Why your kids may think you are confused?

Aren’t we parents supposed to have our act together all the time? We should know everything or so we would like our kids to think. And we most certainly are not confused, heaven forbid they ever know that we have confused moments! However some of the things we say or do may cause our kids to think otherwise. :p

What time should I wake up?

Jah gets up at approximately 7am on most mornings (I say most because sometimes he thinks that 6am is a fabulous time especially on weekends). So on most mornings (weekdays) I try my best to get his butt out of bed as quickly as possible. Weekend is a different story all together, on weekends he tries his best to get my butt out of bed while I repeatedly tell him to go back to sleep. On weekday mornings, I also talk to him in my most animated and liveliest voice possible to excite him about going to school. While on weekends, our conversations are conducted with my eyes closed and yes a grunt from me counts as a conversation.

Where should I sleep?

Our bedtime routine would start with me putting Jah to bed in his room at 9pm. Every now and then Jah would try his luck and ask if he could fall asleep in my bed, to which the answer is always “No, you are a big boy now and you have to sleep in your own bed.” He will then proceed to wake up at around 1am to 2am, to look for me.  Sitting in his room while I wait for him to fall asleep, is truly the least appealing and most frustrating thing in the world, especially when I had just been awoken from a deep sleep. So every night without fail, I will walk into his room when he wakes and ask if he would like to come to my room (at least I am in my nice comfy bed while he falls asleep). Sometimes he tells me no and then I will proceed to harass him until he says yes and we ‘pack’ up his blanket, pillow and teddy and head over to mummy’s bed.

Potty or Diapers?

I might have been guilty of this once or twice before or I most certainly had entertained the thought. This was something I definitely struggled with, in the early days of potty training. You know the early days where your child isn’t fully potty trained and he was still in diapers during occasions like bedtime or outings? Do you remember the moments when that little child would turn to you and go “mummy I need to pee” and your response to him was “it’s ok, you can pee in your diapers”, just because it was more convenient/ you were feeling alittle too tired/ lazy to deal with this now. :p

How big/small am I?

I’m sure age and size has featured very often in our reasoning/ explanations/ excuses to our kids. “No you are too small/ young so you are not allowed to do this, wait till you are older” or “You are a big boy now so you shouldn’t behave like this”. If I were my kid, I would probably ask me once and for all, so am I big or small? Make up your mind mummy!

Being a parent is tough, trying to keep track of the excuses/ reasons we give our children and making sure they all match up. Being consistent is especially tough when you only have sleep in mind. It’s really hard to think like a mum when you are in a sleep induced state. However I have to say being a kid is even tougher especially when mummy is so confused. They probably wished they could shake some sense into us. 😉

How confused are you? 🙂

JahBella’s Mummy

Royal Caribbean – Mariner of the Seas – JahBella Part 2 (Giovanni’s Table)

While most meals onboard the cruise are free of charge and pretty decent, we decided to give one of the specialty restaurants a try. Our meal at Giovanni’s Table (Italian Speciality Restaurnt) would be JahBella’s First ‘Fine-Dining’ Experience. The meal cost us an additional US$20 per adult and we were allowed to order any item in any quantity off the menu. We could either order individual portions or dine family style. We chose to dine family style which meant that we could order a few starters, entrees and desserts and they would prepare portions which were just enough for our family. The kids also had their own special kids menu to choose from and non-alcoholic tiramisu to boot! 🙂

What I love about the dining service on the cruise is that they are always ready to accommodate and customize for the kids. Jah was somehow on his fries only diet and they were more than happy to prepare a special portion of handcut fries for him.

Happy as long as there is food

Happy as long as there is food

Hmm...do you think I will be able to get these special fries at every meal?

Hmm…do you think I will be able to get these special fries at every meal?

My photos really do not do the food justice but it was awesome! I especially enjoyed the lamb chops and risotto! I have not tasted such good risotto since….since I’m not quite sure when. I was very tempted to return the subsequent days just for another taste of the risotto.

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At the end of the meal, there was also a extensive dessert table to select from and you can totally see Bella just eyeing the table very deviously. Again, I apologise for the photo quality as they were taken with my handphone in a romantically lit dining room. 😉

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One thing to note, do buffer at least 2 hours for the entire meal. We initially thought that this was a bit of an exaggeration but the entire meal really took 2 hours! In fact we had to rush alittle towards the end as we wanted to make it for the Welcome Show at 730pm. All I can say is don’t rush and just enjoy the meal especially if your kids are doing ok and in no hurry to go anywhere. Ok totally missing the risotto now….;/

Next Up – Dreamworks Breakfast Character Dining….

JahBella’s Mummy

NSRCC Changi Staycation – Review

We decided to rent a bungalow at NSRCC Changi to celebrate Jah’s 3rd birthday. We thought it will be a nice way for JahBella to spend the weekend and to ensure enough space for our guests and their kids.

We checked in with Jah at about 2pm after his Transformer outing at the Science Centre. We were entitled to free parking in front of our bungalow and 1 additional lot for our guest at $10 per day (Note that it is for 1 fixed vehicle so not interchangeable). All other guests had to park at the nearby guest carpark E.

The bungalow had 2 levels, with the living room, dining area, kitchen and 1 bathroom on the lower floor and 2 bedrooms and the 2nd bathroom on the upper level. There was also a BBQ pit outside each bungalow (we didn’t use ours as we were catering). Each room had 2 single beds which means you can accommodate four people in the rooms and have the option of adding another 4 mattress sets (at $2 each per night). We ended up renting the additional mattress sets as it started to storm pretty badly after Jah’s birthday party and his auntys and uncles decided to stay the night. Bath towels and toiletries were provided but I would suggest bringing your own.

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NSRCC Changi is also home to one of the Jumbo Seafood branches and we headed there for our dinner on the first night. It was a Friday night but relatively empty and peaceful. I have to say that the food was pretty awesome! The kids enjoyed it and so did we! The service was also very good in fact the manager came around several times to check on us and to get our feedback and was very receptive. He also remembered us when we came back the next afternoon for a Dim Sum lunch and the Dim Sum lunch was also pretty good! Although you will definitely have to make a reservation for a Saturday lunch.

Please excuse the half-eaten food

Please excuse the half-eaten food

Our unit was just across from the playground and the swimming pool. It poured the morning in the early morning hours and I was worried that the kids wouldn’t be able to go swimming. But as ‘predicted’ by Jah, “the rain will stop in 2 hours!” and it did. Come 9am, the rain went away and the sun was out in full force! There was a children’s pool and a water play area as well as an adult pool (which doesn’t allow kids in floats). The kids were more than happy to play in the water play area which was ankle deep and the children pool which was chest deep for Jah.

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After swimming, the kids headed over to the playground to dry off. I loved the playground, it was a pretty decent playground with enough challenging things for Jah to do without us having to worry he would hurt himself while Bella could also enjoy yourself with the simpler task.

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Check-out was between 9am to 10am the next day and you will have to call housekeeping before you check-out. The housekeeper will do a simple stock take, sign off on your form and you will have to leave the bungalow immediately while she locks up. The check-out process was efficient and effortless and we were out of there in 5 minutes!

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Honest opinion? It may not be your fancy hotel room with a nice plush king bed and white linen but it is definitely a good staycation option with lots of kid friendly activities to occupy. I can’t complain when the bowling alley is just a walk away that some of the adults managed to sneak off for a few rounds of bowling while the kids were sleeping. I will definitely bring our own bikes the next time around so that we can do our family cycle trip along the coast. 🙂

JahBella’s Mummy

Royal Caribbean – Mariner of the Seas – JahBella Part 1

This year we spent our Christmas break on the Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Sea Cruise. You might recall that we had been on a similar Boxing Day cruise 2 years ago when I was pregnant with Bella so I can guess you can consider this our 2nd cruise as a family? See Post Here

We were especially excited or at least Jah was especially excited because his favourite Madagasar characters were going to be on the cruise. 🙂 There is truly a huge difference cruising with a 1 year old as opposed to a 3 year old.

We arrived at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre at about 11am (check-in process and boarding would start from 1130am). We dropped off our check-in bags at the kerbside, settled our long term parking package at the Info Counter and proceeded through the security check-point. Our check-in process at the counter was fairly seamless and fast as we were allowed to use the Priority Check-in line for Crown and Anchor Members. Note that you are eligible to join the Royal Caribbean loyalty programme as long as you have been on at least 1 cruise. Joel was given a little coloured card and we were told to proceed to the boarding gate once our colour was called which happened less than 5 minutes later. Yay!!!

The cabins were not ready for us yet as most of the pax from the previous cruise would have just disembark between 8am to 11am. We were ushered to the Windjammer café where a buffet spread awaited us. To be honest, I was dreading the Windjammer café after our experience on Legends of the Seas, 2 years ago. However the Windjammer Café on the Mariner of the Seas was a very different experience. I found the café very organized, well air-conditioned and there seemed to be a lot of seating and space available. We found ourselves a window seat and the kids were more than happy to enjoy the view and the food.  Joel and I took this time to purchase our drinks package. We chose the middle range package which gave us unlimited soft drinks as well as wine and beer (below US$9) from the menu during meal times and at all the bars. It cost us about US89 per person for the entire 4D3N cruise.  Another tip for families would be to pre-purchased their Evian Water package so that you will have bottles of Evian water waiting for you at your cabin. We needed the water to make milk for our kids and to fill their water bottles. (12 bottles of 1L Evian Water for about US$45?) Definitely cheaper than buying ad-hoc but make sure that you really need that many bottles.

Enjoying the view

Enjoying the view

Very good mood

Very good mood

I'm going to pretend to sleep but I think the cookie is giving me away

I’m going to pretend to sleep but I think the cookie is giving me away

We entered our cabin at 1pm and I honestly don’t know how the housekeeping staff do it but they are able to turn around all the cabins in just a few hours. For this trip, we got ourselves two balcony class inter-connecting cabins. The cabins were a lot more spacious than what I remembered from our previous trips. Its almost like everything is upsized in this trip.

Queen sized bed

Queen sized bed

2/3 of the room - the cupboards, doorway and bathroom was behind me

2/3 of the room – the cupboards, doorway and bathroom was behind me

Our personal view of the ocean

Our personal view of the ocean

We quickly got the kids to take their naps because we were expecting a compulsory Fire Drill at 430pm. Yes I know, seems like a waste to head onboard and then head straight for bed but as the Chinese sayings goes rest is needed if you want to go the distance. :p

The kids woke up happy and refreshed in fact Jah was so happy that he was extra sweet to his cranky sister and kept wanting to hug her!

I love you meimei, I want to hug you!

I love you meimei, I want to hug you!

We headed to our assigned fire drill station and I don’t know if it was because of the rain or if the protocol has changed but we were ushered to a lounge area for our fire drill. Definitely a lot more pleasant than our last experience on the deck and one of the reasons I was very apprehensive about attending a fire drill with two young ones.

We still had some time before our 545pm dinner reservation so we decided to take the kids on a short tour of the ship which was essentially a quick photo on the rainy deck and then a quick introduction to the world of old school arcades. We would be spending a lot of time here in the coming days, thanks to Jah. :p

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A quick tip for those who want to bring home decent family photos at the end of your cruise. There are many photo opportunities with professional photographers during the entire cruise and you can purchase each photo for S$25 each (yeah pretty pricey I know). However if you purchase the unlimited photo package on the first night, you will receive $50 off the package price which means you only pay $200 for unlimited photos and soft copies. We bought the package on the first night and went crazy taking pictures after that (we took home 56 photos in total!!).

Here are some of the professional photos from the first night..

Our after dinner shot before entering the Savoy's Theatre for the Welcome Show

Our after dinner shot before entering the Savoy’s Theatre for the Welcome Show

When the cat (Bella) goes to sleep, the mouse (Jah) comes out to play (to get a late night photo with his fav character Alex!

When the cat (Bella) goes to sleep, the mouse (Jah) comes out to play (to get a late night photo with his fav character Alex!

Next Up – JahBella’s first ‘fine-dining’ experience at Giovanni’s Table (Mariner of the Seas’ Italian Speciality Restaurant) and more…

JahBella’s Mummy

Zoom Park Asia – Trampoline Park – Media Invite       

We were recently invited to the newly opened trampoline park, Zoom Park Asia at Pandan Gardens. We have been wanting to bring JahBella to a trampoline park for the longest time but have been abit apprehensive and uncertain if they will be able to handle it. I worry about the people jumping out of control all around them and whether they will find jumping around boring.

I honestly don’t know why I worry so much but I’m so glad that we had the perfect ‘excuse’ to bring them to one.

Jah has been jumping on his bed a lot recently and a trampoline park is just the right place for our boy to get that jumping out of his system (or well get more jumping into his system ;p)!

Zoom Park Asia is not exactly your regular trampoline park. Apart from the usual trampolines, it also has tons of activities like dodgeball and slam dunk (basketball) that are combined with the trampoline jumping.  Jah was extremely happy to be jumping around and throwing balls at people. Actually I think Joel was very happy to throw the balls at me while Jah went about collecting balls. (don’t ask me why). My worry about people landing on my kids were also unfounded as we were all briefed on the safety rules prior to starting our session.

Dodgeball

Dodgeball

Slam Dunk

Slam Dunk

The kids were very excited to explore the entire Zoom Park, trying out all the different sections and then coming back to the ones they enjoy the most. There was also a very challenging rock wall which jumpers can attempt to climb horizontally. A foam pit awaits you at the bottom if you should fall and trust me you wouldn’t want to fall because getting out of that foam pit is equally challenging! Yes I was unable to get out of it, too fat, too heavy! Don’t laugh, you have to try it for yourself to know what I mean.:(

Mummy is this a slide?

Mummy is this a slide?

Rock Wall and Foam Pit

Other innovative ways of playing with the foam blocks according to Jah

Not sure which kid enjoyed himself more :p

Not sure which kid enjoyed himself more :p

The park also has a very good system for tracking when each session starts or ends. Every jumper is given a colour tag that indicates the time of their jump session and announcements are made when the session for a particular colour ends. All in all, very organized and impressive.

You will also find a café in the park who currently serves simple cakes, snacks and drinks. While most parks or indoor playgrounds may choose to charge an arm and a leg to their captive audience, Zoom Park Asia charges very reasonably for the F&B at their cafe.Great for that 5 to 10 minutes break for kids (and for me) before they re-charge and continue their jump session.

Taking a break but extremely happy!

Taking a break but extremely happy!

Even though Zoom Park Asia may be on the other end of the island from us, it has definitely been placed on our regular go to places. In fact we brought JahBella’s uncle and aunty there with us last weekend and even they admitted it was really tiring good fun! We will be heading there again this weekend at the request of the rest of the Village :p. After all which parent can resist an outing that = fun for them too and  results in a hungry child all ready to eat his lunch and take a 3 hour nap after!

JahBella’s Mummy