We left our car at the workshop to be serviced this weekend. Not the best time because I had intended to get started with the Christmas shopping and it would be more convenient if we had the car. With Christmas just round the corner, the trains are packed and after experiencing it yesterday, we decided to stay home today.
One of the activities that we did at home today is playing with Tegu blocks. We purchased it at a fair earlier this year when Isaac had just turned 1 and he did not know what to make of those blocks. All he did was put 2 or 3 blocks together and then take them apart again. Now that he is older (19 months), he tries to make his version of cars or buildings with some help from us.
Here are some of the things he put together this afternoon.
I must say, we really love these blocks. Not only do they look good, they are just so easy to put together! In my opinion, it is more appropriate for my toddler at this age as compared to Lego (which I am a huge fan of). If you are getting a gift for a toddler below 3, I highly recommend this.
Being the curious cat that I am, I was intrigued to know more about the makers of Tegu. If you haven’t heard of them or seen their website, you really should. It is fantastic! You can check them out here. Ending this post with my favourite line from the good people at Tegu –
We believe that every child possess the unhindered ability to build, create, and imagine. And they aren’t only creating towering block structures and backyard tree forts, they are building their futures.
Inside each Tegu block we pack the power to dream about that future.
** Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.
This year for my wedding anniversary, I decided to book a room at M Social Singapore over the weekend. I have seen photos of the rooms on Instagram and I fell in love with their Big Room instantly. There are 4 kinds of rooms – Nice Room, Nicer Room, Big Room(loft), Bigger Room (loft+private terrace). I decided that the Big Room would suffice for us since we will not hang out in the terrace. I would love to share many photos with you, but because the hubs and I decided that it should be a gadget-free weekend, I minimised the use of the camera and phone. In fact, we did not even bring any chargers for our phones.
When we arrived at the lobby, I proceeded with the check in at the self check-in/out kiosk. Check-in time is supposed to be 3pm but we tried our luck at 12ish and managed to get our access cards! I have always supported the idea of self check-in because it speeds up the process if there are many people and little staff. Unfortunately, there seemed to be some technical issues with their system which caused us to wait for almost half an hour before we got our keys. However, that did not dampen our moods as the staff at the reception are really friendly and helpful. To me, great service beats anything else. While I was occupied with the check-in, hubs was busy entertaining the curious little one who was exploring the lobby.
We could not contain our excitement when we went to our room. Only thing is, it is actually much smaller than what it looked like in the photos on the website. Nonetheless, we still really liked the room!
When I booked the room, I did not consider the fact that Isaac would be excited about the stairs. I ended up climbing up and down the stairs with him most of the time. :\
Since it was a 2D1N stay, we had to make full use of our time. Actually when I say full use of our time, it really is about bringing Isaac for a swim, let him nap,go out for dinner and look at the lights along the Singapore River. With a little one around, everything seems to be planned according to his schedule. Hence, we decided to have our lunch at the hotel’s restaurant, Beast and Butterflies. We really like the interior of the restaurant – Nice furniture and the ambience is suitable for catch up sessions with friends. Food was not bad too. I had laksa while the mister had the burger set. Isaac was self entertaining by attempting to say bye to anyone who walks by. Why bye? Because his ‘hi’ is also ‘bye’. He seems to think they are the same. ROFL.
We waited for a while to be digested before bringing Isaac to the pool. The pool is small and Isaac was initially having fun until a group of ladies came into the pool with 2 extremely large floats. You know the unicorn and flamingo floats you would have seen in Instagram too? Yea, that kind. It.was.HUGE. Check out Isaac’s face when he saw them.
But since the ladies were nice enough to lend him one small flamingo float, he decided to wave ‘bye’ to them too. LOL!!!After the swim we headed back to the room for Isaac to nap. Hubs showered him and I got ready his milk. The moment his head landed on the pillow, his eyes shut. In 3 mins or less, he had fallen asleep. Luckily for us, we managed to nap till about 7pm before going out for dinner. We took a stroll along the river to check out the restaurants nearby. Ended up eating at Pasta Bella and then we walked back to the hotel. Now with Isaac who has learnt to walk, he prefers walking (waddling) instead of being carried. So the time taken doubled the time we could have taken if he was in his stroller/carrier. We ended the night with complimentary cocktails from Beast and Butterflies because it is our anniversary. Upon check-in, the staff at the reception mentioned that the hotel does not do anything special for anniversary celebrations, but they are offering us complimentary cocktails. Appreciate the gesture even though they really did not have to feel obligated to give us anything. 🙂 Off to bed after drinks.
Breakfast was at Beast and Butterflies. By now, Isaac had already ‘communicated’ with almost all the waiters/waitresses there. They recognised him the moment we walked in. LOL! In the past, we’d trick Isaac into eating a little more by pretending to feed him yogurt drops and then feed him his porridge once he opens his mouth. Now, his daddy has to keep him eating by pretending to let Isaac feed him too.
Staycation ended on Sunday at 3pm. Looking forward to creating more memories on our many more staycation sand vacations together. 🙂
My personal opinions on M Social Singapore:
Great choice for a staycation if this is for a couple but not for a family with young kids. The location of the hotel is not exactly convenient unless you drive. Nonetheless, we loved the concept of the hotel and most importantly the great service from their staff.
Last weekend, we visited Alive Museum Singapore. Many of you would have already been to or at least heard of Alive Museum Singapore – the largest attraction in Singapore, with an area of more than 10,000 sq ft and has over 80 art pieces!
It was our first visit there and the moment we stepped into the place, the mister immediately said “quick take a photo” while I was rummaging my bag for the camera. I looked up to see him and Isaac already posing for the photo.
Initially, we felt sort of awkward to pose with people walking around and looking (at the art pieces not us). After a while, we figured that no one really cared since they are all there to do the same thing. So for those who are visiting Alive Museum, just know that there is really no need to be shy. Just have fun and enjoy yourselves!
We took many photos but will only share some of them in order not to spoil any fun for those who have not visited the place. As Isaac was the most dramatic one among the three of us, I decided that his photos actually look the convincing. Hence, you will see most of the photos are of him and his well hidden daddy. His dramatic genes … must be from his father because I can assure you that no one taught this 14 month old toddler how to behave in any of the photos.
See, I kid you not when I mentioned how expressive Isaac is. HAH!
Here are some things I learnt from my experience there:
1. For better quality of photos, take the photos using a camera. I prefer using my camera because I can adjust the settings to my desired mode.
2. If you know you will be one of those who will feel awkward about posing in front of many people, try visiting on weekdays if possible to avoid large crowds.
3. Bring enough water to ensure that the kid(s) are hydrated. Even for Isaac who is only slightly over a year old, he was fascinated with the paintings around and was moving around a lot to try to get to them. This is probably one of the things I like about Alive Museum. Instead of the usual “Cannot touch this” or “Don’t touch that”, we can actually touch these art pieces.
4. Make sure you take all the photos you want with a particular painting until you are satisfied before moving on to the next room. Reason is because, the moment you go through the door to the next room, you are not able to go back to the previous one. A lesson we learnt for us because the mister and I went into panic mode when we realised that had we left Isaac’s baby carrier in the previous room. We had to wait for someone to open the door before we can go back and retrieve our carrier.
5. Go with friends so that you can take turns to take photos for each other. Otherwise, bring a tripod stand. As you can see, most of our photos are mainly of Isaac. We had to take turns to carry him while the other takes the photo.
Another thing that I like about the museum is the indication of the photo points on the floor, which tells you where to stand to get the best shots. Angling is important here otherwise the photos will turn out looking strange. Oh, did I forget to mention the free wifi? Yes! There is free wifi at the museum so you can share your photos on your social media instantly!
Alive Museum Singapore has just launched a special 40% discount for a limited time only! You can purchase your discounted tickets online to avoid the ticketing queue. So wait no longer, get your tickets here!
For more information on Alive Museum Singapore, you may check out their official website here.
*** Punggolbabies Giveaway ***
Punggolbabies will be giving away 4 tickets (2 adults + 2 children) to a lucky winner. Just 3 simple steps to participate in the giveaway. Check out the details of the giveaway on our Instagram account @thepunggolbabies.
Giveaway ends 12 June 2016, at 2359hrs. Winner will be picked at random and contacted via pm on Instagram.
On 23rd April 2016, the Punggol babies spent the morning together at eXplorerkid @ Downtown East. The minute Zara boarded the car, she kept saying “we are going to the slide! Wheee!” This girl is just too funny! The kiddos’ could not contain their excitement when we arrived. They took out their footwear and put on their socks as quickly as they could. Within a few minutes, they were out of sight while I spent most of the time with toddler Isaac.
The indoor playground was divided into sections, I shall sequence it based on the sequence of what I saw.
Sand Play area :
Playing with sand has always been something I’ve considered bringing Isaac to do when he is slightly older, because I believe that not only is it a great sensory ‘toy’ for him as he learns to manipulate his hands by molding the sand, it also promotes his creativity at low, or no cost. This was Isaac’s first encounter with the kinetic sand. He cringed the moment he touched it.
As the hubs took Isaac to play elsewhere, I spent some time with Missy Z making shapes and buildings with the sand. Every time I was done building, she’d tell me “I cut the car, I cut the boat!” Then she proceeds to use the spade to poke poke at what I’ve made. Here’s the cheeky girl trying to make her own castle.
Mega Play :
Although this area is more suitable for the older kids, that did not stop Isaac from having a go at climbing the obstacles. I know most toddlers have learnt to walk by 12 months old, but Isaac has yet to start walking. One thing i must say though, he is a really good climber. His determination is pretty impressive too!
Ball pit :
What’s an indoor playground without the ball pit? At eXplorerkid, this is no exception. In fact, there are two ball pits. One for the older kids, one at the toddler area.
Toddler area :
I spent the most time hanging around the toddler play area because Isaac loved the little stations here!
He spent the most time in the kitchen pretending to cook up a storm. He also pretended to be a vet in the pet shop.
He also had fun pushing himself along on the ride on toy.
Apart from the ball pit, there is also a mini slide, and a not so mini Ship slide.
To be honest, this slide is actually quite steep. Missy A and myself actually got abrasions on our elbows when we came down on this slide. Did not have the same problem with the other slides in this playground.
Adventure highlands :
Personally, I feel that this has got to be the most interesting part of eXplorerkid @ Downtown East to me. It challenges children to complete a rope course in a circuit of suspended bridge which aims to build their confidence and motor skills.
It was definitely a fun filled morning for the kids and a tiring day for the adults.
For more information on the play rates or birthday party packages, you may check out their website here.
30th March 2015 was the most amazing day of our lives as we welcomed our little bundle of joy into our world. The series of events that happened prior were totally unexpected and dramatic, hence, we were totally unprepared as isaac decided to make his grand entrance into our world almost a month earlier. It was almost unbelievable that have become parents! In the blink of an eye, one year has come and gone. Our baby is turning into a toddler!
For Isaac’s full month celebration, we hosted it at home. Not only did we have to clean up the house after everyone has left, our guests were also feeling extremely warm during the party with so many people in the house. It was probably a bad experience for our guests and I felt terrible about it. Hence, I told myself and G never to host such celebrations at home again.
With the help of many lovely (and well loved by us) people, we hosted Isaac’s birthday at Makan@Jen at Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway. The whole looking for a venue process was a headache for me because there were certain criteria that matter a lot to me. They were:
1. An easily accessible venue for guests who do not drive
2. Allows us to decorate the place
3. Have an open area where kids can play
4. Good food
Luckily for us, while we were have lunch at makan@jen one weekend, C suggested, “Can do it here la!”. Looking around, I realised it does fulfil every criteria i had and I started to imagine how I wanted the party to be here! That is how we came to a decision on the venue. Most importantly, we don’t have to clean up after the guests leave. LOL! The selection of venue and the party planning took place a few months before Isaac’s birthday because I did not want a last minute job.
One of the important parts of the party was the cake! We managed to get Susanne to bake us a robot themed cake. We were extremely lucky to be able to get her to bake for us because when I initially approached her, she mentioned that she already had someone to bake for on that day. Thankfully, she managed to accommodate to us in the end.
The day of the party came (26 March 2016) and it was nothing short of wonderful. Isaac had a very good time just watching the other kids play because he has not mastered the art of walking yet. He was especially happy when everyone started to sing the birthday song and he was clapping frantically. If you had read one of my posts on the significance of my baby’s birthday, you will know that my hubby was not all for the party in the beginning. But I had insisted on doing this for Isaac because it was important to me to celebrate this milestone in our lives. Just at that moment, when i saw how happy Isaac was, I knew I had made the right decision. He was practically clapping and slapping the table top in excitement and happiness! Happy baby = happy parents. It was an absolutely fantastic day for us all!
People i would like to thank :
First and foremost, C. A very big thank you for everything you have done. From the sourcing of venues, engaging the baker, getting the party stuffs for the goody bags, designing the milestone chart and all the help with the balloons even though we both are super scared of balloons (oh this balloon part goes out to Yus as well). This party wouldn’t have been as great without your help at all!
My lovely and supportive in laws who looked after the kiddos while we prepped for the party. Not forgetting how they are also Isaac’s primary caregiver while we go to work. I can put my heart at ease when I go to work because I know they will take very good care of him. I am extremely fortunate to have such a loving family who loves us dearly.
All relatives and close friends who turned up. I know some had to make changes in their busy schedules to attend our event.
Susanne, our baker for being so wonderful to work with. The cake turned out better than I had imagined it to be and it was delicious! Check out her works at : http://lovingcreations4u.blogspot.sg
Soon Koon, for popping by to take many wonderful photos for us. Heard from C that his camera is Super ex, that is why quality of photos also Super different from ours. LOL!
Last but no least, the hubby. For being extremely involved in our parenting journey. We have come a long way with many ups and downs but today we have a beautiful baby boy. He is one more reason why we should be stronger than ever in whatever we do. 🙂
On the day of the party, C asked me if I had anything to say to Isaac because she was trying to do a video montage. To which, I said a very simple “Happy Birthday Son”. Not because I had nothing to say. But because I know I would probably tear if I started my grandmother story speech. So, I have a letter for Isaac only. Kept away in his box of memories which I will go through with him when he is of age.
Grow up healthy and happy my baby Isaac! You are loved by many many people and thank you for being our sunshine after the rain. Mummy and daddy love you very much.
Today our littlest one at Punggol Babies officially turns ONE!! Happy birthday Isaac. Welcome to toddlerhood! Here’s a clip for you to revisit the day we celebrated your birthday at Hotel Jen Orchardgateway.
It was a cosy and happy celebration last weekend with family and friends at Makan@Jen, Hotel Jen Orchardgateway; where we held Isaac’s 1st party. All the time, energy and planning was well rewarded when the birthday boy gave his biggest and brightest smile at his very first cake-cutting session.
Planning The Party
Party planning is quite a tiresome task, from the time we decide to plan one celebration to the sourcing of suitable locations, guest list, decoration, the cake and a lot of other little things in between. It all started about six months back and I think we managed to pull through it pretty well. Well done Team (mums, dads and grandparents) Punggol Babies! 😛
For all events, once the location is locked down, everything else will fall into place. We contacted and shortlisted at least 3 locations and we made our choices based on a few criteria – accessibility, good lighting (for photos), good food and of cos costs. After weighing the various options, Makan@Jen was picked. Because it met all of our requirements and fits the budget.
We were lucky the outdoor open air Makan@Jen Terrace was not occupied that day, and the weather was windy and great. Our guests (especially the little ones) were running around at the terrace and we could watch them from inside too. Who needs planned activities when you got a huge space to do whatever you want!
As it was also the Easter weekend, we had a cute and fun dessert bar to fill our guests with sweets treats and awesome grill and seafood from Makan@Jen kitchen.
This is Isaac’s very first birthday cake and extra care had been put into the selection. After trying out the awesome chiffon cake at a friend’s party, it was a no-brainer to go with the same baker who baked it. Placing our order as early as 4 months prior the celebration, we almost didn’t make it to the list as Susanne only takes in limited number of orders per week. Thanks to another customer who so kindly changed her order date, Susanne was able to take on our robot cake request.
When everyone crowded around it as the cake was revealed, they took out their camera and started snapping. Of cos this made the party planners very pleased. Chiffon cake was light and fluffy, the right touch to end off the afternoon after a filling buffet spread at Makan@Jen. You can take a look at Susanne’s creations on her Instagram or website.
It was a finger (and cuticle) tearing and painful process. We had all underestimated the stressed on our fingers for knotting 60 latex balloons!!! We managed to get the place done up as best as we could, after losing precious foil alphabets balloons which stopped us from using any since words couldn’t be formed.
Tips: Instead of using ballon weights to hold down your balloons at party, try using little treat bags instead. It not just helped hold down the balloons, but it helped us have the balloons cleared out too as guests willingly brought home some treats.
Since it was Easter, we prepared some eggs and wanted to hide them around the Terrace for the little ones to find. Alas time was moving faster than we planned, so we mixed them up with the basket of red eggs prepared by Makan@Jen for our guests to help themselves with.
Extending The Celebration – A Family Staycation!
Our party and celebration continues through the weekend as we checked into our hotel rooms at Hotel Jen OrchardGateway. We’ve stayed at this hotel a couple of times and the kids really enjoyed our staycation, so this time round we booked three rooms to accommodate our families.
The rooms booked came with access to Hotel Jen’s Club Lounge on Level 19, Grandpa was most delighted with unlimited supply of beer during cocktail from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. And all of us took this time to just chill and reminisce that afternoon’s celebration. Oh and the Club Lounge makes pretty good spot for photo taking too!
We’ve originally booked a deluxe room for my family as we needed an extra bed for the four of us. Lucky us got bumped up to their Panorama Club room as we requested to have our rooms on the same level as the gramps. This time round, the room wasn’t as huge as our previous family staycation with Hotel Jen, but still we appreciated the space. We even had a gathering that evening in our room to catch the laser show from opposite our room. Isaac was most excited to see those green lights beaming in the night sky.
And of cos we cannot missed out the fun time by the pool at Baywatch@Jen on level 19. This was the one thing that the kids were all looking forward to! Just look at their happy faces!
Can check out my review of the hotel here and here.
This is probably the one party for our family in a long long time. I love party planning, but pulling this off was quite an experience. Even more stressful then those events I plan for work! Good thing we have all agreed that the Punggol Babies will only have one big celebration when they are young. The next one will probably be when they reach 21 ba.
Thanks to everyone who came and made this day so special and fun for our little baby boy. Hope you’ve had an awesome time too!
I shall keep the sentimental post for Mummy Pris, it was a celebration for her too! Over to you now. 🙂
We finally visited an indoor playground after procrastinating for some time. I initially thought that indoor playgrounds are just obstacles, slides and big ball pits for kids who have started walking. G (my other half) also kept telling me that Isaac is too young and there is probably nothing for him to play there. Nonetheless, we still went ahead to check it out.
When we initially entered the playground, Isaac refused to be put down. He was afraid, yet curious of his surroundings. We took turns to hold him and slowly put him down when we felt he was ready.
After some time, he became more confident and started to move about. Since the playground was not suitable for him, we spent most of our time at the Toddler area where he had lots of fun.
After our experience today, I am glad I can say that Isaac had a good time during his first experience at an indoor playground. What I liked most about bringing him there, is seeing him become more confident and how he gradually learnt to share. Can’t wait to bring him here again next time!