Royal Caribbean – Mariner of the Seas – JahBella Part 4 (Ice-Skating and a Parenting lesson for me)

I have to say that I was super proud of Jah during this cruise trip. Not only was he a lot nicer to his sister and really attempted to take care of her. He had even at some point during the trip, asked that they take a professional photo together and said that he would hold her hand. (That shot was almost successful until the photographer asked them to step back alittle and then his sister fell backwards into the backdrop :x)

That aside, Jah made his first attempt at ice-skating! Well ok mummy and daddy also made their first attempt at it and honestly it was a mean feat for 3 people with no experience in ice-skating to hold onto each other while ‘skating’ around the edge of the rink. Jah showed us his determination and perseverance in wanting to do more rounds despite it being a pretty scary and difficult first try around the rink. We could tell he was giving his best even though his legs were all jelly by the time he got through round 2.

First session of the morning (there were 3 one-hour sessions in all)

First session of the morning (there were 3 one-hour sessions in all)

Skaters getting fitted out for their session

Skaters getting fitted out for their session

Waiting for our session to start (can barely contain his glee!)

Waiting for our session to start (can barely contain his glee!)


Jah’s first attempt at ice-skating also taught me a very important lesson in parenting. The first thing he said to me at the end of the session was “mummy? I’m not very good at ice-skating.” That statement shocked me at first and then my heart broke alittle. I didn’t quite know how to respond immediately. I realized that somehow along the way, my 3 year old was starting to feel the pressures of today’s society, to perform and excel at everything he does even if it was the first time he was attempting something.  Trying hard was not good enough. He had to be very good at it.

I was thankful for this insight in his thoughts. I almost instinctively replied no, you are awesome at ice-skating which he would definitely have figured for a lie. Instead I told him that yes, just like him, mummy and papa were not very good at ice-skating too but it was our first try. The most important thing was the fact that we tried our best and maybe next time we will be better at it or maybe we won’t be. He is good at a lot of other things and as long as he enjoyed himself earlier, it really doesn’t matter.

I could see the relief written all over his face after that and he perked up and said that he wanted to try ice-skating again next time. 🙂 Phew for mummy too!

A point to note for those who would like to attempt ice-skating onboard the ship, do remember to bring socks and be dressed in long pants. Helmets, ice-skates and knee guards will be provided. Oh yes and a sweater especially for the kids would be helpful (it was freezing!).

Pirate Photo shoot opportunity after our breakfast

Pirate Photo shoot opportunity after our breakfast

More photos with the Pirate to occupy the 1 hour waiting time outside the skating rink

More photos with the Pirate to occupy the 1 hour waiting time outside the skating rink

Little sister not as impressed as the brother..

Little sister not as impressed as the brother..

Next Up…Johnny Rockets and the Madagascar Parade

JahBella’s Mummy

How do you explain Death when you are trying to teach Life?

I was going to pen my thought on this on my Facebook Status Update but then I realize it wouldn’t do the topic or the feelings I have of it, any justice.

So how did this topic/ thought come up?

As you would know Jah has just turned 3 and like any other 3 year old, he is only just discovering this wider world around him in the social sense of it. He is just trying to grasp the fact that the people who come to play with him every weekend and whom he calls Aunty/ Uncle are his mummy’s meimeis and didi. He is just wrapping his little head around the fact that his mummy is also someone else’s jiejie. He is just starting to understand that his Papa and Mummy also have their own Papa and Mummy. He is also just learning about how babies grow in tummies and need to stay there for awhile before they can ‘come out’ and play (Thanks Aunty Chelsea for being the ‘textbook’ for that lesson 😉 – he is very excited to meet the baby btw).

So while we are trying to teach him lessons about new life, family, relationships and marriages. It is really tough when the topic of death has to be addressed. While the topic is probably inevitable at some point, I really wish I didn’t have to address it, at 3 years old.  (Note I don’t allow the words ‘kill’ or ‘die’ to be used at home, rather we say faint when talking about the superheroes slaying the bad guys). So to explain death is especially tough when we have to tread carefully around some words.

The topic also becomes super unavoidable when his question to me was “mummy, where is your mummy?” and “why your mummy never stay with my uncles and aunties? “


I thought I was prepared for that question but putting it all into words, is harder than I had expected. How do I explain this to him, without scaring him? How do I explain it to him without trivializing my own mother’s existence? And how do I explain it to him, without him harboring hopes of seeing her at the next family gathering?

This was the conversation we had (in the darkness of his room) and my haphazardly put together answer.  I can tell you, I still do not have a better answer/ approach after pondering about this for days after.

Jah: mummy, where is your mummy? why she never stay with my uncles and aunties? She stay at other people’s house?

Me: Oh. My mummy… mummy is staying with Jesus Papa (aka God) at his house. (On hindsight, I should probably have given the place a name – heaven).

Jah: Why she stay at Jesus Papa house?

Me: She is staying at his house because he needs her to help him. He needs her to help look after the good people.

Jah: And the babies.

Me: Yes and the babies.

Though the conversation was short and ended as abruptly as it had started, it felt like one of the longest and toughest conversations I have ever had with him. How do you explain death and the existence of a loved one they will never meet?

His last statement left me to wonder if he had more insight into heaven than I know about (But that’s another topic for another day )

More importantly, I know that this is not going to be the first conversation we have about death and my mum. I know many of us will have to explain this to our child at some point. It is not going to be an easy moment but yet a moment we really want to honour. An opportunity to talk to them about that someone we wished they had a chance to know.

Learning to explain death while teaching them about life…


JahBella’s Mummy

Kidsfest 2015 – The Gruffalo and Our First Play of 2015

Jah and I attended our first Kidsfest show and our first play of 2015 today (definitely more to come!!) We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I think I just might have found my permanent theatre companion. 🙂


Goofing around before the show

Goofing around before the show

We caught the Gruffalo at Kidsfest 2015 and if there is one story which Jah and I know like the back of our hands, it’s the Gruffalo (lots of kids and parents knew the stories by hard too!) We have watched the movie and read the book so it was only right that we also caught the play.

For those who are familiar with the story (book or movie) and the tone at which it is told (often in a whisper or calm tone), you would expect that the play was also going to be ‘level toned’ if you get what I mean. But the play was quite the opposite and totally hilarious!

The first thing Jah asked when we entered, was “mummy are we in the deep dark woods?” so kudos to the props team!

The deep dark woods....

The deep dark woods….

The actors also hit it out of the park from the start of the show. We had kids and parents laughing non stop from the beginning even Jah who is ever-serious at plays, was extremely tickled and totally mesmerized by what was on stage.

Totally comfortable...totally captivated..

Totally comfortable…totally captivated..

I'm having lunch with a Gruffalo...

I’m having lunch with a Gruffalo…

There were jokes weaved in that the kids got and there were jokes weaved in that only the parents got. The play had whimsical and nonsensical moments (in a good way) and it was awesome fun!

We or at least Jah also enjoyed the wide range of merchandise available for sale at the foyer. Yes my little theatre-going shopper of a son came home with quite a loot and to be fair, mummy also really liked the stuff.

A new school bag anyone?

A new school bag anyone?

Some toys to perhaps?

Some toys too perhaps?

Bella and Joel joined us after the show for a family pic. The organizers had arranged for a photo opportunity wall and we could have our photos taken and sent to us via email. A wonderful souvenir photo for families!

Family pic!

Family pic!

IMG_3501I love how this little boy is slowly and truly starting to enjoy theatre plays and musicals. Of course it also helps that the kids theatre scene in Singapore is getting a whole lot more interesting and vibrant. I can’t wait to start cultivating the same interest and love for theatre in Bella. 🙂

JahBella’s Mummy

3 Things I have Learnt About Christmas as a Parent

  • Gone are the days where our Christmas parties used to start at 9pm on Christmas Eve and go on till the early hours of Christmas Day. Our Christmas Eve parties now end at 9pm, yes which is also the children’s bedtime. I’m not complaining though..there is something strangely calming and peaceful about a quiet Christmas Eve night. Reminder to new parents – do turn in early too, trust me you will be awoken very early on Christmas morning to open gifts. :p
  • How many of you remember being super excited about getting your little ones to unwrap their own presents when they were little babies/ toddlers (less than 2 years old). Wishing they would be able to open the whole thing without your help or at least show some interest so that you can record the moment properly. A word of advice 😉 – Savour the moment when they can’t open their own gifts and they still need your help. In 2 Christmases, you will be wishing that they would stay away from your own presents and would allow you to open them yourselves.  Jah opened everyone’s presents this Christmas…yes…every single present he could lay his little hands on…:/
  • Spring cleaning is not just for Chinese New Year. Yes, please do yourself a favour and spring clean before Christmas. This means packing up all the clothes and toys which your kids no longer needs. The house feels so clean and empty after doesn’t it? Don’t worry, a new toy avalanche will be unleashed upon you on Christmas Day and the house will feel normal again. :p

So yes here are the 3 things I learnt about Christmas as a parent and I am sure the list is probably going to get longer…oh i miss Christmas 🙂

JahBella’s Mummy

Royal Caribbean – Mariner of the Seas – JahBella Part 3 (Dreamworks Breakfast Character Dining)

Our non-stop eating adventure continued the next morning when we all woke up bright and early and was at breakfast at 8am. This was not just any ordinary breakfast! It was the Dreamworks Character Dining Breakfast which Jah had been looking forward to, for the past few months. I had envisioned that we would be eating in our PJs, given that the breakfast started at 8am but the kids had no problems getting up early and dressed  for this special meal.

For families who would like to bring their kids for the Dreamworks Character Dining Breakfast, I would recommend that you sign up online prior to your cruise. Alternatively, you could do your booking once you board the cruise but I hear that it is rather popular. The breakfast is chargeable at $10 per person. Honestly the breakfast option looked good on paper with a specialized menu but the food left much to be desired. We didn’t quite touch it and I was alittle envious of the other tables in the main dining room who were having the regular breakfast. Although I suppose they were probably also envious of us and the time we had with the characters.

Dreamworks Character Dining Menu

Dreamworks Character Dining Menu

Shrek Ears for all the kids :)

Shrek Ears for all the kids 🙂

We met 3 of the Dreamworks Characters (Shrek, Kungfu Panda and Fiona) during our breakfast and they came around to each table to take photos with us. We were supposed to attend the breakfast on the following day as well but Jah decided that he didn’t want to attend if Alex the Lion was not attending.  We were told that 3 other characters (Puss in Boots, King Julian and Gloria the Hippo) would be at the next day’s breakfast. On hindsight, we should have probably just attended for the fun of it but oh well Jah had his wish and met Alex at the separate Meet & Greet session so I decided not to put everyone through an early not so yummy breakfast again.

Oh and do note that the photos below were taken by their photographer and purchased as part of the photo package. The photos are not included as part of your breakfast cost. You can get the staff to help take pix with your camera/ handphone if you don’t intend to purchase the package. 🙂





So yes a must-do for parents with kids especially those who are fans of Shreak or Madagascar. 🙂

Next Up – Jah’s First Ice-Skating attempt and a Parenting lesson for me

JahBella’s Mummy