We visited the new Far East Organization children’s garden at Gardens by the Bay during the CNY school holidays. The first major attraction of the place was of course the water play area. It was a huge water wonderland, both for kids and adults.
Kids of all ages were running amok and everyone was having a big splash.
Ironically, Vera and JJ didn’t quite like the water playground. I think they thought the water fountains were a tad too huge and fast for them. They were quite content playing at the toddler playground and the sand play area.
A fish fountain area that looked pretty interesting. Unfortunately it’s not in operation yet.
After the kids had their fun, we headed to the Cloud Forest Dome. The first thing that greeted us was this huge waterfall. The cool temperature was a nice touch too.
Pretty flowers were littered all over, and many nature photography enthusiasts were spotted with their huge cameras.
The aerial view from level four. (I’ll get dizzy if I look down for too long.)
Check out the mist!
And beautifully landscaped pond and garden areas.
As we brought baby J with us, I had to nurse him while the kids explored the dome with daddy. I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice nursing room on the ground floor of the dome (conveniently situated next to the lifts). It was well equipped with a hot and cold water dispenser, a diaper change station, sink, and a separate area for nursing, which can accommodate one mum and baby at a time. (Would have preferred to see a curtain for added privacy though, but thankfully the nursing bench is deeply nestled in one corner, so it’s not so intrusive.)
We ended the day with dinner at Satay by the bay, which was a nice 15 minutes walk away, along the bay. The weather was nice and breezy by 6pm.
When the kids are older, we’ll probably head back to the water playground. Hopefully by then they’ll be more comfortable to get wet and wild. 😉
I’ve always known family rituals were important, but until I heard this, “it’s the little things you do everyday that your children will remember for the rest of their lives,” I never really quite knew the weight of it.
One of our most important (and favourite) rituals is our bedtime ritual – the one where we read books, sing our favourite bedtime songs, and nod off to sleep.
There are moments where I’ve been tempted to slack in this area, and get down to tackling my to-do list instead.
But I’ve pulled myself back to keeping these bedtime moments sacred…Regardless of how the day had gone, I will just hang with the kids, remind them I love them, pray with them, and stay till they fall asleep. (And when they finally do nod off to sleep, I will whisper a prayer of blessing and protection over them.)
Everything else just has to wait.
And so recently, something beautiful happened, and I was glad to be around to catch it.
Vera has been now appointed herself as “prayer leader.” She will gather us together, ask “are you ready?” and give us instructions to repeat after her.
It’s been ongoing for the past four nights. This is how she prayed on one night.
Thank you for the good day today.
Please love us more and more and more.
And make a world with beautiful flowers and rainbows,
and butterflies that fly around these flowers.
Please let us love you more and more and more too.
And all the children say?
(To which we respond)
To be honest, I had this on the tip of my tongue: “Sweetie, God already has made such a beautiful world, complete with rainbows and flowers and butterflies. And he already loves us so much, there cannot possibly be more we could ask for (or can there?)”
But I held those words back, and just smiled. I think God in heaven is pleased with her prayer, and to see the love and faith of a child. So who am I to find fault with these little things? 😉
I’m looking forward to hearing more prayers from this child of mine. May her prayers always be from the heart, and may her world always be filled with rainbows of hope, and flowers of blessing.
Thankful for bedtime rituals. What does your bedtime ritual look like?
Some days, I can’t wait for you guys to grow up.
Other days, I wish that time would just be still.
Some days, I wonder what made me even think about childbirth and procreation.
Other days, I wonder what grace has given us this beautiful privilege to have you both in our lives.
Some days, I slip into an abyss, overwhelmed, angry and defeated.
Other days, I’m contented, mostly because you guys are too.
Some days, I wonder about life on the other side – as a carefree woman, worker, wife.
Other days, I cry upon thinking paranoid thoughts of what life would be like without you.
Some days, you blow my stresses away by your funny words and uninhibited displays of love and wonder.
Other days, you add weight to my already heavy heart.
Some days, you drive me up the wall.
Other days, you make me double up in laughter.
I never knew the intensity of human emotion
Until you wandered into my life.
Regardless of these ups and downs (that I’m now used to)
I realise that all of these are but a whisper
When compared to the joy of eternity
That I will get to savour with you.
Children, my children,
You give me a taste of the glory of heaven.
And help me look forward to the days to come.
Love you both with a love that’s bigger than my own,
It’s Chinese new year. The colour of the moment, of course, is red.
Day 01: By some grace, we managed to pull together some matching outfits for JJ and Vera. Mostly gifts or hand-me-downs. We also managed to take some family pics in the morn.
Big sister struts confidently ahead, with little brother in tow. They each must have their own bag of Mandarin oranges, or else…a fight will break loose.
Day 02 (a): Thought bubble / Why are we waiting?
Managed to spend a perfectly cool morning at Gardens by the Bay, catching up with friends. It’s our first time there.
Day 02 (b): Gathering at our marriage mentors’ house. Check out how fruitful we have been since our marriage prep days years back! (God is good!)
Day 03: Visited the kids’ godpa and godma. JJ, as usual, wanted to “draw-draw” on the whiteboard. Vera was pretty pleased to be able to carry baby Elizabeth (only 2 months old!) Vera has been practising carrying and cradling her doggy soft toy at home, saying that it’s her baby…Now she finally gets to carry a real one!
All in all, I’m pretty thankful this Chinese New Year. Shuffling the kids from place to place is always a challenge, not to mention keeping them happy and limiting the snack level without causing a meltdown. For us, keeping it simple and always allowing them to have a break in the day to nap and recharge (for us too) does wonders.
Hope you enjoyed your CNY with your loved ones too! 🙂
This post is linked to Mum in the making’s Grateful Gatherings.