Choo Choo Kinda Christmas at City Square Mall

Last Christmas we had some choo-choo fun with Thomas and Friends and this year it was with Chuggington at City Square Mall.

The beloved Chuggington Trainees Wilson, Brewster and Koko return for a new adventure at City Square Mall! The Chuggington Winter Snow Party will also see Lorie and Morgan joining the Trainees, introduce new songs, eco-friendly themes and most importantly, a spectacular light up which will fill the atrium with Christmas cheer. Watch out for falling snow too at the end of the show.

Ayra was unwell the entire week when we caught the show and was still recovering that day, we wanted to give the show a miss, but this girl of ours insisted she wants to go catch Chuggington. Before the show started, she was up following the moves but soon after she got tired, I had to carry her throughout the show cos she refused to let me go.

Zara had fun too grooving to the music. These two girls of mine are so similar in so many ways. When Ayra was at the age of Zara, she too were grooving and moving to music wherever whenever. But now that she is 3, she is more aware and is very very shy when in public. Her mood swing is also much more difficult to foresee and the melt down can happen anytime anywhere very quickly. I hope she will outgrow this phase soon.

By end of the show, the girls were all tired and they just wanted to go outdoor. So we skipped the photo taking opportunity and headed out to ride the Choo-Choo City Express.

Each ride at $6 and the train operates daily from 12pm to 10pm. After getting our tickets, we had to wait for half-an-hour for our turn, so we went to snap some photos with the display around the City Green Park.

When there’s music, there’s a grooving Zara.

The ride around City Green Park on the Choo Choo City Express was about 10 minutes, quite worth the value, since both the girls had enjoyed the ride.

The Chuggington Winter Snow Party ends this weekend, so go catch them at City Square Mall before they close!

Zara’s first experience with sand

Ayra was 17 months young when we first brought her to a sand pit. I will never forget the reaction Ayra gave when she felt sand on her feet for the first time. We still watch the video some times together and Ayra would say proudly she’s no longer afraid of sand.

One weekend we brought the girls to Changi Beach for some sand play, and I was all ready to capture the reaction by Zara when she first touched sand, this little one is too cool lah. She just walked steadily across the sand pit with no issue at all. She was very eager to get her hands into the sand too.

And the big sister, Ayra, was no longer afraid of getting dirty in the sand pit. She even poured an entire bucket of sand onto her own lap!

Ayra had sand on her face, all over the hair, in her pants and everywhere. I was more disturbed than she was, and I kept trying to help dust the sand away for her.

Just when we thought Zara was loving the sand, she started crying when she accidentally spilled sand onto her feet! She was fast to stop her cry when we cleaned it off, and very fast starting another cry when she did it again. We couldn’t help but laugh at the funny things these girls do to themselves without knowing what or why things are happening like that. It was quite an enjoyable evening at the beach, except the part when we forgot the time and Zara was too hungry she started screaming for milk.

Next time must bring timer or set alarm when we are out enjoying time together.

Going Out More with Baby Jogger City Mini Double

Since the day we returned the City Select Double Stroller after our review we had since stopped going out with both Ayra and Zara. Those few weekends without a double stroller were spent at home. Probably because the two girls would rather be carried more than they would like to walk on their own, unless we are in a toys store, the library or at a playground. So going out with both of them can be quite a muscle training session for us.

Thanks to Baby Jogger, we can now go out anytime to anywhere we want because we have got the City Mini Double! Call us lazy you may, but with this double stroller, we are going out every weekend! The girls love their new stroller and would stay in it for almost the entire time we are zooming around from places to places.

Shopping made easy with the City Mini Double

As both girls are happy and comfortable in the stroller, we had no problem spending an entire day out shopping with them. And the big basket below the stroller means no need for hanging bags nor accessory to hold the bottles and diaper bags, just dump everything into the spacious basket, easily accessible from the sides of the stroller.

We went to Changi Beach one evening for a stroll and sand play…

Either or both of them can recline down to rest or sleep without having to disturb the other child’s comfort. This is one plus for us as compared to our experience with the City Select, as we had to bring the kid out from the seat to turn it to face the right direction in order for one or both of them to lie down comfortably.

We attended Zara’s first blogger event at Food For Thought with the City Mini Double

Our first time at Botanic Garden with the girls, and I think we will be heading there more often now. The friendly carpark is stroller accessible and we can get in and out of the carpark, Food For Thought restaurant and the garden very easily. Will plan a family picnic one of these none rainy days!

Single hand pushing possible too!

Those who did not try it before may think pushing a wider stroller is going to be more tedious and difficult to manoeuvre. After using the Citi Mini Double for a month now, we are all loving it! Pushing the stroller around is effortless, and 8″ lightweight front wheels makes going in and out of the train easily; no more wheels trapped in gap! The front-wheel suspension also makes pushing through patchy grass area or sandy places at the beach so much easier and more enjoyable for the girls.

City Mini Double Folds!

The one main feature we prefers more in the City Mini Double is the easy fold. Just lift the two straps on the seats and the City Mini Double folds itself! The stroller can be stored compactly in an upright position.

Image source via here

Zara’s loving it!

Just look at how comfortable she made herself in the stroller, with her snacks and water bottle within reach.

Thanks to this very versatile and steady stroller, Ayra and Zara are getting to go out more together. And the mummy me need not have to strain those muscles carrying the girls for prolong hours while going out together. This is a win-win for the girls and me! Thank you Baby Jogger!

The Lighting-up of ChariTrees at Marina Bay 2014

Before the light-up ceremony…

We were early, so we took a stroll down to take a look at the 25 christmas trees along the Marina Bay Promenade.

While waiting for the light-up ceremony of the ChariTrees at Marina Bay, we explored the Marina Bay City Gallery where I spotted the familiar sphere. And so we left our mark.

Left our mark on a red sphere for the Marina Bay Countdown to 2015

About these red spheres
To commemorate Singapore’s 50th year of independence, 5,000 red spheres will be set afloat in the Bay to form a giant number ‘50’ amidst a sea of 20,000 white spheres. The wishing spheres will be installed in phases from mid-November and will be lit from 26 to 31 December. The spectacular visual installation will carry thousands of wishes from the public made for Singapore’s future.

To keep themselves entertained, our girls just couldn’t stop climbing and running around the Marina Bay Gallery. Girls just wanna have fun right?

Band march-in and performance by the Singapore Police Force

Ayra and Zara were both stunned at their first live military band performance. The march-in and live performance brought back memories of my short but memorable experience with my secondary school military band. Wonder if I will ever get to play the clarinet again.

Energetic dance performance by students

I asked if Ayra would like to dance like them, and guess what she replied!

No I want to dance like Frozen…

Guest-of-honour Mr Desmond Lee

Whom we briefly met before digging into the Christmas buffet dinner served at the ceremony. Both the girls even did hi-fives with him. No photos cos it was totally not planned nor expected.

Token of appreciation to the supporting organisations and companies

The ChariTrees at Marina Bay Promenade from now till 27 December 2014

As a prelude to SG50, Singapore’s Golden Jubilee, celebrate Christmas with Community Chest as we light up the lives and dreams of the disadvantaged with ChariTrees @ Marina Bay. Themed “Giving Trees”, these 25 trees showcase how the community has touched the lives of 300,000 Community Chest beneficiaries. The trees have been adopted by donors and show how they have given various gifts of hope, dignity and togetherness to children with special needs, youths-at-risk, people with disabilities, frail and lonely elderly and families in difficulty.

Each tree decorated the the donors featuring their beneficiary and how the donation helped them. Go take a look and read the little stories of the 25 featured beneficiaries. You’ll never know which may just inspire you to make some donation this festive season.

ChariTrees @ Marina Bay 2014 is jointly brought to you by Community Chest and the Urban Redevelopment Authority. To contribute your special gift to someone in need, please visit comchest.sg. Donations will be matched $1-for-$1 under the Care & Share Movement until 31 December 2014.

eXplorer kid at Downtown East needs a refresh

On an uneventful Sunday, we decided to bring the kiddos to play. One of the nearest for us was eXplorer kid at Downtown East. Never been near any of the eXplorer kid playground so we decided to give it a try.

Excited as always when visiting a new playground, we checked in ourselves at the ticketing counter and even registered Ayra for a membership since it was equivalent to the entrance fee for an hour of play. The girls quickly wore their socks and were ready to cheong into the playground!

17 Aug 2014 - Play at DTE Explorer Kids

Mummy wasn’t pleased at first sight of the entire place from inside eXplorer kid. The place looks dull and rundown, though place was packed (there was a birthday party happening that day) there were more adults sitting around the padded play area than kids. Guess Zara felt the same too when she didn’t have much things to do.

The giant play structure (Mega Play) inside was covered with dust (from where I was looking, at the corners and from the outside of the nets). There was a small rock wall for climbing (The Cliff), but Ayra wasn’t old enough to try it out.

The only place which we had some fun was inside the Lit Ball Pool, but were quickly chased out of it because adults were not allowed in the pool and Zara was too young to be in there alone.

17 Aug 2014 - Play at DTE Explorer Kids

17 Aug 2014 - Play at DTE Explorer Kids

The Toddler Play Area was too just a smaller ball pool and badly lighted, we spent less than 5 minutes there. The other areas were either too loud for the kids (Ball’O’City) or had to pay extra to play (Adventure Highland).

There were some craft activities too for kids, should be free cause all the sets were gone when Ayra wanted to do the sand art.

So did we do during the 30+ minutes of play inside eXplorer kid?

This…
17 Aug 2014 - Play at DTE Explorer Kids

17 Aug 2014 - Play at DTE Explorer Kids

17 Aug 2014 - Play at DTE Explorer Kids

Hope NTUC refreshes their eXplorer kid soon. Its quite a wasted space and seeing the numerous number of playgrounds opening up, business should be great for them after a good renovation.

Why Should One Consider a Double Stroller – Review of City Select 2014 by Baby Jogger

Before No. 2 arrived, I was looking out and considering to purchase a double stroller. I eventually did get the Contours Tandem Stroller when Zara was about 3 months but sold it off after using it twice. It was just too bulky to go out with.

We ended up using a single capella stroller to fit both of them when Zara was able to sit up on her own.

Ayra and Zara on Capella Stroller

Which was super dangerous! I seriously do not encourage anyone to try this at all.

Or on days we know we needed both of them in stroller, we bring two with us!
Garfield Run 2014 - Our First Family 3KM Fun Run

When we had a chance to test drive the new City Select stroller by Baby Jogger, I jumped into the opportunity. And now Ayra has been asking for it after our two weeks trial! Had to try lots of tricks to get her to accept the ones we have at home instead. Super headache!

Still too big…

Let’s start with the not so favourable points of the City Select with extra seat attached.

  • It is still heavy. Sometimes heavy stroller is good, cause it means it won’t fall if weight is not evenly spread across the stroller. In this case, we are glad it is heavy and steady, as it gives us better confidence that the stroller can take the weight of both our girls.
  • Storing can be quite a headache. There wasn’t space in the store room at home for this so we had it left opened and stored next to our dining table during our 2 weeks experience with it. The girls use it as seats while watching movies on TV!
  • Getting in and out of lifts can be rather challenging, especially in a packed one. We try to take the cargo or fireman lifts in shopping malls when we were out in the City Select. Lesser crowd and bigger lifts.

5 Sep 2014 - Sisters Bonding Time

But it works…

The girls loved it and could stay comfortable in the stroller through an entire day of shopping, with no cries nor protect. I was rather shocked when we took them out in the City Select over a long weekend when we had to bring them out.

Napping in the City Select is not a problem for one or both of them, it just shows how comfortable it is for the child when they snooze off whenever they feel like it, without any effort.
5 Sep 2014 - Sisters Bonding Time

Shopping in malls with City Select is more manageable compared to my previous experience with the other double stroller. This pushes with ease, turns well and is able to fit between shelves in stores. Just to avoid stores like Watsons where things are stacked openly and can get quite cramp between rows of stuff.

7 Sep 2014 - Family Shopping Trip to Westgate Mall

I even managed a trip to the mall alone with both of them!
5 Sep 2014 - Sisters Bonding Time

Why you should get a double stroller?

Cause mums shouldn’t stop going out just because we have more than one kid! Owning a double stroller means more outing opportunities with the kiddos even when alone. Do get one with big storage space and easy to use locking system.

Such a stroller is great for those who do not drive and go everywhere with just the train. Unlike most of the other Baby Jogger strollers, you got to remove the seats before you can close this one. Not that ideal for those who need to ride in cabs and 100% a no go for those who need to catch a bus! Even if you drive, unless you have a super huge boot space, else the stroller is just going to take up the entire boot with little or no room for anything else.

The City Select with two seats packed behind the Toyota Rush…

With plans to do away with our family car due to the little use for it these days, and the convenience of the LRT and MRT right from our doorstep, we may just get one double stroller next year! Now that we’ve tried the City Select, hope to try out other options before we decide which to invest in. How I wish there was a stroller rental service in Singapore that rents out all of Baby Jogger strollers!

The Baby and Children Department inside Robinsons At The Heeren

It’s near impossible to snap photos of a shopping mall or stores without shoppers photo bombing left-right-center. So when I was early at the #RobinsonsAtHeeren Ladies night event, I took the opportunity to zoom up to the kids department to snap some photos. I’ve been there a few times already, but only this time I realized the small department for kids is actually very well stocked up with essentials and fun toys.

Sep 2014 - At Robinsons The Heeren

Sep 2014 - At Robinsons The Heeren

Sep 2014 - At Robinsons The Heeren

Sep 2014 - At Robinsons The Heeren

Sep 2014 - At Robinsons The Heeren

Sep 2014 - At Robinsons The Heeren

Moulin Routy

Sep 2014 - At Robinsons The Heeren

The delighted face when she saw her favorite Peppa Pig toys!

Sep 2014 - At Robinsons The Heeren

Sep 2014 - At Robinsons The Heeren

In her words, she was checking out toys that Zara would like to have

Sep 2014 - At Robinsons The Heeren

Good collection of strollers and car seats

Sep 2014 - At Robinsons The Heeren

Neatly arranged products makes me feel good browsing and shopping

Sep 2014 - At Robinsons The Heeren

Pretty party decors available too

Sep 2014 - At Robinsons The Heeren

Rather surprised at the amount of things they managed to stock up and display so nicely at a small corner of the mega store. This is probably one of the most welcoming kids department amongst the Robinsons stores in Singapore.