Sunday, 23 November 2014

Our time with Legoland - Water park (I)

We visited the Malaysia Legoland Resort last weekend. Spent a day for the Water Park and another day for the dry. Oh yes, we spent an awesome night in its hotel too! 

Together with the Ang and Lee family, we set off at about 9am on Saturday to Tuas checkpoint. The car lines were snake long, and we snail-ed for about an hour before crossing the checkpoint. I reckon it could be the start of the school holidays, that's why the jam. So yeap, remember to get the kids to clear their bladder before setting off. After crossing the checkpoints, it will be a 10 minutes drive to the resort. It's pretty straightforward once crossed, there's signage and directions to bring you into that land.

No worries if you don't have a 'touch and go' card for toll payment, which is MYR 7.50 in and MYR 7.50 out, just drive into the lane that doesn't mention 'touch and go.' Though might be a longer line, you may purchase one or pay cash there. It's recommended that you buy one, if you intend to drive in often.

After arriving, the Daddies parked their cars while Mummies checked in for rooms. Hotel guests are able to park at the hotel for free. Rooms were not ready, so we deposited our luggages in their luggage room. It was rather crowded at its hotel lobby, but we were very 'wow-ed' by its embellishments. Kids will be very much entertained while you do the check in peacefully.

 photo d08d4b13-437f-4fea-b566-3fb3553af0c9_zpsa336ab24.jpg
Majestic looking ship

 photo 000f8798-4bec-4b4b-989c-0c2493e2c190_zps439dbf7e.jpg
Duplo castle

 photo 0f3d8cdd-a9fa-45de-98c2-380d1ed9941f_zpsa0887eb2.jpg
In the sea of lego
It was already nearing lunch after the jam, check ins and some loitering. Oh, remember to pack out your swim wear and accessories before handing the rest to the luggage room. Knowing we'll hit the water park first, I actually had them packed in my backpack at home, just so we can grab and save the trouble of sorting out at lobby. There's a Brick cafe in the water park and 2 restaurants within the hotel. We had KFC just outside the theme park's entrance, there are a few eateries there as well.

After which we changed up and attacked the water park! It's best to put away your unnecessary belongings in the your car or hotel, unless you plan to go for their locker rental - Locker rates are RM20 for a small one and RM40 for a large one per day. My parents were with us, they offered their care taking service over our barangs. Senior citizens are wonderful people, aren't they?!!!

The first stop we played was the Joker soaker. I would relate it similarly to the waterplay area in our local zoo. Think the huge bucket that pours gallons of water every few minutes. Except that they contain more adventurous slides. Some which requires a minimum height of 91cm or 102cm for the taller slides. We were taken over by fun, so I went all over with Jare and he seemed to have entered all the slides alone, successfully. There are a good number of lifeguards around and the slide stations are manned too.

 photo 7a8ef401-8b2f-4920-b98e-8c5180a5e426_zps8c61bb1c.jpg
Joker Soaker

I was then bonding with my little boy at the wave pool, while the man took Jazz to explore the more adventurous fun, which requires a minimum height of 102cm. Jare was only slightly over 90cm. So well there really is limited fun for the below 102cm. He enjoyed his time in the wave pool though, where gentle waves are simulated for some exciting swim. Life vest is provided in this area.

After which, we gathered again at the Build-a-raft river for some relaxing fun in that lazy river. We collected floating legos as we sailed along.

 photo cc6e1671-3f10-4c49-880b-09c2d1438706_zps02c8ed7c.jpg
Jazz and her bestie
So yeap, Jare could only get on these 3 stations, plus a splash safari which we didn't explore (For kids below 5 only).

It wasn't too long later when it started to drizzle and pour. We were rather satisfied with what had been conquered, packed up and left for shower. Yay! Hotel room was ready.

I do think it will be a more well-worth fun if your kids are above 102cm to qualify for most rides. Some requires at least 107cm. About 8 water rides are suitable for the above 102 and 107cm. Tickets are priced according to age and kids above 3 require a ticket. Legoland should consider pricing for kids above 4 years instead.


We bought the 2 days ticket for both water and theme park when we booked our hotel stay:

Combo (Adult 12 - 59 years old): MYR 175
Combo (Child 3 - 11 years old/Senior citizens 60 years and above): MYR 145

Raving about our hotel room next... too much to share! Posts are coming up in 3 installments...

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Get dreamy with Sofzsleep

Having a good night sleep is the best gift any babies or toddlers can present to their parents daily. I'm blessed to have Js sleeping independently and habitually on time, at least for weekdays. A matter of fact, I'm a stay home Mum with an everyday goal of sending them into dreamland no later than 9. All so that I can put those legs up and pop the champagne to celebrate 'me time.'

To achieve that, I'm committed to give them the best sleeping environment, just so that I don't have to entertain excuses on uncomfy bedding which might lead to extended bedtime. After all, a good sleep is the best booster to our everyday activities, a well rested body is essential for anyone's learning and immunity system.

Talking about pillows today - the roles of a good pillow is essential for our little ones. It's more than just having good dreams. Jare often gets stuffy nose during sleep, usually due to cold. A good pillow allows his head to be elevated to ease breathing and respiration difficulties from blocked nose. At least he'll stop waking up to fuss over stuffy nose.

We came to know about Sofzsleep, and found him the perfect pillow! When we first received it, I fell in love with it's firmness, height and structure. All too well thought and designed for little children. Upon receiving, I got him to test some chemistry between the pillow and him. This was the sign I received:

 photo 0928a969-d6f0-4648-9e2f-835e7b5e4805_zps2f7cfc6a.jpg
Ahh... comfy!

and within the next 10 minutes, he fell asleep. His sleep position was as authentic as it was. I didn't move him, though I suspected some soothing music coming out from that pillow.

 photo DSC09788_zps2d5e9f39.jpg
In deep sleep

Sofzsleep's pillows are no ordinary, nah, not any music. They are quality pillows made from natural latex, designed to give maximum comfort and rest. Don't belittle the role of a pillow, comfortable ones give you a restful sleep with you waking up to an energized day. Terrible ones will probably send you nightmares. Choose one wisely, based on your personal preference.

Here are some good features about their pillows:

Excellent Support: Supports the head and neck in a natural spinal alignment and reduces pressure points by adjusting itself as we move throughout the night. I like its perfect measure of elevation, just nice for Jare's build and his stuffy nose.

Durable: Retains its shape for many years and does not require fluffing before use. It's snugly firm and bounces back when pressed. I believe this will also stand through the times of his pillow fights. Anything for kids has to come durable.

Hygienic: Naturally anti-microbial and dust mite resistant. Perfect for allergies prone kids. I get comforted that his head and hair is sleeping comfortably clean. I don't have to worry about what's accumulating within his pillow.

Temperature regulation: The open cell structure of the latex offer good ventilation and guarantee good moisture regulation. I love this feature because Jare perspires to sleep on some nights, when he's overly active and the air con can't cool him down in time. Highly suitable for our weather too.

Natural Bamboo cover: The outer Bamboo cover has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and excellent permeability. You can use the pillow instantly after removing it's packaging, but I used a pillow case over to protect the all white bamboo cover. More for aesthetic too.

These features make their pillows very ideal for young children. Their junior pillows are available in two sizes, S and M. S is recommended for toddlers between 2 to 5 years old and M for 5 years old and above. I got S for Jare, which he whined that it was too small, he still secured his good sleep though. It became evident to me that little kids have their personal preference on pillows too!

Sofzsleep carry a wide range of adults and kids mattresses, as well as bedding accessories. Check them out for your needs and preferences. You can also follow them on Instagram (@sofzsleep). Here's a good deal if you're keen, readers of Mum's calling are entitled to a 15% discount off any product during the promotional period between 22 Nov 2014 to 04 Jan 2015.

To get a 15% discount. Quote Mum's calling:
  • when you order from their facebook page (send them a private message) OR
  • when you order through phone: 61004569 or Email: enquiries.sg@sofzsleep.com

Oh wait... don't leave yet. We have a giveaway! The nice people in Sofzsleep are giving away 2 junior pillows (M size) to 2 lucky readers of Mum's calling (Worth $57.90 each!). To participate, simply accomplish the following 3 steps:
3. Leave me a comment on this blog post below, tell me one good feature about Sofzsleep pillow. Do remember to leave your Facebook account name and email.

Yeap, just 3 simple steps to qualify!

And of course, if you know of any friends who are in that high and low search for quality bedding, feel free to share this dreamy post with them! Click [share on Facebook] at the end of this post.


Terms and Conditions:
  • This giveaway ends on 28 Nov 14, 11.59pm 
  • Open to Singapore residents only 
  • Winner will be contacted using the contact particulars provided when entering this draw
  • Winner will have 48 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 (eg. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or very few real friends) will also be ineligible to win."

Disclaimer: We were given a junior pillow for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was given. All opinions and photos are solely ours.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Gifts to gift for the season!

While Christmas creeps nearer, have you got the gifts ready for this season of love? We've got some favourite items for gift, or if not, you may even consider them for birthdays too. Since our days in the states, we've been great fans of Amazon. For its convenience, price and variety, it has it all. We were more than exhilarated when it started shipping to SG. Though some items are not available to SG, I think it's good enough this far.

I love putting great thoughts when we come to gifts. As much as possible, I do hope to get the most perfect gifts for our friends' kids and hopefully, parents will enjoy it too. We've crafted out our top favourites based on Amazon, from varying budget range, for ages 2 to 12 years old kids. And of course, they ship to SG too. However, it's sometimes a trial and error to double confirm its shipping to SG. Some days it states that the item ships to SG, but when I checkout my cart, it states otherwise. Prices fluctuate along at different days too, gotta monitor like the stock market. Nonetheless, have fun shopping!

Crafty Fun
Photo credit: Amazon
1. Melissa and Doug triangular crayons. USD 5.99 on Amazon. It's for any kids who love doodling or drawing. We are loving these crayons because they are triangular, which means they don't roll off the table easily. Oh yes, I won't have to do that up and down bends and twists to pick fallen crayons when we bring them out. Good for plane ride or when waiting for food in restaurants or food court.


Photo credit: Amazon
2. Melissa and Doug dinosaur figurines. USD 7.99 on Amazon. It states suitable for ages 8 and above, but I think it boils down to the level of perfection parents can accept on that art piece. They carry other paint figurines too.


Photo credit: Amazon
3. Melissa and Doug lace and trace pets. USD 9.89 on Amazon. Suitable for 2 years old to 5. Like it that it promotes fine motor skills, hand and eye coordination for the really young children. Can always easily pick one thread and card for on-the-go.


Photo credit: Amazon
4. Melissa and Doug Animal stamp set. USD 14.99 on Amazon . It states for ages 4+ up, but I think 2.5 years old and above will enjoy some creativity out of it. It's endless creativity out of the set. There are different stamp themes too. 

Realised I'm quite a Melissa and Doug fan. Well, that's because they make one of the finest quality toys around.


Creative and educational Fun
Little kids are filled with creativity. It's about giving them plenty of room to free play. Love it when we blend creativity and educational games/toys with fun.


Photo credit: Amazon
5. Melissa and doug color-n-carry. USD 4.99 on Amazon. Suitable for ages 5 and above, but if your child knows slight reading and writing before that, then it's very much alright. It comes with 6 markers and pages of puzzles and games. We bring it out often for Js, who have ants in their pants when waiting for meals to be served at restaurants or food court. It's very portable and entertains the kids anywhere and anytime. Good for plane rides too. They have a wide range of selection for children below the ages of 5.


Photo credit: Amazon
6. Melissa and Doug bead set. USD 9.27 on Amazon. It states for ages 4 and up, but 3 years old is good. These bead sets are too lovely, it will definitely capture the hearts of our sweet young girls. Watch them create beautiful bracelets and necklaces out of it. Great for motor skills, hand and eye coordination. After which, just keep everything in a ziploc bag for the next play. 


Photo credit: Amazon
7. Boogie Board. USD 28.75 on Amazon. Price varies for different colours. It's for anyone who loves to doodle! Js have one each and we use it very often for on-the-go or when Jazz asks me on spelling certain words, I prefer writing it on here. Else most times, I'll probably have to repeat up to 5 times verbally on how to spell a word. It's very easy to use, doodle and erase!


Photo credit: Amazon
8. Magformers rainbow 30 pcs set. USD 40.37 on Amazon. Its states suitable for ages 6 and up. But Jare had fun with this when he was 2! There's no permanent form for these magnets, the kids can create whatever they like with it. I like it that it boosts creativity and for it being magnetic, it's clean and mess free with no loose pieces lying around.


Jare with his Magna-Tiles
9.  Magna-Tiles clear color 32 Piece set. USD 51.50 on Amazon. Suitable for ages 3 and up. We got the 100 piece set for Js and they really love it. They would build farm, zoo, carpark, airport, rocket and whatever they could think out of it. You know it's well worth fun when they play it frequently.



Games
We love games that build family bonding. Having some games home will always be needy for the rainy days ahead, when we need indoor activities. If a game's for 2 players, we can always do teams. A game for 4 or more is where everyone gets to play. Always a win when great bonding is achieved. 



Photo credit: Amazon
10. Rory's Story cubes by Gamewright. USD 6.84 on amazon. It states for ages 8 and up, but I feel there no limit to imagination. We just added this to our shopping cart, and we're waiting excitedly for its arrival. It goes somewhat like throwing the cubes and link up a story with the pictures on the cubes. We'll be in for a crazy storytelling time. Let those imagination run wild!


Photo credit: Amazon
11. Spot it by Blue Orange! USD 11.17 on Amazon. It states for ages 7 and up, but Jare is playing it very well at 4. A really easy game about spotting same object with another card. Fast to spot is the simple strategy.


Photo credit: Amazon
12.  Monopoly junior by Hasbro. USD 11.88 on Amazon. It states ages 5 and above, but Jare is playing it relatively well at 4 too! We own the version by Parker Brothers, but that doesn't ship to SG for free. I guess this works the same and yeap, there's lots of fun during family game time. Lots of little strategy we can teach from here, savings and investment!

Photo credit: Amazon
13. Hedbanz by Spin master games. USD 11.99 on Amazon. It states suitable for ages 7 and up, but I think 4 and above would play it relatively well. Players take turns asking 'yes' or 'no' questions about the picture on their headband, which they won't know. First player who guess it, wins! They have the limited edition bonus board game, which comes with more card pictures. 


Photo credit: Amazon
14. Candy Land by Hasbro. USD 12.99 on Amazon. It states for ages 3 and above, but Jare started it at 2.5 years old, when he had it as a gift. This is Jare's first board game. We love it for being simple and easy for the really young ones, with no complicated rules or instructions to adhere to.


Photo credit: Amazon
15. Big boogle by winning moves. USD 13.99 on amazon. It states suitable for ages 8 and up, but I think even if your child can spell some simple words like cat or dog, it's a good game. A thinking and concentrate game which we like.


Photo credit: Amazon
16. Blokus by Mattel. USD 35.63 on Amazon. Suitable for ages 5 and up. It's a really fun game about thinking and strategizing. Conquer the play board with the most of your colour, you win. I love playing this with the man. It's about time to rope the kids in for battle.


Books
We love funny books. As much as parents would buy books with great moral for their kids, leave the really hilarious for friends to gift!


The day the crayons quit

17. The day the crayons quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers . USD 10.75 on Amazon. This book gives kids great insight to look at crayons differently. Js enjoy it very much, especially when we came to the colour beige. It's rather wordy, either parent read for the child or if you're child can read, he'll be able to handle the book himself. Only thing is, if you don't mind the US way of spelling colour as color and grey as gray.

Book synopsis: "Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: We quit! Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to brown. Blue needs a break from coloring all that water, while pink just wants to be used. Green has no complaints, but orange and Yellow are no longer speaking to each other."



Photo credit: Amazon
18. The Book with No pictures by B.J. Novak. USD 10.79 on Amazon. This is a hybrid, I say this because it's of good suit for both parents and children. It takes an adult to read this, and for sure, it's gona make any grown up look silly! At that expense, it will definitely make any kid laugh. After all, it's alright to sound and look silly aside our serious mood. Everyone needs some laughter!



Photo credit: Amazon


19. Press here by Herve Tullet. USD 12.32 on Amazon. This is a really fun book for little ones, which might send them into stitches. More for the ages between 2 to 7. You have to watch the video to know why it's funny! Jazz read it to her Daddy.

The following is not from Amazon, but I think it makes an interesting gift for this season too!

Gingerbread house kit
20. Gingerbread house kit. SGD 23.90 from our local supermarket, NTUC. This will be a great time of family fun, for parents and little ones to build a sweet house. I'll never forget the wonderful moments we created when we did our gingerbread house last year.


I hope these are some great gift ideas for you. Oh, Lego make great gifts too, if only Amazon would ship them here. Nonetheless, can always get them in stores. In whatever hunt and journey you went through for sourcing gift, the best gift is probably the thoughts behind that gift. Have fun shopping!

To my friends' kids, you could probably guess what's coming up from us during this season. 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

10 lessons we learn from a kite

After our planes viewing session last weekend, we made our way to Marina Barrage. A great place for outdoor activities. And there, we officiated the opening ceremony of our kite. Kite flying can be done on its roof and though it can get a tad crowded on weekends, you'll still find some space to take flight. 

And you'll know why everyone crowds there for this recreational activity near evening to sunset - Because the view is simply breathtaking!

 photo d2d0edd2-812c-4970-9c74-6f25ddbfc387_zps9d4e8391.jpg
Therapeutic view!

Kite flying isn't as boring as anyone thinks, it's very tactical and many lessons to learn from it. I brought home much thoughts that evening:

1. We know parenting is very much like flying a kite at times, we sing "Let it go, let it go, can't hold it back anymore." We know when the wind is in favour, it's an opportunity to soar. It will be best to control the string with released tension. Just like the restrictions we impose on our kids. The more 'don'ts' imposed, the more they struggle with opportunities and sometimes lose their chance to excel. Freedom comes with responsibility, and with no freedom, there's little chance to teach or exercise responsibility. So parents, be an opportunist, let it go when the it's the right time.

 photo 75c23eb7-a2bf-4c37-8aa3-53027b3efeb8_zps45367ea0.jpg
Let it go!

2. On the contrary, be careful in giving too much freedom. You might lose the kite, get it caught in a tree or send it crashing down. Find the right balance in the string. An environment of threats is where we need to be cautious and pull back a little. Safe environment is where we could go up up and be away. There are always values to be learned from every experience.

3. Receiving advice and help. Parenting is sometimes filled with pride, with us refusing to take heed of good advices. It's true when we say, it takes a village to raise a child. It was coincidental that I bumped into a friend that day. She saw how we struggled and asked us to release more of the string, just so it could take flight. Ahh, so we were trying to keep it close when we should not. We know in times of need, God sends the right people, at the right time, just to save the day. Be open.

4. Space and boundary. We know how kites get all tangled up when they get too close each other. Sometimes, humans are reflected in this manner too. We test the boundaries, and it snaps when we overstep. The more we try to get close at a wrong time, conflicts and arguments surface. Know the boundary of space. Big people and little people need their bubble.

5. We are no experts in kite flying, we just kept trying. It became our humble achievement when the kite took flight for more than 30 seconds. Which to us, parents have exemplified on the value of trying and persevering. It was embarrassing when the kids caught me giving up.

6. When anyone in the family is not emotionally good, set a time to fly the kite together. It's amazing how kite flying dissolves worries and troubles, which in exchange gives us that sense of peace amidst our hectic schedules.

7. Good kite, bad kite, cheap kite or expensive kite, a kite that flies up gloriously is eventually a good kite. Don't look at its appearance, look at the skill set. We love our minion kite though.

8. Different kites, different pace and different heights. It's not about competition, it's about not being all alone up there.

 photo 8b52bb95-2220-454a-9471-3744529fc820_zps09aa487d.jpg
Not looking too lonely

9. When your child wants a hand in it, don't say, "you're too little." It's our opportunity to teach a skill. Whatever the age, we never know what they're absorbing.

 photo 29c79466-7fd6-42b8-b28f-3212a04d23c5_zps4a6dc3aa.jpg
He's sure excited to try

10. I left this last one for the man. He concluded, "Keep trying and enjoy the moment with the kids. It was satisfying to see the joy and cheers from them when the kite finally flew high up. And of course, when there is no wind, the kite will not fly no matter how we hard try. Be patient and wait for the right opportunity 万事具备只差东风"


Now we know, when someone says 'go fly kite', we know he means well.

As the year draws near to a close. There are goals that we are fighting and thriving for. Giving up may be an easy way out, but we know it's unsatisfying. Try flying a kite and come back to our goals. Take our dreams to new heights and soar! 

Monday, 10 November 2014

Belly view of planes

Sometimes, the perfect weekend would be to go slow with no planned agenda within. We just snailed by an unusual weekend where we could really plan our day by ear.

We did planes viewing! Activity that helps slow life down a little, setting you to deep thoughts about appreciating the value of family and bonding. It takes no mega event or big crowd for fun, simplicity is good.

We drove to Changi beach park (Carpark 7) to catch sight of landing planes. Though Jazz seemed to have outgrown this simple form of entertainment since our last visit, I'm glad that Jare was evidently enjoying it. He was really excited over the planes that flew above and past us. Quite a gigantic view too, as it nears. So yeap, while they are still young!

 photo a6146aa6-9636-4da1-b2cf-ff46f54d9489_zpsda0d62bc.jpg
Our local pride - SIA

You may bring your scooters or bicycles to ride along with the breathtaking view too. Evening time would definitely be most perfect. Since we stepped into the month of November, considering the seasonal wind change, we thought landing view would be caught at Changi Business Park, but nah, we caught nothing much there. We zoomed over to Changi Beach Park.

I feel that landing view is more breathtaking than taking off, maybe factoring in the feel of homecoming. It gives an awesome belly view.

 photo 152d831a-4de5-460b-953b-019fcde41476_zps294ccc43.jpg
Popping from our car roof to view

A simple and costless activity that got the kids well-entertained. If weather permits, I think it's really cool to just sit by, watch planes come in and enjoy that drink in hand. We'll definitely be back with our scooters and perhaps, some snacks and drinks too!