Monthly Archives: December 2014

Highlights of 2014!

Adam started school

Adam started school

Anya posed for Elly's CNY collection

Anya posed for Elly’s CNY collection

We welcomed Baby David

We welcomed Baby David

his first flight at less than 2 months old

his first flight at less than 2 months old

Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh

said bye to KAP

said bye to KAP

first trip with three kids

first trip with three kids

went back to circus class

went back to circus class

Debs got married and Anya was her flower girl

Debs got married and Anya was her flower girl

Perth without kids

Perth without kids

Port Dickson

Port Dickson

visited Raffles Lighthouse

visited Raffles Lighthouse

learnt how to make an old-school cake

learnt how to make an old-school cake

learnt how to play the ukelele

learnt how to play the ukelele

Anya's first school concert

Anya’s first school concert

Nepal for our 9th anniversary

Nepal for our 9th anniversary

first trip with 3 without help!

first trip with 3 without help!

Christmas with friends and loved ones

Christmas with friends and loved ones

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Fisher-Price Play IQ and Laugh & Learn® Smart Stages™ Vacuum

A few months back, I took the Fisher-Price Play IQ quiz to assess David’s level of development. This quiz helps the parent to keep track of the child’s physical, cognitive and social & emotional progress and it was very useful for me because I’ve gotten quite complacent (and a lot lazier) with the 3rd child and have no idea if he’s reaching his milestones!

After doing the quiz, I discovered that Baby D is A Learner Lover and was exhibiting a high cognitive play IQ. By clicking on the other links on the page of the results, I could get advice from the experts and learn more about the toys that were suitable for him. Also, there were suggested online games & apps I could use and different learning activities I could carry out with him. It’s really comprehensive and, more importantly, tailored to each child’s needs!

One of the toys that was suggested for David was the Laugh & Learn® Smart Stages™ Vacuum. It’s suitable for kids aged 12- 36 months but for some reason, the older ones like to play with it too. I think they like pretending that they are vacuuming the floor. It’s probably good practice for when I actually need them to start helping out around the house!

Laugh & Learn® Smart Stages™ Vacuum

Laugh & Learn® Smart Stages™ Vacuum

The Smart Stages™ technology means that learning content changes as baby develops. There are three level of plays with more than 30 sing-along songs, tunes and phrases. So you choose the level that’s developmentally appropriate for your child and manually switch it up when you think your child is ready for the next level (or when you have heard the songs and phrases from the current level so many times that you’re going crazy)!

checking out his new toy

checking out his new toy

The Laugh & Learn® Smart Stages™ Vacuum introduces the child to colours, shapes, opposites and letters, and David loves pressing the different buttons and the switch to listen to all the delightful sounds coming from the cute little vacuum. It’s very intuitive for him and I don’t even have to demonstrate how to play with the toy.

tastes pretty good!

tastes pretty good!

Baby D is at the stage where he’s standing on his own but not walking yet so the Laugh & Learn® Smart Stages™ Vacuum comes in handy in helping to develop his gross motor skills. He has been standing unsupported for longer periods of time and can even bounce up and down on the spot. Looks like he’s going to start walking way earlier than his older siblings (and that’s going to be a whole new level of craziness for me)!

interesting lights and sounds coming from it

interesting lights and sounds coming from it

Personally, I like the toy because it looks cute, sounds pleasant and isn’t irritating at all. It can be switched off when I’ve had enough of it and there are no cords or small parts that can be dangerous to a young child. Most importantly, the baby (and his older siblings) actually like playing with it and it didn’t get abandoned in a sad corner after being played with a few times. The soothing sounds of vacuuming also make me feel that my house is cleaner. Haha!

I think he approves!

I think he approves!

Disclaimer: We received the toy from Fisher-Price for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Christmas and the Joy of Giving

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

How was your Christmas? We had a few gatherings with friends and family and we really enjoyed just being able to spend time with loved ones. Of course, the kids were delighted to receive so many presents and it was hard to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas.

If I ask Anya why we celebrate Christmas, she would tear herself away from her presents just long enough to recite the answer she knows I want to hear. Indeed, we celebrate the birth of our Saviour and we want to bless others because we have been so richly blessed. For now, we can only hope to set a good example for the kids and get them involved in thinking of the less fortunate around us.

FOX Christmas

This year, we have tried to be a blessing in many small ways. We raised more than $500 for Club Rainbow by selling Rainbow Loom charms and bracelets. We took part in BB Share-A-Gift by buying food items and volunteering to deliver food hampers to beneficiaries. Most recently, we also donated 200 t-shirts to Touch Community Services. This donation was initiated and generously sponsored by Fox Fashion.

Next year, we will be sponsoring an orphan in Myanmar and I would like the kids to think about children who do not have what they take for granted. As they get older, I hope that the kids begin to understand the true meaning of Christmas. With time, may they will eventually be the ones to initiate community projects and reach out to the needy.

FOX Christmas

GIVEAWAY

Fox Fashion is also giving away a $100 voucher to one lucky reader!

To qualify, simply do the following by Wednesday, 31 December 2014, 2359H (Singapore time):
1. Like the ‘Fox FashionFacebook page.
2. Like the ‘In the Wee HoursFacebook page.
2. Like and comment on this Facebook post telling me what you love most about Christmas.

Terms & Conditions: This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only. Winners will be contacted through Facebook message and will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. All incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries will be verified before the winners are announced. To be fair to our sponsors, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (e.g. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or very few real friends) will also be ineligible to win.

Zoom Park Singapore

Last week, some friends and I checked out Zoom Park with our kids. It’s the largest indoor trampoline park in Singapore and includes 2 dodgeball courts, 3 basketball slam dunk lanes, a 17-metre lateral rock wall, and a foam pit. I didn’t take many photos because I was too busy having fun with the kids.

What I liked: It’s in the West and pretty easy to get to from my place or my mum’s place. It’s more interesting than the other trampoline parks because you can do a lot more than just bounce around. Anya likes rock-climbing so she spent some time on the rock wall and the kids also had fun playing dodgeball and dunking basketballs. My favourite part is the Slam Dunk because it’s probably the only time I can get a basketball through the hoop.

foam pit and rock wall

foam pit and rock wall

climbing up

climbing up

the main jumping area

the main jumping area

having a race

having a race

playing dodgeball

playing dodgeball

slam dunk

slam dunk

with my friends (and 2 of the 10 kids we had with us)

with my friends (and 2 of the 10 kids we had with us)

What could be improved: I think some signs indicating where the main entrance is would be helpful. The trampoline park is located inside a huge tent and we walked 3/4 of the perimeter before finding the entrance. FYI, it’s on the side that faces Cycle & Carriage. They are also very particular about you wearing socks with extra grip, so if you brought along normal socks, you have to buy theirs. Another thing that bugged me was that when I was filling in my details for the waiver on their computer, I could see all the data (IC numbers, phone numbers, names, etc.) that other people had keyed in! I think they need to adjust their computer settings. Finally, I think they have some issues with their air-conditioning because it was HOT in there! The kids had to stop and rest in front of the air cooling units very often.

I think these are all teething problems that can be resolved quickly so let’s hope that things are better the next time we decide to drop by!

Zoom Park Singapore
200 Pandan Gardens #01-14
Singapore 609336
Tel: 63344615
Email: info@zoomparkasia.com

Check out their website for more information about opening hours and pricing.

Hobbiton in Mata Mata, New Zealand

We visited Hobbiton in Mata Mata, New Zealand three years ago. Anya was just 2 years and 9 months old then and Adam was a 4-month-old dumpling. It was amazing and definitely a must-do when in New Zealand. At that time, we were told in no uncertain terms that we were forbidden from posting pictures of Hobbiton online until all The Hobbit movies were done.

Of course, I see tons of Hobbiton pictures on the Internet all the time, even before this third instalment was released, but I am a woman of my word so none of those photos were posted by me. We went on a double date on Thursday night to watch The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies with the same couple that we visited Hobbiton with. Now I feel free to share my pictures of Hobbiton from 3 years ago and a (terribly short) review of the movie.

Gollum welcomes us to Hobbiton

Gollum welcomes us to Hobbiton

family pic before our tour

family pic before our tour

Hobbiton cat

Hobbiton cat

even the 'mould' on the sign is specially created

even the ‘mould’ on the sign is specially created

Adrian carrying a halfling

Adrian carrying a halfling

incredibly cute

incredibly cute

look out that glass in the door

look at that glass in the door

across the water

across the water

little hobbit houses in a row

little hobbit houses in a row

the attention to detail is amazing

the attention to detail is amazing

wheel

wheel

Hobbiton cat again

Hobbiton cat again

water pump

water pump

Adrian and halfling on the move

Adrian and halfling on the move

Hobbiton is a huge area

looking down

walking up to Bilbo Baggins' house

walking up to Bilbo Baggins’ house

just, wow

the most famous hobbit house

family pic outside a little house

family pic outside another little house

fast-moving hobbit

fast-moving hobbit

scarecrow

scarecrow

back on the bus!

back on the bus!

Here’s my review of Battle of Five Armies; no major spoilers if you have read the book. Personally, I think The Hobbit would have done better split into two instalments than three. Nonetheless, I liked Batle of the Five Armies. It was a tad indulgent with way too many scenes of characters looking meaningfully into the distance and a bit draggy here and there, especially when we were waiting for Thorin Oakenshield to break out of his stupor. I know Legolas is not in the book but he is in the movie and I definitely enjoy the scenes of him in action. *insert heart-shaped eyes emoticon*

In short, is Battle of the Five Armies worth watching? Yes. Is Hobbiton worth a visit? Without a doubt!

Snap Happy at Trick Eye Museum

Another rainy-day activity to keep the little ones entertained when the weather outside is frightful. We were at Sentosa the other day with some friends and had originally intended to take the kids to the wet playground. It was a good thing we changed our mind because it started to pour! Fortunately, we were happily taking photos at Trick Eye Museum.

Trick Eye Museum is located at Resorts World Sentosa and a perfect place to retreat to when it’s too hot/ too rainy for the beach or Universal Studios. Two-dimensional images come to life at Trick Eye Museum, no 3D glasses needed! We had so much fun hamming it up for the camera and the kids enjoyed themselves too. Here are some of the many photos we took there.

children in a cage

children in a cage

I fit perfectly into the female cut-out!

I fit perfectly into the female cut-out!

Anya's head on a plate

Anya’s head on a plate

floating in mid-air??

floating in mid-air??

we are gigantic!

we are gigantic!

kidnapped by a dinosaur

kidnapped by a dinosaur

dangling upside-down

dangling upside-down

climbing with the panda

climbing with the panda

tightrope walking

tightrope walking

great balance!

great balance!

Levitation 101

Levitation 101

the floor is lava!

the floor is lava!

Anya the mermaid

Anya the mermaid

children in a snow globe

children in a snow globe

flying on a broomstick

flying on a broomstick

angel on a bike

angel on a bike

Some tips for Trick Eye Museum:

  • No short skirts or low-riding pants. You will need to sit on things or even lie down to create some of the optical illusions and you really don’t want to be flashing complete strangers in the process.
  • Check that your camera is fully charged. I brought along an extra battery for my camera but realised that it was flat. Good thing I had taken almost all the photos I wanted to take by then and switched to my phone camera for the rest.
  • Be considerate of the people around you. Do a quick scan before you walk past any of the paintings to avoid accidentally photobombing someone else’s photo.
  • Stand at the suggested photo point to take your photo but also ensure that you get the correct angle so you can achieve a convincing optical illusion. For example, in the photo where I’m ‘walking’ on the tightrope, you need to make sure you get the line of the tightrope straight.

Trick Eye Museum is fun for the whole family and very children-friendly because they are allowed to touch everything! You don’t have to worry about forcing them to pose for pictures because they will be more than happy to see pictures of themselves in all sorts of wacky situations.

Trick Eye Museum
Resorts World Sentosa
26 Sentosa Gateway #01-43/44
Singapore 098138
Tel : +65 6795 2370 / 2371
enquiries@trickeye.com
Open daily: 10am – 9pm

Ticket prices:
Kids below 4 go in free.
Kids (4-12 years): $20
Adults (13-59 years): $25
Seniors (60 and above): $20
You can buy your tickets online to save 10%.

GIVEAWAY

I have 3 tickets to Trick Eye Museum to be won by one lucky reader!

To qualify, simply do the following by Friday, 26 December 2014, 2359H (Singapore time):
1. Like the ‘In the Wee HoursFacebook page.
2. Like and comment on this Facebook post telling me your favourite rainy day activity for kids.

Terms & Conditions: This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only. Winners will be contacted through Facebook message and will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. All incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries will be verified before the winners are announced. To be fair to our sponsors, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (e.g. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or very few real friends) will also be ineligible to win.