Chinese and Japanese Garden

This June holiday, I hope to bring Faith out to enjoy as many outdoor activities as possible. I would love to get her to explore the environment that she is in so that she could stay inquisitive and learn along the way; I just hope I have the patience to share with her! Building sweet memories, that’s part of the plan too. Initially, the family had wanted to go on a trip to Taiwan but that did not materialise in the end. No worries, we will tour our city-state instead!

This morning, we decided to visit the Chinese and Japanese Garden located at Jurong East. I had been there when I was a kid myself and another time when I was participating in a run while the hubs has not visited these gardens. It would be a good change from the usual gardens that we have visited.

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We reached the Chinese Garden at around 8am as we knew that it would be really killing to stroll in the heat if we had arrived later. We are also early risers so this timing is actually good for us. We had wanted to get Faith to skate-scoot in the garden but were told that that is not allowed. ;(

20150601_082309I’m rather impressed by the interior. It is well-kept and scenic and Faith was really engaged by the things that she saw along the way.

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My only complaint? The heat. But there is nothing we can do about it but to bear with it. Thankfully, the little girl didn’t complain at all.

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Bringing the little one to be in the outdoor as much as possible is something that I would do intentionally. Personally, I’m not one who loves to stay indoors because I believe she could learn more and be stimulated about the environment when she is in the outdoors. Getting her to appreciate nature is something I’m very mindful of and we could talk about God’s creations as we explore. Also, I don’t like her to be sheltered in air-conditioned areas for too long. It’s just not healthy.

20150601_083841The dragon girl with her Papa

20150601_083633And she willingly posed for us.
“Ouch! i’m bitten by the snake!”

IMG-20150601-WA0025We reached the Japanese Garden as we crossed the connecting bridge. There was this area where we saw a girl feed the fish and at that moment, I regretted not bringing some stale bread! Faith was really interested in feeding them but well, we didn’t have any food for them!

20150601_085132Beautifully sculpted plants. So zen…

20150601_085433She spotted squirrels and stayed in this spot for quite a while.
“Squirrels, where are you? Come down…NOW!”

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After walking for an hour, the little one was visibly tired and as she descended from a flight of stairs, she lost her balance and fell down, sustaining bruises and scratches on her right hand and face. Oh, poor girl. My heart ached for her but I have been trained to remain calm because if I had responded in panic, she would too. It must have hurt and she cried out. But thankfully, she was all calm after a minute. I really do think she has a high threshold of pain after all those episodes of falling. 😉

20150601_090740All is well again. No big deal right?

20150601_090817Manja queen.

We departed from the gardens in 2 hours’ time. It was a nice walk, really but I wish that the weather can be cooler. Of course, one shouldn’t compare these gardens with the actual ones in China and Japan. It’s a far cry to be honest but still, these gardens are a refreshing change as compared to the ones in our neighbourhood.

It would be good to pack some snacks along the way and definitely refreshing drinks are essential!

Chinese and Japanese Garden
Main Garden : 6am – 11pm (daily)
Bonsai Garden & Garden of Abundance: 9am – 6pm (daily)
Admission: Admission to main garden free.
Location: 1 Chinese Garden Singapore 619795

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Our first weekend together

Excitement is in the house as we welcomed our brother and his family back for a month. My parents have been waiting for this day for so long and it is a no wonder that mom got busy on that day when they arrived = scrumptious dinner!

We spent our first weekend together at Sentosa as we wanted to bring them to the Port of Lost wonder. My brother has been stationed in Shanghai and my nephew has little opportunity for water play. We must expose him more!

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The kids were waiting rather impatiently, especially the older ones since they knew what to expect.

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As usual, we were the first in line because we were simply kiasu! Hah!

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Yay! Off we go!

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Faith and her cousin, Lester, who seemed very apprehensive.

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Remember to get the kids to drink lots of water and apply the sunscreen!

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The younger kids stopped playing after an hour while the older ones were still enjoying themselves.

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Eventually we stopped and proceeded to Siloso Beach for our lunch. It’s to Coastes again! We chose this eatery because we wanted a place that the kids could continue to play while the adults had their meal. Play what, you ask. Sand!

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Remember Faith is afraid to go into the sand, let alone play with it? I think {good} peer influence is important because when she saw that her cousins were playing, she went ahead as well.

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And then when she saw that her cousin Dayen was fetching water from the sea, she wanted to do so too which was really surprising! We brought her once to the beach and she resisted the waters but now, she wanted to do it. I grabbed the opportunity to go into the waters with her. I’m reminded again to always observe what’s she doing and to encourage her (not to restrict her) whenever she’s ready for any task/adventure. In today’s case, it’s the sand and seawater!

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The adults had a relatively easy time for lunch. Yay!

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It’s an enjoyable weekend, I must say. Not sure where we would be headed to next as a family.

😉

Melbourne : Collingwood Children’s Farm

One of the goals for our recent Melbourne trip is to visit farms. There are a few that we have shortlisted – Bundoora, Collingwood and Laurimar Glen farmstay. In the end, we settled for Collingwood Children’s Farm and we are glad that we did so!

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Collingwood Children’s Farm is an attraction spot that one has to visit if you are travelling with kids. It’s a taste of the country in the city and is accessible via the train (the farm is only 4km away from the city!)

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After alighting from the Collingwood station, the hubs used the GPS which led us to the farm after about a 20 minutes’ walk along the trail of the Yarra River. The farm is nestled in a bend of the the river, amongst the river red gum and paperbark trees and it was really delightful to be greeted by cyclists, runners and sheep (!) as we made our way to the farm.

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By the time we reached our destination,  our stomachs called out for food. Thankfully, there’s the Farm Cafe which serves really decent and healthy food. I had Green Eggs which is made of Broccoli and almond pesto, spinach, quinoa, herbs, poached eggs, parsley aioli and crispy
fried onions. The hubs had the Farmer’s Breakfast which is a sizable portion and no doubt delicious. We ordered the babyccino (made up of froth with chocolate powder on top) for Faith but she obviously didn’t want to even taste it! Grrrr!

Love these dishes and this experience has inspired me to make hearty breakfast when I get back home!

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It’s crowded that day and we had to wait for about 20 minutes for our meals and caffeine fix. Since we were not in any rush, it’s a great time to chill and people-watch and have fun with the kiddo! The farm seems like a hit with families with young children and the place is stroller-friendly too!

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You can get up close and personal with the typical farmyard animals and there are pony rides, tractor rides and cuddling of the guinea pigs, just to name a few activities. Every second Saturday of the month, the farm organises a farmer’s market selling fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables, free range meat, ice-cream, honey, just to name a few. Aren’t you excited already? We didn’t get to enjoy it since we went on the first Saturday. ;(

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We spent some awesome few hours on the farm and the little one was intrigued by the farm animals.

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Near to the farm is The Abbotsford Convent where you will find more choices for food and drinks. There is also a garden nearby if you intend to have a picnic.

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And guess what we did when we returned to the hotel at the end of the day? Debrief Faith on the animals that she had seen on the farm! This is an educational trip no less! Hah!

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😉

Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden – Fun for all!

C and I decided to go to the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden since Sab can’t join us for the weekly playdate. I have not been to this garden before since Faith was too young to enjoy the facilities then but I have heard wonderful review about it! Today is the day! Faith should be able to enjoy some of the facilities.

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Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden opens at 8am and after breakfast, Faith and I went over to meet C and her two boys. There were busloads of kindergarten children visiting the garden today. Boy, it’s going to be crowded!

There are 8 magical spots in the garden but we only managed TWO in a span of 2 hours. Our first stop is the sandplay area at the tall tree house. The boys got down to play quite immediately while Faith still could not appreciate sand and stood on the mat for a mighty long time.

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After half an hour or so, we proceeded to the waterplay area. Faith followed the sound of the water and got to the right place! Good sense of hearing, you’ve got there!

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The waterplay area isn’t fantastic but they have a few small fountains which got the children all excited. Children just love water, don’t they? We spent an hour just in this area. Amazing!

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Soon, the waterplay area got crowded because the kindergarteners joined in. What fun! So much happy sound!

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Our outing was cut short due to an overcast sky. It’s going to rain soon! We quickly gathered the kids, cleaned them and proceeded to the entrance for our ‘picnic’. We had wanted to do so at the Botanic Gardens but had to abandon that idea due to the impending rain. Do note that food is not allowed in the garden but there is a small cafe good enough for some bites. The staff kindly allowed us to have our ‘picnic’ as we explained to them that our kids were hungry. ;p

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We had quite a feast – salmon sandwiches, carrot muffins, blueberries, bananas, avocado and raisins. Awesome, isn’t it? I brought along the new feeding range from Fisher Price and the bright colours did cheer us up!

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Would we come again? Oh, most definitely! We still have the other 6 magical spots to discover!

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To be honest, I actually enjoyed myself. I feel like I’m a kid again! #Idonthavechildhood

Family fun at River Safari

IMG_2248The family spent the last day of August at River Safari, all thanks to the SIL whose workplace was holding its Family Day.

As it was a weekend, you could expect a huge crowd. We reached the park at around 9am and followed the trail where it leads the visitors to learn about the various famous rivers like the Mississippi River and Mekong River, to name a few. It was rather educational, giving snippets of information on them. However, there simply were too many people on that day and stopping to read could be a real pain.

 

The highlight was perhaps the famed pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia and it makes us wonder how they are related to rivers. Hmm…

Anyway, we managed to catch both Kai Kai and Jia Jia. The latter who is more introverted went back to her comfort zone after roaming out of her den once. Kai Kai was just basking in the sun.

There were only two eateries at the River Safari and it makes much sense to pack your own food (to avoid queuing for long)! It’s definitely more economical this way too. 😉

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River Safari was mostly sheltered so visitors don’t really have to worry too much about rainy days.

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Remember to bring your own food! These egg tarts were supplied by Mabel!

Not all facilities are in operation currently. Perhaps, when the Amazon River Quest boat ride and animal exhibits along this ride are available (later this year), it will be more worth it to visit. Oh yes, I would definitely go on a weekday morning in future.

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A family outing to S.E.A. Aquarium

It is really rare that my siblings are back at the same time and when that happens, you bet we will take the opportunity to go out as a family, sans my father who has to go for his dialysis treatment and the hubs who has to work (and couldn’t take leave that day).

It was a Tuesday and before we set off, we went to our uncle’s noodle stall to have our breakfast. It’s tiring having meals with the kids and our outing had not even begun!

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After breakfast, it’s time to set off! Since we have quite a number of people, we had to travel in two cars. We have decided to park at Vivocity since we would be going back there for dinner and it’s a surprise $12 for parking from about 10am to 8pm!

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The troop marching in…

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It’s a mighty hot day that day and it’s best to have your shades and hats on!

Although it was a Tuesday, there were a lot of visitors, both locals and tourists. I’ll tell you what we did when we were in the aquarium. For my sister and BIL who have two boys, they really were amazed by the fishes and went ‘whoah’ the whole time. For my elder bro, SIL and I who have young kids, we were just busy feeding the kiddos and wheeling the prams, making sure to avoid crushing the feet of others since it was dark in there.

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I’m thankful for my sis and BIL who are very enthusiastic in educating the young ones, like Faith, and telling her about the various fishes we saw. Good job!

IMG_6009I must say the underwater world is really amazing and colourful, no doubt!

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For lunch, we popped by here for some Malaysian local food. Sedap!

While you think that the highlight is the visit to the S.E.A. aquarium, I think it is the waterplay near the beach that captures the hearts of our little ones. The children went crazy playing with the water and little Faith joined the cousins too. I was at first worried about how she might take to it and feared that she would drink the water but oh well, just let her play! I can’t shield her from everything! Faith did enjoy herself. 🙂

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It was definitely a fun trip albeit a tiring one. My brother and her family have gone back to SH and a week later, my sister and her family to Indo. Faith will surely miss the company of her cousins.