Guest Post: Sea Christmas Differently This Season



Hello beautiful readers of hellomrstan.com

I'm back!

As always, it's a privilege that the lovely Mrs Tan has given me some 'write time' and my pleasure to be contributing to this amazing blog where we post about life, kids and family.

I'm sure everybody is feeling the Christmas atmosphere in the air right now given the low temperatures (25 degrees at night) and the Christmas light up in Orchard Road. With the exams (finally) over and the holidays approaching, we want to ensure that our kids get to enjoy their well deserved break and still get some learning done.

Look no further to one of the heartland malls in the north at Junction 8 and Sembawang Shopping Centre where they invite you to to 'Sea Christmas Differently' (don't you just love the pun?) this year.

Malls are always rolling out their various themes (usually cartoons) during this season and to receive a mailer that isn't your usual cute cartoon characters but one of a big Mosasaurus certainly piqued my interest.

So off we went to Junction 8!



You should know these 2 wonderful Rs of mine from the last post by now. Here's Ryan giving a 'i-don't-know-how-to-pronounce-this' pose while Riley gives her one-finger-cheese pose with the 15m long Mosasaurus.

Ok, I know the star of this whole post isn't my kids so here's one of the sea monster without the kids in it.



Did you know that the Mosasaurus lived in the late Cretaceous period that's roughly 208- 245 million years ago? It was even before the Jurassic period where the Tyrannosaurus Rex existed. The Jurassic period happened 145 - 208 million years ago.

I should state that while I've read my fair share of dinosaurs encyclopedias and stories to the children, I didn't know their existence period till today through their science show. I'll get back to that later. Let me introduce to you the rest of the 'cast' on display.




The Tylosaurus greets you when you first enter the Atrium of the second level at Junction 8 mall. With its lifelike movements and sounds, Riley was very hesitant to even step into the atrium itself. We had to assure her that it isn't real before she finally warmed up to them and took pictures in front of the various models.


The Ichthyosaurus resembles a sword fish to me according to Ryan but are actually marine reptiles which adopted a streamlined body for efficient locomotion in water.

Without giving all the information away, I'm glad that there are short write ups along together with these displays so that we're not stumped when the kids pose questions about them.




The Livyatan Melvillei. Looks like a whale but sounds like a person's name. The husband and I got a kick out of pronouncing these names much to the kids' amusement.

Besides these spectacular prehistoric animals that are on display, there are activities and stage shows for the children to learn about how they can do their part in saving the environment.

Workshops of Discovery

I appreciated how the activity area was organised and participants were kept to a small number so that the helpers were able to focus on helping them.

There are three different workshops that you could sign up the kids for. You could either pay $5 to attend any one of the three activities or you could redeem it free with $50 spent in in a single receipt.




1) Biting Monster
Build a cute biting shark with simple materials and observe energy conversions.


Only children are allowed into the activity area (parents can wait along the side) where they are encouraged to work on these projects themselves. The helpers would start off by explaining the instructions before handing them the material.


Almost there!


See the monster?


Where did the monster go?


Ryan learnt about potential energy and kinetic energy from this art project. This is probably the simplest science project to explain to him among the other three. It is also one that doesn't require much work.

You'll find out why from the other two activities below.

2. Spinning Sharks

Discover how cams and level work by creating an automata with simple materials such as cardboard and sticks. You can make your own sea puppet show by controlling the movements.






Once again, the helper begins by explaining what the activity is before Ryan begin working on the project. Ryan was amazed how the crane spins just by twirling a stick and was excited to work on it.


Decorating his own 'tank'. With numbers kept low and a good duration, Ryan was able to work on these projects at his own pace without being rushed.









Ryan learnt about gears from this activity. He understood how the mechanism of it and began to observe things in our home that are run by them. He only got as far as a clock but I think it's already a good attempt! It got me thinking what other household items that could be running on them too. My feeble attempt is a wind-up toy. 

What do you have in your house that you think you could use to explain to your kids about gears?

3. Moving Monster

Make your own animatronic sea creatures using motors and learn about circuits!

This is probably the most complex out of all the activities. I had to pass on this lesson to the husband to explain how it worked. He's the engineer in the family.

The kids start off by drawing two 'almost' identical monsters (or characters) and cutting them out.




There was a process of getting a structure built in place for their drawings and pasting a battery and a 'high-speed vibrating motor ' (according to the husband)  before the final product. You could see how the helper patiently explaining it to Ryan how it works while he was connecting the wire to the battery.


See how Ryan's monster moves!



Tadah! The husband taught Ryan about electrical energy to kinetic energy and how a simple connection of wires and batteries could make a toy. It brought the husband back to his Tamiya days but I reckon it's still early to start Ryan off on that. For now.

The workshops are limited to children 5 years old and above, on a first-come-first-served basis. It also comes with an activity booklet that has questions for the children to answer as they walk around the displays and also a step-by-step guide on creating the projects in the three workshops. 

It will definitely enable us to do it with the children again especially Riley when she's older.

Also,  there is a registration page in your activity booklet that they will mark out the workshop and the time that you have signed up for.



It is a very clear and systematic order that enabled me to make the necessary arrangements for their lunch and catching the shows that they have organised too. 

Bouquets to the helpers at the activity area! They were prompt in allowing the children into the workshops and were also very patient and attentive to the younger children like Ryan who needed more assistance in these workshops.

Given how each workshops teach different science lessons and how organised it was, I would recommend all the workshops if you have the time to spend at the mall.

Stage shows

There are two different shows for you to catch while you're there too: The Ocean Tales and the Kids Stop Science Show.

Ocean Tales follows curious Sam in a quest to learn more about the giants of the sea through this entertaining and enriching science show.


This was the show where I got to know the different periods where the different sea monsters and dinosaurs existed. 

Also, they cleared the misconception of sharks of being the one that causes the most human fatalities and explained what causes it.


It is definitely educational and there's a segment where an audience member get to pair the correct sea monsters to the period that it existed for a chance to win a pair of Science Centre tickets. 

KidsStop science show sees Pepper (adorable co-founder of KidsStop) bring us to the amazing ocean as they explore learn and discover with our marine friends. It also teaches kids how their actions affect them.



Throughout the segment, Pepper and friends sing and dance while teaching them about the ocean.

It's also an interactive show where children get to move their bodies and win some prize for recycling the right materials in the individual bins.

Riley enjoyed this segment the most as it was something that she could understand better.

There is also a mascot appearance which we sadly missed by 10mins as we took the kids to eat after the KidsSTOP science show so there are no pictures to show for. Do share them with me if you do manage to take one with Pepper.

This is the 22nd event of the Science in the mall series from 2003 and the first time that the Mosasaurus makes its appearance in a shopping mall in Singapore so do remember to catch it before it returns to the science center.

The Mosasaurus and its cast will be on display from now till 4 Dec at the Level 2 Atrium of Junction 8 before it moves to Sembawang Shopping Center from 8 Dec to 18 Dec at the Level 1 Atrium

Here's the show times for its shows and the mascot appearance at Junction 8 so that you're able to plan your visit in advance.


That's all for my post on this and I hope that it has excite and provided you much needed information to bring your children to Junction 8 or even plan one to Sembawang Shopping Center when these spectacular creatures make their way there. 

After all, Christmas is a season of giving, not just presents but your time and knowledge to the young minds. 

Till my next post on this marvelous platform,

Seasons greetings from my family to yours!

Celebrate Christmas with Friso's Christmas Experience!

Christmas is around the corner and like most parents, we crack our heads to think about what we can get for the children (or ourselves, maybe?). This year, come join us at Friso's Christmas Experience where they bring back 16 all-time favourite gifts to redeem!

What can you expect?


From the super popular Ju-Ju-Be diaper bags to the Gobbler 4-in-1 Scooter, Silicon Zoo luggage or Friso Travel Set... there is definitely something for yourself and the kiddos to get excited about!

Total SpendRedeemWorth
$598Jujube B.F.F.
(The Empress or First Mate)
$265
$378Globber 4-in1- Scooter or Friso Experiences Play Set$160 / $368
$248Silicon Zoo Luggage or Friso Travel Set$89.90 / $109
$148Nuby Stainless Steel Food Jar or Friso Unlimited Edition Diaper Bag$44.90 / $69
$98Friso Swim Set (Friso Tote Bag + Cow Float)$39.90
The promotional period is from 15 Oct to 31 Dec at NTUC outlets, and 1 Nov to 31 Dec for Cold Storage, Giant, Guardian, Sheng Shiong and Friso Online.

The redemption period is from 1 Nov to 28 Jan 2017. Simply reserve your gifts online and make an appointment for collection. A confirmation email will be sent to you - bring that along with your original receipts and your NRIC to the collection point to pick up your items!


Check out how much fun the kids are having with the Friso Experiences Play Set! This is officially their favourite toy in the toy room now.

Friso Mega Roadshow


There are also Friso mega roadshow going on all the way until 4 December. Check out the poster above, or click on Friso's Facebook link for more details!

Dylan and Ryan On The Ninjago Bootcamp!


Recently, Dylan and Ryan was invited to join the Ninjago Bootcamp to toughen them up in preparation for the brand new Ninjago Ride in Legoland Malaysia!

Talking about the new Ninjago Ride, Ryan and his family have bravely volunteered themselves to try it out, and boy did the family had lots of fun!

The Ninjago Bootcamp was a 45-minute long bootcamp that stretched across 6 days at Vivocity. The kids were required to go through training zones structured around Strength, Focus and Speed. At the end of the bootcamp, they will be certified as a NINJAGO!

Strength Training



In this section, both Dylan and Ryan learned how to coordinate their body movements while the Ninja Master shouts out commands like "left punch", "right punch", "turn - back - kick"

I still catch Dylan secretly practicing in his toy room even until today!

That's him in action:



Not bad huh!

Focus Training

After about 10 minutes at the Strength training, the children adjourned to the Focus training. What else can require more focus than colouring within the lines?


While the children spent some time colouring away, we adults could also take a breather as we found ourselves seats to watch them while they work.

The area was rather spacious and cooling, making it really comfortable for the children to hang out too.

Another 10 minutes has passed and it was time to move on to the SPEED segment of the bootcamp!!

This is personally my most favourite segment because *eh-hem* the mummies get to be involved too! We had to build the Ninjago faces from Lego bricks in 5 minutes. The gist is to collect the Lego blocks, follow the instructions given and fix them as quickly as we can.

Lots of Ninja skills on the precision and both Dylan and Ryan spent a lot of energy collecting the blocks!


Taking a picture as we were starting...


Very exciting to be building blocks with my first born, as you can see lolol. Dylan is busy collecting blocks for our mission!


We're almost completing!!


Yay! SUCCESS!




After going through 45 minutes of Ninja Bootcamp, both Dylan and Ryan are certified Ninjagos!



Here is a photo with Jay, the Fire Ninja.

Thank you Legoland for arranging this Ninjago Boot Camp for our boys! The ninja headband has been Dylan's favourite accessory for the next few days and he has also been conducting his very own Ninja Bootcamp in school with a couple of his fellow ninjas as well.

The allegiance is strong in this one!

The all-new 4D Ninjago Ride is now opened in Legoland Malaysia! Check out our post specially dedicated for that!

The Day Alexis Lost Her Tooth

I am writing this with a very, very heavy heart as I stare at my cheeky girl's big wide grin, albeit with a missing front tooth. *sigh*

It was an ordinary 2 November, Alexis woke up at the ungodly hour of 6.30AM as usual, and she was just trotting about, doing the usual things she does in a regular morning. Out of absolutely nowhere, she decided that our coffee table is a good place to climb, so off she propped herself up, balancing precariously on the thin corners while Nian told her to come down.

"Come down, Alexis. Don't stand over there, you will-"

He has barely finished his sentence when Alexis slipped and promptly slammed her front jaw on the table top. 

Of course, the little girl burst into tears, screaming in pain while blood gushed out from the wound.

Nian couldn't see where the injury was because of the sheer amount of blood all over her mouth. Did she cut her lips? Where in the world did she hurt herself?????

And then... he saw a tooth lying innocently on the table.

"MUMMY!!!! MUMMYYYYYYYY!!!!!!" He shouted for me.

I just had a crazy long night with Miss K because she has been waking up almost every hourly, and I thought I could finally sleep in after I am done with the 7.30AM feed for her.

I walked out, annoyed with the commotion, only to get stunned in my tracks to see the poor little girl squatting in front of me, with a blood-soaked tissue paper between her mouth.

"She lost her tooth."

Nian told me flatly. Wait a minute. She WHAT???? 😱😱😱😱😱

"Oh my... WTF you cannot be serious. WHAT HAPPENED??????????" 

I was like horrified / angry / shocked / lost all at one go.

What are we gonna do????

How can you let her fall???? 

Why was she climbing this damn thing!?!?!?!?!?

Can we fix her tooth back???

Should we go to the hospital now???????????????

During my geek-out days, I read morbid stuff like "What to do if certain part of your body gets detached from your body" and maybe... it does come to use now? :\

I told Nian we had to preserve the tooth so that while we rush her to the hospital, there might be a possibility of replanting it back. Or so I hoped.

We grabbed a ziplock bag, filled it with ice packs and then stored the tooth in water. "Have to keep it cold." I told myself mentally.

We wanted to use saline.. in the form of my contact lens solution, but Nian decided against it because he wasn't sure if my contact lens was 100% saline - what if it caused more damage to the tooth than it already is?

Journey to the hospital

The journey to the hospital was... well. Let's just say it is fucked. Like really. I cannot think of another single word to describe the journey. It's like Murphy's Law in full works and there was absolutely nothing we could do about it.

Because we stayed in the north, Khoo Teck Phuat Hospital was the nearest to us. Nian googled and it says that there is an emergency dental department there which we could rush to, so we Grabbed a ride down.

HALFWAY THROUGH, my husband realised that the dental department does not treat patients who are younger than 6 years old. WHAT THE F- I DONT EVEN.

"Why didn't you see that earlier on!?!?!?!?!?!?!????????" I was really trying very hard not to freak out. There are times where we misread things, or we miss out things entirely but HELLO MY LOVE, this is like the worst time it can happen!

Halfway through, we had to abandon the journey to KTPH and detoured to KKH instead. 

As it is, my confidence towards KKH is very, very low. I have heard so many terrible stories coming out from KKH, it was the LAST hospital I would ever want to bring my child to. And yet, we had to, because Dr. Google says that if we were going to have a hope to put the tooth back before it dies, we have to do it within 2 hours.

KKH was obviously the next nearest hospital to us.

So as we sped up CTE, there was a major accident happened that day that caused a major, freaking jam. Oh good lord, why does it never rain but pours? We were stuck in the car for a grand total of 1.5 hours and we spent $33 on the ride there.

Nevermind on the cab fare. Here comes the highlight of the entire shitty day.

KK Hospital

We were ushered very quickly into the priority queue when we got there - the nurses were great and they recognised and agreed with us that it was an emergency because the possibility of whether the tooth can be saved or not really depends on these few minutes?

I mean, we spent precious 1.5 hours out of the supposedly golden 2 hours on the road so we are barely left with like 10 minutes before the 2 hour deadline is up. I reallllllyyyyy wanted the dentist to hopefully save Alexis' tooth because otherwise she would be toothless for the next FIVE FREAKING YEARS.

FIVE YEARS.

FIVE.

Oh my god, I am hyperventilating as I am typing this even.

So.... our luck still hasn't turned better. We got into this room and voila! A young doctor. A sense of dread flooded over me. Sorry, I really don't need a young doctor right now. Please give me an experienced doctor. An older doctor maybe? 

I may be totally stereotyping her but that lady really didn't give off a trustworthy vibe.

Anyway, so we placed the tooth, already nicely transferred into a fresh container of saline by the nurses outside, on the table. She barely took a look at it and said, "It looks like a complete tooth."

It looks like. Right. So can we have a confirmation on that, please? Babe had no idea and she wasn't keen to find out. She looked at Alexis' gums and then said, "There isn't any whitish part in the gums so it is unlikely that she broke the tooth. It looks like the whole tooth slid out from her gums."

Looks like again. Well, you look like you are not sure of anything, princess.

The final 5-minute assessment ended with her concluding that there was no need for Alexis to put the tooth back because it is a baby tooth. 

"Will it affect her jaw development?" I asked. 

"No, it is unlikely." she replied.

"Will it affect her chewing?"

"No."

"Will it affect the adult tooth when it grows out next time?"

"No."

"Are the rest of the teeth affected by the fall?"

Then she grew impatient on me. She took an audible deep breath and said, "No, I don't think so."

Sorry, Mama Bear here ain't convinced. My anxiety level may be really off the charts this time, but doctor here isn't making me feel better about anything. In fact, she made me question her diagnosis because she doesn't even sound sure. "Looks like", "I think so" yeah. 

We got out of her room in 5 minutes, and had to pay $109 for consultation. Because I had no faith in her diagnosis, we had to call another doctor for a secondary opinion. While both doctors agree that there was no need for Alexis to have her tooth planted back, the latter suggested an X-Ray to see if there were any damages to the surrounding teeth.

I also learned that it is not advisable for children to implant the tooth back as it requires the child to go under GA? Some people akin to it like a root canal procedure, baby version. GA aside, the implant will impede the development of the jaw, making the adult teeth have difficulties growing out next time.

"Looks like" the doctor didn't know this, or couldn't be bothered to explain to me.

Better alternatives

I hope this NEVER happens to any of your kids, but when I posted Alexis' photo up on my Facebook, many of my friends sent me photos of their own kids having missing teeth. 

It seems that it is a really common thing to happen... and so, if it does, I'd advise you to skip KKH altogether. My friends shared with me these two contacts that you might perhaps want to keep in view? They are sworn upon by my mummy friends and these referrals came in fast and furious the moment they knew Alexis lost her tooth.. albeit it was 12 hours too late by then. 

#1. Kids Dental World - Dr. Ong
Tel: 8218 3777
Mount Elizabeth Novena, #08-33

Call the handphone number and tell them that it is an emergency and they will slot you in. My friend's daughter ran head first (or rather, mouth first wtf) into the glass table at full speed, causing one of her tooth to break and the rest of the teeth pushed inwards. What the..... These kids are really great at giving us parents heart attacks wtf.

#2. GPA Dental Group - Dr. Darryl Wee
Tel: 62519633
Novena Square, #01-96

My god-sis' daughter goes to Dr. Wee when she had 4 loose teeth wtf. Mandy thought that she bit on her fork too hard, but it turns out that her adult teeth were growing out.

All these doctors use x-ray to tell the possible problems of the teeth, whether they are impacted, whether the nerves are damaged... so on and so forth. Nobody uses eye power like the doctor I met at KKH, to be honest.

Anyway, I am slowly coming to terms that my poor little girl is gonna have a little hole in her otherwise perfect smile for the next five years. To be reallyyyyy honest, I cried for a good whole 30 minutes, mourning over the lost tooth. I am not ready for a tooth drop and neither was she. WHY DOES IT HAVE TO HAPPEN!!!!!

I am still on the journey of recovering - like really. Am I being dramatic? I really feel very sad for her losing her tooth, even though she is fine - thank God. No other physical injuries or anything else more serious. This was the last photo I had with her, grinning cheekily after she is done "tying" my hair.

We play a lot of dressing up games these days... and her favourite thing to do is to tie my hair.  This poor, poor girl. I can never give her enough hugs to make myself feel better.  :(

In memory of the lost front tooth - 2 November 2016

Guest Post: Let's go to Ninjago!

Hi readers of hellomrstan.com! I may not be Mrs Tan but I share the same values with her that we love our family and we agree that life is worth living to its fullest.

 I am a mum to two beautiful children. Ryan is 5 and Riley is 2 this year. While my thirst for wanderlust isn’t as great as that of the wonderful Mrs Tan (how does one even travel with three kids?!), I am all for taking my kids to new play areas to explore and let loose. One of such places would be to Legoland Malaysia!

We managed to visit Legoland San Diego and its hotel when it first opened back in 2013. All the attention paid to its details and how a 2-yr-old Ryan could have so much fun and remembers about it till this year must have left an impression on him.

An opportunity arose for us to visit the land of imagination and creativity when we received an invitation to a secret ninja summit opened to media and invited guests. So with Riley, who had just turned 2 in July and a 5 year old in tow, Mrs Tan sent us to unravel the mysteries of the summit. Meet Riley who has her pose, ‘camera’ and media tag ready!


Tadah! The summit brought us to the unveiling of Legoland Malaysia’s Ninjago World. It is situated inside the Land of Adventure. I present to you a galore of pictures now as I take you inside..

 The entrance that greets visitors upon their arrival.



The dragon is hard to miss as it guards the entrance of Ninjago World!



And of course, Master Wu! (Say hi to my ninja wanna-be, Ryan)

 

Located at different parts of Ninjago, you get to meet the 4 different character, their elements in the show. (Jay/Lightning, Kai/Fire, Cole/Earth, Lloyd/Ice). Guests get to test different activities at various parts of these places too!

 

Kai’s Spinners: Test your balance as you stand on one of Kai’s spinning platforms and twirl!



Cole’s Rock Climb: Grab a hold! Kids can test their agility as they scale a rock wall!





The most amazing part within the Ninjago World would have to be the Monastery that sits in the center of it.






Standing more than nine feet tall and made out of more than 850,000 pieces of Lego bricks, this is definitely one of my favorite pieces especially if you’ve watched the cartoon. Bringing such an amazing piece of structure to ‘life’.


There are 22 models within Ninjago World. Can you spot them all?



The secret ninja summit also unveils Ninjago The Ride. The first in Asia, where it enables guests to demonstrate their ninja skills without the use of a hand held device and instead, by simply using their hand gestures. Riders collect points for their training and battle efforts throughout the ride and scores are displayed when their quest is completed.


This is how Ninjago World looks like before we enter the entrance of the ride.



There are two separate entrances to the ride. One is specially catered for the handicapped. It is certainly wonderful how they have made it possible for guests on wheelchair to experience the ride if they are able to physically help themselves onto the ride.


Light sabers they are definitely not. But just as powerful in their own elements (pardon the pun!) to destroy the Devourer.


An introduction of all the characters as you enter the ride.







Ryan is into mazes now and spent A LOT of time using his fingers to trace the maze to get to the individual elements. Even though most of them are blocked, he imagines the characters using their combined powers to break them. I like his line of thought. Good tip to do while waiting in line!


Further down the line, the husband got into the fun by placing Legos onto the characters. It’s a fun activity even for me transforming them from 2D to 3D. See the contrast of them with and without the Lego?


You are then presented with the various weapons that the ninjas use in Ninjago.






Ninja faces on

We also spent some time playing here. Look at how Ryan got the hang of this so soon!

video

Ninja Mas was on hand to brief the ninjas before they meet Master Wu to begin their training


The car that takes you into the training temple. Each car seats four people.


Snippets of what happened in the ride

video

While Riley is able to take the ride (while accompanied by an adult), we didn’t take her on it. The ride isn’t as fast as I imagined but it was the images that were screened that we didn’t want her to see. Some of the Antagonists that you get to meet on the ride (Ghost warriors, Anacondrai and the Great Devourer) will be too intense for kids who do not watch the show so do your research before taking little children on it.

All in all, the kids enjoyed Ninjago World and even Riley who couldn’t participate in the ride got to explore the nice space that have been created.

Here's a picture of the kids before I signed off. Thank you for reading and I hope you've enjoyed reading them as much as I had posting this up!