Sunday, 22 May 2016

Naga family fun day as SAFRA Explorers!

This mommy is taking a break from writing this blog post as we've been busy packing, unpacking, moving..not once, not twice but 3 times in a span of 3 months!!! ***woahhhh***
So since Mr. Hubby aka daddy attended his first kid's media invite and had so much fun with the kids, this mommy suggested that he should write his 1st ever blog!!! A daddy blogger in the making perhaps??? Lols...

Written by Karthik Naga aka Mr. Hubby aka daddy #SiennaSkyler

As it was my first day with the Singapore parent blogger community, I didn't really know what to expect.  I had heard a lot of good things from Jamie about the community and was excited to meet them.  I was also eagerly anticipating my first visit to Punggol which I have heard is rapidly growing and expanding.  We have heard about the brand new buildings, malls and activities sprouting up in that area.

SAFRA also has just opened a brand new huge building in the area.  SAFRA is a recreational association with mainly membership for Singapore national servicemen, so it is neat whenever us non-Singaporeans get a chance to enjoy it as well!!!  They are generally huge buildings that have lots of activities for the family, and this one in Punggol has announced it has the first indoor water park in Singapore.  That itself was very exciting for me to visit with the family... but more on that later!

We arrived to SAFRA in the early afternoon and were greeted by friendly bloggers, many of whom Jamie already had some acquaintance with.  I didn't know any of them, but had heard of some of them.  One was the blogger that had made a beaded portrait of Skyler last year, which I was really impressed with!

Once we had a quick registration, we went to the first activity.  This was a painting activity at Artary, where the kids were asked to paint a vase and then the flowers. 

The parents helped the kids, especially with the 'non-painting' activities (cutting, tracing the basic shapes needed, etc).  

When it comes to painting, every kid thinks he/she is Vincent Van Gogh, and therefore, forget about helping them paint.  They just take a brush and start stroking away, mixing colors, and making a mess of it.  When Skyler was about 5 minutes into the activity, the paints had all become a dark blue... oops! 


Luckily they gave Sienna a new set of paint so she could be a bit more disciplined and not mix everything up.  She did a pretty decent job, especially since that was her favorite activity in school.  

Sienna, with her do-everything-herself attitude, even ran to the 'hair-dryer' and dried the paint so we could pack it into the to-go plastic bag.

Then we rushed to the next activity... pizza making!  
I, the American, was really looking forward to this activity.  We were all hungry at this point, and pizza is one of my favorite cures for hunger.  I was pleasantly surprised that it was taking place at Pizza Hut!  I didnt realize that Pizza Hut did this type of activity, and it was the first time I heard about it, even after decades of living in the USA.  

The activity itself was fun, and it is something that I feel every member of the family can enjoy.  

We were given the dough, and the toppings.  We had to put the toppings on the pizza in the right order, and spread it out so that it was even on the personal pan pizza.  We were helping Skyler to do this, and he really enjoyed it.  Sienna was able to follow the directions that the leader gave us, which allowed me to take some pictures and just guide her here and there. 

Once we were done, they collected our masterpieces and then the hardest part came... the waiting for the edible finished product.

While we waited, we went to the function room, and did our next activity: making a jelly fish.  They gave us half of a plate that the kids could decorate and then long strips of paper for the tentacles.  This was the activity that we did since the biking had to be unfortunately cancelled due to rain.  This was probably the least enjoyable activity, probably because we had pizza on our minds :)

After a very quick ceremony where the leaders gave each kid their Little Punggol SAFRA Explorer certificates for their successful completion of all the activities, and a few short speeches, it was time for dinner. 

The pizza we made turned out really good, but that was just a small part of it.  Garlic bread, chicken wings, Pepsi and a lot more pizza for the adults as well was sponsored by Pizza Hut!

With all the energy after a enjoyable meal, we were ready to take a "Splash at Kids Amaze"!  We still had more than 3 hours until Splash closed, so that was plenty of time, and we weren't feeling too rushed.

I know first hand how much my kids enjoy water parks.  When Sienna was younger, she had a one year membership at Port of Lost Wonder in Sentosa Island.  This was the perfect father-daughter bonding opportunity. I got to take her to the water park at POLW as often as I was able to, sometimes weekly, sometimes once in 2 weeks.  I was able to see her go from not even being able to walk on the shallow water without holding my hand, and not even wanting to try the smallest slides, to being able to run around by herself with daddy keeping up with her and going down the biggest slides time after time.

We are fortunate to be able to enjoy Splash during it's soft launch, before the rest of the country gets to.  So this is really a comparison between POLW and Splash, from my perspective.

Where I feel Splash and POLW are similar:
They both are catered to kids of all ages, and their parents.  There is no doubt you will see infants, and of course even some early teens when you go to either of these places.

They are safe.  There are numerous friendly 'life savers' standing around in the water and next to the slides to make sure they are ready to help any kid (or adult) in need.  They are also there to answer any questions, as needed.

They both have various ranges of slides, for the various age groups.

They both, unfortunately, have huge buckets fill up with water that get dumped (and I mean forcefully) at unknown intervals of time.  This was my one main problem with POLW.  Sienna has been dumped on with forceful down pours of water.  I dont find any benefit to it, and it actually seems a bit unsafe.  I haven't seen anyone get hurt by it, but I have told POLW that they could consider removing it.

They both, unfortunately, are slightly remote... as remote as you can be in Singapore.  Well, they are definitely not central.  While POLW is obviously quite a journey, being in a tiny island off of the southern part of the main Singapore island, Splash is at the northern tip.  It took us 3 MRT (metro/train) lines and a LRT (light rail) line stop to get there.  So unless you live in the area, both can be a little time consuming to get to.

Where I feel Splash is better than POLW:
Splash is indoors, the only (first) indoor water park in Singapore.  This means no sun, no tans, no sun tan lotion and less dehydration.  It also means we can stand to stay at the water park for much longer... which we did!  So for the amount of money one pays, the number of hours is probably higher at Splash due to the 'shade'.

Splash is bigger and more spacious than POLW.  There is more of everything that POLW has, and then things that even POLW does not have.  Plus the areas for parents to stand around is bigger.  It definitely does not feel as 'cramped' as POLW.

The slides are far better, bigger and faster!  There are more types of slides... the open air ones are for the littlest kids and, I have to say, were very fun!  My kids were begging for more, even though we went probably 10 times down them.  The closed slides are very long and fast.  I didnt dare take my kids down them, but I tried it myself and I flew down it very fast.  This would probably be for the much bigger kids.  POLW doesn't have slides this big or this fast, but they do have some fun slides for the young kids.

Splash is brand new and we are probably the first few people to enjoy it.  This is in the soft launch period so everything felt like it was untouched.  Even the showers were so clean and new, that I didnt feel like I had to do my normal 'public toilet routine' of not touching anything with my bare hands!
Although POLW has indeed kept its place clean, nice and welcoming, nothing beats brand new!

Where I feel Splash is worse than POLW:
The huge buckets of down pouring water are more forceful and more frequent than at POLW!  This is already something I despised at POLW and the few hours at Splash, I had to really protect Skyler from these buckets since it is anywhere from unpleasant to slightly dangerous for toddlers to get so much fast water poured on their heads.  Even though I shielded Skyler from it, he still cried every time, only to start laughing when I took him down the slide.  I really would recommend to Splash as well to eliminate this feature, but I'm not sure how many other parents agree with this.

Also, Splash has way too many more continual streams of water pouring/squirting/sprouting/dripping everywhere in the slides area.  This is to the point where it literally felt to me like we were in a torrential rainstorm just to get to the top of the slides.  This was honestly irritating to me, and I don't think my kids liked it that much either.  However, the slides were so good that we still put up with it.

It was a long and memorable day with the family, and we had only seen a very small part of SAFRA Punggol.  So I would definitely recommend checking it out, if not just for Splash, but also for the many other activities they offer people of all ages!!

Disclaimer: This is a Media invite. All opinions are solely our own.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Baby Skyler first formula milk - bellamy's organic

For the past 27 months and still going, I've been breastfeeding baby Skyler non stop 24/7 round the clock... and a total of 4 years being a breastfeeding momma to my 2 kids!!! 4 years of being a HAPPY milking "cow".

This lovely parcel couldn't come at a more perfect timing as we were in the midst of transitioning baby Skyler to stop night breastfeeding...yes, he still wakes up 3-5 times every night!
***This momma has been zombified with grossly looking eyebags***

Previously, with our first born, baby Sienna, it was a smooth transition for her. When I was a few months pregnant with baby no2, we introduced all sorts of formula milk to Sienna but she just didn't take any!!! She would run a mile away after smelling n tasting all the formula out there, even up to today. She miraculously stopped latching on once we started her on fresh milk n amazingly, slept through the night!

Click here to read about the end to my breastfeeding journey with baby no#1

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for baby Skyler ... we introduce fresh milk to him during the day but still wants to latch on round the clock!!!

First on our taste test list:
Bellamy's Organic Toddler Milk drink (stage 3) from 12 months onwards.
Perfect for BOTH my kids.

I was skeptical at first when I was making the formula milk as it brought back memories of making all the different samples of other brand's formula milk. The smell n taste scares me. It's no wonder Sienna didn't take any. I have this thing whereby if the adults can't accept the taste of it, why feed it to your kids?

Surprisingly Bellamy's Organic Toddler Milk drink (stage 3) proved me wrong!!! The taste n smell resembles fresh cow's milk!!! YES of course it does... *duh* just take a look at the ingredients list ...

"Ingredients: Organic full cream milk powder, organic skim milk powder, organic maltodextrin, organic soybean oil, inulin, organic lactose, organic demineralised whey solids, lecithin (soy)."

"Our products use only the finest ingredients and NASAA, the nation’s leading organic body, certifies all our products."

"Organic baby products, just like organic food in general, are a good choice when you want a natural product that hasn’t been produced with harmful chemicals, but it’s even more important that babies get an organic, pure start to life, without harmful toxins in their diets."

I did not tell either of the kiddos that I'm feeding them a new brand of milk. I hid the tin away and secretly made it in hiding. Sienna knows all too well how the appearance of a formula milk. The other day, she quickly questioned me as soon as she saw the tin when the parcel arrived.
And bingo!!! BOTH kids drank their milk as if they were drinking their normal fresh milk. Even mixed it into their favourite Milo drink.

Talking about tins, did you know that Bellamy's tins are fully recyclable and BPA free? The plastic lids are also recyclable! <-- this momma learnt something new everyday! *Yayyy* and *Double Yayyy* to saving mother earth!!!

If you know me (or have been following me), this momma is all about the 3Rs!!!! Nothing goes to waste in the "Chaw-Naga" residence. Not only that, Mr. Hubby/me will do the walk of fame to drop off our recyclables every once/twice a week! And we do it proudly. I'm so happy to know that:

"Bellamy’s uses producers who have a culture of reduce, re-use, recycle"

2nd on our taste test list:
Bellamy's Organic Vegie Pasta Alphabets.
(All ages - from 8 months)

A brief background. Let me first tell you that ALL babies will happily eat all kinds of vegetables until they reach a certain age, about 2 years old when they learn to talk and their taste bud fully developed. Sienna will pick out all greens, carrots, etc... I will have to hide it or feed her with distractions (playground, TV, iPad). I know, don't judge! ***rolls eyes*** A mum gotta do what a mum's gotta do.
She's slowly getting better at eating her veggies since this mommy told a white lie saying she will grow taller n more beautiful like a princess if she eats her veggies.

So back to the taste test. I made pumpkin+eggplant+cilantro+coconut milk green curry chicken to go with Bellamy's Organic Vegie Pasta Alphabets. 

My little helper who wasn't feeling well that day but yet was eager and volunteered to help!

The pasta was a hit!!! Not so the curry sauce (on a side note: Mr. Hubby thought it was the best curry he ever tasted... ***really, am not lying***)

Sienna n Skyler finished all the pasta n even requested for more!!! They finished their dinner in minutes and even fed themselves till the end. The colorful pasta and the cute alphabets kept Sienna entertained all throughout her meal.

3rd on our taste test list:
Bellamy's Organic Vegie Macaroni
(All ages - from 12 months)

This time this momma went Asian fusion!!! 
Stir fried minced beef with garlic+onion+tomato+cilantro+mixed verbs to go with Bellamy's Organic Vegie Macaroni. 100% success!!! 

It took longer to finished their dinner cause they were playing and having too much fun with the macaroni shaped into "O"s. Their plates were wiped out together with the sauce. They asked for second, third helpings till there was no more. Mr. Hubby and I didn't even get to eat any macaroni. Same case as the alphabet pasta!

Things to note: for both taste test 2 and 3, the pasta/macaroni can be eaten just by itself without the need to make any sauce! This momma obviously didn't read the instructions. But since my kids are older (no longer babies), meat ought to be present and added into their diet.

Last on our taste test list:
Bellamy's Organic Pear and Apple snacks
(All ages - from 12 months)

This momma saved the best for last and kept this snack hidden for days as I knew that my kids are fruit lovers, what more in a snack form!!! And this momma was right... there was none left!!! It was devoured and none was spared "alive". I had to plead with them for a piece for this momma to do a taste test as well. 

Verdict: intense flavor and yummy!!!

Overall verdict: This momma is very happy with the taste but even more HAPPY to know that I'm feeding my kids with the best ingredients.

"Choosing Bellamy’s certified organic baby formulas and foods starts your baby off on a path to healthy mindful eating so that they continue to grow into healthy happy children."

You may find out more of the company’s information and products at:
~Company website: 

Disclaimer: We (#SiennaSkyler) were presented with a gift package for the purpose of this review. All opinions are solely ours.