So remember when I blogged about the Singapore Innovative Children’s Festival a few days ago? I brought both kids to The Magical Pond (on the morning we left for Copenhagen – yes we managed to squeeze it in!) and was so impressed.
A little booklet on The Magical Pond, and other performances by SICF
Waiting to go in and watch the show
It’s true, their marketing. It honestly is one of a kind, and both unique and super fun at the same time.
I’m very accustomed to the usual children’s plays and performances. This is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
It’s on the ceiling!
I admit, I was drawn to that alone ;) So the idea is that up to 12 adults (with their kids) lie down on cushions and mats.. and watch The Magical Pond above them. It’s meant to relax the kids and make you feel like you’re in the pond, looking up.
A world-first in children’s shows… where it’s all on the ceiling
I really enjoyed the music and found out later it was Vivaldi. The kids were all pretty awestruck with the moving images. Frankly, the movie isn’t going to entrance the adults like it did the kids. It’s super boring for adults. LOL!! If you’re familiar with The Hungry Caterpillar, well, the images are like that – sort of abstract, geometrical, and colourful. It’s been seen to be highly engaging with young children, and it’s evident by the way my kids sat through the 45 min performance without fussing!
Screenshots of what was shown on the ceiling
Hunter, thoroughly enjoying the show
Looking all snuggled up and ready for a nap ;)
Targeted for kids aged 7-18 months, I found that actually, Hunter (28 months) may have enjoyed it even more than Carter! He spent the whole time giving us a running commentary on what was going on (look mama, trees! balls! tomatoes!…. ad infinitum) and had a BLAST with the interactive activities weaved through the show.
Carter, very pleased with his giant sunflower to wave around
Catching fish! Hunter’s on the right using his leg to kick the fish.
Little balls and rubber duckies to play with
Playing with bubbles after the performance
I’d liken The Magical Pond to having a play group in your home. You chill out in a very relaxed and comfortable environment with your baby and other babies, and there are little toys and activities to amuse them too. Really great concept, and so engaging. Love it!
Carter has gone into hyperactive mode this month. After discovering he can crawl and cruise, he just. can’t. get. enough. He can’t sit in a stationary stroller and in his high chair for more than 10 minutes without trying to scramble out. When he’s out, he just scrambles everywhere like “he’s got ants in his pants”, as Chris pointed out. My biceps and forearms are perpetually sore from holding him back and/or pulling him back to me.
I can’t help but remember how utterly docile and obliging Hunter was at this age… simply just sitting there whilst I had long lazy lunches with my friends. To be fair, Carter does do this too, but not 100% of the time like Hunter did! It makes me fear when he starts walking properly on his own…. man.
Swimming. A fab way to drain excess energy from a very active baby.
He’s tipping the scales at around 11KG or so. If you’ve seen him in real life, I guess you’d think he was about 1 year old… most strangers do. He’s hefty, he’s solid, and he makes my arms ache when I carry him!
But the point is, he’s healthy and growing well. He’s at the top percentile for both weight and height, but I’m hoping his weight does come down to average once he starts walking (like Hunter did), so we don’t end up with some overweight kid on our hands..
Taking his weight about 2+ weeks ago
Still doing most of his poos in his potty. He will poo in his potty almost 100% of the time when he’s at home (and he normally poos at night after dinner, so we are almost always at home). But if he needs to go during the day when I’m out, he’ll go in his diaper since I don’t carry a portable potty with me – oops. Will also do pee in his potty with around 90% success rate, but if he’s not plonked on the potty he’s perfectly happy peeing in his diaper.
Wearing his Charlie Banana training pants (ie. the cloth diaper without the absorbent insert) at home. He’s hanging around the kitchen door eagerly waiting for me to prepare his dinner.
Carter was also baptized this month, which was a very special and meaningful occasion. And thankfully, he did very well, with no crying! He just looked at the pastor with wide surprised eyes the whole time ;)
Just before he went up on stage to get baptized
EATING – I dropped his afternoon feed a few weeks ago, because he now refuses to breastfeed outside. He gets waaaay too distracted and it’s simply impossible! And recently, I dropped his 10PM dream feed too. This means he lasts 12 hours overnight without a feed. I thought he’d have trouble dropping the dream feed, but nope, he never cared. So this means I’m now down to 2x/day breastfeeding, first thing in the morning and last thing before his bedtime. I’ll keep this up til he turns 1 year old.
He now RELISHES his solids like a starving animal. And he just wants to eat allllll the time. He’s starting to get really disinterested/rejecting baby puree… and wants chunky baby food (that I steam but don’t blend) or food straight off our plates. It’s such a delight to see!!!! He actually goes FRANTIC when he spots us eating when he’s not. So I always need to have a tub of snacks to sate him, or be prepared to give him food off my plate. He has zero teeth but has managed to eat beef, chicken, fish, pasta, rice, etc etc…. straight off our plate. Oddly though, he only wants food placed in his mouth and refuses to hold it to eat (ie. chewing on a chicken wing, or holding a long strip of meat).
Eating literally anything and everything that’s placed in his mouth. With gusto!
SLEEPING – Naps 3x/day… still. Really unusual as most babies by now have dropped down to 2 naps. Doesn’t really affect me and he’s good with napping most of the time, so whatever.
And… we kicked him out into his own bedroom!!!! By ‘bedroom’, I mean really dull storeroom with tons of boxes and crap piled to the ceiling. Mum reckons we’re mean cos it casts shadows everywhere and scares babies…. she probably has a point ;) But, we had to kick him out because he was waking up 4+ times a night. The night we kicked him out, and from then on, he’s slept WAY better! I think he’s just like Hunter, who needs his own quiet room and privacy before he’ll sleep. He does have an annoying habit of waking up at around the 3-4am mark, demanding his pacifier. Unbelievably annoying because whilst it only takes a few seconds to stuff it in his mouth and he’ll fall asleep again, it still means we have to get up to do it. Do it yourself, Carter, you lazy ass!!
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT – We have on our hands a climber. He has no sense of danger and is game for anything. I don’t even know how he manages to scrambled up stuff! He cruises easily and can stand unassisted for about 5-8seconds. He does this when he’s holding on to a toy though, because then he feels the security of holding onto something. Nothing that impressive though because it’s not like he’s doing it all the time and knowingly doing it, but still fun for us to see.
I’m not sure if his hand-to-eye coordination (ie. picking a small piece of food off a plate and bringing it to the mouth to eat) is average for a boy infant, or poor. But I’ve noticed that for small pieces of food, he’ll pick it up with the pincer grip, but drop it just as he’s putting it in his mouth. No problem at all when it comes to larger sized food though. Also made me realise that Hunter was really advanced with hand-to-eye coordination as he could easily do all this by the time he was 8 months old.
He now drinks water from a straw cup. Still has his milk from a teat bottle but I’ll change that to a regular cup once he’s 12 months old, like Hunter did.
Turned my back for maybe 5 seconds and he’d crawled straight across the bedroom and climbed up the steps….
So determinedly standing up by himself!
SPEECH DEVELOPMENT – Been saying “Dada” for maybe 2 months or so now. And pretty much babbles that constantly when he’s awake.. at various intonations, as if he’s having a real conversation ;) Will say “Mama” to me when he’s particularly desperate (ie. for boob), but otherwise calls everyone and anything “dada”. Far more vocal and chatty than Hunter was at this age.
Hunter has polarized into a love/hate relationship with Carter. He’ll always ask me “Mama, where’s Carter gone now?” and delights in saying Good Morning to him every day. He has a special big-brother power to make the little one gurgle and scream with glee! But.. he’s starting to realise Carter is an actual person now, especially since he’s now so active and stands upright. He gets really annoyed when Carter stands at the train table and slaps the trains around or throws the tracks off. We have to keep reminding him all the toys are “for BOTH Hunter and Carter”, but it’s like in one ear and out the other!!
But more often than not, they are incredibly cute together and I don’t even think Hunter realises there was a life pre-Carter. That’s the benefit of having kids so closely aged :)
A typical day – Carter eagerly tossing everything all over the train table, and Hunter getting grumpy about it
I’m frequently asked if they’re twins. I guess they do look like twins at a glance!
Rockin’ the playground
Happily playing together on the same toy. Win!
Monkeys at the playground
Sitting together at GRUB cafe. And not slapping each other on the head. Yay!
Happy 10 months, baby wombat! Only 2 more months til you turn 1 year old. Oh my. You are SUCH an easy-going and happy baby to look after… you delight everyone around with your big fat happy grins. I love how you only fuss if you’re tired or hungry, and you’re otherwise happy to just be. I often find myself lost in your bright but soulful dark eyes and you still have your special smile and special cuddle for me.. which melts me into a puddle every single time. I love how you always make all of us laugh with your silly antics and happy giggles! I just love YOU :)
There was a lovely little outdoor thingy called Flipside at The Esplanade over the past week or so. We figured it’ll be a lovely way to spend the evening on a weekend – especially since it was outdoors.
The only problem was, the performances really only commence at 5PM… and my kids have bathtime/bedtime starting at 7PM. Most kids in Singapore sleep super ultra late (ie. 9PM or later) which I personally reckon is waaaaay too late for young toddlers. This means that a lot of kid-friendly evening events in Singapore are out for us :( Decided to bite the bullet and push back their bedtimes (by an hour) for Flipside though, and turns out they tolerated it pretty well. Whew!
List of performances at Flipside
Let’s go check it out!
They had these Tree Men,or whatever they are called, walking around. You could take photos with them.. and the kids in the area ranged from delighted to horrified. Hunter was more of the latter. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw them! Was utterly fascinated, but also most alarmed when he got up-close and clung onto me frantically.
Hunter, not so enchanted by the tree guys
The most interesting thing, in my opinion, was the outdoor maze. It was super fun for kids and adults! There were lots of doors in the maze, and you had to solve physical or mental challenges to unlock them. Hunter had neither the mental capacity or physical dexterity to solve ANY of them, but he did have fun watching ;)
Serious game face on, pretending to solve the puzzle
Stack and balance the blocks to push the blocks at the top up, to unlock the door
Do you know the answer? (I’ll put it at the bottom of this post)
I don’t think that’s how you’re supposed to get in/out of the maze…
Carter. WORK IT.
The riverside walk at the Esplanade is really pretty, and lovely for a stroll with the family. It sure beats being inside a mall! The kids had fun checking out the boats, and Hunter surprised us by yelling out “MERLION!” when he spotted the popular Singapore tourist attraction. Because, errr, none of us has ever told him what it was, nor has he ever seen it in his life (I think?). How did he know what it was? Freaky..
Enjoying the outdoors. Though, granted, Carter’s face doesn’t exactly seem to agree..
My three boys :)
I can’t believe I’m mum to these two kidlets!
A gorgeous shot. Especially so because it was unprompted and Hunter just felt like leaning over and giving Carter a big HUG!
So much greenery
Hunter playing “The Human Jukebox”. The girls would change the way they sang according to which box you threw the ball into. HILARIOUS!!!
Big squeezy cuddles and kisses!
We had dinner right there, at Makansutra’s Gluttons Bay. Yep, awesome name huh? My first time there and I enjoyed it. There were very few stalls (surprising, I thought it’d be a huge thing) but the food was good. And it was lovely sitting outside in the evening, near the water.
Plus, Hunter chowed down on lots of chicken satay, so I was pretty happy!
Makansutra’s Gluttons Bay
I HAS A SATAY
Taunting poor Carter, who would’ve done just about anything to get his hands on a stick of satay too!
Family pic :)
It was a really nice event, and even more so because it was FREE! I love it when Singapore has this sort of family-friendly free events to go to.. just wish they occurred more frequently :)
Hunter’s pre-nursery school sends us weekly updates on what they’ve done, riddled with lots of photos. I love it. It’s makes us feel involved and in-the-know! I don’t know if all schools do this, but it was a really pleasant surprise to see that in our email inbox.
“Hunter is settling in well in to our classroom routine. He has been observed to enjoy playing indoors and outdoors and joins his peers to participate in activities scheduled for the day. Attached are some moments from Hunter’s day in school. We are glad to be a part of his learning journey and wish him all the best!”
I’m glad that he’s really enjoying it so far. The teachers told me that he actively makes friends with the other kids, and leads the class whenever it comes to singing or dancing.
I really really wish they had some sort of webcam set up in the school, so I could spy on him the whole time!!! Sorry. Did that sound really weird?