Friday, 12 July 2019

Fun at the Singapore Science Centre

We live so near and go so often to the Singapore Science Centre that I'm actually surprised that I had not written about it yet! There's so much fun for the kids at the Science Centre and the best part is that you don't have to worry about wet weather plans (in fact, it's usually my wet weather plan if I see dark clouds looming).

If you are a Singaporean/PR, you can enter for FREE during weekdays (excluding school and public holidays)! ๐Ÿ˜


The Mind's Eye
The first exhibit that greeted us when we entered is The Mind's Eye, which is full of illusions that trick the eyes into seeing things that seem impossible.

Left: Head on a plate;
Right: Miniature kids with a giant grandma! So fun! 
This is the same sculpture but it looks totally different, depending on the direction you see it
Left: Me with the Hulk. No illusions here but he looks cool! =)
Right: Standing in the clouds!

The Mirror Maze
If you are unwilling to pay for the mirror maze at Jewel Changi, you'd be happy to know that there is also a mirror maze at the Singapore Science Centre!

Welcome to the Mirror Maze!
Super cool and a little bit scary because you don't know which way is out
Be careful that you don't end up going around and around in circles!
Trying to touch something that is not there

Definitely very fun for the kids! My kids loved it!

The Science of Phobia
This exhibits explains the reason why we feel scared and why phobias exist. It is meant to be creepy and if you have any of the phobias that they presented, you will definitely feel scared! Younger kids might cling on to you for dear life but you just need to press through it and it's actually not that bad.

Entrance to the exhibit
With a seriously scary looking clown to depict coulrophobia aka the fear of clowns.
He looks so real that I would really scream if he moved! 
Left: Fear of imprisonment;
Right: Claustrophobia aka fear of confined spaces.
Coasterphobia aka fear of roller coasters is actually a real fear!
Scary looking faceless beings in the background. Humans love faces and will be naturally fearful of anything that moves but does not have a face. Super freaky exhibit with sound and light effects.

I highly recommend that you visit this exhibit as it is really exciting while very educational. If you are plagued with phobias, all the more reason for you to visit so that you can overcome your fears! We liked it so much that we went again on a separate visit!

Various other exhibits
There are also many other exhibits that teach kids about gravity, force, electricity, etc and are interactive so that the kids are not bored.

Learning about energy in an interactive way
Introducing kids to electric cars

There's also a room where they get to see a small collection of animals such as insects. There is also an incubator where kids learn about the life cycle of a chicken.

Super cute newly hatched chicks!
More interactive fun!

There's also a water playground for the younger kids but we never got a chance to play there because every single time we went, IT WAS RAINING!!! *grrrrr* Anyway, do bring along a swim suit for your kids just in case.

For us, one of the perks of staying in the West is the Singapore Science Centre. Rain or shine, there's always something to do here and it is free for us Singaporeans. Check out their website for new exhibits, which brings new fun and excitement to the Science Centre. We are usually never bored when we're there! =)


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This post is part of my MadPsychMum Fun in Singapore Guide to all things exciting for kids! 
Check out other fun playgrounds and attractions in Singapore! =)


You can also follow us on Instagram or join us by using our hashtag #mpmfuninsg!

Monday, 8 July 2019

My Breastfeeding Diary (Baby #3): Back to Work

*Warning: Detailed documentation of breastfeeding and its related terms ahead. Reader's discretion is advised; please do not read if you feel uncomfortable =)


PREPARATION FOR WORK

Shortly after she turned one month old and fully breastfed by direct latch alone, I started to become worried about the amount of milk that I needed to prepare for her when I eventually go back to work.

I was entitled to 16 weeks maternity leave (thank you Singapore!) and it is compulsory to take the first 8 weeks consecutively, and the last 8 weeks according to your personal preferences (like annual leave).

I decided that I wanted to go back to work after 8 weeks of leave and then spread out the rest of my 8 weeks of maternity leave so that I only needed to work 3 days a week for about 5 months.

I had learnt my lesson the hard way with my boy, who didn't drink milk frozen for more than a month. I had to throw away bags and bags of my precious milk! This time, I was careful not to keep breast milk frozen for longer than a couple of weeks because I was sure littlest baby girl will not drink it.

In order to ensure freshness of the expressed milk, I decided to start pumping an extra 100-150ml of milk every day about 2 weeks before I was due to go back to work. By the time I returned to work, I had about six 180ml packets of milk for my baby.


BACK TO WORK

At work, I used a Spectra pump that I had borrowed from my friend. I really like Spectra as the suction is very powerful and can empty my breasts quite adequately.

My friend's Spectra S1
I have always pumped anywhere when I had my boy and that's not going to change now that I have my girl! I find it so much easier to just pump at my desk ๐Ÿ˜‚
My daily output

I usually pump about 150-250ml per session. I tried to pump at least 4 times (i.e. every 2 hours) when I'm at work but, unsurprisingly, I haven't been successful! I suppose I was too ambitious! Now I try to achieve at least 3 sessions a day at work so that I can maintain my supply.

Pumping 3 times a day wasn't the problem for me; it's washing my pump 3 times a day that's the issue! I really don't enjoy washing the pump!

When I complained to my colleague, she suggested that I put the pump parts in the fridge so that I can re-use it and not have to wash after every session. That really helped to lighten the burden of washing for me!

I read about the usefulness of the Freemie online and bought it to try it for myself. Instead of the usual funnels, Freemie collection cups fit into your regular nursing bra and collects your milk so that you can go hands-free. Apparently you can even pump while walking and I decided to try it. Guess what? It works! ๐Ÿ˜„

Freemie collection cups

You can choose to buy Freemie's pump motor or you can use your existing motor. Freemie is compatible with motors such as the Spectra and Avent. Do check whether your pump motor is compatible before you buy!

Unfortunately for me, when my Freemie first arrived, I found a crack in barrier. I tried to get it replaced but the process took a reeeeeaaalllly LONG time!!

There was a crack in my barrier when it arrived. Don't forget to examine all your pump parts before you use!

After multiple emails and calls back and forth for 2 months, a representative from the distributor FINALLY called me and told me that she will deliver the barrier to my house! I was so happy to receive it so that I can finally use my Freemie!

I really like the Freemie as it is indeed very convenient. I connect the cups to the motor, put them in my bra and viola, I can do whatever I need to do with both my hands. It is especially useful when I need to pump while taking minutes during meetings! ๐Ÿ˜„

To help me to transport my pump and milk, I also bought a bag with a cooler compartment at the bottom.

Pump at the top, milk at the bottom
Cooler compartment to store milk

I have since upgraded to a bigger bag but still use this bag to store the pump motor.


BABY REFUSES THE BOTTLE

While I was managing my pumping at work, the mum in law was trying very hard to feed the baby at home.

Unfortunately, no matter how we tried, the baby refused the bottle!

It was not the milk because she would reject all types of my expressed milk, no matter whether it was frozen or freshly expressed.

It was not the type of bottle teat or brand because we tried 3 types of bottle teats from different brands such as Avent, Pigeon and Dr Brown and yet she would reject them (I refused to waste money to buy more after that!). She would suck on them for the first day and then completely reject them the next day!

It was definitely not because I was hovering around and the baby could smell me because I was at work the whole time.

The mum-in-law tried letting her cry, hoping that she will eventually realise she had to suck it up and drink. I mean, as long as you are hungry enough, you'll eat anything right? Who would say no to a growling stomach? Most people would eventually give in, don't they?

Evidently, not my stubborn and determined littlest baby girl. The longest she had ever gone on a hunger strike, having drunk only 20ml the entire day, was 10 hours!

She wants what she wants and no amount of coaxing will do. It was a nightmare for my mum-in-law, who couldn't bear to hear her cries all day.

Finally we decided to try feeding her using a syringe, which was painfully slow and exhausting but seemed to work to get a little bit more milk in her system.

When she turned 4 months old and showed interest in food, the mum-in-law tried feeding milk with a silicone spoon to some success, it really depends on the baby's mood!!!! ๐Ÿ˜ด

However, the baby will only drink expressed milk for at most 2 feeds in a day. If the mum-in-law tried to feed her with expressed milk again, the attempt will be met with screams of anger! ๐Ÿ˜’


BABY AT WORK

I could tell my mum-in-law was almost at her breaking point and decided to give her a break by bringing the baby to office. I was hoping I could utilise my 'supermum powers' and take care of a baby while working a full time job.

Baby at work with her favourite person! ๐Ÿ˜„
Sleeping in her stroller at my cubicle

Although I managed to get work done while taking care of my baby (miraculously by God's grace!), it was physically and mentally exhausting! By the time I got home, both baby and I were so tired that we fell asleep earlier than usual and slept through the night!

If I can't take care of her for a whole day in office (especially not on days that I have meetings and/or trainings) and the mum-in-law can't take care of her for a whole day at home, the best compromise would be to split it between us (me half day, mum-in-law half day).

Usually this means that I will bring her to office in the morning, meet the mum-in-law for lunch and then she will bring the baby home (if I have meetings all day, she would bring the baby to me during lunch and go shopping till it is time for the baby's next feed). This arrangement has been very inconvenient for the mum-in-law logistically but has saved her a lot of frustration so she is happy with it so far. So thankful for a dedicated mum-in-law! ❤️

The littlest baby, on the other hand, LOVES going to work with me and meeting all my colleagues. She smiles at every single person she meets and wins their hearts! This is great because so far, no one has complained about her being in office!

So very grateful to understanding bosses and colleagues, who have had to endure the sudden cries of a baby every now and then but yet are always happy to see her in office! Colleagues have also volunteered to watch her while I finish my work. I really love my workplace! Very, very blessed! ♥️

Hopefully I won't have to bring her to work any more once she starts eating more solids when she turns 6 months old and can drink more milk via the silicone spoon. We're also crossing our fingers that she will suddenly drink from the bottle๐Ÿคž๐ŸปUntil then, it looks like the baby is sticking to me for a while, everywhere that I go!

Thank God that I still have maternity leave left! I'm enjoying every minute with my very clingy baby while I still can!๐Ÿคฑ๐Ÿฅฐ


~~~~~


This post is part of my series My Breastfeeding Diary, where I document the highs and lows of my breastfeeding journey. 


Past posts in My Breastfeeding Diary series:

Baby #2
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 1 Week
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 2 Weeks
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 3 Weeks
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 4 Weeks
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 2 Months
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 3 Months (Back to Work)
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 4 Months
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 5 Months
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 6 Months (Weaning)
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 8 Months
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 10 Months (Battling bronchitis)
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 12 Months
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 13 Months (End)

Baby #3
Breastfeeding Baby #3: The First Month
Breastfeeding Baby #3: Back to Work

Sunday, 30 June 2019

My Girl's McDonalds 9th Birthday Party

Surprisingly, we had never thrown a birthday party for the eldest girl before. Her birthdays were usually celebrated at home or at school. She really wanted a birthday party this year and I thought McDonald's will be a good idea since it didn't cost a lot and comes with a party room and host (you can read more on their website).

Let's party at McDonald's! 
Party room that accommodates at most 25 kids. Any more and it'll be really tight! 
McDonald's also reserved some tables outside the party room for adults

The host will go around to get the names of the children and their Happy Meal order while another crew member takes the orders of the adult guests (if any).

The host is also in charge of entertaining the kids with simple games and a lot of prizes!

The host split the kids into two groups to compete against each other

After the games, the kids enjoyed their Happy Meals!

So difficult to get so many kids to look at the camera for this photo!
Kids enjoying their food and chatting 
Girl had fun talking with her friends

Next, it was time to cut the cake that we had ordered from McDonalds. You can bring your own but you must ensure that it is Halal certified.

Family photo with the very cute cake!
Blowing out the mega size candle that we bought from Spotlight
A group photo with all the kids! ❤️
I also insisted on a group photo with all the adults just for fun ๐Ÿ˜„

For a no-name McDonald's cake, this one was surprisingly good! Very delicious ๐Ÿ˜‹

When everyone has had enough cake, it was time to distribute the goodie bags to all the kids!

Left: Goodie bag table!;
Right: The birthday girl has a special gift!
Birthday girl giving out gifts to all her friends
With her good friends from church (left) and school (right)
In case you're wondering, they each got a McDonald's pencil box, pencil and notebook in the goody bag

The outlet at Ang Mo Kio Park had a small playground on premise so the kids had fun playing in the playground while waiting for the parents to pick some of them up.

So nostalgic! Such playgrounds are so rare in Singapore!
Wearing our party masks ๐Ÿ˜„

Our McDonald's birthday party was really free and easy and not that expensive. However, if you've got a party with more than 15 kids, the party room might not be big enough. We only had 14 kids and still I felt it was a tight squeeze!

A few days later, we had a small celebration for the birthday girl on her actual birthday!

Happy birthday to the best big sister ever! Just like your mummy haha ๐Ÿ˜‚ Mama loves you very much! ❤️

~~~~~

Past Birthday Parties:

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Playdate at Jurong Lake Gardens Forest Ramble Playground

We arranged a play date with the boy's buddy (you know, the one who is only 7 days older) at the new playground at Jurong Lake Gardens. It has been at the top of my to-go list ever since it opened this year.

The playground, also known as Forest Ramble, is located between North and South carpark but from experience, the North carpark is nearer to the playground.

Do note that although it is an outdoor playground, it is closed every Monday for maintenance.

Forest Ramble consists of 13 play areas and each area is designed to get kids to mimick an animal's behaviour in nature. The area is also aptly named according to the animal that inspired it.

For example, the most prominent play structure in Forest Ramble is a tree house playground known as Snake Play due to the slides!

Climbing up and sliding down the slides at Snake Play
Feels very organic and even has trellis with climbing plants that I'm assuming will eventually climb to the top and provide additional shade for the play structure
Jumping off the slide
There is a slide for climbing UP rather than sliding down!
I think the designers observed that a lot of children love climbing up the slides so rather than dissuade them, they decided to encourage them!

The kids spent a lot of time playing at Snake Play after they had explored the other play areas beside it.

Navigating the ropes course at Monkey Play
See-saw made of wood at Squirrel Play. Very unique!
Learning how to balance on a log just like a squirrel at Squirrel Play
Jumping and balancing on bouncy boards
Climbing into a play structure that looks like a bird's nest
Little maze at Crab Play
(careful don't bump your head!) 

In the middle of Forest Ramble, near the water play area, there are toilets, bathing stalls and a nursing room. There are water coolers for you to refill your water bottles as well.

Water play area near the toilets
(I personally don't find this hygienic and refused to let the kids play here for more than 5 minutes)

We walked on to explore the other part of Forest Ramble where the flying fox and swings are found!

Bouncing on trampolines at Frog Play
Selfie with the baby under an umbrella because it was simply too hot!!
Climbing into the bird's nests at Heron Play

The kids loved the flying fox, which was smaller than the ones at West Coast Park but just as fun!

Helping my boy to get on and pushing him
Weeeeee!

Another unique feature of Forest Ramble is the four-way see-saw and swings of every kind!

Four-way swing/see-saw at Butterfly Play.
Best played with two opposing children of equal weight (such as the boy and his same-age buddy)
Left: Big swing that can accommodate more than one child;
Right: my girl enjoying the regular swings. 

For those who enjoy lazing around, there is also a hammock area where you can chill, enjoy the scenery and read a book.

Hammock area

The kids played non-stop for almost 3 hours and yet we did not manage to finish exploring the whole of Forest Ramble (we missed out exploring Sound Play and a merry-go-round). They were so exhausted by the time the daddy came to pick us after his work!

Obviously that meant that we also did not have time to visit Clusia Cove, a water play area with sand about 10-minute walk from Forest Ramble!

It's a good thing that we live nearby; we will definitely be back! ๐Ÿ˜„


~~~~~~

This post is part of my MadPsychMum Fun in Singapore Guide to all things exciting for kids! 
Check out other fun playgrounds and attractions in Singapore! =)


You can also follow us on Instagram or join us by using our hashtag #mpmfuninsg!
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