello Kitty?” and I answered, ” No, no Hello Kitty please, just plain.” We found a sweet blouse and quickly paid for it. By this time, my back was aching and head was spinning so we headed to Wendy’s next door for a drink. Lesson for the day, always bring a plastic bag and spare clothes!

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Patience Is A Virtue

Having two toddlers is a crazy, fun, noisy experience that brings along unexpected surprises. It’s also been the most challenging, demanding and tiring phase that I’ve experienced.

The other day I was speaking to a friend who casually mentioned that her son who’s 6, had asked his dad to come along and watch his after school sport. His dad’s reply, ” I can’t today, I’m busy.”  Before judging the actions of this parent, I thought to myself, how many times have I said the same thing to the children. ” I can’t do this now, Mama is busy”. Sometimes I’m in the midst of preparing their meals, other times I really just need those few moments to myself.

I’m not saying that we need to drop everything and attend to the kids all the time. I personally believe that it is very important for them to learn to entertain themselves when I can’t. But after a bad night’s sleep, it is so easy to brush the children away just because I’m physically or mentally exhausted.

I struggle daily with my lack of patience, I can feel myself losing it, especially with poor Ally since she’s can vocalise her thoughts and feelings. I’ve had a terrible morning with the children, both were whiny and grumpy and I was struggling to get lunch ready on time. Now that they are both down for their naps, my mind is a lot calmer and the guilt is beginning to seep in.

I marvel at the moms who seem to have endless patience, the moms who don’t yell at their kids. I’m praying that after we’ve all had a nap, the rest of the day will get better.

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